Before we dive into the listing of the Best Midi Keyboards on the current market, we must first have a peek at precisely what a midi keyboard is and the kinds of jobs it can do. The answer to both questions is relatively straightforward.
A midi computer keyboard is a piano-style interface which has the capability of shifting signals to connected devices. The signs are transferred via a midi cable or USB. These devices must be around precisely the same midi protocol port.
You’ll come across a lot of midi keys to choose from nowadays. With all these selections to choose from, selecting the best of this bunch may be a real job. Keep reading Fidlar’s post to help you make the very best choice midi computer based on what you need.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are The Midi Keyboard Controllers?
- 2 How To Select A MIDI Keyboard?
- 3 Best Midi Keyboard 2021
- 3.1 1. M-Audio Hammer 88
- 3.2 2. Arturia KeyLab Vital 61
- 3.3 3. NI Komplete Kontrol S88 MkII
- 3.4 4. Akai MPK Road 88
- 3.5 5. Novation Launchkey 49 MkII
- 3.6 6. M-Audio Keystation 49 MkIII
- 3.7 7. Nektar SE25 MIDI keyboard
- 3.8 8. Korg MicroKey 2 Air 25
- 3.9 9. Novation Launchkey 37 Mk3
- 3.10 10. IK Multimedia iRig Keys I/O 49
- 4 Who’re Mini Controllers For?
What Are The Midi Keyboard Controllers?
We have seen quite a great deal of progress in the world as a result of technologies. The effect of technologies on music is evident in contemporary music. From electric guitars to drum machines, and needless to say, MIDI keyboards, the existence of technology in audio is everywhere.
What’s a MIDI keyboard? The solution is relatively straightforward: a computer keyboard device with the capability of sending MIDI signals to other apparatus provided that the tools share the identical MIDI protocol port. A keyboard midi move indicates via a MIDI cable or a USB.
Not many MIDI keyboards utilize the piano-style interface. Some come equipped with buttons or pads having the capacity to move MIDI signals. The majority of these pads are velocity-sensitive to find unique sounds from the computer keyboard controllers. If you are a significant fan of portamento-style, the MIDI keyboard for you’s a fretless-type, called the Continuum Fingerboard, will let you alter notes will.
Another kind of MIDI controller that doesn’t utilize a piano-style user interface is called a microtonal MIDI controller. The most frequent illustration of it’s that a Tonal Plexus Keyboard. This keyboard has the capability of providing around 1266 different tonal pitches.
How To Select A MIDI Keyboard?
When searching around for a product, there are several questions you need to ask yourself before buying it. The same is the case of MIDI keyboards. Before purchasing a MIDI keyboard, make sure to do your homework. Determine what features you want to prevent purchasing a MIDI keyboard, which might have a high cost attached to it, isn’t best for you.
Here are the facts to consider before you run out to get a MIDI keyboard.
When picking a MIDI keyboard, you will quickly find that the costs can vary from $80 to $500 and more. So ask yourself, just how much do you want to spend, then make sure you follow your budget.
The Crucial Count
This is entirely down to personal taste. MIDI keyboards can be found in several different important counts, and it is perfect to understand what their software is. Key counts change from 25, 32, 37, 49, 61 to 88. Some may prefer the first or conventional piano and may opt to get an 88 key MIDI keyboard as the traditional piano has the same keys.
On the flip side, some individuals might do a great deal of traveling. Therefore a more compact computer keyboard with 25, 33, or 37 keys are far better suited to their lifestyles.
There are three distinct kinds of essential activities which all serve different functions. The three particular necessary action kinds of a MIDI keyboard are discussed below.
Here is the most frequent critical activity found in the majority of MIDI keyboards. The synth-action keys utilize a spring and are composed of plastic. There’s no burden connected to the access of a synth-action MIDI keyboard, but if you press or release a key, it returns to its initial position with the support of spring, making it reasonably quickly.
As its name implies, the keys of semi-weighted keys critical activity MIDI computer use a lightweight attached to each key’s close. In cases like this, the keys are not made of plastic.
The semi-weighted keys activity keyboards aren’t as quick as the synth activity but provide you a slightly more realistic sense that’s somewhat near a conventional piano.
Fully-weighted key activity keyboards are as near as you can get into the secrets of a conventional piano. The fully-weighted essential activity type is mostly found in electronic pianos.
The sensation you get from these is not the same as that of a genuine conventional piano, but it is relatively close. The fully-weighted activity type is not as prevalent in MIDI keyboards, but a few MIDI keyboards using a high price range come equipped with them.
Would you like a computer keyboard for studio use, or can you, along with your keyboard, be traveling to gigs frequently? If that is true, you will need a mobile keyboard.
As stated previously, you can find MIDI keyboards that come in compact dimensions and more comfortable to travel with. The smaller the computer keyboard, the more mobile it is.
Would you like different noises from your computer keyboard past the conventional piano sounds? You will find MIDI keyboards on the market, including drum pads, so if you’re searching for writing some beats in your MIDI keyboard, these would be the ones to choose from.
The Added Features
A few MIDI keyboards come equipped with additional features like faders, buttons, knobs, arpeggiators, and much more. These features fall into the class of performance management.
The most apparent thing about keyboards with all these features is the more significant features a computer keyboard gets, the greater the cost. It is crucial to ascertain what features will help you and go for the appropriate MIDI keyboard.
Best Midi Keyboard 2021
1. M-Audio Hammer 88
The Hammer 88 from M-Audio is an absolute monster of the best MIDI keyboard controller. It is also the simplest in our top picks 10 since it has no more than 88 keys with an excellent hammer action feel.
Everything you get with all the Hammer 88 is a realistic piano playing experience. It is geared toward musicians who mostly play the piano but still need the choice to command all their VST’s.
This amount of precision from these keys’ weight and activity is not usually found at a MIDI controller. Therefore M-Audio is undoubtedly filling a gap in the industry here.
A master volume fader, together with pitch bend and modulation mod wheels, are the sole onboard controllers. The quantity fader can be assigned to control different parameters of your plugin/VST, so there’s some flexibility there.
- Unbelievably realistic/responsive feel.
- Pitch bend and modulation wheels.
- Three sustain pedal input signals.
- Assignable fader and wheels.
- Limited functionality.
- No drum pads.
2. Arturia KeyLab Vital 61
The KeyLab Mpc Essentials show is one of the best midi controllers on Amazon. The KeyLab Vital 61 is among the slickest-looking MIDI keyboard controls on our listing.
This one is all about the controller, controlling as far as you can without leaving the keyboard. The purpose is to boost your workflow, and also in audio production, which is vital.
The Key analog lab Vital 61 has transport controls that work flawlessly with all major DAW’s. Additionally, it includes nine assignable faders and nine assignable knobs that may control a massive number of real-time parameters. This implies less time clicking a mouse and much more time on the computer keyboard. The pitch bend and modulation wheels can also be assignable.
Additionally, there are eight quite good backlit, velocity-sensitive pads, maybe not quite MPC-quality but quite good nonetheless. You can program whole tracks with drums, keys, samples, etc. all from the Key analog lab, making it a powerful live performance instrument.
Arturia has included a Chord function, which allows you to activate complex chords by pressing on a single note, making makeup much easier/faster.
- Sleek yet good design.
- Tons of assignable controls.
- Pitch bend and modulation wheels.
- Eight drum/sample pads.
- Professional tier VST included.
- Drum/sample pads are somewhat small.
- This RockJam keyboard piano features 54 full size keys that gives this keyboard a traditional piano feel
- Compact and portable the RockJam 54 keyboard piano can be powered by either batteries and mains power (power supply included.) making it perfect for use both in the home and on the road
- Two Inbuilt stereo speakers provide excellent sound quality allowing you to monitor your practice and performances
- The sheet music stand is perfect for supporting either sheet music or tablet devices so you can read music or follow tuition as you play
- Exclusive access to content within the Simply piano application for both iOS and Android devices to assist keyboard piano players both young and old
3. NI Komplete Kontrol S88 MkII
Lately, Native Instruments is now a title which producers of all amounts are incredibly knowledgeable about. Their virtual tools are used anywhere, from bedroom demos into chart-topping strikes.
It is quite normal for a producer/musician to stick with a specific brand, and if you’re a NI plugin, then there is no better partner than their Komplete Kontrol S88.
NI’s Komplete tools are pre-mapped into the Kontrol S88, so there isn’t any messing about to have setup. When you utilize your VST’s, you will find two color displays that will help you find and choose whatever you want immediately.
Each key may also be illuminated by RGB lights in various colors to display different divided classes. By way of instance, when you’ve drums mapped to specific keys and synth seems to other people, drums might be purple and synths yellowish. It is not a build quality that will cause you to purchase this keyboard, but it’s among many tiny details that add up to make your job simpler.
It’s 88 hammer-action keys using a fairly persuasive feel that the weight provides enough resistance to become expressive. The keys have an aftertouch that tends to functions best on semi-weighted or milder tickets, but it’s still the best midi keyboard for beginners.
- Very good hammer-action keys.
- Twist decoration, pitch bend, and modulation wheel.
- RGB color indicators.
- Pre-mapped integration with Complete tools.
- Two high-res color displays.
- Komplete Kontrol and Komplete 12 Select included.
- No more drum/sample pads.
4. Akai MPK Road 88
Only launched earlier this season that the Akai MPK mini Road 88 is one of the best midi keyboard controllers. The MPK Road 88 is built to a habit severe flight case so that it’s travel-ready, then simply flip the lid, and it is ready for the stage.
It includes Akai’s exclusive Model-A key bed that is probably somewhere between an acoustic guitar along with a Fender Rhodes, quite pleasant for gigging.
As its name implies, it has 88 keys, and they include a rather lovely aftertouch quality that’s helpful for organ and synth voices.
Concerning onboard features, it does not have a lot of. You will find pitch bend and modulation wheels, transpose buttons along a master volume. Akai has been quite precise about this keyboard is though, it is a rocky, road-ready controller with a somewhat realistic critical activity. It was never designed to be anything else.
It features a 4-output soundcard, so it is possible to track your virtual devices to monitors, mixers, etc., simultaneously without any difficulties. On top of this, it comes prepared with a few first-class Digital tools, including AIR Music Tech DB-33, AIR Music Tech Velvet, and AIR Music Tech Mini Grand for Road 88.
- Realistic hammer-action keys.
- Incredibly rugged and durable.
- Custom built for a gigging musician.
- Travel-ready case.
- Three pedal input signals.
- Not excellent for home studio use.
- Limited functions.
- Music Production and Beat Maker Essential – USB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production
- Total Control of your Production - Innovative 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control, plus a built-in arpeggiator with adjustable resolution, range and modes
- The MPC Experience - 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style MIDI beat pads with Note Repeat & Full Level for programming drums, triggering samples and controlling virtual synthesizer / DAW controls
- Complete Command of your Virtual Instruments and FX - 8 360-degree knobs assign to all your music studio plugins for mixing, tweaking synth controls and more
- 1500+ Sounds and Everything You Need for Pro Production – Complete Music Production Starter Kit including MPC Beats, 6 Virtual Instruments and 2GB of sound content
5. Novation Launchkey 49 MkII
This is one of the best midi keyboard controllers this Keyboard Mini is not likely to be the first option if money is no object, but it must be among the. We’re taking a look at the 49-key model with 16 velocity-sensitive pads.
Novation isn’t any stranger to drum pads in the order expected they’re relatively excellent quality. The only criticism is they are a bit smaller than Akai’s MPC pads, but it isn’t a massive issue. That apart, the places are open, and you do get 16 in order a lot without needing to switch banks, particularly for a little keyboard.
Most importantly, the pads are eight fully assignable knobs, and rounding off the features are pitch bend and modulation wheels, transpose switches, and master volume.
Ableton Live Lite 9 comprises all the Launchkey 49, and if you’re an Ableton user, then a Novation controller is most probably the thing to do for you. Even though the Launchkey works nicely with other DAW’s, it had been purpose-built for Ableton and incorporated with it better than any further control.
The Launchkey is for producers that create many monitors and need that speedy workflow, particularly with Ableton. The package contains Novation Bass Station software synth, Novation V-Station applications synth, Addictive Keys, 4gb of articles from Loopmasters, and some free keyboard classes from Melodics.
- Excellent for Ableton users.
- 16 high-quality pads.
- Low cost.
- The critical activity could function better.
6. M-Audio Keystation 49 MkIII
Keystation controls have existed for quite a while, and you are never going to find a MIDI controller review post without a person, or you should not. They are not widely considered high-end MIDI controls, but they provide excellent value for money, making them hugely familiar.
The Keystation 49 includes 49 velocity-sensitive keys, nothing overly fancy, but they’re full-sized and much more than responsive. It is not the most robust casing, but it is mild enough to carry anywhere, and it’ll endure several bumps easily.
Now the fantastic stuff, the Keystation 49 includes transportation controls, which are not typical in such a minimal cost control. Aside from the transportation controllers, you’ll find pitch bend and modulation wheels along with a master volume, all of which are assignable.
The wheels’ standard is not acceptable and does not feel as exact as they are, but you need to keep everything in context.
By context, we mean consider everything you get for the money. You receive an extremely reliable MIDI keyboard from a dependable name; you receive transportation controls to incorporate with your DAW, which is light enough to travel easily.
The Keystation probably is not likely to shirt some other lists, but it should be there since anybody who has employed MIDI keyboards for some time has probably owned one at any point and had no complaints.
- Low cost.
- Shipping controllers.
- No pads.
- Perhaps not the most flexible.
- 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 ProTools, First Alesis Edition, Ableton Live Lite 9 and Eleven Lite, plus Mini Grand, DB-33 and Xpand 2 virtual instrument software by Air Music Tech
7. Nektar SE25 MIDI keyboard
If you are somebody who’s always making music on the move, a pint-sized MIDI controller keyboard that will fit in a notebook bag is a vital product. Nektar’s SE25 shows ardently that features and playability should not be sacrificed for the sake of portability and size.
Just outpriced from the funding MIDI controllers bets by the ever-so-slightly more affordable Akai LPK25 (which does not provide any DAW integration), Nektar’s brand new pocket powerhouse represents incredible value for the money.
Where else can you access Nektar DAW integration for Bitwig, Cubase, Garageband, Logic, Nuendo, Digital Performer, Mixcraft, Reason, Reaper, Sonar, and Studio One to get a measly 44 quid?
- Extraordinary Price
- Nektar DAW integration
- Fits in a notebook bag
- Not much
8. Korg MicroKey 2 Air 25
The micro critical two Air range comprises 25-, 37-, 49- and – 61-note repeat, all of which benefit from operating wirelessly over Bluetooth. If you would like to utilize this feature, you will need to put in a few AA batteries, but these last for a fantastic amount of time, and grand old USB bus-powering is also an alternative.
The micro critical two Air 25 is not the very controller-packed computer keyboard, but it provides you the fundamentals and performs much better than most of its rivals. Additionally, it is simple to establish and function, so if you would like to free yourself from the tyranny of wires, you have discovered the MIDI controller keyboard you want. It is one of the USB midi keyboards.
- Works wirelessly
- Decent All-natural Touch keyboard
- Very compact
- Mini keys are not for Everybody.
- Standalone Piano Style Keyboard – Portable mini keyboard and USB MIDI controller with 25 velocity-sensitive synthesizer action keys, pitch/mod joystick control, plus 128 sounds and 10 drum kits
- Play Anywhere – Built in speaker, 1/8-inch headphone output and battery powered specification (3 x AA batteries – not included) for performing and producing on the go
- Beat Maker Essential – Two banks of eight ultra-responsive backlit MIDI drum pads with Note Repeat and Full Level functions for drum machine style performance and music production
- Tweak, Customize – Two banks of four knobs (eight total) to tweak internal sounds or software parameters; in standalone mode control chorus, reverb, filter, EQ and envelope controls
- The MPC Production Experience - Includes MPC Beats Software complete with the finest features and essential production tools from the Akai Professional MPC Series
9. Novation Launchkey 37 Mk3
Common to all Novation’s’Mk3′ Launchkey apparatus (you can find 25-, 37-, 49- and 61-key versions ) is a slick, matte-black appearance and low-profile layout, together with a string of new features designed to make the most of upgraded components of Ableton Live.
These include a button to trigger Live’s Capture MIDI instrument, together with Push-style device-control, which makes use of eight rotaries sitting across the surface of the controller.
These hottest Launchkeys also gain excellent standalone Chord, Scale, and Arpeggiator manners, which may be utilized with or without a pc. All controls in the Launchkey range have a hardware MIDI outside, so users can benefit from those features to control hardware synths also.
Apart from that, you will find 16 backlit, velocity-sensitive pads, a streamlined parameter screen, and a good harvest of buttons for surfing and transportation control. Both the places and the keyboards themselves are updated for this creation, and the two feel good with adequate speed answers (although no aftertouch).
- Tight management of Ableton Live
- Adequate compatibility with Logic Pro X
- Excellent compromise between size and performance
- MIDI output, custom styles permit use with external hardware
- You May Not like the mod and pitch wheels over the keyboard
10. IK Multimedia iRig Keys I/O 49
The iRig Keys I/O unites a MIDI controller keyboard and sound interface into one unit and is intended to be as streamlined as possible without compromising playability. Also, it will come with a badly impressive line-up of bundled applications.
The not weighted key is responsive and light, with satisfying traveling and minimal lateral motion. The onboard sound interface works at up to 24-bit/96kHz and sounds great doing it.
The iRig Keys I/O 49 is small enough to locate an area on the busiest of studio desks, outfitted to manage standard recording responsibilities and overall purpose MIDI control on point and at the studio, and also a reasonably good price. What is more, it includes a software package.
- MIDI controllers and sound I/O in a single
- Impressive bundled applications
- Just One mono input
- Entry-level keyboard
- 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
- Customizable 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
- Premium Software suite included Pro Tools, First M Audio Edition recording software / DAW and AIR Music Tech Xpand 2 multitimbral synthesizer
Who’re Mini Controllers For?
MIDI controls were mainly created for home-based music producers employing digital audio workstations (DAW). This usually means that the most typical usage for contemporary MIDI controls links to a computer, either desktop or notebook.
This is further evidenced by the increase of USB MIDI instead of the traditional 5-pin MIDI connection.
But being for producers only’ isn’t a hard-set rule. A growing number of MIDI controls are geared towards actors and keyboardists. This increase was dubbed controller is from DJ and live celebrity Moldover back in 2005.
This tried to choose the best MIDI areas and unite them together with more traditionalist live operation styles. This involved sample tripping via pads, slow morphing changes with knobs, and dwell volume mixing with faders.
If this sounds familiar, that is because it is a paradigm embraced by the majority of modern point pianos, like the Roland RD-2000 that we commended for offering a great deal of hands-on management.
We have always advocated for utilizing point pianos in live performances, but I would argue that MIDI controls deserve just as much care.
Bands are integrating laptops and MIDI controls more and more in their live sets (even guitarists and drummers!). With the flexibility of applications using hands-on physical management is very stern.
With performance-oriented DAWs such as Ableton Live becoming more commonplace, there’s absolutely no reason to stop dabbling from the options.
Software is becoming more robust, with the largest latency barrier (or what we generally call lag) being less and less related to contemporary hardware.
I would say the conventional response of MIDI keyboards being rigorously for producers is obsolete. Any celebrity may gain from utilizing performance applications and MIDI controls.
Last update on 2020-12-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API