Technology

Top 7 Best Keyboard for Making Beats in 2021

For a majority of music producers, the best keyboard for making beats is an essential component of creating music. Whether it’s about producing simple drum patterns or piano melodies, using the best keyboard permits you to be creative.

There is no denying the fact that music producers have long been using the best resources to create beats. Note that EDM and hip-hop music are both music styles that need fun beats for creating proper tracks. Quite impressively, you would find a large variety of keyboards in the market.

Also, keyboards are becoming increasingly versatile, with many of them featuring additional controls and sliders. These features would allow you to control various parameters when producing a beat. If you are a producer looking to make beats, you may want to look for a keyboard with more keys.

Top 7 Best Keyboard for Making Beats in 2021

Always remember that productivity and portability are the two crucial grading areas of the keyboards. You would ever want a keyboard that would simplify and enhance your workflow. So with these things in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best keyboards for making beats.

1. Akai Professional MPK249

Well, the Akai Professional MPK249 is the best keyboard for making beats. Well, the Akai Professional MPK249 has an excellent reputation in the music industry because of its versatile features. What’s more, its affordable price tag makes it one of the favorites of budget-conscious music producers.

Quite impressively, you get sixteen drum pads, which are programmable for producing beats efficiently. Moreover, unlike other keyboards, the control screen is relatively easy to navigate, which is an added advantage.

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Key Features:

  • The presence of core MPC tools is an added advantage
  • You get extensive production software package for both Windows and Mac
  • Assignable control is good for intermediaries
  • The presence of Q-link controllers is commendable

Highlighting Features:

  • Better LCD and DAW controls
  • VIP 3.0 and MPC software platforms offer efficiency
  • The MPC-quality pads enhance the music production efficiency
  • Keys are broader and more comfortable

Also, Akai has an excellent reputation for providing musicians with lots of software platforms. Hence, when you buy an Akai product, you can immediately start making new beats. With the Akai Professional MPK249, you get 49 keys and loads of control options.

The Akai Professional MPK249 is a proven keyboard and comes equipped with all the features you need to be a pro in the studio. Always remember that the 49-key format is quite an ideal size for a keyboard. In other words, you would have no issues carrying it around.

Note that the Akai Professional MPK249 is not for everyone. If you are a beginner, you will find this keyboard a bit complicated. But if you are a professional, the Akai Professional MPK249 has everything to express your innate creativity.

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As a professional, you would find it easy to integrate the DAWs with the Akai Professional MPK249. You also get 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads that help you to create versatile beats. What’s more, you also get an onboard USB-MIDI interface with five-pin input and output.

2. Novation Launchkey

Well, Novation’s new controller keyboard has bright lights and close buttons, making it the best keyboard for making beats. To be precise, for over two decades, Novation has been producing quality controllers and synths.

This device comes equipped with RGD-backlit pads that mimic the clip colors. In other words, it is a great-feeling keyboard controller. Also, the velocity-sensitive pads are ideal for recognizing and launching clips.

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Key Features:

  • USB bus-powered and class compliant
  • You get software for Mac and Windows built-in
  • It comes equipped with a three-year warranty
  • The three-characters LED display is good

Highlighting Features:

  • High-end build quality
  • Simple and straightforward to use
  • Ableton Live integrates seamlessly
  • Fantastic arpeggiator mode

The Novation Launchkey 49-note lies in the middle of the Launchkey series. Many also call this device a sibling of the 25 and 61-note versions. It is important here to note that all Launchkey versions feature the revolutionary Ableton live nine lite.

What’s more impressive is the fact that you get nine sliders and eight knobs to control your mixer and effects. Another highlighting aspect of the Novation Launchkey is that it is USB-powered. In simple words, you would be able to use it inside the studio.

Also, you can take this device out for gigs. Although made of plastic, the keys provide the user with good feedback. On the other hand, the faders and knobs are durable and tight. But there is a slight downside to using this keyboard.

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You cannot use the Novation Launchkey as a standalone device. You have to connect it to a computer or an iPad. First-time users will have no issues using the Ableton live. However, if you want to set the device for another DAW, it would require some time.

3. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII

Are you on the lookout for a compact controller available at an affordable cost? If your answer is yes, then the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is your best option. It is the best keyboard for making beats as it comes with a variety of versatile features.

The Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII comes equipped with a 360-degree stick, which allows for pitch control. Also, you can control the modulations with the up and down movement of the stick. Note that by default, you would find the joystick mapping the modulations and the pitch bends.

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Key Features:

  • It comes equipped with velocity-sensitive keys
  • Easy to read layout
  • An array of mappable controls
  • Akai drum pads facilitate versatility

Highlighting Features:

  • MPC essentials software can produce great beats
  • Air hybrid three synthesizer features built-in
  • Plug & Play interface
  • The four-way joystick helps you to be creative

However, Akai also provides you to control the beats through the software platform. It is worthwhile to note here that this device is compatible with iOS, Mac and Windows. Below the joystick, you would find six knobs that regulate various aspects of the arpeggiator.

Also, the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII features eight soft pads that are sensitive and smooth. Also, the pads have bright LED lights built-in. When using the device, you would find that the velocity sensitivity is better than the previous models.

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Also, operating the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is reasonably easy if you are a pro. For beginners, the controls may seem a bit complicated at first. However, beginners would find the drum pads to be much more user-friendly. On the top right corner, you would discover eight mappable knobs that allow you to control the complete equipment effortlessly.

4. Native Instruments A49 Controller Keyboard

Well, the A range of keyboards from Native instruments is a cut-down version of their S series. However, that doesn’t mean that the A49 is an inferior device. Being the best keyboard for making beats, the A49 is a smart and streamlined controller for all your virtual instruments.

You get an OLED display with the A49, which is quite vivid. Moreover, the eight touch-sensitive control regulators would help you to produce beats even in gigs. Another highlighting aspect of the A49 is its weight. It is lightweight, and hence you easily carry it with you for shows.

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Key Features:

  • Informative OLED display for easy navigation
  • Eight touch-sensitive regulators ease your job
  • The Komplete Control software platform has versatile pitches and sound-effects
  • Full VST and VSTI FX support

Highlighting Features:

  • Compatible with UB 2
  • Complies well with NI instruments
  • You get the mod wheel and pitch bend controllers, which are an added advantage
  • Availability of Ableton Live is an added benefit

Note that the keyboard is compatible with the Komplete Kontrol software platform. The plugin editing would work satisfactorily as the knobs are set to sensible mappings. Well, the A49 is designed for seamless integration with the Komplete platform.

With the Komplete software platform, you can connect any type of NI instrument in your collection. Also, you will just love playing the A49 keyboard from Native Instruments. In simple words, it feels great and offers you decent resistance.

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  • Smart, streamlined keyboard controller for all your virtual instruments and effects
  • Semi-weighted custom NI keybed
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This plug and play keyboard connects to a computer via USB, which is an added advantage. It also features DAW control over logic pro X, which is an added advantage for pro musicians.

5. Novation 49SL MkIII

With the Novation 49SL MkIII, you can take control of projects like never before. The Novation 49SL MkIII would help you experience first-class action, thanks to the expressive synth-style key bed. Being the best keyboard for making beats, the Novation 49SL MkIII comes with MIDI-in and out that exudes practicality.

What’s more, you also get two sets of the gate, CV pitch and mod outputs. Another highlighting aspect of the Novation 49SL MkIII is its ability to put software right at your fingertips. The Novation 49SL MkIII is semi-weighted and equipped with aftertouch.

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Key Features:

  • 10 kHz scan rate facilitates a super-dynamic feel
  • Built-in arpeggiator exudes practicality
  • Features backlit pitch and modulation wheels
  • It comes equipped with a three-year warranty

Highlighting Features:

  • The eight continuous rotary regulators improve efficiency
  • Compatible with HUI, studio one, reaper, etc.
  • You can sign aftertouch to any parameter
  • Mappings are highly customizable

You would also find that the velocity curve is adjustable. Another key highlight of the Novation 49SL MkIII is the presence of five LCD screens. Note that the Novation 49SL MkIII comes stocked with well-designed templates for controlling a lot of hardware devices.

Unlike other devices, the key bed of the Novation 49SL MkIII feels excellent. Quite impressively, the device has velocity-sensitive RGB pads that have polyphonic aftertouch. So as you can see, with this device, it is relatively easy to launch clips and produce drum patterns.

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The eight-track pattern-based sequencer helps you with a more creative injection. You would be able to play and edit your sequences directly from the keyboard. And as customary with all Novation devices, you would have access to an updated firmware, ensuring smooth music production.

6. M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV

Getting a MIDI controller is possibly one of the crucial pieces of equipment you need in your studio. The M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV is the best keyboard for making beats if you are a beginner. Well, the M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV is a full-sized keyboard.

This implies that there is no sacrifice of space or cramped fingers. You may think that the M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV is a small device because of the presence of 25 keys. However, it is not a compact device as it has full-sized keys with standard pitch and mod wheels.

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Key Features:

  • Compatible with USB
  • Pads are velocity-sensitive
  • You get twenty-five full-size keys
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac

Highlighting Features:

  • It comes with an array of software platforms
  • Presence of DirectLink maps control to popular DAWs
  • Plug and Play functionality
  • User-friendly setup exudes practicality

Moreover, portability is one of the major issues while buying the M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV. Compared to other keyboards, this one weighs slightly on the heavier side. In the department of keys, you would have no problems whatsoever.

It comes equipped with full-sized keys, which are a boon to work with. The M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV also features eight rotary controls for those who need them. Also, these regulators feel premium, which is a significant advantage in this age of plastics!

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However, these regulators don’t have a lot of tactile feedback. Hence, there is no chance of getting precise feedback from these knobs. You also get a lot of bundled software platforms, which are an added advantage with the M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK IV. For instance, the presence of Ableton Live, DAW, SONiVOX synth virtual synth, etc., is some of the software platforms present on this device.

7. Arturia Keylab 49

With a proven legacy of producing great software, Arturia has now released the Keylab essential package. Being the best keyboard for making beats, the device comes packed with user-friendly features.

The action of the keyboard is quite tight and cheerful, which is an added advantage for people in sound recording studios. Note that Arturia Keylab 49 can integrate your DAW providing keyboard along with pad programming.

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Key Features:

  • Lightweight profile
  • Range of connectivity options
  • It comes equipped with Ableton Live
  • 49 keys with velocity

Highlighting Features:

  • You get an array of controllers
  • It comes bundled with a MIDI controller along with software platforms
  • Control the keyboard via the MIDI Control Center App
  • Dedicated mapping editor

With the Arturia Keylab 49, you get eight mapping modes that operate the slider. You also get two factory options along with six user-programmable slots. It is important to note here that the central clickable jog wheel, along with the display, supports analog patch browsing.

And when the context is about mapping assignments, the Arturia Keylab 49 stands out from the rest. The device allows you to import, export and organize your presets without actually loading them. So as you can see, overall, the Arturia Keylab 49 is a suitable keyboard controller.

With a durable build quality and a decent set of features, the Arturia Keylab 49 can well be your all-show companion! One of the first things you would notice about this device is its lightweight profile. You would also get the familiar Arturia regulators that are brightly lit rubber buttons.

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Arturia Keylab 49 Essential Controller Keyboard
  • ALL-IN-ONE: Functions as a universal MIDI controller
  • CONNECTIONS: MIDI out, USB, and Sustain Pedal connectivity
  • COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with major digital audio workstations. MCU/HUI control compatibility

Despite being a low profile controller, you get a decent number of controls with the Arturia Keylab 49. The dedicated-map select mode is another reason behind its popularity.

Things to consider while Buying a Keyboard for making Beats

When you are buying a keyboard for beat making, you have to consider the following aspects.

Number of Keys

If you are buying a beat making keyboard, you have to consider the total number of keys. Usually, beat making keyboards are available in 25-key, 49-key, 61-key and 88-key configurations.

Type of Controls

A majority of the keyboard for producing beats come with necessary modulation and pitch controls. However, at times, you may feel the need for faders and rotary pots. With these controls, you can automate the parameters in the DAW.

Controllable via Apps

With the rise in popularity of smartphones, you may want to buy a keyboard that is controllable via an app. So before buying the keyboard, ensure that it is compatible with apps or not.

Final Verdict

As you can see, there are vast options when the context is about buying the best keyboard for making beats. If you are on the lookout to buy the best keyboard, opting for the Akai Professional MPK249 is ideal. It has versatile features and allows you to produce various types of beats.

What’s more, it is also portable, and thus you can carry it to gigs. You can also opt for the Novation Launchkey if you want to buy a keyboard at an affordable cost. This device comes with advanced features that exude practicality to music producers.

You may explore Top 7 Best Keyboard for Music Production in 2021

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