Keyboards and Controllers

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From bedroom producers rocking demo copies of Ableton to million-dollar artists topping EDM charts, the one piece of equipment that is common to them all is the keyboard.

The keyboard is also one of the first pieces of gear producers tend to buy. After all, keyboards occupy a central role in the production process. Not only do they make the music production process more intuitive, they let you express yourself creatively.

But buying keyboards is not easy task. The trouble starts with defining the term – “keyboard” – itself. Depending on who you ask, a “keyboard” might be a digital piano, a MIDI controller, or a synth.

Technically, the “keyboard” refers to the standard arrangement of black-white keys on a musical device. A piano has a keyboard, as does a keytar and a MIDI controller.

For most musicians, especially producers, however, a keyboard stands for a MIDI controller, or more rarely, a digital piano.

Which is exactly what we’ll focus on in this section. We’ll share our reviews and lists of the best MIDI controllers and digital pianos on the market right now. Besides reviews for individual products, we’ll also share tips and insights on buying the right gear, as well as our review methodology.

Top Keyboards & Controllers: Essential Reading

While you can certainly dive into our list of the best keyboards based on their price, number of keys, uses, or DAW compatibility, we encourage you to start with these articles first. They’ll help you understand different keyboard/controller categories and make better buying decisions.

MIDI Keyboards

Our selection of the best overall MIDI keyboards

Digital Pianos

A close look at the top digital pianos in the market

Top Keyboards & Controllers: By Number of Keys

These articles will help you choose the best keyboards (including MIDI keyboards, synthesizers, arrangers, and digital pianos) based on the number of keys:

25 Keys

Our selection of the best MIDI keyboards with 25 keys

49 Keys

A closer look at the top keyboards with 49 keys

61 Keys

The top keyboards with 61 keys right now

88 Keys

Read about the best 88 key keyboards you can buy right now

Top Keyboards & Controllers: By DAW

Find the perfect controller for your DAW below:

Ableton

See our recommended controllers for Ableton here

Logic Pro X

Our selection of the best controllers for Logic Pro X

FL Studio

See the best controllers for FL Studio below

Pro Tools

Our choice of the best controllers for Pro Tools

Cubase

See our recommended controllers for Cubase

Top Keyboards and Controllers: By Type

Read this section for our selection of keyboards and controllers for different uses

Portable Keyboards

Our list of the lightest keyboards you can buy

Budget Keyboards

Our recommended keyboards for budget users

Best Keybed

Check out the top-performing keybeds here

Mini MIDI Keyboard

If you need something portable, check out this list

For Learning

Our list of the best MIDI keyboards for learning

Low Cost Keyboards

The cheapest MIDI keyboards you can buy

Top Digital Pianos

Read this section for our selection of keyboards and controllers for different uses

Beginner-Friendly Piano

The top beginner-friendly digital pianos

Pianos for Learning

Find the best digital pianos for learning here

Yamaha Pianos

Check out the top recommended Yamaha keyboards

Individual Keyboard Reviews

Read this section for all our reviewed keyboards:

Akai MPK Mini MK2

4 out of 5 stars

 

Affordable yet feature-rich keyboard for everyone

Akai MPK249

4.2 out of 5 stars

 

Powerful keyboard for serious producers

Alesis V49

3.5 out of 5 stars

 

Affordable and beautiful, but suffers from performance nags

Arturia KeyStep

4 out of 5 stars

 

Well-built, automation-friendly keyboard

We keep updating this page with new reviews and lists. Check back soon to see our latest listings.