What is the Best MIDI Keyboard for Ableton Live?
Alesis V25 is the best MIDI keyboard for Ableton Live. It has 25 full-sized, velocity-sensitive square-front keys, perfect for playing virtual instruments. It comes with Ableton Live 9 lite key and other software from Alesis.
It’s not easy to answer the question on what the best midi keyboard for Ableton Live is because the market is saturated with choices.
But then, you’ll be on the right track if you’d know the features to look for and top picks in the category.
So if you’re buying your first keyboard for Ableton Live, you have to check out the following reviews to compare and weigh your options well on which keyboard is right for you.
7 Best MIDI keyboards for Ableton Live 2021
- Alesis V25 MIDI Keyboard Controller
- Akai Professional MPK Mini Play
- Novation Launchkey 49
- Alesis V49 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
- Nektar Impact GX61 Controller Keyboard
- Nektar Impact LX88+
- Novation Launchpad Mini MK3
You’ll need the Alesis V25 if you’re on the lookout for powerful and intuitive MIDI controls that allows you to take full control of your music software.
This keyboard controller for Ableton features 25 mini-size keys that can let you expand it for use in playing bass lines, melodies and chords as well as playing with a full melodic range.
I also liked the visual feedback, which works seamlessly, through the illuminated knobs and buttons. Another thing that makes the keyboard controller a great pick is its USB MIDI connectivity for PC and Mac.
Now, if you’re looking for a full-size 61-key MIDI keyboard, you can check out the Alesis V61, which is my opinion a better option.
- Features 61 responsive keys for full control and ease of play
- USB powered controller
- Does not require sockets
- Design can be improved for easy navigation
- Keys can be a bit small for some users
The Akai Professional MPK Mini Play is for those looking for the best midi keyboard for Ableton.
One thing I liked about it is its responsive pads. There are two sections of a total of 16 pads with full level and note repeat functions. It is ideal for beginners that want a better control of their MIDI controller for Ableton.
In addition, the controller is designed with two banks of a total of eight knobs for controlling or changing software parameters or any internal sound. Parameters, such as envelope controls, reverb and filter are easy to control.
It also comes with an integrated speaker plus a headphone output for extra portability. The controller also comes with professional software suite, including the AIR Music Tech Hybrid 3.
- Includes easy customization knobs for software parameters or internal sounds
- Can work as a standalone keyboard
- Visual feedback area can be basic for some advanced users
- Quite expensive
Playing or composing music anywhere with the Novation Launchkey 49 is easy because it’s a USB keyboard that does not require any sockets. With it, you can control for Ableton Live easily.
If you’re looking for a reliable keyboard controller for Ableton, you should not miss the Novation Launchkey 49 that comes with 16 RGB pads, dedicated control and navigation panels and eight different easy to use knobs.
The Launchkey also lets us shape the sound we want for the included eight rotary knobs that let us customize the effects and instruments.
And no matter the number of control you choose, they’ll easily integrate with Ableton Live.
- Lets shaping of whatever kind of sound we want
- Includes software for PC and Mac
- Such as Ableton Live
- Weakness of the pad can be a problem
- Few components may need adjustment
If you’re looking for a quality and top performing MIDI controller for Ableton Live, you should not miss the Alesis V49. It’s an innovative and highly functional controller that allows you to bring out your total creativity.
The model allows for taking full control of your computer software and plugins, giving way for dynamic performances.
The Alesis V49 also lets you expand it for use in playing bass lines or any melodic range that your heart desires. It also lets you explore your creative side especially when composing music for its offered options.
You can also easily manipulate virtual instruments and effects plugins for its assignable buttons and knobs.
- Flexible for its USB MIDI connectivity for PC and Mac
- USB powered eliminates the need for sockets
- Not having as many settings as others in the category do
- Backlit pads aren’t that responsive
Another recommended product in this category is the Impact GX61, an expressive instrument designed and built to suit any performance or composition.
It is also compatible with a computer music system without any fuss. Not to mention, the Impact GX61 also has a great interface that’s easy to navigate.
The MIDI controller features multi-colored octave buttons, allowing shifting its range. it also has color-changing LED that indicates the exact status of what you’re working on.
The Impact GX61 also offers Nektar DAW Integration, allowing for use along with the most popular DAWs on the market.
This one also has transpose buttons for shifting the range among the different semi tones. Impressively, I liked that it comes with an assignable potentiometer, letting control of any MIDI parameter.
- Designed with top end 61 expressive keys
- Includes 14 assignable buttons for more control
- The build feels flimsy
- Keys can be improved for durability
The 88-note high quality MIDI controller is an ideal pick for the music producer or musician looking to get more of their music. It has semi-weighted action and medium tension keys, which are responsive enough.
I also liked that it includes the Bigwig 8-Track DAW, adding to its value. In addition, I find that the Impact LX88+ is perfect for players that want extra reach for its expressive performance control.
Another impressive thing about the MIDI controller keyboard is its Nektar DAW Integration that makes it compatible to the common DAWs. Finally, this model is compatible for use with iOS, PC or Mac.
- Great bang for the back for its expressive performance controls
- Comes with four velocity curves to increase dynamics to match your playing style
- Limited capacity controller
- Keys can feel a bit flimsy
If you’re looking for a lightweight and portable throw in the bag type of MIDI controller, you might want the Novation Launchpad Mini MK3. It’s easy to carry around and pack, and we’ll all love this kind of controller.
I also find it convenient to use for it is USB bus powered, so it doesn’t require any power sockets. What more can be more impressive than that?
It is also easy to see what is playing or recording at a glance with the bright and colorful pads.
This controller, which lets us plug in to play music, is also sound collective. It can receive free virtual instrument versions and FX sounds from top developers.
- Can be integrated seamlessly and immediately with Ableton Live
- Free FX and virtual instrument versions from top developers
- Not so responsive keys
What To Consider When Buying a MIDI Keyboard for Ableton LIVE
How many keys do you need?
Determine the number of keys you really need when choosing a MIDI keyboard. If you’re a hip hop beat creator or an electronic musician, choosing one with only 25 keys might suffice because you’d only need to play simple chord progressions most of the time.
However, if you’re looking for more functionality and play with both your left and right hands, you might want to opt for one that has 49 or 61 keys, such as some select models featured earlier.
What keyboard size is right for you?
Would you like a compact unit or a full-sized keyboard? Compact controllers can be for you if you want something more portable and simple piano playing. These are also cheaper options and lighter in weight than full sized models.
Related: Best MIDI Keyboards for Logic PRO X
The only downside is that they also have smaller keys, which might not ring a bell to you if you have slightly larger fingers.
You might find these MIDI controllers too cramped. If you do, you might want to go for the full-sized model.
Related: Best MIDI Keyboards for FL Studio
Affordability versus quality
Determine your budget when shopping around, but that’s not all. In addition to finding out how much to spend, you should also figure out if you’re buying from a reliable brand to save money in the end.
Or else, going for cheaply made controller might not be as long lasting as you’d expect.
Alesis V25 is the best MIDI keyboard for Ableton Live. It is loaded with the features and functions that lets you be more creative in launching clips or creating a song. It is also equipped with the Ableton Live Lite, a feature which music producers will find handy.
Overall, it is the choice for you if you’re looking for a top performing, portable and lightweight MIDI keyboard for Ableton live.