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If you are a music producer, chances are that you have certainly heard of the Logic Pro X software. Made by Apple, this software improves the ability of producers to make a wide variety of music with ease. There are MIDI keyboards that can help with using the software, but not all of them are made equal. That is why you need to know about the best MIDI keyboard for Logic Pro X. In this post, we will review some of the best models on the market today. These come with the right combination of versatility, performance and cost to give you a great user experience.
When creating this list, we considered some very important parameters. Some of these parameters include keys, pads, controllers, dimensions, and weight. In the buying guide section, we will consider these features and why they are so important. We will also consider other important information that will help you make the right buying choice.
The first option on this list and our number model on the market is the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII. This is a very good MIDI controller that comes with a plethora of features that make it more impressive than even more expensive models. As this article focuses on the keyboards’ compatibility with the Logic Pro X software, you will have an astounding time with this model. It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or an expert user, you will certainly have an incredible time using this model.
The Akai brand is one of the most popular and trusted makers of musical instruments and keyboards on the market right now. The brand makes MIDI controllers, keyboards, and similar gear. All of the products that we have come across from the manufacturer give excellent performance, and the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is no exception.
The design of the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is one of the best things about it. It comes in a compact, lightweight design that makes it very easy to carry around. Thus, if you are a music producer that is often on the go or you have a lot of travelling gigs, you will be delighted by the compact nature of this model. Although it isn’t a full-key option, the 25 velocity sensitive keys that are found here come in pretty handy and give you a relatively large range of functions. The red accents on the unit make it look very attractive.
Using the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is delightful. All the 25 keys are velocity responsive, which will make it better in use. They come with a certain heft and feel that you will find satisfying. The 25 keys are also full-sized. Therefore, you will have enough of space to play with. Considering the size, the keys on the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII are some of the best you can find on the market right now. Using the model is easy and straightforward.
As for using it with a DAW, you will hardly find another MIDI controller, especially at this price that can handle the software like Logic Pro X as well as Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII.
When it comes to studio use, you will hardly find a controller that will give you the level of versatility offered by this unit. From synthesizing your beats to synths and other sounds, there is seemingly no limit to the capabilities of this model. One of the best things about this unit is the drum pad. This pad is easy to use, feels great, and lets you make excellent drum patterns easily.
It comes completely USB powered, which adds to the portability and ease to use on the go. You get an easy to read layout, plenty of mappable controls, and simple configuration.
What we liked: This is a feature-packed unit that is more affordable than several options on the market. The keys and pads are sensitive and easy to use. They are also great for beginners and easy to master.
What could be better: Well, the build could be better. Although it is portable, it isn’t very durable. It also comes with knobs that are small and might be a pain for anyone with big hands.
Looking for a MIDI controller that offers incredible value for money? Then look no further than the Nektar Impact LX61+. This model comes from one of the best brands on the market at the moment. The Nektar brand made their fame by producing high quality musical instruments and keyboards that are designed for integrating with the company’s proprietary software. Some of their top-of-the-line units are the best used by DJs and music producers in the industry. These models, although excellent, are often beyond the reach of hobbyists and beginners because of the price. Not surprisingly then, the brand has shifted some attention to creating budget-conscious, MIDI controllers, and that is what you find in the Nektar Impact LX61+. Although it is a budget option, this Nektar Impact LX61+ is a very good option. It comes with 66 keys and also has drumpads, knobs and faders. Many people are surprised to find this range of options on a budget option, but if you are a beginner, you’ll certainly be grinning from ear to ear.
There are many reasons why this is one of the best units on the market today. First, the full-size 61 key build is compact and trim. It is small enough to be carried around that will fit into a music studio with minimal fuss or stress. Additionally, it is bus –powered, which improves the portability since you can just connect it to your laptop and start making music.
The appearance is muted, especially when compared with the other high end units from the manufacturer. Nevertheless, although it doesn’t look as premium, it certainly feels solid and durable. Therefore, you can use it without worrying about damage. The grey finish is nice and will look great in your music rig. The only downside is that the color might make it a bit hard to use in low-light conditions.
The keys come semi-weighted which is cool and are tightly sprung, thus giving you a satisfying click when pressed. Overall, it feels nice to play.
Setup is incredible with the Nektar Impact LX61+. Although you could just plug it in and use it as a normal MIDI keyboard, this will not be making the full use of this majestic keyboard. It is designed for DAW integration, and you will find it an incredible fit for the Logic Pro X DAW. Logic installers are already provided on the unit which means that you don’t have to stress yourself downloading it.
In use, the intelligent control features are excellent and make the model so much easier to use. Using the Mixer Mode button, you will have the Mixer view pop up, which jettisons the need for the physical faders. Using Logic is especially sweet on this controller. The selectors and controls are very handy and will make your experience so much more enjoyable.
What we liked: This model boasts of an extensive array of controls and functions. The pads and keys feel so responsive and are excellent for the price. The integration with DAWs is also something that makes it stand out from other models.
What could be better: The keybed is loud, especially when you play it loudly and at greater intensity.
The Akai brand is one of the most popular and trusted makers of musical instruments and keyboards on the market right now. The brand makes MIDI controllers, keyboards, and similar gear. All of the products that we have come across from the manufacturer give excellent performance, and the AKAI Professional APC Key 25 is certainly no different. The brand has collaborated with the Ableton company, makers of Ableton Live and this has led to the production of several units that are very compatible with the software. Due to collaborations like these, these controllers achieve impressive integrations with these software. It makes it simple to map the DAW and offers other similar advantages. The latest in this line of product is the AKAI Professional APC Key 25. It is a lovely, compact, and feature-rich controller that comes at a budget price as well.
The design of the AKAI Professional APC Key 25 is one of the best things about this model. If portability is what you are looking for, then you certainly cannot go wrong with the AKAI Professional APC Key 25. It is one of the most compact options on the market. You can fit it into your carrying bag and whip it out wherever you might be. While it is made out of plastic, it is durable. Nevertheless, we do not recommend that you handle it too roughly. The design features offer good functionality too. On the side of the AKAI Professional APC Key 25 is a USB port that allows you to connect it to your MAC or PC. It comes with all that is needed for installation, which means that you don’t have to source for any drivers. In addition to that, this USB port handles the power and MIDI connectivity.
It is designed for Ableton Live, which is why it comes with mapping for that DAW. This is simple to use and understand. Additionally, it is compatible with Logic Pro X.
The keys and layout are great. It has 25 keys which are responsive and great for making music. The synth mini keys are good for simple chords and basslines. Although these are small, they feel great and are not cramped on the controller. The keybed also gives you plenty of travel. It is quite surprising that AKAI Professional APC Key 25 has a keyboard like this, but we are certainly not complaining about that. The other parts of the layout are covered by Live controls. There is a 5×8 grid of different colors that make it easy to launch your clips. You also get up to eight assignable knobs that can be customized to act as pan, volume, and control functions. During use, we observed that these knobs feel great and responsive too. Under the knobs are performance controls and a sustain button.
What we liked: This is a simple, yet reliable MIDI controller. It acts as a Live controller and doubles as a MIDI keyboard too. The keys might run small, but they offer good functionality. It is compact and lightweight which makes it a good option for anyone on the move.
What could be better: There is no sustain pedal here which detracts from the functionality. It could also have been built stronger.
The M-Audio Code 61 is an excellent controller that comes as one of the best MIDI keyboards for Logic Pro X. If you want a unit that will be useful, whether on the stage or in the studio, then you should definitely consider this model.
M-Audio has made some pretty decent controllers and the M-Audio Code 61 is the best in the latest line of controllers from the manufacture. It simply offers more than others from the manufacturer. The manufacturer is one of the best on the market and this unit proves that.
First, it comes as a bus powered unit, which means that you don’t have to look for a power outlet before you can start using it. Using a USB protocol, it is a versatile option that you’ll likely love. Aside from that, the appearance is quite attractive. M-Audio has opted for a unit with a white front panel and a five-octave playing surface. The layout is intuitive and easy to use. For instance, on the left of the keyboard is a 4 x 4 pad array and all the keys on this offer velocity sensitivity. In the center of the model is a slider bank and illuminated buttons under it. There is also a bright screen to the left.
This overall design is similar to what is found on more expensive units. After all these, there is a modulation wheel that you can assign functions to and on the far right is the X-Y pad. All of these buttons and controls can be configured to parameters that you decide.
One of the best things about the M-Audio Code 61 is the designed and feel of the keyboard. It offers you expressive and responsive feel. This is largely down to the velocity sensitivity and aftertouch design. All of these combine to give you one of the best MIDI controllers you can use.
The pads on this model are the best on this list and arguably on the whole market. There are 16 backlit drum pads that come with auto-mapping. They are also be reconfigure to any MID note number. Additionally, these pads can help you make music much faster. They feel very responsive and are simply a joy to use.
The faders and knobs here come in handy as well, especially for anyone that already knows how to make a beat. The five assignable faders improve your productivity and ensure that you have an easier time controlling the unit.
In terms of software and DAW, this is also one of the best you can find. It comes with premium VSTs and is compatible with Logic Pro X.
What we liked: This is a powerhouse that comes with several lovely features. The build quality is great and the semi—weighted and velocity sensitive keys are awesome.
What could be better: Well, this isn’t the easiest unit to master.
The Nektar Panorama P6 makes a deserved appearance on this list of the best MIDI keyboard for Logic Pro X. It comes with a feature rich performance, large layout, and functions that you will certainly find to be useful for your work and music production. Among the features that you will find include a 61 key keyboard, several controls, and compatibility with plenty of DAWs including the Logic Pro X. During testing, we observed that it works well with many DAWs from Nuendo to Main stage, and othes. Nektar has made the Nektar Panorama P6 pre-mapped for five different DAWs, so they can be controlled and accessed via the pads, encoders, and faders. Another excellent features is that there is a central display to reveal whatever parameters that you might be running or controlling. This unit comes as an upgrade to some of the older units from the manufacturer. For example, they is a mixer section, transport controls and different integration tweaks.
The 61 note MIDI controller keyboard comes with Reason integration and offers some of the best integration with workflow. Therefore, you can keep working and using your creative juices without having to stop.
One of the favorite features of the Nektar Panorama P6 is the presence of four modes. Using the switch function, you can switch between these four modes. These modes include the Mixer, Transport, Instrument and Internal mode. The Internal mode is one of the surprising features as it comes with a score of user presets, with each one configurable. You can therefore set it to controlling external hardware, DAWs and other types of software.
There is a motorized fader, mute buttons, extended transport buttons, and more. The keys number 61 and are one of the best things about this unit. During use, we found them to be very responsive. They are velocity sensitive and semi-weighted too. There are sockets for the MIDI out, foot switch and pedal as well.
One of the best things about this unit is how easy it is to play and the design. Because of the layout, it is intuitive. The Nektar Panorama P6 improves functionality and your workflow as well.
What we liked: The Nektar Panorama P6 is one of the best MIDI keyboard for Logic Pro X available. It offers you a solid build and playing. Its design improves your rate of work and productivity. Automapping is always easy on this unit.
What could be better: We observed that the instruction manual on the Nektar Panorama P6 is poor. The Nektar Panorama P6 could also be better is the technique adjustment isn’t required when using synth keys.
Controllers: 8 backlit faders, MIDI-assignable tilt sensor performance control with on/off button, thumb-controlled volume slider and reversible pitch-bend wheel
Dimensions: 35.2 x 10 x 2.9 inches
Weight: 6.5 lbs
More features: USB receiver, ProTools | First Alesis Edition and Ableton Live Lite, plus DB-33, Eleven Lite, Mini Grand, Hybrid 3, Loom 2, Vacuum Pro, and Xpand!2 by AIR Music Tech and TimewARP 2600 by Way Out Ware
The Alesis brand is one of the most impressive brands on the market. The manufacturer is responsible for the production of many high quality units that will give you excellent value for money. The Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 comes with a similar mandate is one of the best MIDI keyboards that you can use with Logic Pro X.
There are many reasons why this is a top choice. One, because of the wireless functionality, this model is so easy and nice to use. It gives the feel of playing a guitar on a keyboard. Along with the actual instrument, there is also a neck strap contained in the package. The build is great. Although it will crack if dropped frequently, it still offers a decent level of durability. The design makes it a portable option that you can carry along with you wherever you go.
While it might be a keyboard, its design is somewhat like a guitar. While this might seem odd, many users have enjoyed using it and you might as well. The previous ‘keytard’ designs were cool, but the draw back with those units was that they still had a cable attached. This greatly affected mobility. But as the Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 is wireless, you do not have that problem. It makes plenty of sense. It comes with similar specs to what you’d find in those previous options. However, there are some differences. For one, it comes in a black design as opposed to the white design of the previous model. Another important difference is that once you have put the batteries in and plugged in the USB dongle, you can move as far as you want on stage. There is no cable to limit your movements. All of this sounds really nice, and it is even better that you can set it up in a short period. It is very easy to set up.
Performance-wise, this is an excellent option that you will certainly enjoy using. During our testing, there wasn’t any difference in latency whether it is played connected to wires or not. With a range of 200 feet, you have this as an excellent keyboard. The battery life of six hours on a full charge is also sufficient.
Playing it feels great. It boasts of 37 synth style keys with velocity sensitivity. These are so great for playing and the other controls feel pretty smooth to play. Another lovely feature of the model is that it comes with an accelerometer. With this design, you can send MIDI information without pressing anything but just by tilting the Alesis Vortex Wireless 2. You can configure this feature to your best fit.
What we liked: This keyboard offers plenty of functionality. The wireless nature makes it even easier and more enjoyable to use. With the velocity sensitive keys with after touch, you have the best MIDI keyboard for Logic Pro X to use on stage.
What could be better: Although an overall decent unit, the durability could be better.
The Roland A-300PRO-R is one of the best designed units that we have reviewed and that is just one of the reasons why it makes this list of the best MIDI keyboards with Logic Pro X compatibility.
Roland is undoubtedly a top brand which is why many people trust their products. We were excited to check out the performance of this model, and we are relieved and delighted that it lives up to the standards set by Roland.
The Roland A-300PRO-R comes as a performance oriented keyboard and delivers some of the best performance at this price point and in this category. If you are thinking of taking it on stage, then you have chosen a good option.
It has 32 keys. This is relatively small, but that is the price to pay for the portability that you get from the model. There are other similar options that offer you more keys, but they are not as portable as the Roland A-300PRO-R.
Just like most of the models from Roland, the Roland A-300PRO-R comes with a smooth performance is super easy to play. One of our favorite things about this unit is that you can select from different velocity curves. With that feature, it is highly suited for synths. While it has just 32 keys, you get 45 assignable controls. Among these controls are knobs, faders, buttons and pads. The pads here are Dynamic pads that emit light when pressed. These are some of the best pads available too as they are velocity sensitive. The design of these controls makes it easy to play. They aren’t cramped and are relatively large too.
The knobs are an important part of the unit, and we are happy that the knobs here are pretty smooth to handle. However, you will not find crossfaders on this model.
Aside from that it also sports a bright LCD display, MIDI I/O, pedal connections, and USB connections.
In terms of compatibility with DAWs and software, the Roland A-300PRO-R offers good reason to be a top choice. While the unit doesn’t ship auto-mapping features, there are control maps for all the main DAWs.
What we liked: Overall, if you are a producer looking for a MIDI controller with superior build quality and features, then the Roland A-300PRO-R would suit you to the ground.
What could be better: One letdown is that Dynamic mapping only works with the Sonar DAW.
Native Instruments used to be known for the software instruments that they made. These remain great at making keyboard and synths that offer impressive quality. Now, the manufacturer has geared towards making hardware to complement their software lineup. And that is what the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 Mk2 Keyboard does.
This keyboard is an excellent option that integrates with different software and comes with functions that make it very easy for you to access different instruments from your music library.
One of the best things about this unit is the ability to automatically map the rotary controllers. The keyboard also comes with dedicated buttons that will help you to automatically map the Logic Pro X software.
The overall design of the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 Mk2 Keyboard is excellent. Although it is not as durable as what you’ll find on the rest of the options on this list, the keys are full-sized and fully weihgted and are designed for professionals. With these keys, you get a keyboard that feels just like a grand piano. Another design feature we love is the presence of high resolution screens at the top that show whatever you are doing. This makes it so much easier for you to navigate, tweak and mix sounds.
The model is accompanied by the Komplete Kontrol software, which helps to browse for and load songs and instrument sounds. One of the best things here is that audio previews can be triggered as you move through the list of instruments that you have.
What we liked: There is a lot to like here. The screen looks much better, you have the ability to browse and auto-map third-party instruments and you have some of the best integration with DAWs. The keys are also fully weighted and full-sized.
What could be better: It is surprising that there are no drum pads or slide controllers.
Although the IK Multimedia iRig Keys MINI was released some years ago, it remains one of the best keyboard controllers for Logic Pro X. this model is a 25-note option with several outputs and functions that ensure that you have an excellent time.
One of the main appeals of the IK Multimedia iRig Keys MINI is the size. It is a small, compact model, which makes it the right choice for any music producer that loves to make music on the go. Despite the small size, you get a lot of functionality. It allows you to play a wide range of notes. From playing from C2 to C5, you can move to playing other notes by utilizing the OCT up and down buttons on the layout.
There is a 1/8” TRS headphone output, MIDI I/O ports that help you to use it with your DAW. It works with Logic Pro X and is compatible with your Apple devices, MAC and PC.
The design of the keyboard is one of the nicest things about the IK Multimedia iRig Keys MINI. Although it is made of plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap. The stiff frame gives it a nice heft when pressed. The other controls are also well-made and have a nice feel to them. While these will not match up to bigger and more expensive keyboards, they are still comfortable to use and feel really nice.
As this is a very portable model, it does not come with all the buttons that you might need for smooth operation. The IK Multimedia iRig Keys MINI makes up for the limited number of buttons by providing the versatile 5-8 button. This button activates the knobs and allows them to give you more functionality.
What we liked: The impressive portability is the appeal of the IK Multimedia iRig Keys MINI. It is a small keyboard on a budget that manages to offer decent performance.
What could be better: The USB connection is useful, however, many users have complained that it is not durable.
The Korg Midi Controller (NANOKEY-ST) is a lovely option that is designed for the musician on the move. There are several useful features that you’ll certainly be surprised to find here because of the small size of the model.
Right from the packaging, it is evident that this is no ordinary keyboard controller. There isn’t a lot going on physically, but most of the excellent things about it lie under the hood. It is a lightweight option that is pretty easy to carry around. However, for such a small controller, the performance is pretty great. Korg is known for making miniature musical equipment and has hit the mark once more with this option. The buttons here are small but backlit. This offers you excellent visibility even in low light conditions. Additionally, there are LEDs that animate movement that makes for a thrilling experience in the dark.
In use, the Korg Midi Controller (NANOKEY-ST) is one of the best in this category. It feels superb. The knobs and controls offer some of the best tactile feedback that we have experienced on a keyboard in this category. There is an X-Y pad too that will help you with mapping. The modes here also give you more out of the product.
Of all the physical features, apart from the compact size, the keys of the Korg Midi Controller (NANOKEY-ST) are probably my best feature. Although the keys are on a small surface, they do not feel cramped or flimsy. Playing different chords felt very comfortable as these keys are so responsive. The pads are also responsive and they feel incredible. With these pads, you can access up to eight different scenes.
The performance is also good. The programmable arpeggiator is handy and will serve you well.
What we liked: The device as a whole is remarkable. Pads and keys feel great and responsive. If you are frequently on the go, you will be pleased that this works with USB and Bluetooth.
What could be better: Although it uses Bluetooth technology, work still needs to be done on the connectivity performance.
The MIDI controller comes in handy as a useful tool that can help you to produce music easily. In the section above, we considered ten of the best options on the market. These ten best MIDI keyboard for Logic Pro X will help to narrow your choices. In this section, we will now consider some of the parameters used in making the selection. By considering these also, you will be better equipped to make the correct buying choice.
What is the Logic Pro X and why is a MIDI controller required?
First, let us address an important part of this article – what is the Logic Pro X?
There are different software used by musicians and producers to make music. The Logic Pro X is one of these software. It is an excellent software that is used by different people, regardless of their skill level. Since it is very easy to use, even beginners can have a great time with it.
This software boasts of several features, but with a MIDI keyboard, you can enjoy even more features! Using a compatible keyboard will help you to get the maximum value out of the software. With this in mind, let us now see the important things to look out for when making a buying decision.
Features to consider
If you do not know the correct features to look out for when buying a MIDI keyboard, especially one that is compatible with the Logic Pro X software, you might end up wasting plenty of money on a device that will not serve its purpose.
Most of the producers in the industry use units that have 49 or 61 keys as that strikes a balance between functionality and portability.
Choosing a model with 61 keys is a good decision, but is usually a personal one. If you choose an 88-key keyboard, chances are that you already have experience with playing an acoustic piano. If portability is your main consideration, though, we recommend that you go with models that have a small number of keys.
Apart from the number of keys, you should also consider the features of these keys. Some of them have fully-sized, fully-weighted keys that feel like you are playing a real piano. An example of that is the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 Mk2 Keyboard. If you aren’t a professional player, though, that type of key can be intimidating and hard to master. There are other options that have semi-weighted keys like the Nektar Impact LX61+. A MIDI keyboard with that type of key is often much easier to learn and use.
Pads and Controllers
Although keys are great, pads and controllers also form an integral part of any MIDI keyboard. These crucial pieces must therefore be considered before making a purchase. Aside from the regular pads and controllers, we recommend that you choose a model with customizable controllers. This would make it easier for you to handle the equipment. An example of such a MIDI controller is the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII. With the extra controllers found here, you can do different things like making beats and recording with minimal fuss.
Type of Software
Logic Pro X software is an excellent software that you will find useful. Some of the best options on the market come with this software or the mapping pre-installed in them. An example is the Nektar Impact LX61+.
Aside from Logic, there are other important software as well that allow you to get the best from the controller. Some of the popular software found in controllers include Ableton Live and Bitwig Studio. Either way, it is smart to ensure that your controller is compatible with all these different types of software.
Weight and Dimensions
If you want to be musically productive, you should be resigned to making music in the most unexpected places and at the most unexpected times. Thus, you must consider the portability of your controller or keyboard. If you are often on the go, you might want to consider an ultra-portable MIDI controller like the IK Multimedia iRig Keys MINI. If on the other hand you will be playing in the studio most of the time, you can opt for bigger options like the Nektar Panorama P6.
Ease of Use
There are several factors that will determine how easy it would be for you to use the MIDI keyboard. One of such factors is the layout. Although it is possible to learn how to use any MIDI controller, some are easier to use than others.
Therefore, if you have the time, check out how the layout is planned. Do you feel comfortable with it? Would it be easy to use? And if you don’t have time to try each MIDI controller out, reviews such as this will tell you about the ease of use of each product.
If you find the layout difficult, it will affect your workflow and how much you would enjoy using the controller.
Some products are simply built to be more durable than others. If your MIDI controller is going to sit on a spot all day long, then you might not be too bothered about the durability. However, if you will be moving around for some time with the product in tow, it is important that you consider the build. It is better to spend a little bit more now on a durable product than buying several poorly constructed products.
Yes! All of the models that we have considered so far on the roundup are also compatible with other types of software. You can use them, not only with Logic Pro X, but with other software like Ableton Live, MainStage, Nuendo, Bitwig Studio, and others.
Logic Pro X is compatible with different MIDI controllers. You can also use it with Apple products like the iPhone, iPad (as long as you have the Logic Remote), and MAC. Logic Pro X also works on PC.
Due to the plethora of features, the portability and sheer functionality, the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is our top choice. This unit is an excellent MIDI controller that works well with Logic Pro X. It has a robust, durable construction and offers plenty of features that make it a good choice whether you are an expert player or a beginner. Our value pick is the Nektar Impact LX61+. This unit is packed with plenty of features and gives you expressive performance control that you might not find on more expensive units. It works with plenty of DAWs and works excellently with Apple’s Logic Pro X software. And the budget option is the AKAI Professional APC Key 25. If you are going for a gig and do not want to take more than two controllers, this unit comes with features that will deliver all that you want.
We hope that this review of the best MIDI Keyboard for Logic Pro X will help you to choose the best option for your music production.