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Akai MPK25 Review – Is It Any Good?

Photograph of the blog post author, Maria Hanlon

Maria Hanlon


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Are you on the hunt for a portable USB MIDI keyboard? The Akai MPK25 could be the perfect pick for you. We’re about to give you our Akai MPK25 review and help you decide if it could be a brilliant buy.

Let’s get going and review the Akai MPK25 MIDI keyboard!

What Is The Akai MPK25?

The first thing you might be thinking is, what is the Akai MPK25? The Akai MPK25 is a compact USB MIDI keyboard with Akai Professional’s classic MPC production controls built in.

It shares similarities with the MPK49 which was the first keyboard to feature MPC pads. The MPK25 connects to your computer and works with most music software to offer a complete, compact music-making machine.

The Akai MPK25 is the perfect travel companion as it’s portable and small so can fit on your lap as you travel, allowing you to create music on the go, wherever you are. Next, we’ll see what it’s used for.

akai professional mpk25 USB MIDI keyboard

What Is It Used For?

To put it simply, the Akai MPK25 is used by musicians and producers to make music with its 25-keys, 12-pads and 12-knobs set up.

Now it’s time for our complete Akai Professional MPK25 Review.

Akai MPK25 Review

Now you know what it is and what it’s used for, you’ll want to know if you need it?

Here is our Akai MPK25 keyboard review and its key features:

MPC Pads

It has 25 keys and 12 MPC pads making it a powerful piece of kit. Another thing that makes it stand out is its semi-weighted keyboard and aftertouch which allows even more control.

The MPC pads are pressure sensitive and have 4 banks which give you access to over 48 samples and sounds.

Q-Link Control

The MPK25 gives you 12 Q-Link virtual knobs and 4 virtual buttons, each one is assigned to control almost any parameter in your music software. 

If that isn’t enough, you can control two different parameters per Q-Link thanks to the knobs’ dual-bank selection giving you ultimate freedom.

Classic MPC Technology

Akai Professional carefully created two iconic note-modifying technologies: MPC Note Repeat and MPC Swing. By using its MPC Note Repeat you can automatically play a rhythm pattern on MPK25’s MPC pads. Whilst MPC Swing gives you the option to turn computerized sequences into beats with a natural, rhythmic feel.

Ableton Included

The MPK25 is compatible with most MIDI standard software, however (depending on where you buy it from) it often includes Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition, so you can start creating straight away. Ableton Live Lite enables you to compose, record, remix and edit in an all-in-one audio environment.

Compact Creativity

As well as its powerful MPC technologies, MPK25 has its own arpeggiator, so you can create riffs and sounds quickly. It’s easy to set up, the USB cable you’ll need to power the MPK25 is included when you buy it, so just plug it in and start making music!

Here’s our summary of its key features:

Key Features:

  • 12 velocity and pressure sensitive MPC
  • 4 pad banks, allowing instant access to 48 samples
  • 2 banks of 16 assignable Q-Link controls: 12 knobs, 4 buttons
  • 2 assignable footswitch inputs
  • Built-in arpeggiator and dedicated transport controls
  • MPC Note Repeat, Swing, Full Level, and MPC 12-Level
  • Tap Tempo and Time Division controls
  • USB-MIDI bus-powered and class-compliant
  • Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition software included
  • Works with virtually any software with MIDI support
  • Modulation and pitch-bend wheels

So those are the key features of the Akai MPK25 but let’s now compare it to the Akai Professional MPK Mini.

akai professional MPK mini

Akai Professional MPK25 vs Akai Professional MPK Mini

Before you invest in something it’s always good to compare it to similar products on the market. So, we’ve put together a list of the key differences between the Akai MPK25 and the Akai MPK Mini below.

What does the MPK25 have that the MPK Mini doesn’t?

  • MIDI-Out Port – The MIDI-Out Port can be used for transmitting data.
  • MIDI-In Port – The MIDI-In Port allows data to be received by a MIDI-compliant device. This port/connection enables the MIDI keyboard to be controlled by an external device or which can be very useful.
  • Semi-Weighted Keys – As we mentioned earlier it has weighted action keys, but with less resistance. Unless you need a real piano, or spring-loaded synth actions, a semi-weighted keyboard might be the perfect purchase for you.
  • A Display – The keyboard has a display so you can see everything clearly.
  • 20 More Buttons – It has an extra 20 buttons including navigation buttons which allow users to navigate through their files/data.
  • A Transport Control Section – The transport controls are very beneficial as you can control playback, set the position of the play head, start recording, activate the cycle region and move to the project from start to end.
  • 4 More Pads – It has an extra 4 pads for even more creative control.
  • A Sustain Button – The sustain button works in the same way as a traditional sustain pedal – by playing a note it will sustain. However, the sound will continue until the button is pressed again.
  • A Modulation Wheel – This can be used to add expression to various elements of a sound or sample.
  • A Pitch Wheel – The pitch wheel changes the pitch of a sound in real-time. It can also allow fine tuning control allowing accuracy.
  • Velocity Sensitive Keys – Velocity sensitive keys are essentially spring loaded keys that sound louder the harder you hit them meaning if you lightly press a key, the sound will be quiet but if you press a key with force, the sound will be louder.
  • Pressure Sensitive Pads – The pressure sensitive pads respond to the amount of force you place on them.
  • An Aftertouch Keyboard – The aftertouch keyboard on the MPK25 is sensitive to the pressure applied to keys after the initial impact, and while the keys are being held down.
  • An Input For The Sustain Pedal – When the sustain pedal is pressed it causes all the notes to sound and vibrate freely. The notes will continue to sound until the pedal is released. This is brilliant when you need a strong and responsive control over sustain.
  • An Input For The Expression Pedal – Its expression pedals let you have complete hands-free control over your keyboard.

If you want to find out more, you can search for Akai MPK25 review YouTube and there will be a few videos worth watching.

akai MPK25 MIDI controller

That Was Our Akai MPK25 MIDI Controller Review

Despite its small size, the MPK25 still seems spacious and would be a good choice for a home studio set up or a musician on the move. Even though it was first released in 2001 it’s still very powerful, professional, and high quality in comparison to newer keyboards.

The Akai MPK25 is still one of the best MIDI keyboards around today and we hope our Akai Professional MPK25 keyboard USB MIDI controller review has been hugely helpful in your decision making.

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