Best Midi Keyboards with 25 Keys
In case you are a producer who desires to work on the go, you must take a look at the most effective 25-key MIDI controllers accessible in 2023. These backpack-sized controllers have gotten you covered each time/wherever the creative mood attacks.
Our top 12 don’t simply embrace probably the most portable MIDI keyboards but additionally some real studio powerhouses. From drum pads to deep DAW integration, these compact MIDI controllers have all of it.
So Why A MIDI Keyboard?
MIDI Keyboards are an especially vital part of any studio setup, whether or not that be professional or home recording, just because you can create genuine sounding instruments right from a piano structure if you cannot find a saxophonist in time.
Then load a saxophone VI or sample on your keyboard. Your drummer is late? Trigger some drum sounds through the pad and for those who want something atmospheric that no manual instrument can produce, then you are at the right spot.
One more reason to use a MIDI Keyboard is that it saves an enormous amount of time in the long term, inputting data manually into your DAW is an actual drag and might take days so when utilizing a MIDI Keyboard you possibly can set the correct program, effects, volume, panning, and enter notes rapidly and effectively.
We just want to let you know that we’ll list these Midi Keyboards in no particular order. They’ll be randomized as we don’t wish to sort them from best to worst.
Listed below are our Top 12 Midi Keyboards with 25 Keys for 2023:
1. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A25
General, the look is sensible and useful, with a sprung, semi-weighted keyboard motion that feels stable and playable. Getting started with the A25 is as simple as connecting the enclosed USB cable. The unit takes all its energy from the USB port, so there’s little else on the back panel aside from a pedal input (TRS jack) for including an exterior sustain or expression pedal.
The A-Series comes with a good bundle of sound-generating software programs – with the offered NI instruments and libraries all accessible in each standalone and plug-in variation.
Nonetheless, they may also be introduced collectively utilizing the Komplete Kontrol software. Here browsing could be straight managed by the buttons and knob above the A25 keyboard (with the eight encoders automatically mapped to appropriate sound modifying parameters).
DAW management/integration is included for Logic, Garageband, Ableton, Cubase, and Nuendo, and the Native Kontrol Standard is being adopted by an ever-increasing variety of third-party sound creators.
We are really fans of everything that Native Instruments produce and the A25 was one unit that we tried at the very beginning. This keyboard will get you through the tasks without any issues and the big benefit from it is that you can use it with the software that comes from NI, the Maschine 2.
What separates it from the other models on the list is that the buttons are made for this software and other stuff that comes from NI. The only downside is that there is no display and no pads, but you have them on other units from NI. All in all, great for starters!
- Power supply via USB
- 6.3 mm Foot pedal input
- USB port
- Dimensions: 488 x 257 x 89 mm
- Weight: 2.4 kg
- Compact and Intuitive
- Great Elegant Design
- Compatible with NI Tools
- No displays and pads
2. Nektar Impact LX25+
Regardless of the look of the keys, the Impact LX25+ doesn’t have semi-weighted keys. Its keys are synth-action with medium rigidity, which means it’s a little bit gentle and doesn’t have the identical “bounce back” feel that an actual piano would.
This isn’t precisely a foul factor, semi-weighted keys just about only matter to keyboardists, and until you’re a pianist. While using semi-weighted keys, we truly discover that synth-action keys are simpler to play with and don’t tire out the fingers as quickly, which suggests that you can even have long periods when making beats!
The Impact LX25+ comes with 8 infinite rotary knobs, as with loads of different MIDI controllers out there. They really feel like normal knobs, nothing standout about them. Nonetheless, what’s cool concerning the Impact LX25+ although is that the knobs are auto-mapped relying on the instrument you’ve gotten chosen to the 8 knobs which are most frequently used.
So regardless that we do not know what every assigned knob does precisely, you may simply load up an instrument patch and twist random knobs to tweak the sound to see if you could get one thing that sounds good to your ears.
We really liked the pads on this one and we were frequently using it since you will be able to map them differently in your DAW and have different features on them. The compatibility with the program was no issue and Nektar being a great developer, took care of that.
We really liked the navigation buttons that are just over the keys and they are a big plus for control over DAW, but we think that they could’ve put a bit more on the display.
- Power supply via USB
- Connections: Sustain Pedal, USB
- For WIN 7 or later, MAC OSX 10.7 or later
- Dimensions (W x TXH): approx. 476 x 267 x 69 mm
- Weight: 1.8 kg
- Amazing Design
- Semi-Weighted Keys
- Better Display
3. M-Audio Oxygen 25 Mk4
Between vans, planes, buses, vehicles, and killing time backstage, the necessity for a transportable MIDI controller has by no means been extra vital to musicians. There are a number of small MIDI Controllers and each of them has something new from those nice innovations and processes.
The M-Audio gear shows how simple it’s to sync with the numerous programs, it is easy to make a decision to give the M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV USB Keyboard MIDI Controller a try to see the way it stacks up in opposition to some of the different Portable MIDI controllers below $200.
The M-Audio Oxygen MKIV MIDI Controller comes with Pro Tools Lite which is a wonderful and needed program for producers and serious songwriters as well as the powerful Ableton Lite and some different programs.
The M-Audio additionally has very good, full-sized, and durable velocity-sensitive keys with 8 velocity-sensitive trigger pads and eight programmable knobs for mixing and manipulating effects, tracks, and plugins.
It’s debatable which is the most effective compact MIDI controller, however with all of the programs included and the soundbank that comes with this MIDI controller, it is a no-brainer to add it to your collection.
We really liked all the stuff that comes with the keyboard, so the newcomers will be prepared to start producing and actually save some money on that point. The other features are great, and compared to the other units, this one is really compact and will serve you well.
Again as with others the display is sufficient and they better place some other knobs that are helpful inside the DAW than put the display, but that is our opinion.
- Input for sustain pedal
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 492 x 243 x 94 mm
- Weight: 1.8 kg
- Compact and Affordable
- Plethora of Software
- Lite DAWs to Start
4. Arturia MicroLab
One of many leading corporations in this field is definitely the French firm Arturia. Recognized primarily for the MIDI controllers Keystep, Keylab, Beatstep Professional, and so forth.
With the brand new MicroLab, Arturia is now attacking the very inexpensive market presently led by the Akai LPK 25 or Korg microKEY 25. We had the chance to check the brand-new Arturia Microlab controller in a friend’s studio.
The MicroLab is a 25-key controller that stands out. It’s not only sensible and portable but additionally colorful. It’s out there in three variations: all are white however with a colored rubberized case: black, orange, or blue. Particularly the orange and blue variations are very stylish and noticeable.
The black seems to be a bit pale in my opinion. As well as the labels on the interface even have the identical color as the cover. One question could be requested right here: because the market is oversaturated with MIDI keyboards, controllers now must be colored to make them more interesting.
With its excellent slim key keybed and sensible features like chord memory or the great USB administration system, it’s a keyboard that musicians like to use in their studio but additionally on the go.
This keyboard is really affordable and portable and those are the greatest benefits from it. You can freely place it inside your pocket and go to your friend’s houses to produce some music. I am telling you this from experience. 🙂
Compared to the other units, this is probably the smallest and most compact one, and that mainly separates it. With that being said, there are no knobs, pads, and sliders, but that was sacrificed to have it at this size.
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 414 x 37 x 130 mm
- Weight: 770 g
- Colour: Black
- No knobs, pads or features on it
5. IK Multimedia iRig Keys I/O 25
The controller itself can work with 4 AA batteries or an exterior energy supply (offered separately). It additionally comes with a full model of Sample Tank 3 Sound and Grove workstation, Pro-V Vintage synthesizer for Mac/PC, and Sample Tank and Syntronik Pro-V for iPhone and iPad. Additionally, out there is a Miroslav Philharmonik software program for Mac/PC and a mobile model which can help you on some occasions.
Some of the controller options include a number of complete controls equivalent to a programmable slider strip for pitch and modulation, octave, program change, and transport controls, 5 programmable encoders, and eight velocity-sensitive, multicolored, assignable pads.
It has a Neutrik combo input jack for connecting an instrument cable or an XLR cable. A 48v phantom power with a category A mic preamp onboard can be accessible in case you wish to use a condenser mic.
It’s an incredible value for an unbelievable product that may allow you to take your creativity on the road to the following stage. It is really great that on a MIDI controller at this size, IK was able to fit in knobs, touch sliders, and pads. Compared with the size and with other models, this is something that is truly amazing.
This is what is truly great about this controller and for the price and what it brings with its compact size, we weren’t able to find something bad about it. Again, the display is there just to show basic values, but we are going to look past that for this controller.
- 4 1.5V AA batteries
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 373 x 208 x 65 mm
- Weight: 1.26 kg
- Software package (download after registration)
- Compact and Cheap
- Pads and Touch Sliders
- Bunch of Addons with it
- Not at this time
6. Akai Professional MPK Mini MK III
Akai’s MPK Mini MkII is among the best-selling MIDI controllers on the market. It’s small, inexpensive, and has a stable arpeggiator plus the most effective pads on any price range or midrange controller. However, it’s additionally over 5 years old.
The portable MIDI controller subject has gotten quite a bit more crowded, not to point out extra competitive. The MPK Mini mk3 makes an attempt to maintain Akai towards the top of the heap, not so much by including features, but by enhancing the feel and appearance of the hardware.
The primary options are just about unchanged from the earlier model. There are 25 velocity-sensitive keys, eight velocity-sensitive pads, eight knobs, an X/Y joystick (as a substitute for pitch and mod wheels), an arpeggiator, and a note repeat operation.
The obvious distinction right here is the addition of a small display screen that gives some suggestions for parameters as you alter them. However right now, at least, the display screen is of limited utility and doesn’t actually replicate something happening on screen in a significant means.
Honestly, we made a lot of beats with this controller while we were in teaching sessions locally, since we were visiting the students’ studio and we tried to showcase what he can do with his equipment.
This keyboard is truly a gem and it is a bestseller for a reason. We highly recommend it to every producer that is on a budget. We guarantee you will be satisfied, because you have everything you need, from pads to knobs at a cheap price. No negative words for this one only big compliments!
- USB-B port (Class Compliant)
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 318 x 181 x 44 mm
- Weight: 750 g
- Includes software package
- Keys and Pads
- Great Design
- Bestseller for a reason
- No negatives at this time
7. Alesis VI25
Whereas being pretty compact, the Alesis VI25 USB MIDI Keyboard and Drum Pad Controller are fitted with 16 velocity-sensitive trigger pads that are good for beat-making and sample triggering. Paired with the 25 full-sized, semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, the flexibility to create a number of simultaneous sounds is laid out fantastically.
In addition, there are 24 assignable buttons and eight assignable knobs, which permit your imagination to be unleashed. With a little bit of programming, this board can operate as well as some of the greatest synths and modules or be used for any customary tone or sample you’ll find in your DAW.
Use these nice buttons and knobs to control effects plugins, open and shut filters, regulate parameters, change volumes, trigger effects, and more.
This can be a stable MIDI controller with a number of management choices for a traveling musician. The bigger boards with extra keys are good too however when evaluating the bigger boards there are barely higher choices at related value factors. For the 25-key option, the Alesis VI25 USB MIDI Keyboard and Drum Pad Controller is a superb choice and has quite a bit to offer in a small space.
Well, just by the looks of it, you will see that you are getting a lot compared to the other keyboards on this list. The biggest benefit is that you have 16 pads as with any drum machine, 8 knobs to modify your project, and a great design. This is an amazing unit that is past beginner stages and you will be able to use it for so long!
- USB MIDI
- Midi Output
- Internal clock generator for sync, speed, rolls, etc.
- Incl. USB cable
- 16 pads
- Great Design
- Cheap for what it offers
- Nothing Negative here!
8. Novation Launchkey Mini mk3
The Novation Launchkey MK3 Mini has a smooth design that’s much like its predecessor, the MK2 Mini. With this being mentioned, there undoubtedly are some variations and enhancements that Novation has made.
If you look from left to right, you’re met with a pitch-bend strip and a modulation strip. We believe that you already know what these are and there is no need to additionally explain them.
After the strips, you will see some management parameters and your traditional octave up and down buttons. 16 RGB-lit velocity-sensitive pads take up the center of the controller.
Above the pads, you will find Eight encoders. The whole right side consists of your DAW controls equivalent to recording, stop, play, and extra. In the event you’re unfamiliar with DAWs, you may truly find some good free DAWs now.
On the back of the controller, Novation delivers with one thing that’s distinctive to only the MK3 Mini, a MIDI output. That is distinctive to Novation, as no different mini controller that we know of has this yet.
This is yet another compact keyboard that packs a lot of features on it. Compared to the other ones, there is no display, but there is no need for it when we have 16 pads and 8 knobs. The touch sliders are a great addition as well.
The only downside to it is that there is no aftertouch to the keys, but that’s it and nothing more. Amazing keyboard for the buck and great for every beginner.
- Sustain pedal input
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 330 x 41 x 172 mm
- Weight: 689 g
- USB cable and software bundle included
- Great 16 Pads
- 8 Knobs
- Touch Sliders
- No Aftertouch
9. Arturia MiniLab MKII
Arturia is well-known for its stunning, striking product design, and that hasn’t been modified with the MiniLab. The all-white plastic shell is flanked on each side by wood ends, which seems to be implausible and actually serves to set the controller apart from the prevailing products out there on the market.
Every little thing feels stable on this controller, even if it’s almost totally made up of plastic parts, and we didn’t encounter any areas that felt notably fragile throughout the check.
The keyboard is available in two completely different colors, the usual all-white choice, and an extra black offering. Both look nice, and both have identical options and features included.
On the performance side of things, the Arturia MiniLab encompasses a 25-key mini keyboard, which we discovered to be surprisingly playable for its dimension. Making chord shapes and doing easy runs was simple enough, and aside from the two-octave limitation, there wasn’t something actually holding us back from enjoying this keyboard like every other.
What separates this keyboard when we compare it to the others is that the features are neatly placed on it, with 16 knobs and 8 pads. We really like the looks of it and when we tried it out, it felt great and we cannot find any flaw in it. No display on this one as well, but the features compensate for it. The only downside is that it might be a bit heavier than it should for a keyboard at this size.
- Bus Powered
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 355 x 220 x 50 mm
- Weight: 1.5 kg
- Includes software “Analog Lab Lite”
- 16 knobs and 8 Pads
- Nice and Sturdy Design
- Affordable like the others
10. Alesis V25 MKII
The V25 MKII has the in-demand options producers and creators need. The Eight backlit pads respond to your playing expressively, delivering full management for programming drums or playing back samples. The pads even have traditional Note Repeat and Full Degree performance to imitate the world’s hottest drum machines and sequencers.
Need a singular melody or some enjoyable inspiration? The V25 MKII’s Arpeggiator has 6 modes with tap tempo and simply adjustable time division, gate, and swing controls. You can even control your DAW and software program devices without ever taking your fingers off the V25 MKII – Four assignable knobs could be MIDI-mapped to your most vital software features.
The Alesis V25 has potential from a hardware perspective however the software may use some refining. The velocity settings need enhancement and the occasional double trigger on the pads must be fixed. Alesis does provide a firmware update on their website to enhance keybed sensitivity; hopefully, they’ll update to enhance the pads as well.
We may be placed this keyboard last on the list because there are better choices on this list compared to this one. There is a lot to improve on this one, but if you like how it looks and you are a fan of the brand, you have this option. I personally was not satisfied by it, sorry Alesis.
- USB 2.0 (bus-powered)
- Included MPC MPC Beats software package
- Dimensions: 430 x 244 x 94 mm (WxDxH)
- Weight: 1.75kg
- 8 Backlit Pads
- 4 Knobs
- Needs Improving on many points
Best Midi Keyboards with 25 Keys – 2023 Additions
11. AKAI Professional APC Key 25 MK2
This is a mini version of Akai’s flagship Akai APC 40 and MPK Mini that can be used with Ableton Live (2022 – 2023).
Besides the basic 25 keys, it features a grid of 5×8 clip launching buttons, plus eight knobs and a scene launch button. You can control clip length with the same amount of knobs and faders as the newly released APC40, for instance.
Key 25 also doesn’t have a particularly playable keyboard, but at this price and size, there are limits to what’s possible. The keys feel a bit soft, but they are good enough to get us through the project and lay down interesting ideas.
It is interesting to note that APC’s new MIDI controllers don’t offer a USB-C connection, but rather a classic USB-B. Bus-powered controllers transmit data and provide power to the computer. This controller is great for using it with Ableton and it is internally pre-mapped for this software.
Our experience with it is brief since we only tried it in a local music store, but we were overall satisfied with its performance. Compared to the other models, this one has a bunch of buttons which is a big plus and the only downside is that it kinda feels a bit fragile.
- 25 Velocity-sensitive mini keys
- 8 Encoders for controlling any parameter in Ableton Live
- 5×8 clip launch matrix with illuminated RGB pads
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 315 x 192 x 45 mm
- A bunch of knobs
- Velocity Sensitive Keys
- Feels fragile
12. AKAI Professional LPK25 MKII
There aren’t a lot of MIDI keyboards out there that are as affordable as the Akai LPK25, which makes it the perfect keyboard for beginners. The built-in arpeggiator function makes this MIDI controller great for live performances and on-the-go music producers.
It is easy to set up thanks to plug-and-play connectivity. Since I’ve owned and been using the LPK25 for over a year now, I haven’t experienced any reliability issues, which is something other buyers seem to be concerned about. USB connectors seem to be the main source of problems. It doesn’t get moved around too much, and I don’t unplug it too often, so it may be protected from damage.
Besides being functional and aesthetically pleasing, the Akai LPK25 mk2 includes some seriously sweet software! This collection of sounds and software will satisfy set builders and studio producers alike, from old-school samples to pro-grade beat-making and composing software.
This is a pretty simple keyboard that it’s main perk is portability. For the price that it comes, you cannot expect too many features and it only has the keys, arp and to switch the octaves. When compared to the other units on this list, there is only one, the Arturia Microlab that is with similar features. All in all, great for people on a budget and ones that want to start out.
- 25 Velocity-sensitive mini keys
- Arpeggiator with 7 play modes, 8 bar measures and adjustable swing
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 348 x 102 x 38 mm
- Weight: 450 g
- Really Affordable
- Lots of free software
- Not many features
They might be small and short, but in the right hands, they are a very powerful weapon. The plus side to this is that they are so portable, that some of them can fit in your jacket with bigger pockets. The idea for the 25 keys keyboards is to be portable, so all of those achieved that function.
We believe that this list includes something for everybody and that those 10 suggestions actually are best sellers throughout the world. We provide you will a short review of each of them and some features to let you know what the model has.
If you think that we missed some important and famous 25-key MIDI keyboards, please let us know in the comment section and we will try to cover that one too!
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