software keyboard

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3 thoughts on “software keyboard

  1. This is a fantastic little midi-controller. I use it with my Mac Mini (OS X 10.8.5) running Logic X (it will also work with GarageBand and most other DAW’s) and it works very well. It also works well with my M-Audio sustain pedal, it has a port for a sustain pedal in the back (in case you were wondering.)The packaging was fantastic. Included is the Keyboard, USB-Midi cable, instructions, and information on where and how to download your included software.The keyboad itself looks great. It is very streamline and has a great color scheme. A unique feature is the 4 way joystick for modulation and pitch control. I have to say I like it better than a typical wheel style control you see on other midi-controllers. It really helps keep the size of the keyboard down since you don’t have to include those bulkier pitch and modulation wheels. It really helps make this a portable keyboard. Though someone who is use to the wheel style control might not like this feature. It takes a minute to get acclimated to.Right now my only complaint is that the keys are a little smaller than I was expecting. As you can see in my pictures, each key is about the size of a penny. They are completely usable but a little hard to get used to if you are use to a full size keyboard. This may or may not matter to you. If you have big fingers, I may recommend looking for something else. Of course this is not the manufacturer’s fault, they list “mini keys” in the first description of the product so I am not going to knock any stars for that. I just thought they wouldn’t be quite so mini. But the upside is that it makes the overall footprint very small, smaller than my computer keyboard infact. Also, unless you have nothing else, this isn’t really the type of keyboard you (or atleast I) would use to put down a lot of notes. I think it’s more for editing and mixing than for creating and composing, but if you really needed to you easily could.I think would be really neat if they made this same controller with normal sized keys. They make one similar (Akai Professional MPK25 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with MPC Pads) but it has a lot more going on and is $80 more. Maybe I will invest in that someday. If you have larger fingers or don’t like the mini-keys go check that one out.Anyway, in summary, fantastic little midi keyboard. Good price, great packaging, and great usability. I think this is a good keyboard to start out with as a beginner and even a good keyboard to have floating around if you are a pro. Pick it up, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

  2. I’ve been using the Akai Mini MKII for around a month now and I really like it so far! I’ve been on the search for a portable MIDI keyboard that I can easily setup and put away as needed and this fit the bill perfectly.The build quality is really good. It feels like it’s made of sturdy material and is a quality product. Nothing feels fragile, like it’s going to fall off. It feels very well made.As for being plug-and-play, I think it is for the most part. As long as you already have music creation software installed on your computer. I did not have to install any drivers to get it working. I tested it with the free software LMMS and it came up without too much hassle. I also tested on a computer with FL Studio that worked just as well. Plug-and-play with Garageband on my old Macbook worked exactly as soon as I plugged it in.As for the included software… I saw a lot of reviews where there was an issue with the included software so I thought I’d check it out. I can see how that might be a problem. It was a bit tedious to download the software and activate it but it did work.I’m probably a bit more biased to the software that I’m used to but I’d say if you’re on a Windows computer and want to start using this right away without much hassle, check out LMMS(completely free), or FL Studio if you want a more higher end premium software. If you’re on a Mac, just use Garageband, It works right out of the box!

  3. This is a great piece of equipment for a beginner musician, but there IS a learning curve, so please be aware of that when buying. What you are purchasing is a MIDI controller (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). Unlike a synthesizer, MIDI controllers do not produce sound without software. It’s basically just a tool to control computer software. So after you’ve downloaded the software and plug it in, you will still not have any sound generated until you’ve set everything up properly and loaded sounds onto the pads. So I feel it is slightly inaccurate to call it a “plug-in and go”, as some people do.Pros:- Its easy to use AFTER you have learned how to set up and use it.- Its fun.- A good way to get into digital music making.- Budget friendly.Cons:- The software setup is kind of intimidating but luckily there are easy-to-find tutorials to help you.- Akai itself doesn’t seem to have much assistance in actually using the controller. Every useful tutorial I found was by someone else, not the company. It would be nice for them to take the time to make more tutorials. Unless I just didn’t find them? Everything I found just had to do with setting up the software, nothing really about HOW to actually use it.-The software that is included is limited. You can’t use the knobs with MPC Essentials, you need Ableton or something similar for that. Or rather, I should say, you can’t use the knobs for effects in your track. I believe you can use it for other things but I still don’t quite understand that part.I am still learning to use this but it has gotten significantly funner to use as I have learned more about it and found sounds I like.Just as a tip:- Make sure you know where all your files are saved when you setup the software. You will need to know where your VST stuff is so you can load it into MPC Essentials.-Use Program 2 when you’re finally ready to start loading sounds in. Program 2 has the pads laid out in order in the software, so everything correlates properly.-Read the manual and do a lot of research if you are new to it. It’s worth the time, trust me.

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