In this article, I’ll introduce you to the 10 best MIDI keyboards that are a perfect fit for your home or bedroom studio. AS well as they are quite affordable to your pocket.
MIDI Keyboards are one of the essential gear for home and bedroom studios. But, it’s quite confusing for beginners to choose the best one out of hundreds scattered in the market.
Without proper knowledge and guidance, buying a MIDI keyboard would be a bad deal for you.
Well, don’t worry.
This 10 best MIDI keyboards list helps you choose the best one for your recording studio.
Now, let’s jump into the list.
10 Best Midi Keyboards For Home and Bedroom Studios
The MIDI keyboards I have given in this list are not just affordable but easy to use and lots of features. Some of them are even used as DAW controllers so there is no need to buy a separate DAW controller for your recording studio.
The first one is…
1. Behringer Swing MIDI Keyboard
Behringer has just launched this 32 key USB MIDI Controller Keyboard that features 64 Step Polyphonic Sequencing, Chord, and Arpeggiator Modes.
With a trendy design and lots of features, Behringer Swing gives you full control over any virtual instruments powered by your DAW.
Here are the features of the Behringer Swing MIDI controller keyboard.
- Behringer swing features a 64-step sequencer with an 8-note polyphonic sequence.
- You will get 32 compact size keys pitch and modulation touch-strips.
- The velocity and after-touch features give you more nuanced and colorful passages to your creativity.
- There is also a chord play button provided allows you to play chords up to 16 notes with one single key.
- The arpeggiator mode allows you to create a great string of notes that can sync to the clock of any device.
- The Mode knob has 8 saved programs in Sequencer mode and Arpeggiator mode
- There are also scale and tempo knobs given with 8 different time signatures and to adjust the tempo respectively.
- There are USB, MIDI, CV/Gate, and external footswitch connections are given on the backside of Behringer Swing.
- The dedicated Control Tribe App is provided on Google Play and Apple App Store which can be used to set the footswitch to either hold, sustain, or both.
With a compact size and so several features, soon Behringer Swing will be one of the most versatile MIDI keyboard controllers in the music recording industry.
Here is an introduction video to this amazing MIDI keyboard.
2. Arturia KeyLab MkII 49
Arturia Keylab MkII 49 is not a new keyboard controller but due to its versatility and lots of features, I have included it in this list.
However, Arturia has just launched a new compact size MIDI keyboard KeyStep 37, I have chosen KeyLab MkII 49 to this list because it has a lot more features than the newly launched KeyStep 37. As well as you’ll get big keys which is essential for faster work.
Well, let us see those features now.
- There are three software included in the package – Analog Lab software with 6500 synth sounds, Ableton Live Lite, and Piano V.
- There are 49 & 61 key options available for this model. All keys have high-quality keybed with velocity.
- Features 16 RGB-backlit performance pads.
- There are 9 faders and 9 rotary knobs are availed that can be used for any purpose.
- It has 4 CV/Gate outputs, controlling pitch, gate, modulation MIDI, USB, and 3 assignable auxiliary pedal inputs.
- You can integrate this MIDI keyboard to all Arturia software instruments as well as third-party sequencers and virtual instruments.
- There are prebuild presets are given for all major DAWs.
- You can use Arturia KeyLab MkII 49 as a standalone or plug-in operation with any VST, VST3, AU, AAX DAAW, and virtual instruments.
- Arturia KeyLab MkII 49 features Pad Mode, Chord Memory, and Chord Transpose buttons.
- There are three different playing modes available in KeyLab MkII 49 ie; Analog Lab Mode, DAW Mode, and User Mode.
Along with the above features, there are a lot more available in KeyLab MkII. You can check out this KeyLab MkII introduction video to checkout the full features.
3. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 Controller Keyboard
Native instruments are known as it’s legendary Komplete and Kontakt VST sequencer and libraries. However, the company produces also hardware products such as MIDI keyboards, samplers, etc.
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 Controller Keyboard is one of their top liner product.
This is a 32 keys micro-sized MIDI keyboard that can be used for both studios and live performances.
This MIDI keyboard is a combination of sleek and solid design and professional production features. And top of that, you can buy it for just $139.00.
Let us see Native Instruments Kontrol M32 Controller Keyboard features.
- This MIDI controller has 32 compact size keys equipped with a custom NI keybed.
- The sleek and solid design makes it a live performance friendly MIDI keyboard.
- In the place of traditional pitch benders, this keyboard has intuitive touch strips that are very sensitive to your touch.
- There are dedicated button given for playing chord progressions and arpeggios with single keys, as well as it stays in key with over 100 scales and modes and much more.
- In Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 Keyboard you will get dedicated DAW controller buttons.
- Compatible to all Native instrument samplers and VST instruments.
- 8 Touch-sensitive knobs are given for various tasks
- You will get ABLETON LIVE 10 LITE, MASCHINE ESSENTIALS, KOMPLETE KONTROL SOFTWARE, MONARK, REAKTOR PRISM, SCARBEE MARK I, KOMPLETE START, SOUNDS.COM software as well as a $25 gift voucher to spend in the NI Online Shop.
4. Novation Launchkey 25 MK3
Novation Launchkey is very popular among MIDI keyboard controllers.
There are four variations of Novation Launchkey, among them Launchkey 25 MK3 is the most popular among music creators.
If you will ask me which one in this list I like the most, then I will say Novation Launchkey 25 MK3.
There are several reasons, I like it most, such as dedicated pad switches, full-featured DAW controller, Ableton Live ready interface, etc.
Well, let us see Novation Launchkey features that separate it from other MIDI keyboards.
- The first and foremost features Novation Launchkey 25 MK3 has the Ableton Live Integration in which you can access Ableton Live’s functions, including Capture MIDI, track arm, quantize, click and loop controls.
- Along with Ableton Live, Novation Launchkey 25 MK3 has full integration with Logic and Reason as well as supports other major DAWs.
- Scale Model, Chord Modes, and a powerful arpeggiator given in this MIDI keyboard extend your musical capabilities to the new highs.
- Novation Launchkey is available in 25-, 37-, 49- and 61-key variants in which Launchkey 25 MK3 is the most popular one. However, the 49- and 61-key variants have faders for your DAW mixer.
- Launchkey even doesn’t need a computer to operate. It works standalone, so it’s the perfect controller for any music-making setup, whether you are working with a computer or without a computer.
- Software included – Ableton Live 10 Lite, Serato Sample LE, Splice Sounds Two-month membership, Spitfire Audio LABS Expressive Strings, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, Klevgrand R0Verb, Klevgrand DAW Cassette, AAS Session Bundle, and Novation Sound Collective
5. Alesis V49 MIDI Keyboard Controller
With 49 full-size velocity-sensitive keys, Alesis V49 is dedicated to piano lovers. However, it’s a minimalist MIDI keyboard and does not have dedicated DAW controller switches, but you’ll get 8 pad switches to sequence your beats.
Let us see its features.
- 49 dedicated full-size velocity-sensitive keys will help you expand your music production capabilities.
- 8 pad switches are given for sequencing beats for your projects.
- Octave up-down buttons help you expand the keyboard to the full melodic range and play bass lines, chords, and melodies.
- It can be connected through USB with your computer.
- You can use Alesis V49 with Ableton Live & XPAND!2 easily, however, it’s also compatible with all major DAWs.
6. AKAI MPK Mini MK3
AKAI MPK Mini MK3 is one of the smallest MIDI keyboard/controllers in the market.
This 25 key MIDI controller is useful for those who travel more. It’s a great fir for Live performers, home producers, etc.
It has also 8 pad switches for better beat composition.
Let us see the features of AKAI MPK Mini MK3.
- There are 25 mini touch-sensitive keys given in this keyboard.
- A brilliant OLED Display is provided for Immediate Parameter Feedback.
- AKAI MPK Mini MK3 has 8 MPC Performance Pads with Note Repeat and Full Level in two banks.
- 8 dedicated Knobs are given to tweak your software parameters.
- This amazing keyboard features a 4-way Joystick for Pitch & Modulation Control.
- There is only a USB connection is given.
- Built-in Arpeggiator and Sustain Pedal Input Jack also provided in this MIDI keyboard.
- The built quality is strong and long-lasting which is important for live performances.
7. Novation Launchkey Mini
The second smallest MIDI keyboard is I Novation’s Launchkey Mini. With a tiny size and sleek design, it’s great for live performers and bedroom producers.
But, despite the small form factor, it is a feature pack MIDI keyboard. Do you want to know those features?
- With deep and intuitive Ableton Live controls it’s one of the best MIDI keyboards for Ableton Live.
- A dedicated and creative arpeggiator is given in this keyboard to control your grooves and synths easily.
- The fixed Chord mode allows you to play a chord with one finger.
- A USB and MIDI out connection is given to connect with the computer and other devices.
- Software included – AAS, Softube, Spitfire Audio, XLN Audio and Klevgrand, membership of Novation Sound Collective.
8. Nektar Impact GX61
Those who want full-length keys can choose Nektar Impact GX series keyboards.
This series has 2 models GX49 and GX61. But, we’ll discuss GX 61 in this article. GX61 is great for piano lovers and gives you the feel of playing a full features synthesizer.
As well as you can range up or down -3/+4 octaves with the given octave change buttons.
The sleek and traditional look gives you the feel of playing traditional electronic synthesizers.
With minimalist controls, it will be a great choice if you want to play the melody without changing octaves on the go.
Let us see its features.
- Nektar GX61 Features a 61-note (5 octaves) keyboard, pitch-bend wheel, modulation wheel, and foot switch socket.
- Two multi-colored octave buttons with the range up or down -3/+4 octaves with the LED colors to show the exact pitch.
- Dedicated transpose buttons that provide keyboard range shift up to +/- 12 semi tones.
- Assignable potentiometer for control over any MIDI parameter.
- Compatible to all major DAWs.
- Nektar GX61 has eight dedicated DAW control buttons.
- USB MIDI and 1/4” TS jack foot switch input (MIDI Assignable).
- BitWig 8-track DAW included in the package.
9. Akai MPK249 MIDI Keyboard
AKAI MPK249 is one of the best MIDI keyboard controllers for home and small studio owners.
It features most of the things that you need to produce, mix, and master your music. From Full-length keys to dedicated DAW mixer faders, it has all the tools you need to produce professional music.
Do you want to know Akai MPK249 features?
- This MIDI keyboard features 49 (4 octaves) semi-weighted, full-size keys with aftertouch functionality.
- You will also get 24 assignable Q-Link controllers that include knobs, faders, and switches to control your DAW fully with your keyboard.
- As well transport and parameter controls are given for hands-on DAW integration
- This iOS compatible MIDI controller works well with Apple iPad.
- 1 assignable footswitch jack and 1 expression jack
- Software included: Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech, SONiVOX Twist 2.0, and Akai Pro MPC Essentials.
- Connectivity: USB-MIDI with 5-pin MIDI input & output.
- 16 RGB-illuminated MPC pads. each of them features 4 banks.
- Pitch bend, modulation, and octave controls
- USB power makes it mobile.
10. M Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3
M Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3 is a low profile MIDI keyboard best for Live performers and bedroom producers.
Due to the Lightweight and mobile profile, Keystation Mini 32 MK3 is perfect for traveling. If you want a simple portable studio setup then it’s one of the best MIDI keyboards to be part of your setup.
Here are the features of M Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3,
- There are 32 low-profile, velocity-sensitive mini-keys provided in this MIDI keyboard.
- Selectable velocity curves are provided to match any playing style
- Pitch bend and modulation buttons add expression
- Dedicated octave up and down buttons are given for extended keyboard range
- The smooth control volume knob
- Sustain button
- Edit Mode button that provides access to advanced functions
- This is a USB powered MIDI Keyboard
- INCLUDED SOFTWARE: Includes AIR Music Tech Xpand!2, multitimbral all-in-one workstation, Pro Tools, first M-Audio Edition, AIR Music Technology Xpand!2
Final Verdict: Which one you should buy?
Well, here were the 10 best MIDI keyboards in the market.
I know, It’s tough to choose one from all the above MIDI keyboards as all of them are feature-rich and versatile keyboard controllers.
SO, which one you should choose?
My answer is,
If you are a live performer and want to buy a MIDI keyboard for your concerts then you should choose a low-profile keyboard controller like M Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3 or Novation Launchkey Mini.
BUT, if you want a MIDI keyboard for home studio then it’s better to go with a feature-rich keyboard. If you ask me which one I choose then it will go with Akai MPK249. It provides all the things that you need for your home studio.
BUT, a MIDI Keyboard that fits your needs and budget cannot fit others. So in the end, It depends on your needs which one is perfect for you.
Let me know how this article entertains you, I will wait for your precious comments in the comment box below. As well as, do share this article on social media to make others educated towards MIDI keyboards.
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Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. He loves music, writing and travelling. He is also an active investor and a successful entrepreneur.