How to Choose MIDI Controller? (2023)


How to Choose MIDI Controller

A MIDI controller is quickly becoming one of the most important tools that musicians have at their disposal. There are dozens of ways you can put this versatile instrument to work in the studio. It can be used to compose and record songs, or used during the editing process to add effects.

Because of this, a flood of MIDI controllers has come onto the market. So, how can you tell which ones are worth your time and which ones you are better off avoiding? Here are some of the elements to consider.

Features

One of the most important areas to focus on is the type of features that will come with the MIDI controller. For example, you might want to choose a model that comes with pads. These can be programmed to add a sound effect. Often, they are used for percussion, adding drum noises. But this doesn’t have to be the case. But you can customize these sounds. Typically, there will be eight pads.

You might also want to look for a controller that has lots of ways to customize the sound, through buttons and dials. For example, you can hold a sound for longer by using the sustain button. You might also be able to turn the volume up and down or adjust the octaves.

When paired with a strong Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), you will have plenty of control, so you can get the music to sound exactly the way you want it to. This guide walks you through the basics of using a DAW.

While getting a feature-rich model can often be an advantage, it’s best to think about your situation. Some people intend to do complex work with their MIDI controllers, using them to make advanced compositions. In this case, getting plenty of features will be an advantage.

But some artists prefer to take a minimalist approach. They just want to use the MIDI controller like a keyboard. In this case, you might be best with a basic model, allowing you to spend more money on other equipment.

Size

There are various MIDI controller sizes that you can use. If you are limited on size, you might want to get a 25-key option. This won’t take up much space in a home studio while remaining a powerful tool. However, if you have a bigger space, you might want to get a 52-key option. This will function in a similar way to a traditional piano.

Type of Keys

It’s worth considering the type of keys that you will be using. For example, some will be pressure-sensitive. The more force you apply, the louder the noise they produce will be. They respond similarly to a traditional piano. By holding the key, you will be able to keep the note going.

It’s also a good idea to think about the size of the keys. You can use a full-size keyboard. As the name suggests, the keys will be the same size as they are on a piano. But if you are short on space, you might want to get a MIDI that has mini keys.

These can take a bit of getting used to, especially if you have bigger fingers. Below’s video walks you through how to get your keyboard configured so you can start playing. After this, you will be able to replicate any musical instrument.

Quality of Construction.

Finally, it’s important to get a MIDI controller that has been built to last. There are a few things to look for in this area. First, pick something that has good customer reviews. It’s also important to look at the warranty period. Most of the time, the warranty will last for a year, though some machines will come with a three-year warranty period.

Conclusion

The versatility of the MIDI keyboard has seen them take the music world by storm. With so many MIDIs out there, it’s important to find one that fits your budget and your needs. Hopefully, these tips have made this mission a little easier.

If you want some more advice, read these reviews of MIDI controllers for FL studio. So, get your MIDI and start making music from the comfort of your home.

Best Seller List of MIDI Controllers:

SaleBestseller No. 1
19,910 Reviews
AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8...
  • Music Production 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
  • Total Control of your Production - Innovative 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control, plus a built-in arpeggiator with adjustable resolution, range and modes
  • The MPC Experience - 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style MIDI beat pads with Note Repeat & Full Level for programming drums, triggering samples and controlling virtual synthesizer / DAW controls
  • Complete Command of your Virtual Instruments and FX - 8 360-degree knobs assign to all your music studio plugins for mixing, tweaking synth controls and more
  • 1500 plus Sounds and Everything You Need for Pro Production – Complete Music Production Starter Kit including MPC Beats, 6 Virtual Instruments and 2GB of sound content
Bestseller No. 2
1,345 Reviews
M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini – 32 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With Beat Pads, MIDI assignable...
  • MIDI Keyboard Essentials - 32 velocity-sensitive, semi weighted keys for playing virtual sampler instruments and virtual synthesizer plugins
  • 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
  • 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
  • Complete software production package Included - MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech and Akai Professional MPC Expansion packs
SaleBestseller No. 3
7,352 Reviews
Alesis Qmini - Portable 32 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Velocity Sensitive Synth Action...
  • 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
  • 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
  • Universal Compatibility - Complete compatibility with any music production app that accepts a MIDI controller including Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic, MPC Beats and more
  • Make Music Anywhere - Works with iOS devices for use with apps including Garageband, via the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter (sold separately)
  • 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
Bestseller No. 4
5,731 Reviews
AKAI Professional MPD218 - USB MIDI Controller with 16 MPC Drum Pads, 6 Assignable Knobs, Note...
  • 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
  • Expandable Banks - Easily accessible dedicated controls for three pad banks provides a total of 48 assignable pads
  • Assignable Control - 18 fully assignable 360-Degree potentiometers accessible via three banks for controlling DAW, virtual effect and virtual instrument parameters
  • Feature Packed - MPC note repeat and full level controls for immersive expressive performances
  • Comprehensive Software Suite Included - Ableton Live Lite, Drum Synth 500 by AIR Music Tech
Bestseller No. 5
1,772 Reviews
AKAI Professional LPD8 - USB MIDI Controller with 8 Responsive RGB MPC Drum Pads for Mac and PC, 8...
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
Bestseller No. 6
298 Reviews
USB MIDI Keyboard Controller 25-Key, Donner N-25 with Velocity-Sensitive Mini Keys & Light-up Rocker...
  • 【EASY TO CONNECT WITH IPHONE / IPAD】Beautiful 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 KEYS】The 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.
  • 【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 COMPATIBILITY】Just 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.
  • 【SIMPLE LAYOUT AND USER-FRIENDLY FUNCTIONS】The 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.
SaleBestseller No. 7
3,704 Reviews
Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] — Portable 25-Key, USB, MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Bestseller No. 8
4,284 Reviews
AKAI Professional MPK Mini Play MK3 MIDI Keyboard Controller with Built in Speaker and Sounds Plus...
  • Compact yet powerful standalone mini keyboard with built-in speaker and USB MIDI Controller capabilities for beat makers, songwriters and musicians
  • 25-Key Gen 2 MPK Mini dynamic keybed, OLED Display, 8 Velocity sensitive backlit MPC drum pads, arpeggiator and note repeat, plus 4 encoder knobs deliver a professional, versatile performance
  • Over 100 internal drum and instrument sounds including acoustic and electric pianos, synth leads, pads and more
  • Take MPK Mini Play MK3 on the go and power up with batteries (not included), or connect to USB Mains Plug
  • Includes MPC Beats and MPC expansion packs plus software instruments Mini Grand, Hybrid and Velvet from AIR Music Tech for limitless creativity
SaleBestseller No. 9
4,689 Reviews
M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 - Synth Action 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Assignable...
  • Ultimate Expression - 49 full-size velocity-sensitive keys provide a natural feel that captures every subtle nuance of your performance
  • Total Control - Volume fader, transport and directional buttons for easy control of your software, plus ergonomically-designed pitch and modulation wheels, Octave up and down buttons and sustain pedal input for expressive performances
  • Immediate Creativity - Easy plug-and-play connection to your Mac or PC—no drivers or power supply required; compatible with iOS devices via the Apple to USB Camera Adapter (sold separately)
  • Your Studio Centrepiece - Compact design fits any desk, studio or stage setup perfectly and advanced functionality customizes your controls for your recording software
  • Premium Software suite included - MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, Velvet, XPand!2, Mini Grand, and Touch Loops
Bestseller No. 10
157 Reviews
Arturia MINILAB MKII Universal MIDI Controller MiniLab MkII Keyboard Controller Features a...
  • MiniLab MkII is a high quality, feature-packed controller which gives you hands-on access to the sounds in your virtual studio. Breathe new life into your sounds by playing, tweaking, tapping and twisting its rugged controls.
  • This powerful controller also comes with several critically acclaimed software titles that will have you creating professional recordings in no time. Analog Lab Lite lets you perform using hundreds of legendary synth, piano, organ & string machine sounds. Ableton Live Lite lets you record, arrange, and cultivate your musical ideas into a finished product. UVI Grand is a recreation of the Steinway Model D piano.
  • Created with the mobile musician in mind, MiniLab MkII has a slim, compact profile which makes it perfect for transporting to and from gigs, and for keeping you creating when you’re travelling. With its rugged, durable construction, the revitalized MiniLab can take the strain of life on the road, ready to perform night after night.
  • Not everyone has the luxury of a spacious studio, and this is where our reinvented controller really shines. MiniLab MkII has a tiny footprint allowing you to place it virtually anywhere within your set-up, even if the only space available is on your lap. The quality of every component has seen an improvement over the original model, from the keybed to the controller knobs, the touch sensors to the outer casing. Despite the hardware upgrade
  • Helping you make the most of your virtual instruments and recording software, MiniLab MkII features a great-feeling keybed with 25 slim-keys, 16 knobs, 8 pads, and touch controls in a space-saving package. Whether you want to experiment with a bass line, tap out a solid drum beat, or tweak the parameters of your favorite synth patch, our new controller gives you the freedom to totally control your music any way you like

Last update on 2023-01-23

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