Cheap Home Studio Keyboards and Midi Controllers for Music Producers

Posted In Home recording equipment - By Martha Kent On Saturday, June 15th, 2013 With 2 Comments

Building a home recording studio is not all about buying microphones and audio interfaces. We need ways to create our own instrumentals, beats, music lines, songs. There are producing programs out there that allows you to create your music line using a virtual keyboard, but you will never get the same touch and feeling by doing this. I have tried it for myself, and I could never get the song done, because everything felt so digital and fake. When it comes to creating instrumentals, I’m always staying with my Akai midi-controller. It never failed me so far.

Fact: Home Studio Keyboards are cheap these days, so you can buy a MIDI controller under $200 and still get quality and practicability. Let’s see some of the best pics that I like. I’m targeting keyboards in the price range of $100-$400.

Cheap Home Studio Keyboards

M-Audio Keystudio 49-key USB MIDI Controller Keyboard
M-Audio Keystudio 49-key USB MIDI Controller Keyboard

Before buying this keyboard, you should know that it’s a midi controller. This means you have to connect it to a PC or MAC and use a music producing software like Reason or Sony Acid Pro in order to hear some sounds. It’s perfect for home studios when you try to create instrumentals, but you can’t play for your friends with it. It features 49 non-weighted keys, no driver installation needed and works great even with garage Band. Considering the current price of this device (under $100) it gets no better than this. It has a nice feature called “edit mode” that allows you to reassign the controls to different functions on your music producing software.

M-Audio AXIOM 49 Advanced 49-Key

M-Audio AXIOM 49 Advanced 49-Key

As we move to better keyboards, the prices are also rising. But don’t worry, this midi controller is still under $300. Of course, you will get more out of it:

  • 8 programmable rubberized trigger pads
  • 8 programmable rotary encoders (controls)
  • a LCD screen for visual feedback
  • Six reassignable transport buttons

I have read the reviews for it, and most customers were pleased with their purchase. Of course, this is not for pros, but if we think again, the price is rather cheap for a mid-entry midi keyboard.

The package includes Ableton Live Lite 4 that allows you create your music for free. No need to pay for additional producing software.

Akai Pro MPK61 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Akai Pro MPK61 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Let me start with this: this keyboard is for folks with bigger dreams! This keyboard will transpose your inspiration to notes, to music lines, to music. Combined with Reason 4 (for example) is a killer combination. You will be making music like Mozart with this device.

Akai Pro MPK61 features

  • 61 keys with aftertouch
  • 16 genuine MPC pads
  • MPC pads can access 4×48 samples
  • MPC note repeat, swing, arpeggiator aid

If you buy this keyboard, you will get Ableton Live Lite Akai Edition music producing software.

Conclusion: If you plan to buy a keyboard/midi controller for your home studio, you should know that it’s a solid investment. Set your budget, weigh your options and look for the best price possible.

Bonus: I also like the Korg Micro Arranger from this home studio setup.
images source: Amazon.com

About Martha Kent - I've attended the Musician's Institute and right now I work for CoreMic Media Group. You can the other project I'm working on right now, SciNotions

Displaying 2 Comments
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  1. Warren says:

    Not a bad list. As far as inexpensive MIDI keyboards go, I like the Alesis Q series as well. They are super basic but they also are very affordable which is a huge plus!

    Great detail though :)

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