Music production has now become more accessible than ever and MIDI keyboards are at the forefront of this revolution. These versatile instruments offer a gateway to limitless musical possibilities.
This article will delve into the world of budget-friendly MIDI keyboards and introduce you to three top models that won't break the bank. Whether you're a budding musician or an experienced producer on a budget, these MIDI keyboards will surely help you on your musical journey.
Starting our journey through the world of budget MIDI keyboards is the Alesis V49. Alesis has long been a trusted name in the music equipment industry, known for its quality and affordability. The V49 continues this tradition and offers an impressive blend of features at a wallet-friendly price.
The Alesis V49 boasts a sleek and minimalistic design that exudes professionalism. With 49 velocity-sensitive keys, you have all the necessary tools to craft the perfect tunes.
The keys provide a comfortable experience, allowing for both expressive pianissimo and thunderous fortissimo dynamics. The keyboard is lightweight and compact, making it perfect for on-the-go musicians or those with limited studio space.
Where the Alesis V49 truly shines is in its performance and features. The keyboard offers a variety of control options, including eight backlit, assignable drum pads and four assignable knobs.
These features are invaluable for tweaking virtual instruments, effects, and recording parameters in real time. The pitch and modulation wheels are a welcome addition, offering precise control over your sound.
One of the V49's standout features is its broad compatibility. It seamlessly integrates with major digital audio workstations (DAWs) like Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, and FL Studio. Additionally, it's class-compliant with both Windows and macOS, meaning you can plug and play without the need for drivers.
Price: Starting from Tk18,500
Where to buy: Diamu, Music Point, Melody & Co.
M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3
Next up on our list is the M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3, a no-nonsense MIDI keyboard designed for musicians who prioritise simplicity and functionality without compromising on quality.
The Keystation 49 MK3 features a clean and utilitarian design that focuses on delivering a quality playing experience. Its 49 full-sized, velocity-sensitive keys provide a natural and expressive feel. The keyboard's compact and lightweight design makes it easy to transport and set up in various environments.
While the Keystation 49 MK3 may lack some of the bells and whistles of more expensive MIDI keyboards, it excels in its primary function – delivering exceptional performance.
It features essential controls such as a pitch bend wheel and a modulation wheel for expressive playing. The octave up and down buttons allow you to access a wide range of notes effortlessly.
M-Audio understands the importance of seamless compatibility. The Keystation 49 MK3 is class-compliant with both Windows and macOS, ensuring a hassle-free plug-and-play experience. It also includes a USB-MIDI connection for straightforward connectivity to your favourite DAW.
Price: Starting from Tk17,000
Where to Buy: Diamu, Melody & Co.
Novation Launchkey Mini MK3
Our final contender, the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3, caters to musicians and producers who crave portability and innovation. This compact MIDI keyboard offers a unique blend of performance and creative control at an affordable price.
The Launchkey Mini MK3 sports a modern and eye-catching design that's both stylish and functional. With 25 velocity-sensitive mini keys, it's the most portable option on our list. Its compact size is perfect for musicians on the go and easily fits into a backpack or laptop bag.
Despite its size, the Launchkey Mini MK3 packs a punch in terms of features. It comes equipped with 16 RGB backlit, velocity-sensitive pads that are perfect for triggering beats, launching clips, and playing melodies.
The inclusion of eight rotary knobs provides hands-on control over various parameters, making it a versatile tool for music production. Novation's InControl mode allows you to customise the MIDI assignments for seamless integration with your chosen DAW.
Novation has ensured that the Launchkey Mini MK3 is compatible with a wide range of DAWs, including Ableton Live, FL Studio, and more. It also offers seamless integration with Ableton Live, thanks to the dedicated control buttons for session navigation and transport control.
Price: Starting from Tk20,000
Where to buy: Startech, Diamu
These three options stand out for their unique strengths in the realm of budget MIDI keyboards. The Alesis V49 impresses with its comprehensive feature set and broad compatibility, making it a versatile choice for musicians of all levels.
The M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3, on the other hand, offers a no-nonsense approach, focusing on essential performance and reliability. Finally, the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 provides portability and creative control, making it an excellent companion for musicians on the move.
Ultimately, the choice among these three budget MIDI keyboards comes down to your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prioritise feature-rich versatility, straightforward playability, or portability and innovation, these keyboards prove that you can unlock your creativity without breaking the bank.