Touchscreen or Tangible? Use Both: A Practical, Affordable, Playable PC Rig with Usine

Touchscreens? Good, old-fashioned faders, knobs, and pads? Why not just use what suits the job – especially when you can choose both on the cheap? Nay-Seven shares some of his latest work with Usine, the brilliant, modular and touch-centric tool for Windows. It’s a futuristic rig that’s also down-to-earth. Touchscreen monitors can be had for around US$300 street, and the Akai LPD8 and Korg nanoKONTROL controllers each figure under a hundred bucks. Usine, the software, is a bargain for its depth at EUR120, and free and educational versions are available. Cost aside, though, this also puts sound making directly under …


Akai Does Mini MIDI Keyboard, Pads, a la Korg nano – But with Real Action?

Updated images: The official LPK25 and LPD8 images, courtesy Akai Pro. (Thanks!) Click for larger versions and a look at the controls. Korg’s nano series has been a huge hit. Now it’s Akai’s turn, with their own mini USB pad and keyboard controllers. (Note: given lengthy product turnaround in this industry, these may actually have been designed before the nano – but that’s not as important, ultimately, as which models you like.) The Akai assumes you want something that’s a bit bulkier than the Korg nano line – with, presumably, a payoff in playability.