Since the Apple Logic Pro music production software, it has been a huge hit to music creators. But to be able to use it to the fullest, you need the perfect MIDI keyboard controller. Searching the right MIDI controller for Logic Pro X is not just a critical task that must be taken seriously. After all, it is an investment that will allow you to create the best music using Logic Pro.
MIDI keyboard controllers have become really popular these days. Its technology has improved a lot, which is why it isn’t surprising that many musicians are switching to a digital setup. But with so many MIDI keyboards to choose from, it is challenging to find the best MIDI keyboard that will suit what you need. On that note, this review article introduces to you the top 5 MIDI Controller that is best for your Logic Pro X software.
- Novation Impulse 49
- Akai MPK249 MIDI Keyboard
- Midiplus AKM320 Keyboard Controller
- Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S-25
- Novation Launchkey 61
let’s take a look of this list below.
Several reasons make Novation Impulse 49 at the top of this list. First, this new keyboard has it all figured out when it comes to smoothing some of the problems with the brand’s automapping software. Impulse 49 also has polished keys and overall build, therefore giving you a nice feel. It features semi-weighted keys with aftertouch that are perfect for professional players and even picky ones.
The nice feeling of Impulse 49 also extends to the production setup and playing live using the keyboard with Logic Pro X. One of the biggest features of the keyboard is the new version of the Automap 4 software. The software works well with Logic Pro X although you would need some learning to do. Another great feature of the keyboard is the multi-function drum pads.
They are comfortable and natural to use allowing you to roll beats and warp arpeggios all you want. When it comes to controlling surface, the keyboard comes with an LCD screen, 9 faders, 8 knobs, and some buttons that gives just enough controlling capabilities. Along with the Ableton Live Lite that gives you an option if you’re not using Logic Pro, the Novation Impulse 49 is one of the best MIDI controllers that work for a lower price.
- The software, AutoMap, features templates that fit Logic Pro X and other third-party plugins
- Helpful and straightforward menus that allow better control
- Solid build and keypads, as well as tactile knobs and sliders
- Slow reload of the drum pads
- Lack AAX support
- Limited option for the roll function
If it is a professional grade MIDI controller you are looking for, the Akai MPK249 MIDI controller is one of the top options. This controller features 49 semi-weighted keys, which gives the nice feel that picky players like. Another feature that makes MPK249 popular is the fact you can connect it to numerous output devices. With that, it is easy to listen to music anytime and anywhere you like.
MRK249 MIDI controller comes with deep software integration. It also has a comprehensive interface, which allows you to operate or make changes to the instrument easily with the use of the controller. This MIDI controller boasts of amazing features such as the virtual synthesizer for comprehensive futuristic manipulation, velocity sensitive keys, and high compatibility with various types of software.
- Stable build
- Assignable functions
- Hefty software bundle
- Drum pads with LED lights
- Clear screen and comfortable keys
- Portable size
- Flawless mapping in all DAWs
- A bit expensive
- Fancy drum pads but not improved in quality concerning pressure sensitivity and velocity
- More of the same features, nothing too innovative
At number 3 is Midiplus AKM320, a 32 mini size keyboard controller with a great collection of features to integrate with Logic Pro X. The most notable features of the controller include the Volume Slider, Modulation Wheels, Pitch, Octave Buttons, Sustain Pedal Input, and Transpose Buttons. All of these features allow you to manipulate Logic Pro X easily to produce great music.
One of the most significant advantages of this controller is the fact it is so easy to power up with only a single USB cable to connect to a host device. It is even made easier for new users since the keyboard comes with a manual. AKM320 is compact, weighing around 1.6 pounds with dimensions of 18.1 x 4.9 x 1.2”. In using this small keyboard controller, you can rest assured of guaranteed compatibility with apps that support MIDI input.
- Simple packaging including a USB cable
- Transpose and octave button
- Works on various OS platforms
- Affordable price
- Hard to press and mushy keys
- No MIDI connection
The Komplete Kontrol S-Series keyboard controller from Native Instruments is one of the top lines of MIDI controllers. Among this line, Komplete Kontrol S25 is an innovative instrument noted for its expressive, intuitive and inspirational qualities. These qualities are brought by its superior features, particularly the touch strip controls and clear view display.
More than that, users praise its ultimate 25-key keybed, which helps in easy usage of the controller. The keyboard comes with flawless integration between Komplete Instruments and Komplete Kontrol software. Thanks to this, the controller can offer supreme quality and feel when used with Logic Pro X. With its excellent features, higher quality, and nice feel, many of its users never fail to say it is worth every dollar.
- The clear and beautifully designed display control input
- Professional-looking keyboard and feels light to use
- Effect slider has dual wheels, which is nice
- Doesn’t have drum pads, which limits the finger drumming
- Might need an additional power source
- Doesn’t have hammer action
Novation has many MIDI keyboard controllers for Logic Pro X where you can choose from, and aside from Impulse 49, Launchkey 61 is one of the top options. One of the reasons behind its top position is its excellent price. Launchkey 61 is only one of the versions, as the series also have a 25, 49, and 25-key mini version. This controller is also from the 2nd generation, which has improved a lot from its predecessors.
When it comes to features, this controller has many – 8 knobs, 16 velocity sensitive drum pads, mod wheels, transport controls for DAW, 9 sliders, pitch bend, and more. If it is about features, it is without a doubt one of the top MIDI controllers, although some might say the feel of using it is only good, not really great. It isn’t a deal breaker, and the build quality can be better. However, it tops the competition within its price range.
- The weighted keys and synthesizer gives a nice feeling
- The velocity pads offer amazing visual live feedback
- InControl is in perfect sync with HUI Emulation Mode
- Upgraded color-lit pads and synth-action keys
- Convenient Ableton Live Integration
- The keys are narrower, which might not appeal to users who like piano-style weighted keys
- The options for Non-Ableton Live are unable to be modified, according to some users
- Plastic elements of the keyboard offer reduced reliability and sturdiness
- Fingerprint scanning and other systems might lock you out of your account
When searching for the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X, you need to consider a number of things. You can find these factors below, which are essential criteria of the qualities that the best controller should possess. Of course, it also matters what you prefer for an instrument to use with your Logic Pro X.
Perhaps the most critical factor is your budget. Figure out your ideal price range and start looking among the controllers within that price range. MIDI keyboards can range from below $100 to over $500. You can expect that the higher the key counts of the controller, the higher the price. If the keyboard includes extra software, the price tag might also increase.
Number of Keys
As mentioned before, more keys equal to higher prices. On that note, determine how many keys you want your controller to have. The available options include mini-compact (25, 32, 37, and 49), 61-keys, and 88-keys, which is the highest that equals the actual key numbers of a real piano. The mini-compact keys are perfect if you travel a lot while the 88-keys are if you want to duplicate the look and feel of an actual piano.
Type of Key
There are different types of keys to choose from, which include semi-weighted, synth-action, full-weighted, or those with aftertouch. Whichever type of key you choose depends on your preference. Each type of key in MIDI keyboard differs:
- Semi-weighted – a combination of built-in lightweight and spring-load build for each key.
- Synth-action – the key is made of plastic, which uses springs to return them to original stance. They are quicker and lighter.
- Fully-weighted – this type emulates the feeling of what it’s like to actually play the piano. You can most find this type of key on more expensive models. They aren’t like real pianos, but they come close.
If portability is critical for you, then you need to keep the overall size of the keyboard in mind. The mini-compact keys are perfect for these. They are small and light, so it will be easy to carry them anywhere you like. However, even 49-key can be carried around when traveling. It makes 49-keys perfect for when you plan to perform live.
Plenty of MIDI keyboards today have drum pads. Some of these pads even have other sounds assigned to them besides drums. The pads are usually within 8-16 count range and have 3 to 4 possible banks. If you like the sound of drums, you can have them in your MIDI keyboard through the drum pads.
Besides these factors, you might want other functions such as faders, knows, mod, arpeggiators, etc. on your keyboard. They aren’t a must but are great additions. They may be worth your extra money depending on the kind of music you want to create. On a side note, some MIDI keyboards also include extra software bundle which you might want to take advantage.
Does a MIDI keyboard controller differ from a synthesizer?
Several things differentiate a MIDI keyboard controller between synthesizers. MIDI controllers don’t actually make a sound but send signals instead. On the other hand, a synthesizer can make sounds and can act as a standalone keyboard. Also, synthesizers can sometimes have a MIDI controller.
Can you hook up a MIDI keyboard controller to a computer or laptop?
You can hook up a MIDI controller to a computer or laptop in different ways by using the USB cable as the most obvious. MIDI controllers usually have a USB female end to be plugged on a male USB cable into the computer or laptop. Another method is by using a USB adapter. Just plug the MIDI cable into the MIDI controller first and then connect the other end to the USB adapter. After that, plug the adapter into your computer or laptop.
How do you connect a MIDI controller to your iPad?
It is easy to connect a MIDI controller to your iPad as long as it has a USB plug. What you need here is a USB cable adapter, which you will connect to the other end of the USB cable while the other is connected into the MIDI controller. Next, plug the adapter into the iPad. If you don’t have a USB port, it isn’t recommended for a MIDI controller to be used with an iPad. The reason for this is because MIDI cables have a heavier output that can damage your device.
A lot of music software today doesn’t really need a MIDI keyboard. But if you are an experienced music creator who is looking to add some human touch into your music and in using Logic Pro X, then it is a good idea to invest in a nice MIDI keyboard controller. On that note, make sure to check out the MIDI controllers mentioned in this article as they are cut above the rest.