Best Midi keyboard for Ableton Live 9

Best Midi keyboard for Ableton Live 9 – We hope we shone light into your decision of choosing a MIDI or DJ controller to use with Ableton Live. Keep in mind though that different musicians, producers & DJs have different approachs to  playing and performing with a MIDI controller. Get creative and create your own workflow that works for you

All in all, we have to stick with the Akai MPK249 as our favorite Ableton MIDI keyboard. Akai is so incredibly reliable, and the keyboard’s integration with Ableton’s software is unparalleled. If you’re a traditional type of producer, you’ll enjoy the feel of it too.


Remember to consider all of the things mentioned above when looking for a keyboard to fit your needs, as well as your budget. Now get out there and make some hits!

1.AKAI Professional

Pros & Cons

2.M-Audio Oxygen

Pros & Cons

3.Alesis V25

Pros & Cons

4.Novation Impulse

Pros & Cons

5.Ableton Keyboard

Pros & Cons


Pros & Cons


Pros & Cons


Pros & Cons

9.Elgato Stream Deck

Pros & Cons

10.PreSonus ATOM

Pros & Cons

Best Midi keyboard for Ableton Live 9 – BUYER’S GUIDE

Buttons, Faders, and Knobs

Now obviously you can point and click everything in Ableton to arrange and organize your tracks, though having buttons, faders, and knobs, that can integrate with your software can make your overall workflow better.

Some MIDI keyboards will come with buttons that act as controls for playing, recording, and stopping your music. This can be helpful if you’re recording from another room where you can’t utilize your computer keyboard or mouse.

Faders can also control functions within Ableton and give you better physical control when mixing. If you hop into session view, you can easily assign the software faders to the faders on your keyboard, allowing you to mix multiple sounds in real time.

Knobs are excellent, as Ableton has many adjustable parameters like filters, panning, warping, etc., all of which can be adjusted and manipulated using knobs. If you’re using a software instrument on Ableton that has Macros (typically they will come with 8 macro controls), you can adjust those macros to create automation. This can give your music a more organic sound vs. someone who sits and draws out automation with a mouse.

Drum Pads

Ableton has what they call a Drum Rack. It is essentially a large grid that allows you to drop in, play, and manipulate anything from drums to percussion and beyond.

You can play each of the individual samples you place there with your keyboard controller, though having pads gives you an entirely different experience, one similar to the beatmakers back in the MPC days.

A lot of keyboards will come with 4×4 pad setups that will map to your drum rack automatically when you pull it up. This can make tapping out ideas or creating full-on drum breaks feel a lot more natural.

One cool characteristic you should look out for when purchasing a MIDI controller with pads is aftertouch. Aftertouch can send extra data to your software the more pressure you put on the pad. This can help add vibrato, volume, or a multitude of other parameters to your sound, making it even more organic than before.


Ableton comes with its own arpeggiator plugin for MIDI instruments, giving you the ability to turn any software instrument into a sequencer.

Even better, some MIDI keyboards come with the same thing, and the feature can be extremely helpful, especially if you’re making something like electronic music on the fly.

Having an onboard arpeggiator can help you to adjust your arp parameters more fluidly. In all, an onboard arpeggiator can give you a more organic approach to your music. Seeing a theme here?


Are you someone that has a small studio space or bedroom “production suite”?

Are you constantly travelling and producing your music on the go?

I’m always seeing people posted up at coffee shops or airports with their laptops running Ableton. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were that person!

In that case, wouldn’t it be helpful to have a lightweight, 25-key keyboard that you could travel with vs. that 88-key tank that you’ve been hauling around?

If this sounds like you, then I’d suggest going for something lighter that can be easily transported.


A midi keyboard or controller is one of the most essential weapons in the armoury of a music producer. It allows you to naturally experiment, design and record ideas on the fly.

As with all hardware nowadays, there’s a ton of options available to you from a range of manufacturers. Most midi keyboards or controllers will work fine with any of the main DAWs (if you’re using a slightly more niche DAW, this isn’t always the case though). There are, however, some keyboards that are manufactured with a particular DAW in mind, making them especially compatible. Being one of the leading DAWs, Ableton is no exception to this.