Best MIDI Controller For Logic Pro X

The digital audio workstation (DAW) Logic Pro X from Apple is considered to be the very best in its category and is now regarded as one of the three most popular DAWs on the market.

Because Logic Pro X is such a well-known digital audio workstation, people out there are likely interested in finding the best MIDI keyboards that are compatible with it.

Best MIDI Controller For Logic Pro X

Apple is a well-known brand not just in the realm of music production but also in the music industry as a whole.

When you take a closer look at the equipment that touring bands and professional producers use, you’ll see that the vast majority of them play their backing tracks on either MacBooks or iPads. This is especially true of professional producers.

Because it is an Apple product, Logic Pro X is employed by a sizeable number of artists that create electronic dance music (also known as EDM). 

Even though Logic Pro X is a fantastic digital audio workstation for beginners, it is also extensively used by some of the most well-known music producers in the world, such as Hardwell, Calvin Harris, and Steve Angello. Logic Pro X is available for macOS and Windows.

If you look at these same successful producers in the industry today, you’ll see that almost all of them use a broad range of MIDI controllers, such as pad controllers and keyboard controllers, amongst others. But which ones are the best?

In this list, we will shoes you the top 5 best MIDI controllers that are compatible with Logic Pro X. At the end, we have also added a buyers guide so you can learn all of the vital features that you need to keep an eye out for when buying this equipment. 

AKAI Professional MPK

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included

Given that Akai Professional’s second edition of this portable keyboard is already a resounding success, you may fairly question if there is anything else that this company has to offer. In this third addition though, you will see that there are loads of improvements that AKAI has made. 

This third edition of the MPK Mini from Akai features an OLED display, an unlimited number of rotary encoders, and a brand-new Gen 2 keyboard with a more forceful response than its predecessor.

This redesigned version of the MPK Mini boasts a chassis that is both attractive, sturdy, and compact. These attributes contributed to the worldwide appreciation of the original models.

This third version of the device has a MIDI keyboard with 25 keys that have been updated to create a more natural touch, a dynamic response, and velocity-sensitive MPC-style LED pads.

The MPK Mini MkIII is designed for both experienced musicians and music producers who already own music production software. The intended audience consists of both of these groups.

Because it has such a complete software package, even inexperienced music producers may use it, which helps them with their introduction into the area of computer music. Akai’s brand-new MPC Beats producing software is bundled with this device as well.

In addition, it includes simulations of AIR Music Tech’s Hybrid 3.0, Velvet, Tubesynth, Mini Grand, and Electric virtual instruments, as well as the MPK Editor, which allows you to edit the MPK Mini MkIII’s assignments.

With the simplified and unified installer, the whole software package can be installed with a single click, allowing you to focus on creating music.

Pros

  • A modern controller for modern music – if you want the most up-to-date MIDI controller, this is it
  • Very versatile – this controller can be used to create any type of music, and can be used in almost any scenario or situation
  • Very durable – the worry with controllers is that they may become damaged easily, especially if bumped or dropped. This will not be an issue here though as this is a very durable unit

Cons

  • For pros only- if you are a beginner and are looking for your first ever MIDI controller, this is not the one for you as you will find the controls way too complicated for your skill level

Also Available At

Sweetwater.com 

Arturia KeyLab Essential

Arturia Keylab 49 Essential Controller Keyboard

Arturia has opted to reissue the original Keylabs in plastic rather than the originals’ metal and wood to reduce the price.

Even though there have been some downgrades, they still have a huge amount of excellent and easy-to-use controls, an LCD screen, and a variety of applications including Analog Lab 2, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano Model D.

This version is made more accessible to a wider audience by offering it in variants with 49 and 61 keys and by slashing its price significantly; however, it still faces stiff competition from a large number of other products in the market.

It retains several buttons, two wheels, octave control buttons, and transpose control buttons that were found on the previous model. These include nine rotary encoders and nine faders, but only eight of each in the pads. Nonetheless, they are illuminated and can show numerous colors.

It features some sides with a wood grain texture so as not to completely depart from the “vintage” appearance that has been typical of their keyboards.

Within the supplied program, Analog Lab 2 includes 5000 sounds. These sounds are supplied by Arturia’s V Collection software products. These software packages simulate digitally to imitate old keyboard and synthesizer models.

The purchase of these drivers includes three software programs: UVI Grand Piano Model D, Ableton Live Lite, and the respective free versions of these apps.

Pros

  • Cheap- compared to their previous models, this MIDI controller is a lot cheaper
  • Software included – this is excellent as you will not have to make a separate purchase for the software, meaning you get started right away
  • Chord play feature – trigger the chords with just one tap
  • USB compatible – makes transferring music a lot easier

Cons

  • A lack of features – two key features, the breath-controller input, and the aftertouch, are not available on this model. This was most likely done to lower the cost of this controller

Also Available At

Sweetwater.com 

Akai Professional MPK249

AKAI Professional MPK249 - USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 49 Semi Weighted Keys, Assignable MPC Controls, 16 Pads and Q-Links, Plug and Play

Compatible with Logic Pro X, the Akai Professional MPK249 is meant to be an all-in-one controller. This makes it a fantastic choice for both home studio music composition and live performances.

It offers a variety of capabilities that allow experts to produce the music they wish, and it is easy to master for beginners who are just beginning their careers in music creation.

This MIDI controller has 49 semi-weighted full-size keys that are combined onto a keybed fashioned to resemble a high-quality piano. Despite the instrument’s drastically reduced size, the feeling of playing a piano is realistic.

These keys are velocity-sensitive, meaning they respond differently according to how hard you push them while playing. They also have aftertouch, which enables a significantly more dynamic performance. 

When you employ the Octave Up and Down settings, your ability to execute harmonies, baselines, and a broad range of other musical aspects is enhanced.

In addition, there are eight assignable faders, knobs, and switches, sixteen MPC-style pads with RGB feedback, and some onboard transport buttons that increase the faders, knobs, and switches to a total of 24 each.

There are also four pad banks, bringing the total number of pads to 64. All of these elements include a choice of lighting settings to aid with organization.

This Akai Professional MIDI controller comes with a USB cable to connect to your computer, which then powers the keyboard while you play. Unlike previous controllers, this one does not have a standard power cable.

Pros

  • Touch-sensitive keys – how hard you press the keys will impact the sound that you create, meaning that you can create a more dynamic and unique performance 
  • Stong – this is a very durable controller and will survive a few knocks and bumps
  • Customizable – you can make this controller work perfectly for you by adding or taking away components so that it fits more with your music style 

Cons

  • Expensive – this is a very pricy controller, but for what you get, the price can be justified somewhat

Also Available At

Sweetwater.com

Novation Impulse 49 USB Midi Controller Keyboard

Novation Impulse 49 USB Midi Controller Keyboard, 49 Keys

The Novation Impulse 49 USB MIDI Controller Keyboard offers a variety of benefits to individuals who prefer making their music on a keyboard. It employs the Automap 4 Control Software, which works practically flawlessly with Logic Pro X, Pro Tool, Ableton, and a huge number of other apps.

This program allows you to rapidly map all of the knobs, buttons, and faders in your music studio so that you may use them to their full potential to produce the sounds you choose. Additionally, you may assign each control independently with this program.

The shape of the keys is that of a full-size piano, allowing you to easily transition from playing a piano to playing the controller. Additionally, they are semi-weighted and feature assignable aftertouch, both of which are meant to enhance your performance and musical expression.

Each of the eight high-quality drum pads incorporates the aftertouch function and is sensitive to the player’s drumming velocity. These pads include backlighting comprised of three distinct colors of LEDs and a range of unique features, such as rolling rhythms and warping arpeggios.

In addition, the gadget features a few buttons, eight knobs, nine faders, and a distinctive LCD. This control panel, which is positioned in a convenient area, allows for simple modification and regulation of all features.

The Impulse does not require a separate power cable because it obtains its power from a linked USB port. In case you need them, there are also ports for receiving and transferring MIDI data as well as inputs for expression and sustain pedals.

Pros

  • Aftertouch – the various pads on this device respond to how hard the user is touching them, meaning more dynamic play is available
  • Very good key and pad response – when it comes to devices like this, the last thing you’d want is a lag between when you push a key and when it responds. That is not an issue here and all of the controls are very responsive
  • Many controls – there are several controls on this device, meaning that you will have everything that you need to create good music

Cons

  • Music may sound muffled or gritty – some users have reported that the faders especially on this divide may make the overall sound of the music sound a bit faded

Also Available At

Sweetwater.com 

Nektar Panorama P6

Nektar Panorama P6 - USB MIDI Controller Keyboard with Nektar DAW Integration, White, 61 Keys

The Nektar Panorama P6 MIDI controller keyboard will be an asset to any home recording studio due to its modern appearance and user-friendly functioning.

In addition to being compatible with Logic Pro X, it is also compatible with Cubase, Control Bigwig Studio, Reason, and a vast variety of other applications.

This keyboard controller contains 61 weighted and velocity-sensitive keys. This makes the down weight equivalent to that of an acoustic piano, but without the finger fatigue, allowing you to play for a far longer amount of time. In addition, there are five velocity curves, allowing for a wider dynamic range. 

The keyboard contains assignable wheels for pitch bend and modulation, buttons for octave shift, and five separate keyboard maps that can individually remember your settings.

This model also includes an extensive array of control choices. The motorized 100mm ALPS fader is touch-sensitive and enables channel control for professional mixing consoles. As you switch tracks or adjust the level of the currently playing music, the fader will move.

Each of the 12 pads is sensitive to both velocity and pressure, and seven distinct velocity curves are provided. Additionally, there are ten LED buttons, nine 45mm faders, and sixteen encoders that may be individually assigned. 

This controller can keep up to 20 different settings as presets, so you won’t have to go through the hassle of resetting everything every time you sit down to play.

Nextar’s connectivity options include a USB port, a USB Micro B connector, a foot switch 14-inch jack input, and an expression pedal 14-inch jack input. Moreover, it contains a USB port.

Pros

  • High-quality build – this contorller only uses the very best materials to give you an excellent and high-quality build that should last you a very long time
  • Excellent software – this software has everything you need to make good music, and is compatible with several applications. So no matter what you work with, this controller will be right for you
  • Modern design – if you want a controller that not only works well but also looks cool, then this is an excellent choice for you

Cons

  • Pads are a bot still – you may notice that the pads may feel a bit tight or stiff while using them

Also Available At

Sweetwater.com

Buyers Guide

Number Of Keys

When looking at the different MIDI keyboard controller options, you’ve likely noticed that their key counts vary. Some may have 25, while bigger ones have 61.

There are also MIDI keyboard controllers with 49 or as many as 88 keys, the most keys found on products of this type. The number of keys that you need will be down to your personal preference. 

The Controls

Some of the MIDI keyboard controllers have a plethora of pads, buttons, knobs, and faders, whilst others are far more basic. All of these characteristics may look overwhelming to a newcomer, yet each has a purpose.

The controls on the device will let you add other sounds to your composition, although the keys produce classic piano sounds.

The pads are often used to provide drum beats to your songs; however, you may also use your software to include other sounds, melodic phrases, and other features. This offers more dimension to your song.

For performance control, there are extra faders, knobs, buttons, and arpeggiators. All of these controls can be mapped to the Logic Pro X software, allowing you to modify settings and add new components while on the move.

Not everyone demands all of these choices, so if you are looking for a MIDI controller with less functionality, the Korg NANOKEY2BK might be a good choice.

Additionally, you should be aware that the more buttons and controls a controller has, the more expensive it will be. Those on a tight budget or who don’t want all the bells and whistles to create incredible music might opt for simpler designs.

Weight And Dimensions

The weight and size of the best MIDI keyboard controller for Logic Pro X are significant for several reasons. If you intend to set and leave your controller on a desk, the weight will not be a big consideration.

It is relevant if you’re doing live performances though. It will be more difficult to get all of your stuff to your destination the more weight you carry

Transporting recording equipment also requires careful consideration of its size. To travel securely with a heavy item, you will need a special carrying bag or a large suitcase.

Smaller models can fit in a bag, allowing you to transport them together with your laptop. Proportions are as crucial for residential usage, especially when space is restricted.

Vinnie

I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

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