My upcoming musical theater opera, “Romeo and Juliet” was written with an Akai LPK25 two-octave USB keyboard. What? Muahaha, yes! In retrospect kind of hard to fathom, but there she is. I did all the music composition and beginning orchestration sketches in the Officer’s Bar of a cruise ship on my off time. The Akai LPK25 keyboard has convenient octave switching buttons on the side so I was able to easily navigate through bass and treble parts for fairly effortless composing. It was only a little tedious when doing soprano vocal lines; that’s when I really wish I had that extra octave. But hey, writing an opera on a two octave keyboard that fits in my computer bag – I’ll take that! Thank you Akai for an awesome product!
As in the photo, I use a MacBook Pro with three USB ports. I use each port for a mouse, external keypad, and the Akai keyboard. The music keyboard sits nicely on the front of the laptop. For notation I use Sibelius software because frankly, when I use Sibelius it feels like paper and I totally forget I’m at a computer. I can focus on my work.
Am I doing the whole Romeo and Juliet opera on the LPK25? Well, no. My initial sketch is over 100 minutes of music with over 3,200 measures of music. So the LPK25 was great for the grueling sketch. But for finishing orchestrations at my home studio it’s much more fluid to use a keyboard with five or more octaves.
The best part about this configuration is that once I opened my computer bag I was able to set everything up in under a minute. What a great portable workstation.
For those that want to follow the progress of my Romeo and Juliet opera scheduled to open October 17, 2014 visit Romeo and Juliet the musical (http://www.RJmusical.com).