What is the Best MIDI Keyboard for Logic Pro X? (2021)

52 Keyboards Tested
750+ Hours of Research
3.2k+ Reviews Examined
Unbiased Reviews

As the music industry reaches the peak of digital evolution, the demand for specific audio interfaces became a big challenge to music producers. Despite many options available, finding the best MIDI keyboards for Logic Pro X also gets harder. You might find one that doesn’t serve the purpose. Fortunately, our music studio experts tested top-rated products to see if they’ll fit your music production needs.

Premium Option
Roland A88 MIDI Keyboard Controller
Editor's Choice
Arturia KeyLab 49 MKII Keyboard
Budget Option
NEKTAR MIDI keyboard controllers

Reviews of the Top MIDI Keyboards for Logic Pro X

1.

Arturia KeyLab 49 MKII Keyboard

It’s no secret that MIDI controllers for music production aren’t cheap. Fortunately, our digital piano specialists bumped into the affordable Arturia KeyLab 49 MKII Keyboard while searching for the best keyboard controller. 

This editor’s choice features keys with customizable controls, an LCD screen, and a bundled software for Ableton Live Lite, Analog Lab 2, and UVI Grand Piano Model D. 

On top of that, this keyboard’s midi interface for Logic Pro X is also integrated with a pitch bend and modulation wheels. With additional integration of Analog Lab 2, it wasn’t surprising that this MIDI keyboard can deliver 6500 sounds and allowed us to recreate synthesizers and other virtual instruments. 

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2.

Roland A88 MIDI Keyboard Controller

Although investing in a new MIDI controller is indeed an expensive venture, we definitely recommend getting Roland A88 MIDI Keyboard Controller if you have the budget. Designed with built-to-last quality, smart controls, and three configurable zones, users can easily command real-time performance.

Among the best MIDI keyboards for Logic Pro X that our team tested, this USB-powered model gave us the most sound control thanks to its pitch and modulation wheels and eight knobs.  

This MIDI keyboard is also integrated with adjustable sensitivity pads, making it easier for us to align the keys to different playing styles.

Pros

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3.

NEKTAR MIDI Keyboard Controllers

Believe it or not, but a great MIDI controller can also be affordable. Unlike the previous options, NEKTAR MIDI Keyboard Controllers cost less but delivers full control of your virtual instruments and DAW. 

Thanks to its comprehensive 25 midi notes integrated with transpose and octave shift buttons, our resident testers were able to set this mini MIDI keyboard according to the articulation we want. 

We didn’t have much problem integrating other devices on it either. In fact, its MIDI control center is fully programmable. Besides that, you can feel the drum beats on your fingertips as this MIDI controller for Logic Pro X is designed with velocity-sensitive pads.

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4.

Alesis VI49 MIDI Controller

Another tough contender for the best MIDI controllers is Alesis VI49 MIDI Controller. If you’re a beginner and don’t have much budget to invest in, this is a wise option to consider. 

Expanding your melodic range has never been easier with its 49 full-sized semi-weighted keys that work in harmony with 16 velocity-sensitive trigger pads. Unlike other MIDI controllers for Logic Pro X, our experts are awed with its minimalistic and neat design. 

All knobs and buttons engineered in this keyboard are customizable, giving users the freedom to manipulate virtual instruments and plug-ins. It’s also designed with an LED screen for additional visual feedback.

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5.

M-Audio Hammer 88 Keyboard Controller

Premium MIDI controllers for Logic Pro X like M-Audio Hammer 88 have the classical acoustic piano feels owing to its 88 velocity-sensitive keys and hammer-action effect. Through these keys, features of virtual synthesizer plugins and virtual instruments can be assigned to knobs and buttons for expanded audio production. 

The team was able to adjust its settings as this model is jam-packed with tools like DAW auto-mapping, scale and chord model, 5-pin MIDI output, mod and pitch wheels, and pedal inputs. 

Its RGB-backlit pads with note repeat functions are perfect for clip launch, beat production, and soundboard trigger as well.

Pros

Cons

6.

Novation Launchkey MIDI Keyboard Controller

One of the best MIDI controllers we just couldn’t miss testing is Novation Launchkey MIDI Keyboard Controller. This stand-alone keyboard is engineered with Automap 4 control software that makes it easier to integrate with popular audio software like Ableton and Logic Pro X.  

This model is available in 25-key up to 61-key versions, depending on your current production needs. Besides that, this MIDI keyboard also features semi-weighted keys that enable you to play seamlessly and enhances the entire sound reproduction. 

Its keypads have an after-touch function that allows them to be highly sensitive and perfect for finger drumming.

Pros

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7.

IK Multimedia iRig Keys MIDI Controller

If easy-to-set-up digital pianos for Logic Pro X is what you seek, then IK Multimedia iRig Keys may be the best MIDI controllers for you! Although this keyboard is portable and lightweight, our team assures you that it’s compatible with popular music software. 

Aside from Logic Pro X, its integration with Garageband and Cubase is also seamless. This MIDI controller only has 25 keys with three-octave shifts that give its users a wide range of melodic options. 

As a beginner, you won’t be overwhelmed with this model because you only have to manage five buttons. The data knobs are customizable, so you are free to assign controls to them.

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Pros

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MIDI Keyboards for Logic Pro X Buyer’s Guide

Size and Build

Like any other instrument, the best MIDI keyboards for Logic Pro X vary in size and build. While weight won’t matter that much, the dimensions of your MIDI controller for Logic Pro X depend on the available space you want to place it into. 

Generally, you’d want these types of digital pianos to be as portable as they can be to take them out on the road. Considering that these Logic Pro X keyboards are often connected to DAW systems and laptops during live performances, our experts recommend buying smaller ones for easier setup. 

However, if you’re working on elaborate sound production, the best option to go for is the larger ones. Bigger MIDI keyboards have more control features and keys to facilitate your audio needs. 

On the contrary, we would like to note that full-sized keyboards for Logic Pro X aren’t suited for smaller tables. If you are working on sound production for long hours, you’ll need as much space as you can to navigate through your devices. So it’s best to consider a model that fits the available area.  

As for the build, always consider the durability of its exterior. Most of these keyboards for Logic Pro X are designed with classic retro looks and LCD screens that give its users more access to the visual feedback of the music. 

And while we don’t discourage you from buying controllers with plastic builds, these keyboards should be handled with care and constant maintenance to ensure lasting use. 

Number of Keys

When looking for the best MIDI controllers for Logic Pro X, one of the initial features you should consider is how many keys the model has. Although not as vital as other features, even for a typical digital piano, there’s no denying that you’ll need enough keys to achieve certain ranges of audio reproduction. 

If you scroll through the recommendation made by our team, you’ll notice that MIDI controllers have models with 88, 61, 49, 37, 32, and 25 keys. While a full piano setup comes in 88 keys, most players and music engineers tend to go for keyboards with 49 keys.

You may not know it, but uncommon keyboards also come with 32 and 37 keys. Although rare, these models are easier to carry around and offer more musical range than boards with 25 keys. 

Because some users may find 88-keys too overwhelming, some rare keyboard models are also designed with 64, 73, and 76 keys. However, if portability is your main priority, you are free to buy modular keyboards. These types of equipment are collapsible with one or two octaves configuration.

Even though these selections are great investments, always keep in mind that the number of keys in your MIDI device still depends on the sound you intend to create. 

If you’re not working on a piece of music with complex shifting octaves, chances are you wouldn’t be needing a model with a full key bed. 

Some MIDI keyboards have designated buttons or wheels for octave capabilities, depending on the programmable functions of the model. With that feature, users can achieve a full octave range even with a half set of keys. 

Key Velocity and Response

As you may already notice, a MIDI controller for Logic Pro X is often labeled with features like its key velocity and response. When considering these functions, it should align with the user’s skill level and the type of music you intend to make. 

It’s now typical for modern MIDI controllers to have keys that are meant to recreate sound from grand pianos, synthesizers, or pipe organs. For people with no piano or keyboard experience, getting a synth-action keyboard is what we can recommend. 

If you want more dynamics and increased resistance, keyboards for Logic Pro X with semi-weighted keys have velocity-sensitive feedback ideal for music that plays at a fast pace. There are also boards with full-weighted keys that operate with key velocities and hammering action, which resembled the sound of acoustic or electric pianos. 

While velocity often associates with the intensity and speed of keyboards, the response is the feature that determines how its tactile level compares to a real piano sound. Because of this, seasoned musicians prefer using Logic Pro X for their keyboards as it produces the quality of electronic music they desire.  

Pads and Controls

When you produce music, it’s only natural that you’d want full control of the sound direction. To do this, make sure to select a controller with reliable pads that allow event triggers from drum beats up to changing audio patches. 

Having these pads integrated on your keyboard also helps when you’re working on launching clips or producing spontaneous music compositions. 

Besides that, it should come along with faders, adjustable knobs, and assignable buttons that would enable you to customize and expand your playing capabilities as much as you want.

Some keyboards are also integrated with controls capable of adjusting pitch blends and modulations in your composition. It usually presents itself in two spring-loaded wheels. Control panels should also include X/Y controller dimensions to ensure that the pitches and modulation are appropriately mapped out on the X/Y plot. 

Extra Functions and Features

Besides the features mentioned above, a MIDI keyboard controller for Logic Pro should have tuning functions. Although the majority of the brands nowadays offer built-in control panels, not all provide users the capability to tune and adjust the mixing of instrumentation available at their disposal. 

With the vast experience of our team with testing these instruments, getting models with many assignable buttons and knobs are necessary for expanded music reproduction. However, we don’t recommend these for beginners as they can appear overwhelming and may not serve their purpose if users aren’t too familiar with its functions. 

And did you know that your MIDI keyboards have the function to accept foot controllers? That’s right. Like a typical setup, these instruments can be integrated with piano pedals, stompboxes, organ foot pedals, and expression pedals.

It all depends on the sound you’re going for. Most of the time, these pedals are sold separately from the keyboard itself. So our next best advice is to check your purchase if it’s included in the package or not. 

If you’re aiming for real-time MIDI value, getting a keyboard compatible with sustain or piano pedals should be one of your considerations. It tracks the pedal’s movements realistically and continuously. 

On the other hand, expression keyboard pedals are more suitable for mapping out control panel parameters, such as changes in sound patches, volume, or additional audio effects. 

If you’re looking for something similar to a guitar pedalboard that transmits commands for looping and playing chords, you can integrate your keyboard with MIDI stompboxes. But of course, this is only applicable for specific models. 

Type of MIDI Controller

As previously discussed in velocity and response features, the MIDI controllers you can buy vary in the types of their keys. Aside from that, it also comes in three different controller designs, each with its own functionalities vital to audio production. 

First, the keyboard controllers. For musicians and performers that only care about playing melodies and chords with no concern about launching clips, getting this type of controller will suit your needs. 

On the contrary, spontaneous music composition and launch clips can only be done with pad controllers. With its capability, we assure you that you’ll have better control when making compositions. 

If you decide that both functionalities are crucial in your production, then we suggest getting hybrid controllers. Through this, users can get the best of both control and composition options when handling launch clips or drum patterns. 

Generally, this kind of controller is recommended for beginners or users with very little experience in piano playing. 

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Price and Warranty

While buying recording equipment is always a good investment, producing music through the best MIDI keyboard controller entails costly expenditures. Although price is an important consideration, quality is still what makes a better product [1]

In general, MIDI keyboards range from $100 up to over $1000, depending on their capabilities and qualities. While there’s no doubt that premium controllers can be expensive, it may surprise you that some models under a hundred bucks are already integrated with multiple controls. 

However, it’s crucial to note that most brands offering under the pricing of $100 to $300 are synth-action. These products are likely to be recommended for beginners and intermediate players alike. Despite that, there’s no denying that the quality of these models is commendable and built-to-last. 

For keyboards ranging $300 and up, expect premium offerings from the likes of Roland and Akai manufacturers. These brands are usually integrated with full-bed keys and smart built-in controls perfect for your music composition. 

How Does a MIDI Controller Work With Logic Pro X?

By integrating your MIDI keyboards with software like Logic Pro X, you’ll have access to tap on specific features to enhance your audio production. From distinct sounds to elaborate effects, you can expand the potential of your composition. 

With Logic Pro X, users will have no problem with audio recording and adding a variety of tracks in your library for easier access. 

However, if you want to use MIDI keyboards on devices like iPads, keep in mind that you can opt for Logic remote instead of Logic Pro X software. There’s no need to worry because it has the same capabilities as Logic Pro.

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FAQ

How do you use a MIDI keyboard on Logic Pro X?

To use MIDI keyboards on Logic Pro X, all you have to do is go to the main menu of the software. From there, select the “Control Surfaces” option and click on the “Setup” button. 

This step will lead you to a new window where you can press “Install” to create a connection with your MIDI device. After selecting your keyboard from the list, it’ll start the installation process. Wait for it to finish and select the “Scan” option before proceeding to close the window.

Can MIDI Controllers work with DAW software?

Yes, most of the MIDI keyboards that we included in this list do not only integrate seamlessly with Logic Pro X but also work well with popular DAW software like Ableton, Cubase, Pro Tools, and many more. All you need to do is check if your controller supports the software you want to use for recording, mixing, and composing. 

Which MIDI keyboard is best for beginners?

The MIDI keyboard best for beginners is Alesis VI49 MIDI Controller. Designed with minimalistic design and straightforward controls, new users will find absolute ease when setting up and navigating its controls. Another beginner option you can try is IK Multimedia iRig Keys, as it also has comprehensive control panels.

Our Top Pick For a MIDI Keyboard For Logic Pro X:
Arturia KeyLab 49 MKII Keyboard

After careful evaluation of the best MIDI keyboards for Logic Pro X, our music experts decided to hail Arturia KeyLab 49 MKII Keyboard as our top pick in this elaborate product roundup. Besides its middle-range pricing, we picked this model for its comprehensive controls and seamless software integration highly fit for both beginners and experts in the field.

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Writer

Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.