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The Top 10 Best MIDI Keyboard Controllers for Music Production

The Top 10 Best MIDI Keyboard Controllers for Music Production

So, you may be wondering, what is a MIDI Keyboard Controller? A MIDI Keyboard Controller is simply a keyboard that translates MIDI data information into your DAW. In other words, a MIDI input keyboard that take the notes your play, and lays them out in your respective DAW.

Now that we have established what a MIDI Keyboard is for those who may not have known, we can move on to the list. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for the best MIDI keyboard 2019 or the best MIDI keyboard 2020. We have complied our top picks for the best MIDI keyboards for Music Production Period!

 

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  1. Nektar SE25

Nektar SE25

 The Nektar SE25 MIDI Keyboard is a great add, especially for the beginner mobile producer. This MIDI controller is quite small but still packs a punch with its incredible features. Its small enough to fit in your laptop bag and cheaper than most other MIDI keyboard controllers in its price range.

 The thing I love the most about this keyboard is its DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) integration features. You are able to control the Transport functions and Track selection directly from the MIDI Keyboard itself. Currently this integration supports the following Digital Audio Workstations. Bitwig, Cubase, Garageband, Logic Pro, Nuendo, Digital Performer, FL Studio, Mixcraft, Reason, Reaper, Sonar, and Studio One.

 Checkout Prices: Nektar SE25 💰

 

  1. Novation 49 SL MK2

Novation SL Mk2

The Novation SL MK2 is both sleek and pretty amazing to look at cosmetically. This MIDI input keyboard is much more than just a MIDI controller that can control you DAW (Digital Audio Workstation. This MIDI keyboard also has an onboard eight channel sequencer with many different forms of both analog and digital outputs.

 One of the most prominent features I love about this MIDI keyboard controller is its ability to sequence analog hardware, MIDI hardware, and Plugins. As an owner of my vintage synths and drum machines this was definitely a win for me. No more will you need to have an external MIDI interface to solve these issues when you purchase the Novation SL MK2. Definitely one of the best MIDI keyboards for beginners and experts. Innovation at its finest!

 Checkout Prices: Novation 49 SL MK2 💰

 

  1. Arturia Keystep MIDI Keyboard

Arturia Keystep

 The Keystep MIDI keyboard by Arturia is quite the MIDI controller in regards to its amazing capabilities. The Keystep has four sequencing channels, each of which can record up to 64 steps. Each of these are also polyphonic with up to 16 notes per step. The track 2,3, and 4 each have an arpeggiator while track 1 can be used as a 24-part drum sequencer.

 The polyphonic step sequencer also has 8 programmable memories that you can recall, all at the turn of a knob. The ability to transpose your track and adjust swing times on the fly also makes this MIDI controller perfect for the live scene as well. In my opinion this one of the best all in one MIDI keyboards on the market period.

 Checkout Prices: Arturia Keystep MIDI Keyboard 💰

 

  1. Novation Launchkey

Novation Launchkey

The Novation Launchkey series is definitely one of my favorites as I actually personally own one. The thing I love about this series of Keyboard with MIDI is its versatility. Ideally developed for Ableton Live users, this MIDI controller also has a nice arpeggiator and a chord memory feature as well.

 For Ableton users the buttons and transport are integrated directly with the clips list and other features. This MIDI input keyboard is not exclusive to Ableton however, and works with all the other great Digital Audio Workstations as well. This is absolutely one of the great keyboards with MIDI, especially given the price point.

 Checkout Prices: Novation Launchkey 💰

 

  1. Arturia Keylab

Arturia Keylab

The Keylab by Arturia is an absolute gem, especially when compared to its little brother the Arturia Keystep. The Keylab features velocity sensitive after touch capabilities as well as backlit drum pads and 3 assignable auxiliary pedal inputs.

 The greatest part about this MIDI keyboard to me is its direct integration with Arturia’s Analog 3 software. These are virtual renditions of classic synths used on classic records from the 70’s and 80’s. The MIDI controller is also able to operate in 3 distinct modes. DAW, Analog Lab, and User respectively. This MIDI keyboard is a great addition to any music producer’s arsenal.

 Checkout Prices: Arturia Keylab 💰

🔥Download our extensive library of FREE Omnisphere kits, Sample Packs, Drum Kits and more – CLICK HERE

 

  1. Akai MPK249

Akai MPK249

 Akai for me has always been king since I first got my hands on their MPC2000 13 years ago. Their legacy has always been unmatched, so when I heard of their MPK249 MIDI keyboard controller, I had to take notice. One of the features I love are the 16 MPC pads that are actually the exact same pads Akai uses on their new MPC’s. Other notable features include USB MIDI input and output, MPC note repeat, MPC swing, and full-size keys with aftertouch.

 As if this wasn’t enough the MIDI controller also comes with the VIP 3.0 software that is integrated into Akai products for hands-on control of virtual instruments. It also contains Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 from AIR Music Tech, SONiVOX Twist 2.0, and Akai Pro MPC Essentials software. So much bang for your buck in this MIDI input keyboard.

 Checkout Prices: Akai MPK249 💰

 

  1. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49

The Komplete Kontrol S49 MIDI keyboard is quite popular in the industry music producer world and for good reason. This MIDI controllers and accompanying software are simply unmatched. Essentially this software can integrate with Plugins and you can create tagged based preset browsing to find and audition sounds quickly and instantly.

 All Native Instrument and NKS (Native Kontrol Standard) compatible plugins also have the controls pre-mapped on the keyboard as well. One of my favorite features however is RGB lights above each key that can highlight drum cells, key switches, scales, chords and more making creating music much easier.

 Checkout Prices: Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49

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  1. Akai MPK Mini 3

Akai MPK Mini 3

 The new Akai MPK Mini 3 is Akai’s newest keyboard and has made some major upgrades to the series. It has 8 assignable backlit pads that are the same ones from the new MPC series. It also boasts a vivid OLED display that shows you instant feedback on any parameter you manipulate and the classic Note repeat parameter as well.

 Towards the top of the MIDI keyboard there is a 4-way joystick that controls pitch and modulation as well a built-in arpeggiator button. The 25 key MIDI controller also has a sustain input jack on the back and sustain, mode, division, latch, oct, and sync control knobs as well for extra control and feel.

 Checkout Prices: Akai MPK Mini 3 💰

 

  1. Roli Seaboard Block

Roli Seaboard Block

 The Seaboard Block by ROLI is a very innovative MIDI keyboard that is less traditional than the other choices for best MIDI keyboard controller. Using the pressure-sensitive surface, you can shape the notes as you play adjusting the character of the sound with each movement of your finger.

 Another great feature on this product is its wireless and has multitouch capabilities perfect for live performances and gigging. Because the MIDI controller is wireless, it uses a re-chargeable battery and Bluetooth technology to access the sounds. This can also be achieved with a USB and IOS apps as well.

 Checkout Prices: Roli Seaboard Block 💰

 

  1. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32

The M32 MIDI keyboard by Native Instruments to me is the most versatile and portable MIDI keyboard controller on the market. The MIDI controller squeezes 32 keys into a portable lightweight keyboard with most of the same features of the S49 A series. One notable change is the pitch and mod wheel parameters have been replaced with Touchstrips.

 The MIDI input keyboard has an integration via the NKS (Native Control Standard) feature that allows you to browse and tag plugin presets as well as control the transport of your favorite DAW’s like Logic Pro, Garageband, and Ableton Live. The smart play feature also allows scale snapping, chord triggering, and arpeggiation too. For the price and portability, this is by far the best MIDI keyboard controller on the market.

 Checkout Prices: Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 💰

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, having the right MIDI keyboard controller is really dependent to what best suits your needs. With such a plethora of choices, it really comes down to which MIDI keyboard can best be integrated with the current workflow you have. However we have laid out 10 of the best choices we feel will accompany you best in this journey.

What are your favorite MIDI Keyboard Controllers for Music Production? Did yours make our list? Comment Below.

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