7 Best MIDI Keyboards For Ableton Live in 2020 (reviews)

Our #2 Rated
Akai Professional MPK Mini Play | Standalone Mini Keyboard & USB Controller With Built In Speaker, MPC Style Pads, On board Effects, 128 Instrument & 10 Drum Sounds, & Software Suite Included
Our #3 Rated
Novation Launchkey 49 USB Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live, 49-Note MK2 Version
Our #1 Rated
Alesis V25 | 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included
Our #4 Rated
Alesis V49 | 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 8 Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included
Our #5 Rated
Nektar Impact GX61 Controller Keyboard
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Comes with plenty of onboard effects
Plug and play USB keyboard controller
USB-powered compact design
Comes with easy to access knobs, pads and buttons
Better control with assignable keys
Includes software suite
49-note keyboard controller ideal even for the pros
25 expressive synth-action keys
Ideal for producers that want control of virtual instruments
Ideal for all types of players
Up to 128 instruments and 10 drum sounds
Compatible for PC and Mac
Great features for its price
USB powered eliminates socket need
Good value for money for its functions
Portable and powerful USB controller and mini keyboard
The best plug and play MIDI USB keyboard controller
Ideal for those looking for a lightweight yet powerful MIDI controller
The perfect on-the-go companion of every music producer
Great for those looking to gain control of virtual instruments
Our #2 Rated
Akai Professional MPK Mini Play | Standalone Mini Keyboard & USB Controller With Built In Speaker, MPC Style Pads, On board Effects, 128 Instrument & 10 Drum Sounds, & Software Suite Included
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Comes with plenty of onboard effects
Includes software suite
Up to 128 instruments and 10 drum sounds
Portable and powerful USB controller and mini keyboard
Our #3 Rated
Novation Launchkey 49 USB Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live, 49-Note MK2 Version
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Plug and play USB keyboard controller
49-note keyboard controller ideal even for the pros
Compatible for PC and Mac
The best plug and play MIDI USB keyboard controller
Our #1 Rated
Alesis V25 | 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included
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USB-powered compact design
25 expressive synth-action keys
Great features for its price
Ideal for those looking for a lightweight yet powerful MIDI controller
Our #4 Rated
Alesis V49 | 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 8 Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included
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Comes with easy to access knobs, pads and buttons
Ideal for producers that want control of virtual instruments
USB powered eliminates socket need
The perfect on-the-go companion of every music producer
Our #5 Rated
Nektar Impact GX61 Controller Keyboard
-
Better control with assignable keys
Ideal for all types of players
Good value for money for its functions
Great for those looking to gain control of virtual instruments

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 2020

Alesis V25 MIDI Keyboard Controller

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.

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Pros
  • Features 61 responsive keys for full control and ease of play
  • USB powered controller
  • Does not require sockets

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Cons
  • Design can be improved for easy navigation
  • Keys can be a bit small for some users

 

Akai Professional MPK Mini Play

Akai Professional MPK Mini Play | Standalone Mini Keyboard & USB Controller With Built In Speaker, MPC Style Pads, On board Effects, 128 Instrument & 10 Drum Sounds, & Software Suite Included
  • Standalone Piano Style Keyboard – Portable mini keyboard and USB MIDI controller with 25 velocity-sensitive synthesizer action keys, pitch/mod joystick control, plus 128 sounds and 10 drum kits
  • Play Anywhere – Built in speaker, 1/8-inch headphone output and battery powered specification (3 x AA batteries – not included) for performing and producing on the go

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.

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Pros
  • Includes easy customization knobs for software parameters or internal sounds
  • Can work as a standalone keyboard

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Cons
  • Visual feedback area can be basic for some advanced users
  • Costly

 

Novation Launchkey 49

Novation Launchkey 49 USB Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live, 49-Note MK2 Version
  • MK2 version of Novation's 49-note USB keyboard controller for Ableton Live
  • 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads, 8 knobs, and dedicated navigation and control buttons

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.

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Pros
  • Lets shaping of whatever kind of sound we want
  • Includes software for PC and Mac
  • Such as Ableton Live

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Cons
  • Weakness of the pad can be a problem
  • Few components may need adjustment

 

Alesis V49 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Alesis V49 | 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 8 Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included
  • MIDI Keyboard with 49 full-sized, velocity sensitive square-front keys, perfect for playing Virtual Instruments
  • 8 velocity- and pressure-sensitive backlit pads for beat production and clip launching

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.

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Pros
  • Flexible for its USB MIDI connectivity for PC and Mac
  • USB powered eliminates the need for sockets

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Cons
  • Not having as many settings as others in the category do
  • Backlit pads aren’t that responsive

 

Nektar Impact GX61 Controller Keyboard

Nektar Impact GX61 Controller Keyboard
  • 61 Premium midi controller with 61 expressive synth-action keys, on-board pitch bend and modulation wheels for performances
  • Nektar DAW Integration for most popular DAWs

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.

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Pros
  • Designed with top end 61 expressive keys
  • Includes 14 assignable buttons for more control

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Cons
  • The build feels flimsy
  • Keys can be improved for durability

 

Nektar Impact LX88+

SALE at $80.00 OFF
Nektar (IMPACT LX88+)
  • 88 note, velocity-sensitive semi-weighted keyboard
  • 8 hyper-sensitive backlit pads

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.

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Pros
  • Great bang for the back for its expressive performance controls
  • Comes with four velocity curves to increase dynamics to match your playing style

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Cons
  • Limited capacity controller
  • Keys can feel a bit flimsy

 

Novation Launchpad Ableton LIVE Controller

Novation Launchpad Ableton Live Controller with 64 RGB Backlit Pads (8x8 Grid)
  • Launchpad integrates with Ableton Live, after a quick and easy setup, giving you the ability to create and perform your own music. If you already have Ableton Live it must be version 9.2 or greater to work with Launchpad
  • 64 RGB pads light up to match the color of your clips in Live; see at a glance what's loaded, playing, and recording

If you’re looking for a lightweight and portable throw in the bag type of MIDI controller, you might want the Novation Launchpad. 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?

I’d also like to recommend the Novation controller for Ableton live because it lets us control our music software.   With it, we can integrate seamlessly and immediately with Ableton live without required setup.

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.

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Pros
  • Can be integrated seamlessly and immediately with Ableton Live
  • Free FX and virtual instrument versions from top developers

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Cons
  • Expensive
  • 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.

MIDI

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.

Related: Our Quick Tutorial on MIDI & Keyboard Synthesis

Or else, going for cheaply made controller might not be as long lasting as you’d expect.

Our Pick

Alesis V25 is the best MIDI keyboard for Ableton LiveIt 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.

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