One of the most popular digital audio workstations (DAWs) among studio and live musicians is Ableton. The software is designed to be convenient and easy to use, especially during live performances. While Ableton can be used with a computer keyboard, a midi controller makes it possible to do so much more. Not only will the best midi keyboard for Ableton give you more options for mapping, you can also access preset synths and various sample tracks. With so many different midi keyboards to choose from, finding the best one can get confusing. To help you find the best midi controller for Ableton we have created this informative buying guide so you can find the right keyboard to record and edit all of your musical compositions.
What to look for when buying a midi controller for Ableton?
Number of Keys
One of the first aspects to consider is the number of keys you need on the midi controller. Keyboards with 25 keys are portable and ideal for beginners, while models with 49 keys can play a full musical chord. Larger keyboard controllers can have 61 or 88 keys and often offer a wide array of different features and options.
The way the keys feel when you touch them should also be considered, since it can affect the way you play and use the midi controller. Weighted keys are designed to feel and respond like those on a traditional piano, while semi weighted keys are often preferred by beginners. Semi weighted keyboard controllers are often less expensive than other models.
Most midi keyboard controllers have additional features that can include drum pads, sliders, and Q Link knobs. Some controllers also have assignable faders and are bus powered for easy portability. You can even find midi keyboard controllers that include additional music software along with Ableton.
Considered the best midi keyboard for Ableton the 49 key controller is also compatible with other musical software. The keys are semi weighted for a faster response time that is ideal for inserting fast tempos and beats. The keyboard controller can be easily attached via USB to your Mac or PC, and it can also be synced to your iPad so you can record almost anywhere. The keyboard also includes 16 launch pads for triggering loops and drum beats. There are 9 faders and buttons, along with 8 knobs for complete control over mixing, and DJs enjoy being able to add special effects with the assignable sliders. The complete and comprehensive control that you get from this midi keyboard controller make it a favorite of DJs and professional musicians.
M-Audio Keystation 61 USB Keyboard MIDI Controller
Piano players and beginning digital musicians prefer the simple and comprehensive design of this 61 key midi controller. The 61 keys are velocity sensitive and are able to perfectly recreate the beautiful tone of a Steinway piano. Along with 61 piano style keys there are modulation and pitch wheels which let you bend tones, and a sustain pedal for even more expressive musical compositions. The midi controller is powered via USB, and connects directly to your computer so you can mix, record, and play in real time. The keyboard controller also includes transport controls that let you record, play and perform along with the Ableton software without having to use a track pad or computer mouse. With the ability to control virtual instruments and capture the rich tones of a piano it is easy to see why many composers prefer this affordable midi keyboard controller over other models.
Compact and portable, it is the best midi controllerfor Ableton and is a favorite among musicians who frequently travel. There are 25 keys for mapping, along with a thumb stick for bending pitch and changing modulation. You also get the advantage of being able to add drum beats and trigger loops with the eight drum pads. There are 8 Q link knobs that are assignable, and with two banks the possibilities are endless at what you can create and record with the keyboard controller. The keyboard works seamlessly with Ableton software, and almost all of the other popular DAWs. The midi keyboard controller is also preferred by desktop music producers for its ability to professionally produce unique sounding tracks and other musical compositions even without the use of a DAW.
The 61 velocity sensitive keys make this the best Ableton midi controller of 2017 for recording and performing. It also features traditional and USB midi capabilities for amazing versatility. It is compatible with Mac and PC, and can also be used with your iOS device. The necessary midi hardware is also included with the keyboard controller. With 61 keys you can control all of your favorite virtual instruments, and the modulation and pitch wheels let you change and bend the different sounds. With Ableton Alesis software included you can easily sequence and record all of your compositions. The midi keyboard controller is designed to be affordable, and is an essential tool for composing, recording and performing all of your musical creations.
Novation Launchkey 25 Mini Compact Instrument and USB Midi Controller and Keyboard
Preferred by DJs and live musical performers this compact midi keyboard controller is portable and powerful. There are 25 keys for controlling different virtual instruments, along with 16 launch pads designed to trigger loops and drums. The midi keyboard controller can be used anywhere, and also includes an app that lets you use it with your iPad. There are eight assignable knobs and seven function buttons for transporting directly to you Mac or PC. You can also insert effects and different sounds, and even build different rhythms in your tracks. It is compatible with all of your favorite DAWs, and also includes all of the necessary plug ins so you can start recording and playing all of your musical ideas.
The best Ableton midi controller of 2017 will not only include the musical software, but also all of the features you need for playing and recording digital music. This can include launch pads and sliders, along with enough keys to map all of your controls. Two products preferred by digital musicians are the Novation Launchkey 49 USB/iOS MIDI Keyboard Controller and the M-Audio Keystation 61 Keyboard MIDI Controller which both include all of the features you need to start exploring all of your musical ideas.
The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.All product reviews are for informational purposes only and they represent just our perspective. We encourage all our visitors to read what we wrote but also conduct their own research before purchasing any product. We appreciate the trust you have in our reviews!