Akai Professional APC Key25 Keyboard Controller

25-key Controller Keyboard for Ableton Live, with 5 x 8 Clip-launch Matrix, Dedicated Controls, 25 Synth-action keys, and Bundled Software
Akai Professional APC Key25 Keyboard Controller image 1
Akai Professional APC Key25 Keyboard Controller image 1
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Akai Professional APC Key25 Keyboard Controller
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Killer Keyboard for Ableton Live

If you enjoy creating music in Ableton Live, the APC Key 25 from Akai is the portable keyboard for you. This 25-key controller keyboard combines 25 great-feeling synth-action keys with the same powerful 5 x 8 clip-launch matrix found on the APC40 MKII. Eight multifunction knobs and a streamlined set of function buttons provide all the additional control you need without wasting a millimeter of space. With USB power and plug-and-play setup, the Akai Professional APC Key 25 controller is the best thing going!

Akai Professional APC Key 25 Ableton Live Controller at a Glance:
  • Control with the ease you need
  • Playability and inspiration from a controller
  • Perfect portability for producers and performers
Control with the ease you need

Performers and producers of every niche here at Sweetwater find the APC Key 25 to be the all-in-one answer for an ultra-portable Ableton Live controller. Designed specifically to work with Ableton Live, you will enjoy plug-and-play setup for creation, recording, and shows. Simply plug it into your computer and launch Ableton - whether you're an experienced electronic musician or a novice to the concept, the compact design, natural workflow, and seamless 1-to-1 integration mean you'll be making music with Ableton and the APC Key 25 controller in no time.

Playability and inspiration from a controller

Akai designed the APC with 25 synth-action mini keys to open up your creative possibilites within Ableton. The traditional piano-like interface makes using virtual instruments simple - you'll have a whole new world of sounds and inspiration for your music. Use the 5 x 8 matrix to launch your drum loops, add an effect on-the-fly, or whatever else your heart desires. The tri-color LED backlit buttons keep you organized by communicating everything from an active clip to what scene you're in. And although tthe 8 knobs auto-map to Ableton to control things such as volume and sends, they are assignable to give you total creative flexibilty.

Perfect portability for producers and performers

The APC Key 25's compact design makes it perfect for mobile performers and studio producers alike. Set up your scenes and set list at home, throw it in your backpack along with your laptop and you're ready for the gig. USB power means you'll never forget a power supply and with the plug-and-play integration you'll be set up and ready to perform in seconds.

Akai Professional APC Key 25 Compact Keyboard for Ableton Live Features:
  • The first compact keyboard controller with APC-style control over Ableton Live
  • Provides hands-on control of Ableton Live with visual feedback
  • 25 synth-action mini keys let you write music and perform live
  • Compact design is ideal for mobile performers and producers
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 by AIR, SONiVOX Twist, and more
Portability and performance with the Akai APC Key 25

Additional Media

APC Key 25 User Manual

Tech Specs

Pads 40
Number of Keys 25
Type of Keys Non-weighted
Encoders/Pots 8
USB 1 x Type B
Hardware Requirements - Mac Intel Processor
Hardware Requirements - PC Multicore Processor, Windows-compatible Sound Card
OS Requirements - Mac OS X 10.5 or Later
OS Requirements - PC Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8
Height 1.6"
Width 12.25"
Depth 7.6"
Weight 1.7 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number APCKEY25

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
Write your review

Perfect Controller for Ableton

I had been looking for a controller for Ableton that was pad based w/ a few knobs but when I came across this I was intrigued by the keyboard addition and size. It fits perfectly on my desk next to my machines (it's a little smaller than my Electribe SX1) and it works right out of the box. It makes working in Ableton or using Ableton to push midi to machines VERY easy. Getting around on the controller (switching between groups of instruments the pads are controlling or switching between what the knobs control) is very easy to use. I do wish the "red" stop color was a bit brighter on the machine, but the standby and green on lights are bright. The keys took a few days to get used to as they are tiny, but once I did it hasn't been a problem. I do wish I could figure out a way to turn off the key sensitivity like samplers have, however, fixing this in Ableton is easy enough. Only thing I'll note to buyers.. Akai says you have to create an account to get the software bundle that comes with this, and in order to create an account you need a serial number. I could not find any serial number w/ this so I was not able to download any of the extras. There are a few numbers I thought might be the serial but were not. I hope Akai resolves this for people.
Music background: Musician, Recording Engineer

Great device

Easy to use, fun
Music background: Keyboardist

Very powerful portable controller for Ableton Live

This is WAY better than I thought it would be. Everything works precisely as expected (even better). Great for me as a guitarist controlling backing loops with occasional switch to melody or bass...
Music background: Retired Jack of All Trades, and...

Loving my Keyboard !!!

I'm a 29 year old disable man that loves his Gadgets ! When I bought the APC Key 25 I was just buying it because it was in my prices range. I thought I try it out and upgrade later when I have some more money but now I then grown attach to it. The keyboard is very easy to figure out and you can read the manual in less then 10 minuets. It SOLID and want break easily ! Its all you need to get started with making music with Ableton live 9 and you can work yourself up from there. It comes with three post cards with serial numbers on them ! The only compliant is that they are trials Software's so if you plan on using them be ready to make music right away.

Exactly what I needed

This is a really nice compact launchpad and keyboard, which was exactly what I was looking for when I got it. The size makes it super convenient to have on hand (I keep it on the roll-out computer keyboard shelf that came with my desk) and it does just about everything you need for songwriting and live performances. It's amazingly effortless to use with Ableton Live - the first time I plugged it in it was immediately ready to launch my clips and it has really made music production way more hands-on and intuitive since everything is now at my fingertips rather than in the nebulous territory of the virtual controls on my computer monitor. The synths it comes with (Hybrid and TWIST) are AMAZING and honestly well worth the price on their own, with tons of great-sounding presets to get started right away as well as a lot of opportunity to tweak and customize the sounds you get (although there is a bit of a learning curve to the customization so it does take some time to figure out the interface). The only "negatives" I can think of are more just matters of personal preference, although the one glaring issue I have is the lack of pitch and mod wheels. The keys definitely take some getting used to; they are extremely "springy" and it takes a lot of practice to get to the point where you know how much pressure to apply to get the particular sounds you want. However, once you get to that point it is definitely possible to get expressive with your playing, especially if you tweak the velocity envelopes in your synths and samplers. The setup of the knobs is also not ideal; personally I only use them for sends and direct MIDI mapping (which unfortunately is not as intuitive as it should be). Using the knobs for volume, pan and device just hasn't been particularly useful for me since it is a bit of a hassle to switch between them while playing live and it's way easier to just click on stuff if I'm working on recordings or just experimenting. Hardware-wise though the knobs are great, with a nice substantial feel to them. Similarly to the issue with switching between assignments for the knobs it is kind of annoying to have to switch between settings for the circular buttons along the bottom. I really only use "Clip stop" and "Rec arm" so for me personally I would prefer to just have two sets of buttons at the bottom and not have to toggle all the time and make sure I am not pressing the wrong thing. However, that is really just based on what I personally use so it is not at all a failure of the design. In general this is a really well-designed piece of equipment. It is nice and sturdy but also very light and small so it's perfect for live performances (particularly with the highly visible LEDs in all the pads that make it really nice and easy to see what you're doing) and it interfaces really well with Ableton Live. I plan to use it live for clip launching and playing leads and I am confident that if I embarrass myself it will be my fault and not the Key 25's.
Music background: Hobbyist and occasional performer
See also: Controller Keyboards, Akai Professional, Akai Professional Sequencers, Akai Professional MIDI Controllers