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on December 26, 2009
Got this baby for Xmas. I'm an Ableton Live user - Pop, Rock, Electronic music with vocals. Making music for 13 years. The LPD8 is very sturdy, not cheap feeling at all. The lighting pads are a nice touch. The pads have a great feel. I've always programmed drums with my keyboard in the past, this baby is going to give my beats a whole new level of interest. Works flawlessly on a mac. When using the Ableton Live preset, it's perfect with Drum Racks, the pads and knobs actually match the Drum Racks layout. I've got to say, for a $70 product, this is WAY BEYOND a great buy. I personally don't neeed more than eight pads at a time and love having some knobs to twiddle, especially with Drum Racks and dialing in tones. LOVE IT!
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on August 19, 2011
This is the greatest portable MIDI controller available. People most frequently compare it to the Korg Nano Control, but the pads on this bad boy are much more responsive and finger friendly. I've had this for 8 months now, and I love it more every day.

It's a MIDI controller, so you can map it however you like. There are 8 knobs and 8 pads, as seen in the picture. What is great though, is that if you notice those 4 little buttons to the left of the 8 pads, it allows you to map each button and knob a total of 4 different times. Given that information, you basically have 24 knobs and 24 pads. That's the great thing about this little guy, it's cheap, portable, quality, and sleek.

If you decide to map it with all of those functions though, you're going to go insane trying to switch between all of them during a live set. I have mine mapped 2 times through, which is much less overwhelming for a life set, and still lots of options.

I use this in Traktor Pro 2, and have all the knobs mapped to FX units 1 and 2. It's a perfect layout for that because you have one knob for dry/wet, and 3 others for either 3 different effects or 3 parameters, as anyone who uses Traktor knows. I hear many people are getting this for the latest Serato effects as well. Which is perfect because Serato doesn't have as many effects as Traktor.

This thing is great for any program basically, you can map it to Ableton as well, and basically have a small drum pad on the go.

It's a simple USB connection, and no drivers are needed if you're just mapping it via MIDI for traktor or serato. You can install the software that comes with it if you want to change all the notes and such, but not at all necessary for what most people will use it for. The spacing between pads and knobs is also perfect. If you are a fan of large knobs for effects and such though, you might want to get something different as the knobs are smaller than most MIDI controllers, but again, this all goes to portability/size. They don't bother me or most people, but this is a review and that might be something you want to know prior to purchasing online so you can check it out in a store.

For the build quality of this thing and what it is, and what you can do with it, and the price, it's a no brainer if you're a laptop DJ looking for a simple and small MIDI controller. It's build quality is solid too, I have no problems just throwing it in my backpack. One of my buddies has an APC40 and tried this out in Serato and said it was perfect for managing effects/looping in serato. Perfect size and price for that... if you're looking, you are clearly in the market for a MIDI controller with these functions and just trying to find the best one. Stop looking and buy it now.

This thing is also great for setting up right in front of a laptop on an adjustable laptop stand, don't even need to have any space for it if you have a stand that fits it properly.
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on February 15, 2010
I bought the Korg nanoPAD and just recently returned it because a few of the pads would stick down. This is really annoying when you're trying to play quick notes. I bought this midi controller as a replacement, and for the most part, I'm happy with it. I'll definitely be keeping this one.

*Back-lit keys when you hit the pad are REALLY nice to have (this comes in handy later too).
*Control knobs! You don't get those on the nanoPAD. They are handy to have, and you can assign them to anything you want in Ableton Live (which like the other reviewer, I use also).
*In Ableton Live, the drum kits are in a 4x4 grid arrangement. With the nanoPAD, since it was 6 wide, the pads didn't line up with the on-screen grid. They do to a greater degree with this pad, so it's easier to see what you're hitting.

*This pad is NOT as sensitive as the nanoPAD, so I find myself hitting it significantly harder than I had to on the Korg model. This is made better by the fact that they light up when it registers a hit, but I still wish it was a little more sensitive.

This is a great pad for the money, and for me, the back-lighting and control knobs really make it worth the money.
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on July 7, 2011
Full disclosure: I used this product very little, but the problem I found with it is at a fundamental usability level, so any of the positives I might have found in further use would have mattered little. Simply put, the pads are not responsive enough. While I don't have to hit them full force to get a signal, I definitely have to hit them hard enough that it disrupts my timing and my ability to play at varying dynamic levels. These pads may work well for basic drum programming and sample triggering, but I found them to be unusable for real-time playing/recording. Well, perhaps not unusable, but they certainly do not provide me any advantage over using my MIDI keyboard. On the other hand, the product feels sturdy and well made, and the knobs feel pretty good. The software editor looks pretty useful, but as I said, none of those things matter to me nearly as much as the pads themselves.

I read that the Korg nanopad has more responsive pads, but that the quality isn't very good and the pads tend to stick or stop working after a short period of use, so I decided to step it up and replace the lpd8 with the Korg padKontrol. The padKontrol is awesome. Excellent response on the pads--I can even reproduce a pretty convincing drum roll at a soft dynamic on it (without using the built-in roll feature). And of course, having 16 pads instead of 8 is useful. It's a good bit more expensive than either the lpd8 or the nanopad, but in my opinion, it's well worth it.
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on April 10, 2010
I've been using usb controllers with Ableton Live for years now and have been through several of them - The Akai LPD8 is my favorite of the micro controllers.

Previous to the Akai i was using a Korg Nano Kontrol and previous to that a 1st generation X-Session and while both are good units, they feel cramped in comparison to the LPD8. The beauty of the LPD8 is that despite being very, Very small and lightwight, it doesn't feel Toy-like (which, at least for live performance use, the Korg Nano Kontrol did).

The pads are fantastic: solid and feel great to play on. I initially wrote off the fact that the pad edges illuminate when hit as gimmicky but, depending on what you assign the pads to (ie: parameters other than triggering percussion samples), it is very useful to see the illumination in a club or otherwise dark / chaotic venue. The lighting on contact helps you feel connected to this little unit. The knobs are far enough apart so that you can use them with two hands at a time (something not as possible on some of the other micro controllers).

When I travel I slip this little unit in a case with my laptop and I'm good to go. Several gigs with it so far and nothing but positive experience: this is a great compact controller.
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on July 17, 2010
When I bought this I wasn't sure what to expect. I wanted a cheap, portable, but not crappy midi controller for my rookie music-making.

Thankfully this is exactly why I got. This little controller looks and feels great. For the price it doesn't feel like its going to break at any moment. It is indeed sturdy, and literally you can unplug it, put it in your backpack or laptop bag and take it around with you. Great for the creative mind that just has to finger drum anywhere they go.
The 8 knobs are also an amazing addition.

Get it :)
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on July 1, 2014
This item started out great, but the metal piece inside the USB port broke off and fell inside the casing. I returned the item for a replacement only for the exact same thing to happen again. Very disappointed since my son really enjoyed it while it worked, but clearly the quality is minimal.
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on August 9, 2011
Awesome controller! I absolutely love it! The pads are perfectly responsive! I've been a dj for 10 years and musician for 18. This thing is phenomenal. I bough this because I can't afford the larger controllers at the moment and I love it. However I will be saving up for a bigger controller because 8 pads isn't enough for me haha but I will keep this and integrate it with Traktor and Serato!
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on November 28, 2015
This MIDI controller has been perfect for me. I haven’t got any real complaints about it, except perhaps that the velocity sensitivity of the pads is not toggleable. Apart from that, it’s wonderful -- a simple, compact controller that I use for most things that I make nowadays.
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on October 1, 2014
After months of use this little guy finally just went dead. I did nothing to damage it, I didn't spill any liquids on it, I didn't bang it up. It simply stopped working. It worked great for the short time that I had it. It was touch sensitive with backlit keys which is always a plus. Just disappointed in the quality of this product. I would suggest saving your money and buying something better.
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