If you’re interested in making electronic music, either for work or as a hobby, A MIDI keyboard is a must-have product for you. A MID keyboard controller allows you to control sounds from devices that work with MIDI and allows your electronic musical instruments to communicate with the computer. The MIDI keyboard controller sends information about musical notes to your computer and gives you the freedom to edit or modify them. The fusion of musical notes and the advent of technology results in some stellar music production. But first, to produce the electronic music of your choice, you need to decide on a MIDI controller first. Here are 10 MIDI controllers handpicked just for you.
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Top 10 Best MIDI Controllers In 2021
On the first look, the ArturiaKeyStep looks overly plain and simple. Be that as it may, this 32-note mini keyboard can do it all! The KeyStep comes with an arpeggiator, chord mode and built-in polyphonic sequencer, which has a memory of eight preset patterns that can be overwritten by users. Its’ connectivity is top-notch, allowing for a USB connection, MIDI In and Out ports, Sync In and Out ports and CV pitch, gate, and Mod outputs.
2. Akai MPK Mini Mk II
One of the bestselling computer recording equipment on Amazon, the Akai MPK Mini MK II aims for compactness. Despite its miniature size, it has knobs, pads and a 4-way thumbstick for pitch bend and modulation. It comes with a built-in arpeggiator for synth users.
3. Novation LaunchkeyMkIII
This miniature MIDI controller is an update on its previous versions and easily takes place as one of the most desired MIDI controllers. Whilst it mainly focuses on Ableton users, it also works seamlessly with other DAWs and makes it an excellent controller to have. The Launchkey MK3, amongst its many other features, comprises pitch bend and modulation touch strips, a versatile arpeggiator, a chord memory feature and a MIDI output on a TRS jack.
4. KorgMicroKey Air 2
The KorgMicroKey Air 2 features 25-, 37-, 49- and 61-key models, making it one of the most versatile MIDI controllers out there. Easy to plug in and operate, the MicroKey Air 2 can run both on USB bus power and batteries. This powerhouse can be Bluetooth enabled, so you can easily operate it by installing a couple of batteries without having to worry about cables at all.
5. Alesis Q88
The Alesis Q-series comes in 3 versions: 32-, 61- and a shocking 88-key model. With as many keys as a real piano, it can support a wide range of sound and is a dream come true for piano players. It also consists of a volume fader, 2 wheels for pitch bend and modulation, and a pedal input. You can easily plug it into the USB port of your computer and use it as you please, without needing any external source of power.
6. Native InstrumentsKompleteKontrol S61 MkII
The KompleteKontrol S61 MkII, with new features to outshine its predecessor, definitely stands out as a MIDI controller. It features 17 additional function buttons, and consist of two high-resolution color screens. It also comes with pre-mapped control of Komplete instruments. The KompleteKontrol S61 also has more concise DAW and Maschine integration, allowing you to edit and control projects from the hardware.
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7. M-Audio Oxygen
The best thing about M-Audio Oxygen is that it combines all functions of different instruments and delivers them to you in one package. Rather than using separate controllers for keyboard and percussion, the M-Audio Oxygen allows you the versatility of both in one, and also allows you to control DAW with knobs and sliders.
The M-Audio Oxygen also auto-maps major DAWs so you do not have to program them on your own. The M-Audio Oxygen is flexible too, allowing you to connect them to iOS devices like iPods and iPhones, giving it an edge over other controllers.
8. ArturiaKeyLab 49
With Arturia Lab and the 5000 presets supporting it, the ArturiaKeyLab stands out from other MIDI controllers. With versatile DAW controls, the Pro-Feel key bed of the controller provides high-end sensitivity to touch, allowing you to have better control over your music.
It has an elegant aluminum casing that comes in two colors: black and white. The unique feature of ArturiaKeyLab is that it comes with an input for Breath Controller, a feature that is rare to find in other MIDI controllers.
9. Akai LPK25
With 25 keys and dedicated buttons for arpeggiator, octave up/down, sustain and tap tempo, the Akai LPK25 leads the frontlines when it comes to MIDI controllers. It also comes with 4 programmable memory banks and supports all popular DAWs such as Ableton, GarageBand, Logic and Fruity Loops.
It works in both macOS and Windows, so all you have to do is connect your USB cable to your computer and play away!
10. RoliSeaBoard Rise 49
With a futuristic exterior that reminds one of science fiction movies, the RoliSeaBoard does not disappoint. The Seaboard delivers Roli’s signature Five Dimension of Touch: Strike, Glide, Slide, Press and Lift, offering unique aspects that make it stand out from other MIDI controllers.
In addition to being lightweight, the controller also supports Bluetooth connectivity, and its internal battery promises 12 hours of wireless play, making it the perfect solution in the case where portability is the issue. It comes with Roli’s custom software the Equator, but you can use it on a range of DAWs including Ableton and Garageband.
The MIDI controller you choose will depend on what kind of music you want to produce and the budget you have reserved or decided to invest. However, the top-notch models in the list will not disappoint. Whichever MIDI controller you choose to purchase, you will be able to get the versatility and the flexibility that you have been longing for and produce superb music that you were aiming for.