MIDI Keyboard In-Depth Review 2021
If you’re at all seriously interested in making music on a computer or iOS device, among the finest MIDI keyboards upon this list should be an important addition to your house or mobile studio setup.
These piano-style devices could be plugged directly into your personal computer or notebook computer via USB – or, occasionally, even operate wirelessly over Bluetooth – and permit you to play and record together with your DAW’s software instruments and any VST synth plugins you may have installed.
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There are a lot of options to select from. You can decide on a compact, lightweight MIDI keyboard that fits comfortably in your notebook computer bag, right up to full-size 88-note models with weighted hammer-action keys. Most options here also include additional features such as for example knobs, pads, buttons and faders to improve creativeness and present you a lot more control over your software.
Prices vary according to the features included, too; you may get a correctly decent cheap MIDI keyboard for way significantly less than $100/£100 in the event that you shop around, but in the event that you up your budget you’ll receive your hands on an increased quality model with an increase of features and higher specs.
Lots of the best MIDI keyboards also include templates for typically the most popular DAWs – Ableton Live, Logic Pro, FL Studio, etc – so that it is simple to get right up and running and begin making music very fast.
Whether you will want lightweight keyboard to go together with your notebook computer or a full-size MIDI keyboard controller for your studio, there are a good amount of options to select from. To help you opt for the right one, we’ve think of a round-up of the greatest MIDI keyboards you can purchase right now.
What are the very best MIDI keyboards at this time?
MIDI controller keyboards fall into two main categories – the more lightweight devices with 25 keys and the bigger, desk-based options with 49 or even more keys. In the mini-key corner, as a result of the sheer number of features crammed into such a light, small footprint, our recommendation at the moment may be the Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3.
Meanwhile, if you’re buying a larger controller, we heartily recommend Native Instruments’ Komplete Kontrol S-Series boards, specifically the Native Instruments Kontrol S61 Mk 2. They feature excellent keybeds, fantastic styling, wonderful twin colour screens and impressive functionality – these 49, 61 and 88-key offerings are incredibly hard to beat.
Elsewhere, you want to browse the Nektar Impakt LX88+, Novation SL49 Mk3 and the brand new Arturia KeyStep Pro for features, affordability and sheer innovation.
Best MIDI keyboards: buying advice
What key size do you will need?
For simple inputting of drum beats, simple bass and melody lines and basic chords, smaller MIDI controllers with mini keys must do the work just fine. These have the good thing about being cheaper and more lightweight than their larger brethren and take up a smaller footprint on your own work surface. Nowadays, mini keys could be just as responsive and simple to play as full-size versions, but if you have problems with ‘sausage finger syndrome’, you should adhere to full-size keys.
How many keys will do?
All the best MIDI keyboards featured here include octave shift buttons, and therefore the full selection of note pitches is obtainable even from a 25-key device, simply by pressing a number of buttons. Having said that, if you’re a far more advanced player, or want to discover how to play two-handed, it’s easier to get a four octave (49-note) or five octave (61-note) keyboard. If space isn’t a concern, you can even choose an 88-key, piano-sized controller if desired.
Connectivity: what you ought to know
With a whole lot of producers now working ‘in-the-box’ about the same laptop or computer, you don’t necessarily desire a MIDI output if you don’t involve some hardware MIDI synths to hook up it to, however, many controllers do include traditional 5-pin MIDI out ports, and smaller, minijack TRS MIDI outputs have become popular. All controllers right here could be powered via the USB port, and if you wish to play proper piano parts, a sustain pedal input is crucial.
To be able to control the transport of your DAW and adapt the parameters of your software instruments from your own keyboard instead of your personal computer is always handy. Full DAW integration comes as a bonus if you’re on a budget, however, as it’s usually the preserve of the more costly end of the marketplace.
So, let’s enter our picks to get the best MIDI keyboards at this time. We’ve featured them in cost order to create it easier that you can zone in on the proper product for your budget. Our price comparison widgets have found the very best deals onli