AKAI Release new LPK25 MIDI Keyboard and LPD8 Drum Pads

AKAI Professional have released new versions of their LPK25 mini MIDI keyboard and LPD8 drum pads.

According to the press release / email: “The new LPK25 is an ultra-sleek and responsive 25-key MIDI keyboard controller for mobile music makers who want to get the most out of their plugin instruments.”

The AKAI LPK25 Mk2 product page.

“The new LPD8 is a pad controller featuring dynamic velocity-sensitive RGB-backlit MPC pads for triggering samples and making beats.”

The LPK25 Mk 2 is essentially a cut-down version of Akai’s successful MPK Mini MIDI keyboard, and the LPD8 Mk2 is a cut-down version of the company’s MPD drum pad range.

Both the LPK25 Mk2 and LPD8 Mk2 are USB-powered mini MIDI controllers. The LPK25 features 25 mini keys (2 octaves) and has a built-arpeggiator. The LPD8 has 8 velocity-sensitive RGB pads.

I previously owned an LPK25, so I’m looking forward to seeing how AKAI have updated and improved their entry-level MIDI keyboard. One of the things that prevented me from using the original version was that the built-in arpeggiator couldn’t sync to an external clock. As such, it was rendered pretty useless when running it from a computer or external device. According to the product page, there is now Internal/External clock sync control, so at least they’ve sorted that out!

I’m a big fan of AKAI’s products, especially the more recent MIDI controllers, so I’d love to get my hands on the LPK25 and LPD8. If anyone from AKAI or InBrands is reading this, please get in touch and send me one for review! I recently did a review and unboxing video of the MPK Mini Play Mk3 and would love to do a video for each of these!

Read more about the AKAI LPK25 here.

Read more about the AKAI LPD8 here.

AKAI MPK Mini Play Mk3 Midi Keyboard with speakers out now! – Review and First Look

Akai Professional have just released a new version of their best-selling MPK Mini Play MIDI Keyboard with speakers. The AKAI MPK Mini Play Mk3 is a 25-note MIDI controller, and a portable keyboard with 128 built-in sounds.

Akai MPK Mini Play MK3 unboxing video

New Features

The Mini Play is a step up from the previous model, and now includes the 2nd generation dynamic keybed and MPC-type drum pads that are standard on the Mark 3 MPK Mini controller, which was released last year (2021). There is a larger built-in speaker compared to the old version of the Play, with better bass/low end response. The layout of the device has changed since the last version. It seems that Akai have altered the shape of the pads that are on the MPK Mini. They’re rectangular rather than square, which I presume is to create space for four of the dials/pots, which have been moved above the drum pads. The dials in turn have been moved in order to make space for the larger built-in speaker!

The built-in sounds seem to have been improved since the last version, but you’ll need to plug in some headphones to hear the best of them. The sounds look they’re standard General Midi presets, with pianos, synths, and orchestral names, but there’s no sign of the GM logo anywhere on the keyboard.

On the rear of the keyboard, there’s a switch to change between External (USB) power or internal batteries (4 x AA). This user had a few problems opening the battery compartment at the rear. Maybe my fingers, but it did feel like it may snap at any time! There’s also a USB-B socket, to connect to a computer, a 1/8 inch headphone jack, and a 1/4 inch sustain pedal socket.

Portability

Although the AKAI MPK Mini Play Mk3 can be used a MIDI controller, and map to your favourite DAW, it’s best feature is its portability. According to AKAI, the battery-life is now 14 hours, so you’ll get plenty of time before you have to replace them. Overall, for anyone who wants a portable synth to take anywhere and doodle around some tunes, it looks like it’s going to be well-worth investing in.

Conclusion

It’s worth noting that although the AKAI MPK Mini Play Mk3 is now available to buy on Amazon (affiliate link) and many other online and physical stores, it still isn’t featured on the AKAI website. Rumour has it that it will be officially launched in March this year (2022), so look out for more news on my website, or check out my unboxing video/first thoughts on the AKAI MPK Mini Play Mk3 on my Youtube channel or at the top of this page.