Akai Pro LPK25 Review | Matt K.
Convenience, convenience, convenience – more and more that’s what consumers are in search of and musicians are no different. Enter the compact, ultra-portable Akai Professional LPK25 (as in 25 keys) MIDI USB Keyboard. Tailor made for the musician, DJ, songwriter, music creators or project studio. Super affordable, perfect for use with a laptop computer, fits in my backpack, and ripe with cool features and funky synth goodness.
I’m not a big fan of the smaller boards. I won’t call myself a piano player, but as someone who reads and plays a little, I have a hard time getting behind mini-keyboards and controllers without weighted keys – I’m some kind of piano snob. The Akai Pro LPK25 comes in at 13” wide and weighs less than a pound. It’s the mobile songwriter’s dream come true. Summon an image of this controller – it’s about as wide as a small laptop but wider than the average 10-inch netbook, which I have an also think is too small. But like my netbook, the LPK25 will easily fit into a laptop case, messenger bag, or backpack without making the bag bulky and awkward to carry.
Contrary to what I originally expected from the Akai Pro LPK25, the keys on this midi keyboard controller have a relatively impressive feel – responsive and velocity-sensitive. It’s a great unit for controlling virtual instruments. The LPK25 is plug and play, USB-powered, and works well with both Macs and PCs without having to worry about driver installation (and updates… don’t forget those updates).
The Akai Pro LPK25 is sleek, slim and light-weight. I like the layout of the board. It’s very, very simple – with only a few options and controls on it, but it’s still packed with features like sustain, tempo control, octave up and down, an arpeggiator and programmable memory banks for storing software settings. The keyboard comes with editor software for both the Mac and PC. I purchased my LPK25 for a hair over $50 on Musicians Frined and $60 is usually the asking price. That’s a good price for a functional, portable controller added to your music-making arsenal.
I’ve got a couple of funky setups. I use the Akai Pro LPK25 as a MIDI controller whenever I’m mobile. My larger controller that I use with my Pro Tools LE desktop setup is an M-Audio Oxygen 49, which I’ve used for years and works well. I like the portability of the LPK25 so I use it with my Compaq Notebook that’s specifically for band rehearsal. My Compaq runs Windows Vista x32 and I haven’t had any problems with the LPK25 at all. It runs like a champ and it’s well-built so I don’t worry too much about damaging it in transit.