Our top picks at a glance
- Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII
- IK Multimedia iRig Keys Pro
- Roland Lightweight 49-Key MIDI
- Alesis VI49
- Novation Impulse 49 USB
- Akai Professional MPK249
- M-Audio Code 61 Black
- Nektar Panorama P6
- M-Audio Axiom AIR 49 49-Key
- Komplete Kontrol S88 Mk2
Logic Pro X (2019) is one of the best music software for professional musicians and beginners, alike. It offers a lot of features you can possibly think of, despite its simplicity and straightforward controls. So, for great software like this, it’s just crucial to pair it with a great MIDI controller.
Here, we give you ten of the best MIDI controllers that are just perfect to integrate with your Mac and iOS devices. Even if you’re not using Logic Pro X, these MIDI controllers are still great to be used on Windows PC and integrate well with other leading music software.
At the end of this article, we give you some tips on how we’re able to hand-pick these products. Read on and check out these reliable products.
The best midi controllers for logic pro X in 2021
Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is a USB-powered MIDI controller with 25 velocity-sensitive keys and dedicated buttons for shifting octaves up and down. It’s a very compact controller that lets you pack it in a laptop-toting backpack, but gives you enough capacity to wow your fans.
It requires no drivers or external power for operation — very convenient and portable way of connecting to the computer.
This controller has 4-way thumbstick for pitch and modulation controls with arpeggiator on board with adjustable range, resolution, and modes. In addition, it has eight velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads, assignable Q-Link knobs for easy mixing and tweaking of your plugins.
Lastly, it’s bundled with software and virtual instruments (ready for download) that functions well in both Mac and PC.
Note: Pads only work if you have sounds onboard in your host DAW that is already mapped to the MIDI notes corresponding to the pads being triggered.
- Easy to understand layout with the familiar overall configuration
- More affordable than other MIDI controllers
- Packed with basic features
- Perfect for a newbie producer
- Build quality is not quite good
- Keys and controls feel cheap and flimsy
- Some users complained that knobs are quite small
If you are looking for a full-sized, ultra-compact keyboard controller that has 37 velocity-sensitive keys, the IK Multimedia iRig Keys Pro is the one for you.
It’s compatible not just with Mac and PC running on Windows, but also to iOS devices. So, wherever you may be, you can make music using this machine and your phone.
It’s equipped with pitch-bend and modulation wheels, octave up/down and Program up/down buttons and has SampleTank 3 SE for Mac or PC.
This machine is compatible with lightning USB and micro-USB connections to be easily connected via plug-and-play functionality to your computer or phone. It is capable of taking inputs from a sustain or expression pedal, in case you prefer to play with one.
- Keyboard is lightweight
- Easy to carry around
- Can be connected to iOS and Android phones
- Keys are perfectly playable
- Micro USB port/connection should be sturdy at some point
- The USB port stopped working
- Lock notes at some point and won’t stop playing that note
A lightweight and compact keyboard controller for Logic Pro X 2019 from Roland, this Roland Lightweight 49-Key MIDI is another great buy. It’s easy to use, portable and slim, giving you a premium full-sized keyboard. It’s USB-powered with two knobs and switches and a D-BEAM controller.
It’s available in black and pearl-white finishes, this 49-key is perfect for musicians who are seeking for a simple, yet fully functional MIDI keyboard.
- Making it easier to lift and carry
- LED indicators give instant visual feedback for the setting
- Easy to use with keys feel sturdy
- Can’t be used as standalone
- Need an external USB power
- Has poor connection options
Another 49 full-sized keyboard with semi-weighted keys, the Alesis VI49 is a great keyboard controller for the Logic Pro X software. It has 16 multi-colored velocity-sensitive RGB pads where you can launch clips and finger drums with each.
In addition, it has 12 knobs and 36 buttons for manipulating the plugins, virtual instruments and effects with great ease.
Powered with a single USB connection, you can plug it right into your Mac or Windows PC to provide power and accommodate MIDI output to start mixing and making the most out of your music creations.
You can make your music, even better with the pitch and modulation wheels, open and close filters, adjustable volume controls, active effects and more. So, you’ll have a more expressive performance with all these capabilities mentioned.
- Beautifully designed with great engineering
- Has a total of 64 assignable controls
- Including knobs
- Buttons and pads
- Can easily be integrated with other DAWs
- Limited support for software integration
- Pads are not that sensitive
Novation Impulse 49 USB is another great MIDI controller with semi-weighted and ultra-responsive keys with aftertouch. It comes with eight knobs, nine faders and eight backlit drum pads which can change arpeggios, roll beats and most importantly launch clips for easier use.
This MIDI control has full DAW or plugin control, where you can instantly have hands-on access to your DAW with the Automap 4 controls. Hence, it has instant access to the DAW’s mixer for easier transport, tweaks, and controls of the plugins.
Finally, it includes downloads for major music software in the market, including Ableton Live Lite, Bass Station synth, Loop Masters, Mike the Drummer and more.
- Keys and controls are quite sensitive
- Great for dynamic interaction
- Easy mapping
- Simple to customize
- Pads are awesome in creating drum beats
- Lack of speed dial which most controllers at this price point have
- Aftertouch differs in black and white keys
- Automapping feature varies with different DAW used
Akai Professional MPK249 is an all-in-one controller keyboard that is perfect whether you are performing live or practicing in your home recording studio. It features 49 semi-weighted, pressure-sensitive keys with distinguished aftertouch.
It has 16 MPC-style pads, eight knobs, switches, and faders. With the pad banks, you’ve had a total of 64 pads in all, plus a total of 24 knobs and controls including the transport buttons.
Optimized to be directly interfaced with your Mac or PC, it can be easily plugged and automatically play using a USB connection.
It requires and works well with Mac 1.25GHz or faster, Windows 1.5Ghz or faster, 1GB or 2GB of RAM, compatible sound, preferably ASIO driver support and QuickTime. It includes VIP music software for you to control virtual instruments by hand without any problem.
- Excellent build and craftsmanship
- Keys are nice to touch and great to play
- MPC-style pads are fantastic
- Requires power adapter
- Pad quality is not as good as other premium products
- Quite expensive
A few among the list, the M-Audio Code 61 is a 61 full-sized keyboard with velocity-sensitive keys that have aftertouch effect. It has four assignable zones that are very useful for splitting and layering.
So, if you like to have different sets of musical instruments, you can assign each instrument to each zone for great playability.
With the assignable 16 trigger pads, XY pad for HID control and eight 360 encoders, you’ll be able to access virtual instruments and process DAWs without any problem.
It’s equipped with assignable controls for easier navigation of the device. Enjoy the benefits of having assignable parameter controls to be able to maximize each fader, button, knob and pad for making a great beat.
- Keys feel great and have aftertouch effect
- Easier to make music directly from a laptop
- Works great right out of the box
- Definitely not for beginners
- Drum pads are a bit harder to touch
- Doesn’t have indicator setting per key
- Need to refer to the manual for this
Another 61-note keyboard on the list is the Nektar Panorama P6. Like M-Audio Code 61, the keys are weighted, velocity-sensitive with a great aftertouch effect.
It has 12 pads that are both pressure- and velocity-sensitive, which are coupled with 16 encoders, nine faders, 10 LED buttons, and the 20 preset locations.
Overall, there are about 93 controls that you can master in order to bring out the best in your mics. It’s compatible with other software like Bitwig Studio, Cubase and your favorite Logic Pro X.
- Nice keys
- Crafted with quality
- Great integration with Cubase or Reason and some other software
- Gives the best value for your money
- May produce mechanical noise
- Especially on white keys
- White and black keys have different action
- Pads unresponsive sometimes
- Need forceful touch to make it work
A 49-key controller like M-Audio Axiom AIR 49 is a great tool for making wonderful music. Since it has expressive synth-action keys with aftertouch, playing with this controller is really fantastic. In addition, since it has 12 trigger pads which are pressure- and velocity-sensitive, pulling up finger drums and other virtual instruments is very easy.
This controller is designed for a more expressive performance, whether live on stage or in the studio. With all its controls — eight encoder knobs, nine faders with function buttons, and the color-coded illuminated pads and knobs — it’s fun playing with this instrument. You can also preset the velocity curves to match your style with assignable modulation and pitch-bend wheels.
- Great keyboard
- It’s like your entire studio system rolled into one device
- Initial configuration is a breeze
- Keys are amazing
- Almost like a real piano
- Pads need time to learn
- Especially on the sensitivity settings
- Knobs are hard to be tuned consistently
- Faders are cheap
- Although they do their job
This is the most expensive on the list, but, it has all the virtual instruments and effects that you need to make a piece of great music and track. Komplete Kontrol S88 Mk2 has 88 fully weighted, hammer-action Pro-grade Fatar keybeds with aftertouch. You can easily map all the functionalities and plugins of this machine to your software.
It’s very easy to make expressive music and beats out of this great controller. This is perfect if you don’t really travel a lot or if you have a bigger space in your studio room. But, aside from the portability and space issue, this one is really reliable when you make full integration to your computer, whether you are playing on stage or off the stage.
- Setup configuration and the process is straightforward
- Sturdy construction with pitch-bend/modulation wheels feel great
- Plug-and-play function and requires no software driver
- Better to include sustain pedal
- Quite expensive for a MIDI controller with limited features
- No power switch
- Need to unplug the USB cable to turn it off
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST MIDI CONTROLLERS FOR LOGIC PRO X
You can go endless checking the features of Logic Pro X and how great they are. But, if you’re not pairing it with a great MIDI controller, you can’t expect the software will do the things a great controller should perform.
Related: Best MIDI Keyboards for FL Studio
So, we give you some tips to be able to select the best that perfectly matches the quality and performance of Logic Pro X.
Mapping with Logic Pro X — Look for a MIDI controller that can be auto-mapped to the Logic Pro X. When the controller is connected to your computer, all of Logic Pro X hardware controls are automatically assigned to Smart Controls and other functions.
MIDI pads — These are usually between 8-16 with three to four banks which are all assignable. If you love drums, you should have a special look into the pads to see how well it handles finger drumming, effects and other sounds.
Related: Best MIDI Keyboards for Ableton Live
Portability — You can use Logic Pro X on your iOS devices. This ensures that you have a lightweight, yet still reliable controller to help you make beats on the go. Look for a controller that is handy enough to match the portability of the Logic Pro X.
Plugins, Effects, and Sound — You know that Logic Pro X excels with onboard effects, sounds and more. So, see to it that your MIDI controller can keep up with the versatility of your software. Choose a more flexible controller since the software has still a lot more to offer.
For beginners, this YouTube video can help you in maximizing the use of MIDI controllers to your Logic Pro X. Have a quick look to learn more and get more insights from this very useful video.
Related: Our MIDI & Music Synthesis Tutorial
What is the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X?
Quick Answer: The Akai Professional MPK249 is the best midi controller for logic pro X in 2021. Even if you’re not a Mac user, you can still use this MIDI controller on your Windows PC, and it has a better integration with logic pro X.
It’s harder to pick one from the list of products that you know are great in the functionalities they are designed for. However, for better integration with Logic Pro X, there are two great products that outshine the rest — Nektar Panorama P6 and Akai Professional MPK249.
When it comes to the price, the MPK249 is cheaper than Panorama P6. Though both of them gives us jam-packed features, the former exceeds in giving us more value, flexibility, and usability.
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