Akai LPK25 Review 2017: Let’s Forget About It!

Akai LPK25 Review 2017: Let’s Forget About It!

When it comes to MIDI controller technology, there’s one brand that has continued to impress time and time again. The LPK25 is an oldie but…sort of still a goodie and with a price tag this cheap, it’s still a controller that many beginners have their eye on. Not to mention a couple of pros too. I mean, it’s very easy to see where the appeal lies. It’s about as compact and portable as some of the best controllers on the market, measuring only 13 inches across and taking up as much space as a Macbook Pro.

That’s what you want from anything with the word ‘mini’ on it but to be a respectable choice, it’s gotta do more than just be able to fit into your back pocket. Nowadays it’s gotta function just as well in the studio as it does in your bedroom and be just as effective whether you’re rocking Ableton Live, Reason, Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools or even Magix Music Maker. You won’t get any software included so you’ll want to make sure you already have a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) installed beforehand.

All that aside, it certainly does still have its charms. So if you’re in the market for a new controller or just in need of a second opinion, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s my Akai LPK25 review.


Akai Professional LPK25 Review 2017 | HowToMakeHip-Hop.comProduct: Akai Professional LPK25

Price: $69.00

Cheapest Place To Buy: Amazon.com

Operating Systems: Windows and Mac OS

Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars (Based on 341 ratings)


What Can It Do?

The first thing to grab your attention are the 25 miniature sized piano keys that take up 80% of this controller. Emphasis on the word miniature, though, as these are significantly smaller than the ones on a regular sized keyboard so they may take a bit of getting used to, even if you’ve got some experience on the full-sized deal. But you’ll be playing your favourite melodies in no time. Notice all the markings just above the piano keys? Well, that’s because they each serve a dual function to help you fine tune your arpeggiator and help you access the four programmable memory banks.

Speaking of all these functions, those are the six buttons that decorate the left-hand side of this controller. The bottom two are your Octave Up and Down buttons that open up the full melodic range and the two right at the top are the arpeggiator controls (a simple on/off switch and a tap tempo button. The two in the middle are a bit more unique. One labelled ‘Sustain’ which allows any note you play to continue on long after you’ve lifted your finger, and one labelled ‘Program’ that allows you to use the keys’ secondary functions that we mentioned earlier.

And yeah…that’s about it really.

 

What Can’t It Do?

Weirdly enough, the LPK25’s biggest strength is undoubtedly its biggest weakness. I mean, this thing is cheap! It’s easy on the wallet but only because it was clearly easy to make. This is one seriously delicate piece of equipment and considering the fact that it’s aimed at being a portable musicians tool, it’s a serious problem. Like for real, there’s a reason I don’t keep teacups in my laptop bag and it seems like that’s what you’re getting.

I’m not saying producers are clumsy gorillas but you want something that’s going to last and at least put up with a few knocks while you get used to owning one, and I’ve just seen way too many people make the same complaint about the controllers USB Port. That’s a pretty vital connection with a tendency to break within weeks…really not a good sign. To be honest, at the end of the day, this thing doesn’t do much. I look at other models available from Akai and I’m blown away by their capabilities.

Akai Professional LPK25 Review 2017 | HowToMakeHip-Hop.com

There aren’t even any MPC-style drum pads, which I could’ve looked past if the main attraction wasn’t a honky-tonk set of mini-keys. If it’s all you’ve got then rather put a full-sized set on instead, Akai.

 

Extra Sauce?

What do you mean extra sauce? This is barely a burger. No chips, no soda and quite frankly, it doesn’t even look that tasty. They even market it as a ‘Laptop Performance Keyboard’ which is where this controller shows it’s age the most. I guarantee that absolutely every MIDI controller these days is a Laptop Performance Keyboard. Speaking of age, did I forget to mention that your editor software (that usually comes as a standard download) comes packaged in the form of a CD? Like seriously, way to take us back to 2002.

I half expected it to come with an extra power cable but thankfully, it’s tiny enough to be powered by your laptop or even your iPhone if you’ve got the right adapter (and the right app to play with). Needless to say that when it comes to ‘extra’, this keyboard is more like an extra in a movie. In the background and unimportant.

Akai Professional LPK25 Review 2017 | HowToMakeHip-Hop.com

 

Should I Get It?

That’s a big fat ‘Hell NO!’. At the end of the day, I’m trying to help beginners and first-time buyers the most, so I’d ignore the Amazon rating at the top and think about what you’re getting yourself into. If it were up to me, it would get 2 stars at the most. It’s not like there’s anything terribly wrong with it I just think it’s a complete waste of time and money. You want a lot more bang for your buck with your first controller since you’re probably going to need it for a very long time. Why not try the Akai MPK MKII or even the Novation Launchkey as your first instead.

Food is food but if it’s your first meal, it should be an extra large pizza and the LPK25…is baloney on white bread.

Got any more questions about the LPK25? Have you had any experiences? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.

Peace.

Ryan C. Voller, Recording Artist – Producer – Lead Contributor for HowToMakeHip-Hop.com

 


 

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6 thoughts on “Akai LPK25 Review 2017: Let’s Forget About It!

  1. Angelique D.

    Hi Ryan,

    I am considering to buy the Akai Professional LPK25 for a while now. Especially because it’s considered a great midi controller for beginners and because it’s quite cheap compared to other midi controllers.

    Since I read your post I decided to go for the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII thought, even if it is a little bit more expensive.
    I don’t want to buy a midi controller that doesn’t last more than a year, especially since I am on the move a lot and you know… we producers are clumsy gorillas haha (that’s not entirely wrong btw) 😉

    I already own the Ableton Push but I’d like to have the ‘keyboard feeling’ if you know what I mean.
    Push is great for drums and such but when it comes to the melody I’d rather play the keyboard.

    You opened my mind on this. Thanks!

    Angélique

    1. Ryan

      Nice to see you again, Angelique.

      I think you made a great choice. I understand what you mean about the ‘keyboard feeling’ but I have to admit, I still stare at the Push 2 like a love-sick puppy!

      Oh, and about producers being clumsy gorillas…let’s just say, you don’t wanna know what my computer screen looks like. 😀

      Thanks again for leaving your comment.

  2. Ian Spake

    Yo The Razz.

    Nice review.. I love the old school look of the Akai LPK25 and size does matter, Like you said the fact that its small is a good thing, I use an old Roland midi keyboard and its massive compared to this… and it needs replacing so I might just check out the LPK25 even though you don’t recommend it I reckon if it looks cool… it must be Ha ha.

    Nice article on The Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff too by the way.. I’m enlightened

    1. Ryan

      Whaddup, Ian!

      Thanks for the support and I wish you the best with whichever controller you pick. If you do get it, why not come back and share your experience with it.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article on DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. I’ll be sure to add features on more rappers from the Golden Age.

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

  3. Farhan

    The LPK25 does seem very limited in terms of functionality and design. Especially after looking at your other reviews, I realised there are other options that will give people more value for their money.

    The buttons and keys do look really small, and I just don’t see how someone would be comfortable playing this controller during a live performance. On the bright side, it does seem to be very portable and lightweight.

    Great review as always!

    1. Ryan

      Welcome back, Farhan.

      That’s the sad truth unfortunately. It’s very easy to travel with but there are always better options.

      Thanks for leaving a comment and for your continued support.

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