A stable MIDI controller keyboard is a must-have, and the best MIDI controller keyboards will elevate your songs to new heights. If you want to make music but don’t want to spend thousands on instruments, your best option is to go electronic and record with a MIDI keyboard.
These ubiquitous gadgets may be hooked straight into your PC or laptop through USB or even function wirelessly over Bluetooth in certain situations and let you perform and record with your DAW’s software instruments and any VST synth plugins you may have installed.
Some can also control hardware synthesisers, turning them into a central performance center for your studio. Depending on your requirements, you have a variety of alternatives to pick from. You may pick a full-size 88-note model with weighted hammer-action keys or a tiny, portable MIDI keyboard that fits neatly in a laptop bag.
Here are some of the best MIDI keyboards.
Best MIDI Keyboards In 2023 for Beginners to Pros
1. Nektar SE25
If you’re always composing music on the go, a portable MIDI controller keyboard that fits in your laptop bag is a must-have. The SE25 from Nektar proves that compactness and mobility don’t have to mean sacrificing functionality and playability. It is one of the best portable MIDI keyboards.
It is one of the best cheap midi keyboards. Only the somewhat less expensive Akai LPK25 (which lacks any type of DAW connectivity) comes close to matching Nektar’s latest pocket powerhouse in terms of budget controllers. It is one of the best budget midi keyboards. Where else can you get Nektar DAW integration for Bitwig, Cubase, Garageband, Logic, Nuendo, Digital Performer, Mixcraft, Reason, Reaper, Sonar and Studio One for a measly 44 quid?
Why We Like Nektar SE25:
- Affordable price
- Incredible features
- Highly compact
- Nektar DAW integration
2.Novation LaunchKey Mini Mk3
This pocket powerhouse, designed primarily for Ableton users and recently updated, is packed with features, many of which were missing from the previous version, such as pitch bend and modulation touch strips, a hardware MIDI out on a TRS jack, an incredibly flexible and versatile arpeggiator, a chord memory feature, and a great, deal-sweetening software bundle.
If you are wondering how to make EDM music with Ableton live, you are in the right place. Of course, the Launchkey Mini Mk3 isn’t only for Ableton users; it also works with other DAWs, but if you’re a Live user, it’s without a doubt the greatest option at this price. It is one of the best MIDI keyboards 2023.
Why we like Novation LaunchKey Mini Mk3:
- Sustain pedal input
- Brilliant integration
- MIDI out
- Fantastic arpeggiator
3. Arturia KeyStep 37
You can build quick chord sequences and progressions with a 37-note keyboard and a built-in chord mode. Don’t worry if you don’t know your piano scales. There’s also a scale option on the Arturia KeyStep 37, so you’ll never play the erroneous note.
This MIDI keyboard has excellent connectivity to your computer, DAW, and other hardware, including modular gear, allowing you to create a wide range of sounds. It is one of the best MIDI keyboards 2021 and the sequencer is a joy to use, with the ability to program up to 64 steps directly onto the keyboard itself.
Why we like Arturia KeyStep 37:
- RGB LED strip
- LED display
- Chord and scale functionality
- Sequencer and arpeggiator offer a lot of creative potential
4. Roli Seaboard Rise 49
Compact and slim, particularly if you choose the 25-note variant. The Seaboard Rise includes an internal battery that can be charged with a USB A connector and can last up to eight hours. Using its 24 ‘keywaves’, you can shape notes as you play, adjusting the character of the sound with your finger movements.
As a wireless, portable, multitouch controller for gigging, travelling, or in the studio, Seaboard Block is a godsend, and retains the upmarket feel of its bigger siblings in a more affordable form-factor. It is one of the best mini-MIDI keyboards. There’s a USB B connector for connecting to your computer or other devices, as well as an input for an external foot pedal. The Roli is also the only keyboard on the list that supports full MIDI via Bluetooth, which is rather astounding.
Why we like Roli Seabord Rise 49:
- Elegant design
- Sturdy built
- Long-lasting battery
- Unique-playing experience
5. Nektar Impact LX25+
It is one of the best MIDI keyboards for FL studio. Despite being designed for use with the Nektar DAW it is interchangeable with a whole host of others. It features semi-weighted keys spanning 2 octaves which give them a less synthesized feel and makes the response more natural. It has octave and transpose buttons along with 2 wheels for pitch and modulation bends.
In addition, there is a miniature fader bar and 8 rotational pots which reflect the Nektar dials but which can take care of everything from oscillation settings, resonance, and cut-off, or be mapped as individual channel controls. It connects via USB and is also compatible with android devices should you wish. It has a 1/4″ jack auxiliary input for hooking up a foot-operated switch.
Why we like Nektar Impact LX25+
- Range of controls on offer
- Navigable layout
- Syncs on startup
6. Novation Impulse 49 USB
Logic Pro X was created by Apple, giving music producers a great piece of software for their musical creations. Novation Impulse 49 USB MIDI Controller Keyboard a great option for those who love to play their own music. It uses Automap 4 Control Software, which integrates almost seamlessly with Logic Pro X, as well as Pro Tool, Ableton, and many more. It is the best midi keyboard for logic pro x.
Other features include the eight knobs, nine faders, and a few buttons, plus a custom LCD screen. This control panel gives you the ability to adjust and control every aspect with very little effort. There is no power cord needed, as the Impulse uses the USB to give it power. There are also MIDI in and out ports, plus expression and sustain pedal inputs, just in case you need them.
Why we like Novation Impulse 49 USB:
- Good response on keys and pads
- Solid build
- Multiple controls
- Keyboard aftertouch
7. Alesis V25 25-key Keyboard Controller
If you are looking for a top performing MIDI keyboard for Ableton Live, you should not miss AlexisV25. This is one of the best midi keyboards for Ableton that allows you to take full control of your music software.
This keyboard controller features 25 mini-size keys that can let you expand it for use in playing bass lines, melodies and chord lines. Another thing that makes it a great pick is its USB MIDI connectivity for PC and MAC.
Why we like Alesis V25 25-key Keyboard Controller:
- USB powered controller
- Does not require sockets
- 61 responsive keys
- Connectivity for MAC and PC
8. CME Xkey Air
Garageband might not have the power and flexibility of a professional DAW but for many musicians, it’s perfect and the first introduction to music production. If you are looking for one of the best midi keyboards for garageband, then you should not miss CME Xkey Air. While the keybed isn’t as good as some of the premium wired offerings, the bluetooth implementation remains top notch.
Why we like CME Xkey Air:
- Sleek, elegant build
- Durable construction
- Great connectivity
- Bluetooth connectivity
9. Keith McMillen Instruments QuNexus
If you would like to expand your MIDI keyboard beyond the DAW, into hardware synths and the like – consider this bad boy. It’s like the grandparent to the K-Board (literally too because it came before it) – it’s got the same layout, even a lot of the same buttons, but more ports and more internal functionality. Worth the extra money if you like a bit more flexibility. It is one of the best midi keyboards for EDM producers.
Why we like Keith McMillen Instruments QuNexus:
- 25 pad-style keys
- USB powered
- Individual key tilt for pitch control
- Velocity toggle
10. M-Audio Hammer
The Hammer 88 is M-Audio’s premium MIDI controller, built for professional through to beginner players. It is one of the best weighted midi keyboards. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that some other modern MIDI keyboards have, like fancy LEDs and drum pads, but where it excels is its classic piano like feel due to its fully weighted hammer action keys. It is one of the best midi keyboards for playing piano.
Why we like M-Audio Hammer 88:
- 88 Keys
- Pitch bend and mod wheel
- Volume fader
- USB or External PSU Powered
MIDI Keyboards: Adding Flair to Your Shows
Artists may manipulate various elements of music in real-time using MIDI controllers. This allows them to do something fresh and exciting at each show. Many of the best MIDI keyboards also come with mapping templates for the most popular DAWs – Ableton Live, Logic Pro, FL Studio, etc. – making it easy to get up and running and start producing music right out of the box. There are many of the best midi keyboards for pro tools 11 too. You can choose any according to your preference. Some MIDI controllers even include elaborate lighting systems that may truly make your concert stand out.