Looking for the best keyboard for music production? In this article, we will explore the top options available on the market.
Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, having the right keyboard is essential for creating high-quality music.
When it comes to music production, having a keyboard that meets your needs is crucial. We will discuss the key features to look for in the best keyboard for music production.
From weighted keys to compatibility with digital audio workstations, we will cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
In addition, we will provide recommendations and reviews for the best keyboard options for music production. With our comprehensive guide, you’ll be able to find the perfect keyboard to enhance your music production experience.
Check out this Youtube video: “The BEST Midi Keyboards For Music Production in 2021” to discover the essential equipment for your home studio and take your music production to the next level!
Having the right keyboard is essential for creating high-quality music in music production.
The Akai MPK Mini is a highly portable MIDI keyboard with a range of remarkable features that make it a popular choice for music production.
The Nektar SE25 is a compact, portable, and affordable MIDI keyboard that offers an impressive range of features, making it a powerful tool for music production.
The Arturia MiniLab MK3 is packed with beginner-friendly features designed to make the music production learning curve less intimidating, serving as a versatile tool that grows alongside a musician’s evolving skills and aspirations.
The key features to look for in the best keyboard for music production include weighted keys, compatibility with digital audio workstations, and seamless integration with music production software.
Most Portable MIDI Keyboard: Akai MPK Mini
Features of the Akai MPK Mini
The Akai MPK Mini is a highly portable MIDI keyboard with a range of remarkable features that make it a popular choice for music production. With its 25-key velocity-sensitive mini keyboard and 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads (2 banks, 16 total), the MPK Mini offers a compact yet versatile platform for creating music. It also includes a variety of assignable knobs that allow for precise control and customization.
In addition, the MPK Mini boasts a Gen 2 Dynamic Keybed that provides 37 keys for expanded melodic and harmonic creation. This allows for two-handed chords, arpeggiation, and more intricate musical compositions. The portability of the device is emphasized by its compact size, making it convenient for on-the-go music production.
One of the standout features of the Akai MPK Mini is its user-friendly interface, which enables seamless integration with digital audio workstations (DAWs) and music production software. The device also comes with a range of preset sound options and MIDI mapping capabilities, enhancing its utility in a variety of music production scenarios.
User Reviews and Feedback
Customer reviews of the Akai MPK Mini rave about its portability and intuitive design. Many users appreciate its compact form factor, making it ideal for musicians and producers who are frequently on the move. The velocity-sensitive pads and assignable knobs are frequently cited as notable features that enhance the overall user experience.
Moreover, the MPK Mini is often praised for its wide range of functionality, offering users the capability to craft diverse musical compositions with ease. While some users highlight the restricted number and size of keys as a drawback, the majority of reviews emphasize the device’s portability and impressive performance.
Comparisons with Other Portable MIDI Keyboards
Comparison of the Akai MPK Mini with other portable MIDI keyboards, such as the Novation Launchkey Mini, reveals the unique strengths of the MPK Mini. The Akai MPK Mini stands out for its compact design, which sets it apart as an ultra-portable option for music production. Its MPC-style pads and assignable knobs distinguish it as a versatile and dynamic tool for musicians and producers.
In contrast to competitors, the MPK Mini excels in its integration capabilities with a diverse range of music production software. Its robust functionality and user-friendly interface solidify its position as a premier choice for those seeking a MIDI keyboard that combines portability with performance.
|Akai MPK Mini
|Novation Launchkey Mini
|8 backlit velocity-sensitive pads
|16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads
|Modulation and pitch bend wheels
The Akai MPK Mini’s comprehensive feature set and exceptional portability make it an appealing option for individuals seeking a powerful, yet compact MIDI keyboard for on-the-go music production.
Most Budget-friendly: Nektar SE25
Overview of the Nektar SE25
The Nektar SE25 is a compact, portable, and affordable MIDI keyboard designed for musicians and producers on the go. Despite its small size, it offers an impressive range of features, making it a powerful tool for music production. With its 25 velocity-sensitive keys, octave up and down buttons, pitch bend, and modulation wheels, the Nektar SE25 provides a versatile playing experience. It also boasts transport control buttons, enabling users to navigate their DAW without the need for a mouse.
Affordability and value for money
Priced at a budget-friendly range, the Nektar SE25 offers exceptional value for money. Its feature-packed design, including comprehensive DAW integration and compatibility with various operating systems, makes it a standout choice for aspiring musicians and seasoned professionals alike.
In addition, its robust build quality ensures longevity, making it a reliable investment for music enthusiasts.
To provide a comparative view, a table illustrating the Nektar SE25’s features and affordability in relation to similar products is presented below:
|Modulation and pitch wheels
|Universal (OS X, Windows, Apple iOS)
Compatibility with music production software
The Nektar SE25 offers seamless compatibility with various DAWs and MIDI music software across different operating systems, including OS X, Windows, and Apple iOS. It supports DAW integration for popular platforms such as Bitwig, Cubase, Garageband, Logic, Nuendo, and Digital Performer, ensuring a smooth workflow for music production. Additionally, its universal compatibility with MIDI music software makes it a versatile choice for producers aiming to enhance their creative process with a portable and user-friendly MIDI keyboard.
The Nektar SE25’s compatibility expands across different devices and software systems, allowing musicians to harness its full potential regardless of their preferred music production setup.
Practical For Beginners: Arturia MiniLab MK3
The Arturia MiniLab MK3 is packed with beginner-friendly features designed to make the music production learning curve less intimidating. With its compact size, it’s easy to fit into a small home studio setup, making it ideal for beginners with limited space. The integrated software offers a seamless introduction to music production, allowing novice musicians to dive straight into creating quality tracks without facing overwhelming technical barriers.
The inclusion of intuitive controls and pre-mapped compatibility with major digital audio workstations (DAWs) ensures that beginners can quickly grasp the basics of music production. Additionally, the MiniLab MK3’s versatile functionality allows aspiring musicians to explore a wide range of sounds and instruments, providing a solid foundation for their creative journey.
To further enhance the beginner experience, the MiniLab MK3 comes with a comprehensive suite of software and sounds, ensuring that new music producers have access to a diverse array of tools right from the start. This eliminates the need for beginners to source additional resources, streamlining the initial stages of their music production endeavors.
Ease of use for new music producers
The Arturia MiniLab MK3 excels in its ease of use for new music producers, offering a seamless transition into the world of music production. Its plug-and-play functionality simplifies the setup process, allowing beginners to focus on honing their creative skills rather than grappling with technical complexities. The integration of tactile controls and real-time functionalities enables new music producers to intuitively interact with their DAWs, facilitating a smooth and efficient workflow.
Furthermore, the MiniLab MK3’s ability to facilitate real-time exploration of instrument sounds empowers novice musicians to experiment with various sonic possibilities. This hands-on approach to music production fosters creativity and encourages newcomers to push their boundaries while developing their unique style.
Additionally, the controller’s compact design and intuitive layout cater to the ergonomic needs of beginners, promoting a comfortable and user-friendly experience.
Long-term usefulness for budding musicians
The Arturia MiniLab MK3 offers long-term usefulness for budding musicians, serving as a versatile tool that grows alongside their evolving skills and aspirations. Its enduring relevance is evident in the seamless integration with MIDI gear, allowing budding musicians to expand their setup as they progress in their music production journey. The MiniLab MK3’s adaptability ensures that it remains an essential component of a musician’s toolkit, accommodating advanced techniques and expanding creative horizons in the long run.
Moreover, the controller’s compatibility with a wide range of digital instruments and audio effects positions it as a foundational asset for budding musicians seeking to diversify their sonic palette. This longevity is further bolstered by Arturia’s commitment to software updates and ongoing support, ensuring that the MiniLab MK3 remains current and relevant in the ever-evolving landscape of music production.
|Ideal for small home studios and limited space environments
|Facilitates quick grasp of music production basics
|Simplifies integration with major DAWs for seamless workflow
|Provides access to a diverse suite of tools and sounds for immediate creativity
|Streamlines the setup process, allowing beginners to focus on creative expression
|Encourages experimentation with instrument sounds, fostering creativity and innovation
|MIDI gear compatibility
|Allows for expansion and growth in a musician’s setup, ensuring long-term usefulness
Best 49-Key Keyboard For Bedroom Studio: Arturia KeyLab 49
Advantages of a 49-key keyboard
When it comes to music production, a 49-key keyboard offers a perfect balance of portability and functionality. It provides musicians with a wide enough range of keys to play melodies, basslines, and chords comfortably while also being compact enough to fit in a small studio or bedroom setup. The 49-key format is particularly advantageous for beginners as it strikes a balance between affordability and practicality. Additionally, it allows for seamless integration with digital audio workstations (DAWs) and music production software, offering a tactile and intuitive interface for composing and performing music.
For budding musicians or producers looking to delve into music production, a 49-key keyboard serves as an ideal starting point. Its compact size and affordable price point make it an attractive option for those venturing into the realm of music creation.
Moreover, with the advancement of MIDI technology, 49-key keyboards often come equipped with a myriad of features such as assignable controls, drum pads, and faders, enhancing the overall music-making experience. These additional functionalities further amplify the advantages of a 49-key keyboard, positioning it as an indispensable tool for aspiring musicians.
In essence, the advantages of a 49-key keyboard lie in its ability to strike a harmonious balance between functionality, portability, and affordability. As such, it caters to the needs of both beginners and experienced musicians, empowering them to embark on their music production journey with ease and versatility.
Usage in a bedroom studio setup
The Arturia KeyLab 49, a 49-key keyboard, seamlessly integrates into a bedroom studio setup, offering a plethora of creative possibilities within a confined space. Its compact form factor and intuitive design make it an excellent choice for bedroom-based music producers who seek a versatile yet space-efficient solution for their production needs. The 49 keys provide an ample range for composing melodies, harmonies, and basslines, while the inclusion of assignable knobs, faders, and pads elevates the music production experience to new heights.
In a bedroom studio environment, space is often a limiting factor. However, the Arturia KeyLab 49 addresses this concern by optimizing its form factor without compromising on functionality. Its integration with popular digital audio workstations (DAWs) ensures a seamless workflow, allowing producers to channel their creativity without being hindered by space constraints. Furthermore, the keyboard’s ergonomic design facilitates a comfortable and efficient music-making process, enabling users to unleash their artistic potential within the confines of a bedroom studio.
With the rise of home-based music production, the Arturia KeyLab 49 emerges as a valuable asset for bedroom studio setups, offering a perfect marriage of compactness and versatility. Its user-friendly interface, coupled with extensive integration capabilities, makes it an indispensable tool for music producers seeking to carve out professional-grade compositions within the confines of their personal creative space.
User testimonials and experiences
The Arturia KeyLab 49 has garnered praise from music producers and enthusiasts worldwide, with users expressing high levels of satisfaction and admiration for its performance and features. Testimonials from musicians highlight the keyboard’s seamless integration with digital audio workstations (DAWs), allowing for intuitive and expressive control over music production parameters. Moreover, users have lauded the keyboard’s ergonomic design, emphasizing its suitability for prolonged creative sessions, particularly within bedroom studio environments.
One user testimonial emphasized the Arturia KeyLab 49’s exceptional build quality, praising its robust construction and tactile feedback, which contributed to an immersive music production experience. Additionally, several individuals commended the keyboard’s versatile control options, citing its ability to adapt to diverse music genres and production styles. Furthermore, the inclusion of comprehensive software integration and a wide array of assignable controls received accolades for enhancing workflow efficiency and creativity.
The user testimonials and experiences surrounding the Arturia KeyLab 49 underscore its significance as a revered asset within the music production community. Its seamless integration, ergonomic design, and versatile functionality have earned it widespread acclaim, positioning it as a go-to choice for music producers seeking a compact yet powerful keyboard for their creative endeavors.
|Arturia KeyLab 49
|Knobs, faders, drum pads, and touch controls
|Seamless integration with DAWs
Best 61-Key MIDI Keyboard: Nektar Panorama P6
Benefits of a 61-key MIDI keyboard
The benefits of a 61-key MIDI keyboard over standard keyboards are immense for music production. These keyboards offer a wide range of options for melody creation, chord progression, and harmony crafting. With 61 keys, you have a broader tonal range at your fingertips, allowing for more creative versatility and expression. Not to mention, the compact size of the keyboard makes it portable and convenient for on-the-go production.
Moreover, the incorporation of drum pads and assignable knobs on the Nektar Panorama P6 further enhances the creative process. These features enable seamless control over percussion, effects, and virtual instruments, elevating the overall music production experience.
Additionally, the integration of mod and pitch wheels empowers musicians to manipulate sound in real-time, enhancing expressiveness and authenticity.
Another standout advantage is the compatibility with various digital audio workstations (DAWs), such as Bitwig Studio, Cubase, Logic Pro, and more. This flexibility allows for a seamless workflow, ensuring that producers can fully leverage the keyboard’s capabilities within their preferred production environment. In essence, the Nektar Panorama P6 opens up a world of creative possibilities essential for best keyboard music production, making it a valuable addition to any music professional’s toolkit.
Performance and functionality of the Nektar Panorama P6
The performance and functionality of the Nektar Panorama P6 are unrivaled in the realm of MIDI keyboards. With a robust 61-key design, this instrument strikes a perfect balance between compactness and versatility. The semi-weighted keys deliver exceptional responsiveness, allowing for dynamic and nuanced playing. This is crucial for capturing the intricacies of musical expression, ensuring that every subtle touch is accurately translated into the digital realm.
The integration of motorized faders and touch-sensitive knobs further amplifies the device’s functionality. These features enable precise control over mix parameters, automation, and plugin adjustments, empowering musicians to fine-tune their productions with unparalleled precision.
Additionally, the keyboard’s seamless integration with a plethora of DAWs elevates its performance, ensuring a cohesive and intuitive workflow for music producers across different platforms.
Furthermore, the Nektar Panorama P6 boasts an array of performance functions such as multi-zone programming, octave shift, and transport controls. These capabilities enhance the overall user experience, providing quick access to essential features and streamlining the music creation process. In essence, the Nektar Panorama P6 excels in its performance and functionality, catering to the nuanced demands of modern music production with finesse and precision.
Integration with music production software
The integration of the Nektar Panorama P6 with music production software is a compelling aspect that enhances the overall efficiency and creativity of music producers. The seamless compatibility with prominent DAWs, including Bitwig Studio, Cubase, Nuendo, Logic Pro, and more, presents a comprehensive platform for harnessing the keyboard’s capabilities. This integration ensures a fluid and intuitive workflow, minimizing technical barriers and allowing artists to focus on their creative endeavors without constraint.
One of the standout features is the deep integration with DAWs, enabling direct control over track and parameter names, offering a transparent and cohesive production experience. This level of integration fosters a natural and organic creative process, where producers can fully immerse themselves in their music without being hindered by technical complexities.
Moreover, the Nektar Panorama P6’s integration with various software empowers artists to explore new horizons in music production, enabling them to realize their creative visions with pristine clarity and precision.
The Nektar Panorama P6’s seamless integration with music production software represents a paradigm shift in modern music production, offering a harmonious blend of technical sophistication and artistic expression. This fusion of innovation and creativity positions the Nektar Panorama P6 as an indispensable tool for music professionals seeking to elevate their craft and deliver unparalleled sonic experiences to their audience.
|61 semi-weighted keys
|Enhanced tonal range and expressive capabilities
|Motorized faders and knobs
|Precise control over mix parameters and automation
|Seamless integration with DAWs
|Transparent and intuitive workflow for music production
|Streamlined user experience and quick access to essential functions
|Deep integration with software
|Fosters a natural and organic creative process for music producers
Best 88-Key MIDI For Pros: Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88
Professional-level features and capabilities
The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 is a game-changer for professional music producers, offering an extensive array of features and capabilities. With its 88 fully weighted, hammer-action keys, this MIDI keyboard provides an unparalleled level of expressiveness and realism, mimicking the feel of a traditional piano. Its integration with the Komplete software ecosystem offers direct access to a vast array of sounds, effects, and virtual instruments, empowering producers to unleash their creativity without limitations. Additionally, the S88 boasts comprehensive DAW integration, allowing seamless control of music production software, making it the ideal tool for crafting intricate compositions.
Furthermore, the S88’s touch strip and ergonomic pitch and mod wheels offer a hands-on approach to shaping and modulating sounds, providing a level of intuitiveness that elevates the music production experience to new heights. Moreover, its robust build quality and intuitive interface make it a reliable and user-friendly companion for studio and live performances alike.
Suitability for experienced music producers
For experienced music producers, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 is a game-changing addition to their setup. Its seamless integration with industry-standard digital audio workstations (DAWs), combined with its extensive parameter control options, makes it a powerful asset for professionals seeking uncompromising control and versatility in their music production endeavors. Additionally, the S88’s extensive suite of controls, including touch-sensitive knobs and comprehensive navigation tools, optimizes workflow efficiency, enabling producers to focus on the creative process without being hindered by technical limitations.
Furthermore, the S88’s expansive compatibility with third-party plugins and virtual instruments expands the sonic palette available to experienced producers, allowing for endless sonic explorations and the realization of musical visions. Its sophisticated keybed and expressive capabilities make it a top choice for those who prioritize nuanced and emotive performances in their music production journey.
Comparison with other high-end MIDI keyboards
In comparison to other high-end MIDI keyboards, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 stands out as a formidable contender. Its 88 fully weighted, hammer-action keys provide an unmatched level of authenticity and responsiveness, replicating the feel of a grand piano with precision and finesse. The integration of intuitive controls, such as touch-sensitive knobs and ergonomic wheels, sets a new standard for user experience, streamlining the creative process and enhancing productivity.
Additionally, the S88’s seamless integration with industry-leading music production software and its extensive suite of controls offer a level of versatility that surpasses many alternatives. The robust build quality and meticulous attention to detail further solidify its position as a top choice for discerning professionals seeking uncompromising performance and reliability in a MIDI keyboard.
|Komplete Kontrol S88
|Other High-End MIDI Keyboards
|88 fully weighted, hammer-action keys
|Varies across different models
|Extensive and seamless
|Varies in terms of compatibility
|Controls and Navigation
|Intuitive touch-sensitive knobs, comprehensive control layout
|Varied features across different models
|Extensive third-party plugin and virtual instrument support
|Varies with different keyboards
|Robust and durable
|Varies across different models
When it comes to getting the best keyboard for music production, several factors need consideration. The keyboard action type plays a significant role, whether it’s synth, semi-weighted, or weighted hammer action, alongside the necessity of aftertouch. Additionally, the number of faders, buttons, and knobs should align with the specific production requirements to elevate the music creation process.
Factors to consider when choosing a MIDI keyboard
In choosing a MIDI keyboard, the first crucial factor is the number of keys. While 49 keys are the golden number, the selection should match the individual’s preferences and workflow.
Beyond the key count, it’s vital to recognize that smaller MIDI keyboards are not always the best due to potential limitations in performance. Furthermore, programming knobs, pads, and faders is essential for personalization and convenience during use.
Tips for making the right purchase decision
To make the right purchase decision, evaluating the necessity of controls becomes pivotal. Furthermore, the inclusion of drum pads takes precedence in enhancing the versatility of the MIDI keyboard.
Seeking dedicated controllers compatible with digital audio workstations (DAWs) ensures seamless integration, while app connectivity adds another layer of functionality to the setup.
Additional accessories or equipment to complement a MIDI keyboard setup
Complementing a MIDI keyboard setup with additional equipment can significantly elevate the music production experience. Programmable pads, encoders, and faders expand the functional capabilities within both studio and stage environments.
Moreover, integrating VSTi plugins and incorporating recording software maximizes the utilization of a MIDI keyboard, contributing to a comprehensive setup for unparalleled music production.
|Keyboard Action Type
|Synth, semi-weighted, or weighted hammer action, aftertouch
|Number of Keys
|Optimal count, avoiding limitations
|Programming knobs, pads, and faders
|Enhancement of versatility
|DAW Dedicated Controllers
|Seamless integration with production software
|Expanded functionality and compatibility
Recommended Amazon Products for Keyboard Music Production
Here’s a curated list of products that can help you achieve efficient keyboard music production with ease. These recommendations are based on functionality, price, and user reviews.
The Akai MPK Mini is the most portable MIDI keyboard that’s perfect for music producers on the go. It offers a variety of features including 25 velocity-sensitive keys, 8 backlit MPC-style pads, and 8 Q-Link knobs.
Users praise its compact design and seamless integration with music production software.
|Portable and lightweight
|Limited octave range
|Versatile pads and knobs
|Keys may feel small for some users
|Affordable price point
|Limited to basic music production tasks
For those looking for a budget-friendly option, the Nektar SE25 is a practical choice. With its compact size and low price, it’s a great tool for beginners.
This MIDI keyboard is highly compatible with various music production software, making it a valuable addition to any setup.
|Limited keys and features
|Simple and intuitive design
|Basic functionality compared to other models
|Not suitable for advanced music production tasks
Arturia MiniLab MK3 is an excellent choice for beginners due to its easy-to-use features. It offers 25 slim keys, 16 rotary encoders, and 8 touchpads, providing a wide range of control options.
Its longevity and usefulness make it a practical investment for budding musicians.
|Limited keys for more complex compositions
|Highly portable and lightweight
|Minimalistic design may not appeal to all users
|Quality construction and durability
|Limited functionality for advanced users
The Arturia KeyLab 49 is the best 49-key keyboard for a bedroom studio setup. Its extended key range allows for more versatility in compositions without taking up too much space.
Users appreciate its seamless integration with music production tools and its solid build quality.
|Enhanced octave range
|Larger and less portable than other options
|Higher price point than smaller models
|Versatile control options
|May be overwhelming for beginners
For those in need of a 61-key MIDI keyboard, the Nektar Panorama P6 is an ideal choice. It offers a variety of performance and functionality features, making it a valuable tool for serious music producers.
Its seamless integration with music production software is highly praised by users.
|Expanded octave range
|Higher price point compared to smaller models
|Advanced control options
|Larger size may not be suitable for all setups
|Advanced features may be too complex for beginners
Top Recommended Product for Keyboard Music Production
If you’re looking for the best solution for keyboard music production, we highly recommend Akai MPK Mini. Its portability, versatility, and positive user feedback make it the top choice for efficient music production on the go.
Ready to improve your keyboard music production? Check out Akai MPK Mini today for the best results!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which keyboard is best for music production?
Most Budget-friendly: Nektar SE25. The Nektar SE25 is one of the most affordable MIDI keyboards on the market. For Around $50, you can get this keyboard.
What piano keyboard do producers use?
Best 88-Key MIDI For Pros: Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88. Last but not least, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 is designed for professional musicians, producers, and composers looking for a high-quality MIDI controller for hands-on control over their virtual instruments.
Why do music producers have so many keyboards?
Having multiple keyboards makes it so that you can change sounds quickly. Sometimes the producer got good exposure then offered endorsing deals, thus receiving multiple keyboards.
Is 49 Keys enough for music production?
The 49/61 choice largely depends on your intended use – if you are going play ‘proper’ piano and keyboard music, with chordal bass, or study a piano course, you need 61 keys. If your going to be playing mainly monophonic synth bass parts and lead, or emulating string or horn sections, or pad parts, then 49 is fine.
What makes a good music keyboard?
The best keyboards will have weighted and graded keys to mimic the feel of a real piano and often will have speakers built right into the keyboard.
What should I look for in a music keyboard?
Learn all you need to know about buying a piano keyboard and how the pros and cons that come with each type now!