5 Best Midi Keyboards in 2022


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Midi keyboards, also known as midi controllers, are an instrument used by performers and music producers around the world that have the ability to add melodies and bass lines to songs without having to bring additional instruments.

However, it can be difficult to know which midi keyboard is going to be best for your music, especially for beginners who have never used one before, which is why we have gathered the best midi keyboards available on the market that you should consider as well as an exclusive Buyers Guide and FAQ where you can learn everything you need to know when conducting your research.

This will allow you to make a fully informed decision with confidence.

Here are the best midi keyboards available on the market that you should consider:

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included (Grey)

Our first recommendation is the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 which is essential for beat makers and music production as it comes with 25 mini velocity sensitive keys which is great for those wanting to delve into studio production, virtual synthesizer control, and beat production.

This unit allows you to take total control of your production thanks to the innovative four way thumbstick that provides dynamic pitch and modulation control while the built-in arpeggiator has adjustable resolution, range, and modes.

You will have a full MPC experience thanks to the eight backlit velocity sensitive MPC style midi beat pads that is developed by Note Repeat.

What makes this our top pick is that this midi keyboard comes complete with a full level for programming drums, triggering samples, and controlling virtual synthesizer and DAW controls making it extremely versatile and compatible in use for all kinds of music.

This unit provides you with complete command of your virtual instruments with plenty of knobs that are assigned to your music studio plugins for mixing and tweaking synth controls among much more making it the best option for all skill levels and abilities.

Pros:

  • Essential for beat makers and music production as it comes with 25 mini velocity sensitive keys which is great for those wanting to delve into studio production, virtual synthesizer control, and beat production
  • Allows you to take total control of your production thanks to the innovative four way thumbstick that provides dynamic pitch and modulation control while the built-in arpeggiator has adjustable resolution, range, and modes
  • Provides you with complete command of your virtual instruments with plenty of knobs that are assigned to your music studio plugins for mixing and tweaking synth controls among much more making it the best option for all skill levels and abilities

Cons:

  • High price point
AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included (Grey)
  • 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

Also available at: https://www.akaipro.com/mpk-mini-mk3

Arturia MiniLab MkII 25 Slim-Key Controller

Arturia MiniLab MkII 25 Slim-Key Controller

Our second selection is the Arturia MiniLab MkII 25 Slim-Key Controller which is a portable and compact midi controller that is ideal for those who plan to use their unit for performances that require a lot of travelling.

This is one of the most responsive keyboards on our list thanks to the extremely sensitive keys that respond quickly to touch while 500 of the V Collection 8 presets with 21 keyboard instruments and synthesizers which are fully mapped right out of the box which is ideal for all skill levels and abilities.

This midi keyboard is the perfect solution to get started with music production in particular which makes it ideal for beginners who may be intimidated by the technology involved but are eager to learn the basic techniques.

It comes with 16 assignable encoders to control your DAW making it great for creating any kind of music with ease while also ensuring that you can experiment with your sound.

Pros:

  • Is a portable and compact midi controller that is ideal for those who plan to use their unit for performances that require a lot of travelling
  • One of the most responsive keyboards on our list thanks to the extremely sensitive keys that respond quickly to touch while 500 of the V Collection 8 presets with 21 keyboard instruments and synthesizers which are fully mapped right out of the box which is ideal for all skill levels and abilities
  • The perfect solution to get started with music production in particular which makes it ideal for beginners who may be intimidated by the technology involved but are eager to learn the basic techniques

Cons:

  • Not suitable for two-handed playing
Sale
Arturia MiniLab MkII 25 Slim-Key Controller
  • Portable and Compact - MIDI Controller
  • The most responsive keyboard experience in its category
  • 500 of the V-Collection 8 presets / 21 Keyboard Instruments and Synthesizers / fully mapped right out of the box
  • The perfect solution to get started with music production
  • 16 Assignable Encoders to control your DAW

Also available at: https://www.arturia.com/products/hybrid-synths/minilab-mkii/overview

Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] 25-Mini-Key MIDI Keyboard

Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] — Portable 25-Key, USB, MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW Integration. Chord Mode, Scale Mode, and Arpeggiator — for Music Production

Our third choice is the Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] 25-Mini-Key MIDI Keyboard which provides a seamless music making experience with Ableton Live as you will have all of the tools at your disposal as well as Ableton Live’s intuitive control including device macro control, track select, record, capture MIDI, clip and scene launch, stop, mute, solo, volume, pans, and sends.

Extremely advanced in its settings, the Launchkey Mini’s creative arpeggiator allows you to change the rhythm, beat, pattern, octave, and gate among much more meaning that you can add a whole range of diversity to your music.

This midi keyboard allows you to lay down chords for your track quick with fixed chord mode as you can play a chord with one finger by assigning a fixed shape to the keys which will transpose as you move up and down the keyboard.

This midi keyboard can go anywhere with you and allows you to send apps and program changes to your hardware synths with MIDI Out or add keys to the Groovebox directly while the lightweight and compact design makes it easy for transporting.

It has bus-powered hardware which specifically caters to those who will be travelling a lot with the instrument.

It comes with 25 keys with 16 velocity sensitive RGB, eight rotary controls, pitch and mod touch strips, and sustain input with excellent integrations with Reason making it extremely versatile and compatible for any kind of musical setup.

Pros:

  • Provides a seamless music making experience with Ableton Live as you will have all of the tools at your disposal as well as Ableton Live’s intuitive control including device macro control, track select, record, capture MIDI, clip and scene launch, stop, mute, solo, volume, pans, and sends
  • Allows you to lay down chords for your track quick with fixed chord mode as you can play a chord with one finger by assigning a fixed shape to the keys which will transpose as you move up and down the keyboard
  • Comes with 25 keys with 16 velocity sensitive RGB, eight rotary controls, pitch and mod touch strips, and sustain input with excellent integrations with Reason making it extremely versatile and compatible for any kind of musical setup

Cons:

  • Can be difficult for beginners to use thanks to the advanced features and settings
Sale
Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] — Portable 25-Key, USB, MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW Integration. Chord Mode, Scale Mode, and Arpeggiator — for Music Production
  • 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.

Also available at: https://novationmusic.com/en/keys/launchkey-mini

Alesis V25 – 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard

Alesis V25 - 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Professional Software Suite Included

Our penultimate recommendation is the Alesis V25 – 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard which have 25 full-sized, velocity sensitive square-front keys which make it perfect for playing all kinds of virtual instruments meaning that they are ideal for all kinds of musical genres and musicians.

The 8 velocity and pressure sensitive backlit pads are great for beat production and clip launching while the four assignable and four assignable buttons interface with your music software which allows for seamless and visual feedback through the illuminated buttons and knobs.

Great for those who want to work with a wider musical range thanks to the number of keys, this midi keyboard gives you the option to choose how many keys you want so you can make sure that you get the most out of it.

This midi keyboard has octave up and down buttons which let you access the full keyboard range while the pitch and modulation wheels help to deliver expressive and creative control meaning that you can experiment with your sound and get the best results.

It comes with premium software including ProTools, First Alesis Edition, Ableton Live Lite 9 and Eleven Lite as well as Mini Grand, DB-33, and Xpand 2 virtual instrument software by Air Music Tech so you can be assured of the versatility and scope available when you create your own music.

Pros:

  • The 8 velocity and pressure sensitive backlit pads are great for beat production and clip launching while the four assignable and four assignable buttons interface with your music software which allows for seamless and visual feedback through the illuminated buttons and knobs
  • Has octave up and down buttons which let you access the full keyboard range while the pitch and modulation wheels help to deliver expressive and creative control meaning that you can experiment with your sound and get the best results
  • Comes with premium software including ProTools, First Alesis Edition, Ableton Live Lite 9 and Eleven Lite as well as Mini Grand, DB-33, and Xpand 2 virtual instrument software by Air Music Tech so you can be assured of the versatility and scope available when you create your own music

Cons:

  • Takes up a lot of space
Alesis V25 - 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Professional Software Suite Included
  • MIDI Keyboard with 25 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

Also available at: https://alesis.com/products/view2/v25

MIDIPLUS AKM320 USB MIDI Keyboard

MIDIPLUS AKM320 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, Black, 32-key

Our final selection is the MIDIPLUS AKM320 USB MIDI Keyboard which comes with 32 mini keys velocity sensitive keys that are especially ideal for beginners who want a cheaper model that will allow you to learn the basics without feeling overwhelmed by the technology.

This midi keyboard comes with pitch, modulation, octave, and transpose functions so you will have control over your creative process, allowing you to experiment with your sound while also featuring sustain interface.

It does not include a sustain pedal but you can optionally purchase one should you wish to.

This midi keyboard comes with a USB B-type to connect to the computer and comes with the USB cable to allow you to do so making it versatile and compatible in use.

It is easy to set up and use thanks to its simple design and simply requires you to plug in and play and can be used with a variety of devices including Windows and Mac devices making it highly convenient for any kind of setup and environment.

Pros:

  • Comes with 32 mini keys velocity sensitive keys that are especially ideal for beginners who want a cheaper model that will allow you to learn the basics without feeling overwhelmed by the technology
  • Comes with pitch, modulation, octave, and transpose functions so you will have control over your creative process, allowing you to experiment with your sound while also featuring sustain interface
  • Easy to set up and use thanks to its simple design and simply requires you to plug in and play and can be used with a variety of devices including Windows and Mac devices making it highly convenient for any kind of setup and environment

Cons:

  • Not as durable as other options on this list
Sale
MIDIPLUS AKM320 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller, Black, 32-key
  • 32 mini-keys velocity sensitive keyboard
  • Pitch, modulation, octave, transpose function
  • Sustain interface (Not include sustain pedal)
  • USB B-type to connect computer (include USB cable)
  • Plug and play with Windows, Mac devices

Also available at: https://www.midiplus.com/html/AKM320.html

Buyers Guide

When conducting your research, there are always specific factors that you will have to look into before making your purchase. This will allow you to learn what to expect from the product and prevent any disappointment when it arrives.

Always think about the materials that the unit is made from, how many keys it has, what additional features it has, and your budget. Once you have weighed these aspects against your own needs and requirements, you’ll be able to make a fully informed decision with confidence.

Material

The first thing you should think about is what materials the unit is made from, as this will determine the longevity and quality of the product.

When researching which midi keyboard is right for you, you need to think about what you will be using the product for and where you will be using it.

If you plan on travelling a lot with the keyboard, then make sure that it is made from a more sturdy and resilient material as it will travel better and last longer.

Keys

The next factor you should consider is how many keys you want the midi keyboard to have. Depending on the size and model, midi keyboards can have as little as 25 keys and as many as 61 meaning that there is a lot of scope for choice.

Bear in mind that models with fewer keys will be easier to travel with as they will be more compact; however, they will compromise your musical output as you will be more limited in the notes you can play.

On the other hand, midi keyboards with more keys are ideal for those who want to play around with a wider range of notes, but they tend to take up a lot of space.

Features

Another important factor that you should always think about is what features come with the midi keyboard.

If you are a beginner and are feeling intimidated by the idea of a midi keyboard, then making sure you purchase a unit that has limited features and settings will allow you to learn the basic techniques without feeling swamped by the technology.

However, those who are more advanced and familiar with midi keyboards will want to invest in a unit that has plenty of features and capabilities, as they may feel limited by a simpler model.

Budget

Lastly, always consider your budget. There are plenty of options available on the market at varying price points, which is evident from our recommendations, as there are choices at low and high price points included.

However, this means that whether you have the money to spend or are working with a stricter budget, you’ll be able to choose the model that works best for you without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does A Midi Keyboard Do?

Midi keyboards, or midi controllers as they are also known, allow you to add melodies and bass lines to tracks without having to splurge on additional instruments.

The way it does through midi data (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) which is sent to a synthesizer or computer.

Are Midi Keyboards Good For Beginners?

Midi keyboards are absolutely suitable for beginners and those aspiring to enter the music industry.

The great thing about midi keyboards is that there are plenty of affordable options on the market, so you don’t have to worry about splashing out tons of cash on something that you will never use.

Why Do I Need A Midi Keyboard?

Midi keyboards are an ideal instrument for any aspiring music producer or performer, as they provide a more natural sound compared to playing programmed sounds on a computer.

A midi keyboard allows you to add melodies and bass lines to your track while saving you space from bringing additional instruments to performances with you.