Keyboards & MIDI
Keyboards and MIDI controllers are where you can let all of your creativity flow.
These aren’t just any old instrument though.
They are highly sophisticated digital devices that you can use to handle a plethora of tasks.
Also, it never hurts to have multiple devices of varying types in your studio.
For instance, you can have a small 25-key MIDI keyboard for beat-making and a full-size MIDI keyboard for writing complex progressions.
The possibilities are truly endless.
With that, let’s quickly break down each of the different types of MIDI controllers that I write about.
Keyboards & MIDI Categories
The Different Types Of MIDI Controllers
To better understand what kind of MIDI controller you need, you first have to understand what each one is made for.
Here are the two most common types of MIDI controllers you’re sure to come across:
- MIDI Keyboards: these are a hybrid device that are one part digital piano and one part MIDI controller. They come equipped with various onboard control options that you can use to manipulate audio through your DAW.
- MIDI Drum Pads: these devices come with a number of tactile pads that can be mapped to any sample or sound you can think of. When pressed, the pad recreates the sound. These are especially popular among hip-hop and EDM producers.
Sure, there are a bunch of other types of MIDI controllers out there like guitar/wind controllers, fancy touch-sensitive motion controllers, etc.
Those two are the most prevalent in this case, and they’re a great place to start.
With that, here is a list of all the articles I’ve written about keyboards and MIDI controllers.
It never hurts to start out small and work your way up. 25 key MIDI controllers are a great entry-level device that you can use to produce awesome music. Plus, they’re very compact so you don’t have to worry about taking up too much desk space. This article gives you everything you need to choose your next favorite studio companion.
49 key MIDI controllers are a perfect middle-ground for most producers. They’re still somewhat compact while still offering enough keys for writing complex chord progressions. Also, they are an adequate size to learn on. Check out my roundup reviews of the top options on the market to choose the right 49 key MIDI controller for your needs.
61 key MIDI controllers are my personal favorite key size. It’s still possible to fit one on top of your studio desk and you get more than enough keys for any writing style. In this article, I give you my top picks as well as an overview of what to look for. Definitely worth checking out if your an intermediate keyboardist.
88 keys is as big as it gets among MIDI keyboards. With that, you’re getting a nearly complete range of octaves to play around with. These keyboards also feature more advanced features like switchable zones and more! Check out my top picks and find yourself a perfect professional style MIDI keyboard.
For some players, a weighted or semi-weighted keybed is more comfortable to play on. This is especially true if they’re used to the feeling of a traditional piano. These keyboards are made to mimic the feeling of a piano without sacrificing key MIDI control options. This article gives you all the information you need to pick the best weighted MIDI keyboard for your specific play-style.
It’s true that certain FL Studio users need a different kind of keyboard. These MIDI keyboards are specifically designed to integrate seamlessly with FL Studio. On top of that, some options on my list of favorites are made to emulate certain aspects of the DAW as a piece of hardware. If you’re an FL Studio user, you don’t want to skip this one.
Ableton users will be just fine using any kind of MIDI keyboard. That said, there are some devices out there that are better suited for the DAW than others. In this article, you’ll see what those devices are and what you need to keep an eye out for. Ableton users will feel right at home here.
Adding a hardware synthesizer to your arsenal is never a bad move to make. In fact, you’ll notice that some producers have numerous different synthesizers at their disposal. This helps to diversify your sound and give you multiple outlets for your creativity. Don’t forget to check out my top picks, each being divided into different budget-ranges.
Standalone MIDI drum pads are extremely useful in a home studio environment. It doesn’t matter if you already have a MIDI keyboard either. There’s no such thing as having too many drum pads, so go crazy. These are some of the best devices on the market, and each one is sure to fuel your creativity.
This page covers keyboards & MIDI controllers exclusively.
There is plenty of content on Studio Frequencies for you to read up on though.
Refer to my other categories to learn even more: