5 Best Keyboards for Making Beats – Real Wonder for Your Music Workflow (Fall 2022)

Here’s a comprehensive review and ranking of the best keyboards for making beats on the market according to their features and performance.
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Last updatedLast updated: August 25, 2022
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Making beats is a form of art that has been growing in popularity over the years. Many aspiring music producers start by making beats on their computers and then move on to more expensive and complex equipment as they progress. If you’re looking for the best keyboard for making beats, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we will rank and review five of the best beat maker keyboards on the market with the Arturia Keylab 88 MKII on the top. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced producer, there’s something for everyone here!

There are many different factors to consider when choosing the right keyboard for you, such as the number and type of keys, the size of the keyboard, included software, and the price. In this blog post, we will rank the best keyboards for making beats according to their features and performance.

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Editor's Choice

Arturia Keylab 88 MKII

Features
  • Keys: 88
  • Item Dimensions (in.): 4.4 × 51 × 12.7
  • Weight (lbs.): 33
  • Warranty: 3 years

Other features: USB, LC display, MIDI, 16 illuminated pads with chord memory function, software included

The Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII is a great keyboard for making beats. It has 88 keys, which makes it perfect for producers who want the most control over their sounds. Additionally, it features MIDI connectivity and comes with some great software included, such as the Arturia Analog Lab Lite and Piano V virtual instruments. It also has some cool features like Chord Memory and 16 illuminated pads that can be used to create drum patterns or trigger samples. So if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line keyboard controller that can help take your music production to the next level, the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII is definitely worth considering.

The KeyLab 88 MkI is very similar to the 88 MkII, with a few key differences. The main difference is that the MkII comes with the Arturia Analog Lab Lite software, while the MkI does not. Additionally, the pads on the MkII are illuminated and have chord memory functions, which are not found on the MkI. So if you’re looking for a keyboard controller that comes with some great software, the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII is the way to go.

What makes it special?

  • USB connectivity allows easily connect the keyboard to your computer, plus, since it’s class-compliant, there is no need to install any drivers, making setup a breeze
  • It features an extension shelf for laptop placement, making it easy to work on music projects while keeping all of your tools within reach
  • It has a backlit LC display for quick navigation
  • It comes with the Arturia Analog Lab Lite software, which gives you access to over 5000 sounds from classic synthesizers
  • Durable and reliable material

What cons did we find?

  • Some users find the keys too heavy to play
  • There is no pitch or modulation wheel
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Features
  • Keys: 25
  • Item Dimensions (in.): 1.22 × 12.9 × 6.77
  • Weight (lbs.): 1.55
  • Warranty: 3 years

Other features: USB, MIDI, software included, Transpose, Fixed Chord, Arpeggiator

The Novation Launchkey Mini MKIII is a 25 key keyboard controller with MIDI and USB connectivity. It also comes with software that makes it a powerful tool for beat making. The keyboard has features like Transpose, Fixed Chord, and Arpeggiator which make it very easy to use and versatile. It also comes with a three-year warranty which is great for peace of mind. Overall, the Novation Launchkey Mini MKIII is an excellent choice for a keyboard controller for making beats and paying a little money.

The Novation Launchkey Mini MKII is also a great keyboard controller, but it does not have MIDI or USB connectivity. It has 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads that are perfect for triggering samples and controlling your DAW. Additionally, it’s also a bit more expensive.

What makes it stand out?

  • MIDI connectivity that allows controlling any MIDI compatible software or hardware
  • The included software provides a powerful toolkit for beat making production
  • Fixed chord mode transposes your chord up and down the keyboard, so you don’t need to keep returning your chords
  • Arpeggiator turns one chord into a melodic pattern, for expressive keyboard playing
  • 8 rotary knobs for maximum tone customization
  • Affordable price
  • User-friendly design and lightweight construction

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • There is no aftertouch control
  • Some users find the lights too bright
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Features
  • Keys: 25
  • Item Dimensions (in.): 1.75 × 12.5 × 7.13
  • Weight (lbs.): 1.65
  • Warranty: 2 years

 

Other features: USB, MPC Beats Software, built-in Arpeggiator, included Complete Music Production Starter Kit

Looking for a portable keyboard that will let you create beats on the go? The Akai Professional MPK Mini MK III Limited Edition may be just what you need. It has 25 keys, USB connectivity, and MPC Beats Software – all of which make it perfect for music production. Plus, it comes with a Complete Music Production Starter Kit so you can get started right away. And if something goes wrong, no worries – it comes with a two-year warranty. So if you’re looking for a compact and affordable keyboard that will let you create your best beats yet, the Akai Professional MPK Mini MK III Limited Edition is definitely worth considering.

The Akai Professional MPK Mini MK II is another great choice for on-the-go music production. It has the same features as the MK III, but it doesn’t come with the Complete Music Production Starter Kit, that might be a problem for those who are just starting to make beats.

What do we love it for?

  • The bright OLED display shows the current parameters in real time
  • It has a built-in Arpeggiator with an adjustable resolution, range, and modes
  • Compact and lightweight – perfect for on-the-go music production
  • 25 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch for expressive melodic control

What were we disappointed with?

  • It doesn’t with many sounds included
RELATED: 10 Best MIDI Keyboards for FL Studio – Bring Your Ideas to Music! (Fall 2022)
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Features
  • Keys: 25
  • Item Dimensions (in.): 1.42 × 13.19 × 7.09
  • Weight (lbs.): 1.4
  • Warranty: 2 years

Other features: USB, Air Touch Bar, drum pads, comes with special Editor Software, fully-integrated mobile music studios

The Donner DMK-25 MIDI Keyboard Controller is a great option for beginner beatmakers and those who want a compact keyboard controller. It has 25 keys, which may be limiting for some producers, but it’s perfect for those who are just starting out or need something small and portable. Another great feature of this keyboard controller is that it’s USB compatible, so you can easily connect it to your computer or laptop. Additionally, the drum pads are velocity-sensitive, which means they respond to the intensity of your playing. Lastly, the Donner DMK-25 MIDI Keyboard Controller comes with special Editor Software that makes creating beats and rhythms easy and fun.

The Donner DMK-25 MIDI Keyboard Controller is an updated version of the Donner DMK-22 MIDI Keyboard Controller. The main difference between the two is that the DMK-25 has 25 keys compared to the DMK-22’s 22 keys. The drum pads are also velocity-sensitive on the DMK-25, whereas they were not on the DMK-22. Lastly, the Donner DMK-25 MIDI Keyboard Controller comes with special Editor Software that makes creating beats and rhythms easy and fun.

Why is it special?

  • The Air Touch Bar gives you tactile feedback, which makes it easier to control parameters precisely
  • It has 25 ultra-sensitive keys for controlling virtual synthesizers and beats
  • Affordable price
  • The newest USB type-C is future-proofing for the device and gives the best reliability

What are the flaws?

  • The drum pads may be not as responsive as needed
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5
Best with RGB Pads

Novation Launchkey 49 MK2

Features
  • Keys: 49
  • Item Dimensions (in.): 3.03 × 31.06 × 10.16
  • Weight (lbs.): 6.68
  • Warranty: 3 years

Other features: USB, Scale Modes, Chord Modes, Arpeggiator, software included, MIDI

The Novation Launchkey 49 MKIII has 49 keys, which is great for both beginners and experienced producers alike. Additionally, it features MIDI connectivity, so you can use it with a variety of software and hardware devices. It also comes with some great software included, such as the Novation Bass Station and V-Station virtual synths. Finally, it has some cool features like Scale Modes, Chord Modes, and an Arpeggiator that will help you take your beats to the next level.

The Novation Launchkey 49 MKII is a great keyboard for making beats, but it doesn’t have as many features as the MKIII. It has 25 keys instead of 49, and it doesn’t come with any software included. However, it does have after touch control, which the MKIII does not have.

What makes it stand out?

  • A 3-year warranty provides you with more security and safety, so be sure that if something happens with the keyboard you won’t lose your money
  • The MIDI connectivity means you can use it with a variety of devices and software, which can be really helpful in terms of workflow
  • Included software help to make cool and unique beats even if you’re a beginner
  • Play/Stop/Record/Loop buttons, as well as a transport control section, make it easy to work with your DAW
  • The track navigation button helps quickly and easily move throughout a project
  • User-friendly design

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • There is no aftertouch control
  • Some users find the keys a bit small
RELATED: 10 Best MIDI Controllers for Cubase – High-End Options for Music Creation! (Fall 2022)

Things to Consider

The best keyboards for making beats can really up your music production process. They allow you to create and experiment with rhythms, melodies, and chord progressions faster and more easily than ever before.
In this buying guide, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the best beat maker keyboards on the market according to their features and performance. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced producer, there’s sure to be something for you here. Let’s get started!

What Is Special about Keyboards for Making Beats?

Beat maker keyboards are designed specifically with music production in mind. They usually have more features and controls than regular keyboards, which allow you to create, tweak, and experiment with beats and rhythms much faster and easier.

Many also come with special pads that allow you to play and record beats directly onto the keyboard, making the process even faster. Plus, many of them also come with software that allows you to create beats and rhythms from scratch, or to tweak and customize existing ones.

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Keyboard for Making Beats

In this section, we will go over some of the most important factors to consider in buying keyboards for making beats. Like any musical instrument, buying a beat maker keyboard requires you to know some basic things. Even though a lot of available products offer similar features, there are some subtle distinctions between them.

Asides from features and components on the unit itself, you also have to consider your skill level in choosing a hip hop keyboard as well as your purpose for buying it. Note that the best keyboard for making beats on the market does not have to be the most feature-packed product. As long as it serves your purpose, you are good to go.

Number of Keys

5 Best Keyboards for Making Beats – Real Wonder for Your Music Workflow (Fall 2022)

Choosing the keyboard with less number of keys is a great option for beginners, while a larger number of keys is ideal for experts.

One of the first things you need to consider when choosing a beat maker keyboard is the number of keys. The standard keyboard has 25 keys, but most beat maker keyboards come with 49 or 61 keys. The more keys you have, the more control and range you have over your music production. If you are just starting out, we recommend going for a keyboard with 49 keys, as our Editor’s Choice, the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 Keyboard Controller, has.

Pads

Another distinguishing feature of beat maker keyboards is the pads. These are usually located in the lower right-hand corner of the keyboard and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some have buttons, some have touchpads, and some even have velocity-sensitive pads that allow you to play different sounds based on how hard you hit them.

The purpose of these pads is to give you more control over making beats. You can use them to play and record beats directly onto the keyboard, which can save you a lot of time in the music production process.

Item Dimensions and Weight

5 Best Keyboards for Making Beats – Real Wonder for Your Music Workflow (Fall 2022)

The Akai Professional MPK Mini MK III Limited Edition is that type of keyboard which is perfect for making music on the go.

When choosing a beat maker keyboard, you also need to consider the item dimensions and weight. Some keyboards are very compact and lightweight, making them easy to transport, while others are a bit bulkier. If you don’t have a lot of space in your studio or if you plan on traveling with your keyboard often, then we recommend going for a compact and lightweight model.

Software

Another important consideration is the software that comes with the keyboard. This software allows you to create beats and rhythms from scratch, or to tweak and customize existing ones. It’s important to choose a keyboard that comes with software that you will actually use.

Some keyboards come with very basic software, while others come with more advanced software that allows you to do more complex things with your beats. If you are an experienced producer, then you will want a keyboard that comes with more advanced software and possibilities.

5 Best Keyboards for Making Beats – Real Wonder for Your Music Workflow (Fall 2022)

Magix Music Maker is best for beginners and hobbyists who want an affordable option with an easy learning curve.

Warranty

Before you buy a keyboard, make sure that it comes with a warranty. Find out how long the warranty is and what type of repairs are covered. Warranties vary from one brand to the next, so it’s important to know what you’re getting. Even though a warranty isn’t always an indicator of quality, it does mean that you can return the instrument or get it repaired cheaply if there is a problem. It’s also important to choose a keyboard that comes with good customer support in case you have any problems.

Other Features

Finally, there are other features to consider when choosing a beat maker keyboard. These include the type of power adapter it uses (USB or AC), the number of outputs it has, and whether it comes with a built-in sound card or not, which is quite good to have for an easier start and beat making.

FAQ

MIDI keyboards can be connected to a PC or Mac in a few different ways. The most common way is to use a USB cable to connect the keyboard to your computer. This is usually the simplest and easiest way to connect them.

If your MIDI keyboard has an AC adapter, you can also plug it into an electrical outlet and then use a standard audio cable to connect it to your computer. This is a bit more complicated than using a USB cable, but it can be useful if you don’t have any free USB ports on your computer.

Finally, some MIDI keyboards come with built-in sound cards that allow you to connect them directly to your computer without using any cables. This is the simplest way to connect them, but not all MIDI keyboards come with built-in sound cards.

Once you’ve learned how to connect your MIDI keyboard to Mac, you will need to install some type of music production software.

In order to start making beats, you will need a beat maker keyboard, a PC or Mac, and some type of music production software.

The best way to get started is by choosing a keyboard that comes with software that is easy to use and allows you to create beats from scratch. You can then install this software on your PC or Mac and start making music. In our comprehensive guide, you’ll find the best beginner keyboards for adults if you don’t know what to begin with.

If you are an experienced producer, you may want to choose a keyboard that comes with more advanced software and possibilities. This will allow you to do more complex things with your beats. In case you want to try something new or just master your skills, check out our guide with the best digital pianos for intermediate players.

Our Verdict

When choosing one of the best keyboards for making beats, make sure to consider all of these factors before making your decision. Our Editor’s Choice, the Arturia KeyLab 88 Keyboard Controller is an excellent option for everyone. This keyboard has 88 keys, 16 pads, nine faders, and 11 rotary knobs that give you plenty of control over your music production. It also comes with a variety of software presets that you can use to get started right away.

The Best Value is for the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 Keyboard Controller, it has everything you really need, plus the 3-year warranty protects you from money loss.

Finally, the compact Akai Professional MPK Mini MK III Limited Edition has 25 keys, USB connectivity, and MPC Beats Software – all of which make it perfect for music production. Plus, it comes with a Complete Music Production Starter Kit so you can get started right away.

Once you have considered all of these factors, you can then make your decision and start making music with one of the best keyboards for making beats.

References

1.
The Complete Guide to Choosing a MIDI Controller  — Pro Audio Files
An article on how to choose the best MIDI controller for your music production needs.
2.
MPK mini
Quick strat guide.
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