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!
- Play, Perform, Produce - Standalone music production / DJ performance system featuring 7" full color capacitive multitouch display and 8x8 clip launch matrix with RGB LEDs
- The Ins and Outs - Record audio with (2) XLR / ¼-inch combo inputs with phantom power, switchable to line/instrument level; route your audio to two stereo ¼-inch outputs and the headphone output
- Hook up all your Studio Equipment - 4 configurable CV/Gate outputs and MIDI In / Out / Thru with MIDI multi capability seamlessly integrates with your studio and live performance setup
- Performance Powerhouse - Remix, mash-Up, DJ and produce with 6 Track types, a linear song arraigner, 8 synthesizer engines for complete audio / MIDI / CV performance capability
- Import All Your Media - 16GB of on-board storage, full-Size SD card Slot & 2 USB 3.0 slots for thumb drives or MIDI controllers, and User-expandable 2.5" SATA drive connector (SSD or HDD)
- Compact, ultra portable performance keyboard controller with 25 full size, synth action velocity sensitive keys and on board pitch bend and modulation wheels for expressive performances
- 8 velocity sensitive trigger pads for beat production and clip launching, and 8 assignable knobs for manipulating virtual instruments, DAW parameters and plugins on board LCD screen provides instant parameter feedback
- Dedicated octave up and down buttons increase the keyboard to the full melodic range and transport buttons let you control your DAW without reaching for the mouse
- Innovative DirectLink automatically maps controls to popular DAWs including Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase and more
- Class compliant, plug and play functionality and USB powered specification for simple user friendly setup
- Comprehensive production software package for Mac and PC worth over dollar 100 included; Ableton Live Lite, SONiVOX Twist and AIR Music Tech Xpand
- MIDI Keyboard with 25 full-sized, velocity sensitive square-front keys, perfect for playing Virtual Instruments
- 8 velocity- and pressure-sensitive backlit pads for beat production and clip launching
- 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable buttons interface with your music software. Seamless, visual feedback via illuminated buttons and knobs
- Octave Up and Down buttons let you access the full keyboard range and Pitch and modulation wheels deliver expressive, creative control
- Premium Software Included - Includes Ableton Live Lite, Xpand!2 virtual instrument software by Air Music Tech and MPC Beats
- Ultra-responsive semi weighted keyboard with aftertouch
- Full DAW/plug-in control surface with 8 knobs, 9 faders and buttons
- Automap 4 control software enables instant hands-on access to your DAW and plug-ins
- Multi-function drum pads enable you to warp arpeggios, roll beats and launch clips in Ableton Live
- Includes downloads for: Ableton Live Lite, Novation’s Bass Station synth, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, and a Loopmasters Sample Pack. Novation now offers a 3-Year Warranty on this and all other Novation products.
- Wireless Ableton Live Keyboard
- Uses the latest 2.4Ghz technology (Dongle included)
- Edit faster than ever before
- Used by thousands of studios
- Declutter your desk.
- [COMPACT & PORTABLE QWERTY KEYBOARD WITH TOUCHPAD] Innovative and compact QWERTY keyboard with touchpad that provides comfort combined with the freedom of wireless connectivity. Connect to all of your favorite devices with this wireless keyboard.
- [BLUETOOTH 3.0] With a working range of approx. 33ft/10m, easily connect and control Bluetooth devices with this wireless keyboard.
- [LONG LASTING RECHARGEABLE BATTERY] Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery with up to 10 days of continuous working time and up to 50 days of standby time. The LED indicators notify when the battery is low and when it is fully charged. Charging via the included USB cable is simple and easy
- [BACKLIT KEYBOARD] The convenient backlit keyboard is perfect for using in a dark environment.
- [LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY] Includes a Limited Lifetime Warranty
7.STYLOPHONE GEN X-1
- PLAYABILITY: Two ways to make sounds with the stylus. The keyboard to make distinct notes and the sound strip above the keyboard to slide between notes on a scale.
- PORTABILITY: Take this synth anywhere. Battery operated with built in speaker. Audio line out for headphones and/or external speaker. Audio in to use as an effects unit.
- ENRICH THAT SOUND: New features include, LFO (with square and triangle waves), Low pass filter (cutoff/resonance), Envelope (attack/decay).
- ANALOG DELAY FEATURE: Add space to your sounds with delay time, feedback and level.
- ADDED FEATURES: Sub octaves -1 & -2 switch, this enriches your sound by adding a second frequency below your source sound. AND a Pulse Width Modulation button which can be used to create a chorus effect.
- A complete controller that combines style and simplicity with a powerful engine
- Designed for mobility, you can bring it everywhere and use it with total freedom thanks to its ability to host and auto-map to major DAW apps; can also be used on your desktop
- Press a button and switch the control from the DAW environment to your favorite instrument and vice versa
- Able to host any keyboard, turning it into a full 4-layer MIDI controller
- Connectivity ports allow it to communicate with any computer as device via Bluetooth and USB simultaneously; requires 3 AAA batteries when connected wirelessly, not included
9.Elgato Stream Deck
- 15 LCD keys: Tap to switch scenes, launch media, adjust audio and more
- Fully customizable: Personalize keys with custom icons or choose from hundreds
- Direct integration: Control game capture, OBS, XSplit, TipeeeStream, Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, and more
- Easy setup: Simply drag and drop actions onto keys in the app
- Unlimited control: Nest folders within folders to store as many actions as you want
- A complete music production package featuring a hybrid MIDI keyboard/pad performance and production controller with Studio One Artist and Ableton Live Lite both included
- 32 velocity- and pressure-sensitive, RGB LED pads in a unique, staggered layout; intuitive for keyboard players and step sequencer fans
- Context-sensitive screen displays valuable parameter information, including CC assignments, swing, and much more
- Eight endless rotary encoders can be easily configured to control nearly any software parameter
- Includes 2 loop packs with custom kits for Impact XT
- Expressive arpeggiator for dramatic, easily-performed melodies
- Includes custom-curated content libraries for ATOM SQ
- Constrain to Scale feature puts an end to wrong notes forever
- MCU and HUI modes for transport control in nearly every DAW
- Powerful MIDI mode lets you control your favorite DAW or virtual instrument with ease
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.
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.