How to Choose MIDI Controller? (2023)

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:

Bestseller No. 1
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
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 and 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
SaleBestseller No. 3
midiplus AKM320 Midi Keyboard Controller
  • 32-note velocity sensitive mid-size key keyboard. Pitch Wheel. Modulation Wheel. Octave Buttons(Up & Down). Transpose Buttons(Up & Down).
  • Sustain Switch interface (sustain pedal does not include). USB B type: USB connect to Computer
  • Attachment Type: USB cable
  • Country of origin : Taiwan
Bestseller No. 4
AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2 - USB MIDI Pad Controller for Clip Launching with Ableton Live Lite,...
  • Complete Control – Ableton Live Clip Launching MIDI Controller, perfect for creative looping, mixing, home studio and live performing. Connect to Ableton Live and control all your studio equipment
  • Ableton Live Lite Included - An industry-leading DAW for PC & Mac. Capture ideas, live performances, record, mix and unleash your creativity. APC Mini MK2 is pre-mapped for 1-to-1 integration with Ableton 11.2.7 onwards
  • Bright 8x8 RGB Pad Matrix - 64 RGB pads for launching clips in Ableton Live providing visual color feedback. Trigger everything from Loops, Vocals, and melodic samples for instant creativity
  • 9 Assignable Faders - With 8 assignable faders + 1 master fader instantly map to Ableton Live's mixer for hands-on mix control of volume, pan, or devices. Use Device mode to control Ableton macros
  • Drum and Note Modes -The Drum sample mode features seamless integration with Ableton Drum Rack. With the inbuilt "Smart Scale View", Note mode enables you to visually play melodies effortlessly
Bestseller No. 5
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
Arturia - MiniLab 3 Alpine - Universal MIDI Controller for Music Production, with All-in-One...
  • GO WITH YOUR FLOW: MiniLab 3 is an easy keyboard controller that adapts to your needs, your style and your workflow, so you can make music just the way you like it. It lets you control instruments, mute tracks, punch in your 8 pad drums, and adjust your 4 faders with a flow so fluid you’ll forget you had a mouse. Hook it up, discover fresh sounds, enjoy premium velocity-sensitive keys, and get hands-on with your music like never before!
  • PERFORMANCE-READY PORTABILITY: Portable yet robust, MiniLab 3 is light enough for your backpack, it connects seamlessly to your computer, and is ready to unleash your creativity in seconds. Perfect for recording, performing, or jamming with friends no matter where you are! It even features exclusive integration with major DAWs (Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Reason, Bitwig, FL Studio), so you can control your project entirely with MiniLab 3 and get totally immersed in your music production flow.
  • ALL THE ESSENTIAL CONTROLS IN A COMPACT CONTROLLER: MiniLab 3 is USB powered with 25 note velocity-sensitive slim keyboard, 2 banks of 8 high quality pads with RGB backlighting, 8 rotary encoders, 4 sliders, Mini display & clickable browsing knob, Built-in Arpeggiator, Hold and Chord modes, 2 touch sensors for pitch bend and modulation wheel, USB-C Port, MIDI Out. Great for beginners, it also fits for pros, and allows you to tweak every aspect of your mix in an instant.
  • WITH SOFTWARE INCLUDED: MiniLab 3's offers all the creative software you need. Get thousands of world-class presets spanning dozens of timeless instruments (Analog Lab V); make great-sounding tracks in full (Ableton Live Lite); experience the power of a Concert Grand Model D (UVI Model D); enjoy balanced piano tone (NI The Gentleman). It also includes a 2-month subscription to Loopcloud, and a subscription to Melodics.
  • 5-YEAR WARRANTY: MiniLab 3 is a controller that you can count on, with extensive testing, high-quality components, and a smart design that's built to last. Eco-designed with at least 50% recycled material, it comes with a 5-year warranty, so you can get creative safely in the knowledge that it can go the distance.
Bestseller No. 7
AKAI Professional LPK25 - USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 25 Responsive Synth Keys for Mac and PC,...
  • Mini Keys, Major Performance - 25-key MIDI controller keyboard with responsive keys to play with feel and dynamics. Enjoy expressive songwriting, composing, jamming, playing melodies, bass lines, and more
  • Full Range Experience - Play every note with ease. Use the dedicated octave up and down buttons to transpose the range of your software instruments plus a sustain button for expressive performances
  • Feature Packed - Use the built-in arpeggiator and clock for creative control of any of your sound sources like software instruments, synthesizers, or USB-enabled modular gear, all by one USB cable
  • Customized Production - With 8 programmable preset slots you can instantly recall your mappings for DAWs, virtual instruments, and more. Create, edit, and manage all your presets from the computer
  • Versatile Performance - The USB Studio MIDI controller is perfect for your songwriting, beat-making, and DJ remixes whenever you're inspired. The sleek design fits alongside your studio equipment
SaleBestseller No. 8
Korg, 25-Key Midi Controller (NANOKEY2BK),Black
  • Low-profile, 25-key USB-MIDI keyboard, ideal for use with laptop and netbook computers
  • Advanced-design keyed offers improved accuracy and velocity-sensitive keys
  • Sustain button – ideal for entering piano parts!
SaleBestseller No. 9
midiplus minicontrol USB MIDI keyboard controller
  • 32 velocity sensitive mini size key keyboard. Pitch & Modulation Wheels. MIDI Data volume Slider. Four edit custom unlimited rotary Encoder. Octave up and down. Transpose up and down
  • This button controls the operation of the . The keys of six kinds of Scale play style. The keyboard of chord patterns with great chords, small chord, seven chords, small seven chords
  • Eight velocity sensitive Drum PAD. Drum PAD of A|B button extended to 16 PAD, PAD BEAT button has six time metronome, with NOTE,CC and PC mode
  • Three velocity curve with Norm curve, Heavy curve, Soft cure. Sustain Jacks bus powered - no additional power adaptor needed
Bestseller No. 10
AKAI Professional MIDImix - USB MIDI Controller Mixer with Assignable Faders & Master Fader, 24...
  • Complete Mix Control - Lightweight, compact and robust ultra-portable MIDI mixer / DAW controller seamlessly maps all mixer settings to your DAW with a single push of a button
  • Mixdown Essentials - 8 individual line faders and 1 master fader for controlling track volume, virtual instrument parameters, effect settings and more
  • Assignable Control - 24 knobs, arranged 3 per channel for controlling EQ, bus sends, virtual instrument parameters, effect settings and more
  • Get Hands-On - 16 buttons arranged in 2 banks provide mute, solo and record arm functionality per channel
  • Effortless Ableton Live Integration - Instant 1 to 1 mapping with Ableton Live (Ableton Live Lite included)

Last update on 2024-01-28

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