I had been wanting to get one of these when the MK2 came out but always put it off due the small keys. However I couldn’t help but think how small and convenient it was, especially for live performances and travelling, so when I saw it my local music shops in Japan last week and just bought it without hesitation.
This was one of the main reasons which put me off buying it in the first place, and yes the keys are small compared to a normal keyboard however I was surprised as to how fast I got used to it. It also has a really nice smooth but springy touch to it, with no clicky feeling at all.
As all AKAI PADs, they are exactly as what I had had expected, perfect touch with good velocity which light up. Note repeat and, Full level and arpeggiator functions are included.
I still need to play around with it more, but I noticed this time it has a display however it would have been nice if it could include some details from the DAW, e.g. which track you are played / have selected. They joystick seem a little sensitive but I may just need to get used to it. There seem to be many other knobs etc (8 of them) that can be linked to certain functions within your DAW. At present I am using an APC40MK2 which alos has 8 knobs mapped to the main functions for each instrument. I’m pretty sure I could switch that mapping to the AKAI mini, however I do like the APC40 setup since I can visually see the knobs data position.
Bellow is a little video I made demonstrating the AKAI use. I used Session View and set the MIDI loops to 4 bars so I could easily switch tracks, change instruction and keep adding without disruption.