Midi keyboards are an essential tool for musicians, producers, and composers. These keyboards are versatile, compact, and come with a range of features that make music production and composition a breeze. They are an excellent choice for those who want to create music on a computer without having to use a mouse and keyboard. Midi keyboards are designed to work with digital audio workstations (DAWs) and other music production software to control virtual instruments and sounds.
When purchasing a midi keyboard, it’s essential to consider the number of keys, the build quality, and the features it offers. The number of keys can range from 25 to 88, and it’s essential to choose the right size for your needs. The build quality is also crucial, as you want a keyboard that can withstand the rigors of regular use. Features like velocity sensitivity, aftertouch, and programmable knobs and pads can also be essential for some musicians.
One critical factor to consider when purchasing a midi keyboard is the compatibility with your music production software. Not all midi keyboards work with all DAWs, so it’s crucial to check the compatibility before making a purchase. Additionally, the type of connection, whether it be USB or MIDI, can also be a significant factor in determining compatibility.
We spent hours researching and testing various midi keyboards to identify the ones that offer the best value for money, build quality, and features. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at our top picks and why we chose them.
Best MIDI Keyboards
If you’re a musician or producer looking to enhance your music-making experience, a MIDI keyboard is an essential tool to have in your arsenal. With a variety of features and functionalities, MIDI keyboards allow you to create, record, and edit music with ease. In this roundup, we’ve compiled a list of the best MIDI keyboards on the market, each offering something unique to help take your music to the next level.
AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3
If you’re looking for a compact and versatile MIDI keyboard controller, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is definitely worth considering. It’s packed with features and comes with a complete music production starter kit that includes everything you need to get started making music right away.
- Compact size makes it easy to take on the go
- 8 backlit drum pads and 4-way joystick provide intuitive control over your production
- Complete music production starter kit includes MPC Beats, 6 virtual instruments, and 2GB of sound content
- May take some time to get used to the layout and functionality
- Keys may feel a bit stiff for some users
- Some users may find the software installation process a bit complicated
The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is a great choice for anyone looking for a powerful and portable MIDI keyboard controller. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, this versatile controller has everything you need to take your music production to the next level. The compact size makes it easy to take on the go, and the innovative 4-way joystick and backlit drum pads provide intuitive control over your production. With the complete music production starter kit, you’ll have access to a wide range of virtual instruments and sound content, making it easy to create professional-quality music right out of the box.
While the layout and functionality may take some time to get used to, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is a powerful and versatile MIDI keyboard controller that is well worth the investment. The keys may feel a bit stiff for some users, but they are still responsive and provide a good playing experience. Some users may find the software installation process a bit complicated, but once everything is set up, you’ll have access to a wide range of powerful music production tools.
If you’re looking for a compact and versatile MIDI keyboard controller that can help you take your music production to the next level, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is definitely worth checking out. With its powerful features, intuitive controls, and complete music production starter kit, it’s a great investment for anyone who wants to create professional-quality music from the comfort of their own home.
M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly MIDI keyboard with semi-weighted keys and a variety of assignable controls, the M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is a solid choice.
- The 49 full-size velocity-sensitive keys provide a natural feel that captures every subtle nuance of your performance.
- The volume fader, transport and directional buttons make it easy to control your software, while the pitch and modulation wheels, octave up and down buttons, and sustain pedal input allow for expressive performances.
- The compact design fits any desk, studio or stage setup perfectly, and the advanced functionality customizes your controls for your recording software. Plus, it comes with a premium software suite, including MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, Velvet, XPand2, Mini Grand, and Touch Loops.
- The construction feels a bit flimsy, and some users have reported issues with the software for PC connections.
- The keys could be a bit more responsive, and the overall playing experience may not be as premium as some higher-end models.
- The software included may not be as useful for more advanced users, and some users have reported issues with compatibility with certain devices.
Overall, the M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is a solid budget-friendly MIDI keyboard that offers a good balance of features and functionality. While it may not be the most premium option on the market, it’s a great choice for beginners or those on a budget who want to experiment with MIDI and virtual instruments.
Nektar GX61 MIDI Controller
If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable MIDI controller, the Nektar GX61 is a great option.
- 61 expressive synth-action keys with on-board pitch bend and modulation wheels for great performances
- Nektar DAW Integration for most popular DAWs, making it easy to use with your favorite software
- 14 MIDI assignable buttons allow for customization and control over your music production
- The key action isn’t as great as some more expensive models, but it still feels solidly built
- Some users may find that the included Bitwig 8-Track DAW isn’t as feature-packed as they’d like
- It may take some time to get used to the layout of the buttons and controls
The Nektar GX61 is a great choice for beginners or anyone on a budget. The keys feel solid and responsive, and the pitch bend and modulation wheels allow for expressive performances. The DAW integration is a nice touch, and the assignable buttons provide plenty of customization options. While the key action isn’t perfect, it’s still a great value for the price.
If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable MIDI controller, the Nektar GX61 is definitely worth considering. With its solid build quality, expressive keys, and customizable buttons, it’s a great option for anyone looking to get started with music production.
Overall, the Nektar GX61 is a solid choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly MIDI controller that still provides plenty of features and customization options. While it may not be perfect, it’s a great value for the price and is sure to provide hours of musical enjoyment.
AKAI LPK25 MIDI Keyboard Controller
If you’re a pianist or keyboard player looking for a portable and responsive MIDI controller, the AKAI LPK25 is a great option. Its compact design and responsive keys make it a great choice for composing and creating music on-the-go.
- Mini keys with major performance
- Full range experience with octave and sustain buttons
- Feature-packed with built-in arpeggiator and clock
- USB port may disconnect often
- Velocity can be a little clunky
- Not a playable keyboard, need software installed on computer to use
The LPK25’s mini keys are surprisingly responsive and offer an exquisite playing experience with careful attention to velocity response. With its built-in arpeggiator and clock, you can easily control any of your sound sources like software instruments, synthesizers, or USB-enabled modular gear, all by one USB cable. However, the USB port may disconnect often and the velocity can be a little clunky. It’s important to note that the LPK25 is a MIDI controller and not a playable keyboard, so you’ll need software installed on your computer to use it.
M-WAVE Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard Controller
If you’re looking for a powerful and portable MIDI keyboard controller, the M-WAVE Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard Controller is a great option. It’s perfect for songwriters, beat makers, and music producers who need a compact and versatile keyboard controller for their studio, cafe or hotel.
- 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production.
- Wireless Bluetooth connection with built-in 2,000 mAh battery that can work for about 16 hours.
- Compatible with all digital audio workstations and music production software.
- May require some work to get it going over Bluetooth on a Windows based device.
- The software to edit the board can be tough to find.
- Some users may find the velocity-sensitive pads to be less responsive than other MIDI controllers.
The M-WAVE Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard Controller is a powerful and versatile keyboard that is perfect for music producers on the go. With its compact size and wireless Bluetooth connection, you can easily slip it into almost any bag and take it with you to the studio, cafe or hotel to compose music. It’s compatible with all digital audio workstations and music production software, making it a great choice for both beginners and professionals.
One of the standout features of the M-WAVE Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard Controller is its 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys. These keys are perfect for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production. The keyboard also features 8 RGB backlit velocity-sensitive pads, 8 assignable rotary encoders, and 2 capacitive touch stripes pitch bend to all your music studio plugins for mixing, tweaking synth controls and more.
The M-WAVE Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard Controller is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS, and it comes with a range of smart features like the smart chord and smart sound function. These features allow users to quickly choose through the keys, making it very suitable for setting this function during performance and practice. With 30 days money back and one year warranty, the M-WAVE Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard Controller is a great option for anyone looking for a powerful and versatile keyboard controller.
When it comes to buying a MIDI keyboard, there are several factors to consider. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Size and Number of Keys
The size of the keyboard and the number of keys are important considerations. If you plan to use the keyboard for playing live or recording in a studio, a full-size keyboard with 61 or 88 keys may be the best option. However, if you have limited space or plan to use the keyboard for composing or producing music, a smaller keyboard with 25 or 49 keys may be sufficient.
Another important factor to consider is connectivity. Make sure the keyboard has the necessary ports to connect to your computer or other devices. Some keyboards also have Bluetooth connectivity, which can be useful if you want to use the keyboard with a tablet or smartphone.
Consider what features you need in a MIDI keyboard. Do you need drum pads, faders, or knobs for controlling software? Do you want a keyboard with aftertouch or velocity sensitivity? Make a list of the features you need and look for keyboards that offer those features.
Brand and Price
Finally, consider the brand and price of the keyboard. While there are many affordable options available, it’s important to choose a reliable brand that offers good customer support. Do your research and read reviews from other users before making a purchase.
|Factors to Consider||Examples|
|Size and Number of Keys||Full-size keyboard with 61 or 88 keys, smaller keyboard with 25 or 49 keys|
|Connectivity||USB, MIDI, Bluetooth|
|Features||Drum pads, faders, knobs, aftertouch, velocity sensitivity|
|Brand and Price||Reliable brand with good customer support, affordable options|