While it’s entirely possible to create music on your computer using a keyboard and mouse, it tends to leave a lot to be desired. This is where keyboard midi controller devices come into the equation. They tend to provide drastically improved control and can help with the music creation process. Our article is going to help you find the best midi controller keyboard by reviewing eight of the top recommended products currently available.
When creating our list of the best midi controller keyboards, we utilized a combination of several criteria during the selection process. One of the most important things we looked at was portability and device compatibility. We also factored in modulation setting options as well. However, we would like to point out that our recommendations are not organized in any particular order. All of our selections were made using the criteria we mentioned.
Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller
One of the best midi controller keyboard models is the Nektar Impact LX49. The keyboard features 49 different control keys that are ideal for moderate music composition needs. One of the best things about this particular product is that it features pitch and modulation adjustment wheels on the side of the keyboard.
Another feature that we would like to point out with this particular model is that it’s compatible with a wide range of operating systems. You can easily connect it to Windows, Mac, and iOS devices. It also comes with a Bitwig 8-track DAW system too. While it does support a foot switch pedal, it’s important to note that this must be purchased separately.
Akai Professional LPK25 | 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
When it comes to compact design, one of the best midi controller keyboard picks available is the Akai Professional LPK25. It weighs just 1.41 ounces and is extremely portable. Even with its small size, it still manages to squeeze in 25 separate keys along the layout. This controller also has a built-in arpeggiator system to help with creating music.
However, users should be aware that the controls for this particular device are positioned very close together. Overall, we feel that this is a small price to pay for the portability and ease of use that this particular controller system offers users.
M-Audio Hammer 88 | 88-Key Hammer-Action USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
The M-Audio Hammer is one of the best midi controller keyboard models designed for experienced music professionals. It’s also one of the larger options on our list, with a key count of 88. One of the things that stand out most with this particular product is that it features a fully-weighted key design. For users who prefer the feel of a traditional piano, this is one of the better choices for you.
With easy controls for various settings like pitch, blend, modulation, and volume control, you can easily create custom sounds. Given its larger size, we were also pleasantly surprised to learn that the product weighs under 40 pounds. Our only issue is that the power adapter is sold separately.
Arturia MiniLab MkII 25 Slim-Key Controller
The Arturia MiniLab MkII is another best midi controller keyboard pick that is designed primarily with portability in mind. The controller is just over 14 inches long and weighs a mere 3.2 pounds. Besides its portability, the controller is also reasonably affordable. It also incorporates two touch-sensitive control centers for adjusting pitch blend and modulation.
This unit also features velocity and pressure sensors that help to more accurately capture your input too. However, it’s important to note that the controls are designed in a way that they are more suitable for experienced users. With that in mind, we recommend this product for intermediate and advanced users only.
Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller
The Novation Launchkey was selected as a best midi controller keyboard for several reasons. For starters, this controller offers a compact design that still manages to be user-friendly. The entire assembly weighs just 1.8 pounds. However, the main benefit it offers is that the controls are spaced out in a way that ensures that they are easy to understand and operate.
We also love that it includes software for both PC and Mac devices. As for the warranty period, the product is covered by a two-year warranty that covers defects. With plug and play functionality, this model also doesn’t require any special power adapters to get started creating music at home.
Midiplus AK490 MIDI Keyboard Controller
Falling somewhere in the middle size wise is the Midiplus AK490. It comes with a key count of 49 and weighs just 7.28 pounds. This provides a greater deal of flexibility with creating complex musical scores and still preserves the portability that many musicians appreciate. It also utilizes a simple to use modulation wheel design as well.
As for cabling, it connects to most computers via a standard USB cable. For users that want to use a foot pedal, there are also ports located on the back for that as well. Just keep in mind that foot pedals are sold separately. If you prefer a smaller controller, there is also a 32-key version of this product available.
Roland Lightweight MIDI Keyboard Controller
The Roland midi controller keyboard is an excellent all-around choice for several reasons. For starters, it offers a relatively large keyboard layout with 49 keys. Even with its large size, it still manages to be fairly lightweight, with an assembled weight of just 6 pounds. However, the thing we like most about this particular controller is that the control system is very easy to understand and use.
The majority of controls are laid out on the left-hand side of the device. Clearly labeled, both new and experienced users should have no problems adjusting to the system. The system is also powered via standard USB connections and doesn’t require any special cabling.
Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Drum Pad & Keyboard Controller
Our final recommendation is the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII series. The first thing users will notice with this particular product is that it’s extremely small and lightweight. It’s just a bit over 12 inches long and weighs under two pounds. This makes it a perfect fit for more experienced musicians who are looking for a portable option.
The keyboard boasts 25 different keys and several separate control knobs and buttons along the top. While it can take some getting used to at first, the controls are actually easy to use and most users should adapt easily. Finally, this controller also comes with access to the music software platform, VIP.
The midi controllers we recommended come in a wide range of different sizes and configurations. From super compact models to larger options for dedicated studios, you should have no problem finding the best midi controller keyboard for your music making needs. Once you have had the chance to try out one of our recommendations, please tell us about your experience with it in the comments section.