MIDI Keyboard is a technology that allows the user to create interesting sounds using his audio instrument. In addition to this, MIDI controllers come with software that makes them compatible with other MAC and PC. It doesn’t have to be very expensive. Instead, you can choose to buy a cheap but quality MIDI keyboard on the market.
7 Best Cheap MIDI Keyboards On the Market
Best Cheap MIDI Keyboard Buying Guide
As mentioned earlier, the current market is flooded with different models and types of cheap MIDI controllers. The following are the essential factors that one must put into consideration when shopping around for a cheap MIDI controller:
Mode of Operation
It is highly necessary for you to consider the action of your keyboard. Action is referring to the way the key is responding to your touch. As the player, there is a need to feel comfortable and natural while playing keyword regardless of whether you are using it for recording or live shows. The form of action you require will depend on your playing style or the kind of piano or keyboard that you have been accustomed to using.
Most of the keyboards in this current generation have the capability of utilizing the aftertouch.
Aftertoucn plays a major role in adding expressiveness layer while playing through adding of additional messages. In case you have ever observed a player digging deeper in the keybed with the aim of getting extra flavor or vibrato, it is the same case that aftertouch is useful.
Additionally, aftertouch will help in emphasizing of chords and melodies. It is thus found on the higher note of MIDI keyboard controllers.
Inputs and Outputs
Many of MIDI keywords are utilizing USB outputs in transmitting data. There are a variety of higher-end keyboards bearing a variety of outputs for versatility purposes.
Inputs and outputs allow you to connect a piece of hardware and external synthesizers. You will be able to modulate and play external instruments, particularly if you are a gearhead.
Buttons, Fader and Knobs
Besides the pads and keys, you will end up finding that MIDI keyboards are equipped in different buttons and knobs. Similar to pads and keys, they will help in transmitting MIDI data in providing hands-on experience while playing the software instrument.
Whether you wish to play with filters or automate volume, the additional features will help you in inventions.
Top 7 Best Cheap MIDI Keyboard Reviews
There are different models, brands, and sizes of cheap midi controllers in the market today that pianists and musicians can choose from. These include:
- Compatible with various software and devices
- Compact, rugged design
- Durable, responsive performance pads
- Highly rated because of its build quality
- Lightweight and portable-weighs 3.3lbs
- Combines portability, performance, and aesthetics
Watch out for
- Software compatibility issues
The Arturia 25 Key Slim MIDI Controller is one of the highest-rated, popular MIDI controllers in the market today. It has a sleek design that makes it one of the best portable MIDI controllers. Its keyboard is designed to provide an impressive user experience. The Arturia 25 Key Slim MIDI Controller comes with 16 encoders that give the user more control over his musical instrument and DAW software. It comes with eight customized RGB pads.
This is the best solution for musicians who want to join the music production field. It has advanced features like pads, knobs, keys, and modulation that enable the user easy control over his/her musical instrument. It features free software that includes Ableton Live Lite, and Analog Lab Lite that allows the user to create professional recordings with ease.
Furthermore, it comes with beautiful, playable mini keys, durable and responsive performance pads, and wiggle-free rotary knobs. These components are wrapped up in its rugged, ergonomic, and compact design. In general, the Arturia 25 Key Slim MIDI Controller is a quality instrument that gives the user easy and hand-on access to various sounds.
- 61 full-size semi-weighted keys
- Great quality sound
- Compact and lightweight design
- 2GB touch loops sound library
Watch out for
- Keys may get stuck sometimes
It is an ultimate expression which is providing a natural feel that is capturing each subtle nuance on one’s performance. The 61 keys are boosting great natural feel and are semi-weighted. Therefore, you have a guarantee of getting a realistic response, which is similar to an acoustic piano. Additionally, it is designed ergonomically with modulation and pitch wheels, which allow you to have an expressive performance.
The advanced button allows customizing of modulation/pitch, buttons and fader for direct control of your software. It is powered with USB completely. Therefore, there is no necessity to worry about finding the main socket to carry or plug into spare batteries. All you need is connecting the 61 key stations to any compatible device such as the computer, and you will end up having power.
- Good software bundle
- Loads more control and functionality
- Easy setup and configuration
- Well-built and compact
- Great chord modes and arpeggiator
Watch out for
- Does not come with a MIDI adapter
Novation Launchkey 25 Key Mini MIDI Keyboard is one of the best compact, small MIDI controllers. It is well-designed to provide the best user experienced as compared to the convention keyboard controllers. It comes with a bundle of iOS software and desktop. This controller features a fixed chord mode that allows the user to assign fixed chord shapes to the key while playing music or creating sounds. In addition to this, it is compatible with mobile devices and DAW.
This keyboard has modulation and pitch sliders that provide extra-shaping tools. Its rotary knobs allow the user to customize his tones. One can use its creative arpeggiator to change beats, rhythm, gate, octave, and more. This controller has velocity-sensitive, fully customizable pads that enhance the user’s playing experience. Furthermore, it comes with 25 synth keys that allow for a 2-octane range.
- Simple, user-friendly setup
- Features a comprehensive software package that makes it compatible with mobile devices
- Lightweight and ultra-portable
- Produce quality sound
Watch out for
The M Audio Oxygen 49 IV USB MIDI Keyboard is an ultra-portable and compact controller that has 49 keys. It comes with velocity-sensitive keys that allow one to practice and play music. It also features modulation wheels and an onboard pitch and modulation wheels that provide excellent performances.
The M Audio Oxygen 49 Key MIDI Keyboard comes with sensitive trigger pads that make it the best instrument for beat production. It has up and down buttons that allow the user to practice to control his/her draw even without using the mouse. For instance, its assignable fades and assignable knobs make it easier for one practice and perform with his/her musical instrument. Furthermore, it boasts a software package that is compatible with various types of personal computers and mac devices.
- Comes with velocity-sensitive, well-balanced keys
- MPC-quality pads
- Its pads are decently large and responsive
- Its sliders and knobs are well-mapped
- Bright LCD screen
- Its touch-sensitive, quality, semi-weighted keys
Watch out for
- Its pads are relatively small
- Pricey than the other models in this category
The Akai Professional MPK 249 controller is a premium piano that comes with full-sized keys. It is regarded as the best controller for FL Studios. Its pads are illuminated by MPC style pads making it a practical option for triggering loops, samples, melodies, and shots.
In addition to this, this controller has comprehensive production software that makes it compatible with PC and MAC devices. The Akai MPK247 controller is surprisingly portable, well-designed, and well-built. It is also known for its sturdiness and good heft.
This instrument comes with eight control knobs, switches, and faders engineered for unprecedented DAW and hassle-free mapping, virtual effect control, and virtual instruments. Furthermore, it is known for its MPC essentials and its user-friendly import capabilities. It is a high-end virtual synthesizer that combines a full range of digital manipulation capabilities and warmth of coveted analog synthesizers. This model is comprised of onboard effects, an advanced pattern generator, and a dynamic interface that allows the user to create serious sounds.
- Comes with a starter software that supports auto-mapping
- Simple layout and design
- Convenient and portable
- It is versatile
- Easy setup, thus saving on time
Watch out for
- The user can not adjust its velocity settings without installing software
The Alesis V25 USB Budget MIDI Keyboard is the best 25 keys controller. It comes with backlit pads for clip launching and beat production. It also features four assignable buttons ad knobs. Its velocity-sensitive keys make it a perfect option for pianists who like playing virtual instruments. In addition to this, it boasts octave buttons that allow the user to access full keyboard pitch and range.
Its modulation wheels are known for delivering creative control, impressive and expressive control. It has a compact design, making it an excellent option for individuals with limited space.
- Simple and clear interface design
- High-quality and great features
- Comes with touch-sensitive keys
- Portable size and compact
Watch out for
- Its keys are relatively small
- Lacks a software, meaning the user must purchase it separately
The MidiPlus 32 Key Cheap USB MIDI Controller is another affordable keyboard that comes with 32-keys. It is designed with a mid-sized keyboard and velocity-sensitive buttons. It has a USB cable power supply, meaning that one does not have to install another power cable. Its USB MIDI port means that one can play and enjoy music every time, everywhere. Some of the amazing features that make it one of the best controllers include volume slider, modulation wheels, USB interface, and octave buttons.
The MidiPlus 32 Key Cheap USB MIDI Controller has a clear, simple interface design and a super light body. This means that it does not occupy much space, and it is convenient for carrying. In addition to this, its basic functions are easy to understand, making it an excellent option for beginners.
What Size MIDI Keyboard Should I Get?
The current market has different sizes and shapes of MIDI keyboards that musicians can choose from. The number of keys in MIDO keyboards ranges from 25 to 88. MIDI keyboards that come with more than 61 keys are highly recommended because of their superb performance. Individuals who want to use their MIDI keyboards for bass and leads can work with 49 keys models.
Generally, one should look for a MIDI controller that meets his needs and appropriate size of a musical instrument. It is also essential to consider the available space when shopping around for a musical instrument. For instance, lightweight and portable models are ideal for live performance and for travelers and music studio.
Those are the top-rated, cheap midi keyboards in the current today. These instruments are versatile and have great features that make them ideal for experienced musicians and beginners. One should look for a MIDI keyboard that meets his/her playing needs and budget. The other factors that you must consider when looking for a midi controller include sound quality, available features, and weight.
3 Top Recommended Cheap MIDI Keyboards On the Market
Musicians can get value for their money by investing quality midi contorts and comparing the available options before making the final purchasing decisions. Reading the reviews posted by other customers can also help you in picking the best an affordable, quality midi controller.