You wouldn’t exactly call them major upgrades, but 13 years after they were launched, Akai Pro has given its LPK25 and LPD8 mini MIDI controllers a bit of a tweak.
Both devices now have a slightly funkier look - did someone say ‘red end cheeks’? - with the 2-octave LPK25 Mk2 MIDI keyboard getting a new “Gen 2 dynamic keybed”. This made its debut on the MPK mini Mk3, and is designed to offer improved playability and velocity response.
Other features include a built-in arpeggiator and clock for controlling your software and hardware and a standard-size USB port. There’s still no pitch/modulation wheel, but this does at least help to keep the LPK25 extremely compact.
Moving on to the new LPD8 Mk2, this inherits its eight velocity-sensitive RGB-backlit pads from Akai’s MPC X. These are said to be super-responsive and offer velocity-sensitivity. There are also eight assignable rotaries and, again, a full-size USB port.
Both the LPK25 and LPD8 ship with software bundles that comprise the MPC Beats DAW (which is actually free to download anyway) and a selection of MPC instruments and effects.