Best Midi keyboard for Pro Tools – We’ve reached the end of the journey here! All we can say is that these guys are most definitely strong contenders for the flattering title of the best MIDI controller for Pro Tools on today’s market.
Purchasing the best MIDI controller for Pro Tools is not an easy task. Not many MIDI controllers available in the market today integrate easily with this DAW. More so, when you find one that actually does work well with Pro Tools, you need to choose one that is most compatible with your playing style and music production needs.
They all deliver, none of them will disappoint, and each of them can be described as a product you will not regret purchasing. Highly recommended, buy one today!
Pros & Cons
- 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
Pros & Cons
- Ultra-responsive semi weighted keyboard with aftertouch
- Full DAW/plug-in control surface with 8 knobs, 1 fader and button
- 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.
Pros & Cons
- 88 note Fatar TP/100LR keybed
- High quality, aftertouch, velocity sensitive, hammer-action, piano feel keyboard
- 16 RGB-backlit performance pads
- Control bank with 9 faders and 9 rotary knobs
- Please note: stand not included
Pros & Cons
- Ultimate Expression - 49 full-size velocity-sensitive keys provide a natural feel that captures every subtle nuance of your performance
- Total Control - Volume fader, transport and directional buttons for easy control of your software, plus ergonomically-designed pitch and modulation wheels, Octave up and down buttons and sustain pedal input for expressive performances
- Immediate Creativity - Easy plug-and-play connection to your Mac or PC—no drivers or power supply required; compatible with iOS devices via the Apple to USB Camera Adapter (sold separately)
- Your Studio Centrepiece - Compact design fits any desk, studio or stage setup perfectly and advanced functionality customizes your controls for your recording software
- Premium Software suite included - MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, Velvet, XPand 2, Mini Grand, and Touch Loops
5.MIDI Controller Bundle
Pros & Cons
- Keystation 49 MK3 | Ultimate Expression - 49 full size velocity sensitive piano style keys provide a natural feel that captures every subtle nuance of your performance
- Keystation 49 MK3 | Total Control - Volume fader, transport and directional buttons for control of your software, plus pitch and modulation wheels, octave up & down buttons and sustain pedal input
- Keystation 49 MK3 | Immediate Creativity - Driverless plug-and-play connection to Mac or PC—no power supply required; compatible with iOS devices via the Apple to USB Camera Adapter (not included)
- SP-2 | Genuine Piano Style Sustain - Universal sustain pedal with chrome foot pedal for a piano style pedal action; polarity switch for compatibility with all electronic keyboards / MIDI Controllers
- Premium Software suite included - ProTools First, Ableton Live Lite, Eleven Lite, Velvet, Hybrid 3, Loom, Vacuum Pro, Eighty-Eight Ensemble, XPand!2
Pros & Cons
- Velocity-sensitive USB/MIDI keyboard featuring 61 high-quality full-size keys and unbeatable programming versatility, real-time control and playability
- USB/Audio interface included for recording and playback of any digital music file. Works with your PC or Mac* computer—no setup or drivers
- Free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins and ultra-low latency driver downloadable
- Plug and play with Mac OS X* and Windows XP* or higher operating systems
- 8 real-time rotary controls plus 10 assignable switches
7.Elgato Stream Deck
Pros & Cons
- 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
Pros & Cons
- FULL RGB BACKLIT GAMING KEYBOARD – 16.8 million Color combinations, adjustable brightness levels and multiple different lighting effects. Plug & Play, no drivers needed.
- GATERON OPTICAL SWITCHES – Extremely fast response time make these the best choice for getting an advantage in gaming. Hot-Swappable with other Optical switches. No solder or desolder necessary. Extremely durable switches rated for 100 million keystrokes.
- FULLY PROGRAMMABLE - Macro recording, advanced lighting effects and customizations through software. Features multimedia keys through multiple layers. Full Anti Ghosting Mode n-key Rollover (NKRO) for ideal FPS, MOBA and MMO gaming experiences.
- PRACTICAL FEATURES – Small form factor mini 60% Layout with 61 keys with individual backlighting. Spill and dust resistant to withstand accidental spills while playing. Switchable ABS Doubleshot keycaps that can be changed with the included keypuller.
- COMPATABILITY WITH MAC & WINDOWS - Compatible with Windows 11, Win 10, Win 8, Win 7, Win Vista, Windows XP and Mac OS. Ideal Keyboard for all Environments works with all Computer or Laptop Brands and Gaming PCs. Compatible for Home and Office use. Detachable USB C to Type-A cable included.
Pros & Cons
- 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
Pros & Cons
- Gateron Optical Switch&Hot Swappable. To achieve ultimate experience, SK61 adopts the renowned Gateron optical switches which is also hot swappable for this keyboard. The hotswap feature has been quite popular among players. It provides more options and fun to custom your unique mechanical keyboard.
- Three Layers Programmable&NKRO. Despite the three layers programmable mode, FN1/FN2/FN3, all kinds of keyboard key function could be set through driver, macro record, personalize your own function keys as you wish. Onboard flash memory unit could save the configuration to the keyboard if offline. The SK61 is N-key rollover, freely enjoy it without any conflict while pressing multiple keys
- Water-resistant Mainboard&PBT Thermal Sublimation Keycaps. We believe that details could make a brand. So we have strictly select the PBT material for keycaps, which is proved to be sturdy and oil-proof even after long time use. The letters won’t fade away. The keyboard stands out also because of its water-resistant and dustproof mainboard design. It’s practical and unusual
- 16.8 Million RGB Backlight Available. RGB is such a cool element while playing games. SK61 fully knows your needs and thus this model is equipped with RGB SMD light. More than 16.8 million lights are available. Hundreds of lighting effects are available for download and we continue to update it to the latest
- Compatible with Mac and Windows. This model supports both Win&Mac layout, no worry of the compatibility. Moreover, equipped with the Type-C cable provides stable and fast connection. It is a perfect companion for both work and game
Best Midi keyboard for Pro Tools – 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.
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.
Another type of MIDI controller that does not use a piano-style user interface is known as a microtonal MIDI controller. The most common example of it is a Tonal Plexus Keyboard. This keyboard has the capability of providing up to 1266 different tonal pitches.
Pro Tools stands out as one of the most commonly utilized digital audio workstations (DAWs) and is remembered as a revolutionary tool that helped shape the course of music at the time. But much like any DAW out there, Pro Tools also functions the best when connected to a proper MIDI controller.