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Akai LPK25 Review: #1 in Portable MIDI Keys?
The right set of keys can make or break your production workflow depending on what you’re trying to achieve. This article will provide an honest, unbiased, and in-depth review of the Akai LPK25 Laptop Performance Keyboard to help you make an informed decision in your search.
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Last Updated: 10/7/2021
The Akai LPK25 is a great beginners MIDI keyboard for those of us who are looking for a set of keys that won’t break the bank. This lightweight and portable MIDI controller is great for the on-the-go music producer, as well as live performances with the built in arpeggiator function. Plug-and-play connectivity make for an easy setup. I’ve personally owned and used the LPK25 to produce music for over a year now with no reliability issues, which seems to be a real concern for other buyers. The main problem people are having is with the USB connector. I don’t move it around or unplug it too much, so this may help prevent damage to the connector.
For intermediate or advanced musicians, namely those who are skilled with the piano, my suggestion is to look elsewhere for a larger weighted or semi-weighted (and more expensive) keyboard controller such as the Nektar IMPACT LX88+.
How It Stacks Up
The Akai LPK25 faces stiff competition from comparable 25-key MIDI keyboard controllers such as the Korg microKey25, M-Audio Oxygen25 MKV, Nektar IMPACT LX25+, and the successor to the immensely popular Akai MPK Mini MKII, the Akai MPK Mini MKIII. It’s worth mentioning that each of these competitors offer other additional features such as launchpad buttons, faders, and knobs, and also come with a heftier price tag. For a simple set of keys, I think the LPK25 is worth it.
OK, let’s dig in to the details!
Review of Akai LPK25 Specifications
- Overall length: 13-5/16″
- Width: 3-13/16″
- Overall height: 1-3/8″
- Key width (white): 3/4″
- Key width (black): 3/8″
- Weight: 1-1/2 oz
- Power: <100 mA, 5V DC through USB
- Input/Output: 1 USB mini port
- USB cable length: 6 ft
- Number of keys: 25 (two octaves +1)
- MIDI output channels: 16
What’s In The Box
- LPK25 Laptop Performance Keyboard
- USB-mini cable (6 ft long)
- Editor Librarian/Owner’s Manual CD
- Safety Instructions & Warranty Information
Review of Akai LPK25 Key Features
This 25-note velocity-sensitive mini keyboard operates through a plug-and-play USB connection and can connect to any Windows or Mac PC. It comes with the appropriate 6 ft USB-mini cable, manuals, and Editor Librarian software on CD.
The LPK25 has a built-in arpeggiator that sends MIDI data and can be toggled on and off. You can change the arpeggiator tempo by repeatedly pressing the TAP TEMPO button. The arpeggiator will automatically match the tempo that you’re tapping at. The number of taps required to set the tempo can be changed within the Editor Librarian software.
Holding down the arpeggiator toggle button and pressing one of the labeled keys will allow the user to change different arp settings.
Arp Time Division – 1/4 note, 1/4 note triplet (“1/4 T”), 1/8 note, 1/8 note triplet (“1/8 T”), 1/16 note, 1/16 note triplet (“1/16 T”), 1/32 note, or 1/32 note triplet (“1/32 T”)
Arpeggiator Mode – Up, Down, Inclusive, Exclusive, Order, or Random
Arpeggiator Octave – Octave range of the arpeggiator (ARP OCT 0, 1, 2, or 3)
With the arpeggiator turned on and the SUSTAIN button enabled, you can hold down a combination of keys and the arp will continue to play the notes. You can also change the arpeggiator mode, time division, or octave while the SUSTAIN button is activated.
Editor Librarian Software
You can access loaded presets by holding down the PROGRAM button and selecting one of the PROG 1 – PROG 4 keys. The software that comes with the LPK25 allows the user to edit, save, or load presets for the controller on the user’s computer.
MIDI Channel – sets which channel the LPK25 will send MIDI messages to when that preset is activated.
Transposition – sets the pitch shift of the of the preset from the keyboards original setting
Octave – sets the default octave for the preset
Arpeggiator Octave – sets the octave range of the arpeggiatior for the preset
Arp Enable – sets wheter or not the arp is on or off for the preset
Arpeggiator Mode – sets the arpeggiator mode for the preset
Arp Time Division – sets the time division for the preset
Tempo – sets the arp tempo for the preset
The controller itself also has two buttons that can shift the entire key bank up or down one octave at a time with a full range of 9 octaves. The arpeggiator and octave shift buttons are backlit orange when connected. The
Akai LPK25 Review of Pros & Cons
- Lightweight and highly portable
- The octave shift buttons are convenient
- The controller is USB powered, so no external power supply is required
- Easy plug-and-play setup for most DAWs
- Arp feature is a lot of fun and easy to pick up on
- Compatible with many big-name DAWs such as FL Studio, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Cubase, and more.
- The keys are overly springy, non-weighted, and may take getting used to for piano players.
- Too small for anyone wanting to record live piano sessions.
- USB connection port on the keyboard itself is weak and prone to loosening and breaking. If you plan on moving the keyboard around a lot, I suggest unplugging the USB cable each and every time
Thanks for reading this review of the Akai LPK25, and we hope this will help you find the right set of MIDI keys for your specific application!