MIDI keyboards have improved over the years. One of the reasons I thought it would be great to put together a list of Best MIDI keyboards under $100 is because of this.
These are all options that I have played myself and owned as well. As a result, there are a few things to keep in mind.
I want to be upfront about the fact that you will be sacrificing size or features in order to get under $100.
However, I believe this is perfectly fine. There’s no sense in breaking the bank if you’re a beginner on a budget.
Some of the options will be mini midi controllers since you will be sacrificing size. The reason I love them is that they are small & portable MIDI controllers, yet they provide the main features you need.
Top 10 Best MIDI Keyboards Under $100
1) Novation Launchkey MK3 Mini MIDI Keyboards Under $100
Novation’s Launchkey MK3 Mini is a great mini MIDI keyboard with a ton of cool features and bundled software.
It is my top recommendation for those who want to work from a studio or from their bedroom/basement. It’s inexpensive and a great way to get started.
MIDI keyboard designed specifically for Ableton Live. In addition to working with every major DAW, it also works with free ones. I recommend using a free DAW at first if you’re on a tight budget.
See our roundup of the best Ableton Live MIDI keyboards for more information about Ableton Live.
The main selling point for this controller is that it fits perfectly into most backpacks. True, but it’s not the best selling point in my opinion.
In my opinion, the 16 pads and 8 knobs are far more important.
Having bundled software is also a huge win for Novation, since you get a lot of really expensive software for free.
Including Ableton Live Lite and Addictive Keys. At the moment, one of the best piano VST plugins is Addictive Keys.
Related: Best Keyboard Piano Under $100
2) AKAI Professional LPK25 MIDI Keyboard Under $100
Since 1929, AKAI Professional LPK25 MIDI Keyboard has been a well-known brand in electronics from Japan. You can produce on the go with the LPK25 MIDI keyboard. MIDI keyboard only weighs 450 grams and measures 13 inches.
It’s also a plug-and-play controller.
Although it is small enough to fit in your bag or laptop case, it provides essential keyboard functionality for music production.
To maintain its compact design, it has 25 velocity-sensitive full keys with synth-action taking up a majority of its profile. You will be inspired by the AKAI LPK25. There are dedicated sustain and octave up and down buttons. Also included is an onboard arpeggiator with four modes, user-selectable time divisions, and tap tempo control.
With the LPK25, you can customize and enhance your software programs with four memory banks. MIDI keyboards come with software editors for Mac and Windows, which allow you to create, edit, load, and manage your presets. Arpeggiator configurations, transposition and octave settings, full MIDI customizability, and default tempos are all provided by the dedicated software editor.
No matter what your creative preferences are, AKAI LPK25 will quickly become familiar with your existing setup. The USB-powered device works well with popular applications such as Ableton Live, Cubase, Digital Performer, Fruity Loops, GarageBand, Logic, ProTools, Reason, and Sonar.
The MPC Beats Software comes with the essential tools for pro production from the famous MPC workflow. As part of the software, you can edit samples, find sounds using synthesizers, mix your tracks, record audio, and much more. By allowing both AU and VST plugins, this program expands your virtual studio technology arsenal.
3) Nektar SE49 MIDI Keyboard Under $100
Nektar SE49 MIDI makes some great MIDI controllers, and the SE49 is their entry level model. A great choice for those on a budget. This keyboard also has full-sized keys, a surprising selling point.
The design of this keyboard is streamlined to make it a simple and quality MIDI keyboard controller for beginners.
The wheels on this controller were different. They are smaller, but they are pretty accurate. I was worried that they would be too small.
The Nektar SE 49 also includes Bitwig and 50 free VSTs. In the long run, bundled software saves you a lot of money.
Related: Best 88 Key Weighted Keyboards
4) Worlde Tuna Mini MIDI Keyboard Under $100
Worlde Tuna MIDI keyboard is an affordable option for musicians looking for a device for their music production needs. With a weight of 1.1 pounds and a dimension of 14.6 x 7, this MIDI keyboard provides excellent mobility. It is 4 inches long. You can take the USB-powered device anywhere you intend to get inspiration for your music because it is plug-and-play.
Portable MIDI keyboard with 25 mini keys and three velocity sensitivity options for more accurate response. MIDI channels can be assigned to sixteen of these mini keys, allowing you to configure them according to your needs. The keyboard’s octave range can be shifted four times using the dedicated buttons for this purpose for a more versatile performance.
You can also attach a pedal to add more versatility to your music production. The drum kit features eight pressure and velocity-sensitive backlit drum pads, each with a unique LED color. When you start creating music, a vibrant and colorful light display appears.
You can also set up eight additional virtual pads, making it a total of 16 settings. Two touch sensors are located on the left side of the keys for adjusting pitch and modulation easily. Top of the keys are eight anti-slip knobs that you can rotate 360 degrees and eight assignable sliders, giving you more control over your music.
A shift button is located on top of the drum pads, so that you can retrieve your previous settings created with the built-in software editor. MIDI controller compatible with Cubase, FLstudio, Logic, and more. OTG cables make it possible to connect to other devices.
It can also be used with apps like Apple Garage Band, Lgrand Piano, Music Studio, and Piano Apprentice. With a white panel and wood-like sides, the device offers a comfortable grip. The device also has a footswitch jack and a USB port on one side.
Related: Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboard
5) M-Audio Keystation 49 MIDI Keyboard Under $100
M-Audio Keystation 49 is a reliable full-sized key MIDI keyboard. This is crazy since there are not many 49-key controllers at this price point.
With this controller, you won’t get anything crazy, but it works well with all major DAWs and is fully functional. For most beginners, this is all they need.
In the case where you have a piano background, this would be better than the mini options since you won’t be able to take full advantage of your skills.
I like the fact that this controller is newer. Sometimes older controllers have really bad MIDI functionality.
6) Midiplus AKM320 MIDI Keyboard Under $100
The midiplus AKM320 entry-level MIDI controller is the perfect tool for musicians seeking to develop their creativity. Featuring 32 velocity-sensitive mini-keys, this controller can be used to send MIDI messages to your DAW.
As you create music, you can control the sound. While the MIDI keyboard does not have many features, it works well with a variety of DAWs.
The pitch bend and modulation wheel are functional. Furthermore, the controller has transposition and octave buttons to adjust the octave according to your preference.
Additionally, it has a footswitch jack that usually works well with sustain pedals.
7) Arturia Microlab MIDI Keyboard Under $100
Arturia Microlab MIDI cheapest option on this list. The device is extremely light and has some really cool features.
It is also one of the newer mini MIDI keyboards on the market. It is not surprising that it has been well received because of its extreme portability.
This controller comes with a built-in USB cable, which is one of its cool features. When it’s not in use, it retracts.
All three colors have a really cool look to them. They are orange, blue, and black.
Micro Lab 25’s weight is a key factor. Weighing only 1.8 pounds, it can easily fit in a backpack or a small case. This makes it ideal for touring or traveling.
8) Samson Graphite M25 MIDI Keyboard Under $100
A MIDI device from Samson provides music production controls and programmable functions that are ideal for home studios. The semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keys of the Graphite M25 offer an expressive and responsive platform.
A portable MIDI controller with 25 mini keys that provide a perfect pitch range for performance and music production. For accurate control of your device, it comes with pitch bend and touch-sensitive modulation ribbon strips.
You can also change the range of your controller by four octaves with the dedicated octave button. Using the unit’s sustain button, you can extend your notes’ sound without using an external pedal accessory.
Furthermore, there are four programmable velocity-sensitive trigger pads with aftertouch, as well as four virtual additions you can use to create drum beats. Since the Samson controller has programmable features, you can manage your music software from its functions.
It has a master volume encoder, eight MIDI knobs, and transport controls you can customize according to your needs. Additionally, it has a Control Change (CC) mode for relaying messages or program change information with four programmable presets. From the Samson website, you can download free Graphite Editor Software to customize your MIDI workflow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Musicians who are not familiar with piano playing, especially beginners, can practice and learn on a MIDI keyboard.
While not the best option, MIDI keyboards offer an affordable and portable way to learn how to play the piano.
The keys’ weight and feel of a real piano cannot be compared to those of a MIDI keyboard.
When choosing the number of keys on a MIDI keyboard, there are several factors to consider.
Due to their limited octave range, 25-key controllers are not suitable for two-handed play.
Comparatively, the 49-key units fall between the mini and full-size models.
MIDI keyboard styles should also be chosen based on the musician’s skill level and musical needs.
Another consideration when choosing between 25- and 49-key controllers is space. 49-key controllers are better if you have enough space.
When you are just starting out in music production, you can save a lot of money by using virtual instruments instead of purchasing real instruments.
MIDI keyboards provide beginners with a controller, recording software, and virtual instruments.
Beginners do not need to use a MIDI keyboard to create music, but it feels right and natural to use this external device.
A MIDI controller resembles a keyboard, but it does not operate alone. It sends and receives MIDI signals without producing any sound.
To hear the sound you have created, you need to connect your MIDI controller to an external source.
Using music software, you can edit your composition when connected to a computer.
USB ports are available on most MIDI controllers, allowing them to plug and play. To create MIDI data, you’ll also need a digital audio workstation.
Keyboards, on the other hand, are standalone instruments that can be used to create music without the use of additional equipment.
Keyboards are portable instruments that allow you to create or play different types of music wherever you are.
Most of these keyboards come with built-in speakers. They come with controls and options for creating different sounds as well.
If you have a MIDI keyboard at home that you haven’t used in a while, you don’t need to buy a new one.
To use your keyboard as a controller, it must have a MIDI out port.
Since MIDI has been around for a long time, your device should have this port.
MIDI software or a DAW must also be installed on your computer, as well as an adapter cable from USB to MIDI.
On one end, the adapter cable typically has a USB connector, while the other end must have three MIDI ports: IN, OUT, and THRU.
Try hitting the keys on the keyboard once you connect the two devices via the adapter cable and see if they are sending MIDI signals.
You could launch your DAW or musical software, which detects the MIDI signals, if your computer recognized the adapter.
We reviewed five of the best MIDI keyboards under 100 dollars and checked what they each had to offer. Based on what we have learned, the Nektar SE49 MIDI keyboard controller stands out when it comes to features.