5 Best MIDI Controllers for Beginners

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Trying to create a great home recording setup?

Looking for the best MIDI controllers for beginners?

If you want to do some serious home recording in a program such as Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, Ableton Live, or any other great DAW that is out there, you’ll want to make sure you have a MIDI controller to use.

A MIDI controller will help open up your recording software and open up an immense amount of possibilities when recording your music. Whether you’re aimed at creating the best new EDM tracks or you’re a modern folk singer-songwriter, a great MIDI controller is an essential piece of the home recording puzzle.

Unfortunately, if you’re new to recording yourself and creating music with your computer, then choosing the best MIDI controller to buy might not be an easy task.

You might think that the key factor to get the best MIDI controller is to choose one with a high price, but this isn’t always the case. Not all expensive items are high-quality and it can take some digging to find a great MIDI controller that checks all of the boxes and that will be perfect for your needs.

Luckily, we’re here to help. Below we’ll give you our guide to choosing the best MIDI controller and will list some of the best options out there for beginners.

Best MIDI Controllers For Beginners – Quick View

Things to Consider When Choosing a MIDI Controller

If you’re thinking about getting a MIDI controller, there are a few things you’ll want to keep any eye out for to ensure you’re making a good buying decision. MIDI controllers come with all kinds of features, and the MIDI controller you get will vary depending on how you plan to use it.

Some factors to consider before buying a MIDI controller include:

  • DAW integration
  • Number of Keys
  • Drum pad features
  • Portability
  • Connectivity
  • Price

These are just a few things you should consider when buying a MIDI controller. It’s important that you keep these in mind when choosing the perfect MIDI controller. Knowing what you’re looking for before you start searching for a great product will make your search a lot easier.

Top 5 MIDI Keyboards for Beginners – REVIEWED

Ready to find a great MIDI controller? Here are our favorite choices for beginners.

1. Akai MPK Mini Mk2

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Best Mini MIDI Controller


  • Portability
  • Easy to operate
  • Compatibility
  • USB powered


  • The keys are small and as a result inconvenient for musicians with big fingers
  • The speed cannot be changed
  • The Media Player Classic is sometimes tricky for beginners

The first MIDI controller on our list is the Akai MPK Mini MK2. This keyboard features 8 knobs, 25 keys, and 8 drum pads. There’s also a built-in arpeggiator and a joystick for handling modulation and pitch changes.

This MIDI controller is highly portable and easy to use, so it’s well worth a look if you need a great MIDI controller to use with your DAW.

2. Nektar Impact GX49 MIDI Controller

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Best MIDI Keyboards For Beginners


  • Low in weight
  • It can be reconfigured


  • Parameter values like change numbers and program are not displayed

The next MIDI controller on our list of the best MIDI controllers for beginners is the Nektar Impact GX49. The MIDI controller features 49 keys along with 8 buttons. It also has a pitch bend wheel, a modulation wheel, and an input jack for use with a sustain pedal,

This is a very lightweight controller that can be reconfigured to get it just the way you like it. It also has more keys than many other MIDI controllers that are out there. This means you won’t feel too limited when compared to a typical piano.

3. Novation Launchkey Mini MKII Keyboard

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Best Beginner MIDI Controllers


  • Its drum pads are not highly sensitive as compared to other MIDI controllers
  • Very portable


  • The only setback for this MIDI controller is that it’s mainly supposed to be used with Ableton Live

The Novation Launchkey Mini MKII is another great MIDI controller that offers excellent functionality and a fantastic ease-of-use.

This MIDI controller has 25 keys and 8 knobs that you can use when playing. Unlike many other MIDI controllers, this is also a great drum controller as well and features 16 drum pads you can use. The keyboard also features faders that you can use to control volume as well as pitch and modulation wheels.

4. Midiplus AKM320 MIDI Controller

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Best Beginner MIDI Keyboards


  • Easy to operate
  • Some settings, like volume, can be adjusted
  • Lightweight
  • Highly portable


  • Not as many features as more higher-end options

If you’re looking for a great MIDI controller on a budget, the Midiplus AKM320 is one of your very best options.

This MIDI controller offers users access to 32 keys, modulation/pitch wheels, a volume slider, and transpose buttons. There is also an input for a sustain pedal and a port for connecting to a computer via USB.

This is one of the cheapest options out there as far as MIDI controllers go, so if you’re a beginner trying to get your start with a nice recording setup, this is a pretty good option.

The controller is very portable and lightweight and offers a lot of flexibility and ease to users.

5. Alesis V149 MIDI Keyboard

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Good Beginner MIDI Controllers


  • Well designed
  • Some parameters, like volume and pitch, can be adjusted


  • Not very portable
  • A bit heavy

The final MIDI controller keyboard on our list is the Alesis V149. This MIDI controller has a great set of features that make it stand out among other options and offers quite a bit of control to players.

The keyboard features 49 keys that are speed-sensitive as well as drum pads. There are 12 knobs and 36 buttons on the device. Pitch and modulation wheels are also onboard as well.

This is a bit more expensive than other options that are on this list, but if you’re serious about starting out right this is a great option to consider. You likely won’t need an upgrade from this one for quite a while.

Final Thoughts

To cap it all, with the above information, you’ll be able to easily choose from these options of the best MIDI controllers for beginners. This is because the features, pros, and cons of each MIDI controller are highlighted.

It’s also worth noting that the above-described machines are suitable for both experts and professionals. One should also not forget to check the warranty and durability of a MIDI controller before purchasing it.

Looking for more great recording equipment? Check out this post now to see our list of the best studio monitors that you may want to add to your recording setup.