Best Keyboard for Making Beats

January 26, 2022

It is difficult for aspiring musicians to choose the best keyboard for making beats. There are many things to consider when buying a keyboard for music production and each manufacturer has its own personal configuration that makes a difference between one and the other.

We’ve picked 6 of the best keyboards for making beats and explained why them.

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3

9.8/10

RANK

Best Overall

Novation Launchkey 49

Novation Launchkey 49

9.7/10

RANK

Best Proffesional 49 keys

M-Audio Oxygen 25 IV

M-Audio Oxygen 25 IV

9.4/10

RANK

Best Value

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 – Best Overall Keyboard for Making Beats

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - Best Keyboard for Making Beats
Number of Keys25 keys
Number of Pads8 pads
Knobs8 knobs
Included softMPC Beats, AIR Hybrid, Mini Grand, Velvet and assorted MPC expansion packs
Input¼” (6.35mm) TS input for sustain pedal
Output1/8″ (3.5mm) jack
CHECK PRICE

Akai Professional’s MPK Mini III is a small and powerful MIDI controller that gives you 25 keys for controlling synths, 8 backlit MPC silicone pads to trigger sounds and control parameters, plus a 4-way thumbstick and Octave Up/Down buttons for pitch-bending and modding. It has arpeggiator features with adjustable resolution, range, and modes so that you can create cool patterns on the fly — fast.

With 7 x 12 x 2 inches in size, this keyboard is great for traveling to and fro gigs or recording sessions without sacrificing its functionality. It is a great fit for musicians who like to focus on making music rather than being stuck focusing on their setup. You can easily hook this up to your iPad if you are traveling and want the convenience of making music wherever you are.

It comes with MPC beats so you can make beats, tracks, and songs. Four virtual instruments — Bassline, Tubesynth, Electric, Hybrid 3 — let you create synth lines. It also includes a USB cable and a quick start guide.

AKAI MPK MINI MK3 is the best keyboard for making beats. It is like a musical Swiss knife, ready to take on any musical challenge.

M-Audio Oxygen 25 IV – Best Value Keyboard for Making Beats

M-Audio Oxygen 25 IV - Best Keyboard for Making Beats
Number of Keys25 keys
Number of Pads8 pads
Knobs8 knobs
Included softAbleton Live Lite, ProTools | First | M-Audio Edition, Eleven Lite, Twist, Eighty Eight Ensemble, Xpand!2.
InputPedal Inputs:1 x Sustain Pedal Input
MIDI I/O:USB
USB:1 x Type B
Output
CHECK PRICE

The M-Audio Oxygen MIDI Controller is a great sounding and fully functional MIDI controller that comes with a free version of Pro Tools Lite. It also comes with Ableton, and other great programs like Logic, Cubase, and Reaper. The M-Audio Oxygen also has many full-sized and sturdy velocity-sensitive keys and 8 velocity-sensitive pads.

With Oxygen 25 MKIV and VIP3.1, you can experience expanded control of your VST instrument and effect collection. VIP3.1 gives you seamless access to your virtual instrument and effect collection, allowing you to focus on creation without distraction.

The Oxygen 25 keyboard lets you easily create music using popular computer programs. Using a special DirectLink mode allows you to quickly customize your setup without spending time learning how the keyboard works. You can simply start making music and editing audio or video files right away. It also comes with Ableton Live Lite, SONiVOX Twist, and Xpand! 2.

We like the Oxygen 25 IV’s eight programmable knobs, a programmable slider, and dedicated buttons for the transport panel and track selection. With these tools at your fingertips, you are fully immersed in the creative process of recording and mixing, rather than being distracted by pressing keys on a computer keyboard.

Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] – Best Proffesional 49 Keys Keyboard for Making Beats

Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] - Best Keyboard for Making Beats
Number of Keys49 keys
Number of Pads8 pads
Knobs4 knobs
Included softAbleton Live Lite, Virtual Instrument and Sample Plug-in Bundle
InputPedal Inputs: 1 x 1/4″ (sustain)
MIDI I/O: Out/USB
USB: 1 x Type B
OutputComputer Connectivity: USB
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The Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 is definitely one of the best keyboards for making beats out there on the market today – whether you’re looking for something that can make your life easier or if you’re just trying to save some money while still getting a high-quality product. 

The Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 offers two inputs to allow you to play two instruments simultaneously. The first input consists of sustain pedal 1/4″, whereas the second input provides a USB-B port for computer connectivity (the same kind found on USB flash drives).

The Launchkey 49 MK3 features a total of 49 keys and 16 fully responsive trackpads. The pads can be used like programmable buttons to control any app installed in your iPad – from Logic Pro X to Ableton Live Lite – thanks to its built-in transferability.

The Launchkey 49 is bundled with Ableton Live Lite (a cut-down version of Ableton Live), Novation’s Bass Station, and v1.6 of the Loopmasters sample library. All you need to get started making beats right away. And if you already have other software, there’s no problem: the Launchkey 49 supports third-party plug-ins via both USB and its five-pin MIDI output, so you can connect it to your PC or Mac just like any other keyboard.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly keyboard that can help take your music career to the next level, then there’s no doubt that you should definitely consider getting yourself a Novation Launchkey 49 MK3.

Alesis V49 – Best Keyboard for Making Beats

Alesis V49 - Best Keyboard for Making Beats
Number of Keys49 keys
Number of Pads8 pads
Knobs4 knobs
Included softIncludes ProTools, First Alesis Edition, Ableton Live Lite 9 and Eleven Lite, plus Mini Grand, DB-33 and Xpand 2
InputPedal Inputs:1 x Sustain
USB:1 x Type B
Output
CHECK PRICE

Numerous keyboard options are currently available in the market. However, they all come with their set of pros and cons. Some of the keyboards have an uninspiring sound quality, while others don’t include any drum pads or USB connectivity. This is where the Alesis V49 keyboard comes in. It offers just about everything you need for making beats right out of the box at an affordable price that won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

The Alesis V49 comes with 49 full-size keys and 8 drum pads. This allows musicians to come up with all sorts of music genres, from electronic to hip hop and everything in between. The keyboard is also equipped with an effects rack, and MIDI inputs so you can connect it to a computer or any other external devices you wish.

The Alesis V49 is loaded with lots of features that make the digital piano much more than a simple keyboard. You can use the 8 drum pads to create different types of beats on the fly or program pre-recorded loops for added complexity in your compositions.

The keyboard comes with a software suite that includes sample packs, virtual instruments, and various sound effects. The Alesis V49 is the best one-stop option for creating music right out of the box without breaking the bank.

The Alesis V49 is an excellent choice for beginners as well as experienced musicians who are looking for something to help them get their creative juices flowing again without spending a lot of money on features they don’t really need.

Korg KRONOS 2 88 Key – Best Workstation for Making Beats

Korg KRONOS 2 88 Key - Best Keyboard for Making Beats
Number of Keys88 keys
Number of Pads
Knobs8 knobs
Included softKarma Kronos software
InputAudio Inputs: 2 x 1/4″ (mic/line)
Digital Inputs: 1 x Optical Toslink (S/PDIF)
Pedal Inputs: 3 x 1/4″ (damper/switch/pedal)
OutputAudio Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ (left, right), 4 x 1/4″ (individual outs)
Digital Outputs: 1 x Optical Toslink (S/PDIF)
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The Korg Kronos is a true workstation with nine individual synthesizer engines, each powerful enough to appear on its own in a featured role. If you took any of these individual synth engines and loaded them into an independent keyboard, you’d have a perfectly viable instrument that performers would choose for its rich sound and musical versatility.

The KRONOS allows you to call up the appropriate presets, combinations, and sequences with 16 color-coded buttons on the TouchView display. These buttons can act as performance notes (“Sing on Chorus;” “Transpose Down;” “Wait for Sax Solo;” etc.) and can be customized by you.

There is a nine-band graphic EQ included in the Set List mode, allowing you to customize the overall tone of your keyboard.

The new OS 3.0 gives you more customization options with slot color options, text size variations, and a full-screen text editor. Connecting a USB keyboard makes it easier to enter text and numeric values while using Set List mode.

The KRONOS is compatible with class-compliant USB MIDI controllers, including the KORG nanoPAD, nanoPAD2, and padKONTROL. When you connect one of these pads to the KRONOS, the pads map automatically to the chord pad function of the KRONOS. This enables you to play drum sounds in addition to triggering chords.

AKAI Professional MPD218 – Best Compact Keyboard for Making Beats

AKAI Professional MPD218 - Best Keyboard for Making Beats
Number of Keys
Number of Pads16 pads
Knobs6 knobs
Included softAbleton Live Lite, Virtual Instrument, and Sample Plug-in Bundle
InputMIDI I/O: USB
USB: 1 x Type B
Output
CHECK PRICE

It has 16 pads so that you can make beats and record samples. You can assign different sounds to the pads, and you can trigger sounds with the pads. You can change parameters too, like sensitivity and note repeat rate. 

The MPD218 also features 6 knobs that are 360-degrees so they can easily be reached while you are performing. It also has a button to switch between banks A/B/C/D w, which comes in handy if you use 4 different patches at once. There is a built-in mute button so you can easily mute and unmute sounds without having to hook up your computer and play around with FL Studio or another DAW program.

The keyboard has a USB port that can be used to connect it to other devices. It can act as a MIDI device to use with other instruments you have or even other keyboards.

The arpeggiator on this keyboard is easy to use whether you are looking to play chords or just one note. It allows you to create your own unique patterns that really help the listener stay engaged while listening.

The AKAI Professional MPD218 is the ideal keyboard for, well, professional producers and beatmakers. Designed with a sleek profile that will blend effortlessly into any home studio, it features an impressive array of features and functions that will help complete your studio setup.

Best keyboard for making beats – buyer guide

Do you know the best keyboard for making beats? Here’s a buyer guide with a list of features you need to consider when buying a keyboard for creating beats. This post will also include an overview on what each feature means that you should keep in mind when looking for the best keyboard to take home and start producing your music on.

Number of Keys

The number of keys on your keyboard is going to be determined by how many sounds are available. If you’re only looking for a few sounds then a 2(24 keys) or 3(36 keys) octave range should be enough. However, if you’re looking for piano sounds or even a full range of orchestral sounds then you’ll need to be looking at 8 or more octaves.

The number of pads

The more pads the better. They are needed for playing samples, triggering drums, effects, and some other functions. 

Inputs

Through the connectors, you can connect both other types of equipment (MIDI), and, for example, a laptop via USB inputs.

Knobs

Each knob is used for a different function; these include volume, filter, effects, and more. Some knobs allow for changes in pitch; some affect the sound only at certain frequencies but not others; others affect the filter in some way. The more knobs on a keyboard, the more control you have over your sound.

Included Software

This is a must-have feature because beatmakers and producers will need something to start recording with. DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) such as Reason, Ableton Live, FL Studio come with a lot of built-in sounds that are sampled from famous producers and some even have the option of downloading 3rd party samples online. On top of DAWs, there are also beat-making programs such as Maschine which comes equipped with all the features you need to make amazing beats right out of the box!

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