The Best MIDI Keyboards – October 2018

When MIDI keyboards burst onto the recording scene, they truly revolutionized the industry. Before MIDI (which stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface), artists and producers were forced to use and record either actual pianos, or set up a long chain of adapters in order to route the signal from a traditional (and oftentimes terrible-sounding) keyboard onto their primary recording interface.

And it wasn’t just the subcategory of piano and keyboard recording that was revolutionized. MIDI keyboards allow you to trigger an almost limitless number of tones on your computer—ranging from the most realistic acoustic piano simulations to the most far-fetched EDM sounds imaginable. MIDI can even be used to trigger effects, time changes, dynamic shifts, and much more.

The only downside to the immense popularity of MIDI keyboards and controllers is that there’s a virtually limitless number to choose from. Depending on your budget and studio needs, you can find everything from MIDI controllers that resemble full-sized keyboards, to small, one-octave trigger consoles that you can take with you on the go.

Instead of focussing on just one type of MIDI keyboard, we’ve compiled a list of the best and most affordable MIDI interfaces across a wide range of styles and price points. For this reason, please take our numbered rankings with a grain of salt. For instance, our number one pick may not be right for someone who’s only looking for a portable controller to trigger their sample library. With that caveat in mind, enjoy the list.

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