Best Midi keyboard for Cubase

Best Midi keyboard for Cubase – These are currently the best MIDI keyboards for Cubase available. All of these options are great, depending on exactly what you’re needing to do.

Decide what type of production you’re looking to do and then make your decision based on that. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below!

Think about your budget, your workspace, and what style you play most. Do that till you eliminate any unsuitable keyboards then you should be left with a smaller list to choose from.

Hopefully, our small MIDI controller reviews can help you out, enjoy!


The answer to this question is pretty simple. The two most important factors are the key counts and the keyboard action type. Be aware of all the different key counts available on the market and select the one which suits your needs.

1.CME Xkey

Pros & Cons


Pros & Cons

3.Novation Launchkey

Pros & Cons

4.Akai Professional

Pros & Cons


Pros & Cons


Pros & Cons

7.IOGEAR KeyMander

Pros & Cons

8.Studiologic Numa

Pros & Cons

9.Arturia Keylab

Pros & Cons

10.Native Instruments

Pros & Cons

Best Midi keyboard for Cubase – BUYER’S GUIDE

Number of Keys: Perhaps the most important factor in choosing the best MIDI keyboard is selecting the correct size for you in terms of number of keys. The smallest keyboard you can buy has 25 keys. After that it’s 49, 61, and 88 (full size pianos have 88 keys, so that’s the max). Another size you might see out in the wild is 37 keys.

Based on data from our website, 49 keys seems to be the size the majority of producers go for. That’s big enough to be able to play melodies across 4 octaves, yet won’t take up too much space on your desk. You might choose 61 to have that extra octave, but it comes down to budget and personal preference. We lean on the side of 49 keys if this is your first one. People that go for 88 key keyboards probably have a piano playing background, and can’t stand having anything that feels different.

If you’re looking for maximum portability, you’ll want to look at compact 25-key MIDI keyboards.

Portability: If your studio space is especially small, you travel and produce music on-the-go, or just prefer to play and record simpler melodies with one hand, you’ll probably want a portable controller with 25 or 37 keys. Be aware that just because a controller is 25 keys doesn’t necessarily make it portable. An Akai MPK225 25-Key controller has a pretty big footprint, and might not fit into your backpack. Then again, the slim M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 travels very easily.

Budget: Always important, your budget will dictate what keyboards you should be looking at from what brands. The biggest things that affect the price are the brand name (e.g. Akai is pricier than Behringer), number of keys, and the number of extras like pads, faders, buttons, etc. If you’re on a tight budget you’ll need to decide which of the above are most important to you, and which you can do without. Roughly, you can spend as little as $50 on a MIDI keyboard, or as much as $500 (and up).

Keyboard Feel: Acoustic pianos have set the standard for what a keyboard should feel like. Keys that feel as heavy to the touch as real piano keys are known as fully-weighted. The next grades down from that are semi-weighted, and unweighted (also called synth-action). We might catch flak for saying this, but for a MIDI keyboard for your studio, having fully-weighted piano-like keys is not crucial… unless of course you’ll be playing a lot of piano. Semi-weighted keys feel very nice, and will provide great response as you play fast synth passages.

Most MIDI keyboard controllers available today have semi-weighted or synth-action keys. You’ll also read about keys being velocity-sensitive, which just means they respond to how soft or hard you play a note. If you barely touch a key, it will register that you played a note very softly, whereas if you smash a key, it’ll register the note with max strength. Velocity sensitivity is pretty crucial, since it will capture your playing dynamics and could make for more interesting recordings.

Extra Controls: These are things you get in addition to keys. Think pads, knobs, faders, buttons, wheels, etc. Just looking at a MIDI keyboard should give you an idea of how many extra controls you’re getting. A controller like the M-Audio Keystation 49 looks pretty sleek and spartan, with a handful of buttons at best. Some controllers look like the command center of a spaceship, like the Akai MPK249.

Whether or not you need a bunch of extra controls depends on whether or not you really plan to use them. Lots of these MIDI keyboards map their sliders, knobs, and buttons to your DAW software like Ableton, FL Studio, Logic, etc. For instance, some of the gear reviewers on the Equipboard staff prefer to use their computer mouse and keyboard to manipulate their DAW and VSTs, and only use a MIDI keyboard to play in melodies, basslines, and drum loops. Others like to map the sliders to the mixer, the drum pads to samples, and even the transport controls (play, stop, rewind, etc.) on their MIDI keyboard to their DAW. Example: you might prefer to bang out percussion parts on a grid of pads, rather than a keyboard, so you might like the pads on the Akai MPK249.

DAW Compatibility: We’re surprised at just how many people ask for MIDI keyboard recommendations based on their DAW. What’s the best MIDI keyboard for Ableton? Can you recommend the best MIDI keyboard for FL Studio? You can for the most part make any keyboard controller work for any DAW, although some are made specifically for a DAW in mind, meaning the mapping of all the knobs and faders to that DAW happens automatically – no headaches.

Our recommendation is to focus more on the quality and features of the MIDI keyboard, before you worry about DAW compatibility. To help you out, in our reviews we’ll mention if there are any special considerations in terms of DAW compatibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A Cheap Keyboard?

As long as the keyboard functions, and outputs MIDI, you are good to go. Having a great feel and great controls are not required to make noise (or pro-sounding compositions). Since most people using MIDI are probably not concert pianists, the need for an expensive MIDI controller is going to be essentially unnecessary for most.

I want to point out that MIDI controllers don’t output sound. They just output MIDI, which is used to trigger synths, samples or plugins that make the sound.

How Many Keys Do You Need on a Midi Keyboard?

Since the number of keys on midi keyboards range from 88 Keys down to the portable 25 key models, it can be a little confusing figuring out what you really need.

I’ve not used the 25 key models, but I think having a 2-octave spread would seriously hinder what I do. I like to play bass or rhythm with one hand while I goof around with melodies on the other. I don’t think I could do my thing well with a 25 key model.

Of course, I’m sure these smaller MIDI controllers have made concessions to allow you to quickly scroll up and down the octaves to give you access to the full keyboard. It’s just a little less convenient than just hitting keys in the appropriate octave. Obviously, these 25 key models are much more compact which is certainly worth something.

The 88 key models give you full access to a huge palette of notes but come at the expense of space. If you have more space than you need, the 88 key MIDI controllers may be fine for you. Personally, I’d probably stick with the 61 key models. I can do everything I need to with 61 keys and I can always hit the transpose key if I want to go down an extra octave.

Can You Use a Regular Keyboard as a MIDI Controller?

A regular keyboard can have MIDI in and out. If this is the case, then it can be considered in some ways as being a MIDI controller. Keep in mind that you don’t need to have MIDI to record. You can record the MIDI, you can record the audio, but if you don’t have the controls and options that a MIDI device provides, you may have to record through the audio.

Can You Use a MIDI Controller Without a Computer?

Yes. You can use a MIDI controller without a computer. But since a MIDI controller doesn’t make any sound, you will need to use something else. A sound generator, for example, can be used. It needs to be connected to something capable of processing and producing audio.


A MIDI controller has become an important component of the studio to the point where most of our playing and sounds are being activated by a single press of a note.

Of course, there are music producers who can compose and produce music without a MIDI controller. But a MIDI controller helps add musical expressions to your music. That itself makes it a worthwhile investment for your studio.