Mini Midi Keyboard with pads for the OT mk2

Hi there,

i am searching for a reliable and small midi keyboard controller for the OT. It should be mainly used to play and record midi notes on the midi channels, trigger some audio channels (eg. drums) and best would be if there are a few other pads or buttons i could use e.g. arm or disarm a track, arming fills etc.
All those things are possible with the OT directly, but for me to complicated and indirect when improvising live.
I have a novation launchkey mini, which does not work, as it has only a USB midi output.
The launchpad pro mk2 also does not work, as i can’t customize the layouts, also i do not know if the mk3 woudl work for me in terms of playing a keyboard.
The Arturia Mini keaboard looks great, but lags any pads.
Had anyone experience using the m-oxygen pro mini?
Any other recommendations?

According to the Novation website, the LaunchKey Mini has TRS MIDI out. You just need this. (I use that specific adapter with my SQ-64, I previously ordered a cheaper adapter from Amazon, but it was wired for TRS-MIDI-B not A. There are also longer cables that will go direct from your LaunchKey to the OT, but I haven’t tried them myself)

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Certainly true of the current mk3, I’m less sure about previous models. One limitation of the pads of the mk3 though is that they’re good for midi notes only, which might limit their application for

on the OT

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These work great too.

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I had the Akai Mini Play, pads are pretty good, 128 general midi sounds (definitely usable), drum kits, arp.

Form factor close to OT.
Requires an usb midi host.

I hesitated to keep it, but since I have an Hydrasynth Explorer…
(Great controller for OT, you can control comb filters with keytrack, crossfader with aftertouch, etc)

Akai MPK Mini plus?

Hi, thanks for all the suggestions.
Yes, I have the Launchkey MK2 which does not have a midi out. Unfortunately that the pads could not be changed to send CC is a downer for me.
The Akai mini plus (a weird combination of words) looks great. How is the formfactor next to an OT? Don’t want to have something too big to carry around…
Anything that could I should consider when buying one? E.g I need to switch fast between different midi channels and I definitely want to have the option to Programm every job, pad or button as I want them (eg. sending notes, values etc. Best would be if this could be done across midi channels. (Eg. One button sends a note on channel 1, the one next to it a CC on channel 4)
Had anyone experience also with the Arturia mini lab MK3 in comparison?

@sezare55 do you use the hydrasynth as a controller?

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Yes. It can send CCs from anything coming from the Mod Matrix, keytrack, velocity, aftertouch, envelope, lfo, etc…

So I can control quite a lot of OT parameters with live playing, like comb filters tune, velocity to VOL, Note off to Hold to stop notes, velocity to slices (multisamples), aftertouch to modify sample start in a granular way…

Crossfader CC48 can be assigned to Hydrasynth parameters, or external midi to control other synth with min/max…

Synced arp (midi send and receive)

Possibility to control all sequenced tracks with live playing. Example with Syntakt.
(I have to test with OT to confirm)


The new Arturia Minilab 3 has 25 keys, 8 pads, 8 encoders, 4 faders and a MIDI out.
Seems close to what you’re looking for.
I’ve not tried one though so can’t vouch for the quality, though I find the keys on their Keystep quite useable.
I’ve never found a cheap MIDI controller with pads that I’ve enjoyed using though.

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I passed on the minilab 2 due to the lack of din (or minjack) midi, but I did find the keys felt good compared to the rest of the 25 key competition. If I was buying now the minilab 3 (assuming the same keyboard) would be on my shortlist.

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Midi DIN out !
Interesting specs indeed.


Yes, the Arturia mini lab MK3 seems to be interesting, so it seems to be a decision between the Akai mini plus and the arturia. The Akai has additional CV outs,which might be come in handy for me.
Did anyone has experience when it comes to programming the midi channels for the different buttons or switching the settings on both devices?

I’d check manuals.

3 octaves and pitchbend/modulation real wheels are big plus for me.

Beware of arp beat sync with Akai, with my Akai Mini Play it didn‘t work with Elektron*, because they always send clock when set so, and Akai beat sync start with clock beginning, not start. Maybe not the case with the Mini Plus, in general this is not well documented.

*Worked with an MPC500, which send clock after play.

Hi, thanks for all your tips and recommendations. I ordered the Akai mini plus now, at it ticks all boxes. It seems to be highly configurable and has a lot of options. It’s more expensive than other mini keyboard controllers, but with CV and pitch bend wheels and a joystick it seems to be a good package for me.
Thanks again, if anyone is interested in how it works in combination with the OT, I will receive the Akai on 2. January. Just let me know what you want to know!
Happy new year!

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If it works like Mini Play, it can send up to 4 different CCs !
Up, Down, Left, Right, middle = 0.

Have fun!

Hi, me with Akai apk mini no problem it works nickel on the OT

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oups MPK

Hi, after reading the manual of th Aakai I didn’t found any bigger issues, but on the OT side I am often a bit surprised about the midi implementation. So I hope I get everything right:) thanks again!

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That is to say ?

Akai Pro MPK Mini Play | How to use the Editor : Akai Professional ,
Happy new year all :slight_smile: