Almost every studio is equipped with it, a keyboard or hardware synthesizer. It is connected to the computer and translates the keys to digital notes, or MIDI. An alternative is to draw chords in your DAW, but with a MIDI keyboard works perfectly to get ideas quickly. You can finally play the keys with your hands, instead of drawing in your DAW.
The meaning of MIDI is Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It means that an instrument can communicate with your computer, in this case. MIDI Keyboards have not programmed sounds themselves. You have to connect them and link them to a virtual instrument to get sound.
Why a Midi keyboard?
There may be several reasons why you need a MIDI keyboard.
- You want to play the piano and adjust it digitally
- You want to practice playing the piano
- Work fast
- Linking drums to keys
- You want to create ideas with the keyboard instead of your mouse quickly
- You want to link buttons on your keyboard to buttons of your DAW
A lot of innovations are also being made with MIDI keyboards, for example by ROLI and Native Instruments. Roli has released an exciting series of keyboards over the past few years that register more than just the key and velocity.
Native Instruments has also developed a great MIDI keyboard with LED lights. This is a real eyecatcher for your studio. Total control over Komplete 10 is possible with this MIDI keyboard. The Kontrol S49 is equipped with a comprehensive range of controllers including displays. Besides, there are two ribbon controllers present!
What should you pay attention to when buying a midi keyboard?
- The number of keys is important when purchasing a MIDI keyboard. The number of keys also determines the length of the MIDI keyboard.
- A standard piano normally has 88 keys.
- A standard MIDI keyboard often has 61 keys or 49 keys.
- A version that you can often include in terms of format is a 25-key MIDI keyboard, ideal for on the go!
- For a MIDI keyboard in your standard equipped studio, we recommend purchasing a version with 49 keys. This is often good regarding size and number of keys.
- Many MIDI keyboards are equipped with extra buttons. For example, you often see drum pads on a keyboard, so you can also play the drums directly. You usually notice that you do not work very much with this.
- It can be very useful to have other dials. You can manually link them to buttons in your DAW that you use often. So you do not always need the mouse any more, but simply control it via your MIDI keyboard.
- Also, almost all models are equipped with pitch bend, octave down and up and modulation.
- There used to be a lot of MIDI keyboards, MIDI connections. This can be very inconvenient in 2017. For most purposes, it is useful if there is a USB connection that you can simply connect to your computer. So always check whether it is a USB MIDI keyboard!
Quality of the keys
- The price difference is often the quality of the tests. Cheap MIDI keyboards feel cheaper and sometimes also produce sound when you press. With higher-quality MIDI keyboards, the keys feel better and smoother (in most cases).
The 5 best MIDI keyboards by Inside Audio!
- M-Audio Oxygen 49 MK4 MIDI keyboard
The M-Audio Oxygen 49 MK4 is a stylish and comprehensive MIDI keyboard that includes 49 keys (4 octaves), 8 illuminated pads, 9 faders and 8 knobs.
Price: 119, -
- Nektar Impact GX61 USB / MIDI keyboard 61 keys
Nektar proves that quality does not always have to be costly with the GX61, the successor to the popular iX61. This USB / MIDI keyboard offers tight DAW integration and comes with the entry-DAW Bitwig 8-Track.
- M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 USB / MIDI keyboard 49 keys
The M-Audio Keystation 49 is a USB MIDI keyboard with 49 velocity-sensitive full-size keys and, among other things, pitch and modulation wheel.
Price: 101, -
- Samson Graphite 49 USB MIDI keyboard
The Graphite 49 USB MIDI Controller from Samson gives you complete control over your production and performance to get the best out of your music software.
Price: 179, -
- Alesis Q49 USB-MIDI keyboard (49 keys)
Velocity-sensitive keys, a pitch and modulation wheel, volume fader and a sleek design. Sounds like a perfect beginner combination that can be expanded later! Supplied with Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition software.
Price: 75, -