My Akai APC Key 25 Controller Review


About AkaiProfessional

Co​​​​mpany Details

Akai Professional was found in 1984.

They only had one purpose - to give artists in the electronic music industry the tools they need to express, explore and discover new musical possibilities to share with the world.

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My Initial Thoughts

The Akai APC Key 25 is a great fit for beginners, due in part to its modest price for the quality received, as well as the number of different options available.

In this review, we will be taking a look at some of the most important features related to the keyboard, with emphasis on its live performance functionality, as well as its integration with Ableton.

We will go through the more basic information first, before going on to discuss some of the more advanced and special options provided by this keyboard. With that in mind, let us get started.

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Akai Professional APC Key 25 | Compact USB Bus-Powered 40-Button Clip Launcher for Ableton Live with 25-Note MIDI Keyboard and 8 Fully-Assignable Q-Link Controls plus VIP 3.0 and Software Package
128 Reviews

Feel, Specifications, Dimensions, and Integrations

This keyboard is designed to be integrated with Ableton, as well as to facilitate live performance to the greatest possible extent.

To that end, it comes equipped with 25 keyboard keys, as the name may suggest, as well as many other buttons and potentiometers, all of which can be customized to fit your particular needs.

More specifically, there are 40 led-backlit pads, the colors of which can be fully customized

These can be made to play certain tracks or samples at one press.

They are very responsive, and will not fail to launch a sample when pressed, which is an issue with many other pads of a similar design.

There are also 8 potentiometers, more popularly referred to as knobs, which are also fully customizable in Ableton.

These can be used to fade tracks in and out, to shift the pitch of any particular clip up or down, or to control the intensity of any particular effect on any particular track.

Advanced Features and Performance

There are a number of neat and very useful features that come with this keyboard, in addition to the basic keyboard/clip launcher capabilities.

Firstly, regarding the keyboard capabilities themselves, there are dedicated octave up and octave down buttons, in order to increase the keyboard range at the press of a button.

There is also a sustain button, which will allow you to obtain realistic piano effects, but this functionality can also be used to achieve a number of other interesting effects.

The most important aspect of this controller, however, is its seamless integration with Ableton.

The manufacturer touts the fact that this controller was designed in a 1 to 1 correspondence with the appropriate options and functions available in Ableton, which helps simplify the controls, and empowers the user to perform live in a flexible and highly responsive way.

Finally, this controller comes with a revolutionary piece of software, the VIP 3.0

This allows the user to manage their virtual instruments and effects in a seamless and intuitive way, which provides for maximum control and organization.

This software has won many accolades from critics, as well as multiple industry awards.


Pros & Cons of APC Key 25

Benefits

Great Ableton integration

Innovative software solutions are included

Ample buttons and other controls

Highly portable device, easy to carry to gigs and events with accessory case

Drawbacks

Keyboard keys are acceptable at best

Plastic casing is present

Keys are not pressure sensitive

Launch buttons are too small to play regularly


My Final Thoughts

To sum up this controller review, it is important to say that it provides a vast array of possibilities and options for creativity, both in composition and in live performance

Its design ensures that it will be able to correspond to Ableton perfectly, so there is no need to worry about your setup at your next gig.


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