Best Keyboards for Making Beats

Beats are needed in music to give a catch to the listeners. Both hip-hop and the EDM genre demand fun beat in it. Though hip-hop is in at the moment, we can’t overlook the value of EDM in having appropriate beats. In order to put a beat, a musician needs a properly functioning keyboard with flawless performance, outstanding build, and portability. The number of keys will determine the intensity of the beats in music. With all these factors, the following article holds a lot of details you don’t want to miss.

Buying Guide of Best Keyboards for Making Beats

Keyboards are an inevitable instrument for musicians. The excellent beats that are produced via keyboards are to die for. We have tried our best to curate a list including the best keyboards for making beats available in the market now.

With the affordable price tag, velocity keys, and advanced technology- the keyboards mentioned are amazing.

But, you still need to look into some essential features to find the best one for you. Spending money on something that won’t be meeting your needs is nothing but a waste. To save you from this hassle, let’s go through some important factors that you need to keep in mind before buying a keyboard for making beats.

Price

The more the number of keys, the higher the price. However, a keyboard is somewhat an affordable product. You don’t have to break your bank account for this. On average, you might have to spend between $90 and $250 for a keyboard from our list. Depending on the brand value, technology, and size, the price may vary. 

Number of keys

We know there are several key options available. Typically, the number of keys varies from 25, 32,37, 61 to up to 88 keys.  Some models have keyboards of every key size. You must consider how many keys you want. This determines your intensity of making beats. Some music producers would like more keys, some may like fewer keys. From an expert’s view, fewer keys with more pads help create better and more beat. 

Brands

There are quite some brands in the market renowned for manufacturing the best keyboards, be it for making beats or as MIDI controllers. Some brands offer keyboards that are best for Ableton, some offer keyboards best for a pianist. 

Novation makes keyboards that are absolute powerhouses, creating brilliant fun beats. AKAI, another popular brand, makes keyboards used worldwide by professionals. The brand Roland makes affordable but good quality keyboard controllers which are widely spoken of in the music world. 

Choose any that fits your requirements. However, as per brand value, Novation took everyone by a blow. It has come a long way ever since providing high-quality keyboard controllers in various series. 

Beginner vs. Experienced

It is obvious that beginners and experienced will not use the same keyboards for making beats. The professionals use it for live stage performances whereas beginners probably sit at the corner of their room trying to create some random beats. 

A lot of the keyboards on our list are beginner-friendly. A combination of both is the AKAI Professional MPK249. This can be used by both beginners and experienced. 

However, experienced ones like their key beds better than the piano. But, MIDI keyboard controllers have fewer keys and weak key beds. So MIDI keyboards aren’t for experienced ones making beats.  

Performance

It needs no saying that performance is based on the price we pay. The expensive the product is, the more is it filled with features. Performance widely depends on the features and technology a keyboard is built with. 

Most keyboards in our list don’t compromise performance. In fact, we have added more affordable products that offer similar performance to the expensive ones. 

The velocity keypads, knobs, and interface of the beat-making process make all the difference while checking the performance of various keyboards.

Best Keyboards for Making Beats in 2021

Product Name
Features
Price Range
Buy Now
AKAI Professional MPK249
  • Has a mini version
  • Easy navigation on the control screen
  • Versatile and affordable
$$
Novation Launchkey 49
  • Compatible to Ableton
  • Available in 3 key style
  • Works without power supply
$
Alesis VI49
  • Available in 3 key sizes.
  • Well-built with a sleek design
  • Has 16 velocity-sensitive trigger pads
$$
Arturia Keylab 49
  • Has a beautiful build quality
  • Features Analog Lab VST
  • Best for professional uses
$$$
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49
  • Weighs about 8 lbs.
  • Has 8 touch-sensitive knobs
  • Has a mini LCD screen
$
Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII
  • Available in 3 colors
  • Has 8 assignable Q-link knobs
  • Include pro-software suit
$
Novation 61SL  MkIII
  • Compatible with Pc and Mac
  • Has 16 velocity sensitive pads
  • Has 61 velocity sensitive keys
$$
Korg KRONOS2 88 Key
  • Has a double-sized SSD
  • Multisized, has 88 keys
  • Features the enhanced SGX-2 Grand Piano Engine
$$
M-Audio Oxygen 25 IV
  • Portable and affordable
  • Compatible to Ableton live lite
  • Compatible with Mac and PC
$
Roland FA-08
  • Available in 3 key sizes
  • Has 16 backlit pads.
  • Lightweight and portable
$

 

Keyboards for Making Beats1. AKAI Professional MPK249

Amazon Link Here 

Starting with the popular keyboard in the music world- the AKAI MPK249. This is an affordable and versatile MIDI controller. With 16 easy-to-use drum pads and a control screen for navigation, it is a beginner-friendly controller. It comes with quite some software for users to explore and build sound.

This keyboard is a combination of core technologies, enhanced workflow, and deep software integration, and from the iconic line of MPC workstations. You definitely need it in your workstation as a beginner musician.

Pros:

  • Has 21 and 61 keys size
  • Performs like a professional keyboard
  • Compatible with Ableton Live Lite
  • Great for beginners 

Cons:

  • Some users complained of the portability. 

2. Novation Launchkey 49

Keyboards for Making Beats

Amazon Link Here 

Are you looking for an Ableton-friendly keyboard? If yes, this is the one for you. This MIDI keyboard controller integrates with Ableton live immediately. With 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads, navigation and control buttons, and 8 knobs- it has software for Mac and PC.

It also has other software included besides Ableton live. If you are looking for a MIDI keyboard that doesn’t break your bank and yet works well with all DAW’s, go for this. 

Pros:

  • Offers a warranty of 3 years.
  • Completely USB powered. 
  • Offers the quickest way to make electronic music. 

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have speakers

3. Alesis VI49

Keyboards for Making Beats

Amazon Link Here 

The Alesis VI49 comes with a 49-key USB MIDI keyboard controller. It has 16 pads, 16 knobs, and 48 buttons. The keys are semi-weighted and square in front.

It allows you to manipulate plugins with manual controls. The virtual synthesizers and adjustable volume activate effects and mixes on the keyboard. 

Pros:

  • Has illuminated RGB for beat productions
  • Has an LED screen for navigation
  • USB powered
  • Compatible with Mac and PC

Cons:

  • Not versatile

4. Arturia Keylab 49

Keyboards for Making Beats

Amazon Link Here 

Looking for an all-encompassing MIDI controller that will help you create beats as you desire? The Arturia Keylab 49 is for you. It is the most sleek-looking keyboard in the market. Starting from the packing to the advanced technology, this is an all-in beatmaker. It is a beginner-friendly, easy-to-use keyboard.

This has 49 velocity-sensitive keys and 16 velocity-sensitive touchpads. As if all these features weren’t enough, it has 3 different software including 6500 sounds. 

Pros:

  • Premium quality keyboard
  • Best for professional uses
  • Compatible with any DAW

Cons:

  • More on the expensive side

5. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49

Keyboards for Making Beats

Amazon Link Here

Native Instruments is a well-known brand for all the music gears it manufactures. The Komplete Kontrol A49 by a popular MIDI controller that allows using of plugins as per your preference. If you want to start learning to make beats, you can go for this. This allows easy learning of DAW.

Besides, it has a small LCD screen for navigation purposes and a selection of sounds via plugins. This is a good option for musicians to keep at home or studio. 

Pros:

  • Integrates native instrument plugins easily
  • Affordable in the price range
  • Compatible with Kontakt software.

Cons: 

  • Not portable for performance.

6. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII

Amazon Link Here 

The next one on our list is the Akai Professional MPK mini MKII. It is a great keyboard that creates any beat for you. With 25 velocity action keys, this has the perfect melody delivery, thanks to the octave.

Having 17 buttons, you can just plug and play. This offers maximum portability and needs no software drivers. It also offers dynamic modulation and pitch control. 

Pros:

  • Has innovative 4-way thumbstick
  • Has adjustable modes, regulations, and ranges
  • Powered with USB

Cons:

  • Not the best design
  • Not the best for live performance

7. Novation SL MKIII 61

Amazon Link Here

Experience the luxury of creating beats like never before. It is a very powerful keyboard making laying beats easier. It allows you to control the hardware syths like no other keyboard. Having 4 different key styles, you can easily access to Deep Ableton Live Integration.

Novation has a great brand value and not even one model from their series was a disappointment. Most professionals use keyboards from Novation and you can give it a try too!

Pros:

  • Has 3 chord modes
  • Has a powerful appregiator
  • Has rotary encoders and faders

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have speakers.

8. Korg KRONOS2 88 Key

Amazon Link Here 

If you follow the hip-hop culture and stage performances, you might know the Korg KRONOS2. It is widely used in the hip-hop genre. This powerhouse of a keyboard has 9 different sound engines and an LCD screen for navigation.

The advanced technology in the keyboard ensures musicians produce refined sound. It is an excellent keyboard with great quality of sound. At the price that it comes at, it is definitely a good purchase. 

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Affordable
  • Color TouchView display
  • Features touch drag on the screen 

Cons:

  • Needs an external phantom power supply.

9. M-Audio Oxygen 25 IV

Amazon Link Here 

Looking for a compact keyboard with some great performing ability? Well, M-audio Oxygen 25 IV is the one for you. This super popular keyboard has a sleek design with standard-sized keys. It has 8 drum pads, 8 knobs.

Additionally, it has a pitch and modulation wheel. With such a price tag, it offers great features to explore. However, it has some difficulties with adjustability. 

Pros:

  • Best 25 key controller
  • Travel friendly
  • Compatible with sonivox twist

Cons:

  • A little heavy compared to the other 25 key controllers.

10. Roland FA-08

Amazon Link Here

The last one on our list is the Roland FA-08. This is quite an affordable option on our recommendation list. With the most basic features being present, this is one lightweight keyboard. The selling point of this keyboard is the ivory keys. It allows customization to tweak and tune sound according to your choice.

The D-beam synthesizer allows great sound quality just by placing a hand over the sensor. You don’t want to miss out on all these, that too with such a low price tag.

Pros:

  • Has built-in appregiator
  • Has Roland staple D-beam synthesizer.
  • Offers customization on the workstation

Cons:

  • The key bed is not up to the mark.

Some keyboards have a piano background, some are more versatile. In this article, we have more versatile options suitable for making electronic music and beats.

With all that being said, our favorite from the list is the AKAI Professional MPK249. It is one hell of a keyboard. The popularity it has due to flawless performance is all worth it. And, the affordable price tag is a cherry on top. 

Lastly, all the keyboards have their own specialties. It is for the musician to decide which feature is a must-have for him. We hope you found your ideal keyboard for making beats from the ones we enlisted.

You can also read about Best Keyboards with Touch Sensitive Keys

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