5 Best MIDI Controllers for Beginners (2019 Reviews)

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Our #2 Rated
midiplus Midi Controller, 32-Key (AKM320)
Our #3 Rated
Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller
Our #1 Rated
Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard With 16 Backlit Performance-Ready Pads, 8-Assignable Q-Link Knobs & A 4-Way Thumbstick
Our #4 Rated
Nektar Impact LX25+
Our #5 Rated
Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller, MK2 Version
Model: AKM320
49 note velocity censitive, full-size keyboard
8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads
Premium midi controller with 25 expressive synth-action keys
Launchkey Mini - the mini keyboard for Ableton Live
Keyboard: 32 keys / velocity sensitive / mini key
4 velocity curves (from hard to soft)
USB MIDI controller with 25 velocity-sensitive synth-action keys
8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads
16 multi-colour backlit velocity sensitive drum pads
Pitch and Modulation wheels
3 fixed velocity curves
Innovative 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation contro
Mac, PC and iOS compatible
8 knobs, dedicated navigation and control buttons
Octave Buttons (Up & Down); Transpose Buttons (Up & Down)
Pitchbend & Modulation wheels
8 fully-assignable Q-Link knobs for mixing, tweaking plug-ins and more
Software instruments automatically mapped to controls
bleton Live Lite, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, Novation Bass Station and V Station virtual instruments and over 4GB of Loopmasters samples
Our #2 Rated
midiplus Midi Controller, 32-Key (AKM320)
Model: AKM320
Keyboard: 32 keys / velocity sensitive / mini key
Pitch and Modulation wheels
Octave Buttons (Up & Down); Transpose Buttons (Up & Down)
Our #3 Rated
Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller
49 note velocity censitive, full-size keyboard
4 velocity curves (from hard to soft)
3 fixed velocity curves
Pitchbend & Modulation wheels
Our #1 Rated
Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard With 16 Backlit Performance-Ready Pads, 8-Assignable Q-Link Knobs & A 4-Way Thumbstick
8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads
USB MIDI controller with 25 velocity-sensitive synth-action keys
Innovative 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation contro
8 fully-assignable Q-Link knobs for mixing, tweaking plug-ins and more
Our #4 Rated
Nektar Impact LX25+
Premium midi controller with 25 expressive synth-action keys
8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads
Mac, PC and iOS compatible
Software instruments automatically mapped to controls
Our #5 Rated
Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller, MK2 Version
Launchkey Mini - the mini keyboard for Ableton Live
16 multi-colour backlit velocity sensitive drum pads
8 knobs, dedicated navigation and control buttons
bleton Live Lite, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, Novation Bass Station and V Station virtual instruments and over 4GB of Loopmasters samples

As a budding keyboardist, I decided to invest in the best midi keyboard controllers for beginners. I saw how important it became while making music, and it gave me more control while I played! However, it may be a bit more complicated choosing one, especially if you’re not familiar with these products.

That’s why I did the research and tests to help you!

How to Choose the Best MIDI Controllers for Beginners

 

There are a few things to consider when selecting a MIDI controller:

Key Count

The key count will depend on the size of your studio, as well as if you play two-handed or not. If portability is your choice, then you’ll want a controller with fewer keys. For more keyboard splits and variety in sounds, you’ll want one with up to 76 keys.

Keyboard Action Type

Keyboard action is a vital quality, which is how way your key responds as you play. I recommend a weighted hammer action if you have a real piano feel.

Extra Features

There are a few extra features you might want to consider when getting a MIDI controller, such as AfterTouch, I/O Options, and better quality performance pads. However, this may rack up the price, so be wary with the features you need and avoid overspending on ones you don’t require.

Check out this helpful video showing you how to select an affordable and quality MIDI controller:

 

5 Best MIDI Controllers for Beginners (2019 Reviews)

1. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII

SALE at OFF
Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard With 16 Backlit Performance-Ready Pads, 8-Assignable Q-Link Knobs & A 4-Way Thumbstick
1,528 Reviews
Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard With 16 Backlit Performance-Ready Pads, 8-Assignable Q-Link Knobs & A 4-Way Thumbstick
  • USB MIDI controller with 25 velocity-sensitive synth-action keys with dedicated octave up and down buttons to increase the keyboard to the full melodic range
  • Innovative 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control, plus a built-in arpeggiator with adjustable resolution, range and modes
  • USB powered, robust and ultra-compact design lets you create anywhere
  • 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads with Note Repeat & Full Level for programming drums, triggering samples and controlling virtual instrument / DAW controls
  • 8 fully-assignable Q-Link knobs for mixing, tweaking plug-ins and more

What many will appreciate about the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is its awesome appearance. It comes at a moderate price but looks professional, including the fun and easy-to-use options for you to start making music.

After setting it up and acquainting yourself with how to use it, you’ll be able to have a lot of fun when creating fine tunes. While the software seems intimidating at first, you can pick it up after a few days of learning, which is what makes it great for beginners. You get to learn more despite it being considered as the basic MIDI controller.

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Pros
  • Has the learning curve to progress as you go
  • Fun to use and beginners won’t have trouble understanding
  • Budget-friendly and with the sleek look

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Cons
  • Software seems a bit intimidating at first
  • Some complaints of flimsy keys

 

2. Midiplus Midi Controller

SALE at 13% OFF
midiplus Midi Controller, 32-Key (AKM320)
540 Reviews
midiplus Midi Controller, 32-Key (AKM320)
  • 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: USB cable

For those who want something more affordable, then the Midiplus MIDI controller is right for you. While it may not come with the best quality available, it does the job for its price. The 32-note velocity sensitive keyboard has a good response and comes with the necessary buttons and adjustments to create music from your desktop.

The keyboard controller is impressive, giving you control over your sounds. However, the durability is still questionable. It’s been a few months and still holds up well. All in all, you get more than what you pay for!

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Pros
  • Comes at an affordable price with amazing value
  • Many adjustments to use for better control
  • Easy to setup

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Cons
  • No exact lifespan and might not be the most durable
  • Keys feel a bit stiff for some

 

3. Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller

Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller
44 Reviews
Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller
  • Premium midi controller with 49 expressive synth-action keys, on-board pitch bend and modulation wheels for performances
  • 8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads
  • Mac, PC and iOS compatible
  • Software instruments automatically mapped to controls
  • Includes Bitwig 8-Track DAW

The Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller is excellent for beginners but can also be used by intermediate and professional players as a hobby. This is because it comes with the expressive synth-action keys and the modulation wheels and onboard pitch bend to use at home or during performances. The software is fairly easy to use and understand, with it automatically mapped o your controls for better user experience.

The price may be a bit more expensive than what’s expected for beginners, but it’s worth it with all the necessary and quality features for amazing music-making.

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Pros
  • Excellent construction with the responsive keys for performances
  • Can be used for beginners and intermediate players
  • Both controller and software are easy to use and setup

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Cons
  • Comes at a more expensive price
  • The key response might be a bit too sensitive

 

4. Nektar Impact LX25+

Nektar Impact LX25+
71 Reviews
Nektar Impact LX25+
  • Premium midi controller with 25 expressive synth-action keys, on-board pitch bend and modulation wheels for performances
  • 8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads
  • Mac, PC and iOS compatible
  • Software instruments automatically mapped to controls
  • Includes Bitwig 8-Track DAW

Many aspiring and beginner music producers will appreciate the Nektar Impact LX25+, which has everything you need in a moderately-priced keyboard controller. It’s compatible with all programs (Mac, iOS, or PC), and your instruments are mapped to controls so you can make music YOUR way.

It works great and its keys and pads have the amazing feel and response. There is also the ability to control and map your DAW without hassle. Small and great to bring around, I can say it’s a great purchase.

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Pros
  • Lightweight and can be brought around easily
  • Can control and map DAW effortlessly
  • Cool design that lights up when played

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Cons
  • Keys create a dull thud sound when pressed
  • Not suitable for continued use as you progress

 

5. Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note Keyboard Controller

SALE at 10% OFF
Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller, MK2 Version
124 Reviews
Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller, MK2 Version
  • Launchkey Mini - the mini keyboard for Ableton Live
  • 16 multi-colour backlit velocity sensitive drum pads
  • 8 knobs, dedicated navigation and control buttons
  • Software for Mac and PC, Including: Ableton Live Lite, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, Novation Bass Station and V Station virtual instruments and over 4GB of Loopmasters samples
  • 2-year limited warranty on manufacturing defects

I appreciate the Novation Launchkey Mini Keyboard Controller,  which comes with the complete set of controls and options to play with your music. It has the 16 drum pads, eight knobs, and 25 keys with the bass station, virtual instruments, and Loopmasters samples, so there are so many possibilities for you in creating music without the bulkiness.

While the keys aren’t as responsive as others, the compact and lightweight body makes up for it. There are many tutorials to learn from, as well as the solid build that makes the controller worth the long-term investment.

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Pros
  • Many options and controls for more ways to create music
  • Small and compact
  • Easy to bring around
  • Solid build and looks like it’s made to last

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Cons
  • Keys may not be the most responsive
  • Takes a lot of time to set up and learn from

 

Wrapping It Up

The top MIDI Controller for beginners goes to the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII. Any aspiring music producer and musician will appreciate its excellent features that provide the many ranges of sounds and effects. It’s also fairly easy to use, though also with a learning curve so you can keep upgrading your sound as you go.

I hope this article on the best MIDI Controllers for beginners helped you find the right one for you. So check out any of these products now and see what works best for you.

Got any questions or want to share your own reviews? Then comment below! Your thoughts are much appreciated.

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