Both the pads and the keyboards themselves have been upgraded for this generation, and both feel great with decent velocity response (although no aftertouch). Download Midi Controller Free and enjoy it on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Read the full Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 MkII review, Don't miss the latest deals, news, reviews, features and tutorials. Discover new music and watch shows from around the world with Show4me’s new app and enhanced site, Steve Lukather on guitar tab: "Why would you learn that if you can learn how to read music? Not sure where to start? Using its 24 'keywaves', you can shape notes as you play, adjusting the character of the sound with your finger movements. It doesn’t quite match the plug-and-play immediacy of NI's Komplete Kontrol system, but offers much more flexibility for interfacing hardware and software. Even with those things taken away, though, and the reduced level of Maschine integration, we’re still very much blown away by the value proposition presented by the A25 and the A-Series keyboards in general. The best MIDI keyboard you can buy for compact music creation, Launch price: $139/£99/€119 | Compatibility: PC, Mac | Number of keys: 32 | Key size: Mini | Key type: Velocity-sensitive | Controls: Eight touch-sensitive control knobs, two touch strips, four-directional push encoder | Connectivity: USB | Power: USB | Size: 47.5 x 16.7 x 0.5cm | Weight: 1.45kg. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. The iRig Keys I/O combines a MIDI controller keyboard and audio interface into a single unit, and is designed to be as compact as possible without compromising on playability. Professional, practical and portable playability for a paltry price, Price: $49/£44/€48 | Compatibility: PC, Mac | No of Keys: 25 | Key size: Mini | Key type: Velocity-sensitive | Controls: 6 function keys; assignable PB1 & PB2 buttons for pitch bend, transpose, volume, pan & track; assignable ‘Part Two’ button for octave, MIDI channel, transpose, layer & latch; S button for sustain & modulation | Connectivity: Micro USB port, sustain pedal input | Power: USB | Software: Bitwig 8-Track | Dimensions (mm): 335 x 100 x 21 | Weight (kg): 0.4. The Komplete Kontrol experience at a great price, Launch price: $169/£119/€149 | Compatibility: PC, Mac | Number of keys: 25 | Key size: Full-size | Key type: semi-weighted | Controls: Pitch and Modulation wheels, transport buttons, 4-directional push encoder, eight touch-sensitive knobs | Connectivity: USB | Power: USB | Size: 48.8 x 25.7 x 8.9cm | Weight: 2.4kg. The quickest way to do this is to open the Launchpad in the Dock, type "Audio MIDI setup" and click the app's icon when it appears. How many keys is enough? Full DAW integration comes as a bonus if you’re on a budget, however, as it’s often the preserve of the more expensive end of the market. You will receive a verification email shortly. If you’re already wedded to the Komplete software package, nothing will help you work with it as musically as Komplete Kontrol MkII. Ultimately, you’ll be hard-pushed to find a better Live-centric keyboard, and there’s little here not to recommend. Here are six of - in our opinion - the best, kicking off with Hexler’s touchOSC. There are plenty of options to choose from, dependent on your needs. of Keys: 25 | Key size: Mini | Key type: velocity-sensitive | Controls: Octave shift, Transpose, Pitch and Modulation strips, 16 velocity-sensitive backlit RGB launch pads, 8 rotary encoders, 10 function buttons | Connectivity: USB B port, 3.5mm TRS Type A MIDI out, Sustain Pedal input | Power: USB | Software: Ableton Live Lite, two months of Splice Sounds, AAS Session Bundle, Softube Time & Tone, Spitfire Audio LABS Expressive Strings, Klevgrand DAW Cassette and R0Verb, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, membership of Novation Sound Collective | Dimensions (mm): 330 x 172 x 40 | Weight (kg): 0.69. Read the full Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A-Series review, Launch price: $179/£180/€199 | Compatibility: PC, Mac | Number of keys: 37 | Key size: Full-size | Key type: Velocity-sensitive | Controls: Pitch and Modulation wheels, 16 RGB velocity-sensitive pads, 8 knobs | Connectivity: USB | Power: USB | Size: 258 x 555 x 77mm. Its compact size may deter serious ‘players’ – Novation’s SL Mk3 remains the best CV-equipped device on that front – but modular and hardware-loving musicians will likely lap this one up. Launch Audio MIDI Setup on the Mac. Elsewhere, you really should check out the Nektar Impakt LX88+, Novation SL49 Mk3 and the new Arturia KeyStep Pro. The LX88+ won’t suit everyone, and some 88-key users will be after a full weighted hammer-action, but at this price it’s a bargain and well worth testing. Save up to $100 on Apple’s M1 Mac mini: is this your next music production computer? How to control USB MIDI hardware with an iPad (Gadget, Cubasis2, NanoStudio2, Beatmaker 3).The iPad is one of the best mobile DAW option today. I needed versatile midi controller for Sonar but didnt want to spend loads of bucks on some fancy hardware. This is the worlds first Bluetooth MIDI pad controller and currently the only one. KeyLab MkII is operationally intuitive, with three distinct modes: DAW, Analog Lab and User (there are ten user configurable presets) - selected via dedicated mode buttons in the centre. Read the full Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3 review, Still one of the best MIDI keyboards on a budget, Price: $119/£73/€79 | Compatibility: PC, Mac | No. I, 4x CV voices w/ pitch, gate and mod/velocity outs, clock in/out/reset | Connectivity: USB, sustain in, speaker and line output | Power: USB or mains | Dimensions: 589 x 208 x 38mm | Weight (kg): 2.7. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A25, 15. Dave Clews I have an iPad Air 2 and an Ableton Live Suite 10 on my Windows PC. The unweighted keys are light and responsive, with satisfying travel and minimal lateral movement. The iRig Keys I/O 49 is small enough to find a space on even the most hectic of studio desks, equipped to handle basic recording duties and general purpose MIDI control on stage and in the studio, and pretty good value. “Back in my day”, he said grumpily, we had to have two MIDI equipped hardware devices. In the MIDI Studio window, click the Choose MIDI Configuration pop-up menu (it may show Default), then choose New Configuration. 37-key MIDI Controller with Velocity-sensitive Piano Keys, MIDI I/O, and Headphone Output - Mac/PC, iOS, Android ... then you need an iPad/iPhone keyboard controller. © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates, iRig Keys 2 MINI-Ultra-compact universal MIDI keyboard controller with 25 mini-keys and audio output for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac/PC. There's a USB connection, for hooking the controller up to a computer, MIDI In and Out ports and CV Pitch, Gate and Mod outputs. That said, a single horizontal touchstrip is supplied and can be used for additional expression. For simple inputting of drum beats, simple bass and melody lines and basic chords, smaller MIDI controllers with mini keys should do the job just fine. Akai have pitched the MPK Mini Mk2 perfectly between breadth of features, portability, build quality and affordability. MIDI controller keyboards fall into two main categories – the more portable devices with 25 keys and the larger, desk-based options with 49 or more keys. A different kind of MIDI controller keyboard, Launch price: $349/£279/€329 | Compatibility: PC, Mac, iOS | Number of keys: 24 | Key size: Full-size | Key type: Keywave | Controls: None | Connectivity: USB-C (MIDI out), Bluetooth | Power: USB | Size: 28.2 x 14.1 x 2.4cm | Weight: 0.65kg. The KeyLab MkII not only delivers fine playability, but also tackles DAW control and synth editing with aplomb. Hi! These have the advantage of being cheaper and more portable than their larger brethren and take up a smaller footprint on your work surface. Standout features include the 4-way joystick for pitch bend and modulation, the built-in arpeggiator and note repeat functions, generous provision of knobs and fantastic-feeling MPC-style pads. Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3 MIDI keyboard, 5. There was a problem. If you liked the idea of Komplete Kontrol the first time around, the good news is that there’s even more to like about it now. The Studiologic MP-117 (also sold as the Fatar MP-117) is a MIDI controller with the build quality, heft, and price tag of a legit keyboard.. Mini keys are the only potential downside, but if you can live with those, this is the best portable and affordable MIDI keyboard you can buy. Choose the MIDI pad controller that's right for you and you'll be harnessing the true power of your synthesizer or workstation in no time. This simple-looking, 32-note mini keyboard might look a little underwhelming at first glance. Read the full Novation Launchkey 37 Mk3 review, A great MIDI keyboard controller and audio interfaces in one, Launch price: $299/€360 | Compatibility: PC, Mac, iOS | Number of keys: 49 | Key size: Full-size | Key type: velocity-sensitive, synth-action | Controls: 2 slider strips for pitch and modulation, octave, program change and transport controls, 5 programmable touch-sensitive knobs, 8 velocity-sensitive pads | Connectivity: USB, Neutrik combo line/instrument/mic input jack with 48V phantom power, balanced stereo and headphone outputs | Power: USB or batteries | Size: 69.3 x 20.8 x 6.5cm | Weight: 2.18kg. A great all-rounder that fulfils your sequencing and I/O needs, Price: $399/£369/€399 | Compatibility: PC, Mac, iOS | No. Read the full IK Multimedia iRig Keys 49 review, A piano-sized controller at a great price, Launch price: $319/£249/€289 | Compatibility: PC, Mac, iOS | Number of keys: 88 | Key size: Full-size | Key type: Velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted | Controls: 8 potentiometers, 9 faders, 9 assignable buttons, 6 transport buttons, 8 velocity-sensitive pads | Connectivity: USB, MIDI Out port, 1/4-inch TS jack footswitch input | Power: USB or mains | Size: 127.6 x 27.9 x 8.9cm | Weight: 8.2kg. The Akai LPD8 comes with 8 back-lit drum pads as well as with 8 assignable knobs. There’s tighter DAW and Maschine integration, too, making it possible to mix, navigate and edit projects from the hardware. Read the full Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 review, A compact MIDI keyboard that works wirelessly, Launch price: $139/£86/€99 | Compatibility: PC, Mac, iOS | Number of keys: 25 | Key size: Mini | Key type: Velocity-sensitive | Controls: Joystick, Arpeggiator button, Sustain/TAP button, Octave Shift buttons | Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth | Power: USB or batteries | Size: 39.5 x 13.1 x 0.52cm | Weight: 0.67kg. Akai is at the frontline for Bluetooth MIDI controllers and the LPD8 is a great drum pad controller. MIDI is a wide ranging protocol: it can be used for triggering (playing) notes on a keyboard workstation, turning functions on and off within a computer program, changing presets on … 49-Key Midi Keyboard Controller, iPad … Flexible range of digital and analogue ins and outs, More keys than your average mini MIDI keyboard, Nice compromise between size and functionality, MIDI output, custom modes allow use with external hardware, You might not like the pitch and mod wheels above the keyboard, Mini keys unlikely to appeal to serious players, Mod and pitch touch strips are a little small, Flexible range of digital and analogue control, Components system makes it easy to manage and edit template, Native Instruments’ Komplete Kontrol S-Series, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 MkII, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, Best MIDI keyboards: Full round-up & reviews, Buyers' guides to all the best music gear, 2. Throw in CV connection capabilities and standalone operation and the price seems justified. No additional software needed! The onboard audio interface operates at up to 24-bit/96kHz, and sounds good doing it. Send all possible Notes, Continuous Controller / Control Change and Program Change values to the connected device. The iRig Keys I/O combines a MIDI controller keyboard and audio interface into a single unit, and is designed to be as compact as possible without compromising on playability. You can do so much more from the device itself, with better visual feedback and much deeper levels of integration front and centre of its workflow. Read the full Novation 49 SL MkIII review, A smart MIDI controller for your plugins and DAW, Launch price: $699/£559/€569 | Compatibility: PC, Mac | Number of keys: 61 | Key size: Full-size | Key type: velocity-sensitive with aftertouch | Controls: Pitch and Modulation wheels, touch strip, two high-res colour screens, Light Guide, 4-directional push encoder | Connectivity: USB | Power: USB | Size: 100 x 29.7 x 8.4cm | Weight: 6.55kg. Build your workspace from the ground up with unlimited, custom Pushes/Buttons and Sliders. The MkII’s keyboard and pads are bolstered by DAW controls and deep integration with Arturia’s bundled Analog Lab 3 software. The Apple iPad is one of the biggest and most popular pieces of technology in recent years. ‎The top Midi Controller for iOS - FREE version. For melodic sequencing duties and flexible hardware control, this is easily one of the best do-it-all controllers out there right now. So, let's get into our picks for the best MIDI keyboards right now. Here are some of the key elements to look for. There are also mini-jack Sync In/Out ports, which will work with pulse clock devices, such as Korg's Volca range, or can send and receive DIN Sync messages via a (separately purchased) adaptor. Although similar in layout to the KeyLab Essential, the MkII is a very different unit, with a higher pricetag and more upmarket feel. You can opt for a compact, portable keyboard that fits comfortably in a laptop bag, right up to full-size 88-note models with weighted hammer-action keys. The aluminium case feels robust and the Pro-Feel keybed is fantastic, delivering excellent sensitivity across the full range of velocities. Today’s buyers of keyboard controllers are spoilt for choice, but if you’re looking for a full piano-size 88-note MIDI controller, said choices are more limited. Meanwhile, if you're looking for a larger controller, we heartily recommend Native Instruments’ Komplete Kontrol S-Series boards, in particular the Native Instruments Kontrol S61 Mk 2. Of course, the Launchkey Mini Mk3 isn’t exclusive to Ableton, as it plays perfectly nicely with other DAWs too, but if you’re a Live user, it undoubtedly represents the best solution at this price point. Polyhedra has introduced FormKey, a new App that turns your iOS device into an isomorphic MIDI controller. One great option is Nektar’s Impact LX88+, which combines an 88-key semi-weighted USB-powered keyboard with extensive DAW control via nine sliders, nine buttons, eight knobs, eight pads and transport controls. Available in 25-, 49- and 61-key versions (we received the A25 for review), the A-Series borrows many of the S-Series’ best features (see above), including the 4D Encoder (a joystick/rotary control/button combo) for software navigation; eight touch-sensitive knobs for plugin parameter control; beefy pitch and mod wheels; and most of the same backlit buttons, albeit laid out slightly differently. Common to all of Novation’s ‘Mk3’ Launchkey devices (there are 25-, 37-, 49- and 61-key variants) is a sleek, matte-black look and low-profile design, along with a series of new features designed to take advantage of updated elements of Ableton Live. Arturia’s BeatStep Pro is a very intelligent little … Is it possible on to use my iPad as a MIDI controller to my VSTs via Lightning to USB 3.0? Each of these is polyphonic, up to 16 notes per step. The microKey 2 Air 25 isn't the most controller-packed keyboard, but it gives you the basics and plays far better than many of its rivals. This video shows you how to use an iPad as a midi controller Ableton Live. One of the best MIDI keyboards for combined software/hardware control, Launch price: $599/£540/€616 | Compatibility: PC, Mac | Number of keys: 49 | Key size: Full-size | Key type: semi-weighted, synth-style, velocity-sensitive | Controls: Pitch and Modulation wheels, 16-full colour RGB backlit velocity-sensitive drum pads, page and scene launch buttons, 8 continuous rotary knobs, 8 sliders, 6 transport controls, octave/transpose buttons, track buttons, 5 RGB TFT screens | Connectivity: USB, MIDI Out/Out2/Thru, Sustain and Expression pedal, Footswitch pedal, CV/Gate/Modulation 1 and 2, Clock out | Power: Mains power | Size: 81.7 x 30 x 10cm | Weight: N/A. By KeyLab is Arturia’s flagship controller keyboard, and the MkII comes in 49- and 61-key versions in black and white. With a lot of producers now working ‘in-the-box’ on a single computer or laptop, you don’t necessarily need a MIDI output unless you have some hardware MIDI synths to connect it to, but some controllers do come with traditional 5-pin MIDI out ports, and smaller, minijack TRS MIDI outputs are becoming more popular. Most options we recommend here also come with additional features such as knobs, pads, buttons and faders to boost creativity and give you even more control over your software. It is p owered by (3) AA batteries or by USB connection if needed. Alongside its standard MIDI keyboard functions, the KeyStep also features a built-in polyphonic sequencer, arpeggiator and chord mode. When you do this, the MIDI controller world is your oyster, as you can choose from a large selection of USB MIDI interfaces. In this case you would connect a USB 2.0 cable from the back of your MIDI keyboard to the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter and then plug that into your iPad. A MIDI controller is a device that can send commands to a MIDI-equipped device. It sold millions of units in an amazingly short amount of time and can be used for a variety of different jobs. In comparison to its predecessor, the the Komplete Kontrol MkII also adds two high-resolution colour screens, along with 17 additional function buttons. Incredibly well-built and wonderfully playable, they deliver up the Komplete Kontrol experience at a truly irresistible price. All of the best MIDI keyboards featured here come with octave shift buttons, meaning that the full range of note pitches is accessible even from a 25-key device, just by pressing a couple of buttons. Send out a stereo line to the PA and you’re done. If you’re someone who’s always making music on the move, a pint-sized MIDI controller keyboard that’ll fit in a laptop bag is an essential item. Since the first version of the MPK Mini, it has been one of the most popular MIDI controllers on the market. How to connect your MIDI controller to your iPad and iPhone We’re living in a magical time when you can control most of your life with your iPad or iPhone. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. And, of course, it also works as a regular configurable MIDI controller keyboard with any other software. We've got all the guidance you'll need right here. © In order to work with Apple’s Core MIDI, a USB MIDI controller must be USB Class Compliant, which means that it’s designed to work with your iOS device (or a computer) without the need to install a software driver. Those include your DAW, VST plugins, and other synths. The KeyStep Pro features four sequencing channels, each of which can record a sequence of up to 64 steps. Hey guys, is it possible to use my iPad as a midi controller for my VST’s and Reaper DAW on my laptop, like one of the keyboard apps or GeoShred? These days, some people find that mini keys can be just as responsive and easy to play as full-size versions, but if you suffer from ‘sausage finger syndrome’, you might want to stick to full-size keys. One of the best MIDI keyboards that's also a powerful step sequencer, Launch price: $129/£99/€119 | Compatibility: PC, Mac, iOS | Number of keys: 32 | Key size: Mini | Key type: Velocity-sensitive, aftertouch | Controls: Capacitive-touch pitchbend and mod wheels, sequencer and arpeggiator controls | Connectivity: USB, MIDI In/Out ports, CV/Gate outputs, Sync I/O ports, sustain pedal jack | Power: USB or mains | Size: 48.2 x 15.2 x 3.8cm | Weight: 1.45kg.