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Looking to buy a MIDI Keyboard? Well that's where Music Matter come in. We have handpicked some of the best MIDI Keyboards for under £100 from 2016 to help you get started creatively on a budget, we look at all types of sizes from 25-Key to 61-Key and added extras such as software and encoders. All the while giving you the right information to which one would be best suited to you. Featuring the very best brands such as: Arturia, Nektar, Novation, M-Audio, AKAI and IK Multimedia.
MIDI is the protocol that is used to trigger electronic and virtual instrument using either note data inputted from a sequencer or played from a keyboard. A MIDI keyboard is by far the best way to ‘play’ instruments on your computer as it offers the most natural experience and is infinitely preferable in most cases to using the mouse to draw notes. Most people will use MIDI at some point, whether it’s to compose entire tracks or just to add some keyboard flourishes to an acoustic recording.
You don’t have to be a piano player to use a MIDI keyboard, they are suitable for everything from playing simple patterns to full virtuoso performance, depending on the size and number of keys. The trick is in choosing one that best suits your needs.
Common features that you would see in various MIDI Keyboards are:
Velocity - how hard you would press down on a key would detirmine the velocity sent to the track you are working on, the harder the press the higher the volume.
Pads - can be used for a number of things such as track selection and clip editing but most commonly Pads are used to trigger sounds, this means you can set up a drum kit and trigger them on demand on the pad.
Encoders - are used for momentary action of various parameters such as; Modulation, Panning, Expression, Effect control, Bank selection and much more.
Connectivity - how the information will be sent to your software program, generally would be via a USB Cable but more recently some have iOS Capability with an Apple Connection Kit.
So Why A MIDI Keyboard?
MIDI Keyboards are an extremely important part of any studio set up, whether that be professional or Home recording, simply because you can create authentic sounding instruments right from a piano layout, if you can't find a Saxophonist in time? Then load a saxophone VI or sample on your Keyboard, Your Drummer's running late? Trigger some drum sounds via the pad and if you need something atmospheric that no manual instrument can produce then this is the product for you. Another reason to use a MIDI Keyboard is that it saves a huge amount of time in the long run, inputing data manually in to your DAW is a real drag and can take days so when using a MIDI Keyboard you can set the right program, effects, volume, panning and input notes quickly and effeciently.
MINILAB (BLACK EDITION)
LIMITED OFFER: COMES WITH 4 EXTRA SOFTWARE TITLES
MiniLab is a complete portable controller keyboard to play and control your virtual instruments. It offers a prolific set of controls so that you can make music in the best conditions whether you are on the go or simply space-restrained.
In addition to Analog Lab and its 6000 keyboards sounds, MiniLab Black Edition is bundled with one of their most praised virtual synthesizers, the Oberheim SEM V, a faithful reproduction of the original Oberheim SEM from 1974. The second part of this bundle, the exceptional UVI Grand Piano Model D, offers you the sound of a brilliantly-sampled Steinway. Last but not least, Ableton Live Lite allows you to be immediately operational.
The Arturia Minilab (Black Edition) contains an amazing amount of effects and presets for such a compact MIDI Keyboard and now it adds 4 unbelievable software titles that makes this product go a little further than it's sister product 'Minilab'. What's great about the Arturia Minilab is that you create a fantastic array of sounds either in a professional studio environment or out there on the road. It also has a enough knobs and buttons to keep you occupied for hours on end.
Limited Edition 25-Key MIDI Keyboard
Nektar products are synonymous with DAW integration and the Impact iX49 is no exception. The deceptively minimalist appearance hides powerful functionality not even found on more comprehensive controllers. Want to start recording? You can. Need to change sequencer track? You can. How about changing volume for the track you are currently playing? You can.
At first glance, the Impact iX is a standard USB keyboard controller 49 note full-size keyboard, pitch bend, modulation wheel and foot switch. Octave buttons are available any time to shift the keyboard up or down -3/+4 octaves with multi-colored LED indicators showing the exact status. Transpose buttons allow you to shift the keyboard +/- 12 semi tones and an assignable fader provides control over any MIDI parameter.
The Nektar Impact iX49 means one thing: complete DAW intergration, this MIDI Keyboard has a simplistic but powerful feel to it and can control a great amount of you DAW, whether that's transposing, specific track volume, Track / Patch assignment and much more! An expansive list of DAW software has been added to Nektar's MIDI Keyboard capability inlcuding: Bitwig, Cubase, Digital Performer, FL Studio, Garageband, Logic, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Sonar and StudioOne.
49-Key MIDI Keyboard
LAUNCHKEY 25 MKII
LIMITED OFFER: FREE MIDNIGHT PLUGINS!
Novation's keyboard controllers put your music software directly into your hands.
They range from simple and portable mini keyboards with handfuls of handy knobs and pads, to advanced professional controllers with huge arrays of touch-sensitive controls and ultra-responsive, expressive keyboards.
They all integrate immediately with Ableton Live and any other major music software, to give you the exact level of control you need to enhance your creativity.
The quickest way to get hands-on control of your software, to easily produce and perform electronic music.
- Intuitively laid out controls that work immediately in Ableton Live- See your session on velocity-sensitive RGB pads that match the colour of your clips- Tweak your instruments and effects using eight rock solid knobs
First off the Novation Launchkey 25 MKII is fantastic value for money, the quality and bundled software make this seem like it belongs in the high-end spectrum of Keyboards but here it is ready to be snapped up for a great price! The major thing here is the quality to the hardware, the keys, pads and knobs, this all adds up to a top-quality product. And the amount of software it comes with is exceptional, aside from the £79 worth of midnight plugins, this also includes Ableton Live Lite, Bass Station/V Station and 1GB of Samples from Loopmasters.
25-Key MIDI Controller
KEYSTATION 61 II
Step into computer-based music creation and performance with the Keystation 61 keyboard controller from M-Audio. Keystation 61 is a simple, powerful MIDI controller designed for sequencing music and playing virtual instruments on your Mac or PC.
It features 61 full size velocity sensitive keys and a series of controls that expand the range of playable notes, expressive capabilities, and enhance your recording workflow. Use the octave range buttons; pitch-bend and modulation wheels; and transport and directional controls to play, perform, and record with your music software without using a mouse or trackpad. Keystation 61 also includes a 1/4" (6.3mm) sustain pedal input that lets you use an external control pedal, such as the SP2 (sold separately), for genuine piano sustain.
Well it's 61 Keys of MIDI Power for under £100! The keys are full-sized and feel just like playing the real thing.. for under £100! So leaving aside the value of this product it still has all you need in a MIDI Keyboard: Octave range buttons, pitch-bend and modulation wheels plus much more. It also includes some truly magnificent software that ranges from DAW software with Ableton Live Lite to Virtual Instruments with Sonivox and Air Music Software.
61-Key MIDI Controller
APC KEY 25
The AKAI APC Key 25 is a perfect mix of the APC Mini and the MPK Keys and if you are an Ableton user then this is the keyboard for you. It has a great triggering pad that lets you assign different clips and with the knobs beside the pad you can edit them at your will. You will never have to use your mouse again and for under £100 that's a lot of bang for your buck!
iRIG KEYS (LIGHTNING)
iRig Keys is the first ultra-slim and highly portable universal MIDI controller keyboard for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android and Mac/PC. iRig Keys connects directly to your iOS device via the included Lightning connector, to your Android device via the included OTG to Micro-USB cable and to your Mac/PC via the included USB cable. It can also connect to older iOS devices via an optional 30-pin cable.
It features 37 velocity-sensitive mini-keys — a full 3-octave range plus one note — takes up minimal space on your desktop and can easily fit in a backpack or a carry-on bag.
For total mobility, iRig Keys is also an ultra-low power consumption unit. When hooked up to an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, it can be powered by the device, and for longer playing sessions it can be powered by the available USB port. When connected to a Mac/PC, the USB port powers it.
The IK Multimedia iRig Keys is perfect for your iOS device, just plug it into your iPhone or iPad and away you go! It's also perfect for every other occasion for when you need to do some work on your Mac or PC and is ready for Android application as well. This MIDI keyboard is Ultra-compact and Ultra-light, and when we say light I mean it weighs next to nothing so is perfect to take with you pretty much anywhere your creativity leads.
37-Key MIDI Keyboard For iOS
ARTURIA MINILAB (BLACK EDITION)
NEKTAR IMPACT iX49
NOVATION LAUNCHKEY 25 MKII
M-AUDIO KEYSTATION 61 II
AKAI APC KEY 25
IK MULTIMEDIA iRIG KEYS (LIGHTNING)
NUMBER OF KEYS
Ableton Live Lite
Arturia Synth Software (Including 4 extra)
1GB of Samples from Loopmasters
SoniVox 88 Ensemble
Air Hybrid 3
Works with iPad (Connection Kit Not Included)
PITCH BEND / MODULATION WHEELS