Best MIDI Keyboards for Music Production – Top Picks for this Year!

Best MIDI Keyboards for Music Production
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Since there are a huge number of MIDI keyboards, choosing one of the best MIDI keyboards for music production can become a confusing task.

Especially if you are new to music production and looking for a MIDI keyboard controller with numerous production controls and features, narrowing down to the perfect keyboard can consume a lot of your valuable time.

For this reason, we have listed below the top 7 best-performing MIDI keyboards for music production. A great thing, however, is that they do not cost a lot and fall right in the sweet budget category.

MIDI keyboard buying Guide

Before we dive in to look some of the best MIDI keyboard controllers for music production, lets look at what features you should look for.

1) Number of keys

The first important thing to consider is how many keys you want in a MIDI keyboard. This will depend on:

  • Whether you have adequate space for the large keyboard?
  • Do you want to practice and learn new piano skills?
  • Are you only interested in making melodies, basslines, and drum beats?

Furthermore, a MIDI keyboard is available in the following vital formats:

  • 25 keys,
  • 32 keys,
  • 49 keys,
  • 61 keys,
  • 88 keys.

For beginner music producers, get a 25-key or 32-key MIDI keyboard, as it helps you focus on a particular octave range, which is far easier than a multiple-octave keyboard.

However, if you want to learn piano skills over multiple octaves, you can look for other vital keyboard formats.

2) Pads, faders, and knobs

A MIDI keyboard can also consist of pads, faders, knobs, or all packed into the keyboard unit’s upper portion.

Faders and knobs can be mapped to instrument parameters such as filters, ADSR, and envelopes or with DAW parameters such as volume, panning, or other DAW controls.

Similarly, you can assign various instruments or drum sounds to the given pads in a MIDI keyboard controller. A general use case of the pad units is to post drum sounds to it and make drum beats.

Nonetheless, these three features come in handy in music production, and you must consider getting a MIDI keyboard that offers these features.

3) Connectivity ports

Another essential thing to consider is the number and type of connectivity ports you need on a MIDI keyboard to connect and fit it into your recording studio setup.

A MIDI keyboard generally offers:

  • MIDI out,
  •  USB port,
  •  Sustain Pedal port.

Most MIDI keyboards offer a Sustain and USB Port. However, a few MIDI keyboard controllers also provide a MIDI out port to connect other external hardware synths and keyboards.

Best MIDI Keyboards for Music Production

Here are top ten pieces of MIDI keyboards for music production this year.

1) AKAI Professional MPK Mini Play MK3 MIDI Keyboard Controller

AKAI Professional MPK Mini Play MK3 – MIDI Keyboard Controller with Built in Speaker and Sounds Plus Dynamic Keybed, MPC Pads and Software Suite,Black
  • Compact yet powerful standalone mini keyboard with built-in…
  • 25-Key Gen 2 MPK Mini dynamic keybed, OLED Display, 8…
  • Over 100 internal drum and instrument sounds including…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 25 velocity sensitive keys,
> Four knobs,
> 8 pressure sensitive pads,
> In-built speakers and sound units,
> 4 Directional Joystick,
> Includes sustain, headphone and USB port,
> Compatible with all the major DAWs.

A deeper Analysis

The latest version of AKAI’s Mini MIDI keyboard controller has changed a lot. It offers improved pad quality, a key bed, inbuilt sounds, and a speaker unit. Another thing is that you also get a much more solid and robust build quality.

The MPK Mini Play offers 25 velocity-sensitive keys, four endless encoders, eight pressure-sensitive pads, and four-way directional knobs. The latest MK3 edition has an inbuilt speaker unit and sound presets, making it a one-of-a-kind MIDI keyboard controller.

This MIDI keyboard controller is an excellent choice for music production as it comes with most of the features you need. On top of that, the AKAI MPK Mini MK3 offers high portability and an inbuilt speaker, making it even easier to produce music as and where inspiration strikes.

Another great add-on is that you can control the velocity on the pads. You can make it velocity sensitive or play at total volume, irrespective of how hard you press it. You can turn the velocity feature either on or off.

It comes with a sustain, USB, and headphone jack for connectivity purposes. These ports pack this MIDI keyboard for all-around connectivity in most studio environments. However, it lacks a MIDI port which can come in handy to control other synths or keyboards.


> Solid build quality,
> Includes all the necessary features for music production,
> Comes with a valuable software bundle for beginners,
> In-built speaker unit makes it one of a kind MIDI keyboard.


> Lacks MIDI port,
> In-built sounds are sub-standard.

2) M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini – 32 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With Beat Pads, MIDI assignable Knobs, Buttons & Faders and Software Suite Included,black
  • MIDI Keyboard Essentials – 32 velocity-sensitive, semi…
  • Beat Maker Mainstays – 8 RGB backlit MIDI assignable…
  • Total Command of Your Music Production – 4 assignable knobs,…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 32 velocity sensitive keys,
> Four Knobs,
> Four Faders,
> 8 RGB Backlit Pads,
> Arp mode,
> smart chord mode,
> Pitch / mod wheel knobs,
> Compatible with all major DAWs,
> Software bundle – included.

A deeper Analysis

Another excellent and favorite MIDI controller is the M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini USB MIDI Keyboard Controller. It packs a lot of features compared to other MIDI keyboards for music production in the budget price category.

This MIDI controller offers faders, knobs, RGB backlit pads, and pressure-sensitive keys. On top of that, it also includes an arp, smart chord, scale, and display unit. These features make it a MIDI keyboard to come up with new music production ideas and to strike inspiration whenever writer’s block hits.

As mentioned, the thing I love about this MIDI keyboard, in general, is that it offers many music production benefits to producers and artists. It comes with many production controls and modes, such as the scale mode, which can help you create endless melodies.

Also Read: Best Budget MIDI Keyboard Controllers – Pocket friendly Picks!

Also, the Oxygen Pro Mini is easy to set up and is compatible with major DAW such as Ableton, Logic, Cubase, Reasons, and more. Nonetheless, it also bundles good music production softwares, which can provide a great starting point for beginners.

The rear panel of the keyboard houses a MIDI out, sustain, and USB port making it a great MIDI controller. You can connect the Oxygen Pro Mini to another synth or keyboard using the MIDI Out port and control its sound presets.


> Simple DAW setup,
> includes a wide variety of features for music production,
> Offers a high value for money.


> Lacks MIDI port,
> Pad button are bit noisy.

3) Arturia Keylab 49 Essential Controller Keyboard

Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 – 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Velocity Sensitive Synth Action Keys, 8 Drum Pads, 9 Faders, 9 Knobs and Analog Lab V Software Included
  • Software Included: Analog Lab V with 2000 synth sounds,…
  • 49 key velocity sensitive keyboard with hybrid synth-piano…
  • Controllers: 1 clickable encoder, 9 encoders, 9 30mm faders,…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 49 velocity sensitive keys,
> 9 encoders or knobs,
> 8 assignable pads,
> Comes with pitch & mod wheels,
> Includes Arturia’s premium plugin sound presets,
> Includes MIDI, sustain and USB port.

A deeper Analysis

The best thing about the Arturia Keylab 49 Essential Controller Keyboard is that it offers free software plugins that are more than the cost of this MIDI controller. Hence, it is a great value for money, especially if you love Arturia’s Analog Lab 5, which comes with more than 6000 sound presets.

On top of that, Keylab Essential is pre-mapped with all of Arturia’s VST Plugins, so there is no need to worry about mapping controls or parameters. Furthermore, you can also control your DAW parameters using the inbuilt display and central knob.

The Keylab 49 Essential comes up with 49-velocity sensitive keys, nine knobs, faders, and eight assignable pads. It offers any music producer a huge control over the instrument they are controlling through the Keylab 49.

Also, the keyboard’s design looks aesthetically pleasing, and the build quality remains highly durable, with most of the build material being tough plastic.

The rear panel houses a MIDI out, sustain, and USB port, making a great studio desk companion. Using Arturia’s Keylab, you can control all your hardware synthesizers and keyboards.


> A great option for learning as well as producing music,
> Aesthetic design,
> Durable build quality,
> Includes 6000 sound presets from Analog Lab V,
> Wide range of features included.


> Lacks after-touch.

4) Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] USB MIDI Keyboard

Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] — Portable 25-Key, USB, MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW Integration. Chord Mode, Scale Mode, and Arpeggiator — for Music Production
  • Get hands on with Ableton Live – Have a seamless music…
  • Get creative easily with arpeggiator – Easy to use but…
  • Play chords with one finger – Lay down chords for your track…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 25 velocity sensitive keys,
> 8 Assignable knobs,
> 16 RGB drum pads,
> mod and pitch strips,
> smart chord mode,
> Includes MIDI output,
> Numerous arp patterns.

A deeper Analysis

The Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] USB MIDI Keyboard is a substantial upgrade to its previous generation MK2 version. When we compare it to its previous generation, many things have changed, and I love every single one.

It packs 25 velocity-sensitive keys, eight assignable knobs, and sixteen pressure-sensitive pad units. Nonetheless, you can assign multiple parameters to one knob or pad using the shift button. This hugely impacts the parameters you can assign and control from the keyboard.

Furthermore, Novation Launchkey Mini is also a great tool to control DAW parameters such as track settings, record, play, pause, automate things and launch instances.

All in all, this keyboard is a feature-packed beast! Most importantly, I love how Novation has made all these major improvements without significantly increasing the price of the keyboard controller.

The back panel includes a sustain, MIDI out and USB port, making it a great studio companion. With the help of MIDI out, you can connect the Novation Launchkey Mini to external hardware synths and keyboards.

The build quality and the keyboard size make it a great option to consider if you are looking for a portable and tough MIDI keyboard.


> Great design and build,
> includes MIDI out,
> A feature loaded portable option.


> No after-touch,
> Lacks functional faders.

5) Arturia MiniLab 3 Mini Hybrid Keyboard Controller

Arturia MiniLab 3 Mini Hybrid Keyboard Controller
  • GO WITH YOUR FLOW: MiniLab 3 is an easy keyboard controller…
  • PERFORMANCE-READY PORTABILITY: Portable yet robust, MiniLab…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

>25 velocity sensitive keys,
> Eight Knobs,
> Four Faders,
> Eight Pads,
> Arp mode,
> smart chord mode,
> Pitch / mod wheel strips,
> Major DAW Compatibility,
> premium Software bundle including Arturia’s Analog lab.

A deeper Analysis

Arturia’s MiniLab 3 brings a lot of refinement and features to the previous generation Minilab MK2.

Straight after unboxing this little controller, it feels lighter than the Minilab MK2. This makes the Minilab 3 a good travel companion than the MK2. However, it does not mean that the build quality has been compromised. The build quality is still solid, and it feels durable.

The new MIDI controller brings four new faders, MIDI out, a display unit, and an endless encoder to control the display panel. Nonetheless, the display panel is quite handy when changing parameter settings.

You can find eight endless encoders, four fader units, eight RGB pads, and other additional controls on the left-hand side of the keyboard. The four faders are a great addition to the Minilab 3 as they offer more control over instruments and look good rather than sixteen knobs, as in MK2.

The rear panel comes now with a MIDI out other than sustain and a USB port. It is another great added feature as you can plug this Mini controller keyboard with other hardware synthesizers effortlessly.


> A significant upgrade to Minilab MK2,
> Aesthetic Design and solid build,
> Premium software bundle and full compatibility with Arturia VST plugins.


> Thin compatibility with Arturia’s Previous Generation VST’S including V collection 7 and Analog lab 4.

6) Nektar Impact LX25+ USB MIDI Controller Keyboard

Nektar Impact LX25+ | USB MIDI Controller Keyboard with Nektar DAW Integration Dark Grey
  • Premium midi controller with 25 expressive synth-action…
  • 8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads
  • Mac, PC and iOS compatible

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 25 Velocity-Sensitive Keys,
> 8 RGB pads,
> 8 Assignable knobs,
> comes with Modulation and Pitch Bend Wheels
> Pre-mapped with DAW,
> Sustain pedal & USB connectivity.

A deeper Analysis

The Nektar Impact LX25+ is the only MIDI keyboard in this price range, offering full-sized piano-like keys. If you want to learn piano and produce music, this is a great MIDI keyboard to consider.

Nektar’s Impact LX25+ offers 25 velocity-sensitive keys, eight pad units, eight assignable knobs and pitch/mod knobs. A great advantage of the Nektar Impact LX25+ is that it comes pre-mapped with major DAWs like Cubase, Logic, Reasons and other popular DAWs.

Also Read: Best MIDI Keyboards for Beginners – Latest Edition!

Therefore, it provides great functionalities to control your DAW parameters and other instrument aspects.

Moreover, the solid quality remains highly durable, solid and robust, making it a portable MIDI keyboard controller and a great travel companion.

The rear panel of the Nektar Impact LX25+ contains a sustain and USB port. However, a MIDI port still needs to be present, which is a bummer!


> Comes with an effective display,
> Simple and neat design,
> Has a lot of features required for music production,
> Great set of features included.


> Lacks MIDI port,
> Weighs a bit too much.

7) Alesis Qmini USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Alesis Qmini – Portable 32 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Velocity Sensitive Synth Action Keys and Music Production Software Included
  • Music Production and Beat Maker Essential – USB powered…
  • Complete Control – Octave / Transpose buttons for access of…
  • Universal Compatibility – Complete compatibility with any…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Features

> 32 velocity sensitive keys,
> Pitch / Mod button,
> Volume knob,
> sustain button,
> Transpose controls,
> USB Powered.

A deeper Analysis

The Alesis Qmini is a great budget-friendly option for music producers who want no significant feature other than the keys.

It has 32 velocity-sensitive keys, buttons to control pitch/mod, transpose buttons, and a volume knob. It is a simple keyboard and a good choice for newbie producers who want to practice basic piano skills and produce music side by side in a budget option.

Related: Best MIDI Keyboard controllers under $100!

Also, the Alesis Qmini is super compact and is a great option for music producers who are actively travelling all the time across multiple places. For size comparison, it can fit right into your jacket or overcoat pockets.

Since there are no knobs, pads, faders etc., I do not recommend Alesis Qmini to producers looking for a MIDI keyboard primarily for making beats and creating melodies.


> Cost effective,
> Great option for artists beginning in music production,
> Comes with good software bundle.


> Not a great option for intermediate producers,
> Lacks MIDI out.


Don’t forget to consider your current and future requirements before buying a MIDI keyboard. A lot of things boils down to personal needs and future goals.

Lastly, do feel free to mention some your favourite MIDI keyboard controllers that may not have been in this list.

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