Akai has just announced that the LPD8 laptop pad controller and LPK25 laptop performance keyboard controller are now shipping to retailers.
The LPD8 and LPK25 are USB-MIDI controllers for musicians, producers, DJs and other music creators. Each model is less than 13 inches across and weighs less than a pound to easily fit into a laptop case, backpack or messenger bag for extreme portability.
The LPD8 is based on Akai's MPC line of iconic music product stations. While the smallest model, the MPC500 is quite portable, many producers prefer to work with software on their computer and the LPD8 gives their laptop the controls they prefer over a mouse and keyboard. The LPD8 has eight blue light-up pads that are velocity sensitive for programming rhythmic or melodic parts. The pads can also send program-change information to software. The LPD8 also has eight assignable Q-Link knobs to which users can assign virtually any parameters in their software for hands-on control.
The LPK25 is a scaled-down relative to the MPK series of keyboard performance controllers. The diminutive keyboard is made up of 25 miniature, velocity-sensitive keyboard keys with synth action. The LPK25 contains an arpeggiator, which steps through chords automatically, assisting musicians with creating quick melodic ideas. Sustain, octave up and down and tap tempo controls round out the LPK25's easy-to-learn layout.
Each controller works plug and play with Mac and PC and requires no software driver installation or wall power for operation. Both the LPD8 and LPK25 have four memory banks for programming and recalling settings appropriate to different software programs they use.
The LPD8 and LPK25 are each available from musical instrument and professional audio retailers. Both models have a U.S. Retail Price of $129.00 and an estimated street price of $69.00.