Best MIDI keyboards for Mac and the new Logic Pro for iPad [2023 Edition]

Welcome to our 2023 version of the very best MIDI keyboards for iPad and Mac. With the reveal of Logic Pro for iPad earlier this month (it’s about time Apple) and its upcoming official launch on Could 23, 2023, it appears a becoming time to go over some new releases and the very best {hardware} keyboard controllers to actually put the brand new cellular model of Apple’s flagship music software program to work. The contact interface on Logic Professional for iPad seems unbelievable to date, however there’s nothing fairly like getting hands-on with a MIDI keyboard in terms of enjoying chord progressions, writing riffs and melodies, banging out beats on some bonus drum pads, and supplementing the touchscreen controls with assignable management pots. So let’s take inventory of the most recent releases in addition to some mainstays nonetheless value your time (and cash) as a part of our 2023 version of the very best MIDI keyboards for iPad and Mac. 

Finest MIDI keyboards for iPad and Mac – AKAI

Private favorites, bonus backlit drum pads, expanded I/O potential

AKAI’s MPK lineup has lengthy been a few of my favourite fashions on the market, from the MPK 225/249/261 to extra compact choices, however it has launched a number of new fashions within the final 12 months to supply a number of the finest MIDI keyboards for Mac and iPad customers on-the-go and within the residence studio. After the launch of its speaker and OLED screen-equipped MPK Mini Play MK3, it unveiled its first MPC Key 61 all-in-one production rig with a multi-touch show earlier than an updated version of “the world’s hottest controller keyboard”’” with new MPK Mini Plus

  • 37-Key MPK Mini keybed
  • RGB MPC Pads
  • Constructed-in 64-step sequencer 
  • Three 1/8″ (3.5mm) CV Outputs
  • Two 1/8″ (3.5mm) CV Clock In/Out
  • Two MIDI DIN In/Out Ports
  • Maintain Pedal enter
  • Chords and Scales modes
  • Energy through USB Kind-B (Bus-powered or linked to wall adapter)
Best MIDI keyboard for iPad and Mac AKAI MPK Mini Plus

Eschewing the onboard speaker and built-in sounds on the most recent Play mannequin, the MPK Mini Plus strikes a pleasant steadiness between a fully-featured keyboard and a very compact answer at a comparatively inexpensive value. You’re actually taking a look at miniature keys right here and we do have some beneath that can ship a transportable setup with bigger keys, however AKAI has loaded the Mac, iPhone, and iPad MIDI keyboard controller with backlit drum pads, its notable joystick model modulation controller, pitch and modulation wheels, CV I/O for modular customers, and even a built-in sequencer, amongst different issues. Get extra particulars in our launch coverage.

Best MIDI keyboard for iPad and Mac iRig Keys 2 Mini

iRig Keys 2 

Good bang to your buck, varied dimension choices, and a great deal of cable connectors included within the field (USB-C, USB-A, Lightning) 

In case you’re trying to rating a brand new MIDI keyboard controller for iPad (in addition they work with Mac and iPhone), the the IK Multimedia iRig Keys 2 lineup is value a glance. Not solely are they on the extra inexpensive facet in terms of comparatively current releases, however in addition they embody the entire connection cables nearly any Apple gear consumer may need. Whereas a number of the greater music manufacturing manufacturers would require an adapter or hub to go straight into the USB-C jack in your iPad, IK ships all the things within the field:

  • Lightning to micro-USB connection cable
  • USB-A to micro-USB connection cable
  • USB-C to micro-USB connection cable
  • 2.5mm TRS male to MIDI feminine adapter

The iRig Keys 2 lineup on show right here delivers “improved compatibility for the most recent cellular units, full MIDI enter and output, and a number of energy choices” in addition to a collection of added assignable management knobs and your ordinary octave switchers, pitch bend wheel, and modulation wheel. They don’t have the drum pads you’ll discover from AKAI above (that’s what its iRig Pads MIDI groove controller is for), however they do present an important components of a MIDI keyboard controller in any other case and are additionally obtainable in three completely different fashions. The mini, clearly the extra transportable of the bunch, delivers a very small set of 25 springy keys with little or no throw (in my expertise), the mid-tier option takes it as much as 37 keys, and the pro variant trades out the miniature keys for 25 “full-size” synth motion pushers. 

Finest MIDI Keyboards underneath $110

Best MIDI keyboard for iPad and Mac Arturia
  • Arturia MiniLab 3 $109
  • AKAI Professional LPK25 $59
  • AKAI MPK Mini MKII $97
    • Or MKIII from $99
  • Nektar SE25-Key MIDI keyboard $47
  • Nektar SE49-Key MIDI keyboard $85
  • Arturia 25-Key Microlab $80
  • Arturia 25-Key MiniLab MkII $77
  • Alesis 25-Key VMini $58

Or go wi-fi – Finest Bluetooth MIDI keyboards for Mac and iPad

As we touched on above, of us utilizing a USB-C iPad like the most recent Airs and Professional fashions (the brand new Logic Professional for iPad requires an A12 Bionic chip or higher) might be able to exit of the field or with a basic USB-A to USB-C adapter you may decide up low cost on Amazon or elsewhere. Lightning-equipped DAW hosts (the most recent iPhones and a few iPad fashions) can leverage the old trusty Apple connection kit. Or, you may neglect the entire cables and go along with a very wi-fi Bluetooth possibility that may be actually handy with iPad and iPhone-based Logic Professional and GarageBand setups: 

  • CME Xkey Air 25-key $229
  • CME Xkey Air 37-key $329
    • Full-sized, velocity-sensitive keys
    • Polyphonic aftertouch
    • Rechargeable battery
    • Aluminum Construct
  • Korg nanoKEY 2 $60
    • Reasonably priced
    • Tremendous-portable
    • Very small keys
  • KORG Wi-fi microKEY Air from $125
    • Runs on AA batteries
    • Multi -size choices
    • optionally available USB connectivity
    • Consists of KORG Gadget 2 and Module studio and instrument apps
Best MPE MIDI keyboard for iPad and Mac Expressive E Osmose

The wild fantastic world of Osmose – a complete new strategy to expressive multi-touch musical efficiency 

So far as I’m involved, no good roundup of the very best MIDI keyboards for iPad and Mac in 2023 is full with no part for Expressive E’s wild and fantastic Osmose. Whereas this one is in some ways a standalone instrument, loaded with its personal sounds plus a mix of simple-to-use macro sound shaping instruments and an extremely deep editor, it’s also one of the crucial attention-grabbing and distinctive controller keyboards available on the market. It might run as a typical instrument or synthesizer you would possibly connect with your system with USB and/or audio cables, however it additionally includes a collection of MIDI controller modes to be used as a typical piano-style controller (like these talked about above) in addition to choices that permit customers to leverage is unbelievable MPE motion.

Presenting a kind of acquainted piano keyboard setup, this expressive instrument is a complete lot greater than that. You possibly can wiggle the keys back and forth to create vibrato (and a complete vary of different attention-grabbing sounds), you may create strumming results on a single key by fastidiously cascading by means of velocity triggers, make use of significantly versatile aftertouch modulations and glides, you may even kind of pump the keys to set off varied tonal modifications within the sound. it’s exhausting to place into phrases, however it’s simply one of many coolest steps ahead within the MIDI sport in years whereas nonetheless sustaining a well-known form-factor and price a glance even in case you don’t plan on forking out the $1,799 it’ll price to safe one in all these magical multi-touch keyboard controllers. 

You possibly can maintain one now through the official site or await inventory at B&H and different official sellers.

MIDI keyboard for iPad and Mac- Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2 Keyboard

Finest MIDI Keyboards for Mac 2023 Version – Honorable Mentions

It’s truthfully exhausting to go improper with any of the choices in our 2023 version of the very best MIDI keyboard controllers for iPad, iOS, and Mac. So don’t consider the next choices as worse than any of the fashions above, just a few further choices that may have some particular options you’re after, match your room higher, or simply look nicer to you aesthetically. Whereas some have been round for a bit, they’re simply as helpful as they at all times have been.

  • Native Devices Komplete Kontrol S49 MKII $449
  • Nektar GXP49 Controller $150
  • Nektar GXP61 Controller $225
  • M Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3 $59
  • Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 $110
  • Arturia KeyStep Professional 37-Key Controller $440
What are the very best MIDI keyboards for iPad?

Everybody goes to have their very own preferences right here, however we tried to supply up a spread of choices throughout varied value factors above. AKAI is a good model for almost all platforms, IK Multimedia delivers the entire connectivity cables within the field to assist keep away from needing to make use of a hub of some sort, and there are some notable wi-fi fashions on the market from KORG, CME, and others. Listed here are some nice locations to start out for each iPad and Mac setups:

AKAI MPK Mini Plus
AKAI MPK Mini Play MK3
iRig Keys 2 Mini
Arturia MiniLab 3
CME Xkey Air 25-key

Can you utilize a MIDI keyboard with the brand new Logic Professional for iPad?

In keeping with Apple, Logic Professional for iPad will permit customers to “plug in [their] favourite gear utilizing suitable third‑occasion audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, and controllers from main producers like Apogee, Focusrite, Novation, Common Audio, and extra.” It additionally provides that “MIDI controllers with Logic Professional for iPad requires units suitable with iOS and iPadOS.”

How do I join Bluetooth MIDI controllers to iPad?

Merely faucet the Settings button within the management bar, go to Superior and hit Bluetooth MIDI Units. Then discover the title of your machine and set the Join swap on.

What are the very best new MIDI keyboards for Mac and iPad?

The aforementioned AKAI MPK collection fashions are simply a number of the finest new releases which have launched within the final 12 months, particularly in terms of affordability. But it surely’s exhausting to miss the brand new Seaboard Rise 2 and the Expressive E Osmose for people trying to take it up a notch and get into the fantastic world of MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression).

FTC: We use earnings incomes auto affiliate hyperlinks. More.


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