A “MIDI keyboard” mainly used in music production, such as DTM (desktop music). When you want to create a song on your computer, it is very convenient because you can input the sound smoothly by pressing the keyboard without having to click with the mouse.
Therefore, this time we will introduce the recommended model of the MIDI keyboard. If you want to improve the work efficiency of DTM or if you want to start DTM from now on, please check it out.
Table of contents
• What is a MIDI keyboard?
• Advantages and disadvantages of MIDI keyboards
• How to choose a MIDI keyboard
• Recommended manufacturer of MIDI keyboard
• Recommended model of MIDI keyboard
What is a MIDI keyboard?
“MIDI” is a standard for digitally transferring data played by electronic musical instruments. Not only the pitch, but also detailed information such as the length of the note and the type of instrument can be digitized.
A MIDI keyboard is a tool for inputting MIDI data into composition software. Since you can input sounds as if you were playing the piano, work efficiency is greatly improved.
Advantages and disadvantages of MIDI keyboards:
Advantages of MIDI keyboards
The advantage of a MIDI keyboard is that you can input sound just by hitting the keyboard when using composition software. Especially when you want to enter a code, you have to click multiple times with a mouse, but you can enter it at once with a MIDI keyboard. It is also attractive to prevent input mistakes because you can type in data while striking the keyboard to check the sound.
Disadvantages of MIDI keyboards
The disadvantage is that you cannot produce sound unless you connect it to the composition software. Unlike electronic pianos and synthesizers, basically a MIDI keyboard alone does not produce any sound. Please be careful when purchasing because it is not a thing that sounds a sound but an instruction that sounds a sound.
How to choose a MIDI keyboard:
If you can afford the installation location, 88-key MIDI keyboard is recommended. Since it has the same number of keys as a grand piano or upright piano, you can play firmly with both hands. If you are familiar with the piano on a regular basis, you can type in the sound as if you were playing normally.
If you want to play hard with both hands, but don’t have the space to put an 88-key model, a 61-key MIDI keyboard is recommended.
There are fewer keyboards than 88 keys, but since it can cover 5 octaves, there are few problems in the composition scene. If you are looking for a MIDI keyboard that you can play with both hands without stress, you should choose a model with at least 61 keys.
If you are looking for a model that is both easy to play and easy to put on, a 49-key MIDI keyboard is recommended. Since it is a size that can be used comfortably even in front of a computer, it is ideal for those who want to efficiently perform DTM work in front of the display.
However, even though it is more compact than the 88.61 keys, many of them are around 80 cm in length, so be careful if you have a small desk.
If you don’t want to play, but want to record a sound, we recommend using a 32-key MIDI keyboard. The scale is half an octave and half of 49 keys, but since the scale can be changed on the computer side, the inconvenience is hard to feel.
Also, since many items are around 40 cm in length, you can work comfortably on your work desk. It is also recommended for those who do not have enough work space.
The 25-key MIDI keyboard is recommended for those who have many opportunities to carry and use it outdoors. Many things have a simple structure and minimal functions, so it is attractive to reduce the risk of breakdown due to impact during movement.
Most of them are around 16 cm in length, so you can use the work desk widely when you use them indoors. It is also recommended for those who want to play or type in simple phrases for synthesizers and leads.
|Korg microKEY 25 Keyboard||$||4.0/5||Check Price Here|
|Korg, 37-Key Midi Controller||$$||3.8/5||Check Price Here|
|Korg, 25-Key Midi Controller||$||4.3/5||Check Price Here|
|Korg Midi Controller||$$||3.8/5||Check Price Here|
|Roland Lightweight 49-Key||$$||4.1/5||Check Price Here|
|Roland A-88 MIDI Keyboard||$||3.9/5||Check Price Here|
|M-Audio, 61-Key||$||4.0/5||Check Price Here|
|M Audio Keystation||$$||4.3/5||Check Price Here|
|Akai Professional LPK25||$$||4.1/5||Check Price Here|
|Akai Professional MPK||$$||4.3/5||Check Price Here|
|CME XKEY 37 LE Ultra Slim||$$||4.1/5||Check Price Here|
|CME, Xkey Air 25-Key||$||4.0/5||Check Price Here|
|Native Instruments Komplete||$$||4.4/5||Check Price Here|
|Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol||$||4.3/5||Check Price Here|
|Nektar Impact LX49||$$||4.6/5||Check Price Here|
Select by connection method:
The mainstream connection method for MIDI keyboards is via a USB cable. Many of them use the bus-powered method to supply the battery from the connected device, so you can save the trouble of charging the MIDI keyboard itself. It is also attractive that you do not have to make settings such as pairing.
The problem is that when the DTM work is done, the surroundings of the computer are overloaded with equipment. Therefore, if you want to create songs in a clean environment, we recommend a Bluetooth-type MIDI keyboard that can be connected wirelessly.
Especially if you want to make music on iPhone or iPad, you can work smoothly because there is no need to prepare a separate adapter for Lightning conversion.
Select by controller function:
MIDI keyboards have various functions such as faders, pads, ribbon controllers, and multipurpose switches. The feature is that the volume, scale, and type of sound can be changed on the MIDI keyboard side. Sound making is a series of detailed work, so if you want to be more particular, we recommend a multifunctional high-spec model.
However, the more features you have, the higher the price will be. Be sure to consider the features you need before choosing a product.
Select by touching the keyboard:
It is important to focus on functionality, but the point at which you want to emphasize playing comfort as well. If you choose a MIDI keyboard with a well-balanced keyboard ratio, it will be easier to play because it doesn’t feel too cramped even with a small number of keys.
In addition, if the model is one in which the keys are firmly depressed, you can enjoy the same playing feel as a live piano. Check the keyboard size in advance.
Recommended manufacturer of MIDI keyboard:
Korg is the first manufacturer in Japan to develop a synthesizer. It has good sound quality and excellent functionality, and is loved by various musicians both in Japan and overseas.
In addition to a normal MIDI keyboard, it features the small model “NANOKEY2” with a unique design that emphasizes smartness. In addition, the lineup is extensive, and it is a manufacturer recommended for those who want to choose a product that suits them from among many products.
Roland is an electronic musical instrument manufacturer headquartered in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture. We are engaged in a wide range of music-related businesses such as producing musical instruments such as synthesizers, electronic pianos, MIDI keyboards, rhythm machines, and electronic drums, producing specialized shops, and operating the “Roland Music School.”
It has a large number of MIDI keyboards, so it is recommended for those who want to play with the same feeling as a grand piano or upright piano.
MAudio is an American manufacturer of audio equipment for DTM. In particular, we have a wide variety of MIDI keyboards, and we have a lineup of various models from simple to use to highly functional drum pads.
Many of them have excellent operability, so even models with few keyboards can work smoothly.
Recommended model of MIDI keyboard:
Korg MIDI keyboard microKEY-25:
A 25-key model MIDI keyboard that is thin, lightweight, and easy to carry. It uses a USB-powered bus-powered method, and settings such as pairing are unnecessary. With a single USB cable, it can be used for Mac / Windows and for iPad / iPhone by using the adapter for Lightning conversion.
The keyboard uses a “Natural Touch Mini Keyboard” that pursues touch and playing comfort. Since the ratio of black and white keys is adjusted, chords are easy to play, and you can comfortably play fast phrases.
In addition, the functionality is also substantial. By utilizing the “octave button” and “key transpose” functions, you can play the entire range of MIDI standards. In addition, “Pitch Bend” that changes the pitch, “Modulation” that adjusts vibrato, etc., “Arpeggiator” that automatically plays arpeggios (distributed chords), and “Damper” function that leaves a lingering sound are also installed.
In addition, it is attractive that beginners can easily purchase it at a reasonable price range. In addition to the 25-key model, 37, 49, 61 key models are also available. Please try to select the best model for your application.
KORG MIDI keyboard microKEY Air-37:
It is a higher model of “microKEY” that realizes wireless connection in addition to USB connection. You can easily connect to free iOS apps such as “KORG Gadget” and “GarageBand” and music production software on Mac or Windows via Bluetooth. Recommended for those who want to do DTM work in a clean desk environment, and those who want to make music on iPad or iPhone.
The keyboard uses a “natural touch mini keyboard” as well as the “microKEY”. You can comfortably play the keyboard with a focus on touch and playing comfort. In addition to covering the entire MIDI range by combining the “octave button” and “key transpose” functions, it is also attractive that it has a pitch bend function and a modulation function.
For wireless connection, the main unit can be operated with two AA batteries. It can be used for about 1 month by using it for 1 hour a day, and battery replacement is not required for about 1 month. In addition to the 37-key model, the 25, 49, 61-key model is also available.
KORG MIDI keyboard nanoKEY2 25 keys:
With the thinness and compactness of 1.6 cm, which is the same as a laptop computer, you can easily make music anywhere. The number of keys is 25, which is recommended for entering simple phrases. It is a USB connection method and can be connected to a wide range of devices such as Windows, Mac and iOS.
The keyboard is a “velocity” compatible type that allows you to adjust the strength of the sound. The black and white keys are separated, and the keys are wide enough to prevent accidental touches. If you use the “Octave button,” you can shift the pitch up and down in four steps, and by combining it with the “Key Transpose” function, you can cover the entire MIDI range.
Furthermore, the point is that many popular software and licenses are bundled. A wide range of colors is available, including black, white, blue, yellow, orange, and green. It is a recommended item that is cheap and has good cost performance.
KORG MIDI keyboard nanoKEY Studio:
A lightweight and compact 25-key model that can be connected wirelessly in addition to USB. It’s easy to connect via Bluetooth and easy to carry, so it’s recommended for those who want to do DTM work using iPad or iPhone on the go.
The keyboard is velocity-sensitive, and the strength of the sound can be adjusted, expanding the range of expression. It is also attractive that beginners can play easily with the “scale guide” function, in which the keys light up according to the recommended pitch.
In addition, you can input drum performances and chord performances with eight trigger pads, and plug-in effects and mixing with eight knobs. It is a MIDI keyboard that you can freely and easily enjoy music production.
Roland MIDI Keyboard Controller A-49:
A MIDI keyboard equipped with a full-size 49-key synthesizer keyboard. In addition to the excellent playing feel that is pursued by the keyboard touch, the highly rigid frame allows you to play repeatedly and play glissando. Since the main body is relatively compact with a width of 84 x depth of 19 cm, it can be used comfortably even when placed in front of a personal computer.
It also has good functionality. In addition to the pitch bend modulation octave function, etc., it also has an “expression pedal” terminal for adjusting volume and effects, and a “hold pedal” terminal for extending the sound. In addition, the “D-BEAM controller” function allows you to change the pitch and volume by moving your hand closer or further away from the body.
It can be used not only for DTM, but also for playing a full-fledged synthesizer, so it is also recommended for a stage sub keyboard. The control part has a simple design, so even beginners can rest assured. Furthermore, it is also attractive that it comes with a license for the popular music production software “Ableton Live Lite”. Two colors, black and white, are available.
Roland MIDI Keyboard Controller A-88MKII:
88-key professional model with high performance performance. The keyboard uses the “PHA-4 standard keyboard,” which provides a reliable playing feel and rich expressiveness. You can use both hands to smoothly enter the sound as if you were playing the piano normally.
Also, the point is that the key range can be divided into up to 3 parts. You can enjoy playing with three different tones or layering three tones. In addition to this, it is equipped with various functions such as pitch bend, modulation, arpeggiator, and chord memory. Knobs and pads are self-illuminating, so visibility is good.
Furthermore, it is attractive that we plan to support the new MIDI standard “MIDI 2.0”. With a thin and slim design, there is no need to worry about the installation location. Device can be connected to Mac / Windows / iOS with USB cable.
M-Audio Keystation 61:
It is a 61-key model that is recommended for beginners and can be operated easily with simple operations. Just connect one USB cable and you can use it immediately on Windows or Mac without installing a special driver. It is also compatible with iOS if a separate adapter for Lightning conversion is prepared.
The keyboard uses a velocity-sensitive type that allows you to fine-tune the strength of the sound. In addition, pitch bend, modulation, octave control functions, etc. are installed, giving you expressive performance.
Despite being a 61-key keyboard that can be played firmly with both hands, it is lightweight and easy to carry and set. In addition, it comes with rich high-quality piano sound source “Sonivox Eighty Eight Ensemble”, sound source “AIR Xpand! 2” that contains about 2000 presets, and “Ableton Live Lite” music production software popular in the world. It is attractive.
M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 III:
A lightweight and compact design with a weight of 0.45 kg and a size of 41.8 x 10.5 x 2 cm, it is a 32-key model that can be carried easily. The keyboard corresponds to velocity. In addition, you can expand the range of expression with various functions such as octave control, pitch bend, modulation, and sustain.
The main body can be connected to Windows / Mac with one USB, and can be easily set up without a driver. If you prepare an adapter for Lightning conversion, you can also support iOS devices. Furthermore, it is also a point that software used by professionals around the world such as “Pro Tools First M-Audio Edition” “AIR Music Tech Xpand! 2” is included.
Akai Professional MIDI keyboard LPK25:
It is a 25-key model compatible with almost all DTM software. It uses a USB bus power system and can be set up without a driver. In addition to Windows / Mac, iOS can also be supported by using the optional Lightning conversion adapter.
The keyboard is velocity-sensitive, so you can fine-tune the strength of the sound. In addition, it is equipped with various functions such as 6 different arpeggiator modes, tap tempo control function, and octave up / down function. The control section has a layout that is easy to understand and can be operated intuitively, so it is recommended for beginners.
Furthermore, the point is that you can make your own original preset by using the “LPK25 dedicated editor”. The main body is compact and lightweight with a width of 33 cm and a weight of 0.45 kg, so it is easy to carry.
Akai Professional MIDI keyboard controller MPK mini MK2:
It is a 25-key model that is space-saving with a width of 31.8 cm and does not cause any trouble in the installation location. Eight MPC pads can be used to input drum sounds, etc., and various functions such as “note repeat” to repeat the input data, octave, arpeggiator, sustain, etc. are installed. Also, the velocity-sensitive keyboard expands the range of expression.
The operation part is simple, so even beginners can rest assured. Furthermore, the point is that each control can be set with the attached dedicated editor software. You can customize each control according to the effect or DTM software you are using, and save those settings.
The main body can be connected to Mac / Windows with USB, and no driver installation is required. The software comes with practical items such as “MPC Essentials” and “AIR Music Technology Hybrid 3”.
CME MIDI keyboard Xkey37:
It is a recommended model that has a thin design of 0.16 cm and is easy to carry. The keyboard is 37 keys of “full size keyboard” like the normal keyboard. You can enjoy a variety of expressions because it supports “polyphonic aftertouch,” which allows you to change the sound of each keyboard by pressing hard.
In addition, the control section is equipped with a pressure-sensitive pitch bend modulation button, octave shift, and sustain button. If you use the dedicated application “Xkey Plus”, you can make more detailed settings.
In addition, a convenient “X cable” that can be connected to the MIDI cable output, sustain pedal input, and expression pedal input is also included. A special case for this product is also sold separately, so please check it if you often use it on the go.
CME PRO MIDI keyboard Xkey Air 25:
A wireless 25-key model that can be connected via Bluetooth. It can be easily connected to tablet devices such as iPhone and iPad. The point is that a sufficient battery capacity is secured with a maximum battery operating time of 10 hours. The main body is lightweight and compact with a weight of 0.61 kg and a size of 38.8 x 13.5 x 16 cm, and can be easily stored in a bag.
Despite being thin, it is a full-sized keyboard, so it is easy to play. In addition, the keyboard is velocity-sensitive and has a “polyphonic aftertouch” function that changes the sound of each key when pressed hard. In addition to this, it is equipped with various functions such as octave change, pitch bend, modulation, and sustain.
The body is made of stylish aluminum and has good durability. Furthermore, it is also possible to customize to your own preference using the dedicated application “Xkey Plus”. A highly recommended MIDI keyboard with high practicality.
Native Instruments M-Series Keyboard KOMPLETE KONTROL M32:
A 32-key model that has high visibility and can be handled smartly. This product is equipped with eight touch-sensitive control knobs and two touch strips. You can intuitively operate various instruments and sound effects such as pitch bend modulation.
Another attractive feature is the “Smart Play” function, which allows you to easily play over 100 scales (scales) and arpeggios. The software comes with a starter kit for music production such as “Ableton Live 10 Lite” and “KOMPLETE Instruments & Effects”. This is a recommended MIDI keyboard for beginners who can easily try DTM with this one.
Native Instruments S-series keyboard KOMPLETE KONTROL S88 MK2:
88-key MIDI keyboard with excellent playing comfort and high visibility. The keyboard is equipped with the most advanced hammer action technology, allowing you to play as if you were playing a realistic piano. Another feature is that a small LED is placed on each keyboard. Depending on the scale and mode selected, the appropriate key will be color coded.
Furthermore, the control unit is equipped with two LCD screens, and it is also attractive that you can select sound sources and tones, browse, and audition without operating the computer. In addition, it is equipped with a wheel and touch strip that allow you to accurately adjust pitch, modulation, and expression. If you are looking for a model that is easy to handle despite high specs, check it out.
Nektar Technology IMPACT LX49 +:
It is a 49-key model featuring high convenience. The main body comes with preset programs for many major music production software such as “Cubase”, “Digital Performer”, “FL Studio”, “Logic”, and you can immediately use the software without troublesome settings.
The control section has 9 faders, 9 MIDI buttons, 8 rotary encoders, and 8 pads. Various functions such as octave, transpose, pitch bend, and modulation support a wide range of expressions. It is also attractive that the keyboard supports velocity.
Compatible devices are Windows and Mac. You can also connect to an iPad by using the optional Lightning conversion adapter.
A MIDI keyboard is an essential device for DTM work. The appeal is that you can use it in various situations, such as practicing and live performances, as well as creating songs while typing in sounds on your computer. Different models have different functions and a wide variety of keyboards, so you can find one that suits your composition environment. It is also recommended to have multiple keys, 32 for the main and 61 for the sub. Please choose your favorite MIDI keyboard