Category Archives: MIDI Controllers

Artiphon Instrument 1 – A Revolutionary MIDI Controller

The Artiphon Instrument 1 is going to revolutionize the MIDI controller world.

This looks like an amazing instrument. I don’t need my Oxygen 49 and my Launchpad and my Keytar anymore. All I need is the Artiphon. What a great idea.

Here are some features from the Kickstarter Page:

  • Play any instrument, style, and sound with a single device that connects directly to your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
  • Artiphon patented multi-instrument technology transforms the INSTRUMENT 1 into a guitar, violin, bass, piano, drum machine… it’s any instrument you want it to be.
  • Plug in and play hundreds of apps like GarageBand with universal musical gestures: strumming, tapping, bowing, sliding, and more.
  • Digital string-like interface works with any MIDI-compatible software.
  • The unique ergonomic design can be held in multiple positions, and is fully ambidextrous.
  • Design new instruments and custom tunings via the Artiphon companion app.
  • It’s compact, portable, durable, self-powered, and simple.
  • Designed and engineered in Nashville, TN.

I use GarageBand to create and record ideas and then do my full production with Logic or Pro Tools so this is a great instrument for the way that I work because it works with everything that I already use. I love that it is self powered and has internal speakers. I don’t like having to find headphones or rig everything up to record an idea. I just want to play.

Here is some more info:

Artiphon’s patented technology also enables entirely new musical techniques, letting you play in ways that no stringed instrument ever could:

1) Turn the frets on and off. This is the first digital string-like instrument to support fretless playability, which is revolutionary for violinists, bassists, and anyone interested in sliding between notes.

2) Use vibrato to naturally add real nuance to your performance.

3) The entire interface is continuously pressure-sensitive, allowing for unprecedented control over software instruments via polyphonic aftertouch.

4) Instantly change to any tuning (guitar, bass, banjo, dobro, uke, violin… koto anyone?), with capo buttons at your fingertips.

5) Assign a different instrument to each string. For example, play a bass on the bottom and a guitar on the top.

6) Pressure-sensitive effect control, tap and auto-strum modes, multiple notes per string…

 

If you love this idea you can pre-order one on the Kickstarter page.

Akai Pro LPK25 Review

Akai Pro LPK25 ReviewAkai Pro LPK25 – A Keyboard For Ants?

My Akai Pro LPK25 Review was inspired by this little mini keyboard that I saw the other day and had to check it out. This is the Akai Pro LPK25 Laptop Performance Keyboard and it is so cute!

Not only is this MIDI keyboard controller small, it is packed with really cool features too.

The list price for the Akai LPK25 is $129 but Amazon has it through this link for $72.24 >>> Amazon

The Akai Pro LPK25 Laptop Performance Keyboard is a smaller sized relative to the MPK series of keyboard performance controllers. This keyboard has 25 miniature keyboard keys that are velocity-sensitive, plays like a synth and is a wonderful solution for working remotely with your laptop.  The LPK25 is less than 13 inches across and weighs in at under a pound, you can put it in your laptop case, backpack or tote bag for extreme portability.

Some of the Features are:

  • USB-MIDI controller works with virtually all audio software
  • 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keyboard keys
  • Arpeggiator, sustain button, octave up and down, and tap tempo controls
  • Plug-and-play USB connection for Mac and PC requires no driver installation
  • Small enough to fit in a backpack or laptop bag
  • Four programmable memory banks
  • Comes with editor software for Mac and PC
  • USB bus powered–no additional power cable needed

Despite its looks the LPK25 is not a toy, it’s a very usable and convenient MIDI controller as you can tell by the features listed.

Here are what some owners say:

Samuel says:

The LPK25 has a good build quality. I travel often and it’s perfect for that. Still, there are two major annoyances so I can’t give it five stars.

It feels like an instrument more than a toy and it is possible to play expressively, though for me it requires much concentration to hit the keys hard enough to make a sound yet soft enough to avoid running out of velocity response. I could not find any evidence that it is possible to program the velocity curve.

There is room for improvement but it is still the best in its class.

Review paraphrased for length.

G.J. Oshea says:

I use FL Studio 10 on a laptop that i like to bring around with me to friend’s houses, the laundromat, etc. The LPK25 is the perfect edition to my traveling studio! It is a great price for the quality…it does not feel like a cheap toy (like some other MIDIs in the same price range) the key sizes are perfect, and it still fits in my backpack with my laptop. It’s perfect for easily, and effortlessly trying different riffs, and progressions.

Any downsides? Okay, fine…the keys have a pretty decent reaction to velocity, but you do have to be a little aggressive to get it the loudest, or to react as highest velocity.

Review paraphrased for length.

I use it with my 13″ Macbook Pro and Apple Logic Pro and I love the ease of use and portability. One of the biggest complaints is that the velocity response is not great. This is not really an issue for me because it does not replace my studio keyboard and if I am doing a keyboard part I will use the studio keyboard.

I hope you enjoyed my Akai Pro LPK25 Review. If you like to get out of the studio and work at a coffee shop or somewhere a little more interesting, this is the perfect little mobile MIDI controller. Keep in mind that the Akai Pro LPK25 is a controller and has no sounds inside its cute little brain.

Novation Launchpad Review

novation launchpad reviewAbleton Live Controller

I have just recently started to get into Ableton Live and I found this great MIDI controller for it called the Novation Launchpad.

The Novation Launchpad is pretty cool. It has everything that you would want in a controller and is perfect for doing live mixing and makes studio work easy too.

You can use this controller to play drum racks and trigger other samples in real time. The mixer is pretty cool because you can use the pads as a fader control and easily jump back and forth from the session to the arrangement window.

You can daisy chain these controllers with a USB hub since it is powered by the USB port. This makes for tons of control and you don’t have to keep flipping between windows.

The Novation Launchpad has 64 pads in a grid and each pad can control different samples. You can load samples. play them and record new ones all live.

Amazon Has The Best Price Right Now!
Check out this video of the Novation Launchpad in Action!

Another cool thing about this Ableton controller is that it is not just limited to Ableton Live, you can use this as a MIDI controller with any DAW.

The Novation Launchpad is one of the coolest Midi Controllers I have seen in a long time. If you do anything with Ableton Live you need to get this controller.

Get It Here! >>>> Novation Launchpad