Tag Archives: midi keyboard reviews

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.

Yamaha YPG-535 Review

Yamaha YPG-535 Review

Yamaha YPG-535 ReviewMy Yamaha YPG-535 review will cover the basics of this keyboard. The Yamaha YPG-535 is a very good starter piano. The reason that this is one of the best midi keyboards that is good for piano players is that it has 88 keys and a Graded Soft Touch keyboard.

The Graded Soft Touch keyboard is a step down from the full weighted keyboard and feels a little different, less like a piano but better than a touch sensitive keyboard. When you get to the ends of the keyboard the keys are a little stiffer but not a big deal to me.

I like the sound of the piano, it is equipped with the Yamaha Live! Grand stereo sample. There are also multiple instrument sounds like clarinet, trumpet, flutes, saxes, electric pianos, organs and orchestral strings.

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With the Yamaha YPG-535 you also get the Yamaha education suite which helps new players to learn with 30 songs internally and 70 more on the CD-ROM that is included when you buy this midi keyboard.

I use the USB connectivity features to connect to my computer. I can then use the Yamaha YPG-535 as a midi keyboard controller. There is also an internal 6-track sequencer so you can compose and record right from the keyboard.

  • Here are some features of the Yamaha YPG535:
  • Piano Centric Features
  • USB Connectivity
  • Lyric, chord and notation display
  • Ease of Operation
  • Yamaha Education Suite
  • 6-track recorder
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Full Keyboard Mode

I hope you enjoyed the Yamaha YPG-535 Review. This is a great midi keyboard for the beginning to advanced player. If you are looking for a real piano feel this would not be the one to get. You should look at something like the Yamaha DGX-530. If you are looking for some great features and a good quality keyboard for a reasonable price then this is a great midi keyboard to consider.

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.

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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.

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Do Not Buy The Korg PA3X76…

Unless you are serious about writing, arranging and performing music at the highest professional level.

The Korg PA3X76 is an amazing new product from Korg and has so many features it is hard to cover them all in a short review. This keyboard is Not for everyone!

Here are some of the features that you need to be aware of:

  • 76-key semi-weighted arranger keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
  • Enhanced RX (Real eXperience) sound engine offers improved realism and new vivid sound, including pianos borrowed from the acclaimed Korg SV-1 Stage Vintage Piano, plus Ambience Drums
  • Massive internal ROM – plus up to 256 MB of user PCM data (equivalent to 512 MB) provides an extraordinarily powerful wave memory, delivering the best sound quality possible
  • PaAS High-fidelity, optional amplification/speaker bar with Korg’s own Easy Connect system (no support, cables, or additional power supply needed)
  • Improved Style and Performance selection, Over 400 factory Styles
  • Double MP3/MIDI files player and recorder with Advanced Vocal Remover
  • 120 Voices, 120 Oscillators
  • Microphone Input: Combo XLR balanced with Gain control (15 to 50 dB) and switchable Phantom Power
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One of the thing that I like about this keyboard is the sounds. Korg keyboards are known for great quality sounds but this one has some of the best sounds I have heard. Excellent piano, electric piano and vintage effects make this so much fun to play.

The looping feature is great for live performance, it allows you to accompany yourself with both drum patterns and programmed loops. If you are a singer/songwriter the microphone input is a very cool feature allowing you to sing and play without having to bring in a PA system. You can also use the keyboard to sing harmony parts without background singers.

The speaker and amp combination that is comes with can be removed and is wireless so you can put it in the most convenient location for your audience.

If you are looking for a great studio, live performance or sequencing keyboard, the Korg PA3X76 is a great investment. However at $3999.00 you need to be serious about your craft.

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Why The Casio CTK-2100 Is A Top Seller

The Casio CTK-2100 is one of the top selling piano keyboards available for a good reason. This keyboard has 61 keys, not a full keyboard but enough to play almost anything a beginner or intermediate player would want.

It sounds better than many keyboards out there because of the AHL sound source. AHL stands for Acoustic & Highly-compressed Large-waveform and basically means that the sound source is pre-programmed with digital samples of acoustic musical instruments recorded using the most advanced digital technology. The AHL sound source is capable of reproducing all of the natural smoothness of the original waveform.

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The Casio CTK 2100 also comes with step-by-step lessons which can help you to learn to play or just to get better. The lessons build on each other and makes it easy and fun to learn.

There are 150 rhythms and auto accompaniments which include several Latin music styles such as Bossa Nova, Samba, Cumbia, Reggaeton, Calypso and More.

Here are the specs:

  • Keyboard: 61 standard-size keys
  • Touch Response: 2 types, Off
  • Key Light System: Up to 4 keys can be lit at the same time
  • Maximum Polyphony: 48 notes (24 for certain tones)
  • Effects: 10 types
  • Reverb: 1 to 10, Off
  • Metronome: beats per measure — 0,2 to 6; tempo range — 30 to 255
  • Step Up Lesson:
    • Lessons: 4 (Listen, Watch, Remember, Auto)
    • Lesson Part: L, R, LR
    • Functions: Repeat, Voice Fingering Guide, Note Guide.
  • Music Challenge: 20 notes
  • Auto Accompaniment: Rhythm Patterns — 150; One Touch Presets — 150
  • Musical Information Function: Tone, Rhythm, Song Bank, numbers and names; staff notation, fingering, pedal operation, tempo, measure and beat number, chord name, etc.
  • USB port: Yes
  • Sustain jack: Standard jack (sustain, sostenuto, soft, rhythm start/stop)
  • Phones/Output jack: Stereo standard jack
  • Output Impedance: 200 Ohm, Output Voltage: 4.8 V (RMS) MAX
  • Audio In jack: Stereo mini jack
  • Input Impedance: 40 kOhm, Input Sensitivity: 200 mV
  • Mic In jack: Standard jack
  • Batteries: 6 AA batteries
  • Great Price!

This keyboard is one of the best piano keyboards for the price mostly because of the quality of sound. If you want a great sounding keyboard the Casio CTK 2100 is the one to get for sure!