If you want to make MIDI music without breaking the bank, check out our cheap MIDI Keyboard roundup.
Getting a cheap MIDI controller is the most practical choice if you are just trying your hand at making digital music. Since cheaper models come in compact sizes, they are portable and easy to carry around, letting you capture your ideas or even perform virtually anywhere. They may not always be ideal for doing solo piano performances, but they can serve as reliable back-ups, if not convenient and affordable alternatives to your bulky and expensive gear. Whatever your reasons may be, we will help you find the best MIDI keyboard for your needs for under 100 bucks.
Akai Professional MPK Mini
The Akai Pro MPK Mini is easily the best among the group, it is a full featured mini MIDI keyboard with an impressive array of knobs, buttons and pads jammed into a compact hardware. You will be hard pressed to find another mini controller that has the same portability and control capability. With 25 velocity-sensitive keys, 8 backlit MPC-style pads and 8 knobs, you have more than enough tools to create cool melodic and rhythmic phrases in real time. The Akai Pro MPK Mini will simply make portable music production fun, a tough deal to beat. Manufacturer: Akai Pro | Retail Price: $80.00| Check out the latest price and reviews at Amazon.com
M-Audio Oxygen 25
The M-Audio Oxygen 25 is a great looking MIDI keyboard that specializes in providing impressive keyboard control combined with easy DAW integration. This compact keyboard houses 25 velocity-sensitive keys for the usual piano and sample playing, 8 assignable knobs for parameter control and it has dedicated buttons for conveniently controlling your DAW without having to use your mouse and keyboard. It can be automatically mapped to common DAW software, making it a true plug and play MIDI controller ideal for beginners or on the go musicians. Manufacturer: M Audio | Retail Price: $99.99 Check out the latest price and reviews at Amazon.com
The Alesis Q25 is an affordable 25-note MIDI controller that comes with impressive velocity-sensitivity for its price. Instead of having the usual bells and whistles, this keyboard gives you straight forward traditional controls, the typical pitch and modulation wheels, octave control buttons, and volume slider. This streamlined interface however makes enough room for its key sensitivity to shine. Speaking of traditional, this keyboard has a nifty traditional MIDI port that makes it compatible with even more MIDI capable devices. Manufacturer: Alesis | Retail Price: $69.99 Check out the latest price and reviews at Amazon.com
If two octaves is not enough, but you want it thin and lightweight, then the Korg MicroKey would be a great choice. This instrument looks nice and clean and users agree that it is well built and is probably the sturdiest among the keyboards within its price range. Although it will take a bit of time to get used to its smaller keys, your patience will be rewarded with a wider pallet of 37 keys that have great velocity sensitivity and action. Aside from giving good key control, the MicroKey can also double as your USB Hub with its two USB ports. Manufacturer: Korg | Retail Price: $79.99 Check out the latest price and reviews at Amazon.com
M Audio Keystation Mini 32
The most aesthetically pleasing of all the MIDI keyboards on this list is easily the M Audio Keystation Mini 32. It offers portability and functionality bound in slick and stylish hardware. It has 32 velocity-sensitive mini-keys, and a few other basic controls like 4 assignable buttons, 3 other buttons that control pitchbend and modulation and a big knob that controls volume. The low profile keys might put off some keyboard players but many people have used its unique feel and action to their advantage. As a bonus, Keystation Mini 32 comes with Sibelius First. Manufacturer: M Audio | Retail Price: $79.99 Check out the latest price and reviews at Amazon.com
Samson Carbon 49
The popularity of the iPad helped spark the current interest in mobile music production, so it is only fitting that the Samson Carbon 49 features a nifty iPad stand. This affordable keyboard offers 49 velocity-sensitive keys, the most keys from among this list, and it also has classic pitch bend and modulation wheels. The keybed is semi-weighted, giving it a better overall feel that can be comparable to more expensive keyboards. Carbon 49 also comes with Komplete Elements software - which has tons of samples and sounds to play with. Manufacturer: Samson | Retail Price: $89.99 Check out the latest price and reviews at Amazon.com
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