Best beginner midi controllers

Steve Romanoski Avatar
Steve Romanoski
Last Updated: Sep 28, 2022

In this article, we've compiled the best beginner midi controllers you can find out there. We've analyzed about 93 of beginner midi controllers and selected the 50 top options by Earthquaker Devices. Check out what we recommend in 2023.

At a Glance: Our Top Picks

MIDI Controller, Lotkey Portable USB MIDI Keyboard Controller WORLDE 25 Key Music Production Equipment
#TOP 1
MIDI Controller, Lotkey Portable USB MIDI Keyboard Controller WORLDE 25 Key Music Production Equipment
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LEKATO 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
#TOP 2
LEKATO 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
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Novation Launchpad Mini [MK3] — Portable MIDI 64-Pad
#TOP 3
Novation Launchpad Mini [MK3] — Portable MIDI 64-Pad
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Top 50 Best beginner midi controllers Reviews 2022

#TOP 1

MIDI Controller, Lotkey Portable USB MIDI Keyboard Controller WORLDE 25 Key Music Production Equipment

LOTKEY

Features

  • 2 touch sensors of dynamic pitch bend and modulation touch strips; Play and record transport control buttons.
  • 16 high quality velocity & pressure sensitive performance pads with RGB backlit, can be assigned easily as pads, MIDI note buttons.
  • 6.35mm standard sustain pedal jack, compatible with switch pedal; you can also connect to your hardware with the standard 3.5mm TRS MIDI Out jack.
  • Powerful and creative Arpeggiator for generating ideas quickly; Fixed Chord mode; Brilliant OLED display for immediate parameter setting.
  • 25 velocity sensitive mini-keys, with 3 velocity curve and 1 constant velocity; 8 Assignable rotary knobs, each can be edited by user.
#TOP 2

LEKATO 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

LEKATO

Features

  • ️ Small TipsPlease read the instruction carefully before use.We provide 24-hour service and we will try our best to help you if there is any problem.
  • 3.5mm MIDI Out InterfaceThis MIDI keyboard Controller can connect to your hardware with a standred 3.5mm TRS MIDI Out cable(included). compatible with Win XP/Vista/Mac OSX.
  • 25 Velocity Sensitive KeysUSB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for beat maker, studio production, virtual synthesizer control.Drive free and hot-plug supported.
  • OLED Display&Pitch/Modulation Touch 2 touch sensors of dynamic pitch bend and modulation touch strips; Play and record transport control buttons.Brilliant OLED display for immediate parameter.
  • 8 Drum Pads&8 faders&8 Knobs8 RGB backlit pads with high quality velocity & pressure sensitive performance, can be assigned easily as pads, MIDI note buttons. 8 Assignable rotary knobs which can be edited.
#TOP 3

Novation Launchpad Mini [MK3] — Portable MIDI 64-Pad

Novation

Features

  • Full of customisation for your needs - Novation Components is a tool to help you customise your Launchpad Mini. With three Custom Modes, edit mappings and control anything MIDI easily.
  • Seamless performances made easy - 64 vibrant RGB pads give you a perfect reflection of your Ableton Live session, making it easier than ever to see your clips. Know exactly which clips you are triggering for a seamless performance.
  • Anytime. Anywhere. The portable device - Small and light, Launchpad Mini’s slim, lightweight design means it’ll fit into any setup, so that you have the control you need at all times. The bus-powered hardware is perfect for when you’re travelling around and need to save important space for your other items.
  • Get started easily - It’s never been easier to get started. Download all the software you want with step-by-step video guides to get you set up and making music in minutes through Novation's interactive on boarding.
  • The perfect companion for Ableton Live - Quickly launch your clips and scenes at the press of a button with our exceptional Ableton Live Integration. Stop, Solo, and Mute controls make it easier and more tactile to control your performances right from your Launchpad Mini, no mouse needed.
#TOP 4

AKAI Professional Fire (Controller Only) – USB MIDI Controller

Akai Professional

Features

  • Improved Navigation - Instantly navigate the Channel Rack, Browser, Tool Bar and Playlist windows; dedicated controls to browse audio and project files with clear feedback from the OLED display
  • Maximum Tweak-Ability - 4 banks of assignable Touch-Capacitive MIDI knobs / encoders for controlling Mixer, Channel and custom User-Assignable mappings
  • FL Studio Music Production Essential- Dedicated USB MIDI hardware controller for the FL Studio DAW platform with seamless plug-and-play connectivity
  • Workflow Revolution - 64 velocity-sensitive RGB Pads for creation of patterns in the step sequencer and recording notes / synth parts on a pad-based MIDI keyboard controller in Performance mode
  • Beat Production Simplified – Transform Fire into a beat maker essential with a MPC Style 16-pad layout in Drum Mode
#TOP 5

Arturia MINILAB mkII universal MIDI Controller

ARTURIA

Features

  • 2 banks of 8 high quality velocity & pressure sensitive pads with RGB backlighting
  • 16 rotary encoders (2 of them are clickable)
  • 2 capacitive touch sensors for pitch bend and modulation wheel
  • 8 user presets
  • 25 note velocity-sensitive slim keyboard
#TOP 6

Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] — Portable 25-Key

Novation

Features

  • Play chords with one finger - Lay down chords for your track quick with fixed chord mode. Play a chord with one finger by assigning a fixed shape to the keys and it’ll transpose as you move up and down the keyboard.
  • Get hands on with Ableton Live - Have a seamless music making experience with Ableton Live and your Launchkey Mini. Have all the tools at your disposal with deep and intuitive Ableton Live control — including device macro control, track select, record, capture MIDI, clip and scene launch, stop/mute/solo, volume, pans and sends.
  • Get creative easily with arpeggiator - Easy to use but deeply controllable, Launchkey Mini’s creative arpeggiator allows you to change rhythm, beat, pattern, octave, gate and more to add a whole range of diversity to your ideas and melodies.
  • DAW Integration - In addition to Apple Logic and Ableton Live, Launchkey Mini also has excellent integrations with Reason, as well as any HUI compatible DAW, such as Cubase, Pro Tools, and more.
  • Finest-tech at your fingertips - The Launchkey Mini might be small in size but it’s packed with features. The 25-key device has 16 velocity-sensitive RGB, eight rotary controls, pitch and mod touch strips, and sustain input. Our finest mini keymech to date is also included.
  • Launchkey Mini goes anywhere with you - Send apps and program changes to your hardware synths with MIDI Out, or add keys to your Groovebox directly over MIDI. Launchkey Mini’s lightweight and compact design means it goes anywhere you do. The hardware is bus-powered which is great for travelling and jamming on the go.
#TOP 7

M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini – 32 Key USB Keyboard Controller

M-Audio

Features

  • Beat Maker Mainstays - 8 RGB backlit MIDI assignable velocity sensitive drum pads with Note Repeat for beat production, clip launching, soundboard triggering and more
  • Total Command of Your Music Production - 4 assignable knobs, buttons and faders for tactile MIDI control of virtual instruments, effect plugins, DAW controls and more
  • MIDI Keyboard Essentials - 32 velocity-sensitive, semi weighted keys for playing virtual sampler instruments and virtual synthesizer plugins
  • Follow the included download card to visit the M-Audio website and obtain all supplied software and firmware updates
  • Complete software production package Included - MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech and Akai Professional MPC Expansion packs
  • Every Tool You Need – Effortless auto-mapping for DAW controls & plugin parameters; Smart Chord & Smart Scale modes; Arpeggiator; pitch & modulation wheels; sustain pedal input; 1/8-inch (3.5mm) MIDI Output
#TOP 8

MIDI Controller, Lotkey Ultra-Portable Professional MIDI Keyboard WORLDE 25-Key USB MIDI Drum Pad and Keyboard Controller

LOTKEY

Features

  • 16 pads (two banks of each 8 pads/buttons).
  • Portable software MIDI controller.
  • 16 assignable encoders to program or perform.
  • 25 note velocity-sensitive USB keyboard.
  • A shift pad to shift 1-8/9-16 pad.
#TOP 9

Korg, 25-Key Midi Controller (NANOKEY2WH)

Korg

Features

  • Sustain button – ideal for entering piano parts!
  • Advanced-design keyed offers improved accuracy and velocity-sensitive keys
  • Low-profile, 25-key USB-MIDI keyboard, ideal for use with laptop and netbook computers
#TOP 10

Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII – 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Drum Pads

Akai Professional

Features

  • Dedicated buttons for Note Repeat, Full Level, and Octave Up and Down
  • Powered by USB connection to computer, with free virtual-instrument download packages
  • Compact keyboard controller easily fits backpack and studio production desk (12.4" long, 1.6 lbs)
  • Crammed full of all the features you need to play and edit musical ideas
  • 25-synth-action mini-keys, 8 velocity-sensitive rubber drum pads with two banks, and eight assignable control knobs
  • 1400 Sounds and Everything You Need For Pro Production: Production software package for Mac and PC included: Akai Pro MPC Essentials, SONiVOX Wobble, and Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech (downloads)
#TOP 11

M-Audio Oxygen 25 IV

M-Audio

Features

  • Innovative DirectLink automatically maps controls to popular DAWs including Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase and more
  • Compact, ultra portable performance keyboard controller with 25 full size, synth action velocity sensitive keys and on board pitch bend and modulation wheels for expressive performances
  • Comprehensive production software package for Mac and PC worth over dollar 100 included; Ableton Live Lite, SONiVOX Twist and AIR Music Tech Xpand
  • 8 velocity sensitive trigger pads for beat production and clip launching, and 8 assignable knobs for manipulating virtual instruments, DAW parameters and plugins on board LCD screen provides instant parameter feedback
  • Dedicated octave up and down buttons increase the keyboard to the full melodic range and transport buttons let you control your DAW without reaching for the mouse
  • Class compliant, plug and play functionality and USB powered specification for simple user friendly setup
#TOP 12

Alesis V25 - 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Alesis

Features

  • Premium Software Included - Includes Ableton Live Lite, Xpand 2 virtual instrument software by Air Music Tech and MPC Beats
  • MIDI Keyboard with 25 full-sized, velocity sensitive square-front keys, perfect for playing Virtual Instruments
  • Octave Up and Down buttons let you access the full keyboard range and Pitch and modulation wheels deliver expressive, creative control
  • 8 velocity- and pressure-sensitive backlit pads for beat production and clip launching
  • 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable buttons interface with your music software. Seamless, visual feedback via illuminated buttons and knobs
#TOP 13

AKAI Professional MPD218

Akai Professional

Features

  • iOS Connectivity Covered - Control your iOS apps and open up a world of pad control capability using the Camera Connection Kit (sold separately)
  • The MPC Production Experience - Includes MPC Beats Software complete with the finest features and essential production tools from the Akai Professional MPC Series
  • Assignable Control - 18 fully assignable 360-Degree potentiometers accessible via three banks for controlling DAW, virtual effect and virtual instrument parameters
  • Expandable Banks - Easily accessible dedicated controls for three pad banks provides a total of 48 assignable pads
  • Feature Packed - MPC note repeat and full level controls for immersive expressive performances
  • Beat Production, Anywhere - Ultra-portable, feature-packed and USB powered pad controller with 16 thick fat MPC pads for triggering drums, melodic samples, effects and more
  • Comprehensive Software Suite Included - Ableton Live Lite, Drum Synth 500 by AIR Music Tech
#TOP 14

USB MIDI Keyboard Controller 25-Key

Donner

Features

  • CAPTURING YOUR CREATIVE MUSICAL IDEAS ANYWHERE ON THE GO Compact and lightweight. You can fit this ultra-mobile midi keyboard into almost any bag easily, and bring along with you to a studio, a coffee shop or a hotel for composing your music.
  • EXCELLENT MOBILE DEVICES COMPATIBILITYJust plug and play with Mac or PC using a USB-MIDI output without any additional software driver installation. Furthermore, you can easily connect midi controller to music editor apps on your smartphone via a mobile phone OTG adapter.
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL PITCH-BEND WHEEL & COOL LIGHT-UP BUTTONSThe pitch-bend function ensures a rich and expressive timbre. In addition, the light-up button will provide you a fun visual display of your playing.
  • EASY TO CONNECT WITH IPHONE / IPADBeautiful music comes from life, 25-key midi keyboard can be easily connected to iPhone or Ipad, and you can record your inspiration randomly at any using Garageband app.
  • CLEAN DESIGN WITH VELOCITY-SENSITIVE KEYSThe portable midi Controller, made up of 25 scaled-down velocity-sensitive keys, is a perfect companion for you to create melodies and riffs full of emotion.
  • SIMPLE LAYOUT AND USER-FRIENDLY FUNCTIONSThe MIDI keyboard has an easy-to-learn layout for novice users. Besides the 4 user programmable banks, it comes with functions such as sustain, octave, and tap tempo to assist musicians with limited music theory backgrounds.
#TOP 15

midiplus Midi Controller (SPY)

Midiplus

Features

  • With expression pedal input, switch pedal input, MIDI output/ input, USB interface and 9V power connector. Rotary encoder with PRESS function and 3 bit 7-segment LED display screen.
  • The MIDI output & input interface are compatible with all MIDI devices, and the expression pedal can define the assigned CC value.
  • The expression pedal interface is compatible with most expression pedals and supports pedal calibration, switch pedal interface can be connected to 2 switch pedals to use up and down change sound.
  • Product design metal shell, the bottom with anti-skid pads. Product size: 3.82 x 2.01 x 1.34 (inches)/ product weight: 0.53 (Pound)
  • SPY pedal controllers USB interface can turn the expression pedal and switch pedal into USB signal.
#TOP 16

PreSonus ATOM Production & Performance Midi Pad Controller

PreSonus

Features

  • Includes MVP Loops content custom-curated for ATOM.
  • Set looping points, navigate the timeline, zoom in/out on the timeline or events, and edit/quantize MIDI events.
  • Compatible with most music production and performance software via USB.
  • Produce, play virtual instruments, and trigger samples and loops with unsurpassed expressiveness and flexibility.
  • Trigger loops and effects and play virtual instruments with 16 full-size velocity- and pressure-sensitive, RGB LED pads (and 8 assignable pad banks).
  • Tight integration with included Studio One Artist and Ableton Live (live 10 Lite included) music production software gets your mind off the screen and back on the beat.
  • Equipped with 20 assignable buttons and 4 endless rotary encoders.
  • Comes with over $1000 of computer recording software plug-ins – Studio Magic Plug-In Suite.
  • MIDI "keyboard" mode, Note Repeat mode, and Full Velocity mode (application dependent).
  • Selectable pad velocity curves and pressure thresholds customize the pads' response for maximum expression.
#TOP 17

Monoprice Midi Controller

Monoprice

Features

  • Aims to provide the power and flexibility of a modern studio centerpiece in a portable and ultra-compact package.
  • Portable for the Road: The SRP12 is USB powered, so you can take it with you and use it with your laptop anywhere.
  • Compact enough to fit into a backpack, the SRP12 is the ideal controller to keep you working on tracks while on the road or away from the studio.
  • Velocity Sensitive Pads: The SRP12 features 12 backlit, velocity sensitive pads, which are ideal for tapping out beats, triggering samples, composing melodies, or playing any type of virtual instrument.
  • Transport Control: The 6 MIDI Machine Control (MMC) buttons allow you to control a sequencer, but can also be mapped for transport control within any DAW software.
#TOP 18

Korg nanoPAD2 Slim-Line USB MIDI Pads

Korg

Features

  • Sixteen solid, responsive, and velocity-sensitive trigger pads
  • Low-profile pad controller – excellent for playing or entering drum data
  • Control multiple MIDI parameters via the X-Y Touchpad
#TOP 19

M-Audio Hammer 88 - USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

M-Audio

Features

  • Free Online Lessons - Includes FREE 3-month subscription to Skoove. The easiest way to learn piano with interactive piano lessons for beginners and advanced players
  • Express Yourself - Conveniently located pitch bend, modulation, volume and octave controls for immersive, expressive performances
  • Pro Software Suite Included – MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, Eighty Eight Ensemble, AIR Music Tech’s Velvet, Mini Grand, DB33, and Touch Loops
  • Plug & Play - Driverless class compliant and USB powered specification provides seamless USB-MIDI connection for playing virtual instruments, controlling recording software and more
  • Perfect Feel, Ultimate Response - 88 fully-weighted, hammer-action velocity-sensitive keys deliver natural piano feel, faithfully replicating every subtle nuance of your performance
  • All The Right Connections - Expanded control options for Inputs for Sustain, Expression and Soft pedals included
#TOP 20

AKAI Professional LPD8

Akai Professional

Features

  • USB-powered and plug-and-play setup for Mac and PC
  • Works with all popular applications including GarageBand, Logic, Sonar, Cubase, Ableton Live, ProTools, Reason, Fruity Loops, Digital Performer, and more
  • 13-inch, slim-line ultra-portable pad controller with 8 backlit velocity-sensitive drum pads for triggering samples, loops, controlling virtual instruments and more
  • 4 programmable memory banks provide instant recall of mappings for DAWs, virtual instruments, effects and more
  • Lightweight, ultra-portable design stows easily in a laptop bag for production capability everywhere
  • 8 MPC Q-Link knobs for seamless mapping to DAW parameters, virtual instruments and effect parameters for hands-on control and expressive performances
#TOP 21

M-Audio Oxygen 61 (MKV) – 61 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With Beat Pads

M-Audio

Features

  • Every Tool You Need – Effortless auto-mapping for DAW controls & plugin parameters; Smart Chord & Smart Scale modes; Arpeggiator; pitch & mod wheels; sustain pedal input; USB MIDI cable included
  • Make Better Beats with these Beat Maker Must Haves - 2 banks of 8 backlit velocity sensitive drum pads with Note Repeat - for beat production, clip launching, soundboard triggering and more
  • Complete software production package Included - MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, 2 virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech (Hybrid 3 & Mini Grand) and 5 Akai Professional MPC Expansion packs
  • Follow the included download card to visit the M-Audio website and obtain all supplied software and firmware updates
  • Get Hands-on with Your Music Studio Equipment - 8 assignable knobs and 9 assignable faders for tactile MIDI control of virtual synth parameters, effect plugins, DAW controls and more
  • Recording Studio Equipment Essential - MIDI controller with 61 velocity-sensitive full-size piano style keys delivers a natural response that gets the best from virtual sampler & synthesizer plugins
#TOP 22

Nektar Impact LX Mini

Nektar

Features

  • Comprehensive MIDI functionailty. Compatible with all MIDI music software applications
  • Includes Bigwig Studio 8-track DAW + sound content package
  • Versatile, compact and packed with performance features Impact LX Mini takes Nektar's popular Impact LX range to the next level
  • Nektar DAW integration for most popular DAWs
  • Mac, PC and iOS Compatible
#TOP 23

Samson Carbon 49 USB MIDI Controller

Samson

Features

  • 3-digit, 7-segment LED display provides real-time feedback
  • Includes traditional MIDI Out, Sustain pedal input and USB connections, iPad and USB bus powered, and Integrated iPad slot
  • Assignable Data encoder and Volume slider, Edit key for adjusting up to 14 control parameters, and Dedicated Transpose and Octave buttons, Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels
  • 49-key velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted keyboard; Compact design, perfect for live performance and studio applications
  • Bundled with Native Instrument's Komplete Elements software
#TOP 24

AKAI Professional MPK Mini Play – USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With a Built in Speaker

Akai Professional

Features

  • Play Anywhere – Built in speaker, 1/8-inch headphone output and battery powered specification (3 x AA batteries – not included) for performing and producing on the go
  • Pro Software Suite – Includes Akai Pro MPC Beats, AIR Music Tech Hybrid 3 and SONiVOX Wobble (downloads)
  • The MPC Production Experience - Includes MPC Beats Software complete with the finest features and essential production tools from the Akai Professional MPC Series
  • Standalone Piano Style Keyboard – Portable mini keyboard and USB MIDI controller with 25 velocity-sensitive synthesizer action keys, pitch/mod joystick control, plus 128 sounds and 10 drum kits
  • Beat Maker Essential – Two banks of eight ultra-responsive backlit MIDI drum pads with Note Repeat and Full Level functions for drum machine style performance and music production
  • Tweak, Customize – Two banks of four knobs (eight total) to tweak internal sounds or software parameters; in standalone mode control chorus, reverb, filter, EQ and envelope controls
#TOP 25

Alesis Qmini - Portable 32 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Alesis

Features

  • Music Production and Beat Maker Essential – USB powered MIDI controller with 32 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production
  • Universal Compatibility - Complete compatibility with any music production app that accepts a MIDI controller including Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic, MPC Beats and more
  • Professional Software Suite Included - Akai Professional MPC Beats including seven expansion packs: Producer Kits, LoFi Producer Collection, Trap Soul & LoFi Beats, Soulful Drums, Deep House, F9 Instruments Library, Urban Roulette, and 60 free MIDI controller lessons from Melodics
  • Complete Control - Octave / Transpose buttons for access of the full piano range; Pitch bend and modulation buttons; Assignable volume knob for tactile control of any DAW or Synth parameter
  • Make Music Anywhere - Works with iOS devices for use with apps including Garageband, via the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter (sold separately)
#TOP 26

midiplus AKM320 Midi Keyboard Controller

Midiplus

Features

  • Sustain Switch interface (sustain pedal does not include). USB B type: USB connect to Computer
  • 32-note velocity sensitive mid-size key keyboard. Pitch Wheel. Modulation Wheel. Octave Buttons(Up & Down). Transpose Buttons(Up & Down).
  • Attachment Type: USB cable
  • Country of origin : Taiwan
#TOP 27

M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3

M-Audio

Features

  • Immediate Creativity - Simple plug-and-play connection to your Mac or PC—no drivers or power supply required
  • Pro Music Production Wherever You Go – USB MIDI keyboard controller with slimline footprint and 32 mini piano style velocity-sensitive keys for a natural feel
  • The MPC Production Experience - Includes MPC Beats Software complete with the essential production tools from Akai Professional
  • Express Yourself - Octave up and down buttons for extended keyboard range, Volume knob delivers smooth control and Sustain button adds expressive capability
  • Customisable Response – Mini keys with selectable velocity curves match any playing style inc’l traditional piano, synthesizer, key-based beat making; pitch bend / modulation buttons add expression
#TOP 28

midiplus AKM322 mini size 32 keys USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Midiplus

Features

  • AKM322 is made up of 32 velocity-sensitive keys, 1 endless encoder, 3 rotary knobs and 11 function Buttons with LED back lit. The internal arpeggiator can build sequences with flexible possibilities
  • Dew transport controls (Play, stop, Rec, scene up/down, play/ stop clips, overdub, set marker, marker left/right, cycle, tap, metronome) on board arpeggiator with multiple modes and internal/external MIDI clock
  • The chord Mode can punch out different combinations of keys. The scale Mode helps you hit the right key every time by playing the correct tones matched to the chosen Scale
  • Shift button for second layer control and choose between two performance scenes fully USB powered controller requires no external power source
  • Chord feature: easily play the most common chords in this versatile Mode Scale Mode: Choose from four different scales and always hit the right key
#TOP 29

Xkey Air 37 Bluetooth MIDI keyboard controller

Artesia

Features

  • [High-end build quality] Stylish and sturdy aluminum frame with a sandblasted finish, 10 million times life test of keys. Even lighter, slimmer and stronger than the iPad.
  • [Wide Software Compatibility] Compatible with all mainstream DAW music software solutions, including Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Studio One, Cubase, Bitwig, Audacity, Pro Tools, Garageband, FL Studio, Reaper etc. No special settings required.
  • [My Unique Keyboard] Nothing is as intuitive and special as the Xkey. From top performers to beginners or even kids, everyone loves it. If you search the internet, you will find musicians all over the world using it on the go, in the studio and on stage.
  • [Take Full Control] Patented polyphonic pressure-sensitive keyboard for full resolution of velocity and polyphonic aftertouch, pitch bend, modulation, octave +/- and sustain buttons at your fingertips, all included in this backpack-friendly keyboard.
  • [Pair & Play] Wirelessly pair to Mac, iPad/iPhone via ultra low latency Bluetooth MIDI. Connect with PC, Android tablet (with OTG adapter) via USB, open your music software and play music. No driver installation, no learning curve, no guide needed. You will be surprised how easy it is to use, especially on the road.
#TOP 30

AKAI Professional LPD8

Akai Professional

Features

  • Universal DAW Compatibility - Works with all popular applications including GarageBand, Logic, Studio One, Cubase, Ableton Live, ProTools, Reason, FL Studio, Adobe Audition, and more
  • Customized Production - 4 programmable preset slots for instant recall of mappings for DAWs, virtual instruments, effects and more. Create, edit, load and manage all your presets from the computer
  • Effortless Setup - With a full-size USB-powered jack, the LPD8 works plug-and-play with Mac or PC and requires no software driver installation or AC power adapters for operation
  • Hands-On Control - 8 assignable Q-Link knobs for seamless mapping to DAW parameters, software instruments, and insert effect plugins for tactile control and precise mixing
  • Portable Design, Robust Build - Lightweight beat maker that adopts the sturdy build of standalone MPCs. The slim-line design stows easily in a laptop bag for hands-on production capability everywhere
  • Beat Maker Essential - 13" pad controller for music production with 8 RGB-backlit responsive MPC drum pads for triggering samples, loops, virtual instruments, and more
  • Versatile Performance - The Laptop Pad Controller is perfect for musicians, producers, DJs and other music creators on the go. The sleek design fits right in alongside your studio equipment
#TOP 31

Xkey 37 USB MIDI keyboard controller

Artesia

Features

  • [High-end build quality] Stylish and sturdy aluminum frame with a sandblasted finish, 10 million times life test of keys. Even lighter, slimmer and stronger than the iPad.
  • [Wide Software Compatibility] Compatible with all mainstream DAW music software solutions, including Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Studio One, Cubase, Bitwig, Audacity, Pro Tools, Garageband, FL Studio, Reaper etc. No special settings required.
  • [Plug & Play] Simply connect to MacBook, PC, iPad/iPhone (with camera connection kit), and Android tablet (with OTG adapter) via USB, open your music software and play music. No driver installation, no learning curve, no guide needed. You will be surprised how easy it is to use, especially on the road.
  • [My Unique Keyboard] Nothing is as intuitive and special as the Xkey. From top performers to beginners or even kids, everyone loves it. If you search the internet, you will find musicians all over the world using it on the go, in the studio and on stage.
  • [Take Full Control] Patented polyphonic pressure-sensitive keyboard for full resolution of velocity and polyphonic aftertouch, pitch bend, modulation, octave +/- and sustain buttons at your fingertips, all included in this backpack-friendly keyboard.
#TOP 32

Donner MIDI Pad Beat Maker

Donner

Features

  • Exclusive Equipment, Stamped with Your PersonalityThe drum pad machine STARRYPAD has an assignable custom group with 2 fader, 2 knobs, and 3 buttons, and you can customize the controls for a completely personalized instrument with DAW and VST. As a beat maker machine, the most commonly used semitones and octaves can be adjusted with one key SHIFT, sample and convenient.
  • Powerful CompatibilityThe beat machine comes with a standard USB C power supply and data interface for easy plug and play. (Tips: if you want to connect to your iPhone or iPad, you need to buy an Apple Lightning to USB Adapter) The additional MIDI in/out allows you to connect to an external synthesizer or other MIDI equipment. So no matter how you use it, the music pad STARRYPAD provides compatibility you can count on. (Comes with USB cable, type c adapter and MIDI cable)
  • Boost Your Rhythm GameWorried about a weak sense of rhythm? Tap Tempo is directly synchronized with DAW to help you quickly grasp the BPMs of any song and play along. In addition, Note Repeat's ultra-low latency perfectly connects each sample segment without getting stuck or errors!
  • 16 Colorful Beat Pad Record 48 Custom Sound Sources The MIDI drum pad STARRYPAD's 16 soft silicone backlit pads can trigger drums, samples, effects and more. One convenient key allows you to quickly switch between 3 different pad banks for a total of 48 assignable pads. In addition, the beat maker STARRYPAD can handle polyphony and comes with adjustable velocity sensitivity. Regardless of your mood, the STARRYPAD will fill your rhythm with soul.
  • Your Exclusive Lighting EngineerThe midi controller pad STARRYPAD lights up the stage with 7 dazzling colors. Use playing instructions to trigger the brilliant lights making your rhythm doubly dynamic, or set the colors through editor and control the atmosphere on the dance floor.(Tips: the editor only can set the STAYYPAD, doesn't have the function of recording and arranging music)
#TOP 33

Midi Controller Keyboard 25 Keys

LIEKE

Features

  • Package Includes:1*MIDI Controller,1* USB Cable,1*3.5mmTRS MIDI Cable,1*Instruction.
  • Free Definition:16 high quality velocity& pressure sensitive performance pads with RGB backlit,can be assigned easily as pads, MIDI note buttons.
  • Supports pedal connection and OLED display for easier creative inspiration
  • Feature-packed Controller:25 velocity sensitive mini-keys alongside 2 capacitive touchers sensors of dynamic pitch bend and modulation wheel,8 Assignable rotary knobs.Powerful and creative Arpeggiator for generating ideas quickly.
  • Professional midi controller Keyboard-Music Production Equipment ,Suitable for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production.No driver required, plug and play.compatible with Windows 7 and more, Mac and iOS(Note:The controller itself cannot be pronounced)
#TOP 34

Donner MIDI Keyboard Controller

Donner

Features

  • Synth-action keysPremium MIDI controller with 25 expressive synth-action keys.8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads make drum beats. USB bus powered - no additional power cable needed.
  • 4 Program PresetsFour programmable memory banks for instant recall of personal control preferences.This MIDI controller offers 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable Sliders interface with your music software.
  • Ultra-thin Design and PortabilityUSB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for beat maker, studio production, virtual synthesizer control. You could imagine traveling anywhere with 25-key midi keyboard and being able to make music.
  • TRANSPORT & NAVIGATIONWorks with all music production equipment. Navigate your projects: The 6 dedicated transport buttons are always within reach and mapped to control Cycle, Rewind, Forward, Stop, Play and Record.
  • AIR-Touch: Touch BarOctave Up and Down Touch Bar let you access the full MIDI keyboard range and Pitch and modulation deliver expressive, creative control. Assignable Touch Bar, can be assigned to send Control Change message (hereinafter called the ‘CC’) or Pitch Bend Change message (hereinafter called the ‘Pitch’).
#TOP 35

Midi Controller,Portable 25 Keys USB Midi Keyboard Controller

LIEKE

Features

  • Music Production Equipment- 25 Key MIDI Keyboard Controller, No driver required, plug and play.compatible with Windows 7 and more, Mac and iOS. Suitable for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production(Note: the controller itself can not be pronounced)
  • Inspiring creativity:2 banks of 8 high quality velocity& pressure sensitive performance pads with 16 RGB backlit make sure you have everything you need to program or perform whenever inspiration strikes
  • Package Includes:1*MIDI Controller,1* USB Cable,1*Instruction.
  • Powerful editor with 25 velocity sensitive mini-keys alongside 2 capacitive touchers sensors of dynamic pitch bend and modulation wheel, 8 assignable encoders,8assignable faders.
  • Freedom to control your production:Support the connection of sustain pedals, completely freeing your hands and making creation easier and more fun
#TOP 36

M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads

M-Wave

Features

  • Scale featureThe integration of intelligent chord and intelligent scale functions, users can quickly select through the keyboard. When using intelligent chord function, single tone is chord. When using, it can also choose to automatically adjust the keys to the notes in the selected scale to avoid boring music theory knowledge and effectively avoid playing wrong notes, which is very suitable for setting up this function in performance and practice.
  • Smart keyboardCompatible with Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS,The K5 compatible with all digital audio worksstation, Ableton live,Fl Studio,Cubase,Logic Pro X,Bitwig,Reason,Studio One,GarageBand(iOS) etc.,
  • Wireless keyboardThe K5 size is 12.5*7*2 Inch and 1.8 LB, Built-in 2000mha battery can work for 15 hours. It's very compact and portable, and you can connect it wirelessly to your device with Bluetooth, so you can start creating anytime, anywhere.30 days money back one year warranty.
  • Powerful keyboard Songwriters and Beat Maker Essential - USB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production.
  • Music Production 25 velocity-sensitive keys, 8 RGB backlit velocity-sensitive pads, 8 assignable rotary enconders, 2 Capactive touch stripes pitch bend to all your music studio plugins for mixing, tweaking synth controls and more.
#TOP 37

Samson Carbon 49 MIDI Controller Keyboard 49-Key + 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub

Samson

Features

  • EASY EXPANSION: With dedicated Transpose and Octave buttons, you can change the key of any given instrument, as well as expand the keyboard to a full 4-octave range, without using any sub menus or shift keys. With all of these comprehensive features, not to mention Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels, the Carbon 49 puts a wide range of musical expression and tone manipulation at your fingertips.
  • VERSATILE & EASY: Take control of your music software with the Carbon 49's assignable Data encoder and Volume slider. For easy editing, players can use the Edit key to adjust up to 14 performance-related control parameters. Also, the Carbon 49's 3-digit, 7-segement LED displays the behavior of every function in real-time. For added versatility, the Carbon 49 includes traditional MIDI Out, Sustain pedal input and USB connections.
  • INTEGRATE YOUR iPAD: Designed with the iPad in mind, the Carbon 49 features an integrated iPad slot. When combined with the iPad using Apple's iPad Camera Connection Kit or Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, the Carbon 49 is a great tool for making music on-the-go. Use it with your favorite music and synth iPad apps that support MIDI controllers, and for additional mobility, the Carbon 49 can be directly powered by the iPad.
  • This Photo4Less Top Value Kit Includes: Samson Carbon 49 MIDI Controller Keyboard 49-Key - 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub with Individual LED Lit Power Switches - USB 2.0 A Male to B Male Cable - Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth
#TOP 38

midiplus USB MIDI Keyboard Controller (X6 Pro)

Midiplus

Features

  • 8 groups of adjustable velocity curve
  • 9 editable knob controllers with back light
  • 61 full size semi-weight velocity keys Build-in 128 high quality GM standard sounds
#TOP 39

Samson Graphite 49 USB MIDI Controller

Samson

Features

  • Large LCD display provides real-time feedback; Dedicated Transpose and Octave buttons, Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels; 4 zones for creating splits and layering sounds
  • Includes MIDI Out, USB and sustain pedal connections; iPad and USB bus powered
  • 49-key semi-weighted keyboard with after touch
  • Bundled with Native Instrument's Komplete Elements software
  • 9 programmable faders, 8 encoders and 16 buttons for hands-on control over your DAW and virtual instruments; 4 velocity-sensitive trigger pads with after touch (two banks) for drum sounds and samples
#TOP 40

AKAI Professional MPX8

Akai Professional

Features

  • Pro Sounds Included - Includes a FREE professional Loop Library download from Akai Pro, plus a large library of standard samples built in.
  • Connectivity Covered - (2) Balanced 1/4-inch outputs (6.35mm) and 1/8-inch headphone output (3.5mm) connects MPX8 to virtually all studio and live equipment
  • Control Anything - Control everything from music software on your laptop to outboard MIDI gear using MPX8's onboard USB MIDI plus standard MIDI inputs and outputs
  • Tweak Your Sound - Edit your samples and make them your own using MPX8's sample kit editor (PC & MAC) featuring tuning and reverb controls; save sample sets for instant easy recall
  • Sample Playback - Load and playback virtually any mono or stereo sample via standard SD or SDHC card
  • Finger Drumming Essentials - Eight backlit velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads, ideal for triggering drum sounds, melodies, basslines and more.
#TOP 41

Icon ICOK-IKEYBOARD8X iKeyboard 8X

Icon Pro Audio

Features

  • Controller provides pitch bend and modulation wheels, and Octave and Transpose up/down buttons
  • Class-compliant with macOS Big Sur (M1 and Intel Compatible), Windows 10, and Windows 8/7 (32 & 64-bit)
  • Full sized piano keys are semi-weighted to provide realistic piano action
  • Built-in presets for Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, Samplitude, Logic Pro, Ableton Live
  • Includes free recording software, such as Harrison 32C Vocal Intensity Processor, a “greatest hits” collection of features from Harrison’s analog console heritage, Harrison AVA plugins and Mixbus32C workstation; Tracktion DAW Essentials, a collection of 16 contemporary FX plugins for use with any DAW; Dotec Audio plugins for streaming, podcasting, recording and mixing; and Bitwig Studio 8-Track, the trim and effective digital audio workstation to start producing, performing, and designing sounds like a pro, all available via download upon purchase and registration
  • Backlit LED touch fader reacts in real-time with DAW
  • 88-key midi keyboard controller with a single channel DAW controller in a rugged metal enclosure
#TOP 42

Midi Controller, lotmusic Worlde TUNA PANDA MINI 25 Keys Portable USB Midi Keyboard

lotmusic

Features

  • Meet Your Needs: 25 keys with velocity assignable to controllers, with 3 velocity curve and one constant velocity; 4 assignable control knobs, 4 assignable control sliders and 4 banks for different settings; 8 control buttons: CC Mod, Mod, Bank, Program, Pitch down / Pitch up, Octave down / Octave up.
  • Changeable colours: 7 different colors are available. Hold CC MODE and OCTAVE DOWN or OCTAVE UP to select the backlit RGB color of 8 pads. The pads can display 7 colors at the same time, one can only show one color.
  • All you get: 1x MIDI Controller, 1x USB Cable, 1x Velvet bag and 1x Instruction. Please feel free to contact us if there is any problem with our product.
  • Bigger Beat Pad: 8 RGB backlit pads with high quality velocity & pressure sensitive performance can be assigned easily as pads, MIDI CC buttons or Program change switches.
  • Plug and Play: Drive free and hot-plug supported, adaptable to USB 2.0 interface(FULL SPEED). Supports Multiple Systems, compatible with Windows 7 and more, Mac and IOS.
#TOP 43

Btuty Portable Mini USB 9 Slim-Line Control MIDI Controller Keyboard Controller

Btuty

Features

  • Comes with editor software.
  • 4 programmable memory banks.
  • 9 MIDI control groups: 9 knobs + 9 sliders + 9 buttons.
  • Plug and Play USB 2.0 cable, no need of driver installation.
  • 6 transport buttons: Rew, Play, FF, Loop, Stop, Rec.
#TOP 44

PreSonus ATOM Production/MIDI and Performance Pad Controller w/Professional Studio Microphone and Recording Kit

PreSonus

Features

  • LyxPro Professional microphone with Studio-Grade Mesh Microphone Pop Filter Improves Vocal Recording Quality & Eliminates Harsh Plosive Sounds
  • 16 full-size velocity- and pressure-sensitive, RGB LED pads
  • 20 assignable buttons and four endless rotary encoders
  • Get everything you need in one box, and start recording straight away
  • Pressure switchable between MIDI aftertouch, channel pressure, and CC messages
#TOP 45

Vangoa Worlde MIDI Keyboard Controller 25 Key

Vangoa

Features

  • 🎹 [Considerate Design for Users] Convenient keyboard layout adds comfort and swiftness for control, and sufficiently achieves flexible management of control-play interaction. 4 durable silicone pads underneath offer a stable performance on any surface, allowing you to dial up your music at will
  • 🎹 [Get Music Easily Under Control] 8 knobs, 8 sliders, 8 memory banks, 8 presets, mod and pitch bend ribbons, and octave buttons within reach to control the sound accurately and rapidly. After mapping it to your software, no more frequently switch from pc to midi controller. Help you to become so deeply absorbed in music composition
  • 🎹 [Portable Beat Maker Machine] Compact Worlde Tunamini midi keyboard introduces infinite controllability to your inspiration. Plug and play capability with USB-powered ensured real-time rhythm feedback for bedroom/home studio producers, YouTubers, vloggers, and DJs, easily taking your musical ideas from concept to final performance
  • 💗 [Sincere Customer Service] We were keenly aware of what we should do to help beginners to start, so we prepared detailed user guides in word and video forms under the product page. You could rest assured that you will receive our best care
  • ✨ [Fascinating Beat Pad] Midi keyboard with drum pads has RGB colors assignable via the editor, providing rich visual feedback. Combining eclectic music and a colorful light show, strong visual appeal make your rhythm more delight-to-ear
#TOP 46

Btuty 25-Key MIDI Keyboard Panda mini Portable Mini Drum Pad MIDI Controller

Btuty

Features

  • Plug and Play USB 2.0 cable, no need of driver installation. USB bus powered - no additional power cable needed.
  • 4 assignable control knobs / 4 assignable control sliders / 4 banks for different settings.
  • 25 keys with velocity assignable to controllers, with 3 velocity curve and one constant velocity.
  • Compatible with Win 8 / Win 7 / Win XP / Win Vista / Win10/ Mac OSX.
  • 8 Trigger Pads with velocity and assignable to controllers, with 3 velocity curve and one constant velocity.
#TOP 47

Roland A-88 MKII 88-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Roland

Features

  • USB-C connectivity and bus power
  • Built-to-last with wood and premium materials for years of dependable performance
  • Thin design with shallow depth fits today's studio environments
  • Three customizable zones, onboard arpeggiator, and chord memory
  • Eight RGB-lit assignable knobs, eight RGB-lit pads, and three pedal inputs
  • Control application for deep customization and instant recall
  • Unmatched playability with Roland's own PHA-4 keyboard
  • MIDI 2. 0 ready
#TOP 48

Midi Controller,25 Keys USB Midi Keyboard Controller

LIEKE

Features

  • Portable USB midi keyboard controller,Suitable for Music Production and Beat Production.Capture your musical inspiration anytime, anywhere. No driver required, plug and play.compatible with Windows 7 and more, Mac and iOS.(Note: the controller is music production equipment itself can not be pronounced, you need to connect to the computer and select our controller model in the MIDI Settings of music production software to work properly)
  • Package Includes:1*MIDI Controller,1* USB Cable, 1*Instruction.
  • Designed for beginners:25 keys with velocity assignable to controllers, with 3 velocity curve and one constant velocity. 4 assignable control knobs, 4 assignable control sliders and 4 banks for different settings. 8 control buttons: CC Mod, Mod, Bank, Program, Pitch down / Pitch up, Octave down / Octave up.
  • 8 Trigger pads with velocity and assignable to controllers.Use the software editor to select the backlit RGB color of 8 pads.
  • Best choice for music lovers:Our midi controllers are easy to use, so you can easily create your own music and realize your musical dreams.
#TOP 49

LEKATO 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

LEKATO

Features

  • 3.5mm MIDI Out InterfaceThis MIDI keyboard Controller can connect to your hardware with a standred 3.5mm TRS MIDI Out cable(included). compatible with Win XP/Vista/Mac OSX.
  • OLED Display&Pitch/Modulation Touch 2 touch sensors of dynamic pitch bend and modulation touch strips; Play and record transport control buttons.Brilliant OLED display for immediate parameter.
  • 8 Drum Pads&8 faders&8 Knobs8 RGB backlit pads with high quality velocity & pressure sensitive performance, can be assigned easily as pads, MIDI note buttons. 8 Assignable rotary knobs which can be edited.
  • 25 Velocity Sensitive KeysUSB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for beat maker, studio production, virtual synthesizer control.Drive free and hot-plug supported.
  • ️ Small TipsPlease read the instruction carefully before use.We provide 24-hour service and we will try our best to help you if there is any problem.
#TOP 50

kiramise 25 Portable Keyboard Mini 25-Key USB MIDI Controller

kiramise

Features

  • 6 control buttons: Edit, Mod, Octave down / Octave up.
  • Plug and Play USB 2.0 cable, no need of driver installation.
  • 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keyboard keys.
  • 4 programmable memory banks.
  • Comes with editor software.

The Buying Guide to the Best beginner midi controllers - What to Keep in Mind

Can you play MIDI controller without computer?

So, do you need a computer to use a MIDI keyboard? No, a personal computer is not a necessity for playing and practising on a MIDI keyboard.

Should I get a 49 or 61 key MIDI controller?

If you're looking to play piano arrangements, you'll want 61, 76 or possibly all 88 keys. The most popular size for MIDI controllers is 49 keys -- big enough to play two-handed, but not too big to fit on your studio desk.

Can we learn piano on MIDI controller?

A MIDI keyboard is a great way to start learning piano—there is so much variety, as you have options in terms of how many keys you want. Most of your lessons will focus on the middle of the keyboard, so you won't need to branch out just yet.

Can I learn piano on a MIDI controller?

A MIDI keyboard is a great way to start learning piano—there is so much variety, as you have options in terms of how many keys you want. Most of your lessons will focus on the middle of the keyboard, so you won't need to branch out just yet.

Is MIDI better than USB?

A USB connection has much higher bandwidth than a DIN-MIDI connection, which means that instead of each cable having just one physical port with 16 channels, a single USB cable can support 16 virtual MIDI ports each with 16 channels, for a total of 256 MIDI channels down one cable!

Should a beginner buy a MIDI keyboard?

If you are simply looking to learn the piano from scratch. Then there is nothing wrong with starting out with a MIDI keyboard. It will save space and give you convenience and portability. Ok, there are some subtle differences but if you can get an 88 key weighted keyboard you are pretty damn close.

Is it hard to learn MIDI keyboard?

You can learn very easily on a midi keyboard. The experience will be different than using a piano, but that's neither good or bad. I'd suggest a keyboard with full size, preferably weighted, keys, no less than 61 keys ... more is obviously better.

Is MIDI controller good for beginners?

If you are starting to make music, especially if you plan to do so for a living, having the best MIDI controllers for beginners is essential. A MIDI keyboard is a piece of music gear that should be in your studio.

Is it worth getting a MIDI controller?

As a general rule, it is worth having a MIDI keyboard in your home studio. Recording MIDI parts played on a keyboard is far easier than entering them in a piano roll editor or on-screen keyboard. Parts recorded from a keyboard also avoid sounding robotic, having been played by an actual human being.

Editor's Notes

To find the best of the best, we've considered 71 different options of beginner midi controllers available on the market. Our editors have collected over 1594 customer reviews and shortlisted the 50 best beginner midi controllers according to the pros and cons most customers stated. The selected options have an average rating of 420 and are available at $5481 on average.

Steve Romanoski Avatar
Written by

Steve Romanoski

Steve loves music. Steve Romanoski and his wife live in Alaska. They are always on the go, exploring new places and trying out new products (especially those which can help them enjoy the great musics even more). When he's not writing about products, Steve Romanoski enjoys reading books about history and science. He likes to think of himself as a renaissance man, but his wife would probably say that he's just a big kid at heart.