Before we go on and view the list of the best midi keyboards available in the market we first need to understand what is a midi keyboard and what is the purpose of it. Well, the answer to both these questions is pretty simple. A midi keyboard is a piano-style interface that has the capability of transferring midi signals to other connected devices but these devices should be on the same midi protocol interface and it transfers the signal through a midi cable or a USB.
You will find a lot of midi keyboards available in the market these days but proper consideration should be put into this fact i.e. buying of a midi keyboard. When you have so many options available off hand it really becomes a task to select the best of them. The list below will help you in making the correct choice when going for a midi keyboard.
Best Midi Keyboard Controllers of 2017
- Best Midi Keyboard Controllers of 2017
- 1. Novation Impulse 25 USB Midi Controller Keyboard, 25 Keys
- 2. Arturia KeyLab 88 USB Hybrid MIDI Keyboard Controller
- 3. Akai Professional MPK249 49-Key Keyboard & Drum Pad
- 4. M-Audio Keystation 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
- 5. Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard
- 6. M-Audio Oxygen MKIV 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard & Drum Pad Controller
- 7. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII 25-Key USB MIDI Controller
- 8. Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller
- 9. AKAI Professional MPK Mini MKII LE 25-Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard
- 10. Behringer U-Control UMX610 61-Key USB/MIDI Controller Keyboard
1. Novation Impulse 25 USB Midi Controller Keyboard, 25 Keys
When talking about the midi keyboards there are some key factors to look at which either makes or breaks the reputation of your midi keyboard. These factors are key count, keyboard action types, aftertouch, faders buttons and knobs and performance pads.
A midi controller keyboard that comes in equipped with all these features is the Novation Impulse 25 USB Midi Controller Keyboard, 25 Keys which has all the right features that you always wanted from your midi controller keyboard.
+ When talking about the action type of this midi keyboard it comes in equipped with a semi-weighted action that is ultra responsive.
+ The keyboards hand on control on any software is really good and that is because it comes in equipped with 8 knobs a fader and 1 button.
+ When talking about the performance pads of this keyboard it comes in equipped with multifunction drum pads.
Why We Liked It –When you are buying a midi controller keyboard for the first time and you want it to have all the key features in it, the Novation Impulse 25 USB Midi Controller Keyboard, 25 Keys is certainly a very good option for you.
2. Arturia KeyLab 88 USB Hybrid MIDI Keyboard Controller
Going for a midi controller keyboard can be a really difficult task at times and if you jump into it without proper consideration the chances are, you are likely to end up with a keyboard that’s not really suitable. Therefore doing a bit of a research before, always comes in handy.
There are some questions that you should ask yourself before buying a midi controller keyboard. Some of these questions should include, why you need a midi keyboard, how many keys are required, what sort of a keyboard action are you looking for, what added features are good for you, and any other keyboard requirements that may spring to mind. A midi keyboard that has all the right answers to all the above-stated questions is the Arturia KeyLab 88 USB Hybrid MIDI Keyboard Controller.
A midi keyboard that has all the right answers is the Arturia KeyLab 88 USB Hybrid MIDI Keyboard Controller.
+ When talking about the weight of this keyboard it is ultra light which makes it highly portable.
+ You can rest assured about the durability of this keyboard and that is because of the high-end Italian made finish.
+ The way in which this keyboard is designed is pretty impressive and also equipped with removable accessories such as a laptop stand and iPad or sheet music stand.
Why We Liked It –The build quality, the looks, the realistic piano feel and all that at an amazingly low price. There is just nothing more you could ask of a midi keyboard.
3. Akai Professional MPK249 49-Key Keyboard & Drum Pad
When talking about Akai as a brand name you can rest assured that the product you going to get with such a huge brand name is just going to be perfect. This Japanese brand has a whole range of electronic products attached to it. The noticeable factor about Akai is that it has a long history of producing electronic items but whatever it produces, it produces top quality.
The Akai Professional MPK249 49-Key Keyboard & Drum Pad is another great product by one of the very best in the business i.e. Akai. A complete solution to all your needs as far as midi keyboards are concerned. The perfect all-in-one controller solution is what you get with this Midi keyboard.
+ Whether you talk about live performing or composing in the studio this keyboard is just the best since it has an all-in-one controller with keyboard and trigger pads.
+ If you look at the control options of this keyboard. It is quite impressive since it comes along with 8 control knobs, 8 faders, and 8 switches.
+ The action type of this keyboard is semi-weighted with 49 full-size keys that are pressure sensitive.
Why We Liked It –Whether designed for beginners or not the Akai Professional MPK249 49-Key Keyboard & Drum Pad is one of the very best midi controller keyboards that you will find in the market today.
4. M-Audio Keystation 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
There are quite a few things that you require from your midi keyboard controller if you are a musician, you want it to sound as close to a traditional piano, you want the playability to be very simple, you also will want it to have all the key features that are necessary for a midi keyboard, so that it can enable you to come up with innovative and spontaneous music ideas.
A midi controller keyboard that is equipped with all these things and features is considered to be a very good one. One of the midi controller keyboards that have all these qualities is the M-Audio Keystation 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller. It is a very simple yet powerful keyboard that is not only good for sequencing music but also gives you the ability to play other virtual instruments on your PC or MAC.
+ This midi keyboard is capable of giving a pretty impressive performance and that is because of the 49 full-size, semi-weighted velocity sensitive keys with 1/4-inch sustain pedal input.
+ It is a pretty professional keyboard because it comes equipped with octave range buttons; transport controls, pitch bend and modulation wheels.
+ It comes in equipped with a USB connection to the computer and has all the features that enable it to control all the music by itself so that you do not even have to touch your mouse.
Why We Liked It –If you are a musician and always on the move performing gigs here and there or you are just a composer who is looking to record and mix music in the studio the M-Audio Keystation 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller is just the perfect little instrument for you.
5. Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard
When talking about any midi keyboard; its ability to be ported to places with the utmost of ease is highly important and that is because as a musician you may always be on the move, and therefore need the instruments to be very portable and easy to handle or assemble as well.
As is evident from the name of this midi keyboard i.e. Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard, it’s really good when it comes to portability and therefore, a preferred choice of most musicians. It does not only have the added feature of being highly portable but also has all the features and qualities that you want from your midi keyboard.
+ It comes in with a built-in microphone and intuitive sampling function.
+ It also has 400 AHL keyboard voices to give the all the versatility that you need from your midi keyboard.
+ It also comes in equipped with a voice percussion function.
Why We Liked It –With all the functionality of that of a traditional piano and the additional high portability aspect, makes this midi keyboard i.e. the Casio CTK2400 61- Key Portable Keyboard a good bang for your buck.
6. M-Audio Oxygen MKIV 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard & Drum Pad Controller
M-Audio is considered to be a very big name as far as musical instruments are concerned and it has a history of manufacturing some top of the line musical instruments over the past years. It was also known to revolutionize the midi keyboard market by introducing the first portable midi keyboards and this was the Oxygen series by M-Audio.
There has been an ongoing process of advancement in technology in the company and when you compare the original Oxygen series with the new and improved Oxygen MKIV the difference is quite obvious.
+ Powered by a USB connection to the computer this midi keyboard is known to be pretty versatile.
+ 49 full-size keys that have a synth-action and are velocity sensitive.
+ When you talk about the beat production ability of this midi keyboard it comes in equipped with 8 trigger pads which are velocity-sensitive.
Why We Liked It –Well we all have personal preferences as far as choosing the midi keyboard is concerned but when are getting all the good things in one package there is no reason to stay away from it.
7. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII 25-Key USB MIDI Controller
With a slogan of take control wherever you go, this keyboard has the capability of being transported from placeto place because of its compact and sleek design. When you are going out on a gig or a live performance and want to avoid the fuss of picking up loads of heavy instruments this midi keyboard i.e. the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII 25-Key USB MIDI Controller is the perfect solution for you. So much so, that it could easily fit into your backpack.
+ The design of this midi keyboard is pretty compact so that it can easily fits into backpacks and on production desk.
+ You can easily input all your music ideas and play along with it easily because it comes in equipped with all the features of editing and playing.
+ 8 rubber drum pads that are velocity sensitive in order to get the perfect beat.
Why We Liked It –It becomes a win-win situation for you if you are a musician and havethe Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII 25-Key USB MIDI Controller alongside you.
8. Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller
Novation is highly known for coming up with some of the best quality products as far as midi keyboards are concerned, and this midi keyboard i.e. the Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller is no exception and another example of its brilliance.
+ It is a mini keyboard that is designed for Ableton Live and because of its compact and slender design this midi keyboard is highly portable.
+ Comes in equipped with 16 multi-color pads that are velocity sensitive for all your beat solutions.
+ When talking about the control options that you have with this midi keyboard it is just perfect because it comes with 8 knobs, control buttons, and dedicated navigation.
Why We Liked It –Whatever you need from your midi keyboard the Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller is capable of providing you with it. That is why it is one of the best on the market today.
9. AKAI Professional MPK Mini MKII LE 25-Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard
Akai just never ceases to impress when referring to some of the best midi controller keyboards ever produced. The AKAI Professional MPK Mini MKII LE 25-Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard is another great product by Akai which is known for its portability. That it due to its compact design and no dependability on software drivers or external power adapters.
+ Comes in with 25-synth-action mini-keys, eight assignable control knobs, and 8 velocity-sensitive rubber drum pads.
+ Powered by USB-connection to a computer that is why it does not require any external power adapter.
Why We Liked It –Well, you get every worth of what you pay with the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MKII LE 25-Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard, hence making it earn a spot on our list of best midi keyboards.
10. Behringer U-Control UMX610 61-Key USB/MIDI Controller Keyboard
Last but certainly not least on our list is the Behringer U-Control UMX610 61-Key USB/MIDI Controller Keyboard. It has all the qualities that you can ask for from a midi keyboard. From the playability to the very slightest of the technicalities; everything about this midi controller keyboard is just perfect.
+ Has the capability of playing 100 virtual instruments so that you can play any type of music style that you prefer
+ It comes equipped with 50 VST effects so that you are able to create a lot of different sounds from it.
+ It comes equipped with an XT2.5 Compact BEHRINGER Edition music production software which makes it playable on almost any operating system.
Why We Liked It –The Behringer U-Control UMX610 61-Key USB/MIDI Controller Keyboard with all its features and specifications is surely one of the best midi controller keyboards that you will find in the market these days.
MIDI Keyboard Buyers Guide
Before getting your hands onto your next or new MIDI keyboard you need to know the initials. This part of our article will guide you through all information so you can pick one for yourself without making a meal of it.
So lets break up the title into two, well firstguide you through to the MIDI concept.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface or MIDI describes a protocol, digital interface, and connectors to be connected to each other for communicating. A single MIDI link can carry up to 16 channels of information and can be routed to separate devices if needed.
A MIDI carries the information which includes notation, velocity, and pitch for controlling volume, audio, cues, vibrato that synchronize tempo between devices. This piece of information is sent by MIDI cable to other devices.
Moving on towards the debate, lets discuss some applications of MIDI.
MIDI was basically invented so that instruments can communicate with each other. Instruments that dont support analog signals can be controlled by MIDI through MIDI to Analog Control kits. When a note is played on a MIDI instrument a digital signal is generated that can trigger a sound on another instrument. Instrument control allows the musicians to combine instruments and create new combinations.
Next up, MIDI can be used for composition. MIDI information can be sequenced with computer software (also known as DAWs) or in hardware music workstations. For an instance, guitars that support MIDI are developed in DAWs so that messages/information can be modified. MIDI functionality allows musicians to quickly and efficiently edit their work as compared to multitrack recording. Likewise, MIDI is a set of commands that generates sound, different sequences can be manipulated to create unique sounds which a prerecorded audio is not capable of. You can change key, tempo of MIDI arrangement for recording individual sections. MIDI gives you the ability to quickly hear your experimentations which conclude in versatile ideas. MIDI 1.0 and General MIDI technology is used by various artists to allow musical data files for sharing among various electronic instruments by using a portable set of commands and parameters.
MIDI functionality coupled with computers when personal computer market stabilized. People see this combination for music production. MIDI function was featured in Apple II Plus, IIe, Macintosh, Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, Acorn Archimedes and PC DOS. Musicians favored Macintosh as it was announced at a competitive price. Whereas Atari ST was embraced in Europe as Macintosh were expensive there. Another reason for the popularity of Atari ST was that it offered direct MIDI ports which convinced many software developing companies to design DAW software for either Apple or Atari. By 1990 Microsoft released Windows 3.0 which gave more processing power and a graphical interface to PC which persuaded companies to start releasing software on multi-platforms.
MIDI can be used with computers for three purposes shown below
- The file system of MIDI is known as Standard MIDI file (SMF) that provides a quality way for saving, transporting and opening music sequences in other computers. The size of the file is very compact, which leads them to every electronic gadget like computers, mobile phone ringtones, greeting card etc. The files can be accessed universally and include information about specific timing, track name, and note values. Likewise, lyrics/text is not included in the data but it can be included as metadata.
SMF file system is created as an export format of DAWs. The software organizes the MIDI information into parallel tracks along with timestamp so they can be played according to the sequence. The header contains the information about arrangement track count, tempo and SMF format type of the file. Type 0 file contains performance merged onto a single track, while type 1 contains a number of tracks and type 2 store multiple arrangements which are rarely used.
- Dont misunderstand MIDI files as they are not actual audio tracks, basically, they are set of instructions resulting in a less disk space usage. MIDI file arrangement is easy to share because of their capacity. The main disadvantage of MIDI format is that there is a huge gap between actual data on the sound card and MIDI information as it only refers symbolically. There is no standard set for expressing the symbols even in high-quality sound cards. So a wide range of samples has to be set in the sound card for unleashing the MIDI technology.
- The main advantage of a MIDI is that it can be connected to a personal computer which means that you can take advantage of various software for mixing up sounds, copying, pasting, creating different music and much more. Softwares include sequencers, notation/scoring software, editor/librarians, auto-accompaniment programs and synthesis/sampling. With the help of these softwares, you can take full opportunity of MIDI information.
So now you have sufficient knowledge related to MIDI technology. Lets move on towards our main topic which is a MIDI keyboard. Follow through the information to get an exact idea of a MIDI keyboard.
A MIDI keyboard is a piano-designed interface keyboard device which is used to send MIDI signals or information to connect devices over USB or a MIDI cable. As computers are coupled with MIDI functionality over the past decades this device could be a personal computer running Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that interpret the MIDI singles and send it to other MIDI devices connected by cable or running inside the computer. So basically, a typical MIDI keyboard does not produce sounds itself but it transfers the MIDI information to an electronic module which is capable of reproducing an array of digital sounds that resembles an analog keyboard.
There are various types of MIDI keyboard apart from the piano style user interface. Many MIDI keyboard controllers have pads or buttons for sending MIDI signal, they also have integrated sensing capability for varying volume of sound.
One of the MIDI keyboards is the Tonal Plexus keyboard that provides for up to 1266 different tonal pitches possible in the TPX6 1266 keys. Another such type of MIDI keyboard is based on a fretless type keyboard interface which enables portamento style note changes at will during play.
For more detailed reviews of pianos, click here.
In the MIDI protocol which is used in the MIDI controllers, MIDI value is mapped to a specific instrument sample by an encoding scheme. Other sound parameters like aftertouch, pitch etc. are included in the MDI protocol scheme. The keyboard acts as a handler of sound modules and other MIDI devices including the sound edited by DAWs.
MIDI keyboards are among common instruments of a recording studio and of a DAW setup. Many high-end MIDI keyboards have extra sets of rotary knobs and buttons to send custom MIDI information to sampler, synthesizer or DAWs. Likewise, extra features also include rhythm input, transport control, and instrument selection. Similarly, some also include an input for foot switch, input for a foot expression controller, semi or full weighted keys and capability of sending aftertouch. Modern MIDI keyboards have the functionality to be directly connected with computers via USB connection.
MIDI keyboards come in a wide range of sizes. The size ranges from 25 keys to a full length of 88 keys.
From MIDI technology to MIDI keyboards, we have provided you with easy to understand the material so you can pick up the best MIDI keyboard. Aside from your choice, well be concluding the article with our three best product for every price range. So Lets get straight into it.
Impulse 25 USB MIDI Controller Keyboard by Novation has matched our priorities for its top rank on our top pick category.
This MIDI keyboard is an ultra-responsive, semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch impulse. Its designed for giving a professional instrument feel rather than a computer accessory. Likewise, it is pin point accurate which means that it can translate musical expressions extremely well.
It includes full DAW/Plug-In control surface with 8 knobs, 9 faders and buttons and a custom LCD screen allowing you for hands-on control. Major DAWs and plug-ins are engineered for instant mixing, transport control and plug-in instruments and effects.
Apart from the hardware side, this company has worked with major music software manufacturers to ensure instant hands-on control. Softwares like Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Ableton live and Automap 4 are specially designed for delivering you the full control of third party instruments and effects.
Its frustrating to learn knob, fader and button controls. Impulse is packed up with Automap control software so that you can easily find controls and make full use of them.
Other than above this MIDI keyboard has eight quality-feel drum pads which are velocity-sensitive and are equipped with aftertouch. Drum pads are backlit with 3-color LEDs which mean that they can warp arpeggios is real time, roll beats and launch clips in Ableton Live.
This keyboard is powered by USB and contains expressions along with the sustain pedal inputs. MIDI in and out ports are also available for connecting external MIDI instruments.
With a Major DAW support, precision keyboard, multi-function drum pads the Impulse MIDI keyboard by Novation has really got your back!
Premium product highlights that the price boundary is lowered but quality must be increased. In the markets, there are many high-end MIDI keyboards that are among the high peaks but they are nowhere near the premium characteristics.
Allow us to showcase you the beast itself, KeyLab 88 MIDI/USB Hammer-Action Hybrid Keyboard Controller by Arturia.
On the outside, it has hands down wood trim on the sides which gives it a classic look. This product gives you tons of hands-on control. Likewise, this includes 13 encoders, 16 pads, and nine sliders so you can get set every precise detail. It has velocity-sensitive keys with aftertouch.
This includes an analog lab with 5000 synth sounds, all presets are handpicked from Arturia classic synths.
With 5000 synth sounds, 16 pads and an analog lab software you can ski the limit.
Akai Professional MPK249 in engineered for combining software integration, enhanced workflow and core technologies from its previous MPC workstations. Its optimized to interface directly with your Mac or PC with USB powered plug-and-play connectivity.
The keyboard is equipped with 49 semi-weighted full-size keys and premium piano style key bed for giving you a natural yet responsive feel. Each and every key is velocity sensitive with aftertouch for dynamic yet expressive recordings.
With this keyboard, composers can absorb genuine MPC workflow into their work. Its easy to build sequences by using MPC-style pads, thanks to the MPC Note Repeat and 16 Levels. Likewise, MPC Swing lets you control tight organic groove that makes up MPCs so worthwhile.
MPK249 is loaded with powerful software which is Ableton Live Lite and MPC Essentials. Ableton provides musicians to compose, record, remix, improvise and edit ideas.
On the whole, this keyboard provides you with 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads with 4 banks for 64 pads. 24 assignable Q-Link controller which includes knobs, switches, and faders. Detailed transport and parameter controls for hands-on DAW integration. Likewise, it has one assignable footswitch jack and one expression jack. It features USB-MIDI with 5-pin MIDI input and output. Similarly, it is iOS compatible by the Apple iPad camera connection which is sold separately.
If you are looking for a genuine MPC functionality, best DAW software support, velocity-sensitive keys then this keyboard is really offering more than its price boundary.
MIDI Keyboards FAQs
What are MIDI Keyboards?
We have seen quite a lot of advancement in the world that we live in today and this advancement has been made possible because of the advancement in technology. The advancement in technology has made a great impact on our lives and the world as well. There was a time when people used to think that one day we will do this and laugh on it after a while but with the advancement in technology all such things are a reality now.
When talking about music, it also was not able to part its way from the advancement in technology and the impact of technology on music can be highly observed in the world that we live in today. There was a time when there was absolutely no concept of a guitar being played through electricity, yes I am talking about the electric guitar, similarly, the traditional drums were the only drums of the past and there was just no application of drum machines anywhere because they were not even invented back then. The similar was the case with a keyboard or a piano as well i.e. the traditional piano was the only known instrument but with the advancement in technology the electric guitars, the drum machines and the MIDI keyboards became a reality.
When speaking of MIDI keyboards one thing that instantly strikes your mind is what is a MIDI keyboard? Well, the answer to this question is a pretty simple one a keyboard device that has the capability of sending MIDI signals to some other devices but the devices should be under the same MIDI protocol interface and a MIDI keyboard does it i.e. transfer signals through a MIDI cable or a USB.
A thing that is noticeable here is that not all the MIDI keyboards use the piano style interface. Some of the MIDI keyboards come equipped with pads or buttons that also have the ability to transfer MIDI signals, most of these pads are velocity-sensitive and that is for getting different sounds from the keyboard. If you are a big fan of portamento style the MIDI keyboard for you is a fretless type known as Continuum Fingerboard which will enable you to change notes at will.
Another type of MIDI controller that does not use a piano style user interface is known as microtonal MIDI controller and the most common example of it is a Tonal Plexus Keyboard. This keyboard has the capability of providing different tonal pitches that can go up to the count of 1266.
The only way that the keyboards with other interfaces rather than that of a traditional piano interface have been made a reality is because of the technology of the computer. Since the interfaces of all the MIDI keyboards that are mentioned above are different so are their applications. Therefore it can be easily said that advancement in technology has a great impact on every field of life and music is also not any exception.
How to choose a MIDI Keyboard?
When going for any product in the world there are some questions that you ask yourself and then buy the product, similar is the case with the MIDI keyboards. Before going for a MIDI keyboard there are some factors that should be given proper consideration because if you will not do so you might end up buying a MIDI keyboard that is completely useless for you or you might even buy a MIDI keyboard that has a really high price tag attached to it but not worth it at all. Therefore proper research should be done and proper consideration should be given to some factors before jumping in buying a MIDI keyboard.
The factors to look at when going for a MIDI keyboard are discussed below.
When you will go for a MIDI keyboard you are highly likely to find that the prices of different MIDI keyboards range from $80 to $500 and even more. Therefore it is imperative to ask yourself the question that how much you are looking to spend on the purchase of your MIDI keyboard and once decided you should really stick to your budget.
The Key Count
Well, this factor is completely dependent upon the personal preference but you should have proper knowledge of how many different key counts of the MIDI keyboard are available in the market and what are their applications. The key count varies from 25, 32,37,49,61 to 88. Some people may have a taste for the original or the traditional piano and therefore might opt for the 88 key MIDI keyboard since the traditional piano has the same number of keys. On the other hand, some people might have a thing for compact ones because of their huge amount of traveling, therefore, they would rather go for the 25, 33 or 37 key count keyboards since they are really compact.
When you are going for a MIDI keyboard you must be aware of the fact that it comes in with three different types of key actions and all serving different purposes from one another. The three different key action types of a MIDI keyboard are discussed below.
This is the most common type of key action that you will find in most of the MIDI keyboards. The Synth Action keys use a spring and are made up of plastic. There is no weight attached to the keys of a synth action MIDI keyboard. But when you press or release a key it comes into its original position with the help of a spring and this makes it pretty fast.
As the name suggest that the keys of this type of key action MIDI keyboard use a light weight attached to the end of every key and the keys are not even made of plastic. The semi-weighted key action keyboards are not as fast as the synth action but give you a bit of a realistic feel that is somewhat close to a traditional piano.
When talking about fully-weighted action type of keys, they are as close as you can get to the keys of a traditional piano. The fully-weighted key action type is mostly found in digital pianos. The feel that you will get from this action type is not the exact same as that of a real traditional piano but will surely be very close to it. The fully-weighted action type is not that common with the MIDI keyboards but some MIDI keyboards that have a really high price tag attached to them come equipped with it.
Well you have to keep this factor into consideration and ask yourself whether you want a keyboard that you will use in your studio only or would it be travelling with you to all the places you go and be your partner in all the gigs and if this is the case you will want your MIDI keyboard to be highly portable. As already mentioned earlier there are MIDI keyboards that come in with a compact size and therefore are highly portable and size does affect the portability of a MIDI keyboard. It can be stated quite easily that the portability is inversely proportional to the size of the MIDI keyboard.
This is another that should be looked upon with great thought before you go on and buy a MIDI keyboard. Simply ask yourself the purpose of buying a MIDI keyboard whether you only want it to be played like a piano or you want other sounds from it as well like that of a drum. There are MIDI keyboards available in the market that come along with drum pads, so if you are looking to get percussion sounds out of your MIDI keyboard these are the ones to go for.
The Extra Features
There are some MIDI keyboards that come equipped with some extra features such as faders, buttons, knobs, arpeggiators and many other features as well all these features fall into the category of performance control. The noticeable thing about these features is that the more the features the more will be the price of the MIDI keyboard. Therefore it is highly important that you should first consider the features that will be useful for you and then go for the MIDI keyboard.
The best MIDI keyboards for beginners
There are quite a few of the MIDI keyboards available in the market today and different MIDI keyboards are designed to suit the requirement of different levels of playing i.e. beginner, intermediate and professional. In the list below we will discuss some of the best available MIDI keyboards for beginners.
M-Audio Oxygen 49
When talking about the beginner MIDI keyboards it is highly important that these keyboards must be really easy to use and at the same time, the learning graph with these MIDI keyboards should always be mounting. With the M-Audio Oxygen 49 in your grasp, you can be rest assured that it will satisfy both these need to the fullest. It comes equipped with a synth action key type which is ideal for a beginner because of its ultra-quick response. It also has trigger pads if you want some percussion sounds put of it. When talking about the software bundle that it comes equipped with Ableton Live Lite so that you can learn and play at the same time.
Overall the M-Audio Oxygen 49 is one of the best picks for you when you are looking to get a beginner MIDI keyboard that just has it all that you require from a beginner MIDI keyboard.
Akai Professional LPK25
When going for a MIDI keyboard as a beginner another thing that is of great importance is the price tag that the keyboard has attached on it. As a beginner, you are never sure what you exactly want out of the instrument that you have selected and therefore large investment in this regard is not so advisable.
The Akai Professional LPK25 is a beginner keyboard that has a price tag of less than a $100 attached to it is not only good at the price but also has all the necessary things that you want out of your beginner MIDI keyboard. It comes along with 25 mini keys that are velocity sensitive so that you can get a more natural sound. You can connect it to your computer or Mac via USB, making your life all so simple. Akai Professional LPK25 is a great MIDI keyboard that is nicely priced.
Acorn Instruments Masterkey 49
The ease of use and the easy installation is what most of the beginners look for when going for a MIDI keyboard. Not among the top brands of MIDI keyboard but as far as ease of use and easy installation is concerned it is one of the best MIDI keyboards out there with velocity sensitive keys, pitch and modulation wheels and plug and plays through a USB.
How do you determine what MIDI keyboard is the best for you?
Well the answer to this question is a pretty simple one and that is your personal preference but here another question arises and that is how would you even make a personal preference if you do not know the mechanics of a MIDI keyboard and therefore it is important for you to know the mechanics when its a question of determining the best MIDI keyboard for yourself.
The two most important factors in this regard are the key counts and the keyboard action type. You must be aware of all the different key counts that a MIDI keyboard comes equipped with and then select the one that perfectly suits your need. Till now we all are aware of the fact that the action type of different keyboards is different and that is designed to suit the needs of varying preferences. Therefore it is really necessary to know the different types of key action and the purpose or the use for which they are designed for.
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