Best Cheap MIDI Keyboards 2020

If you’re passionate about music and you like making digital music, a good MIDI keyboard would be a great addition to your collection of musical instruments. Most MIDI keyboards come with USB connectivity, and they allow the user to control a variety of software on their work station. Today, you will find many quality MIDI keyboards on the market, and the good news is that even when you are on a tight budget, you can still get a good option for your needs. In this piece, we have put together a list of the best budget MIDI keyboards. But before we look at them, let’s begin here;

Features to Look for When Shopping for Best Budget Midi Keyboards

Weight and Size

The size and weight of a midi keyboard may limit the number of control buttons there are on the keyboard controller. Again, you may want a keyboard that can fit in, say, your backpack. But again, you can’t sacrifice the much-needed controls for size and weight alone. So it requires that you weigh ypur options and what you really want. Do you want a keyboard that you will be moving around with a lot? Do you have enough space in your workstation? These are some of the questions that will point you to the right MDI keyboard for you.

Functionality

This is a critical factor that you can’t afford to ignore. Functionality, for instance, programmable drums or beats, can be a great feature for you. The functionality also has to do with the number of controls and keys the keyboard gives you. Some budget MIDI keyboards come with up to twenty-five buttons. Modulation wheels, pitch wheels, faders, as well as knobs are highly recommended features that you should look for.

Again, there’s a debate about keys and pads, which is worth considering. Some music makers prefer pads since they’re similar to the actual drums with membranes. Still, there are producers who would rather have keys. This is a decision that you will have to make on your own before making the purchase. You want something that you will be comfortable with when making music.

You might also want to consider rotary encoders. Some MIDI keyboards have the clickable ones. You should also give a thought to how many encoders you will need. Other features to consider include the pads’ illumination. With all these factors considered, you will surely get yourself a good MIDI keyboard even if you are on a tight budget.

Best Budget Midi Keyboards 2020

1. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII

 

Why we recommend it: it is a famous MIDI Controller brand that gives a quick leeway into music production

Key features on the device’s design

It comes in two colors – black and white – coupled with impressive aesthetics that makes it unique among other instruments. Though it looks slightly different from other MIDI controllers, it has features that music producers find comfortable to work with. Aki Midi controller is relatively smaller than other similar keyboards. This makes it convenient to carry around and also fit for indoor and outdoor production. It carries unique features that make it stand out among fellow Midi keyboards.

With 25 synth-action mini keys, the keyboard is the ideal choice for mixing quick sounds and creating a memorable musical experience. You don’t have to apply excessive pressure on the mini keys as they are soft to touch. This feature makes them a preference for starters. In addition to the synth-keys, the keyboard also has eight drum pads. For a small device like this, having eight drum pads is a huge plus. Adjacent to the drum pads, there are eight assignable mixing knobs to spruce up your music. Even for starters, this Midi keyboard would be a great starting point.

More Features

The keyboard is loved for its convenient small size. It has an X-Y controller with a customizable joystick, which makes it the best fit for any serious producer. With a 10 – octave range, musicians can benefit fully during music-making. The keyboard also has configurable tempo, repeat, and full level buttons.

One of the most outstanding features about the Akai professional Midi keyboard is that it is compatible with several producing programs. For those with a soft spot for digital mixing, Hybrid 3 would work well with this controller. SoniVox Wobble is another compatible software and is a good fit for those into Spectral morphing synthesis. The keyboard also works well along with MPC Essentials since it has customizable filtering and harmonic controls. Akai Midi controller is a VIP alternative that can be used together with other instruments. It gives you the real feel of digital music production through its integrated collections.

Verdict

The whole package offers you a compact solution as an affordable way to start with music production.

Advantages

  • Compatible with VIP 3.1
  • Comes with eight drum pads
  • Has a small easy to carry size
  • Comes in two colors
  • It has 25 synth-action mini keys
Disadvantages
  • Each incorporated software has a learning curve

2. Nektar IMPACT LX25+ MIDI Controller

 

Why we recommend it: this is a hi-tech budget controller that comes with 25 keys, a pitch-band, and modulation wheels.

Key features on the Device’s Design

The 25 synth-action keys on the Nektar IMPACT LX25+ MIDI Controller work effectively with most producers. Additionally, the keys work well, along with other compatible software. The device can connect with both Mac and Windows devices to allow you to make your music.

The keyboard has soft keys that are as large as those of a regular keyboard. They are dust-proof and have a comfortable feel when pressing them. The controller also comes with pads for groove and beat creation. Additionally, it has eight illuminated pads that replicate real drums. These drum pads are the best when you want to have a feel of membrane tight real-life drum sets. The pads are made to respond with a soft velocity each time you press them. Did I mention that these drum pads can be configured to suit your taste and style? Yes, you can. And what’s more, you can assign each pad a MIDI note number and a custom message for future reference.

More features

With Nektar IMPACT LX25+ MIDI Controller, it is possible to store your choice settings just like with the drum pads. The stored settings remain on the keyboard even when it is turned off because they are saved on each power cycle. In addition to the drum pads, the Nektar IMPACT LX25+ MIDI Controller has a transpose button and 4-octave keys. These buttons allow you to select different functions as well as send MIDI software messages. They can also be used to select a MIDI channel or how the keyboard’s five user profiles impact on the output you create.

Verdict

The Nektar IMPACT LX25+ MIDI Controller is designed to offer you a great user experience with its customizable 25 synth-action keys, transpose buttons, a 4-octave key set, and eight illuminated drum pads.

Advantages

  • Enhanced advanced custom configuration settings
  • A 4-octave key set plus transpose buttons
  • A 3mm stereo fader
  • Next-level finger drumming pads
  • Works well with all systems
Disadvantages
  • Keys tend to be louder than normal

3. Midiplus AKM320 MIDI Keyboard Controller

Why we recommend it: its simplistic design is a charm for most newbie producers.

Key features on the Device’s Design

This MIDI controller has a loveable but straightforward design, which is why most upcoming producers prefer it. However, it is not cheap when it comes to functionalities. The keyboard has 32 velocity-conscious keys that have a great feeling when you touch them. The backpack size is also a catch point for many producers in workstations because the small size allows for easy transportation. It also has an easy-to-install procedure and a simple play design.

More features

The keyboard is fitted with convenient features that make it user-friendly. These features include pitch bands, modulation wheels, a full octave, and transpose buttons. It also comes with volume sliders that offer you sound control when composing your track. Though it has no drum pads like most MIDI keyboards, the device is far more efficient than the average keyboard. With a 0.72kg lightweight design, this controller is the perfect solution for a portable MIDI keyboard.

Verdict

Midiplus AKM320 MIDI Keyboard Controller has a sleek design that is lightweight and functionalities that are easy to use for a beginner. It is an ideal device for producers who are always on the go.

Advantages

  • Sleek design with 32 soft keys
  • Has transpose buttons
  • Allows USB devices
  • Pitch band and modulation keys present
Disadvantages
  • It lacks the drum pads feature

4. Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB MIDI Controller

Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB MIDI Controller

Why we recommend it: this MIDI keyboard controller is not only affordable, but it also comes with customizable drum pads, which makes it a favorite for many.

Key features on the Device’s design

Novation Launchkey Mini MIDI Controller is a popular full customizable device that comes with a 16 drum-pad feature. The pads are differently colored for your personal preference. The velocity-sensitive pads are built to be touched with minimum pressure; hence, you don’t have to strain your fingers while composing beat.

The MIDI keyboard controller has 25 keys, all of which give you an excellent place to start. You can still opt for the 49 or 69-keyed version of the same keyboard for full music experience. This device is the real deal when it comes to having it play like a real musical instrument. Additional features like the reverb and filter options allow you to spice up your songs with sound effects.

More features

It is enhanced with USB capability to make file sharing easy. Like other MIDI controllers, it has a quick-to-connect capacity and is compatible with several systems and software. For your information, it works best with Ableton Live. Other features of this great device that you can use to your advantage include its keys, fader knobs, and the controller itself. These features, too, work well with other programs to control incorporated instruments.

It has versatile velocity-sensitive pads that give you all the freedom you need in the production process. The compact design is built to last a lifetime, which is why it is a most-recommended MIDI controller. Besides, the device comes with a 2-years warranty from the manufacturer. Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB MIDI Controller has a simple installation procedure, and then you can plug in your USB and play on. It doesn’t bother you with requests to download drivers to your PC. It is convenient for all users.

Verdict

The simple plug-and-play method plus a full customization feature makes this device stand out among many in its class. Both experts and amateur producers can use the tool due to its simplicity.

Advantages

  • It has 16 illuminated drumming pads
  • Compatible with Mac and PC devices
  • It has eight control knobs for navigation
Disadvantages
  • It is possible to improve the durability

5. Ammoon Worlde Panda Mini Controller

Why we recommend it: it has a compact look and comes fitted with all necessary controls, including extra drum pads.

Key Features On the Device’s Design

It is easy to identify the multiple pads, keys, and knobs on this designer MIDI keyboard. It is fully customizable, making it the real deal for those who love production with ultimate freedom. It has 25 keys that you can use to fumble your way through with a first song. I mean, it can be used by beginners as well as expert producers. For fading needs, Ammoon Worlde Panda Mini Controller has three control knobs to help you with that. When it comes to pitching, the pitch up and pitch down options plus the full octave notes offer you all the help, you need in your first song.

More Features

The ever-ready to play USB connectivity makes this keyboard the most demanded among the fey budget MIDI controllers you can ever get. In addition to multiple controls, the design it’s made of is a 0.742kg lightweight material. It is among the lightest small-size types you will ever get in its category, and you can carry it along to and from the studio. The device has four groups of distinct settings that are all easy to navigate. With eight illuminated pads, it gives you a chance to customize your music in your style. The only flipside of the device is reduced innovation and limited color customization.

Verdict

At the most basic, Ammoon Worlde Panda Mini Controller is a great device that has all the necessary controls needed when starting a production career.

Advantages

  • Four distinct groups of controls.
  • Four assignable knobs
  • USB capability
  • 25 velocity keys
Disadvantages
  • Lacks in innovation and color options

6. M-Audio Keystation Mini Controller

Why we recommend it: It comes with built-in software, has a compact design and it delivers what it promises in all its cutting edge features.

Key features on the device’s design

Though a small looking keyboard has its flipsides, this device is built to enhance portability. The flipside of M-Audio Keystation Mini Controller is that it has fewer controls compared to similar devices in its category. All the same, the keyboard has enough features to suit a beginner producer on his way up the music-making career. With 32 velocity-sensitive keys, it is already so much to expect from this average controller. However, if you needed to have it use 49 or 61 keys, the instrument is adjustable to suit such a task. It is the virtual type of keyboard that is good enough for making good music while looking for a better MIDI controller.

More Features

Several recommended programs can work with M-Audio Keystation Mini Controller. These are Pro Tools, Ableton Live, and if you are using single MIDI channels in production, Xpand 2 would be a good fit. The MIDI keyboard has an inbuilt sound memory of up to 2GB where you can find bass sounds and complex drum beats. M-Audio Keystation Mini Controller is an ideal keyboard for starters in the music production industry.

Verdict

Though it is built for beginners, the keyboard is loaded with numerous sounds plus controls that are compatible with premium production programs.

Advantages

  • Cost-effective
  • Upgradable to bigger models
  • Allows for USB connectivity
  • Adaptable with Pro Tools
Disadvantages
  • Some users find the keys to be too small

7. Samson Graphite M25 Mini USB MIDI Controller

Why we recommend it: it has an impressive large-size appeal, and with an in-built studio and sleek settings, this keyboard will give you a royal start in music production.

Key Features On Device’s Design

The keyboard’s design alone will tell that it is a hi-tech type of controller. The design is a compact one that represents an easy-to-work-with controller. It only works when wired to a computer and is also compatible with mobile phones and tablets. It comes with a customizable master encoder plus eight assignable knobs. With four trigger pads, Samson Graphite M25 Mini USB MIDI Controller is ideal for composing complex songs and creating great drum sounds. It is a recommendable piece for producers in all skill levels. The keyboard comes with ultimate freedom as you can charge it through a USB cable and works well with iOS devices such as iPads.

More Features

When it comes to having a great customized production experience, this device is the real deal. With the Graphite Software from the official company’s website, you can customize personalized settings to optimize production through this MIDI keyboard.

Verdict

Samson Graphite M25 Mini USB MIDI Controller keyboard the producer’s platform to practice on instrument control and a responsive device for all music-making needs.

Advantages

  • Compatible with USB and various mobile devices
  • Has a unique and impressive design
  • Has a 25 keys velocity sensitivity feature
Disadvantages
  • It is not a lightweight solution

8. Alesis V25 controller

Why we recommend it: this is a device that syncs with V25 editor software which plays a significant role in highlighting key sensitivity

Key features on the device’s design

Though it comes with 25 keys, this MIDI controller will work for almost all production needs. The versatile design that it is built with is meant to give you the most authentic music-making experience. The keyboard is fitted with eight backlit drum pads, pitch and modulation wheels, four assign knobs, and USB capability. All these features are meant to complement the device’s functionality. You enjoy premium level services at a slashed down price.

More features

Alesis V25 controller works well with the most well-known software in its category. Better still, the device has Ableton Live Lite 9 as one of the compatible programs. Other compatible software includes AIR Music Tech and Xpand 2. For a start, the Alesis V25 controller is a good fit. It is worth noting that the keyboard is upgradeable without any learning curve for the higher keyed versions of the keyboard.

Verdict: Alesis V25 controller is the real deal when you come to find a device that is easy and comfortable to use. It is a recommended home device too.

Advantages

  • Its design is compact
  • Has 4 Assignable knobs
  • USB enabled
  • Eight illuminated drum pads
Disadvantages
  • It is possible to improve drum pads

9. Worlde Panda Mini Portable 25 keys USB MIDI

 

Why we recommend it: the 32 low quality keyed controller is a good fit for accessing VIP production platforms.

Key features on Device’s Design

Though the 32 low profile keys may look like a disadvantage, it allows the device to be large enough to fit in other control features. It has eight assign knobs and another eight velocity-sensitive pads. These features give the user ultimate freedom when it comes to customization. The keyboard is meant to serve producers in all skill levels. It uses USB to plug and play wherever and whenever the user desires.

More features

The keyboard comes with an octave, pitch bend, and transpose buttons to help you make music in different note ranges. It has in-built memory for local file storage and is compatible with both Mac and Pcs. It also blends well with the Pro Tools program.

Verdict: With 32 low profile keys, this device is the real deal when looking for a controller to work with at home and also in the studio.

Advantages

  • Has a simple 32 keys design
  • Eight velocity-sensitive pad
  • A plug-and-play installation
Disadvantages
  • Pianists find the keys to be too small

10. Worde 25-key USB Portable Tuna Mini

Why we recommend it: it is one of the most outstanding MIDI controllers thanks to its design and capability.

Key features from the device’s design

From a distant look, the design betrays the controller as one of the most innovative solutions in its category. The backpack-sized device has two pressure sensors that offer a unique touch-pad capability. It has wooden panels on the sides, adding to the elegance. With the eight backlit pads, the device promises to make good use of its controls and excellent production experience. The 25 velocity-sensitive keys are a plus to the pocket-friendly keyboard. It also has eight faders among its versatile control features.

More features

It is lightweight with 0.5Kg, including the lateral wooden panels. This provides users with the lightest alternative of all the controllers in the same class. It has a sustain-pedal jack, eight assign knobs, light-colored pads, faders, and pitch and mod pads to spruce up your music-making experience.

Verdict: For those who do not care about the small keys, Worde Panda is a unique compact keyboard fit for users seeking to up their game in production.

Advantages

  • 25 small velocity responsive keys
  • Pitch and modulation pads
  • Eight control knobs and eight colored pads
  • Unique compact design
Disadvantages
  • Controls could be small for most users

Tips for Purchasing the Best Budget MIDI keyboards

When trying to make an informed decision on which budget MIDI keyboard to go with, there are many features that you need to consider. Again, looking at even the smallest details may make the difference between having a great music-making experience with your keyboard and starting to think you wasted your hard-earned money on it. Here are some things you will need to consider when trying to get a good MIDI keyboard on a budget.

Number of Keys

This is a key factor. You will hardly find a 61-key MIDI keyboard on a budget, but you can find good options with keys ranging from 25 to 32.

Portability

This is another important feature to consider. Do you want a keyboard that you can carry around in your backpack? You might want to look for a light option. Note also that the number of keys and buttons on the keyboard will determine its weight and size. So while you may be looking for a lightweight keyboard, be sure not to compromise quality for portability.

Feel

The feel can be different from one MIDI keyboard design to another. The technology used in making the keys will also make the experience different.

Extra controls

This will be a bonus for you. Once you have done the initial learning stage, you will begin to see the benefits of having some extra controls on your MIDI keyboard.

Other factors to consider include compatibility of the keyboard with various operating systems, the design of the keyboard, memory, user profiles, included software, as well as warranty. Hopefully, you will get a good budget MIDI keyboard for your needs.