Two of the instruments you can use to make beats for your music are the MIDI controller and the electronic keyboard. At the onset, it’ll be useful to know the difference between the two.
Of course, the MIDI controller creates MIDI data, and from a synth or hardware sampler, it can trigger the sound. However, you need to connect it to your PC to hear its sound. On the other hand, an electronic keyboard is a musical instrument, and it works without needing a PC or computer, and it is a standalone device. Nevertheless, in this post, we will interchangeably talk about MIDI keyboards and Electronic keyboards.
The MIDI keyboard is designed like a mini piano. It may come with buttons, sliders, and wheels, and these features are used to send MIDI signals via a MIDI 5-pin or USB cable to your computer or other musical devices.
Many producers consider the MIDI keyboard an essential aspect of creating music, especially creating beat tracks.With the MIDI keyboard, you can easily create simple and complex drum patterns. Besides, it affords them enough room to be creative. Thus, they consider the MIDI keyboard as a vital cog in the creation of music.
The MIDI keyboard offers several advantages because of its usability and flexibility. It provides you with ample room to be more creative with your music. Here are some of the obvious advantages of its use:
First, it smoothens the workflow and lessens the stress brought about by using many devices to create music.
Best Keyboards for Making Beats
Once you’ve known the essential factors to consider when buying a keyboard for making beats, you can zero in on the best options based on these factors. Yet, you can further quicken the buying process for you by knowing the following most recommended brands in the market today:
Last update on 2021-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1) Yamaha Montage8 88-key Synthesizer Workstation
The Yamaha Montage8 features 88 keys and comes with a Motion Control Synthesis Engine that takes control of two popular sound engines: FM-X and AWM2. This workstation is the latest addition to the growing list of workstations in the market today.
Moreover, it is a powerful workstation that is not easy to master. It also comes with an awesome key-bed along with an analog circuit. Thus, this workstation is a rarity.
The Yamaha Montage8 comes with a fantastic interface that is useful for unifying your tracks. You simply need to download some kits to quickly engage in beat-making.
Besides, it features eight rotary encoders as well as faders that come with stepladder LED. Moreover, it features high definition reverbs for Virtual Circuit Modeling (VCM) effects. All in all, the Montage is fully loaded.
2) Novation 61SL MkIII 61-key Keyboard Controller
You can take absolute control of your important music projects if you have the Novation 61SL MkIII 61-key Keyboard Controller. The Novation 61SL is a powerhouse when it comes to making beats. It affords more flexibility and extended creativity. With its use, you can easily lay down beats for your music creation.
The Novation 61SL MkIII lets you command your modules and synths with ease. It comes with a MIDI In, Out, as well as Out 2/Thru. It also comes with Analog Clock Out, along with two CV Pitch sets. It also has GATE and Mode outputs. With this keyboard, you can utilize the full power of HUI-compatible or InControl DAW.
It features pads, faders, buttons, and knobs for easy operability. Moreover, you will find it easy to arrange music with its built-in 8-track sequencer, scales, modes, zones, and built-in arpeggiator.
The Novation 61SL MkIII is designed to streamline your workflow. However, it doesn’t come with speakers. Thus, it will help if you connect it to your laptop or PC to hear it.
3) Akai Professional MPK249
The Akai Professional MPK249 offers a professional keyboard performance with its 49 semi-weighted keys that are velocity-sensitive. It provides a piano-style keyboard that provides you with great response and the real feel of the piano.
When it comes to beat making, you will find the Akai Professional MPK249 a great instrument to tinker with. It comes with 16 RGB-lighted MPC-style pads. Each of these pads come with four banks. Thus, you get 64 pads. Therefore, this keyboard is a perfect solution most users are looking for to trigger samples, one-shots, loops, and melodics.
Moreover, it features assignable control with 24 assignable Q-link controllers of 8 control knobs, switches, and faders. These controllers are engineered for hassle-free virtual mapping of instruments.
Once you’ve bought this keyboard, you will soon find it the centerpiece of your studio. From it, you can be at the helm of your (peripheral) Midi equipment because it features an onboard USB-MIDI interface.
This MIDI interface comes with a 5-pin MIDI output and input. It also includes the core MPC tools, including the MPC mainstay controls like the MPC Note Repeat, MPC Full Level, arpeggiator, Time Division, and Tap Tempo.
It also comes with a Production Software Package for both PC and Mac. This software package includes Ableton Live Lite, SONiVOX Twist 2.0, and Hybrid 3 (Air Music Tech).
4) Alesis VI49 | 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
The Alesis VI49 is a MIDI keyboard that features 49 full-sized semi-weighted keys. It also comes with USB MIDI along with 5-pin MIDI out for more flexible connectivity. You can manipulate your virtual instruments and plugins using its hands-on controls.
You can also close and open filters on your virtual synthesizers while allowing you to adjust your mix volume levels. It also lets you activate effects and many other possibilities.
The Alesis VI49 features 16 trigger pads that are velocity-sensitive, and these pads come with lighted RGB feedback for clip launching and beat production. It also comes with 36 assignable buttons. Moreover, it features 12 assignable knobs for interfacing with your music software. Plus, it offers seamless visual feedback with its LED screen and lighted knobs and buttons.
5) Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49 Controller Keyboard
The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49 is a popular device that you can use to create beats. It comes with a sterling design that lets you streamline your workflow. It is a smart device that comes with a semi-weighted NI keybed.
Komplete Kontrol A49 makes music-making easy, fun, and fast. You can create the right sound or create your music via its semi-weighted and responsive keyboard. Moreover, it comes complete with 4 premium instruments. It also comes with MASCHINE Essentials.
The Komplete Kontrol A49 comes with all you need to actualize your ideas and bring them to life. It also affords you greater control over your favorite DAW. Moreover, with its modulation wheels and sturdy pitch, you can include modulation and bends to your parts. Plus, it offers perfect playability.
The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49 is good entry-level equipment for beginners trying to learn the connection between the keyboard and your DAW’s plugins.
Last update on 2021-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
When choosing the ideal keyboard for making beats, your most significant limitation is your budget. Of course, you can still find a budget keyboard for only making beats without the more intricate features of high-end ones.
Another limiting factor would be the size of the keys. You have two great options when selecting keyboards for creating beats: the workstation keyboard and the MIDI keyboards. Both these two options would let you make beats. Yet, the MIDI controllers would often necessitate a laptop or PC to be fully functional.
Selecting the ideal keyboards for making beats can be very confusing at times. Yet, if you know the essential factors to consider and the most recommended brands, you can quickly narrow down your options to the best possible choices at hand.
Buyer's Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying Keyboards for Making Beats
The market is flooded with myriads of MIDI keyboards ranging from compact ones to bulky keyboards. Hence, if you are shopping around for one, you need to know more about MIDI keyboards to make an intelligent purchase. Here are the succinct factors you need to consider when buying a MIDI Keyboard for making beats:
When shopping around for the best MIDI keyboard, it will be useful to consider whether it is easy to integrate with your DAW. With full DAW integration, you can control the DAW’s transport and software instruments parameters from your MIDI keyboard instead of controlling them from your computer. Moreover, it will help to note that the more expensive your MIDI keyboard is, the better you can integrate it into your DAW.
Number of Keys
Before shelling out some of your hard-earned money for a MIDI keyboard, you need to clarify what you want. Once you know what you want, you can quickly zero in on the right MIDI keyboard. As mentioned above, there are myriads of MIDI keyboards ranging from 25 keys to 88 keys. Moreover, with a more significant number of pads, you can utilize more samples. So, it all boils down to what you need and prefer. Some music producers prefer the 88-key MIDI keyboards. Some, however, are contented with something with minimal keys.
The more money you are willing to spend, the greater and better your options would be when it comes to MIDI keyboards. Your number one limitation in finding the right MIDI keyboards would be your budget. However, if you don’t have a budget issue, you can always go for the best MIDI keyboards in the market today.
It will help if you know how to tinker with keyboards or pianos. It’ll be of great advantage if you know how to play the piano and have a jazz or classical piano background.
For sure, you will be using the keyboards as your workstation. Compared to piano keyboards, the MIDI controllers are designed with less number of keys. So, depending upon your experience, you can select the type of MIDI keyboard you would like to tinker with.
Level of Experience in Music Production
If you are used to producing music using DAWs, you can always use a MIDI controller, for it will provide you with easy access to myriads of DAW’s. For this reason, many music producers prefer the use of MIDI controllers. Having unlimited sounds at hand would put you in a good position to create better and more unique music.
It will be useful to have a MIDI Keyboard if you have some hardware MIDI synths to connect to the MIDI output. Some MIDI controllers have 5-pin MIDI out ports. They may also have minijack TRS MIDI outputs.
These types of controllers afford you better connectivity. Besides, you can also power your MIDI controllers through its USB port. So, it will help to choose something that offers you more connectivity options.
MIDI controllers come in a variety of models and brands. By the sheer number of brands and models at hand, you will indeed end up confused when shopping around for a keyboard for making beats. Yet, some brands are known to deliver sterling products. So, if you have enough budget, you should always go for the top brands and models in the market today.