Best Cheap MIDI Keybaords
Well, we’ve got the best small midi keyboards and some larger ones to fill your boots and make your jaw drop. Load up your Mixxed samples and play away!
AKAI MPK Mini Mk 3 – $80.92
Small, but powerfully mighty.
Akai’s best selling MIDI keyboard for a long time, MPK Mini’s keys are renowned for their size and feel, as well as the portability of the device due to the small size.
All this portability comes with no compromise on functionality, either.
8 pads that can have 16 interchangeable samples.
8 mappable encoder knobs that can be set to the parameter you desire.
Full velocity-sensitive keys & pads.
An arpeggiator that opens up galaxies of creative fun.
Intuitive X/Y axis thumbstick for manipulating pitch and what would be mod wheel functions.
This all adds up to a user interface that is friendly to experts and novices! A drawback, however, is if you have big fingers…. the small keys maybe won’t be suited to you.
Packed with Complete Music Production Starter Kit that features over 1,500 sounds and virtual instruments that you can download. Software such as Tubesynth and Mini Grand is fantastic for beginners to get to grips with music production!
Novation Launchkey Mk 3 – $183.75
Controlling your DAW & external gear from one source? Easy, mate. The Novation Launchkey 25 Mk 3 completed it.
External gear can include drum machines and synths, not just other controllers! An added bonus for Ableton Live users is Launchkey’s MIDI 2.0 functionality that enables it to map itself to your Live session, with no effort required! Except, of course, turning your laptop on.
Featuring 25 keys and 16 velocity-sensitive pads that always prove to be market leaders, this controller is one of the most functional out there. Whether you’re a novice or a beginner, this is a tool you shouldn’t be sleeping on.
The Launchkey Mini also houses 8 assignable knobs and navigation buttons that enable you to effortlessly control your DAW & hardware.
Featured software includes Ableton Live Lite, Novation Bass Station, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, as well as V Station virtual instruments. Not to mention over 4GB of audio samples for you to play with!
Nektar Impact LX49+ – $144.25
If you’re on the highway to making music and not interested in faffing around and want something a little bigger than the controllers we’ve suggested, you need a MIDI keyboard that fulfils those dreams.
The Nektar Impact LX49+ is one branch of the Impact Series family tree. It comes with smooth Nektar DAW Integration, so it automatically maps to features in your DAW with no messing around.
The 9 sliders, 8 knobs, as well as 8 pads all automatically work with what’s on your screen.
Custom mappings allow you to navigate your DAW and set parameters like set loop markers, and so many other tricks that eliminate key commands!
This keyboard series offers so many bonuses, even if you’re not an Ableton Live producer. Easy use and customisable features in any DAW make this an incredibly functional device.
For the price of the Nektar Impact LX49+, the packed features promise to deliver everything you need.
A lot of keyboards at this price point have many fewer physical features like knobs & faders, and some fail to meet MIDI 2.0 capabilities like auto-mapping! For the money it asks, there are hours of fun to be had with the pads, knobs & keys!
Alesis V49 – $124.78
Alesis V49. A sweet and simple name, for a sweet and simple keyboard.
Housing only 4 knobs, but 8 velocity-sensitive pads, there’s not as much functionality when compared to the likes of the MPK Mini.
But, maybe you don’t need all that functionality. Well, this is the keyboard for you.
The champion of simplicity, other keyboards at a similar price point might be host to wiggly keys and fragile build, but not the V49. A sturdy build with a plastic body, the V49 is lightweight but doesn’t feel cheap!
V49 also packs light versions of Pro Tools and Ableton Live, which gives newcomers the best tools to get their hands dirty right away.
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49 – $209
Are you a fan of the Native Instruments software packages such as Kontakt? Using a Komplete Kontrol piece of hardware could make your user experience even better! With incredible attention to detail, this hardware line is not to be missed.
8 mappable knobs, pitch and modulation wheels, a quad-directional push encoder… seriously, this keyboard is more than enough to get you started in production.
Komplete Kontrol comes with the beat making software Maschine Essentials, The Gentleman upright piano, as well as the polysynth Monark, and Reaktor Prism, and so much more!
The user interface is as easy as they come with the Kontrol A-series. It packs an OLED display that can display menus you’re browsing and parameters you’re adjusting in real-time.
This means you can avoid staring at your computer screen and stay in the creative flow.