Best MIDI Controller
Top 10 Best MIDI Controller in India | 5th Jul 2020
Reviews, Comparison and Buying Guide
Why MIDI Controller?
A keyboard controller is a device with piano or synth-style keys, and usually a selection of knobs, buttons, and sliders. All of these transmit MIDI data to external sound modules (synthesizers), computer software synthesizers, or a hardware or software sequencer. Most keyboard controllers themselves have no internal sound-generating capability, but almost any keyboard synthesizer/workstation can act to control the sounds and parameters of other devices.
The real advantages of a keyboard controller are versatility and portability. They give you control over virtually the entire range of modern music hardware and software while sometimes even being compact enough to fit in your laptop computer bag.
MIDI keyboard controllers have become an important part of the music-making process for contemporary musicians and producers due to the increasing use of virtual instruments onstage and in the studio.
Best MIDI Controller | Buying Guide : Things to consider while buying a MIDI Controller
There are many types of MIDI controllers in the market.
MIDI Controller Keyboard
The most popular type of MIDI controller is the keyboard MIDI controller.They look like an electronic keyboard but they are really just controllers. They only work when you plug them to a computer and load an instrument sample to play on.
Some MIDI controllers come with extra features like the extra pads usually used for triggering drum samples. You might even find MIDI controller keyboards that has faders and knobs on it, which are usually used to control the volume and panning knobs in your DAW. They offer an ‘analog’ touch when you’re producing music on your computer, without having you to reach for the mouse all the time. The more expensive controllers usually also comes with pressure sensitive keys, giving you the ability to play more expressively; you could use the pressure sensitive keys to control volume of your instrument patches.
When buying the MIDI controller keyboard, try to find one that has great touch. Some MIDI controllers can feel a little stiff and plasticy, which can be annoying for particular musicians.
This form of MIDI controller is the most versatile and value for money. Even with just a MIDI controller that comes with only keys, you could still program lots of music lines such as bass, strings, synths and even drums. Just hammer away on the keys!
How Many Keys Do I Need?
This really depends on two factors. First, what is your playing style? If you mainly play lead, bass and drum lines, you can do off with a 25-key MIDI controller without much problem. If you’re a pianist and think you’ll be programming piano riffs and lush string patterns, you’ll want to look at longer MIDI controllers.
Secondly, will you be traveling with your MIDI controller? Having an 88-key MIDI controller is nice but if you won’t be able to travel with it. So the number of keys really depends on your usage and activity. Whether 25, 32, 49, 61, 76 or 88 keys depends on where and what you’ll be mainly using your MIDI controller for.
Type Of Keyboard Action
As mentioned earlier, I explained that the touch of a keyboard controller is crucial. You’re going to be using the controller for sometime in the studio and also live. Logically, you have to feel comfortable playing on the keyboard.
When buying a keyboard controller, always look out for the type of action they have. There are few types of keyboard actions you can expect to find on a MIDI controller.
Hammer Action Keyboards
Hammer action keyboards are designed to feel like an acoustic piano. Most hammer action keyboards are 76-key or 88-key, just like the acoustic piano. If you’re a pianist there is mistaking to go for the hammer action keyboards. You’ll be able to play a piano more expressively on this of keyboards. Playing and programming drums with the hammer action keyboard however can be a little tougher and your fingers will definitely get tired faster.
Semi-weighted action are the type of touch you find in most keyboards. They are built with spring-loaded keys with a little weighted feeling to it. This type of keyboard action is most common and many musicians should feel at home with it. Expression and control with most instruments on this type of keyboard action is possible.
Synth Action Touch
Synth action is somewhat even more lighter than the semi-weighted action keyboards. You’ll typically find this on synths keyboards where they keys are very light. Synth action touch appeals to many electronic musicians or guitarists who do not play the piano and would love to play synth and drum patches.
Percussion/Drum Pad MIDI Controllers
Some producers prefer pressing and drumming on MIDI pads. Though pads are normally used for drum patches, through the years there have been many creative approaches where hitting a pad triggers a stab or sound sample. Drum pad MIDI controllers can be very useful for a live performance as well.
Personally I don’t see the drum pad as a big addition to the studio. Most producers are using percussion MIDI controllers as a secondary tool for programming drum lines or to give themselves more versatility to creativity.
When buying a percussion MIDI controller with pads, always look to see if they have large enough pads that enable your fingers to play on. It goes without saying that the pads needs to very responsive and playable.
It also helps to see if you are able to program the pads to different layouts or different sounds on your DAW. This is important as most of us has a different playing style when it comes to percussion MIDI controllers. Some prefer to use it play fast drums lines while others prefer to use it to trigger sound samples they sliced up in their DAW.
Mobile MIDI Controllers
You then have the mobile MIDI controllers which are like keyboard MIDI controllers, only with their keys smaller in size, smaller than the size of a key on a keyboard. These type of MIDI controllers are made to be mobile or as an addition to your MIDI setup.
I wouldn’t advise using mobile MIDI controllers as your main controller. They come in all sizes, usually with smaller keys or a smaller/thinner build. Great for laying down ideas but I would never imagine finishing a score with one of these controllers.
Guitar & Wind MIDI Controllers
Guitar & wind MIDI controllers would be rarest category of MIDI controllers mentioned in this post, if they are being used at all. There are companies such as ACPAD who are developing a wireless MIDI controller for the acoustic guitar and it seems quite promising.
As for wind MIDI controllers, they are normally built in the form of a saxophone shape. You can choose different modes of playing the wind controller and have your MIDI data sent into your DAW just like any MIDI controllers would. Wind controllers aren’t popular but they appeal to musicians & producers who have strong background playing wind or brass instruments.
Different types of MIDI controller may suit different types of music producers and their working styles. But there are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing one.
First, how much more productive would you be with a MIDI controller? Some controllers may try to attract you with its many features. But be honest with yourself. Do you actually use them? For me, I only always use the keys – that’s it. So I look for MIDI controllers with great key touch.
Second, how easy is its integration with your chosen DAW? I know many producers who spend more time troubleshooting their controllers than actually making music.
Third, are they made to last you a few years? Do they break after a few uses or get its technology (functions) phased off after only a few months?
We break down a few broad ways you can begin narrowing your search for the perfect controller that fits your needs.
Some controllers run up into the multi-thousand dollar mark. However, it’s not difficult to find a high-quality controller that will fit both your needs and your budget for much less than that.
You’ll also often pay more for brand recognition. While there are numerous choices on the market, going with a brand known for reliability and quality products can save you money in the long run. Going with a cheaper, more cheaply-produced options may not last as long as a robust controller. This holds true in a controller’s appearance as well; make your decision based on the technology within, rather than how cool or fancy the controller’s outward appearance is.
In addition, pay close attention to the built-in features. Don’t pay more for a controller that has features and options you may not ever use. Also, make sure to read the fine print. Most modern MIDI controllers are compatible with popular DAWs. However, some are specifically designed to work with a specific DAW such as the Ableton Push. Moreover, going with a specialized controller gives you the advantage of saving time on mapping the controls to the dedicated software.
You’ll most commonly find MIDI controllers with key counts sitting at 25, 49, 61, or even 88 keys. There are also mini controller options with less than 25 keys.
Many artists go with a 49-key option because it is large enough to play with both hands. It’s also important to take the space you have in your home and the type of music you’re creating into account as well. If you’re looking for something portable, a smaller keyboard with 25 or 32 keys may be a better fit.
The specifics of the keys mean more to some producers than others as well. Heavier, weighted keys come at a higher price tag but can feel more comfortable for artists used to playing on a real piano. Most controllers come with plastic keys, which are lighter. It really depends on your personal preference.
Will you be using your controller mostly in your home studio or will you need something portable for live sets? Take note of the weight and overall size of the controller. As stated earlier, fewer keys will be better when it comes to travel-size controllers.
If you’re hauling around your controller, it can be worthwhile to go with a higher-end brand you know will last on the road and in transit. Choosing something robust is also where those weightier keys may outlast the lighter plastic ones.
Pads, Knobs, and Features
While keys are pretty standard, other niceties like drum pads, faders, and knobs can also be useful depending on what your workflow entails.
If your nose is buried in your computer screen, a simple keyboard may be all you need. However, if you prefer to work with your controller, then all the extra bells and whistles can help you stay in the zone.
Top 10 Best MIDI Controllers – [Updated and Highly Recommended]
Comparison Chart to make your purchase easy
The A-49’s keys have a rounded shape for better reaction to the player’s touch and more comfortable glissandi. Other enhancements have been made to reduce the already low mechanical noise and eliminate vertical shake. All of these features add up to a keyboard that even the most discerning pros will appreciate. Add color to your sound and excitement to your performance by waving your hands over the invisible D-BEAM. The A-49 can assign all its controllers automatically for fully utilizing an external SuperNatural sound module such as the INTEGRA-7. It’s also a great second keyboard for controlling synthesizers that have onboard SuperNatural sounds, such as the JUPITER-80 and JUPITER-50.
Features / Reviews
USB bus powered; no AC adapter required
Two knobs, two switches, and D-BEAM controller
Lightweight and compact
Responsive and sensitive keys
- 49-key semi-weighted keyboard with after touch ; 4 zones for creating splits and layering sounds ; Adjustable velocity curve for both keys and pads ; iPad and USB bus powered
- 9 programmable faders, 8 encoders and 16 buttons for hands-on control over your DAW and virtual instruments; 4 velocity-sensitive trigger pads with after touch (two banks) for drum sounds and samples
- Large LCD display provides real-time feedback; Dedicated Transpose and Octave buttons, Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels; 4 zones for creating splits and layering sounds
- Includes MIDI Out, USB and sustain pedal connections; iPad and USB bus powered
- Bundled with Native Instrument's Komplete Elements software
- Samson Audio (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
Tired of blah-feeling keyboard controllers? You’ll love the Samson Graphite 49’s semi-weighted keyboard action! Besides sporting an instrument-like feel, this 49-key USB MIDI controller also features customizable aftertouch. A ton of programable buttons give you killer control over your virtual instruments. Set the faders to be organ drawbars, or program an encoder to dial in gain. Use your iPad with the Graphite 49 for an ultra-portable studio. Go to the mall, pull out your iPad, and start recording your next big hit. Add a great-playing keyboard controller to your studio with the Samson Graphite 49! Samson Graphite 49 USB MIDI Controller Features: 49-key semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch Programmable faders, buttons, and encoders Velocity-sensitive trigger pads for drums and samples Pitch and mod wheels plus Transpose and Octave buttons Works with Mac, PC, and iPad Includes Native Instruments Komplete Elements 8 USB bus powered Samson
Features / Reviews
9 programmable faders, 8 encoders and 16 buttons for hands-on control over your DAW
Large LCD display provides real-time feedback
Dedicated Transpose and Octave buttons
Includes MIDI Out, USB and sustain pedal connections
iPad and USB bus powered
4 zones for creating splits and layering sounds
Adjustable velocity curve for both keys and pads
- 49-key USB MIDI controller with intelligent mapping for major DAWs - comes pre-mapped and configured so you don't have to spend hours assigning MIDI controls
- Premium midi controller with 49 expressive synth-action keys, on-board pitch bend and modulation wheels for performances
- 8 hyper-sensitive backlit pads
- Software instruments automatically mapped to controls
- System Requirements: USB Class compliant, no driver is needed for: Apple iOS, Apple OSX, Windows XP, or higher, Linux (MIDI driver software required)
- DAW integration supports Bigwig Studio, Cubase, Digital Performer, Garage band, Logic X, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, SONAR and Studio One
- Eight hyper sensitive light touch pads can easily be assigned to MIDI notes or message
The Impact LX49+ USB MIDI Controllers Are Jam-Packed With Intelligent And Expressive Performance Control Not Even Available On Many Premium Products. Custom Designed For Bit Wig, Cubase, Digital Performer, Fl Studio, Garage Band, Logic, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Sonar And Studio One. The 49 Note Velocity Sensitive Keyboard Is A Synth Action With A Medium Tension. The Full-Size, Piano-Style Keys Are Covered To Protect Against Dirt And Dust While Also Complementing The Impact LX Design. With 4 Velocity Curves Gradually Increasing In Dynamics There Is Choice For Any Playing Style. If You Don’T Need Velocity, 3 Fixed Velocity Levels To Caters For A Consistent Output. Octave And Transpose Buttons As Well As Pitch Bend And Modulation Wheels Are Within Reach, So You Quickly Can Shift The Keyboard Up Or Down As Needed, Or Apply Additional Articulation With The Wheels.
Features / Reviews
Connect via USB to Windows, OSX, Linux or iOS computers
Foot switch sustain socket (1/4″ jack)
Smart controller with Nektar DAW Integration for most popular DAWs
Pitchbend & Modulation wheels
Dedicated Octave & Transpose buttons
- 61 full-size velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted keys provide a natural feel that captures every subtle nuance of your performance.
- Volume fader, transport and directional buttons for easy control of software, plus ergonomically-designed pitch and modulation wheels, octave up and down buttons and sustain pedal input for expressive performances.
- Easy plug-and-play connection to your mac or pc for immediate creativity. No drivers or power supply required! Compatible with iOS devices via the apple to USB camera adapter (sold separately)
- Compact design fits any desk, studio or stage setup perfectly and advanced functionality customizes your controls for your recording software.
- Premium software suite included: Protools First, Ableton Live Lite, Eleven Lite, Velvet, Hybrid 3, Loom, Vacuum Pro, Eighty Eight Ensemble, Xpand!2.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking for the right controls or are looking to get started with the right USB MIDI controller, the Keystation 61 MK3 has you covered.
Successor to the iconic Keystation 61 II, Keystation 61 MK3 is a full-featured, powerful MIDI keyboard controller engineered for sequencing music and playing virtual instruments on Mac or PC. At the heart of Keystation 61 MK3 is an all-new premium keybed delivering a superbly natural, player-centric response and 61 full-size, velocity-sensitive and semi weighted keys that guarantee to faithfully capture every subtle nuance of your performance. With its compact design, Keystation 61MK3 is designed to fit comfortably anywhere – whether you are at home, studio or live settings, Keystation 61 MK3 looks great!
But that’s not all! We’ve included two of the most popular DAW’s in world for your music production: ProTools First and Ableton Live Lite, plus a host of additional software such as Velvet, Hybrid 3, Loom, Vacuum Pro and more!
For unrestricted access to the full keyboard range, Keystation 61 MK3 includes conveniently-located octave range buttons – Whether its lead lines, extended chords or sub-heavy bass-lines, Keystation 61 MK3 covers it all in a format that keeps you focused on what’s important – Your performance.
Features / Reviews
Lightweight and ultra-portable footprint with a robust, road-ready build
Mobile-friendly USB-bus power specification
Volume fader, transport and directional buttons for easy control of software
Ergonomically-designed pitch and modulation wheels, octave up and down buttons and sustain pedal input
Premium software suite included: Protools First, Ableton Live Lite, Eleven Lite, Velvet, Hybrid 3, Loom, Vacuum Pro, Eighty Eight Ensemble, Xpand!2
Too many wires in your studio? Are they literally holding you back from the freedom of different configurations and setups? Korg, creators of the best-selling micro KEY series and the next-gen microKEY2 series can help you break free with the new micro KEY Air series of wireless MIDI controllers!.
Features / Reviews
Compact and playable natural touch Mini keyboard
Array of powerful music software bundled free of charge
Connect wirelessly to iPad, iPhone, or Mac
- Unleash your creativity with 100 virtual instruments and take off with 50 VST effects plus an unlimited number of sound creations
- Velocity-sensitive USB/MIDI keyboard featuring 61 high-quality full-size keys and unbeatable programming versatility, real-time control and playability
- USB/Audio interface included for recording and playback of any digital music file. Works with your PC or Mac computer - no setup or drivers
- Revolutionary energyXT2.5 Compact BEHRINGER Edition music production software included with feature-rich audio/MIDI sequencer that loads almost instantaneously on all computer platforms
- Intuitive sound module NI KorePlayer with production-ready 300 MB sound library, includes sounds of nearly all categories/kinds, ranging from synths to acoustic instruments to drums
- For support and queries, please contact_us on: [ 02522672367 ]
The Ultimate Studio in a Box: 61-Key USB/MIDI Controller Keyboard with USB/Audio Interface, 100 Software Instruments, 50 VST Effects and NI KorePlayer Software Sound Module
The U-CONTROL UMX610 is an extremely versatile, 61-Key USB/ MIDI master keyboard controller that is ideally-suited for a wide range of performance and recording applications. Need independent control of hardware synthesizers or general MIDI sound modules? How about control over effects devices? Maybe you just want to operate sequencing software, or computer plug-ins from a more convenient remote location? The UMX610 provides total flexibility and tremendous ease of use, thanks to its 61 full-size keys, 22 independently-assignable controllers – and MIDI output.
Add it all up, and the UMX610 gives you the kind of control needed to realize your ideas quickly and intuitively. And we even sweeten the deal, by including our best-selling UCA222 USB/Audio interface – for plug and play recording directly to your PC or Mac* computer!
Features / Reviews
Recording and Editing Toolki
8 knobs, 10 assignable switches, 2 wheels (Pitch Bend & Modulation), 1 pedal port and 1 fader, for a total of 22 assignable controllers
Playing external sound modules, rack synthesizers and virtual instruments
iRig Keys Mini with SampleTank SE. Play your favorite music apps while on the go with iRig Keys Mini, the smallest MIDI keyboard for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC with official MFi certification (Made for iPhone/iPadÃ‚Â). Designed for ultra-portability, it packs a full feature set into an enclosure that fits in your laptop bag or backpack. Though small, iRig Keys Mini provides you with everything you need: It sports a keyboard with 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keys, a freely assignable Volume/Data knob and two back-lit Octave-Up/Down buttons. iRig Keys Mini is fully MIDI and MFi certified/USB class-compliant, which means that you just need to connect it to your iOS device or computer to enjoy adaptorless plug-and-play compatibility with hundreds of music creation apps and software, like the included SampleTank 3 FREE and iGrand Piano FREE. For improved portability, iRig Keys Mini draws its power via USB from its host device, which means it doesnTMt require a bulky power cable. With its small size, full list of features and attractive pricing (the lowest when it come to iOS ready controllers), iRig Keys Mini is the perfect travel companion for the keyboard player on the move.
Features / Reviews
Assignable Data/Volume knob & octave up/down buttons
Includes Lightning, USB and MicroUSB cables
Powered by your device, no batteries required
Includes free apps for iOS, Android and Mac/PC
- 25 synth-action mini keys.
- 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control.
- 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads with Note Repeat & Full Level.
- 8 assignable Q-Link knobs for mixing, tweaking plug-ins, and more.
- Comprehensive production software package included: Akai Pro MPC Essentials, SONiVOX Wobble, and Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech.
The new MPK Mini MKII is an ultra-compact keyboard controller designed to easily fit in the laptop-toting musician’s backpack and still earn its spot on the desktop producer’s crowded table space. For maximum portability, the MPK Mini MKII requires no software drivers or external power adapter for operation. It supports plug-and-play connectivity, features USB-MIDI, and powers up with a single USB connection to your computer.
With an array of hardware controls, the MPK Mini MKII lets you record, compose, and perform with virtual instruments, effect plugins, and Digital Audio Workstations whenever inspiration strikes. It features 25 velocity-sensitive synth-action keys, a 4-way thumb stick for dynamic pitch and modulation manipulation, 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads, and 8 assignable Q-Link knobs. Plus, two banks expand the number of MPC-style pads to 16 for extended creative capabilities.
All of the essentials for quickly laying down and expanding upon your musical ideas – the MPK Mini MKII is the ultimate portable production partner.
Features / Reviews
8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads with Note Repeat & Full Level.
8 assignable Q-Link knobs for mixing, tweaking plug-ins, and more
4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control
- X4 mini MIDI keyboards which have 49 weighted keys respectively. X mini MIDI keyboard is hot Plug supported. No driver is needed. It is powered by USB and no external power supply is needed
- 3 segment backlit LED. Capacitive touch sensors to control pitch and modulation. Featured with shift for customized functions and octave/transpose
- 4 customizable knobs; Default setting: T1 (volume), T2 (pan), T3 (expression controller), T4 (reverb).attachment manual Cable
Features / Reviews
3 segment backlit LED
Capacitive touch sensors to control pitch and modulation
4 customizable knobs; Default setting: T1 (volume), T2 (pan), T3 (expression controller), T4 (reverb)
Powered by USB and no external power supply is needed
- Your next production centrepiece - MIDI Keyboard with 49 full-sized, velocity sensitive keys, perfect for playing virtual instruments
- Eight velocity and pressure sensitive backlit pads for beat production and clip launching
- Four assignable knobs and four assignable buttons with backlight interface with your music software for seamless visual feedback.
- Octave up and down buttons let you access the full keyboard range and pitch and modulation wheels deliver expressive, creative control
- Includes ProTools | First Alesis Edition, Ableton Live Lite 9 and Eleven Lite, plus Mini Grand, DB-33 and Xpand!2 virtual instrument software by Air Music Tech
The performance-oriented Alesis V49 offers expressive hands-on control for the software musician seeking an inexpensive, compact MIDI keyboard controller with expanded features. The new V series combines velocity-sensitive keys with eight drum/trigger pads, allowing virtual instruments to be played with dynamic expression. Cool blue LEDs illuminate the pads—as well as the four assignable knobs and buttons—for positive visibility. Musicians can make assignments quickly via the MIDI Learn feature. Octave shift keys provide access to the entire note range. A single USB cable provides both a power and data connection to nearly any computer. The V49 also comes with Software Preset/Parameter utility that makes setup a snap and includes free downloads for Ableton Live Lite 9 and Xpand!2 by AIR Music Tech. Box Contents :V49 V Editor Software (download) Software Download Cards USB Cable User Guide Safety & Warranty Manual
Features / Reviews
Seamless, visual feedback via illuminated buttons and knobs
Four assignable knobs and buttons for manipulating effect plugins and virtual instruments
Eight impact-sensitive backlit pads allow you to launch clips or finger drum
Octave Up and Down buttons let you access the full keyboard range
Benefits of MIDI Controller
Here are few of the benefits of playing MIDI:
The fact that music from piano soothes the soul is known to us all but it also acts as a stress buster. Even if you give just a few minutes of your busy day to playing the piano, it can lower the blood pressure and make you feel much more positive. In fact, just being a part of piano recitals or playing in front of a few people can drive stage fright out of people.
Enhances Split Concentration
Since piano requires using both your hands doing different things for playing it, you might not be able to deal with it at first. Gradually, the art of split concentration becomes an integral part. This further helps you in coordinating your eyes and hands while playing. Thus, your concentration skills get developed, making you sharper.
Stimulates the Brain, improving Neural Connections
Scientific studies show that music stimulates the brain in a way that no other activity does. Thus, playing a musical instrument like piano adds new neural connections developing some higher tiers in the brain. These improved neural connections have their fair share in benefitting at studies and other daily life chores of a person.
Strengthens Hand Muscles.
By maintaining the correct posture of hands and using the proper hand position while playing the piano makes your arms stronger. Even as you grow up and get older, your hands have stronger hand muscles compared to others. The piano is a great way of developing dexterity among children as well.
Stimulates the growth hormones
The Human Growth Hormones or Hgh in the human body has been found to have an altered growth in children who play the piano. These growth hormones keep a person energetic and prevent issues like body ache and pain in the old age. Studies showed that students who took keyboard lessons had increased levels of human growth hormones than those who did not.
Remember that MIDI is all about controlling the notes on the computer, and so as long as it can do that well, it’s going to be perfect for you as a beginner. Additional features are always an added bonus if you’re interested in learning more about how to control MIDI in more extensive ways.
One final note would be that if you’re going to purchase a MIDI controller, be sure your computer can handle the minimum requirements for the controller, as MIDI does take up some processing power. If your computer is too slow, you might have trouble accurately playing.
At the end of the day, having the best MIDI controller doesn’t necessarily mean that you will produce chart-topping hits. Sure, it’ll make you look more like a ‘music producer’ but what’s going to matter in the end is your skills in music production.
By the way, which MIDI controller is your favorite? Which did you choose to buy for your studio and why? Let me know in the comment section below.
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