The midi keyboard (also known as the midi keyboard or midi controller) has become an essential instrument of modern music creation. The midi keyboard allows you to control virtual instruments on your computer to create music. Using MIDI keyboard, you can easily record piano, drums, midi synthesizer, bass or sound effects.
Below you will find a selection of the best midi keyboard controller and midi synthesizer.
Midi controllers are widely used in professional studios and home studios. Their biggest advantage? Transcribe the sensations of a classical keyboard or piano while allowing you to play any instrument.
The MIDI keyboards, coupled with a software of MAO (like FL Studio 12), open simply gigantic opportunities. With your MAO software, you will be able to play and record any VST (Virtual Instrument). Like a piano, a midi synthesizer, a guitar or percussion instruments.
In short, the opportunities are almost endless and your musical creation and spontaneity to compose effective melodies will be greatly facilitated through the use of a physical product in a field that tends more and more to be digitized.
Why a Midi keyboard?
There may be several reasons why you need a MIDI keyboard.
- You want to play the piano and adjust it digitally
- You want to practice playing the piano
- Work fast
- Linking drums to keys
- You want to quickly create ideas with the keyboard instead of your mouse
- You want to link buttons on your keyboard to buttons of your DAW
What should you pay attention to when buying a midi keyboard?
- The number of keys is important when purchasing a MIDI keyboard. The number of keys also determines the length of the MIDI keyboard.
- A standard piano normally has 88 keys.
- A standard MIDI keyboard often has 61 keys or 49 keys.
- A version that you can often include in terms of format is a 25-key MIDI keyboard, ideal for on the go!
- For a MIDI keyboard in your standard equipped studio, we recommend purchasing a version with 49 keys. This is often good in terms of size and number of keys.
- Many MIDI keyboards are equipped with extra buttons. For example, you often see drum pads on a keyboard, so you can also play drums directly. You often notice that you do not work very much with this.
- It can be very useful to have other dials, you can manually link them to buttons in your DAW that you use often. So you do not always need the mouse anymore, but simply control it via your MIDI keyboard.
- In addition, almost all models are equipped with pitch bend, octave down and up and modulation.
- There used to be a lot of MIDI keyboards, MIDI connections. This can be very inconvenient in 2017. For most purposes it is useful if there is a USB connection that you can simply connect to your computer. So always check whether it is a USB MIDI keyboard!
Quality of the keys
- The price difference is often the quality of the tests. Cheap MIDI keyboards simply feel cheaper and sometimes also produce sound when you press. With higher-quality MIDI keyboards, the keys feel better and smoother (in most cases).
Best midi keyboard under $100
Without delay, here is our selection of the best master midi keyboard controller under $100 in 2019.
1. Alesis Q25 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
For the vast majority of basic home studios, a compact, versatile, easy-to-use controller is a great leap for more professional productions.
The Alesis Q 25, in addition to being affordable, has all the necessary and expected functions of a MIDI controller, including:
- Power via USB
- Pitch and modulation control
- Sustain pedal input
- USB output and traditional MIDI cable
You can find this controller in versions with 25 keys, 49 keys and 88 keys, all compatible with any MIDI hardware or software. In addition, the Alesis Q25 is a “plug n play” controller, it does not require a specific driver to work.
2. Akai Professional MPD18 Compact Pad Controller
Another type of midi controller very common in the market different from the traditional keyboards are the PAD Controllers. PAD controllers though looks a bit different but are ergonomically designed and are convenient to use with some practice if you have not used them earlier. We strongly suggest that you give them a try.
These controllers became famous after the release of the MPC Series, launched by Japanese manufacturer Akai. In the 90’s.
This type of controller is widely used for recording percussive instruments and beats developments.
In the case of Akai Professional MPD18, you will find the following functions:
- 16 velocity controls, sensitive to touch pressure.
- 3 banks of samples / 48 samples in total.
- Plug-n-play USB connection.
In addition, the Akai Professional MPD18 is compact and does not create difficulties with respect to space within the home studio.
3. M-Audio Oxygen 61 MKIV | 61-Key USB MIDI Keyboard & Mini Drum Pad Controller (8 Pads / 8 Knobs / 9 Faders), VIP Software Download Included
If you are looking for controllers with keyboard and controls via PAD, M Audio Oxygen may be a good choice for your studio. Because in addition to having these two controls, it allows you to control the functions of your multitrack software, with some sliders and knobs.
Another very interesting feature of this controller is Direct Link technology, which automatically maps the vast majority of DAW and current software, transferring functions and parameters of these programs to the M Audio Oxygen controller. In addition, this controller can connect with iPad, iPhone, and iPod.
You can find the M Audio Oxygen controllers in 25-key, 49-key, and 61-key versions. M-Audio as a brand has been pioneer when it comes to audio equipment for professional use.
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4. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Drum Pad & Midi Keyboard Controller with Joystick, VIP Software Download Included
While some midi controllers have several versions, such as different sizes and features to satisfy producers of all tastes, some are made to be small, portable, like this Akai here.
Besides the common functions among the other controllers, this one also has:
- A small joystick, which allows controlling the Pitch and modulation in a single control.
- 25 velocity controls, sensitive to touch pressure.
- Comes with Akai Pro MPC Essential, Sonivoz Wobble and Hybrid 3 software by AIR Music Tech.
This midi drum pad offers excellent value for money and midi music maker and is well suited for producers who travel a lot or who have little space in their home studio.
5. Korg NANOKEY2BK Slim-Line USB Keyboard in Black
Unlike competitors who mix keyboard controls with pad controls, Japanese brand Korg did not want to mix things in its Nano line. In the portability issue, Korg NanoKey2 / NanoPad2 is the king. Fits perfectly in front of your notebook and has several features like 25 velocity controls, sensitive to touch pressure. Knobs, switches, and faders that fit any DAW. In addition to being “plug n play”, independent of drivers to work.
It brings all the confidence and quality of the Korg brand in an extremely portable and functional design.
6. Novation LAUNCHKEY MINI MK2 25 Key USB Midi Keyboard Controller Headphones
The difference from this driver to its competitors is that while the vast majority of them work with any multitrack software, Novation launch key gives Ableton Live more preference. Although it works with any DAW, this driver was developed for the purpose of meeting the needs of producers working with Ableton.
If you are an Ableton user, this is one of the most recommended for you. In it, you will have specific functions to control and automap Live. In addition to coming with the following software included:
- Launch key / Launchpad iPad apps
- V-Station and Bass Station Soft Synths
- Ableton Live Lite
- Loop masters Sample Pack
You can find Novation launch key in versions with 25 keys, 49 and 61 keys which is an impressive feature.
7. Novation Launchpad Pro
Like Novation Launchkey, this Novation driver is also designed for more interaction with Ableton software, but that does not stop you from using it in any software. This driver offers functions that we have not seen in any other already mentioned. This is because your pads are arranged in color, each corresponding to a certain instrument.
In addition, you can define different functions to the pads, which play their rhythms, you can add specific functions for each of these pads, such as:
- Note Mode, which makes it possible to use the pads to make beats, using drums and any other instrument, according to the colors of the pads.
- Scale Mode, which allows you to play a musical note of a certain scale, select it and make all the pads work with the chosen musical scale.
- Divide Mode, which allows you to control all EFx devices on the pads. This controller opens the doors of creativity because it is sensitive to the pressure and speed that we put in touch.
Many producers compare Novation Launchpad Pro with Ableton Push because they have similar features and functionality.
8. M-Audio Axiom AIR Mini 32 | Premium 32-Key USB MIDI Keyboard & Mini Drum Pad Controller (8 Pads / 8 Knobs), VIP Software Download Included
While some manufacturers develop controllers that can be “portable”, Axiom AIR does not have that concern. And for those who do not see this portability as a big differential, this is a great option. This is because the larger size results in more room for several functions.
In it, you will find all the functions expected of a very complete midi controller, with controls like:
- Transport controls
In addition to automapping with most multitrack software, it has 25, 32, 49, and 61-key versions. So if you do not have problems with space, this is a great option.
Best Midi keyboard softwares
A midi keyboard requires software to produce sound. A midi keyboard is not a synthesizer with programmed sounds in it, so you have to use certain software to get sound out of it.
The most common situation is as follows. You connect your midi keyboard with a USB cable to your computer. You have installed a DAW on your computer, which is often: FL Studio, Logic Pro X or Ableton. In it, you have different plug-ins like piano and guitars that you use to create the sound that you type on your midi keyboard.
You can also use a standalone keyboard, this is a program on your computer that allows you to control a single sound.
1. Maestro Composer for Windows
DOWNLOAD FREE: CLICK HERE
“Maestro Composer ” offers a range of powerful tools that help you write and publish your musical scores in a minimal amount of time. The music composition software offers twelve methods of entering musical notes, including a MIDI keyboard and its exclusive method of fast entry for and reliable sheet music creation. It supports many different formats for exporting, editing and printing your work.
2. All That Chords! For Windows
DOWNLOAD FREE: CLICK HERE
View all the chords on a virtual keyboard. Select the desired chord (from Cm to Bb7 (b5) add13 … all are there!) And voila. You can also “draw” the notes on a virtual keyboard, or play them on a MIDI keyboard. The ranges (major, blues …) are there too. A chord sequencer can be used to play your chord grids. A good utility for jazz pianists!
3. Harmony Assistant
DOWNLOAD FREE: CLICK HERE
Harmony Assistant is an essential software for writing and computer-assisted music composition. His ability to harmonize allows the composer to quickly and efficiently build music with their accompaniments, multiple instruments, and rhythms. Its full-page editing mode and burning mode will make it easier to edit and lay out your music.
A great wealth of musical symbols is at your disposal: the possibilities of notation are immense. Thanks to the page mode, you will edit the score as it will be on paper, the engraving mode will give it a flawless appearance. Music input is via the mouse, computer keyboard or external MIDI keyboard.
Harmony Assistant incorporates Soft midi synthesizer technology that allows it to render quality music on basic sound cards, even without an external MIDI synthesizer. The software can load and save in a multitude of formats (MIDI, WAV, AIFF, MP3, OGG, TAB, ABC, XML …). Finally, with MyrScript, the built-in programming language, you add your own features if you wish.
DOWNLOAD FREE: CLICK HERE
TAL-BassLine is a VSTI (virtual instrument) that comes in the form of a synthesizer from which you can play bass sounds and add effects easily. It incorporates a low pass filter easily customizable which will have the effect of giving a very characteristic heat to the sound.
The synth offers by default about twenty preset that correspond to different bass. To install it, simply copy the file present in the archive, in your directory intended for VST plugins. To use it, you will launch a VST effects and VSTI scan via your MAO software, plug in your MIDI keyboard and you will be ready to play!
5. Melody Assistant for Mac
DOWNLOAD FREE: CLICK HERE
Melody Assistant is a software dedicated to writing, printing and restoring music. Easy to use, Melody Assistant offers a user-friendly interface and powerful features. Today used by a very active community of thousands of users, it has become an essential musical creation tool. Download it and try it without time limitation.
A wealth of musical symbols will allow you to edit quality scores, including tablatures and Gregorian notation.
Music input is via the mouse, computer keyboard or external MIDI keyboard.
Melody Assistant incorporates Soft midi synthesizer technology that allows it to render quality music on basic sound cards, even without an external MIDI synthesizer. Melody Assistant comes with hundreds of different instruments.
Melody Assistant can load and save in a multitude of formats (MIDI, WAV, AIFF, MP3, OGG, TAB, ABC …).
The software is multilingual: French, English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese.
How to create MIDI songs (midi music maker)
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface (digital interface of a musical instrument). MIDI is a form of serial communication that is generally used between musical devices. Such as a percussion machine and a keyboard, but can also be used to drive other devices capable of operating using the MIDI circuit.
Using a free program, a MIDI song is easy to do after making the necessary configuration to get your computer ready to make MIDI music. This type of music is flexible because it allows the composer to listen to the melody played by various instruments and sound systems.
Connect the digital MIDI interface to your computer, if you have one. If you do not have one, proceed to Step 2. A MIDI interface can be a drum machine, with MIDI musical keyboard compatibility, or a simple MIDI device. Some consoles are connected to the computer using a USB cable. If you are using a device with MIDI inputs, but not with the computer interface, you will need an audio and MIDI interface that connects to your computer’s USB port or a Firewire port.
Install the MIDI compatible program. Often, it’s a MIDI sequencer. There are many programs available, and if you have already used a free one, you most likely have a platform with MIDI compatibility. Professional programs for MIDI sequencing include “Reason” and “Finale”. The free audio program “Audacity” has a MIDI sequencing capability.
Set the program for input and playback. To do this, you will have to make sure that the program recognizes the sound card of your computer and your MIDI input device. If you are programming MIDI without an input device, you will only have to configure your sound card for playback. Most MIDI-capable programs have a configuration menu called “Preferences,” “Settings,” or “Options,” and can usually be found in the “Edit” or “Settings” link on the toolbar. Program. Check the program manual for information on how to configure the MIDI program you have.
Start a new song in the audio program. In general, the PC audio program will start a new file if you visit the “File” menu and select “New”, or by using the Ctrl-N key.
Open a new MIDI track in the program. You can often start a new one by tapping “Track” in the menu and adding a new instrument or track, as in “Pro Tools”. In “Reason”, you must add a sequence track. Some simple MIDI sequencers only allow you to use a MIDI track to program your song. The advantage of several MIDI or instrument tracks is that a multi-track environment allows you to use multiple instruments and create an orchestra band or sound.
Select a sound Many MIDI program settings take a sound by default, but with some kind of program, you will not be able to hear the melody you are playing without choosing a sound first. Some MIDI programs allow you to choose your own sound for MIDI playback, usually in the form of a wav or aif file, but some MIDI programs use only a limited number of included sounds.
Record your MIDI notes on the track. If you do not have a MIDI interface, such as a musical keyboard, you will have to place the notes manually using the mouse. If you have a keyboard connected to the computer, you should only start the recording function, allowing the selected track to be recorded if necessary, and then press the “Record” button and then “Play”. At this point, if the keyboard is properly connected to the computer, the keystrokes must be recorded as MIDI in the MIDI program.
Export your MIDI song for playback. Your audio program must have a function called “Export” or “Convert”, which allows you to change the MIDI song to an MP3 or WAV file for playback through an audio program and playback of common music files such as iTunes or Foobar.
We hope you like our post on the Best midi keyboard under $100.