Login

New to Audio Assemble?

Register

Already have an account?

Best MIDI Keyboard for Beginners

A MIDI keyboard is essential for anyone looking to produce music and break into audio engineering. What can be confusing is where to start when first choosing one. For a quick look at our picks, check out our choices for the Top 4 MIDI Keyboard Controllers for Beginners

Characteristics of a Great Beginner MIDI

The brand of the MIDI is important.

This may be obvious, but choosing a reputable brand is an important first step when buying your first MIDI controller. If a brand doesn’t look familiar or well represented online, you probably shouldn’t trust it. Here is an example of some of the brands that are popular selling MIDI products.

  • M-Audio
  • Akai Professional
  • Native Instruments
  • Novation
  • Korg
  • Yamaha
  • Ableton
  • Roland

The key count can influence your decision.

Audio Assemble has covered all types of key counts for MIDI controllers. Typically a lower key count will serve a beginner just fine, and will even say you some money. Check out our guide on all keyboard counts.

Pricing is an obvious factor.

You’re a beginner. You may want to ease your way into things. No need to go right for the ROLI Seaboard RISE 49 for your first taste, although it is awesome.

You can definitely find some deals, and used equipment on sites like Amazon.com, but you also want quality. When just starting out purchasing a MIDI in the $100-$200 range is a good price.


Check out our three favorite MIDI keyboard controllers for beginners

Best Overall – Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII

Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Drum Pad & Keyboard Controller with Joystick, VIP Software Download Included
Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII 25-Key

For the price and quality, this is a great starter MIDI. Get it for only $99 dollars on Amazon. It has everything you need to get started and you can find yourself producing quickly when paired with Ableton Live Intro.

Price:

$99 and up – Can be bought for less used.

Features:

  • Keys: 25
  • Pitch Bend / Modulation: Joystick.
  • Pads: 8 Pads.
  • Knobs: 8 assignable pots
  • Pedal Inputs: Sustain
  • Octaves: 10
  • Extra Features: Arpeggiator, Tap Tempo and Multiple Banks, also it comes in 3 color combinations.
  • Bonus: VIP Software Download Included

$99 on Amazon.com – Best Seller

Best For Live Performances – Nektar Impact LX25+

Nektar Impact LX25+

What sets this MIDI apart from the others in our list is the full-size keys on the keyboard. This is especially true when performing live if you are looking for a touch that feels natural.

Price:

$99 and up

Features:

  • Keys: 25
  • Pitch Bend / Modulation: Mod Wheel.
  • Pads: 8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads
  • Knobs: 8
  • Octaves: 10
  • Extra Features: Mac, PC, and iOS compatible
  • Bonus: VIP Software Download Included

Best For Pro Tools – Arturia MINILAB MKII

Arturia MINILAB MKII

User reviews around the web proclaim how well this sync with Pro Tools 12. This compact MIDI comes with Analog Lab software instruments, that can be upgraded to give you over 5000 keyboard patches for $29.

Price:

$99 and up

Features:

  • Keys: 25
  • Pitch Bend / Modulation: Pad
  • Pads: 8
  • Knobs: 16
  • Octaves: 10
  • Extra Features: Super compact and portable
  • Bonus: Analog lab software instrument bundle