My Akai LPD8 Controller Review
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.
My Initial Thoughts
The Akai LPD8 is designed for use with laptops, and it really shows in the overall design choices Akai made here.
It is a great fit for both professionals and beginners alike, since the core functionality it offers is just as solid as that offered by more advanced models, just on a smaller scale.
In this review, we will be taking a look at some of the most important features of this controller, starting from the more basic ones first, before moving on to the more advanced capabilities.
With that in mind, let us get started!
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Feel, Specifications, Dimensions, and Integrations
This is a small, highly portable controller made to be able to launch samples and tracks at the press of a button (or pad).
It measures just 13 inches in length, which makes it easy to take along with you to any gig. Its weight is also kept to a minimum, since it weighs just under one pound.
That means it can fit in any backpack, any laptop case, and any messenger bag.
In fact, this controller was designed for the express purpose of being used with laptops, and that is why it was made to pack in a lot of features in a small space.
It is connected to the laptop using a simple USB 3.0 cable, which adds to the ease of use that is so important when setting up your rig.
The main feature of this controller is the 8 key array of pads that takes up most of the front surface of the device.
These keys are backlit, which makes them highly visible in dingy environments such as nightclubs.
A more important feature, however, is the fact that they are velocity-sensitive, which means they allow for a greater degree of freedom and expression when performing, especially when drum samples are concerned.
The other hardware features on the front panel of the device are eight potentiometers or knobs, which can be used for a wide variety of purposes.
They can be made to fade a certain track in or out, they can control the pitch of a certain track, or even control the intensity of effects applied to a track.
This allows for added flexibility when performing live, as well as greater artistic expression.
Advanced Features and Performance
Most of the advanced features offered by this controller have to do with certain software solutions, as opposed to hardware.
As previously mentioned, this controller is designed to be highly portable, which means that there is not a lot of room for many hardware controls.
However, the manufacturer makes a point of having advanced software available to users, in order to make the most of their device.
In that sense, there are a number of software solutions available to the user.
Pros & Cons of LPD8
Only 4 memory banks available
No aftertouch capabilities
Pots not backlit
My Final Thoughts
This device is a great fit for beginners and professionals alike, as it offers a portable solution for both, at a price that will not break the bank.
This portability is the primary feature of the controller, but Akai hasn’t sacrificed functionality in order to obtain it.
The pads and pots are nuanced and responsive, and will allow you to express yourself fluidly and without hindrance.