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If you are a musician and have been creating music for sometime now, you already know of the huge significance of a mini keyboard. Mostly used by composers and producers, mini keyboards are an essential part of every music composition thanks to its wide number of features and most importantly its portability. Although there are a huge variety of mini keyboards available in the market today, not all of them have the same features and thus in this article we will review the top 10 mini keyboards available in the market today. Let’s begin!

1. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25 Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard With 8 Backlit Performance Ready Pads, 8 Assignable Q Link Knobs & A 4 Way Thumbstick

D’Addario Prelude Violin Strings is a solid steel core string that comes in various scales. They provide durability that is unparalleled in its price range, with a warm tone and adjustable tension. It has a quick bow response, which makes it an ideal fit for students and beginners. As far as violin string names go, D’Addario is very well known because of being the Educator’s Choice. It is highly stable when it comes to pitches and tuning, and brings in a unique blend of warm tone with affordability and durability. Moreover, pitch stability makes it easier for users to tune their violins conveniently without any hassles. These strings are an ideal choice for both, beginners, and professionals.

PROS

  • Solid steel core makes it durable and provides a warm tone.

  • Comes in multiple scales- ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/16, ¾, and 4/4 scale.

  • Has earned the honor of being awarded the Educator’s choice, making it reliable and go-to option for students and professionals alike.

CONS

  • The tension can not be adjusted over medium.
  • Isn’t as consistent as synthetic strings.

Why You Should Buy This?

The Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is one of the most popular mini keyboards available in the market today. Not only does it have the brand recognition of Akai but also comes with capabilities that are not shared by other similar brands. Along with this, the keyboard is available at a very competitive price making this a deal worth checking out.

2. Midiplus, 32-Key Midi Controller, 32-Key (AKM320)

The next mini keyboard to be featured in our list is the one from Midi. Similar to Akai, Midi is also a well recognised and respected manufacturer in the music industry. The midiplus, 32-Key Midi Controller, 32-Key (AKM320) is a robust mini keyboard that is mainly aimed at musicians who love to have control over their creation.

The mini keyboard comes with a 32-note velocity sensitive mid-size key keyboard. Along with this, there is a pitch wheel, a modulation wheel, dedicated octave down and up buttons and most importantly a transpose up and down button. There is a dedicated sustain switch interface, although the sustain pedal is not included in the box. The mini keyboard is powered by a USB B port and can be easily attached to a computer or laptop.

PROS

  • Manufactured by Midi, which is known for its high quality products.
  • Comes with both pitch and modulation wheels for greater flexibility.

CONS

  • Has 32 velocity keys which might pose a limitation to some creators.

Why You Should Buy This?

The midiplus, 32-Key Midi Controller, 32-Key (AKM320) is one of the best mini keyboards available in the market today. Not only is this keyboard a hugely reliable one, but also has features that will be useful for musicians from all genres. Along with this, the price point of this product is hugely competitive making this deal a must check worthy.

3. Korg nanoPAD2 Slim-Line USB MIDI Pads – Black

The next product to be featured on this list is the Korg nanoPAD2 Slim-Line USB MIDI Pads – Black. This product is available in three different versions, the slim line USB controlled, the slim line USB Drum Pad Controller and the slim line USB keyboard version. All of the models are offered in standard black variant.

The Korg nanoPAD2 Slim-Line USB MIDI Pads – Black features a low profile pad controller which is outstanding for feeding in drum data as well as playing in outdoor environments. The mini keyboard has Sixteen solid, responsive, and velocity-sensitive trigger pads and also can control multiple MIDI parameters via the X-Y Touchpad.

PROS

  • USB powered midi keyboard.

  • Has a slim and portable design.

CONS

  • Brand value is less as compared to others in this list.

Why You Should Buy This?

Korg is an international brand in the music industry which has made a name for itself thanks to the high quality of products they manufacture; the Korg nanoPAD2 Slim-Line USB MIDI Pads is no different. This mini keyboard is highly reliable and offers great value for money, thus making this a deal worth checking out.

4. Akai Professional LPK25 | 25 Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard Controller for Laptops (Mac & PC)

The fourth mini keyboard that has become one of the highest selling globally is the Akai Professional LPK25 | 25 Key Portable USB MIDI Keyboard Controller for Laptops (Mac & PC). Another great instrument from the house of Akai, this mini keyboard is known for its robust features and above all great sound producing capabilities. This mini keyboard comes in a 13 inch variant which is designed to imitate a slim line performance laptop. The keyboard with twenty five keys which are velocity sensitive that will allow you to play melodies, chords, bass lines among others. Along with this, there is a dedicated octave down as well as up buttons via which you can increase the keyboard to the full melodic range along with a sustain button that allows for expressive performances.

The Akai Professional LPK25 also comes with built in arpeggiator steps and chords which automatically generates great melodies. The entire keyboard is powered and operated via a single USB port making this one of the most portable and compact mini keyboards available in the market today. Additionally this mini keyboard works along with the most popular applications including Sonar, ProTools, Fruity Loops, GarageBand, and more.

PROS

  • Works with leading music mixing software.
  • Is able to generate great melodies right out of the box.

CONS

  • Price is slightly above competition.

Why You Should Buy This?

Manufactured by Akai this is one of the most popular mini keyboards available in the market today. Not only does this keyboard have robust music producing capabilities, but also comes with features like no other in the market. All in all, this is a product worth checking out.

5. Novation Launchpad Ableton Live Controller with 64 RGB Backlit Pads (8×8 Grid)

Now that we have spoken about the best mini keyboards available in the market today, let us talk a bit more about launchpads. In terms of music composition, a launch pad and a music keyboard serves very different purposes. In a launchpad you can load your own beats and then play them back to produce something new. On the other hand in a mini keyboard you can create new music of your own with the help of the notes that are already present.

The Novation Launchpad Ableton Live Controller with 64 RGB Backlit Pads (8×8 Grid) is one of the best launchpads available in the industry today. The LaunchPad seamless integrates with the built in software Ableton Live; which after an easy and quick setup, gives you the ability to perform your own music. If you have already installed Ableton Live, make sure it is above version 9.0 as the other ones will not work with the launchpad. Additionally the launchpad comes with 64 RGB pads which will light up and dynamically sync with your live music.

Additionally, the launchpad comes with Launchpad Arcade which is a software that allows for interactive demo which you can use alongside the Launchpad for immediate playability.

PROS

  • Comes with 64 RGB color panels.
  • Works with leading music mixing software.

CONS

  • Made of cheap plastic, thus reducing shelf life.

Why You Should Buy This?

The Novation Launchpad Ableton Live Controller is one of the most popular launchpads available in the market today. Not only has it been manufactured by a brand like Novation but it also comes with features that one will not find in similar products from other manufacturers, making this a deal worth checking out.

6. Alesis V25 | 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools

The sixth product to be featured in our list is the Alesis V25 mini keyboard. If you have been researching about mini keyboards for some time now, you have probably come across the name Alesis. It is a homegrown brand in the USA and is known for the high-quality musical instruments they manufacture.

It is a MIDI Keyboard that comes with twenty five full sized, square keys which are front and velocity sensitive in nature, that make it perfect for using any Virtual Instruments. The mini keyboard comes with eight pressure as well as velocity sensitive pads for producing beats and launching clips. It also comes with 4 buttons that can be individually assigned and 4 knobs which work with any music software. The midi keyboard also has an Octave Up as well as Down buttons through which you can access range of the entire keyboard. Along with this you get the Pitch and modulation wheels through which you can achieve both expressive as well as creative control.

PROS

  • Cheap and affordable.
  • Comes with dedicated octave button.

CONS

  • Brand is not well known.
  • Made from off the shelf materials.

Why You Should Buy This?

This mini keyboard is currently being sold at a great package deal which not only includes the keyboard, but also premium software that will extensively help you in your music composition. Along with this Alesis as a brand is known for its high quality of products, making this a deal worth checking out.

7. Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller, MK2 Version

Another product from Novation which is worth mentioning is the Novation Launchkey Mini 25-Note USB Keyboard Controller, MK2 Version. One of the main differences with the one we mentioned earlier, is that this is a mini launchkey and not a launchpad, or in simple terms this is a mini keyboard for Ableton live.

The Novation LaunchKey mini has a 16 multi-colour backlit velocity sensitive drum pads, along with 8 knobs, dedicated navigation and control buttons. The product has software support for both mac and windows, making this a perfect for the setup you already own.

PROS

  • Comes with 16 multi-colored velocity keys.
  • Has support for both mac and windows.

CONS

  • Is limited to 25 notes.
  • Made from off the shelf materials thus having limited shelf life.

Why You Should Buy This?

This is one of the best mini keyboards available in the market today in terms of features and the competitive price it is being offered at. Along with this, Novation as a brand is known for their high quality products, making this a deal worth checking out.

8. Nektar (IMPACT LX25+)

This is a premium midi controller that comes with 25 expressive keys that have synth action, on-board pitch bend and modulation wheels for performances. Along with this, the mini controller has 8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads and most importantly has support for both mac, windows and iOS, which means that you can create whenever and wherever you go.

The mini keyboard has a great, compact and ultralight design making this extremely portable.

PROS

  • Comes with 8 hyper-sensitive keys.
  • Has an on-board pitch bend controller.

CONS

  • Brand is not well known.

  • Is cheap and non lasting.

Why You Should Buy This?

Mini keyboards from the house of Nektar are one of the most popular ones in the market thanks to their wide array of features and the brand guarantee they have. Along with this, the mini keyboard is currently being offered at a very competitive price on leading eCommerce portals, making this a deal you shouldn’t miss out.

9. Artesia Xkey 37 Air BLUETOOTH MIDI Controller

All the products we have mentioned so far in the list are either USB powered or share a standard power source. If you are in the market looking for a truly wireless mini keyboard setup, then the all new Artesia Xkey 37 Air BLUETOOTH MIDI Controller is the perfect one for you.

As the name suggests, this mini keyboard makes use of bluetooth to connect to your mac or windows and lets you create seamlessly in all conditions and environments. Along with this the mini keyboard shares a highly compact design making it ultra portable.

The mini keyboard comes with twentyfive Full-Size Keys which are sensitive to velocity and Polyphonic Aftertouch which makes it a great fit for musicians and composers.

PROS

  • Comes with polyphonic aftertouch.

  • Has 25 velocity keys.

CONS

  • Uses bluetooth which might pose challenges in certain environments.

Why You Should Buy This?

This is one of the cheapest and most portable mini keyboards available in the market today. Along with this, the product has garnered great reviews online from consumers, thus making this a deal worth checking out.

Midi Keyboard Buying Guide

Now that we have spoken in detail about the best midi controllers available in the market today, let us explore a bit more about the various factors we need to take into consideration, before you can go ahead and purchase one.

Knobs, Buttons and Faders

In every midi keyboard there is always a combination of buttons, knobs and faders present which lets you control and modulate the pitch, frequency and most importantly the quality of sound that you produce. Although every midi controller comes with software support, the presence of these physical buttons drastically improves the control you have over the music that is being produced.

When buying a midi controller, you always need to ensure that the knobs have the functionality that you desire not only via software but also via physical touch.

Another factor you need to consider before buying a midi controller is the number of keys that are present. If you have the habit of playing two handed, it is always better if you have a large keyboard setup rather than a small one.

Keyboard Action Types

Another important thing to consider while buying a midi keyboard is the action type, which basically indicates the way the keyboard responds while playing. There are three main action types in all keyboards.

Weighted Hammer Action: Most controllers on the market today comes with 88 actions which is basically a copy of an actual keyboard. But this technology is harder to apply on a Midi Keyboard because a controller doesn’t have actual strings and weights, and thus manufacturers use various techniques to apply these virtually. While this is not the best solution if you create a lot of your music on the piano, then this is an ideal investment for you.

Synth Action: The next type of action you will get to see in most keyboards is the synth action. In this type, the keys are rested on a spring and thus are very easy to move around and operate, making this an ideal setup for live performances. If you are not in the habit of using a piano to create your music, but want to Midi features to your creation, then this will be the best for you.

Semi-weighted Action: This is vastly similar to the weighted action keyboard, with the only difference being that they have a slightly less resistance and more spring action. If you have been using a piano for sometime now, then you will find this Midi keyboard setup to be great for your use.

Aftertouch

If you are in the habit of following popular musicians, then you might have seen them end their performances on a slightly higher note than usual. This ending is usually achieved by using a feature which is popularly known as aftertouch. Now a lot of people don’t know about this, mainly because of the fact that it is not a common addition in most Midi keyboards.

But if you do want to use it, this feature will be a blessing. Most Midi keyboards that come with this feature achieve the aftertouch effect via the use of the joystick or the pitch wheel. It comes in two different flavours, monophonic and polyphonic. While monophonic aftertouch is fairly common, polyphonic aftertouch is rare mainly because it is more expensive to manufacture.

If you want to produce great music using your Midi keyboard this is a feature you definitely need to check out.

CONCLUSION

Now that you know all about what to look for in your Midi Keyboard, go ahead and check out the options we shared above. We are sure you will like them.