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.
Find out more about the LPK25 Mk2 and LPD8 Mk2 on the Akai Pro website. They’re both available now and you can expect to pay around $59/£50/€59 for each.