We are having a glance at the very best MIDI keyboards obtainable in 2020 and…
Best Midi Keyboard Black Friday Deals 2021
Akai MPK Mini MkII – AN INDIVIDUAL Favorite
Because the first version of the MPK Mini, it’s been probably the most popular MIDI controllers in the marketplace. Despite its small stature, this little MIDI keyboard is a producers dream.
The main feature of the MPK Mini MkII may be the traditional Akai MPC drum pads. There are 8 pads that can be utilised for triggering drums, samples, or patterns. Samples could be assigned to bank A or bank B meaning you effectively have the consumption of 16 pads (8 at the same time) and you could switch between banks quickly during a performance.
The MPK Mini MkII includes 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keys with octave up/down functionality. While 25 keys don’t accurately give a huge range it’s plenty of to lay out chords and lead lines.
There are 8 assignable knobs that permit you to edit parameters like cut-off, resonance, etc, in real-time. Various other nice performance features certainly are a powerful arpeggiator and an email repeat trigger. Rather than a wheel, Akai has chosen a thumbstick to regulate pitch bend and modulation which is quite intuitive.
Like the majority of Akai controllers you get yourself a very good software bundle with the MPK Mini MkII which includes MPC Essentials, Sonivox Wobble, and Air Music Tech’s Hybrid.
Between your included software you involve some powerful production tools plus some really high-end synth, bass, and piano sounds. Everything is brought together via Akai’s VIP 3.1 platform which makes accessing your entire plugins/VST’s a breeze.
Authentic MPC pads.
Fantastic software bundle.
8 assignable knobs.
Sustain pedal input.
Small keys take some practice.
That is top of our list because it’s the pound for pound champ of MIDI controllers. Despite its small stature, that is among the best-selling & most versatile controllers available.
For a producer or beatmaker, the MPK Mini MkII is a powerhouse that enables you to do almost everything in the studio, on the run, or on stage. Add the included software and the worthiness for the money is undeniable.
M-Audio Hammer 88 – Best Weighted Keys
The Hammer 88 by M-Audio can be an absolute monster of a MIDI keyboard controller. It’s also the easiest in our top 10 because it’s only 88 keys with fantastic a hammer action feel.
Everything you get with the Hammer 88 is a really realistic piano playing experience. It’s targeted at musicians who mostly play the piano but nonetheless want the option to regulate all their VST’s.
This degree of realism in the weight and action of the keys isn’t usually within a MIDI controller so M-Audio is obviously filling a gap available in the market here.
A master volume fader along with pitch bend and modulation wheels will be the only onboard controls. The quantity fader could be assigned to regulate other parameters of your plugin/VST so there is some versatility there.
As you’d expect from a keyboard with such an authentic piano feel, the Hammer 88 has 3 pedal inputs for sustain, soft, and expression for more realism.
Incredibly realistic/responsive feel.
Pitch bend and modulation wheels.
Three pedal inputs.
Assignable fader and wheels.
No drum pads.
So, it does not have any surprising features rather than much versatility but it’s still among our top-rated MIDI keyboards. If you’re a pianist or composer who would like an authentic piano feel in a MIDI controller you won’t progress than this. It’s the very best weighted MIDI keyboard available to buy right now.
It’s ideal for studio work and live show in the event that you don’t mind something just a little heavier compared to the average MIDI keyboard.
Ultimately, you are trading features and versatility for precision and realism. If you’re ready to make that trade the Hammer 88 is considered to be one of the better MIDI controllers out there.
Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 – Best All-Rounder
The KeyLab Essentials series is a streamlined version of the successful KeyLab collection. The KeyLab Essential 61 is probably the slickest-looking MIDI keyboard controllers on our list.
This one is centered on control, controlling whenever you can without leaving the keyboard. Desire to is, of course, to improve your workflow and in music production that’s important.
The Keylab Essential 61 has transport controls that work correctly with all major DAW’s. In addition, it has 9 assignable faders and 9 assignable knobs that may control plenty of parameters in real-time. This implies less time clicking a mouse and additional time at the keyboard. The pitch bend and modulation wheels are also assignable.
Additionally, there are 8 very good backlit, velocity-sensitive pads – nearly MPC-quality but very good nonetheless. You can program entire tracks with keys, drums, samples and so forth all from the KeyLab which also makes it an extremely powerful live show tool.
Arturia has added a Chord function that enables you to trigger complex chords by pressing an individual note, making composition much easier/faster.
Arturia will give very good software bundles with the Keylab range although the specific VST’s do change from time to time. Currently, you get yourself a copy of the Mini V synth and the stage 73 V electric piano.
Akai MPK Road 88 – Best for Touring/Gigging
Just launched earlier this season the Akai MPK Road 88 may be the ultimate touring/gigging MIDI controller. The MPK Road 88 is really included in a custom hard flight case so it’s travel-ready then just flip the lid and it’s ready for the stage.
It includes Akai’s exclusive Model-A keybed which is most likely somewhere within an acoustic piano and a Fender Rhodes, excellent for gigging.
As the name suggests it has 88 keys plus they come with a excellent aftertouch feature that is absolutely useful for organ and synth voices.
In conditions of onboard features, it doesn’t have way too many, there are pitch bend and modulation wheels, transpose buttons and a master volume. Akai has been very actual in what this keyboard is though, it’s a rugged, road-ready controller with an extremely realistic key action. It had been never designed to be anything else.
It includes a 4-output soundcard so that you can route your virtual instruments to monitors, mixers, etc, simultaneously without issues. In addition, it comes ready with some first-class virtual instruments like AIR Music Tech DB-33, AIR Music Tech