The 8 Best Keyboard For Music Production, Tested by Experts

Mr. Brooks Keeling
  Oct 5, 2022 10:39 PM

A selection of MIDI keyboards and controllers suitable for current music producers, as well as native compatibility with DAWs such as Ableton or Pro Tools. Let's have a look at the best keyboard for music production in the article below!

best keyboard for music production

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MIDI keyboards and controllers are relevant to all artists since they have the chance to figure out themselves in a position where they are generating music to some degree or another. One of the most fundamental things you'd use in that situation is a MIDI keyboard.

Furthermore, the best keyboard for music production is not the most costly. As a result, we've compiled this list based on revenue and circumstance. In other words, we want the best quality and utility for the least amount of money.

Best Keyboard For Music Production Reviews

#1. AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3  - Best Overall

 

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Akai Professional

  • Style: Midi Keyboard Only

  • Color: Black

  • Model Name: MPK Mini MK3 Black

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 8.4 x 14.4 x 3 inches

Product’s Highlights

Despite its ten-year age, this MPK mini is still a common MIDI keyboard among novices and on-the-go users. Although the MPK mini mk2 featured superb velocity and temperature-sensitive controllers, the mk3 has the same extremely tactile design as the MPC line hardware. The RGB feature is missing (the MPK minis have always been red), but the essential functionality remains the same.

Therefore, while the velocity response is superb while playing beats, the pressure performance is outstanding when playing continuous sounds. They also offer aftertouch (either multichannel or polyphonic), which helps get more organic responses out of synth patches that are adequately equipped.

This desktop editor tool allows you to customize additional parameters and behaviors such as MIDI channel, individual CC assignments, knob behavior, and aftertouch (MPK mini 3 Program Editor).

What We Like

  • New MPC velocity and pressure-sensitive pads with aftertouch

  • Continuous rotary controls have been added to the keybed

  • New OLED display for real-time parameter feedback

  • A fantastic software package

Things to Consider

  • Thumbstick won’t appeal to everyone

#2. M-Audio Oxygen Pro 25  - Best Design

 

Important Specifications

  • Brand: M-Audio

  • Size: 25 Keys

  • Style: MIDI Keyboard Only

  • Color: Black

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 10.36 x 3.35 x 19.32 inches

Product’s Highlights

Now we have a direct USB connection; therefore, no MIDI cables or USB interfaces are required. Instead, use the USB cable to connect your keyboard directly to your computer.

Someone with a stronger piano experience may choose a version with more keys, as it will seem more natural to them and allow them to utilize the Oxygen as a fully complete keyboard or digital piano.

Those who plan to use it primarily as a complement to another device or to add effects might save money by purchasing the 25-key version. You get eight knobs for mixing and altering sounds, as well as a built-in fader to help with blending.

Despite retailing in the low three figures, Oxygen's secondhand price, like the MKII, falls into the mid-two-digits. While there aren't many differences between the two keyboards in terms of features, the Oxygen does provide a larger key count. This board is the best alternative if it is relevant to you in any way.

What We Like

  • Units with more keys available

  • Direct USB connection

  • Compatible with all DAWs

  • Drum machine

  • Keys have some weight to them

Things to Consider

  • None for the price

#3. Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] - Best for Ableton Live

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Novation

  • Size: 49 Keys

  • Style: 49 Keys

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 3.03 x 31.06 x 10.16 inches

Product’s Highlights

The Ableton Live program was used to create this keyboard. However, this does not rule out compatibility with most other DAW software packages.

It includes a direct USB connection, much like the other keyboards we've checked, which makes it simple to set up and configure with almost any form of music production software. Simultaneously, we'd be negligent if we didn't point out that it's especially useful for individuals who already possess Ableton Live.

Ableton integration is simple and straightforward. Furthermore, the software visuals in Ableton will correlate to the knobs and keys on the music keyboard, making capability assignment much easy.

This 49-note version of this piano is the most common, although smaller or bigger versions are available according to your needs. Along with the levers on the left side of the keyboard, 16 colored pads, as well as eight control knobs, provide a multitude of manipulation choices.

What We Like

  • It works well with Ableton Live

  • Class-compliant direct USB connection (no drivers needed)

  • There are 16 pads and eight knobs to play with

  • There are several samples and DAW software packages included

Things to Consider

  • For the price, nothing to consider

#4. Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] - Best Mini Keyboard

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Novation

  • Size: 25 Keys Mini

  • Style: 25 Keys Mini

  • Material: Novation

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 1.61 x 6.77 x 12.99 inches

Product’s Highlights

You would assume Novation's Launch series is all about the Launchpad, a set of four controllers – such as the recently released Launchpad X as well as Launchpad Mini – that provide a whole different experience than standard keyboard controllers. 

With Launch Control XL, you will receive a wonderful small fader and rotary controller – and the Launchkey Mini controller, of which the item on test here is the current Mark 3 edition – are also part of the collection.

Launchkey activates Session mode, displaying a grid of clips of whatever track is loaded onto its pads, as well as the Play button plays these. Choose whatever tune you like with the bottom key, then press the illuminated upper pad to start a clip.

What We Like

  • Extremely portable & light

  • 16 RGB-lit drum pads

  • Includes Ableton Live Lite 10

  • MIDI out

  • Affordable

  • Sustain input

Things to Consider

  • Lacks aftertouch

  • Encoders aren’t endless (They can’t turn 360 degrees)

#5. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 Controller Keyboard - Best Compact Keys

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Native Instruments

  • Material: Oled

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 6.57 x 18.7 x 1.96 inches

  • Item Weight: 1 Kilogram

  • Hardware Interface: USB 2.0

Product’s Highlights

We looked at the form factor, simplicity of usage, and price while deciding on the top MIDI keyboard for beginners. As a result, we feel Native Instruments' Komplete Kontrol M32 is the greatest MIDI keyboard for beginners. Native Instruments has a long history of producing high-quality hardware that prioritizes creativity and workflow.

The software which arrives in this keyboard contains a copy of Ableton Live Lite, which is a good DAW to start with, as well as a collection of Native Instruments products packaged together as Komplete Kontrol. The  Komplete Kontrol effectively combines all of your Native Instruments effects into a single plugin that you can completely control with this Kontrol M32 MIDI keyboard.

When you combine these capabilities with the single package and the M32's USB bus-powered design, you have a MIDI keyboard that's ideal for first-time MIDI keyboard consumers.

What We Like

  • Great size

  • Touch-sensitive endless knobs

  • Software and instruments package, including Maschine

Things to Consider

  • Limited visual feedback

  • USB only

#6. M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3  - Best Easy to Control

Important Specifications

  • Brand: M-Audio

  • Size: 61 Keys

  • Style: Keyboard Controller

  • Color: Black

  • Material: Velvet

Product’s Highlights

Look no further if you're looking for a high-quality MIDI keyboard with no frills. You should consider the M-Audio Keystation 49 and 61 MK3. The Keystation is available in two versions, depending on how many keys you desire. Aside from that, the two are nearly identical.

The keyboard is exceptionally light, resilient, and small, making it ideal for touring performers - both on stage and in hotel rooms. This M-Audio MIDI keyboard is also suitable for the studio because it takes very little space.

The Keystation 49 and 61 MK3 include easy-access buttons on the left side and an outstanding collection of keys. Change the octave, pause, play, record, or utilize the modulator and pitch wheel to refine your sound.

Both M-Audio Keystation 49 and 61 MK3 are excellent choices for beginners and experienced producers.

What We Like

  • 61 Velocity-sensitive keys

  • Supports pitch bend and modulation wheel

  • Octave selection

  • Transport button for DAW control

Things to Consider

  • Some issues with delivery

#7. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49 - Best Sound-Quality

Important Specifications

  • Brand: Native Instruments

  • Style: A-Series

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 35 x 14 x 6 inches

  • Item Weight: 4 Kilograms

  • Connectivity Technology: USB

Product’s Highlights

Native Instruments offers a wide variety of high-end music production software or hardware. Everything works in perfect harmony with the Komplete Kontrol.

First and foremost, the A49, with its 49 keys, is the most affordable and compact of the three. We'll go over that one first for simplicity's sake. This Komplete Kontrol looks and feels smooth and gorgeous with semi-weighted, piano-like keys. On the upper end of the MIDI keyboard, the various controls are easily accessible and well-organized.

And now comes the exciting part. All of the knobs and controls are compatible with Native Instruments offerings (nearly 6,700 sounds are included), as well as other VST plugins. This means you may use this MIDI keyboard to control Arturia Pigments, Diva, and almost any other VST plugin.

What We Like

  • 8 Touch-sensitive dials

  • Pitch and Mod Wheels

  • Newly developed semi-weighted keyboard with 25 keys

  • OLED display

Things to Consider

  • Accessories are limited

  • Weightless keys

#8. Arturia MiniLab MkII 25 Slim-Key Controller - Best High-Performance

Important Specifications

  • Brand: ARTURIA

  • Size: 10

  • Color: White

  • Material: Rubber

  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 14 x 8 x 2 inches

Product’s Highlights

Are you searching for a portable keyboard that works seamlessly with Ableton Live? Then the Arturia MiniLab 25 MKII is a must-have. You want a tiny MIDI controller with a great feel and all the features you need, whether you're always on the road touring or creating at a friend's place.

You can create harmonies and play with an unequaled feel thanks to the 25 velocity-sensitive compact keys. With precise touch-sensitive strips, you may change the pitch or modulation of your sounds.

In addition, users can use the eight-touch, and velocity-sensitive RGB illuminated pads conveniently arranged above your keyboard to get jazzy. This Arturia MiniLab 25 MKII is the best mini-lab by leading producer standards.

What We Like

  • Amazing build quality

  • Great keyboard 

  • Analog Lab Lite is cool

  • RGB pads with aftertouch

Things to Consider

  • A tenth of the sounds that came with v1

Compare Products

TOP Choice
1
  • WPL Score

    WPL Score is a ranking system developed by Whypinkfloyd.com. WPL score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturers or sales agent websites. Learn more

    9.4
  • Brand
    Akai Professional
TOP Choice
2
  • WPL Score

    WPL Score is a ranking system developed by Whypinkfloyd.com. WPL score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturers or sales agent websites. Learn more

    9.2
  • Brand
    M-Audio
TOP Choice
3
  • WPL Score

    WPL Score is a ranking system developed by Whypinkfloyd.com. WPL score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturers or sales agent websites. Learn more

    9.4
  • Brand
    Novation
Most Saving
4
  • WPL Score

    WPL Score is a ranking system developed by Whypinkfloyd.com. WPL score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturers or sales agent websites. Learn more

    9.4
  • Brand
    Novation
Most Saving
5
  • WPL Score

    WPL Score is a ranking system developed by Whypinkfloyd.com. WPL score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturers or sales agent websites. Learn more

    9.2
  • Brand
    Native Instruments
Most Saving
6
  • WPL Score

    WPL Score is a ranking system developed by Whypinkfloyd.com. WPL score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturers or sales agent websites. Learn more

    9.2
  • Brand
    M-Audio
Most Saving
7
  • WPL Score

    WPL Score is a ranking system developed by Whypinkfloyd.com. WPL score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturers or sales agent websites. Learn more

    9.2
  • Brand
    Native Instruments
Most Saving
8
  • WPL Score

    WPL Score is a ranking system developed by Whypinkfloyd.com. WPL score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturers or sales agent websites. Learn more

    9.4
  • Brand
    ARTURIA

Last update on 2022-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs

Do you know how to make music using a keyboard?

Most DAW products have a built-in virtual keyboard that you may manipulate with your computer's keyboard. Therefore, if you're inexperienced in music production and don't have access to a MIDI keyboard, or if you're on a spending plan, you may compose music using only your computer.

Is a keyboard required for a DAW?

MIDI keyboards and controllers are currently regarded as a crucial tool for contemporary music production owing to their capacity to boost creativity and workflow in any sound studio.

Is it possible to produce without MIDI?

It is the potential to compose music without using a MIDI keyboard. The piano roll in the DAW is one possibility. The computer keyboard is the second choice. The third method utilizes a midi controller on a smartphone or tablet.

Final Words

That concludes our list of the best keyboard for music production in 2022. When purchasing your MIDI keyboard, consider the three things: playability, functionality, and mobility. Your options may change depending on your current and future requirements.