Best Midi keyboard for Music Production – Having the best MIDI controller doesn’t necessarily mean that you will produce chart-topping hits. Sure, it’ll make you look more like a ‘music producer’ but what’s going to matter in the end is your skills in music production.
By the way, which MIDI controller is your favorite? Which did you choose to buy for your studio and why? Let me know in the comment section below.
Also, did I miss any great MIDI controllers in this list? Share your thoughts with the Audio Mentor community in the comment section below.
In conclusion, there are genuine reasons for buying every controller on this list. As always you should base your decision on which one suits your needs most.
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.
When shopping around for a product, there are some questions you have to ask yourself before purchasing it. The same is true of MIDI keyboards. Before buying a MIDI keyboard, be sure to do your homework.
- 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)
- Compact, expressive and rugged MIDI keyboard for when you want to make music on the move
- Nektar DAW integration for most popular DAWs
- Comprehensive MIDI functionailty. Compatible with all MIDI music software applications
- Mac, PC and iOS Compatible
- Includes Bigwig Studio 8-track DAW + sound content package
- 32 mini-keys velocity sensitive keyboard
- Pitch, modulation, octave, transpose function
- Sustain interface (Not include sustain pedal)
- USB B-type to connect computer (include USB cable)
- Plug and play with Windows, Mac devices
4.M Audio Oxygen
- Compact, ultra portable performance keyboard controller with 49 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; 8 assignable knobs and 9 assignable faders 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 $100 included; ableton live lite, sonivox twist and air music tech xpand 2
5.Korg NanoPAD2 – Blue
- Get hands on with Ableton Live - Have a seamless music making experience with Ableton Live and your Launchkey Mini. Have all the tools at your disposal with deep and intuitive Ableton Live control — including device macro control, track select, record, capture MIDI, clip and scene launch, stop/mute/solo, volume, pans and sends.
- Get creative easily with arpeggiator - Easy to use but deeply controllable, Launchkey Mini’s creative arpeggiator allows you to change rhythm, beat, pattern, octave, gate and more to add a whole range of diversity to your ideas and melodies.
- Play chords with one finger - Lay down chords for your track quick with fixed chord mode. Play a chord with one finger by assigning a fixed shape to the keys and it’ll transpose as you move up and down the keyboard.
- Launchkey Mini goes anywhere with you - Send apps and program changes to your hardware synths with MIDI Out, or add keys to your Groovebox directly over MIDI. Launchkey Mini’s lightweight and compact design means it goes anywhere you do. The hardware is bus-powered which is great for travelling and jamming on the go.
- Finest-tech at your fingertips - The Launchkey Mini might be small in size but it’s packed with features. The 25-key device has 16 velocity-sensitive RGB, eight rotary controls, pitch and mod touch strips, and sustain input. Our finest mini keymech to date is also included.
- DAW Integration - In addition to Apple Logic and Ableton Live, Launchkey Mini also has excellent integrations with Reason, as well as any HUI compatible DAW, such as Cubase, Pro Tools, and more.
- Portable and Compact - MIDI Controller
- The most responsive keyboard experience in its category
- 500 of the V-Collection 8 presets / 21 Keyboard Instruments and Synthesizers / fully mapped right out of the box
- The perfect solution to get started with music production
- 16 Assignable Encoders to control your DAW
8.DCFY Music Keyboard
- PROTECT YOUR Roli Seaboard Rise 49 Music Keyboard With PREMIUM FABRICS. Extend the Life of Your Amplifier!
- CUSTOM MADE - We Don't Believe in 'One Size Fits All'. Easy to slip over your music keyboard.
- CHOOSE FROM Our Premium Light-Weight Nylon (Water-Resistant) or Premium Synthetic Leather (Water-Resistant) Fabrics! Base fabric easily protects from spills & dust. Add padding for extra protection from bumps & bruises and that nice, luxury look.
- NO FUSS CLEANING & MAINTENANCE! Just Wipe Down With a Damp Cloth.
- Sewn w/ industrial sewing machines – Creating strong, durable seams & stitches. These covers are designed to last!
9.Xkey AIR 37-Ke
- 4.0 Bluetooth, low-latency connection capabilities + USB connection
- Ultra slim molded aluminum body housing is less than 1" thick, weighing just over 2 lbs.
- Polyphonic Aftertouch: Velocity controlled keys, with the ability to adjust settings such as sensitivity, velocity and timing
- Extremely durable and portable. Fits in any bag or case
- Designed to protect the xkey37
- Compartment for the standard xkey too!
- A must-have for hardcore xkey players.
Best Midi keyboard for Music Production – BUYER’S GUIDE
The Key Count
This is completely down to personal preference. MIDI keyboards are available in many different key counts, and it’s good to know what their applications are. Key counts vary from 25, 32, 37, 49, 61 to 88. Some people may prefer the original or traditional piano and might opt for an 88 key MIDI keyboard since the traditional piano has the same number of keys. On the other hand, some people might do a lot of traveling, so a smaller keyboard with 25, 33 or 37 keys are better suited to their lifestyles.
There are three different types of key actions which all serve different purposes. The three different key action types of a MIDI keyboard are discussed below.
This is the most common key action found in most MIDI keyboards. The synth-action keys use a spring and are made up of plastic. There is no weight attached to the keys of a synth-action MIDI keyboard, but when you press or release a key, it returns to its original position with the help of a spring, making it pretty fast.
As the name suggests, the keys of a semi-weighted key action MIDI keyboard use a lightweight attached to the end of every key. In this case, the keys aren’t made of plastic. The semi-weighted key action keyboards are not as fast as the synth action, but give you a slightly more realistic feel that is somewhat close to a traditional piano.
Fully-weighted key action keyboards are as close as you can get to the keys of a traditional piano. The fully-weighted key action type is mostly found in digital pianos. The feeling you get from them isn’t the exact same as that of a real traditional piano, but it’s fairly close. The fully-weighted action type is less common in MIDI keyboards, but some MIDI keyboards with a high price tag come equipped with them.
Do you want a keyboard for studio use or will you and your new keyboard be traveling to gigs regularly? If this is the case, you’ll want a portable keyboard. As mentioned earlier, there are MIDI keyboards that come in compact sizes and easier to travel with. The smaller the keyboard, the more portable it is.
Do you want other sounds from your keyboard beyond the standard piano sounds? There are MIDI keyboards on the market that come with drum pads, so if you are looking to compose some beats on your MIDI keyboard, these are the ones to go for.
The Extra Features
There are some MIDI keyboards that come equipped with extra features such as faders, buttons, knobs, arpeggiators, and more. These features fall into the category of performance control. The most noticeable thing about keyboards with these features is that the more features a keyboard has, the higher the price. It’s essential to determine what features will be useful to you and then go for the appropriate MIDI keyboard.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are MIDI Keyboards?
We’ve seen quite a lot of advancement in the world thanks to technology. The impact of technology on music is obvious in modern music. From electric guitars to drum machines, and of course, MIDI keyboards, the presence of technology in music is everywhere.
What is a MIDI keyboard? Well, the answer is a pretty simple: a keyboard device that has the capability of sending MIDI signals to some other devices, as long as the devices share the same MIDI protocol interface. A MIDI keyboard transfer signals through a MIDI cable or a USB.
Not all MIDI keyboards use the piano-style interface. Some come equipped with pads or buttons that have the ability to transfer MIDI signals. Most of these pads are velocity-sensitive to get different sounds from the keyboard. If you’re a big fan of portamento-style, the MIDI keyboard for you is a fretless-type, known as the Continuum Fingerboard, which will enable you to change notes at will.
Choosing a great MIDI controller for music production shouldn’t be hard.
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.