Best Midi keyboard Under 100 – We have given you our thoughts on how to find the very best cheap MIDI keyboard for you. Our top 10 reviews cover some awesome affordable MIDI keyboards. The trouble is you might want them all!
In conclusion, I would just recap what I mentioned earlier. The best cheap MIDI keyboard very much depends on the buyer. It’s not about being the best, it’s about being the best for you.
We began by seeking out the most highly rated MIDI keyboard controllers with street prices below $100, taking into to consideration the latest reviews up to mid May of 2021.
It is now possible to have a MIDI controller that is functional for under $100. I didn’t think I would be saying this 5 years ago.
Years ago, controllers were more expensive and they really weren’t that great. I had many options that I went through that just weren’t fully functional.
1.Akai Professional MPK
Pros & Cons
- 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)
Pros & Cons
- AK490+ is 49-note semi- weighted piano-style key master keyboard controller which includes Pitch and Modulation wheels , Octave buttons (Up & Down) and Sustain pedal input
- It's powered via a single USB cable and works instantly with computer building Mac OS X or Windows XP and above
- ATTACHMENT: Owner's manual, USB cable
Pros & Cons
- 25-key velocity-sensitive mini keyboard
- Programmable master encoder, eight MIDI assignable knobs and transport control for hands-on control over your DAW and virtual instruments
- Four velocity-sensitive trigger pads (two banks each) with after touch for drum sounds and samples
- Dedicated Octave and Sustain buttons, Pitch Bend and Modulation strips
- iPad and USB bus powered
Pros & Cons
- 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.
Pros & Cons
- All the features and expressive control you need to start making music with your computer, and at a price that delivers amazing value for money
- 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
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
- [My Unique Keyboard] Nothing is as intuitive and special as the Xkey. From top performers to beginners or even kids, everyone loves it. If you search the internet, you will find musicians all over the world using it on the go, in the studio and on stage.
- [Pair & Play] Wirelessly pair to Mac, iPad/iPhone via ultra low latency Bluetooth MIDI. Connect with PC, Android tablet (with OTG adapter) via USB, open your music software and play music. No driver installation, no learning curve, no guide needed. You will be surprised how easy it is to use, especially on the road.
- [High-end build quality] Stylish and sturdy aluminum frame with a sandblasted finish, 10 million times life test of keys. Even lighter, slimmer and stronger than the iPad.
- [Take Full Control] Patented polyphonic pressure-sensitive keyboard for full resolution of velocity and polyphonic aftertouch, pitch bend, modulation, octave +/- and sustain buttons at your fingertips, all included in this backpack-friendly keyboard.
- [Wide Software Compatibility] Compatible with all mainstream DAW music software solutions, including Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Studio One, Cubase, Bitwig, Audacity, Pro Tools, Garageband, FL Studio, Reaper etc. No special settings required.
8.M Audio Keystation
Pros & Cons
- Pro Music Production Wherever You Go – USB MIDI keyboard controller with slimline footprint and 32 mini piano style velocity-sensitive keys for a natural feel
- Customisable Response – Mini keys with selectable velocity curves match any playing style inc’l traditional piano, synthesizer, key-based beat making; pitch bend / modulation buttons add expression
- Immediate Creativity - Simple plug-and-play connection to your Mac or PC—no drivers or power supply required
- Express Yourself - Octave up and down buttons for extended keyboard range, Volume knob delivers smooth control and Sustain button adds expressive capability
- The MPC Production Experience - Includes MPC Beats Software complete with the essential production tools from Akai Professional
Pros & Cons
- Low-profile, 25-key USB-MIDI keyboard, ideal for use with laptop and netbook computers
- Advanced-design keyed offers improved accuracy and velocity-sensitive keys
- Sustain button – ideal for entering piano parts!
Pros & Cons
- Looks awesome: cool inverted color scheme
- Intuitive controls: master your DAW, plugins and instruments
- Expressive keyboard: feels better than other small controllers
- Amazing included software: analog lab Lite, Ableton Live Lite, Grand piano model D
- Includes USB cable and user's manual
Best Midi keyboard Under 100 – BUYER’S GUIDE
< id="key">Key Size, Weight & Action
There are several factors to consider when looking for a keyboard controller, and the first one would be its key size. If you are simply looking for something portable to lay down your ideas, a keyboard controller with smaller keys and build is an ideal choice, thankfully there are quite a variety of them in the entry level market. If you plan to compose for a final project or play live, then you’ll probably have to extend your budget to get ones with more features and full-sized keys.
The number and type of keys that you need will also depend on your playing style, as well as the space you’re planning to use the controller. If you are used to using two hands, a 37 or 49-key MIDI controller would suffice. A 25-key MIDI controller is good enough if you plan on using them for playing or recording lead, bass and drum lines. Additionally, they are more compact and lightweight which makes them portable enough to bring around. Since you are on a budget, most keyboard controllers under a $100 price range come with semi-weighted keys where the keys have less resistance. As long as they have velocity response, they will provide you a more natural performance. If you need more realistic piano style action, then you’ll need to consider more expensive 61-key or 88-key controllers.
< id="software">Software Integration
MIDI mapping can be a tedious task whenever you set up your controller, but technology has made this easier with better compatibility and detection and automatic mapping. Another important point to consider is that some keyboard controllers are designed to integrate better with a specific DAW. Thankfully, these DAW specific controllers are also designed to work with other DAWs, albeit with some configuration work required. Most controllers are designed to let you customize your own MIDI mapping by re-assigning controls at your convenience and preference.
< id="transport">Transport Controls
These buttons are used for triggering essential DAW controls like record, pause and play on your keyboard. Since they transmit MIDI data to your DAW, they give you the same level of control without having to reach for your computer keyboard, touchpad, touchscreen or mouse.
< id="other">Knobs, Pads and Other Controls
In addition to transport controls, most MIDI keyboards have extra handy controls, such as knobs, modulation and pitch wheels, and sometimes faders. They can be assigned or automatically mapped to give you more options when it comes to mixing or editing parameters in your DAW. An example of this would be assigning a knob to tweak a synth’s filter. This is very handy when it comes to composing or editing real-time for live performances.
< id="power">Power Supply
Most MIDI keyboard controllers come with USB connectivity, which allows you to connect your controller to a PC, Mac or any other computing device. This is sort of a concern when it comes to draining your device’s battery more quickly unless your device is plugged into a power source. It’s more of a concern with iPads, which provide 100mA instead of the common 500mA found in a USB 2.0 slot. In this case, a USB hub or an external power adapter is used to supply power directly to your controller.
< id="MIDI">USB MIDI vs 5-Pin MIDI
Some MIDI controllers still come with at least one 5-Pin MIDI input and one output. These are useful if you have any vintage equipment that you want to control with a modern MIDI keyboard. Most MIDI keyboards come USB slots since they are compatible with most devices. As mentioned above, the advantage of USB is that it can draw power from a PC or Mac when connected, compared to 5-Pin MIDI slots where you need a power supply. In some cases, some controllers have both connectors. Unless you are going to control hardware directly, without a computer in the loop, then you won’t need a 5-Pin MIDI out.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Buy a MIDI Controller On a Very Tight Budget?
As you can see from our reviews, we aren’t taking an in-depth look at each controller. We are giving you enough information to decide which ones you want to check out further.
The good thing is that there are lots of options. Set your budget, in our case, it’s under $100 and stick to it. Before you look at specific keyboards try to decide if there are any features you can’t live without. This will help you eliminate some options and focus on the ones that suit your needs best.
It’s important that you do this because it’s easy to get distracted by things you don’t really need. When you are on a tight budget the last thing you need is an impulse buy.
MIDI keyboards have gotten better and better over the years. This is one of the main reasons why I thought it would be great to put together a list of MIDI keyboards under $100.
All of these picks are options that I have played myself and owned as well. With this being said, there a couple of things to keep in mind.
Another thing that I want to be upfront about with these picks is that you are going to be sacrificing size or features in order to get into the under $100 bracket.