Best Midi keyboard for Reaper

Best Midi keyboard for Reaper – When it comes to the best MIDI keyboards for Reaper there’s a lot to consider. Once you have your price down, you will be able to decide which options look the best.

You see, it’s not hard choosing the best midi controller for Reaper if you know what you’re looking for and what you need.

Remember, if you don’t know how many types of key ranges there are, you’ll never be able to figure out which one’s best for you.

You might end up buying a much smaller range or overspend at a key range you didn’t even need! In both cases, you’ll regret your decision big time!


Thus, a buyer’s guide is absolutely essential. It helps you understand the basics of your desired product and eventually enables you to identify your priorities.

This way, you can pick a suitable product for you so that you don’t regret it later.

Once you know what you like and need, you can choose a MIDI controller accordingly.

If you need further guidance and a narrower list of good options, you’ve got the four MIDI controllers mentioned above controllers to start with.

1.Nektar DAW Controller (T4)

Pros & Cons

2.Arturia Keylab

Pros & Cons

3.Novation Impulse

Pros & Cons

4.AKAI Professional

Pros & Cons

5.Alesis V49

Pros & Cons

6.Korg, Midi Controller

Pros & Cons

7.M Audio Oxygen 49

Pros & Cons

8.Kawai VPC1

Pros & Cons

9.IK Multimedia

Pros & Cons


Pros & Cons

Best Midi keyboard for Reaper – BUYER’S GUIDE

Reaper integration

It’s important that your controller can be setup and used with Reaper, ideally with limited manual configuration. Some leading midi controller manufacturers offer deep integration with Reaper, while others can be setup with relative ease. Nowadays it’s usually Ableton (check out our guide on best midi controllers for Ableton) and Logic Pro that get most of the attention by manufacturers building a controller around a DAW. But Nektar in particular build controllers that can easily integrate with Reaper, such as the Panorama P4 and the Impact LX49+, as well as other DAWs such as Reason.

Type of midi controller

Many people see the terms ‘midi controller’ and ‘midi keyboard’ as interchangeable, but not all controllers are piano-style keyboards. Midi controllers can come in many shapes and forms, such as drum pad machines, guitars and wind instruments (all with varying suitability as DAW ‘master stations’). What will work best for you depends on what you’re likely to be using it for. In most cases a midi keyboard will be a good option, as many of the leading devices come with a range of controls in addition to keys, such as pad, faders, rotary knobs and buttons.

Size of midi controller

There’s a few factors here. First, where do you plan to use your midi controller? Most people aren’t fortunate to have a big, dedicated studio space, so it’s important to consider how your controller will slot into the space you have available. Also, many people like to take their gear with them as they travel so they can get creative wherever they are. A more compact, lightweight midi controller is more suitable if this is your plan.

The second point to consider is, if you’re buying a midi keyboard, how many keys do you want? This of course will have a big impact on the overall size of the controller and how much space you’ll need in your studio (or in your rucksack if you make music on the go!). For many, 49 keys is a good number, enabling you to play chord progressions and melodies. If you’re a trained pianist you may consider a full-size 88 key device if you want to play elaborate pieces without shifting up and down octaves. For ultra portable controllers or something nice and simple, a 25 key controller may suffice.

Key weight

Again, if you’re buying a midi keyboard, you’ll want to consider key weight, i.e. the amount of pressure it takes to depress a key. Many keyboards are semi-weighted – built with springs and weights to enable velocity sensitivity – and this is a good option for most producers. Some keyboards have synth-action keys which are very light and super springy, ideal for playing fast leads and producer’s looking for a lightweight keyboard with less of an emphasis on ‘playing the piano’. Hammer-action (or fully weighted) midi keyboards aim to replicate a traditional piano with and usually have the full-sized 88 keys. This may be a good option for trained pianists.


Your budget of course is a major factor to consider when purchasing a midi controller for Reaper. If you’re just getting started with Reaper, you’re not from a pianist background or you’re looking for something to use on the go, a budget-friendly mini controller such as the Akai Pro MPK Mini is a good option. On the other hand, if you’re a power Reaper user or looking for a long-term centre piece of your studio setup, it’s probably worth investing a bit more on a controller that has all of the functionality that you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I buy a midi controller or a synthesizer?

A midi controller typically does not produce any sound itself, rather it sends midi instructions to a computer or another device about how to play or manipulate a sound. Synthesizers, on the other hand, create sound and can typically output midi signals. Given this, it’s feasible to use a synthesizer as a midi controller, but purpose-built midi controllers are usually much more up for the task, due to factors such as DAW integration and their range of inputs.

How do I connect a midi controller to Reaper?

First you’ll need to connect your midi controller to your computer or laptop, either with a midi in and out connection (likely via an audio interface) or with a USB connection which is more common nowadays. Make sure you’ve installed any drivers necessary with your chosen controller. In Reaper, open the Preferences menu, go to Midi Devices under Audio, where your controller should appear. Make sure your device is enabled and apply settings. This is a really handy tutorial to walk you through the steps as well as how to configure and test your device in Reaper.


It is no surprise that Reaper is the best choice to make music for both beginners and professionals. However, looking for the best MIDI controller for Reaper is quite a hassle.

Even though the market is full of potential options, it is hard to narrow down MIDI controllers that offer both quality and cost-effectiveness.

More often than not, people find it oh-so-difficult to choose a MIDI controller for their Reaper because they don’t know anything about it. They don’t know what to buy and what to avoid.