Best Midi keyboard Under 300 – When getting a MIDI controller, a lot of features and sounds will depend on the software that comes with it, but also with the additional software that you will have to download or buy. For that reason, you should consider the hardware quality and the feel first, then the additional features later.
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.
Keep in mind, though, that not all software works equally well with every controller and vice versa. Tell us in the comments below which MIDI keyboard controller you liked the most!
1.Native Instruments Komplete
Pros & Cons
- Smart, streamlined keyboard controller for all your virtual instruments and effects
- Semi-weighted custom NI keybed
- Informative OLED display for at-a-glance navigation
- 8 touch-sensitive control knobs
- USB 2.0 bus powered
2.M Audio Oxygen
Pros & Cons
- 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
3.MIDI Controller Bundle
Pros & Cons
- Oxygen 49 MKIV | Core Keyboard Control - Portable MIDI keyboard controller with 49 full-size, velocity sensitive keys and on-board pitch bend and modulation wheels for expressive performances
- Oxygen 49 MKIV | Beat Maker Essentials - 8 velocity sensitive drum pads for beat production and clip launching; 8 assignable encoders for manipulating virtual instruments, DAW parameters and plugins
- Oxygen 49 MKIV | Ditch the Mouse - Octave up and down buttons increase the MIDI keyboard to the full melodic range and transport buttons let you control your DAW without reaching for the mouse
- 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
- Pro Production Software Package for Mac & PC Included - ProTools | First M-Audio Edition, Ableton Live Lite and Eleven Lite, plus Eighty-Eight & Twist from SONiVOX Twist and AIR Music Tech’s Xpand!2
Pros & Cons
- 16 track song sequencer + 1 system track supports recording of up to 5 songs or approximately 30,000 notes
- Combine instrumentals from the 210 built-in rhythms, toggle individual instrumental portions and adjust parameters to create your own personal rhythms
- With the Tone Editor, attack and release time, cut off, vibrato, reverb, chorus and DSP can be adjusted based on your preferences
- Features a choice of 700 tones to expand your music creativity, and offers 48 notes of polyphony to prevent dropped notes
- Built-in effects include 10 reverbs, 5 choruses and 100 DSP types with the option to create your own effects and store up to 100 unique styles
- Use with Mac or Windows computers without downloading drivers or as a controller for the Apple iPad simply by using Apple’s Camera Connection Kit
Pros & Cons
- Software Includes Analog Lab software with 5000 synth sounds Includes Ableton Live Lite Includes UVI Grand Piano model D Hardware 61 keys with velocity Controllers: 1 clickable encoder, 9 encoders, 9 30mm faders, 6 transport switches, 4 command switches, 1 modulation wheel, 1 pitch bend wheel, 8 touch and pressure-sensitive pads Connectivity MIDI out, USB, Sustain pedal Functions as a universal MIDI controller Twin-line LCD screen MCU
- Most musicians need three things from a controller keyboard: powerful DAW control, software instrument integration and efficient navigation of presets
- KeyLab Essential is Arturia's newgeneration of controller keyboards that satisfy all of these requirements in an elegant, thoughtful design
- KeyLab Essential includes a full function DAW control area and a central screen section that allows instant access to the 5000+ included Analog Lab 2 presets
- All the knobs, sliders and pads you will need are available at your fingertips and 8 mappings assignations can be selected in an instant
Pros & Cons
- "Designed for Live — Get hands on with Ableton Live – An unrivalled integration to Ableton Live with your Launchkey gives you a seamless music making experience. 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. Never lose an idea with Capture MIDI – One touch access to Ableton Live’s Capture MIDI ensures you will never lose an idea without taking you from the creative expe-rience.
- Create and play with feeling – Velocity-sensitive keyboard and 16 velocity-sensitive pads enable expressive and dynamic performance at your fingertips. Capture your playing in Ableton Live precisely as you intended.
- Play chords with one finger – Lay down chords for your track quick with three chord modes — fixed, scale, and user. 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.
- Get melodies moving 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 melo-dies.
- Never hit a wrong note – Scale modes transpose keys and pads to notes in the se-lected scale, so that you can focus on being creative and remove music theory frus-tration.
- DAW Integration – In addition to Apple Logic and Ableton Live, Launchkey also has excellent integrations with Reason, as well as any HUI compatible DAW, such as Cubase, Pro Tools, and more.
7.Alesis V49 – 49
Pros & Cons
- MIDI Keyboard with 49 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
- 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
- 【48 Programmable Keys & 8 Macro Keys Based Hardware】Program all 48 keys and create 8 complex macros with the configuration software to take full command of your computer. A macro key can output up to 31 characters. Perfect not only for gamers, but also for so many other types of users including supermarket cashier, designers and video editors.
- 【Built-in MCU】After keyboard keys be set up, it will be automatically stored in keyboard's MCU, and no need reset the keyboard or even replace the computer.
- 【Support 9 Kinds Key Program Types】 Normal/FN-Shift/Mouse/Combination/Burst/Round-Robin/Continue/Jitter/Special Functions/Disable key types, different key type with different function.
- 【OEM Gateron Red Switches】OEM Gateron Red switches with trigger travel of 2±0.6mm, keystroke force of 45±15cN, plus full anti-ghosting ensures great feel and accuracy.
- 【Portable Mini keypad】Portable Mini keypad, effectively save desktop space. You can connect the keypad and a 104-key keyboard with the same computer at the same time, they will not interfere with each other.
- 【Programmable Keys】Create both single key and macro definitions, with the ability to activate a combo with the single press of the key. The macro editor also allows users to set and edit the millisecond delays between keystrokes.
- Tips: User can download the keyboard configuration software from URL on user manual. Compatible with Windows 7,8,10, Mac OS, Linux. (Windows XP incompatibled) If you can't find the software download link, please feel free to contact us.
10.GameSir VX Game Keyboard
Pros & Cons
- One Combo for Consoles: GameSir VX Gaming Keyboard and Mouse supports mainstream consoles: for Xbox One/Xbox One S/Xbox One X, PS4/PS4 Silm/PS4 Pro, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.
- TTC Mechanical Blue Key Switches: The Mechanical Keyboard with 38 TTC blue key switches deliver low resistance and fast response rate. And the slidable and detachable palmrest perfectly suits different gestures.
- Working Distance: GameSir Agility X technology enables stable and instant wireless keyboard connection with maximum 32.8 ft control range. Own stable signal when you plug the 2.4G dongle to the mainstream consoles to play games.
- Professional Gaming Mouse: Exclusively designed for consoles, with main feature as adjustable DPI, configurable side buttons, which was preset in sensitivity and accuracy to be perfectly compatible with consoles.
- Configurable Keys Layout Design: GameSir G-Crux mobile app can configure every key (not include G-series Key) of the GameSir VX Gaming Keyboard when it is connected with mobile phone by bluetooth. Different platform set the different Keys Layout.
Best Midi keyboard Under 300 – BUYER’S GUIDE
< id="ftoc-heading-8" class="ftwp-heading">1. KEYS
Typically the most basic option/place to start is deciding how many keys you want, whether it be 25, 49 or 61 keys.
Bear in mind your studio desk size. Bigger might only be better so long as you can actually fit it in your studio!
Mini keyboards like the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 (full review here) are quite popular among travellers and on-the-go musicians.
< id="ftoc-heading-9" class="ftwp-heading">2. HUMAN USER INTERFACE
HUI protocol allows a digital audio workstation (DAW) and a connected hardware control surface (a MIDI keyboard in this case) to exchange MIDI signals that synchronize the states of their sliders, buttons, wheels, and displays.
The user can write console automation to a track in a live or recording situation while using the physical hardware, which can then be seen transferred and recorded directly on the screen in the DAW in real-time.
< id="ftoc-heading-10" class="ftwp-heading">3. AFTERTOUCH
Aftertouch is a dynamic control function that allows the user to physically manipulate the sound they are playing from their keyboard, after you have engaged the key.
By pressing and holding down the note you can use physical pressure differences to change the strength of the release and decay accordingly, as well as other parameters.
< id="ftoc-heading-11" class="ftwp-heading">4. MIDI SYNC/CV GATE
This is a type of functionality used to send MIDI information data between devices for live and recording applications when using analog/hardware synths or drum machines.
The control voltage (CV) will normally control the transmission of pitch, and the gate will control whether the note is on or off.
If you are into live hardware recording or performances, you will want to make sure you have the proper MIDI functionality within your MIDI keyboard, should you want to sync it with your other hardware. It is also worth noting that ‘MIDI beat’ clocking is different to ‘MIDI timecode’ clocking and is based on tempo, MIDI clock events are universally set at 24ppqn or ‘Pulses Per Quarter Note.’
< id="ftoc-heading-12" class="ftwp-heading">5. MCU (MACKIE CONTROL UNIVERSAL)
MCU allows a specific device to be the “master” MIDI controller for a DAW and can sync up to 16 MIDI devices from an MCU enabled device via a computer, meaning you can control up to 16 devices or plugins seamlessly from the one master device.
Note: some DAWs such as Reaper have been known to have functionality issues when using MCU protocol in the past, so make sure you do your due diligence to see what your DAW supports if you intend on using MIDI hardware in live performance or live recording situations.
< id="ftoc-heading-13" class="ftwp-heading">6. VELOCITY
Velocity typically measures the amount of different pressure sensitive outputs that can be tied to an individual keypress on a MIDI keyboard or drum pad.
Typically there are 127 points of velocity within a standard keypress, allowing for expressional and dynamic playing, with 1 being the softest possible press and 127 being the hardest.
Although velocity can be controlled and mapped by various plugins or onboard features of some keyboards themselves, the industry-standard remains 127 points of velocity. This ultimately means that each key can be pressed in 127 different ways from soft to hard presses.
< id="ftoc-heading-14" class="ftwp-heading">7. WEIGHTED KEYS
A lot of keyboards include the integration of weighted or semi-weighted keys. This is to simulate the feeling of playing a normal acoustic piano. The hammers on each key in a traditional piano are connected to the key by a lever mechanism which causes a natural weight or resistance when each key is pressed, lifting the hammer.
This can be an important feature in an electronic keyboard as it combines with the use of velocity to create a more natural and organic feeling when playing. Hitting the key hard will make a sharp and loud note, whereas gently depressing the key will generate a much softer note, and the weighted key will respond to the press as if it is actually moving a physical hammer.
With no resistance on the keys, it can be harder (especially for someone who has trained or plays on an acoustic piano) to achieve the appropriate feeling or timbre when playing a note or chord.
< id="ftoc-heading-15" class="ftwp-heading">8. PEDAL FUNCTIONALITY
Some MIDI keyboard controllers have the option for an “expression” pedal and/or footswitch, this means the device has the ability to attach a sustain pedal or FX pedal via a 1/4” TRS lead and to be able to send and receive information that will change the way the note is played within the keyboard.
Much like the sustain pedals found on an acoustic piano, digital sustain pedals work in the same way, and can be purchased from various music retail outlets.
Pressing your foot on the sustain pedal will hold the note even after you release the key and are no longer pressing it, simulating the way a sustain pedal keeps the hammers off the strings of the piano to prevent them from dampening the vibration of the strings inside. When the pedal is released, the note or chord will stop playing.
Are you searching for an affordable MIDI controller? Since you are reading our article, chances are that you are either searching for a good backup controller to go along with your more expensive stuff, or you are a beginner just getting into the world of digital music. Whatever your reason may be – welcome to our review!