5 Best Mini MIDI Keyboards of 2024

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Shopping for the best portable MIDI keyboard is just like shopping for any other MIDI keyboard. You'll just want to make sure your MIDI keyboard is compact and fit for travel, or, has slim keys.

We rounded up 5 of the best mini MIDI controllers that fit our criteria. We considered size, weight, keys, and features such as included music software, sounds, and knobs to expand your creativity when producing music.

Our favorite has to be the Akai Professional MPK Mini Play3 MIDI controller. The MIDI keyboard has 25 mini keys and weighs less than 2 pounds. It also has hundreds of virtual instruments and velocity-sensitive keys.

Check out more of our favorite MIDI controllers below.

Quick Summary of the Best Mini MIDI Keyboards

  1. Akai Professional MPK Mini Play3 (Our Favorite MIDI Controller)
  2. Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 25-key Keyboard Controller (Best MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X)
  3. Novation FLkey Mini 25-key Keyboard (Best for FL Studio)
  4. Arturia MiniLab 3 25 Slim-key Controller (Best Portable MIDI Controller for Beginners)
  5. Akai Professional LPK25 mk2 25-key (Best Compact MIDI Keyboard Under $60)

Best Mini MIDI Keyboards

1. Our Favorite MIDI Controller – Akai Professional MPK Mini Play3

akai pro mpk mini play 3

SPECS

  • Key Count: 25
  • Type of Keys: Mini-keys
  • Weight: 1.9 lbs.

Akai has an excellent mini MIDI keyboard for everyone. It has velocity-sensitive keys, which are great for different levels and volumes in your music. Press lighter for softer quiet sounds and harder for something more loud and aggressive.

The MIDI controller features over 200 virtual instruments and sounds from AIR Music Tech's sound library. This is super helpful for those who don't want to work with additional software.

Overall, this is a great mini MIDI that's versatile and pretty straightforward. It has an innovative 4-way thumbstick for ergonomic control of pitch and modulation, and 8 backlit, velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads.

There are also 4 assignable Q-link knobs for mixing, tweaking plug-ins, and more.

We like that you can take this on the go easily, as it's under 2 pounds and can be powered by 4 AA batteries.

2. Best MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X – Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 25-key Keyboard Controller

novation launchkey mini mk3

SPECS

  • Key Count: 25
  • Type of Keys: Mini-key, Synth action
  • Weight: 1.55 lbs.

Many musicians and producers are fans of Logic Pro XT and for good reason. Logic Pro X has a user-friendly interface, is a great pick for Apple MacBook users, and is terrific for the whole production process -- recording, editing, mixing, and mastering audio.

This mini MIDI controller integrates seamlessly with Logic Pro X and offers automatic mapping of essential functions and controls within the software. If you want to start using it right away without manual mapping, this is for you. Especially if you've been wanting to give Logic Pro X a try!

The MIDI controller has plenty of controls specifically for Logic Pro X, including buttons to play, stop, record, and loop. And yes, the keys and pads are velocity-sensitive. There are also 8 assignable knobs and a touch strip for pitch bend and modulation.

There is included software too. You'll get Ableton Live Live and virtual instruments, along with various sounds and samples.

3. Best for FL Studio – Novation FLkey Mini 25-key Keyboard

novation flkey 25 key

SPECS

  • Key Count: 25
  • Type of Keys: Mini-keys
  • Weight: 1.61 lbs.

FL Studio fans will love this mini MIDI keyboard controller. The Novation FLkey mini offers seamless integration with FL Studio.

The controller has 16 velocity-sensitive pads and 8 assignable knobs for intuitive editing capabilities. The mini keyboard controller also has Scale Mode and Chord Mode which allow for simplified performance and music creation.

Just select your root note and the scale you want, and play! We think this will come in handy if you haven't quite mastered music theory yet.

4. Best Portable MIDI Controller for Beginners – Arturia MiniLab 3 25 Slim-key Controller

arturia mini lab 3 25 key

SPECS

  • Key Count: 25
  • Type of Keys: Synth action keys
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs.

We included a beginner-friendly controller that has a user-friendly layout. If you've been wanting a mini MIDI for a while, consider this pick. There are 25 slim keys that are usually a beginner's favorite part of a mini keyboard controller. You can easily handle learning on it, especially with fewer keys.

The MiniLab 3 is beginner-friendly in other ways too. It comes with Arturia's Analog Lab Intro (28 instruments and 500 presets) and the UVI Grand Piano Model D. You'll also have access to Ableton Live Lite and a Melodics lesson intro subscription.

The bundled software gives beginners a wide range of sounds and presets to jump into music production. There are also plenty of controls including 16 rotary encoders, two banks of eight backlit performance pads, and touch strips for pitch bend and modulation.

You'll also have access to Ableton Live and a Melodics lesson intro subscription.

Overall, you've got an easy-to-use mini MIDI that has plenty of sounds and assignable knobs. There are also custom DAW scripts tailored for integration with major workstations. It's truly a workhorse for anyone.

Explore more of the best midi keyboards for beginners.

5. Best Compact MIDI Keyboard Under $60 – Akai Professional LPK25 mk2 25-key

lpk25 akai

SPECS

  • Key Count: 25
  • Type of Keys: Synth
  • Weight: .99 lbs.

The LPK25 MK2 is a great lightweight and affordable Mini MIDI controller. It's under $60 and packs a punch.

The slim controller features velocity-sensitive keys for extra dynamics and expression and also has an arpeggiator feature that allows you to create intricate and rhythmic patterns with ease. It also has a sustain button for extending the duration of notes or chords.

It includes thousands of sounds and plenty of software too. You'll get the AIR Hybrid plug-in, AIR MiniGrand plug-in, MPC Beats software, and more.

Overall, it's the best bang for the buck considering the size and 10 software packs. We truly love how convenient it'll be to travel with. It weighs under 1 pound!

Best Mini MIDI Keyboards Buyer's Guide

There's a lot to consider before getting your first mini MIDI. Consider key count, build quality, and more. We'll delve into what makes a quality mini MIDI great.

Learn more about connectivity and features below.

Size and Portability

Many mini MIDI keyboards are small enough to fit in your backpack, tote, or carry-on. Make sure it's light enough though! Consider dimensions and weight.

Key Count

Think about the key count you'll want. Some have 25 keys and some have 49 or 61. 25 keys are great for beginners or for anyone prioritizing a compact keyboard for travel or storage space.

Build Quality

Consider build quality. Many brands like Akai and Roland are known for well-built MIDI keyboards that can withstand regular use.

Connectivity Options

Consider connectivity, you may way Bluetooth connectivity to easier connect with apps.

Software Integration

See if the keyboard is compatible with the software or DAW you plan o use. Some have integration options to enhance your workflow.

Additional Features

Look for features that may pique your interest and also enhance your workflow. Assignable knobs, programmable buttons, pitch and modulation wheels, and more will make your keyboard the perfect MIDI for endless creativity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between a mini MIDI keyboard and a full-sized MIDI keyboard?

Mini MIDIs have smaller keyboards and will have fewer keys, usually under 61. Full-sized keyboards have 88 keys and more playing options.

Can mini MIDI keyboards be used with iOS devices like iPhones and iPads?

Yes, a lot of models can be used with mobile devices. Check the specs to make sure. Some will need an adapter and cable to connect. Some will require Bluetooth connectivity.

Are mini MIDI keyboards velocity-sensitive?

Some are. Velocity sensitivity allows the keyboard to detect the speed and force with which the keys are played, resulting in a more expressive performance.

Are there any additional accessories that I need to purchase with a mini MIDI keyboard?

You might want to consider a MIDI stand for stability, sustain pedals, or MIDI cables or adapters for other devices.

Verdict

The best MIDI keyboard controller will vary from person to person, as key features differentiate from other MIDI controllers.

A MIDI controller you can't go wrong with is the Akai Professional MPK Mini Play3 controller. It's under $150, can be battery operated with AA batteries, and has plenty of helpful features such as octave up and octave down buttons and 8 velocity sensitive drum pads.

If you're looking to prioritize your budget, consider a portable controller from Akai as well. They have a MIDI keyboard controller under $60. The little LPK25 controller is under 1 pound, under $60, and has 10 software packs with thousands of samples, production, and editing kits.

Elevate your music production! Explore our collection of the best MIDI controllers for Ableton and take control of your creativity.

Photo Courtesy Sweetwater

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