Akai Professional MPK25 MIDI Controller Review

For today`s Menu we picked out Akai Professional MPK25 MIDI Controller. We are one day away from the Black Friday shopping frenzy, so if you`re ready to shop for some new equipment, we reviewed another great product for you.  For any type of producer and musician, this is a classic 25-key controller instrument that has been a real famous treat to most of the beatmaker/producer family.

Before we drop our official test, all the Pros and Cons, make sure you are up-to-date with the Black Friday discounts we collected in our latest article piece, that you can read here


Compact Mind In A Small Body

Akai Professional MPK25

Now, don`t get thrown away by a small, portable construction chassis of our gem here. The Akai Professional MPK25 is full of surprises when various features come to question. Versatility is just one thing to consider. A full-sized keyboard keys and an MPC-like drum pads is one of the key things this plug-and-play musical toy is one of the most likable ones within our producer area.

The Key-Note

AKAI Professional MPK25
AKAI MPK 25 review

25 full-sized keys on Akai Professional MPK25 are semi-weighted and it`s both velocity and touch-sensitive.  The Octave buttons switch the keyboard up and down the scale within the ten-octave range.

12 MPC Pads are pressure and velocity-sensitive and provide 48-sample management, as each pad can access four banks of sound samples. They are made on the idea of MPC5000`s drum pads and lie on the left side of the AKAI Professional MPK25 body for a left-hand manipulation. It also features an aftertouch (pressure senstivite) option for extensive creativity. They work in two modes: Momentary (standard drum-pad response) and Toggle (note-on and note-off with each pad hit). 

Note repeat function enables the sound to be repeated when pad is hit and heldRepetition interval can be set from quarter notes up to 1/4T, 1/8, 1/8T, 1/16, 1/16T, 1/32 and 1/32T thanks to Time Division parameter. 


More Control [Akai Professional MPK25]

AKAI Professional MPK25
Akai Mpk25 Control Knobs

More control features with AKAI Professional MPK25 include four assignable buttons, data-entry knob and five playback buttons (rewind, fast-forward, stop, play and record). Tap-Tempo button serves to set the desired rhythm of the project. A LED indicator makes it easier for producer to control it.

bonus feature makes your MPK25 keyboard initialize its own tempo internally or sync with one from the external source like step sequencer in your working DAW. 

Built-In apreggiator with adjustable swing and gate comes in six shapes. They are: Up (from the lowest to the highest note), Down (highest to the lowest), Inc (Inclusive, meaning going from lowest to highest and reverse with lowest and highest note re-triggered when apreggio changes direction), Exc (Exclusive, similar to Inclusive, except the lowest and highest note do not get re-triggered), Rand (Random) and Chrd (Chord repeats the held notes as chord). Apreggio`s range is also adjustable.

AKAI Professional MPK25
Akai Mpk25 test

AKAI Professional MPK25 internal memory can stand up to 30 presets. And AKAI is working with Ableton so for its producer lovers it`s kind of a full treat. 

Full Level feature makes all your pads always play back at maximum velocity no matter how hard or soft you hit them.

The LATCH function works in conjunction with Apreggiator. When Apreggiator is activated and LATCH enabled, you can hold down a combination of keys, Apreggiator memorizes them and continues to trigger them all even if you let go of the keys.


Input And Output System

As for connectivity UI, AKAI Professional MPK25 shows its decent and acceptable versatility too. The Rear Panel offers Power Input, USB Connection, MIDI Out, MIDI In, Sustain Pedal and Expression Pedal Input. 


Akai Professional Mpk25 Main Specs

Akai Professional Mpk25
MPK25 Controller Specs

Now, here are all the feature specs listed up for a better re-cap:

  • 25-key semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch for expressive melodic creativity
  • MPC-pad section of 12 genuine MPC pads with pressure and velocity sensitivity
  • MPC pads access four banks each for instant access to 48 samples
  • Assignable Q-Link controller section for flexible control of most software parameters
  • 2 banks of 12 Q-Link knobs and 4 buttons, 2 banks each
  • Dedicated transport controls for tracking and editing
  • MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing, and arpeggiator aid in creative process
  • MPC Full Level, MPC 12-Level, Tap Tempo, and Time Division assist with tempo and dynamics
  • MIDI output over USB, bus powered, class compliant: plug-and-play with one USB cable
  • Comes with Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition software
  • Works with most MIDI recording, sequencing, and performance software
  • Custom LCD Display
  • Footswitchable patch changes
  • Programmable continuous footpedals: 1
  • Number of independent MIDI Ins/Outs: 1
  • Programmable footswitches: 1
  • Programmable controllers: MMC, MIDI START/STOP, MIDI CC
  • System real-time controls: MMC, MIDI START/STOP, MIDI CC


What AKAI MPK25 Users Have To Say

For the very end, here are all the Pros and Cons the Akai Professional MPK25 users shared with the internet community. And later, also check out the video review as well to unravel all the doubts you have about it.


Akai MPK25 Pros

AKAI Professional MPK25
AKAI Professional MPK25


  • great build
  • responsive keyboard
  • portable
  • easy-to-read display
  • mod and pitch wheel run smoothly
  • easy-to-use controls
  • Ableton Live support
  • versatile
  • Reason and Pro Tools and FL Studio run smooth too
  • apreggiator
  • great tool for the on-the-go producers
  • good price
  • durable
  • note repeat function is great



Akai MPK25 Cons

Akai Professional MPK25
Akai Professional MPK25 Inside The Box

And here is what the customers didn`t like about Akai Professional MPK25:

  • pads a bit stiff
  • no On/Off Switch
  • pads not responding (in some cases)
  • transport buttons not working (in some cases)
  • the default mapping for Ableton Live acts oddly
  • no sliders
  • pads response time slow
  • no external power supply
  • too boxy, not so portable
  • a bit of a learning curve for beginners


A Few Last Words On Akai Professional MPK25

Akai Professional MPK25
Akai MPK25 in home studio

For the end, all we can conclude is that if you need something of on-the-go equipment for your home studio, the Akai Professional MPK25 could be your choice. If you don`t care about the pad sensitivity that much, and you love spreading your creativity with excellent built-in Apreggiator, this 25-key controller is definitely for you.

To top off this review and give you a more natural touch on the looks and feels of Akai Professional MPK25, here`s a great video review. If anything else bothers you, there are great tutorials too that you can learn the Akai Professional MPK25 workflow from. Keep the hustle alive! 


tanja cookbeat

Producer/Blogger/Music Critic

32-year-old self-taught artist (Hip Hop producer/dj, blogger/critic, quote writer/enthusiast photographer).... Certified Fitness Coach. Former Ryan Leslie`s "BPBC" member. Occasionally on a Composer Agreement with LA`s "Smash Haus Music Group". Owner of online personal label "CoCo Beatz Music Group". Certified Fitness Coach (has 17 years in recreational bodybuilding). Living for Hip Hop Culture.

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