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.
- 49-note velocity-sensitive synth-action keyboard
- USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 compatible
- Includes Ignite Music Creation Software
- Deep Ableton Live Integration – Immediate access to all the controls you need and never lose ideas or happy accidents with the Capture Midi function.
- 61 Velocity-sensitive keys and 16 velocity-sensitive pads enable expressive and dynamic performance. Tweak instruments and effects to perfection using the eight rotary encoders and nine 45mm faders.
- Three chord modes (fixed, scale and user) let you trigger chords with one finger. The powerful arpeggiator will take you to new melodic, harmonic and rhythmic places.
- Five-pin MIDI output works with any MIDI-compatible device.
- Make music immediately – Free software, including Ableton Live 10 Lite, virtual instruments, plugins and sample packs let you start creating straight away. Now with deeper integration with Apple’s Logic Pro and Steinberg’s Cubase 12 update.
- Compact keyboard controller easily fits backpack and studio production desk (12.4" long, 1.6 lbs)
- Powered by USB connection to computer, with free virtual-instrument download packages
- Crammed full of all the features you need to play and edit musical ideas
- 25-synth-action mini-keys, 8 velocity-sensitive rubber drum pads with two banks, and eight assignable control knobs
- Dedicated buttons for Note Repeat, Full Level, and Octave Up and Down
- 1400 Sounds and Everything You Need For Pro Production: Production software package for Mac and PC included: Akai Pro MPC Essentials, SONiVOX Wobble, and Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech (downloads)
- The #1 Best-Selling Gaming Peripherals Manufacturer in the US: Source - The NPD Group, Inc. U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Keyboards, Mice, PC Headset/Pc Microphone, Gaming Designed, based on dollar sales, 2017-2021
- Signature Mechanical Switch for Gaming: Razer Green switch technology provides a satisfying clicky sound with 50 G of actuation force, ideal for typing and gaming requiring the highest accuracy
- Ultimate Personalization & Gaming Immersion with Razer Chroma: Fully syncs with popular games, Razer hardware, Philips Hue, and gear from 30+ partners; supports 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys
- Doubleshot ABS Keycaps: Using a doubleshot molding process to ensure the labelling never wears off, the keycaps also have extra-thick walls which make them extremely tough to withstand constant spamming
- Ergonomic, Magnetic Wrist Rest: Made of plush leatherette to maximize comfort over extended gaming sessions
- The RockJam 561 keyboard piano super kit includes a digital keyboard with 61 full-size keys giving you that traditional piano feel whilst maintaining a portable and compact design that can be powered by either mains power (power supply included) or batteries
- This RockJam 561 piano keyboard features an LCD display panel that both displays and engages the 100 rhythms, 50 tones, teaching functions, and 30 demo songs that are part of its functionality
- The RockJam 561 electric piano has record and playback functionality allowing you to build layers to your sound.
- This music keyboard super kit package includes a keyboard stand that is sturdy in design and can be adjusted to suit keyboard piano players both young and old
- This electric piano keyboard super kit contains a padded seat that is easily folded and has a thick padded seat for hours of comfortable play
- All-new KeyMander 2 is up to 8Xs faster for increased accuracy & smoother mouse response
- Use a keyboard & mouse in place of your controller on Xbox One, PS4 & Nintendo Switch game systems
- Crossover function lets you swap controllers between PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch
- Play First Person Shooter games like PUBG & Call of Duty with increased speed & accuracy
- Android/iOS apps provide custom key mapping, mouse sensitivity, macro functions & more
- Download & Share game profiles from K2 app; backup your profiles to the cloud
- Connect your smartphone via Bluetooth while gaming to make on-the-fly adjustments
- Free KeyMander 2 Forum: news, support, community, pre-made game profiles & exclusive giveaways!
- For customer support please contact IOGEAR's lifetime US based technical support
- 88-keys, TP/9 Piano semi-weighted action with after touch; dual switch detection system
- USB port allows to transmit and receive digital audio; high quality built-in speakers amplify the sounds of your computer or tablet
- 128 voices of polyphony and 88 onboard sounds with a selection of acoustic pianos, electric pianos, synths, organs, guitar & basses, drum kits, and more
- Tone wheel organ with drawbars
- Featherweight and portable cabinet -- small and compact; everything you need in just under 16 pounds
- 88-note USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Aftertouch
- Analog Lab Software - Mac/Win
- 16 RGB Perfmance Pads
- CV/Gate Connectivity
- DAW Comm Center
- Smart keyboard controller for all your virtual instruments and effects
- Pro-grade Fatar keybeds with aftertouch, fully weighted, hammer-action keys
- Pre-mapped control of KOMPLETE instruments and effects, plus hundreds of Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) plug-ins from leading manufacturers
- Includes required PSU
- Includes KOMPLETE 12 SELECT and MASCHINE Essentials.1/4 inch TRS connections for expression and sustain pedals
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.