Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners 2017

Last Updated: January, 2017.

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners One of the questions by beginners is “what is the best MIDI controller for a beginner?” and “how to select the right beginner MIDI keyboard for making music” If you are just starting out, you may also want to know which software is appropriate to produce music with.

In those days when gear was extremely expensive, owning a mixer and turntables means you have to be committed if you want to become a DJ. If you are going to be spending so much on these equipment, you have to somehow commit yourself to the course.

Over the years, however, prices have tumbled. This is the period of software-based DJ technology and you can start making music with DJ controllers in no time. There are many software that will allow you to do that now.

Important Concepts to Know

Budget

One of the things you should consider while looking for beginner MIDI controller options is your budget. You have to first see if you like playing with them and how they respond to your touch. This is why it is often a great thing to try out things in a music shop and not rely totally on internet reviews when you are buying your item.

Another thing you want to consider is an old synth from the 90s. Compared to modern budget controller keyboard, you will be able to buy it cheaper. Moreover, they usually come with high quality keybeds and thus give you the ability to play with an old synth from the 90s. Though, if you are going to consider this option, you have to have the space and budget.

If these two are available, then there is no problem. The reason for this recommendation is that it is getting increasingly difficult to get good keybeds on most keyboards now. And it can be very difficult to get things like splits and aftertouch on a budget keyboard.

The disadvantages to this option is that they are often bulky and heavy, requires a separate MIDI interface to use with a computer and they are certainly going to need a power outlet. However, if what matters to you is to be able to play the device without a computer and get useful sound, then they are the best.

The MIDI Keyboard

The MIDI keyboard is a miniature controller with a piano roll. It is a beginner MIDI keyboard that is worth looking at if you are just starting out. There are many other keyboard types out there, however, this one is more suitable for a beginner. Most of the time, you will need to make MIDI notes on piano roll, this is why the MIDI keyboard is a good piece of equipment to start with. Also, it allows you to play melodies in your music.

The Sequence Pad

There are many sequence-styled controllers on the market, a great example is the Novation Launchpad. You can launch sound samples through this piece of software or use it to control Ableton Live. With a sequence pad, you can change volume, add effects, and other important things you want to do during music production.

There are no knobs and sliders on a sequence pad, so that you have limited controller over what you can do with it, unlike when you are using a MIDI controller. This is just an example of something you need to pay attention to while shopping for the best MIDI controller for beginners.

Multi-function Controllers

If you are new to music product, getting a multi-functional controller is a good step. This kind of tool will enable you to do all that you need to do all on one device. All-in-one devices can be bloated with too many features, however, they are one of the best you can invest in as a beginner.

A multi-function controller is a complete tool and will always be a good MIDI controller option for beginners because of the variety of functions, features and flexibility if offers. You can use faders, beat pads, keys, and many other features on it. This will make it easy for you to quickly learn all that you need to learn as a beginner.

Beginner Buying Tips

If you are just starting to learn how to play keyboard, your best bet is to go for a 49-key controller (4 octave). This will allow you to play with both hands. You may postpone buying a 25-key MIDI controller until you are more experienced.

However, if you are just looking at entering notes in a sequencer, then choosing the 25-key controller may be ideal at the initial stage. One of the best advice I can give you is that you should stay with companies that have been in this industry for decades and that knows how to make keyboards. This means you should be looking at brands like Yamaha, Novation, Fatar, Korg, Roland, and Akai.

These companies have been in the race for a very long time and they know what they are doing. M-Audio and other newer players in the industry are trying their best, but it’s much easier to stay with the best brands for your equipment when you are just dipping your toes in music production. Another very good place to look at is the used market and Craigslist is a great place to look.

Important Questions to Consider Before Buying a Keyboard

What’s your budget?

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners The very first thing you should consider before selecting a controller is how much you are willing to pay to buy one, especially if you are buying for the first time. There are many brands that offer basic and entry-level MIDI controllers for beginners without all the bells and whistles.

During my research into different MIDI controllers and keyboards, I have seen some of these items that cost less than $100 and some that are above that range. Therefore, your budget should determine your choice of MIDI controller.

What features do you need?

Although it all depends on your goal and aspiration, try to stay away from MIDI controllers that are full of assignable options like faders, pads, drum, etc. This is because they often cost more and often have longer learning curve, thus stifling your ability to learn fast. However, if all these features are pertinent to your work, there is no harm in getting a controller that comes with these features.

What software bundles do you need?

With newer versions of MIDI controllers coming out faster than ever, there are now several options of software bundles to choose from. Some of these items come with virtual instruments, plugins, and digital audio workstation.

If you are just starting out, you should look for a particular software to use and stick to it until you learn all the necessary details of making music with it. Ableton Live is a great software to start with if you are using a PC while the Logic Pro from Apple is the right one to start with if you are working from a Mac.

What is a MIDI Controller

A MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) allows you to play just one MIDI keyboard and trigger sounds from different samples and synthsizers. The MIDI controller was invented in the 1980s. Since then, it has become an industry standard musicians and performers for several decades. And today, it has become more useful than ever.

You can now play a MIDI controller and drive virtual instruments on your computer or iPad. You can now bring thousands of music to your doorstep with just a single MIDI controller and a Hard Drive full of samples.

Can you use a MIDI Controller in your Home Studio?

You can definitely use this in your home studio. Because of the variety of features on MIDI controllers, they can be very useful tool in your music creation arsenal. With a MIDI controller, you can monitor the performance of a single synthesizer and record MIDI data simultaneously.

In fact, you instantly switch to another sound when the current recording is done, thus be able to work faster and more efficiently. Most MIDI controllers work with DAW (Digital Audio Workstations) software that has sequencing tools that allow you to transpose, time-stretch, edit notes on a piano roll, and so on.

These tools can only be used when you have a MIDI keyboard controller and a USB cable to connect the keyboard to your computer. This connection enables you to record your performance.

How many keys do you need?

If you are okay with playing one-handed synth basses, you don’t need more than a 25-key MIDI controller. However, you need to buy either a 49-key, 61-key or 88-key midi controller if you are looking at a piano arrangement.

The most popular of these is the 49 key MIDI controllers. They have enough key that allows you to play with two hands while not taking too much desk space on your desk. Moreover, many compact MIDI controllers now exists that allows you to have access to the piano’s full 88-key range, thanks to the octave buttons that allows you to switch up and down.

What’s the difference between Weighted, Semi-Weighted, and Synth-Action Keys?

These terms all describe the action of the keys – the way to respond to your touch. The most similar to an acoustic piano is the Weighted keys. They are often more heavy and bulky and may require more force and finger independence to operate.

Synth-action keys offer less reaction and are often lighter than their Full-Weighted keys counterparts. They are mostly found on entry-level controllers and lightweight controllers. The Semi-weight keys on the other hand, often found on professional controller keyboards, fall in the middle as they are not too light or too heavy.

What Does Hammer action Mean?

There is a hammer mechanism that occurs on a typical acoustic piano. This is triggered by the press of a key where damper is lifted off the piano strings and a hammer is set to strike them. Hitting the keys harder makes the hammer hit harder at the strings, leading to a louder sound. Although there is no need for strings in a controller keyboard, the feature on a MIDI controller that manufacturers want to use to replicate that of the acoustic piano.

Not all keyboards come with the hammer action action feature though; it is only available in the higher end keyboards. Any keyboard with the hammer action feature mean that you have to press the keys harder when making lower notes and lighter when making higher notes.

What is escapement?

If you press a key on an acoustic piano slowly and lightly, you will discover that there is a resistance from the key. That resistance is brought about by the hammer that is hitting the strings. After hitting the strings, the hammer immediately retracts back to its original position and that is the point of sound – the retraction of the hammer to its position ready to strike again is the escape and what is referred to as escapement.

The escapement is what gives the acoustic piano its distinctive feel. Moreover, if you are used to playing piano, you will discover that a keyboard with this feature will feel the most natural to you than those that don’t have this feature.

What is after touch? And Do you need it?

After touch is what helps you add expression to your playing when you are playing organs, strings, synths, horns, or any other sound that you find interesting. If you are using a keyboard that has aftertouch features, you can trigger the aftertouch event by striking a key, hold down the notes, and apply more pressure.

If you are a classical pianist, aftertouch might not be very useful to you. However, if you are a synth player, you need it to control the nice expressive effects without having recourse to a modulation wheel or joystick. This feature is often only found in higher-end controllers. However, once you start using it, you will find it very addictive.

What are performance pads? Do you need them?

Performance pads are useful for laying down beats and launching loops. They are very useful for playing percussion sounds and they feel more natural to use than the keyboard keys when triggering drum samples. Some MIDI controllers come with bank of 8, 12, or 16, and you can purchase a standalone model if you want to buy a controller that does not have them.

The Best MIDI Controllers for Beginners

What are the best MIDI controllers for beginners? There are many options you can choose from. However, some are just better than others in helping you achieve your aim. Although some people recommend starting with 49-Key controllers, it is by no means the rule of thumb. There are 25-key MIDI controllers that are worth their salt.

As a result of this, I will include the best in each category – starting from 25-key controllers to 61-key controllers.

25-Key MIDI Controllers

Akai APC Key 25
Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners

The Akai APC Key 25 is a compact MIDI controller with a sleek design and a beautifully designed backlight. It does not need a power cable to use it and will not take up too much space on your desk. It has a great resistance when pushed and the faders are equally sturdy and well designed. Moreover, the faders on it are indented so that you can use it on-the-go.

The only drawback is that it only has a three color grip and the arrow keys can only be pushed by a single track, however, with time, custom scripts will be available to address this problem. With less than $100, you can add this great device to your list of items.

best midi controller

 

Acorn Instruments Masterkey 25

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners

For its price, the Acorn Instruments Maskerkey is a nice entry level MIDI controller for musicians and performers. However, it does not lack in features that are useful to the beginner. You can easily pack it in your backpack and travel with your laptop, which makes it easy to practice the keyboard on the go. It is easy to setup and is on the cheaper side going for a less than $70.

best midi controller

 

CME Xkey

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners

The CME Xkey features keys that don’t pivot, which means there is less movement when you are operating it. This therefore translates into greater speed and efficiency for the busy player. Unlike other controllers, the feel of the black keys is not different from those of the white keys therefore making for a smooth feel like the Korg.

The CME XKey comes with polyphonic aftertouch. This allows you to hold down the key, apply pressure, and the key will respond to the changes in pressure leading to different effect for each key held independently.

best midi controller

 

Behringer U-Control UMA 25S

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners
When you are looking to buy a new controller and you are bubbling with lots of requirements, it becomes difficult to settle on a controller that satisfies all your requirement. With the UMA 25S however, the case is very different.

It has low weight and footprint, comes with easily programmed presets and small keyboard with assignable functions. It can be controlled easily and quickly with minimal programming and most importantly, it is reasonably priced.

best midi controller

Alesis Q25

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners
If you are looking for a medium sized MIDI controller to use yourself and use as a tool to teach the kids, this is it. The Alesis Q25 Keyboard Controller works out of the box, easy to setup and compact so that it is easy to move around the house.

Moreover, it is not too small, has a simple interface with only basic features that will not distract the kids. Not only would it fit the bill – it is a budget MIDI controller – it is also very efficient and has been receiving glowing reviews all over.

best midi controller

 

Novation LaunchKey 25

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners
If you are looking for a decent MIDI controller in the $200 range with sturdy and durable construction, the Novation LaunchKey 25 is one of the best you can get on the market. Although the knobs and sliders are on the flimsy side, they are well made and sure endure abuse and lots of long term usage.

best midi controller

 

Korg MicroKey

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners
Just like the keys found on the MicroKORG XL, the Korg MicroKey offers 25-mini keys that are very playable. If you are looking for a nice keyboard that you can use on the road or during your leisure period and lay down some tracks on the laptop while you are resting, the Korg MicroKey is the right option.

best midi controller

 

49-Key MIDI Controllers

M-Audio Keystation 49

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners
With the M-Audio Keystation 49 MIDI controller, you don’t need any software installation to get it started. It works out of the box. In fact, you can have your first music created in few minutes after setting up. If you are using a Mac or other Apple products with it, you will like this tool because it comes in gray and white color.

It is light, durable, and will sit well on your desk. And for the price, you are definitely getting a deal on the M-Audio Keystation 49.

best midi controller

 

Samson Carbon 49

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners

The prominent thing about the Samson Carbon 49 is that the velocity sensitivity for note off and note on are fairly consistent. This means that you can enjoy consistent dynamics when transitioning from lowest to the highest velocity.

Some customers have actually complained that the keyboard feel is not something to write home about, which also makes faster fingering almost impossible. With these and other limitations, many users have found it very useful and affordable – as it is under $100.

best midi controller

Alesis V49

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners

Alesis V49 is a simple plug and play device that gives you all the functionality you need in a 49-key controller. It is fully weighted keys, lightweight, and compact. Although it is quite expensive, if you are not worried about the price, its is a nice tool.

This is not just another MIDI controller to fill your desk with. It has a solid build and design that it should fit your desk perfectly even if you are going to use it in front of your monitor. The keyboard is solid and it’s a quality product. However, if you are a piano fanatic, this product may not be for you because the performance of the velocity is not impressive.

best midi controller

61-Key MIDI Controllers

Samson Carbon 61

 

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners

 

The Samson Carbon 61 is a simple MIDI controller that will help you control synthesizers and other outboard gear in your studio, and that it does effectively. It does not require any MIDI interface or cables, just plug it and plug it to your system with the USB cable which comes in with it and start working.

It has well set keybed and they are quiet during operation. You can easily assign functions to different software, thanks to its assignable knob and sliders.

best midi controller

 

M-Audio Keystation 61

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners

The M-Audio Keystation 61 is an elite MIDI controller for performers, musicians, and pro piano players. It comes with VSTi piano instrument, Ableton Live, and Eight Eight Ensemble so that you can start playing some sounds immediately after unboxing.

While the setup is smooth, some users have found that the keybed is not arranged in the proper manner to encourage proper technique. To enjoy this unit, you have to make lots of hand adjustments. However, if you are looking for a complete package, this M-Audio model will not disappoint.

best midi controller

 

Novation Launchkey 61

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller for Beginners

The strongest point of the Novation Launchkey 61  is its auto-mapping feature. It helps make your work flow smooth. It is solidly built, easy to setup, and works well with Ableton Live 9 and above. Not only is the keyboard lightweight, the knobs also feel nice and tight.

If you are a constant traveler, you will like this MIDI controller because it is svelte and easy to use. The keyboard is not the greatest when it comes to feel, but it makes up for that with good resistance from the knobs. The faders are equally designed well, although if you are looking for an MPC feel, you may be disappointed.

best midi controller

 

Conclusion

If you are looking for instruments for DJing, you may want to look at something like turntables or other DJ controllers. Since you are going to make music before presenting it to your audience, it makes sense to take care of this first.

With the help of this article, you should be able to get nice MIDI controllers that are easy to operate, versatile, small and lightweight. And most importantly, they are cheap. In fact, if you are a complete novice, you should not ignore this aspect if you really want to buy the best MIDI controller.

10 Best MIDI Keyboard Under 200 in 2017

midi controllers under 200

One of the most important instruments you can get your hands on as a musician for music production or live performance is a MIDI keyboard. If you don’t already have one, you need to have one installed on your desk. And if you are on a budget, don’t be afraid that you might not be able to get the best one.

If you do your homework, it shouldn’t be difficult to select the right one, even at a budget price. Mind you, this wouldn’t be just any controller because it is cheap. It would be one that will not only suit your pocket but also useful for your work. Before writing this article, I have researched some of the best MIDI keyboard under $200 and I have laid it down in an easy to digest format.

In this article, you will find 25-key controllers, 49-key controllers, 61-key controllers and 88-key controllers. You will also learn about their pros and cons and where to get one if it ticks your fancy. But first, let’s clear the most important things.

Why Do You Need the Best MIDI keyboard?

People use MIDI keyboard for different things. But before you can select a MIDI keyboard that satisfies you, evaluate your needs first and understand what you want in it. Imagine buying a laptop with hidden faults. When you need to use it, it gives you problem and you are not able to achieve what you want to use it for.

Contrast with a perfectly working laptop that serves all your needs anytime you want them fulfilled. I’m sure you only want the latter. That alone will make you read and observe other people’s laptops just to be sure you know what you want in the laptop before buying it. If you want to get the best MIDI keyboard, you should do the same thing.

When you settle with the best, you are ensuring that your interaction with the instrument will be a smooth one. You will enjoy the feel the keys have on your hand. You will be laid back because you know the keyboard is made from high quality material. The keyboard will be sturdy and a high performer too. And most importantly, you will grin at the thought of being able to use it for a long time.

What Makes a Good MIDI Keyboard?

A good keyboard should not be too expensive. As humans, we usually feel something has to be very expensive to be of high quality. However, this is not always the case. The price of a product does not equal its quality. If you go to a market and you are a great comparison shopper and price haggler, you will come home with a high quality product – at a decent price. But if you are an inexperienced price haggler, you may buy a poor quality product for a big price. When shopping for any musical instrument, keep this in mind.

A good MIDI keyboard will last a long time. It does not have to be 10 or 15 years. However, a quality instrument is one that is durable and can stand the test of time. Look at the instruments of other musician, especially those you want to model. What kind of keyboards are they using? Which of the keyboards picks your fancy? And which one has stayed a long time?

A good MIDI keyboard is easy to use. Any additional feature you don’t need is a bloatware. You don’t need a controller with award-winning features before you can produce great music. Does it have basic features?  Does it require complex programming before it can be operated? Can a beginner operate and handle these features with ease? If not, look at another product.

What to Look for in the Best MIDI Keyboard

Portability

You need portability if you are a touring musician. You want a lightweight instrument if you are a live performer. And you definitely need lightness in your MIDI keyboard if you want smooth transition from one place to another. Most controllers now have all the features you need to play music and are still lightweight. Sometimes, this may be impaired if you are looking for a controller to buy on budget.

Budget

Before you buy anything, think about your pocket first. Even if you see a product with the finest features, best of prices, you can’t lay your hands on it if you don’t have the budget. Sometimes, you may not be attracted to products that fall in the category of the price-range you have in mind. And other times, you see products in this category but they are just not worth it. Before you settle on any product, make sure it has the things you want. Don’t just buy on impulse when you see a cheap product.

Beginner or Pro-friendly

After considering your budget, you need to evaluate a MIDI controller based on how people perceived it. If you know a MIDI keyboard being used by beginners, this is a sign that you will be able to use it too if you are a beginner. Some keyboards are deliberately created for the professionals. Such controllers usually come with features and functions that may be too advanced for a beginner. If you are buying your first keyboard, go with something that has basic features. And if you are a professional, you need something with a little more advance features that will enable you perform complex programming and functions.

Dimensions and Weight

midi controllers under 200The space you want to store the unit and how often you travel will determine what you buy. If you travel a lot, you want a keyboard that is not only light, but also structured well for easy storage. Some MIDI keyboard come with full-sized keys that provide the experience of playing a piano.

There are also mini controllers that feature a robust keybeds but smaller keys. If space is no problem and you suspect you would be using this device mostly in your studio, going with a MIDI keyboard with full-sized key is the best. However, if you have don’t have much space or expect to use the item outdoor more than you use it in the studio, then choose the mini.

Connection

Another important point is the connection through which you can get your device working with your computer. Modern MIDI controllers support plug and play, requiring only a USB connection to your PC or Mac. Some come with extras that will enable you power it with a power supply. It all depend on what how you want to use it.

Keyboard Feel

For some, the most important thing they want to see in a keyboard, after the price, is the feel of the keys. For others it is the most important. There is a truth in both cases. If you don’t enjoy the way the keys feel and respond to your choice, you may find it very difficult to concentrate and this will make you lose your workflow. It is important to read what other users have stated – or experienced – about the keyboard feel. If you like what they say, go ahead and buy your chosen keyboard. However, if there is conflicting views, you may have to do a deep research before you get headway.

DAW Compatibility

You probably don’t have to bother about this. However, if you are a beginner, you may want to know which DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) goes with your MIDI keyboard. To make things easy, many manufacturers now include a basic software with the controller and you don’t have to get a new one.

Modern MIDI keyboards are designed in such a way that they are mostly compatible with popular software. The popular ones are Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Reaper, and Steinberg Cubase.

Best MIDI Keyboard Under $200

M-Audio Oxygen 49 MK IIIM-Audio Oxygen 49 MK III

The M-Audio Oxygen 49 MK III is one of the products on the higher spectrum of the price range. Although all the MIDI keyboards on this list are under $200, some of them are actually cheaper than the others.

The price range for it is around $130-$160, which is okay if you are looking for a highly rated keyboard controller. If you are on a tight budget, there are other products that you can look at on this list. They are cheaper but may no have the same features as this one.

If you are a beginner with making music using digital controllers, this is a decent device at a fair price for you. The M-Audio Oxygen 49 MK III is suitable for both beginners as well as the professional musician. Therefore, if you are just coming out of college and you want to expand your music creation creativity, you will find that this unit is up to the task. Or you are a professional looking to extend your arsenal of music production tools, the M-Audio Oxygen 49 is a good one.

Additional Features

It does not have complicated features that makes it difficult for beginners to get along quickly. And the advanced features are well received by professionals users. The M-Audio Oxygen 49 MK III is easy to set up since it just requires a USB connection. There are no complicated steps required in setting up this device. It works out of the box and should give you no problem when setting up.

The keyboard on this MIDI controller is semi-weighted. If you are a pianist, this controller is not for you. Since it is not fully weighted, it may be too fast for a pianist to use. If this describes you, you need a keyboard with hammer-action keyboard, which gives you functionality that is closer to using a real piano.

Most users have also reported that the keyboard feels good and responds well to touch. It is also well built, solid, and suitable for anyone just starting out. There are only 49 keys on this MIDI controller and many has praised them for their solid and sturdy construction. The keybed is well constructed, so if you are looking for a keyboard to learn on, this is it.

The M-Audio 49 MK III works with most DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and both Mac and PC users can enjoy it. If you are using Ableton Live or Pro Tools or Logic or Reason or Garage Band, you should have no problem with using this device.  Moreover, it does not require any software to work with your computer. The only downside is that it does not come with a DAW software. So, if you don’t already have one, you may have to buy one or download a free one on the net.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

Although the keys on this keyboard are labelled, there are no buttons dedicated to programming. This can make programming awkward and maybe even difficult for a beginner. The sliders are also cheap and may not last for a long period of time. If all these are minor to you, then there is nothing stopping you from getting it.

best midi controller

 

Akai Professional MPD226Akai Professional MPD226

The Akai Professional MPD226 is one of the most expensive MIDI controllers on the list. It is almost $200 but with all the features that comes with it, you will not only like it, but you would also want to have it.

If you are looking for a cheap MIDI keyboard, you may have to look at other models on this list. But if you want one of the best in this category, you may want to choose this and that will necessitate paying more. The Akai MPD226 is a bit more for the professional and those who are into music production. If you are looking for a controller just to play music, it is better to get something cheaper as that will give you the features you need to do your thing.

But if you are looking for a MIDI keyboard with features that will allow you to produce better music and do unlimited tweak for live performances, this is it. The pads on the Akai MPD226 are superior compared to what you find on an Ableton Push or Maschine. They are thicker, well built, and easier to play. The knobs are flexible, smooth, and the build quality is great too.

Most importantly, this MIDI keyboard produces little or no rattle when in action. Therefore, it is one hell of a solid product with a decent price point.

Additional Features

Setup is also straight forward and not complicated. After setting up your device, the most important thing is playability and this product does not fail in that aspect too. With plug and play with one cable, you can avoid spaghetti cables ruining the look of your studio. The keyboard has a well structured keybed that allows for not only production but also finger drumming.

The pad have backlit so that you can use it in low light environment. You can equally change the color of the pads to match the atmosphere at any particular time. The Pad on this model is different from those of Ableton Push and Maschine because they are thicker and firmer.

And most importantly, it produces excellent sound and give you maximum control over the sounds. And with velocity-sensitive pads, you will not be bored when playing music. Unlike other MIDI keyboards on this list, this model is packaged with lots of handy software for both the beginner and advanced users. If you like working with MPC Essentials and Ableton Live, this is the right tool for you.

It comes with these two software and other virtual instruments that makes music production easier. You don’t need more than to register with the manufacturer to access these exciting freeware. The other advantage to this software is that it is compatible with all versions of Windows and Mac operating systems. This means you don’t have to go through the stress of researching that again.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

While this is a nice beautiful piece of equipment, it is not free from defects. One of the defects is the double note ghosting. This happens when you hit a note once and it plays twice. According to most reviewers and users, this happens even when you change your playing style. This could be because they keys are hyper sensitive. At the time of writing this article, there is no way to resolve this issue.

best midi controller

 

Akai Professional RED MPK MINI MKIIAkai Professional RED MPK MINI MKII

If you are traveling musician or a live performer, the Akai Professional RED MPK mini will complement your work.

It is not too big and not too small and will fit your studio desk appropriately if you are a desktop producer. It is available with lots of hardware and software options. These will allow you to interact with virtual instruments, DAWs, and plug-ins whenever you feel like creating something new.

The advantage this have over other models out there is that it incorporates most of the features a beginner will need. And is designed in such a way that the pro can tweak and turn it into a personalize tool for music creation. If you appreciate a little extra spice in your studio, you will find that this is the perfect model to add to your music creation arsenal.

It is only available in a special edition for the beginner and professional. And if you don’t get your hands on it now, it may be gone for good.

Additional Features

Whether this is your first MIDI keyboard or you already have some hands-on experience, it will really help you take your creativity to the next level. Moreover, you don’t have to download a new digital audio workstation if you don’t already have one. It comes packaged with MPC Essentials so that you can start making music out of the box.

The Akai Professional RED MPK will give you the maximum playability and expression on a portable package. Thanks to its 25-velocity sensitive, synth action keys and Arturia’s modulation and pitch control, all these are possible. It also comes with  16 encoders so that you can perform and program anywhere you find yourself.

In addition, you have direct access to 8 user presets for maximum control. It also have MiniLab, which allows you to make use of the MIDI Control Center software to map all your parameters directly from your computer.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

The accompanying software for setting up the knobs is not as easy to use. However, once you get through this, every other thing is a breeze.

best midi controller

 

Novation Launchkey 25 ControllerNovation Launchkey 25 Controller

The Novation Launchkey 25 keyboard is well constructed so that you can enjoy it for long. Not only is it lightweight, but also have a padded feet so that it does not slide on the surface. Not only is it worth the price, but is also compact and should fit in with your studio setting.

Consequently, if you are looking for for a feature-rich MIDI keyboard with a decent price, I recommend this for you.During my research into the device, I discover that most people are happy with this keyboard. This is not only because they got it at a good price but also because they are getting the best performance.

It comes with 16 multi-color launch pads that helps to trigger and stop clips. You can also launch scenes in Ableton Live with the pads.

Additional Features

It also comes with a new synth app, called launchpad app, which enables you to launch loops and a suite of other exciting softwares for iPad, Mac, and PC. The package also includes loopmaster launch pack and Ableton Live Lite so that you can play music out of the box. The keys are solidly build, firm and not too narrow. They are in a good layout and they are very good to play with.

One of the advantage of these keys is that they are better than some of the other keyboards you find in those $200 MIDI keyboards. Unlike some MIDI keyboards, it is noiseless when you are playing it. The pads are solid and are designed in such a way that random outburst of data is minimized.

With over 50 software controls and InControl technology, you can easily map the Novation Launchkey 25 to all the major digital audio workstations. It can work with a PC, Mac or iPad. It also integrates with FL Studio and Ableton Live as well as other software.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

The Launchkey 25 does not have any power switch. You have to unplug the AC and the USB for it to be completely powered down. While the keys are a piece of high quality plastic construction, the same cannot be said of the knobs and sliders. They are cheaply made and may not last very long.

best midi controller

 

IK Multimedia iRig Keys ProIK Multimedia iRig Keys Pro

The IK Multimedia iRig Pro is actually designed for traveling musicians and performers, which is why it is very light.

The IK iRig makes it easy for you to work on new ideas and express your creativity on the go. With the capacity to hook up with apps quickly, you should be able to enjoy it on your iOS devices.

According to my findings, there has not been much complaint on the IK iRig in terms of pricing. This means that many people are happy with what they paid for.

One of the important questions you need to ask yourself is how a keyboard feel and how well it will respond to your touch. With this at the back of your mind, how will this keyboard perform? Well, the subject is subjective, however, users have found that the keyboard performed well in this area.

Additional Features

According to some users, it is a soft keyboard with good velocity sensitivity. If you want stiff keys on your keyboard, you may want to look at another option on this list. However, if you are okay with softer keys, then the IK iRig Keys Pro is spot on. Although some people compared the keyboard feel to other MIDI controller keyboards, there is still a wide gap as those other devices were much more expensive than the iRig.

There are only 37 keys on this model and it allows 2 hand playability so that you can quickly express your ideas without limitation. You won’t complain of space as it is only 24 inches. And if you intend traveling with it, it weighs only around 3.5 pounds so you shouldn’t have any problem. This MIDI controller keyboard can be used with your PC, Macbook or iOS device with a single connection. It is compatible with most DAWs such as Cubase, GarageBand etc.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

The included software for the IK keys pro is SampleTank and you can easily download it from the app store for your iOS devices. However, the problem with the software is that only one sound is included in each category. So if you wanted to get more, you have to pay, which means shedding out more money to IK Multimedia. This means you may be paying a lot of money for samples if you want them. But if you don’t have a need for the software, then you should not shy away if you like the features on this keyboard.

best midi controller

 

M-Audio Keystation 88 II M-Audio Keystation 88 II

Although made of plastic – and would probably break when dropped – the M-Audio Keystation 88 II is solidly constructed. When it comes to full-sized 88 keyboards, the one most important thing that constantly roam the mind is the price.

If it’s too expensive, you can trim down and manage a 61 key, but if the price is right, buy it. Thanks to M-Audio, the Keystation 88 II is one of the cheapest you can find in this category. There should be no second thought if you are looking for a budget 88-key controller.

The keystation has rich options for powering it so you can have an alternative way to use it if there is power failure. You can power it with a DC adapter (which is sold separately) or a standard MIDI output and sustain pedal. Moreover, all the sockets for these options are located at the back of the unit so they don’t mess with your operation.

With a full-sized 88 keys, the keystation 88 II brings an exciting experience to classical pianists. Setting up the Keystation 88 is strictly by plug and play, so installation procedure that will eat up your time is largely diminished.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

If you are are looking for velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted keys, this keyboard will suffice you. With this price tag however, the keystation does not have hammer-action. Thus, it is not suitable for you if you are looking for a piano-alike keyboard.

best midi controller

 

Novation Impulse 25 USB MIDI ControllerNovation Impulse 25 USB MIDI Controller

The Novation Impulse 25 is designed in such a way that it easily become a companion in your various music expeditions.

Not just a physical pheripheral sitting there on your desk. It is precise. Such that it makes translation of musical expression is done in an effective manner. Moreover, it feels good to the touch. You won’t feel like bashing your hands on a piece of plastic but an awesome musical instruments that truly performs.

Thanks to the visual display on the Novation Impulse, you can easily control your DAWs, plug-ins, and VSTs. Moreover, you have things like faders, buttons, and faders to respond to your nuances every time you sit to make music. To make the experience even more complete, this MIDI controller goes with the digital audio workstations out there. And fortunately, you have a masterful control over the effects, transports, mixer while producing excellence sound bites.

best midi controller

 

Alesis Q49 MIDI Keyboard ControllerAlesis Q49 MIDI Keyboard Controller

The Alesis Q49 Midi controller is able to detect your touch and respond quickly, thus enably a smooth flow in your play. It comes with with Ableton Live in the packaging so that you can start playing music right away.

You don’t need to start searching for the right DAW to use with your device, which would waste much of your time. Moreover, you have a perfect match with your device. Thus, the process of testing which digital audio workstation will work best with your device is already completed for you.

You can increase the volume range with the Octave Up and Down key, add modulation effects such as bending, vibrato, using the Modulation wheels. Just like you need the complete set of tools to tear down a large chicken spice, so you also need the complete features to lay down the perfect music.

Additional Features

And if you are a producer you will like the overall control that the Alesis Q49 gives you. It allows you to add a sampler, module, and drum machine to your setup. In addition, using the assignable slider and the keys, you can control your DAW and other virtual instruments with ease.

If you are looking for a MIDI keyboard controller that gives you all the controls you need to keep your creativity at its apex, this is it. If you are an Apple fan, it will delight you that this device will work flawlessly on your iPad or Macbook. And if you are a long term Windows user, running the Alesis Q49 with your PC should pose no problem to you.

The keys are full-sized and the built quality is solid. You don’t have to squeeze your hand or engage in endless shift to get into the mood. Once you plug everything and are ready to go, then you are ready to flow.

Flaws But Not Deal breakers

Even though the keyboard has performed well so far, some people have complained about the USB adapter that accompanies the device. Most people have to use generic USB power adapter to power it. If you are not worried about this, then this is is a solid MIDI controller.

best midi controller

 

Korg TAKTILE 25 MIDI Controller Korg TAKTILE 25 MIDI Controller

The company constructed the Korg TAKTILE 25 MIDI in such a way that it is suitable for the beginner, easy on the neck of the touring musician, and light on the purse of the one on budget. Whichever group you fall in, you are should expect to get the best from this device.

As for the beginner, it has all the basic controls that a beginner would need. For the touring musician, the controller is lightweight so that it can easily be slipped in the backpack and carried around easily.

Sometimes we need some element of trust in a product before we buy it, even if we are on budget. Some products do score well in this area, which is why many people rush them and are satisfied.

The keys are arranged in such a manner that it encourages good hand techniques. It is crafted from high quality material so that you not only enjoy the feel of the keys on your fingers, but also their response.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

Although when you first lay your hands on this product, you may have to sweat. You need to think hard and possibly rack your brain if you are a beginner (which is a good thing, ask me in the comment). However, once you get in the works, you may find it difficult to come out. Because of the ease with which this MIDI keyboard can be controlled, many users have made it their favorite.

best midi controller

 

M-Audio Oxygen Series 61 Ignite M-Audio Oxygen Series 61 Ignite

If you are a touring musician or engage in a live performances, you will not be disappointed by the M-Audio Oxygen 61. Not only is it portable, but also inexpensive.

Whether you are coming from a previously broken MIDI controller or need something to go with your old device, this is the right choice. This is a good MIDI controller keyboard for someone who is looking for a tool that will enable him make effective use of his creativity or add a nice MIDI functionality to his music creation arsenal.

You can easily control all the transport functions as well as the control levels through the keyboards. It also allows you to work on most DAWs (Digital Audio Software). Whether you are a pro or just starting out, this should be one of the controllers you look at. Thanks to the plug and play feature, you can start making music anytime, anywhere.

The beauty of M-Audio keyboards is tat they are always available for wide range of people because they are affordable and high quality. Moreover, this keyboard is created from high quality materials so that it lasts longer and keeps you in the works for some time before thinking about replacing it.

While this should work with most software, customers have stated that it works well with FL Studio and Sony Acid Pro. It will also work with your PC and Mac Operating Systems as long as the system requirements are up to date.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

The M-Audio Oxygen series 61 does not respond well to lower velocities. When compared with older MIDI keyboard controllers on the market, it seems that it does completely achieve what it is created for. Moreover, the touch response on this controller is lacking. These are some of the technical difficulties some users have found with their unit.

Despite its downsides, it is quite usable. Most of the features are spot on. More importantly, it supports lots of programming and functions for those who want to use it for professional jobs.

best midi controller

 

Conclusion

Now, it is time for action. After reading through this selection, make sure you settle on the one that will satisfy your need. You don’t want to choose a MIDI keyboard and regret later.

It is important to read customer reviews on any device you want to buy before choosing it. You should also read about the company. Check for customer feedback and relationship as well as the record of accomplishment. When all these things come together before buying an instrument, it is easy to select the best MIDI controller under $200.

What Every Musician Should Know About Shopping

musician shopping

There are time you feel you just have to buy something. And unless you can restrain yourself from buying on impulse, you can exhaust your lifesaving on useless, undurable tools. In this article, I gather some tips that can help you shop like a smart musician.

1. Always shop around for your gadgets. When you see a sales price, don’t just jump on it. There are might be a better deal somewhere else. All you have to do is look. The best way of ensuring you buy cheaply and that you are not cheated is to engage in comparison shopping. Don’t take prices at face value. Moreover, some merchants can have a special offer for a limited time, which is open to the general public, although you have to be on the lookout for these. Some may even have a discount on the sales price. If you want to mitigate your cost further, you can check online for the product you want and see if it available online. Usually, the price is not as expensive as offline and retailers like Amazon can provide free shipping if you are able to achieve a certain threshold.

2. Consider the time and cost. There is something economists call cost and benefit analysis. This means that when you are looking at the benefit of something; don’t forget about the cost of such thing. If you see 50% discount on a midi controller on Amazon tomorrow, you don’t have to rush it. First, consider the cost of shipping as well as the cost of delivery. Another thing is the time and delivery time. Sometimes retailers try to draw you in with their discounted prices without informing you of hidden charges. However, this does not mean that you can’t get your hands on a good deal. Just ensure you will not be required to pay extra fees when you have concluded your transaction.

3. Shop Online. Even if you are buying your musical instruments offline, you can still benefit from shopping online since the goods are always cheaper. Moreover, you can go on to some websites that offer price comparison for known/popular merchants. You can even get price for your offline shops and be better informed. Buying online will not only help you spend less, it will also make you a smart shopper. With your smartphone or computer, you can view prices on several retailers online at the same time. Another advantage to shopping online is that you can read actual reviews of previous users on the product you want to buy. Most if not all products have thousands of reviews left by previous users. With the wealth of information available, you can learn a ton about what you are about to buy without leaving your living room. If you decide not to buy online, the knowledge you have gained buy sifting through user reviews online will help you negotiate better offline.

4. Calculate bargain offers. Most often, you can see mouth-watering deals and you will be tempted to buy. You’ll often come across slogans such as “Buy one get one free” “free shipping”. These and many more are what you will be familiar with when you start shopping regularly. However, before you buy, ask yourself if you really need it. If you don’t then ignore such deals. They will only bore holes in your pocket. In fact, those deals are made to make you spend more, not less.

5. Before buying, save some bucks. Sometimes, when you see a new instrument like a foot pedal that you want to buy, you just go buy it without thinking twice but you can actually just check coupon sites like RetailMeNot to see if you can get a discount code for what you want to buy. Many websites like this allow you to buy the product you want to buy with a coupon, which will cut out certain percentages of the retail price of the product. The popularity of these method shows how effective it has been right from time.

6. Buy durable tools. You can’t compare Macbook durability to a PC, especially if you travel a lot and you drop them. I’ve used both and unless you don’t have the budget, always choose something sturdy over something cheaply made. Sometimes, the best way to ensure that a product is durable is by reading about what other people say about the product. You can also ask a close friend or relative who have used the product in the past about the durability. A product made with metal will last longer than one that is made in plastic. And a product that is well designed will not only be easy to use but also last longer.

7. Always have a list. It can be difficult to make a list and when you do, it can be heavy on your chest to follow through. Before writing your list, ensure you have a budget and be clear exactly on what you want to purchase. It can be difficult to stick to a list when you don’t have a budget. When you have a budget in mind, you will find it easier to restrict yourself to only what is on the list. And don’t push yourself too much; if you see something that you honestly want to get and you have something left on your budget to purchase it, go for it. One or two is okay. But three or more is bad.

8. Don’t buy on impulse. Impulse buying is a sworn enemy of consumer. It lead to accumulation of unwanted things and is the #1 cause of buyer remorse. Therefore, don’t ever be in a rush to buy the latest tool. Be diplomatic, especially if it’s an expensive item. Sleep on it. It might even become unappealing the next morning. I have some products at home that I no longer need. However, when I contemplate on the price I spent in buying the product, I often think I’ve wasted money is procuring the product. You can learn from my mistake.

9. Reviews are spot-on. It’s almost impossible not to see a review on a product you want to buy online. Bestmidicontroller.co reviews many of the products online and it’s the same with many websites. When a brand releases a new product to the market, there are people who will review such product on their website or social media outlet. In fact, some can give you a sneak peak even define the product is released. Although you can’t depend entirely on these, they can make the difference between an informed buyer and an uninformed buyer.

10. You have a right. Are you experiencing problems with your keyboard? Are you finding it difficult to complete simple tasks because of a faulty product? Then get on the manufacturer’s neck. Shoot them an email, call their customer care or connect with them through the social media. While some manufacturers are obnoxious, others will attend to you and provide solution to your problems in a quick manner.

Conclusion

I have tried to include some of the tips you can shop better. The next article will cover what you should avoid when you are doing your shopping. If you enjoy this article, please share it with your friends, relatives who may need them too.

Ergonomics 101: The Effects of Sedentary Lifestyle

sedentary-lifestyle

If you are a music producer and you spend a lot of time on your desk, you need to check yourself. Sitting can feel good at certain points, for example, after a long walk. But it can become risky when you do it all day.

Most of us have to sit at our desk and battle an endless bout of creative sessions. We can even forget about what is happening in the outside world, as we get completely engrossed in our project.

Why this shows our utmost dedication, it often have its own consequences. Unless you work your legs and muscles, you may be prone to a sedentary lifestyle. According to a Wikipedia, living a sedentary lifestyle can cause many problems for you. It has health effects and can equally cause preventable diseases.

Do you know that if you are physically inactive, you risk colon and dementia? However, increasing bouts of physical activities can help you reduce dementia. Most importantly, you need physical exercises to maintain the mineral content and the strength of your muscle bones.

You may not be guilty right now. But, what about the future? How about those you know that are guilty of this kind of lifestyle. There are so many things that you can do with your health rather than have it bugged down with this.

A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to:  

Aside from the above, it can also have other effects such as the following:

It can make you lose your flexibility. The more period you spend sitting at your desk, the more your body becomes rigid. Moreover, sitting for long periods can weaken your glutes and abs. This means that your movement and posture can also be affected since they are primary organs that control your movement.

It can lead to lower metabolism. An active lifestyle involves burning lots of calories. And the opposite involves storing lots of calories – which might be harmful to the body. When you sit down for long periods, your body’s ability to burn fat becomes weaker. This can occur whether you are at your desk staring at your computer screen or playing away at your keyboard. And when this happens, your rate of excretion also becomes lower.

There are many other health risks attached to such lifestyle – remember a sedentary lifestyle is synonymous with inactivity. And inactivity can lead to weight gain. With that come lots of health complications such as heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes. Your muscles, especially the heart, need to be constantly worked up. It is through this means that you can stay healthy.

At Least There Are Solutions

According to a research conducted by the John Hopkins Medicine, physical inactivity can lead to anxiety and depression, high blood pressure and cholesterol level, overweight or obese. And James A. Levine, an obesity specialist at Mayo Clinic concluded that, “Any extended sitting – such as behind a desk at work or behind a wheel – can be harmful.”

Many solutions have been prescribed by different experts on the topic. One of the recommended ways of reversing such lifestyle is active travel. It encourages much walking, which can make your lighter and more focused. Another technique is having interruptions or break between sessions. For example, if you work on a new sound production for an hour. You may decide to rest for 15 minutes before coming back to edit your creation. This will help your mind to become focus and your brain refreshed. This will definitely affect your productivity and output – in a positive way.

Conclusion

In a future article, we will see go through the possible solutions that can help you fight this condition if you are already suffering from it. But if you are not, then you should keep doing what you are doing.

MIDI Basics for Modern Musicians

MIDI basics for modern musician

Look:

You will agree with me that it is easy to overlook the basic stuffs. But, when you have someone remind you, you will wonder why you haven’t thought about it. In this post, I want to treat the MIDI, one of the things you should know about whether you are a new musician or one with experience.

A MIDI (Music Instrument Digital Interface) is a tool for controlling every other instruments in your studio. It can help you shape your music the way you like. As a newbie, you want to be the next synth-master or a professional mixologist. And no matter how new you may be, you must have come across the word – MIDI.

A MIDI controller is a tool that will help you become the musician you like. It is a powerful tool for people in the digital world. As a caveat, it can get complex and complicated. But you can grab the underlying concept with ease.

The beginning of a revolution

What is the MIDI? What can it do for you? And how is it fairing in the digital world? MIDI is getting more popular day by day. With more platforms adopting it – both the software and the hardware way – it will soon become a necessity for aspiring musicians and DJs. Android devices now have a connection with MIDI.

iOS devices are getting dedicated apps developed for just MIDI. It is a matter of time before a musician will become irrelevant without the knowledge of MIDI. When the idea of the MIDI was conceived, it was to ensure smooth communications and a universal connection without any restriction from any company. It is a system that is built to integrate gear from any company without hindrance.

Some of the things you can do with MIDI includes:

  • With the amazing power of MIDI, you can control one keyboard with another keyboard, as long as they are connected.
  • You can record your sound to your computer, play, and edit it on the computer. Then you can play that same sound on your keyboard again. Ensure you install your sequencer program before attempting to edit MIDI data.
  • You can download MIDI data online and playback on your instrument. You can load the data to your instrument using a USB thumb drive.

What the MIDI doesn’t stand for

  • MIDI don’t make sound.
  • It’s just a data.
  • If you understand this, it will save you a lot of stress later on.

Now, let’s compare a MIDI to a computer to make things simpler.

When you press a key on your laptop keyboard, the keyboard sends a code (which is transmitted through the ASCII protocol) as a text to the CPU. This is then displayed on your screen. The same way, when you press a key on a MIDI keyboard, a code is transmitted – using MIDI specification – to a tone generator which recognizes it and plays it.

Aside from this, MIDI also transmits information about your style of hitting the keyboard, the volume levels about based on your foot pedal position. In fact, may Broadway shows now employ MIDI technology to control lighting. Many companies are now using it for home security control. And you can also use it to play ring tones on your phone.

MIDI presents a lot of opportunities for musicians and those outside the profession. Most importantly, MIDI is not limited to just controllers. And is not always hardware based. You can run many software-based virtual MIDI instruments on your phone (Android and iOS), tablet (especially iPad), and your computer.

MIDI Channels

There are 16 channels for transmitting MIDI messages. This means there are 16 distinct channels through which you can send MIDI data, all defined by ports. At one end, you have where MIDI data is sent and the other end is where it is received – this is where we have MIDI receivers. So you can send different data through each channel without one obstructing the other.

You can send different information to different devices at once. You can be playing bass in Channel 1 and a cool beat in Channel 5. All these could be done through a single USB connection.

MIDI Devices

Most MIDI devices comes with 5 pin DIN cables. They also have MIDI ports which is three – MIDI In, Out, Thru.

connectorsTraditional MIDI uses these connectors, which allow multiple devices to be connected at once. However, newer versions are connected through Bluetooth or USB cable.

The MIDI In is responsible for accepting MIDI data coming from external sources. The MIDI data controls the tone generator in your synthesizer while the MIDI Out sends out MIDI data to the other devices in your setup.

The Thru port is responsible for sending data to the the MIDI system. This data is not different from the one that was received by the In and it takes a very short time for this process to be completed.

MIDI Message

There are only two widely used MIDI message – MIDI note-on and note-off. The note-on is created when you press a key. The note-off is created when you release the key. The MIDI note message on the other hand defines how hard the key was hit, how long, and what channel the note was played on.

Other Applications

You can also record MIDI data. And you can manipulate it in different ways that is not possible with audio. This means you don’t have to commit to a particular sound when you record it with MIDI unlike when you record audio. You can record a note at a slow tempo and play it at a faster pace later on. This will not affect the pitch at all. Adjusting notes and sound you have played is also possible with MIDI.

Most DAWs comes with advanced MIDI features and sequence program that enables you to adjust sound with ease. Another possibility is the Web MIDI. With this, you can play music remotely, stream MIDI data from the web for playback, and even take lessons. And you don’t need a strong internet connection to do all these things.

MIDI and Virtual Instruments

Since MIDI does not transmit sound, you need some sort of hardware that can help you translate the code sent by MIDI into something useful. This hardware is called virtual instrument. It is also known as plug-in or VI in short. Most sequencing program have built-in virtual instruments so you don’t need to purchase a plug-in separately if you already have that.

Virtual instruments usually come with different sounds or focus on a group or timbre. These sounds are designed to cater for people from different categories. So if you are looking for piano sounds, epic drum kits, etc, you will be able to get a plug-in dedicated to that.

MIDI is not just an object

Most beginners often asks questions like: “which is the best MIDI for my computer? Which MIDI is the best for mixing sound? MIDI is actually a concept. And you need to understand it before you venture into the world of music creation.

If you are just starting out, you are starting just at the right time because there are lots of resources like this article that helps you understand what MIDI is all about.

Standard MIDI File

The Standard MIDI file is a program that helps to improve the portability between different systems. There is a specification for MIDI standard that can enhance the compatibility between MIDI notation and sequencing programs. This file is represented in “.mid” and often includes many controls like pitch bend, notes, patch selections, etc. The advantage is that you can run varied programs on different systems without suffering compatibility issues.

General MIDI

The General MIDI is another MIDI specification that enables unification of sounds when played on different devices. To do this, a patch number is assigned to each sound. For example, a piano sound can be assigned a patch number of 31. Therefore, when you play the sound on different keyboards, it will always be a piano sound, even though it may not be exactly the same. If you want to learn more about the patch numbers assigned to different sounds, you can see this guide on MIDI.org.