Best Midi Keyboard For Piano Players – MIDI keyboard controllers have become the most widely used tools in the music industry today, and for good reason: they’re universal.
If you go to a concert and the band uses keyboards, chances are you’ll see a controller or two on stage.
Best Midi Keyboard For Piano Players
If you’re a keyboard player, you should choose a MIDI keyboard controller, and if you’re a studio producer, you might want a MIDI drum pad instead, so you don’t have to press actual keys.
What Is A Midi Keyboard And What Is It Used For?
If you’re a musician with hardware synthesizers and aren’t sure about investing in MIDI controllers because you’re not familiar with them, I suggest you do it and jump in.
There’s definitely a reason so many musicians use them, and they’ve become the industry standard from writing to performance.
For keyboards, I break down 25, 49, 61, and 88 key MIDI keyboards. I will also talk about drum controllers and MIDI foot controllers.
Pro tip: If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, check out the best mini MIDI controllers.
The Best Midi Keyboard Controllers: How They Work And What To Buy
A few obvious reasons: they’re simple, portable, and can give you almost any sound used in your recording for playback in a live show.
These keyboards are used at all levels for touring bands, whether playing at a local bar or an arena.
Over the last five years of touring, I’d say I’ve seen it used by some of the best in the business at probably 85% of the shows I’ve played while touring the US and Canada.
For me, I’ve always wanted to be able to have the same sounds we have on our records live. A MIDI keyboard controller was a good starting point for me to see if this was really the direction I wanted to go.
Digital Pianos & Keyboards For Professionals: Popular Options With More Than 70 Keys
The upside of these keyboards is that they’re generally not expensive, allowing you to get your feet wet before making a big investment.
Before I get into my favorite controllers, Nektar came out with a nice keyboard called the Panorama T4. I highly recommend checking out my review of it here. The keyboard is ridiculously good at mimicking a realistic feel.
To start this list for MIDI keyboards, let’s take a look at 25 amazing keys.
The Novation Launchkey MK3 25 is one of the controllers I recommend to anyone starting out. It has software, controls and is compatible with all DAWs.
Midi: Your Guide To Midi And Midi Controllers
The Novation Launchkey MK3 has been released for the original Novation keyboards so far. The first synthesizer I bought was a innovation, and that was about 8 years ago.
The Novation Launchkey MK3 is one of the best keyboards you can use with Ableton Live, as it is designed for that specific DAW. Right out of the box, this works instantly with your Ableton Live, meaning no setup required.
The drum pads in the Mk3 for Ableton Live are color-coded, allowing you to stay organized. The color in Ableton corresponds directly to the colors of your pads.
It’s the price that draws me so much to this controller. Novation has created a product that is very affordable yet very effective.
Do You Need A Computer To Use A Midi Keyboard? (answered)
The MPK 225 is a portable yet powerful option for beginners. With an impressive number of pads and controls, the MPK225 gives producers everything they need to get started.
Akai Professional MPK2 is one of the best MIDI keyboards. When talking about the best controllers out there, Akai is sure to be mentioned often.
What I like about Akai products is that they are easy to map with your software. Some of the cheaper controllers perform poorly when it comes to programming pads and triggers.
Akai products come with their own VIP software that features world-class VSTs. This award-winning software instantly gives you sounds that you can use without spending time on programming.
Best Midi Keyboards For Ableton Live In 2023 (reviews)
I really like the drum pads on this keyboard as they are very velocity sensitive and not buggy at all.
The big problem with cheap products is that the cushioning performance is not great and they end up being more trouble than they are worth.
Depending on the size of keyboard you get, you get 8 or 16 drum pads. This 25-key MIDI controller has 8 pads and any size beyond that has 16 pads. So if pads are what you want, you might want to buy a keyboard with more than 25 keys.
The power supply for the Akai MPK2 is a USB cable, like most products. The useful thing about the product is that this keyboard has MIDI and USB output.
Best Midi Keyboards For Beginners 2023
Fully compatible with all major DAWs, the MPD 226 is perfect for those who want to make beats quickly.
The Akai Professional MPD226 is a fantastic MIDI drum pad controller with 16 LED lighted pads that have 4 different banks.
It also has 4 faders, 4 switches and 4 control buttons for maximum control over your device. It comes with a free version of Ableton Live, which is a really solid DAW.
Akai Professional MPD226 pads are very thick and speed sensitive. Having pads that are velocity sensitive is important because it gives you the power to play the pads more dynamically and allows you to play more expressively.
Best Online Piano Lessons Apps For Learning Fast In 2023
This drum pad has dedicated transport controls and I love how durable the pads are on it. Often with MIDI instruments you can find cheap unresponsive drum pads and this is the exact opposite.
This is a good option at a reasonable price. There are other products in this price range, but I recommend this one because I love the drum pads on this controller because they are so versatile.
The Akai Professional MPD226 is now a MIDI controller for those who want to take advantage of drum pads.
Native Instruments Maschine MK3 is a solid look at a drum controller for Ableton. Although not made specifically for Ableton, it’s a great all-in-one option.
The 7 Best Midi Keyboards Under $200 (2022)
The Native Instruments Maschine MK3 drum controller is very similar in power to other Native Instruments controllers.
The user interface is not super simple and it is very easy to use, so be patient and watch the videos on YouTube to really discover the special features and functions of this product. The drum pads are also made slightly larger than your typical MIDI drum products, and I really appreciate that.
This controller comes with 8GB of excellent sample quality. Why is this important? Examples abound in the music world right now, no matter what genre of music you’re into. All buttons are touch-sensitive, which creates interesting dynamics when mixing different sounds.
I admire this instrument, but it is very expensive. If you’re looking for a keyboard that will last you a long time without upgrading, this is a good choice. This is not a product that you buy and expect to use for just one year, this is a product that you buy and use for years to come.
Oxygen Pro 49
Novation Launchkey MK III 49 is the latest version of the famous Launchkey series. The MKIII 49 is an incredible option and one of my favorite picks on the market.
The Novation SL MKIII 49 key is one of the best options on this list. In terms of compatibility, playability and portability, the SL MKIII is hard to match. Innovation has been smashing MIDI controllers for as long as I can remember.
If you’re an experienced producer, you’ll enjoy the fact that you can control external instruments directly from the SL MKIII. You also get access to an incredible sequencer with the SL MKIII.
The SL MKIII is my pick for the best 49 key solution. It is very user-friendly and has endless possibilities for exploitation.
Best Online Piano Lessons 2023
If you use Komplete, this is an incredible opportunity. It gives you complete power control when used with the right DAW and unmatched software. You also get Komplete 13 for a limited time.
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol 2 is a very powerful and expensive instrument. The keybed is one of those things that gets a lot of people involved, because the keybed is half the weight faster.
This is a big problem because most 49-key MIDI keyboards don’t have very good keybeds. The keys have backtouch, which is a big plus, as some don’t.
If you’re looking at this tool, you’ll want to make sure you have a powerful PC or MacBook, as this tool is very CPU intensive. The pitch shifter on this product is really accurate and that’s one of the things that musicians really like.
The 9 Best Midi Keyboards In 2023
I endorse this product, but it is expensive and not for everyone