How to Use Akai MPK Mini Without a Computer?

how to use akai mpk mini without computer

Are you in the market for a mini MIDI keyboard? If so, you’re probably wondering how to use the Akai MPK Mini without a computer. Fortunately, the simple answer is no. You don’t. The Akai MPK Mini is perfect for users who want to produce music anytime, anywhere. 

However, even if you think the MPK is perfect for you, you’ll still need to connect to a device to use your sounds. So if you’re interested in learning how to use your Akai MPK Mini and what devices it connects to, you’re in the right place. 

What is an Akai MPK Mini?

An Akai MPK Mini is a portable MIDI keyboard that lets you create and customize music anywhere. If you’re exceptionally skilled with MIDI music production or just dipping into the area, you’ll be able to make music effortlessly with the Akai MPK Mini. 

Although the ​Akai MPK Mini comes with software that makes professional quality production a simple task, you don’t need software to run the keyboard. When you purchase your APK Mini, you’ll have access to Hybrid 3, MPC Beats, and Mini Editor. 

Hybrid 3 is an Akai MPK Mini software that allows you to experiment with different synth sounds. 

In contrast, MPC lets you get creative with different beats. If your passion is beat-making, MPC will help you create professional sounds on your MPK.

The third Akai MPK Mini software service you’ll get with your Akai MPK is Mini Editor, which comes packed with presents that you can alter to suit your needs. 

Do You Need a Computer To Use an Akai MIDI Keyboard?

The question of can a midi keyboard be used without a computer is pretty simple. In short, any instrument with a MIDI interface can be used with a laptop or desktop if it has the right equipment. For example, many modern MIDI devices, including the Akai MPK Mini, include USB ports that allow users to connect their keyboard to a laptop or desktop computer easily. 

Now, you might be wondering, “can I use the Akai MPK Mini without a computer?” One of the MPK Mini’s best features is that you don’t need a computer to operate it. You can create and save sounds right on your keyboard. Then, if you want to transfer them to your computer, you can.

Use Akai MPK mini without a computer

Use Akai MPK Mini Without a Computer

So, do you need a computer to use Akai MPK Mini MK3? Fortunately, you don’t. You have a few options if you want to use your Akai MPK Mini without a computer. Whether you want to learn how to record live with the Akai MPK Mini or play around with settings, you can easily do so directly on the keyboard or using a mobile device.

1. Using MIDI Sound Modules

Sound modules act as a type of sound bank for your MIDI keyboard. In some cases, they also act as an output device. Sound modules are the heart of your MIDI device and are often purchased as add-ons. They allow users to create rich, complex sounds easily.

However, the Akai MPK Mini comes with a built-in sound module that allows you to work with more than 128 sounds. The modules will enable you to easily control your music’s sounds without focusing on the minutiae. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about purchasing additional equipment to get the most out of your keyboard.

2. Using a MIDI Keyboard With Mobile Devices

If you’re in the market for a portable MIDI keyboard, you’re probably wondering how to put sounds on the Akai MPK Mini using your mobile device. Akai conveniently offers software for Mac and PC users. Still, with the right adapters, you can connect your MPK Midi to several popular mobile devices.  

Mobile options work particularly well for musicians who travel often and don’t have space for a lot of equipment. It’s also far more cost-effective than purchasing a costly computer and software. Many companies, including Akai, create companion mobile apps that work with their devices.

3. Get a Standalone Hardware Synthesizer Instead

If you want to skip purchasing an Akai MPK Mini entirely, you can opt for a standalone hardware synth instead. All-in-one hardware synthesizers offer a MIDI keyboard and all the necessary components. 

Modular hardware synths let you create your own system that suits your specific needs. However, they also take up much more space. If you don’t need travel flexibility, a standalone hardware synthesizer could solve some of your problems.

If you’re wondering how to use a MIDI keyboard live, a standalone synth is probably your best option. It eliminates the need for excessive equipment and allows you more options than a smaller version.

Get A Standalone Hardware Synthesizer Instead

How to Connect a MIDI Keyboard to an iPad, Tablet, or Phone?

If you’ve thumbed through your Akai MPK Mini manual and can’t find instructions on using your MPK on your mobile devices, don’t worry. You can play a MIDI keyboard without a computer on your mobile device. If you aren’t sure how to record with Akai MPK Mini, there are a few recommended apps you can use with it.

Using your MIDI keyboard with a mobile device allows you to take your creativity on the go. There’s no question that computer software often offers more customizations. However, mobile apps eliminate the need to tether yourself to a chair.

1. iPad / iPhone

If you’re a proud iOS user, you’ll be happy to know you can use your Akai MPK Mini with your iPhone or iPad. The process is simple whether you’re using the standard MPK Mini or the Akai MPK Mini Play. 

All you need to do to play your Akai MPK Mini without a computer is purchase a Lightning to USB 3 adapter from Apple. This will convert the USB at the end of your MPK Mini cable to the Lightning connector required for iPhones and iPads. Then, simply download iMPC Pro to get started.

2. Android Devices

Although the Akai MPK Mini is Android compatible, it has limits. Currently, you can use Akai’s iMPC app on Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets. Unfortunately, Akai doesn’t offer apps for other Android devices. In addition, you’ll need a USB MIDI converter cable to connect your Android device to your Akai MPK Mini

Until Akai’s MPK Mini is more flexible for Android users, your best choice is to connect your keyboard to a computer. This way, you won’t miss out on any features, and you won’t have to purchase a new mobile device.

Android Devices

Some Recommended Apps for Akai MPK Mini

One of the best things about the Akai MPK Mini is its mobile capabilities, which go hand in hand with its portability. If you want to use the MIDI keyboard on your phone or tablet, you can use any of the following apps:

  • iMPC Pro
  • iMPC
  • iMPC Pro 2
  • iMPC for iPhone

Or, if you want to get the most out of your MIDI keyboard, you can download Akai MPK Mini software for your computer:

  • MPC Software 2
  • VIP Software

Whether you choose mobile apps or computer software, you’ll be able to create exciting music. Not to mention, using mobile apps gives you limitless possibilities for where you can work from. 


The Akai MPK Mini is a quality MIDI keyboard that offers musicians significant flexibility with where and how they can create music. You can use it with a computer in the studio or on the go with your mobile device. It also has plenty of apps that’ll allow you to create stunning music. So, if you’re looking for a MIDI keyboard you can use without a computer, the Akai MPK Mini is a solid choice.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I use a MIDI keyboard without a laptop?

The Akai MPK Mini is one of many MIDI keyboards you can use without a laptop or computer. You have the option to record live and save your content on the keyboard itself. Or, if you prefer to work on your sounds separately, you can connect your MPK Mini to your mobile device. 

Is it really difficult to connect the MIDI keyboard to the computer?

Akai made connecting the MIDI keyboard to a computer a simple task. The MPK Mini comes with a USB port, so you must connect your devices. If there’s any software you want to use with your MPK Mini, you should have it on your computer. 

What is a tone generator or synthesizer?

The terms synthesizer and tone generator can be used interchangeably to refer to MIDI devices that produce sound. The most common type of synthesizer is a keyboard synth, which has a piano controller and an internal tone generator.