While I am quite fond of my Nanokontrol, Akai has really trumped Korg with the LPK25 controller. The Nanokey simply cannot compete with the LPK25 in terms of quality and features.
While we are moving towards total backpack autonomy for the truly mobile studio, the LPK25 is by far the first portable controller that is actually enjoyable to play. Yes, I am being quite liberal in sweeping aside the multifunction 25 key controllers. But hey, we never did really all end up in our local coffee shops recording our next hit albums or get our flying cars. Life goes on.. But I digress. The LPK 2 is truly a joy to play, for something small enough to fit on your laptop. The keys are springy just enough to encourage natural playing and it’s quite easy and fun to play. Installation is just as enjoyable; Windows 7 picked it up and installed it without even having to load the CD or any drivers.
Interestingly, the LPK25 comes with a built in arpeggiator. It has the typical modes: up, down, up/down, random etc. which can also be enhanced with a tap tempo button. I’ve heard some excitement about the feature, but I’m curious as to why because there’s no MIDI out port to speak of and most, if not all DAWs and VSTis have at least some sort of on board arpeggiator. As these things usually go, I’m sure someone out there has a use for it that I haven’t considered!
The octave buttons, I’m glad to report, work as expected. And there is also the addition of a sustain button, which is a first as far as I know for a controller. It’s quite handy for playing and programming sounds once you get used to it.
The LPK25 doesn’t really replace a nice studio master controller, but it is a very nice buy @ 70$ if you’re on a budget, need a traveling setup for those out of town trips or are just getting into music production and don’t want to spend allot right of the bat. However, I do have to give the LPK25 top marks in durability, playability and down right bang for the buck so I would give it a serious look if you’re in the market for a compact and capable controller.
– 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keyboard keys
– Arpeggiator, sustain button, octave up and down, and tap tempo controls
– Four programmable memory banks
– Send note information or program changes from keys
– USB bus powered – no additional power cable needed