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12/13/2011

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Joice

I had been eyeballing this thing for a while, but I didn't have an ipnohe. I recently got an ipod touch 4g for an unrelated reason, and within a few hours of that purchase it occurred to me that I should get this thing too. I'm glad I did. The controller is well built for a powerless piece of plastic (i say powerless because it is not a pre-amp or anything, it does require batteries). I own the LPK25 and the LPD8, and the SS25 is pretty similar in design with the exception of the pitch and mod wheels (drum pads are controlled via the touch screen). There is no on board speaker, and keys played don't play through the ipod's speaker, so you NEED headphones or to use the line out. Get an RCA to 1/8 adapter and you are set. I really like this because I make the noise in my band and it is difficult to do what I do without a computer. This essentially puts Garage Band in my pocket and I've spent many a night on the couch completely oblivious to my wife and kids while I amuse myself and actually get some work done at the same time; the portability is just awesome. Software: AKAI SS25 Software: 1/5 stars. It turns on when the ipod is plugged into controller unless another app is running which I find completely annoying. Also. I have yet to figure out how to record a freaking song with this software. UI just plain sucks and is not at all intuitive. If this were the only software available for the controller nothing could have redeemed it and i would have given the keyboard a 1/5 also. BUT luckily Nano Studio: 4/5 This software has everything the SS25 app lacks: friendly interface, decent library of sounds, and modeled after your typical track by track software. My only complaint is the drum and synth selectors on the keyboard behave a little strangely and don't necessarily correspond to tracks in an obvious way. Still, after a week I've produced some very pretty sounding tracks that are unique from one another. The best part of NS for me is that it can connect directly to and upload to Soundcloud.com, which I was already using for my regular band. You can also connect via Nanosync and transfer wirelessly to a computer. VERY HANDY. Music Studio (full version): 4/5. Essentially the same as Nano Studio, but with more of a Garage Band sort of quality to it. The sound library is decent and expandable and laying track by track is easy. Exporting is also simple with MS, you can connect to a computer via your phones IP address and transfer files to a computer. I like Nano Studio just a tad more than MS, but only because I had been using NS for a day or so before getting MS and I'm a brand loyalist. However, I AM actively using both NS and MS apps. Long story short: Get the controller, don't waste 99 cents on the Akai app, DO invest $15 in Nano or Music Studio, and go to town.

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