Best MIDI Controller for Under $500

Best MIDI Controller Under $500 – Top 5 Review and Picks

Best MIDI Controller for Under $500MIDI is nothing but a keyboard controller associated with the piano. It includes various buttons, sliders, knobs etc. These helps to transform MIDI data to externally located sound modules. It has the main function of transmitting the digital interface data to electronic devices. The MIDI controller is used to control several parameters in a piano.

Best MIDI controller under $500





Akai Professional MPK249 e1511252405582

Akai Professional MPK249


12.94 lbs

CME Xkey 37 MIDI controller e1511252905502

CME Xkey 37 MIDI controller


1.5 lbs

Arturia Keylab 49 Essential Keyboard Controller e1511253543669

Arturia Keylab 49 Essential Keyboard Controller


9.5 lbs

Nektar Panorama P4 e1511253739437

Nektar Panorama P4 4 MIDI Controller Keyboard


17.75 lbs

M Audio Axiom 49 e1511253947840

M-Audio Axiom 49 USB Keyboard Controller


6.9 lbs

Types of MIDI controllers

  • Wind controllers- This is the type of controller that musician blows. It is associated with the electronic drums. It is usually pressed to get MIDI data transmitted.
  • Stringed instrument controllers- In such a pickup, guitar will be having a perfect fit. Thus, you can play the synthesizer sound. You can get options for different sounds.
  • MIDI compatible sound module- Here the sound module brings out audibility. But, you can see further amplification with the help of a loud speaker.
  • MIDI with audio mixers- There are many compatible devices. You can use controllers to control such devices. The MIDI with audio mixer will control guitar and other complex audio sounds.

MIDI controller- control performance

The manufacturer has made the MIDI by keeping the keyboards in their mind. But, there are few exception. If you find the MIDI controller that did not take the shape of the keyboard, it will be known as an alternative controller. Some of the musicians and the composers did not like keyboard based music. Manufacturers made alternative controllers e by keeping them in mind. Folks made it to have a control over the musical instruments like guitar, drums etc.

playground sessions

MIDI controller buying guide

If you don’t have MIDI controller, it is the time to buy it. Before purchasing it from the market, just keep in mind some points. There are some features and factors without which the MIDI controller may not be useful. Following are the points:

  • Buttons and knobs- Each MIDI must have specific knob and controller. Each knob has different function. The controller that you are getting in the market must include the sliders, knobs for proper functioning.
  • Key count- It is important to find out about how much space you have in your music playing room. Do you want a big keyboard or a small portable keyboard will be fine? This will define on how many keys you require on a synthesizer.
  • After touch- What is your requirement with touch function. You will get the after touch variation in two types. One will be monophonic and another is polyphonic. This will send average MIDI value for the keys.
  • Performance pads- The keyboard users have no issues with the black and white keys on the piano. There are many keyboard controllers that comes with 8 or more pads. The trigger loops and drums are used.
  • Price- The price is one of the vital factor over here. There are MIDI controllers available in many rates. But, most of the people don’t wish to pay much. Thus, look for the MIDI controller that cost as less as $ 500.

Recording with MIDI

The pianos have become much more improved. It is no more the traditional variety of heavy keyboard with acoustic sound. But, in the present day variations, you will get the facility of recordings. The Best MIDI Controller will give folks a scope of quick recording. Folks can record it within the inbuilt system or in the memory card. You can further share it to computer or other devices with a USB cable. MIDI connectivity is a vital consideration today as this will help you in using the control over the virtual instrument software.

Top MIDI controller under $500

Akai Professional MPK249 | 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard & Drum Pad Controller with LCD Screen

Akai Professional MPK249
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This is the MIDI controller that comes with variety of keyboard variation. You will get the keyboard with 25 keys, 49 keys and 61 keys. This is one of the best MIDI controller under $500 that is engineered with all in one controller solution. This will bring wonderful sound with deep software integration system. The switches and knobs are ample for uninterrupted operation.

Features of Akai professional MPK249

  • Key variation- This is one of the exclusive MIDI controller which you can get with 3 different combination. The least one is 25 keys. Then comes the variation with 49 keys. The one with highest keys is 61.
  • Style pads- The controller also comes with the style pad. Yes, you can get the facility of illuminated 16 RGB MPC style pads. The assignable number is 64. It is further connected via 4 banks.
  • USB cable- If you want to connect the keyboard with other devices, the USB cable must be used in your USB power slots. It is the computer that will provide full power to the keyboard.
  • Switches and knobs- You can get many switches and knobs within the keyboard of the MIDI controller. There are 8 switches, 8 control knobs and 8 faders. Manufacturers has assigned it from 3 banks.
  • OS compatibility- Now, people are too much concerned about adaptability of the devices when run on their OS. This MIDI controller from Akai is compatible with Apple OS.


The professional MIDI controller brought by Akai will give you pleasure while playing the piano. It is armed with a powerful software. This, will help the musicians to compose, remix and improvise the music. It comes with genuine MPC functionality with 16 levels. You get the device in 3 variations. One is with 25 keys and other two are with 49 and 61 keys. You can choose the suitable one as per your need. Users give it 4.3 out of 5.

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CME Xkey 37 MIDI controller

CME Xkey 37 MIDI controller
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The individuals going for MIDI controller will also look for its look. You will get adequate functions within the keyboard which is suitable for satisfying basic needs. The music players can easily carry it from one place to another. The keys are spread in a uniform manner that easily helps in ease of playing the instrument. The best part is its price. You will get the MIDI controller in much less than $500.

Features of CME Xkey 37

  • Design and looks- No one wish to purchase a keyboard that is heavy and hefty. But, you can now get CME Xkey-37 MIDI controller in an ultra slim look. You must have seen slim smart phones. This controller is even thinner than that of an iPad.
  • Keys– Some of the individuals playing piano emphasize on variation of keys. This one is having 37 keys. It is neither too less not too much. Handling the keyboard with this much of key will be easy.
  • Portability- the CME Xkey-37 MIDI controller is quite portable in nature. You can easily carry it from your home to your studio. You don’t need an extra person to carry it. This portable feature will make it one of the best MIDI Controller in the market.
  • Build and body- The keyboard MIDI controller is made up of molded aluminum. The thickness may not be too much, but you get a silky smooth touch. You will get an impression like keys floating evenly in the water body with intruded waterfall.
  • Price- One of the most important factors while purchasing the MIDI controller is the price. You need to check whether the instrument is within your budget. As a matter of fact, the CME Xkey-37 will be certainly within your budget if you are looking a variety that is less than $ 500. It will cost around $ 200 or less.


CME Xkey-37 is the musical instrument with many features. The keys are exactly 37. Thus, operating it won’t be difficult as the complexity of too many keys are reduced. Again, the portability gives it a good score. The slim body with sleek looks creates a positive impression with the designing. It has ultra-sensitive feature. You will get a customization pressure sensor under each keys. There are high processing power. Users gives it 4.4 out of 5.

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Arturia Keylab 61

Arturia Keylab 61
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Each device has a reason of popularity. Rather, you can say its benefit. Arturia Keylab 61 MIDI controller is well known for its seamless integration. You must be wandering about the next end of integration. Arturia’s Analog Lab software is the source of integration. As the name suggests, it comes with 61 keys. There are variety of controllers. Those are 8 touch sensitive pad, 1 modulation wheel, pressure sensitive pads, 4 command switches etc.

Features of Arturia Keylab 61

  • Software– This MIDI controller is little different as compared to other products of this type. It runs and have integration with Arturia’s Analog Lab software. The software too has many features. Ableton live Lite, 5000 synth sounds etc.
  • Connectivity– Today, everyone wish to connect the piano or the musical instrument to their smart phones. The Arturia Keylab 61 MIDI controller is such a product which you can easily connect. It has the sustain pedals, MIDI out and USB
  • Number of keys– It is very easy to find out the number of keys the Arturia Keylab 61 MIDI controller Yes, it has 61 keys as stated within its name. But, you get all the keys with velocity.
  • Controllers– You must be aware of the controller features associated with the MIDI controller. These include 1 modulation wheel, 1 clickable encoder, 6 transport switches, 8 touch and pressure sensitive pad, etc.


A musical instrument must have some basic features to run. These can be basic level instruments. There are other variations for intermediate and professional level. Arturia Keylab 61 MIDI controller comes with a keyboard that intermediate players use as well as professionals. It is a device with a good DAW control. It can integrate with the software really well. Navigation and mapping is also worth mentioning.

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Nektar Panorama P4

Nektar Panorama P4
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The musician can easily create the music by themselves easily through the Nektar Panorama P4 midi CONTROLLER. This is one of the controllers which is overflown with features. The sound, display, keys and other factors stays high up. It is a keyboard with 49 keys along with the pad that can craft the huge beats. You can get all the controls in this device. There is no need to use additional mouse or the music recorder.

Features of Nektar Panorama P4

  • Keys- The particular variety of MIDI controller comes with 49 keys. It is also weighted key with the exclusive keyboard with semi velocity sensitive nature. There is a combination with after touch mechanism
  • Buttons- the MIDI controller also comes with variety of buttons and knobs. You will get 45mm faders (9 no’s), 20 present location store, 10 assignable LED buttons, and 16 encodes.
  • Control- You can now get a full control on your piano keyboard with the MIDI controller. It means, there is no need of any other external devices such as mouse etc. You can control everything by yourself with the buttons present here
  • Weight – It is having a weight of 20.5 pounds. The dimension of the keyboard is 35 x 5.5 x 14.6 inches.


This is one of the best MIDI controllers for under $500. The variation come with 49 keys which can be easier to use. You can control it very well with the buttons and knobs placed over it. The portability of the device is another important factor over here. People like this controller for its display and looks. The virtual instrument pads can give you opportunity fir huge beats. People give it 4.1 out of 5.

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M-Audio Axiom 49

M-Audio Axiom 49
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M- Audio Axiom 49 is a midi controller that is known for its performance and the production power. It is not just a data entry controller. Rather, it is a 49 key controller that will satisfy your music playing needs. The controller is also associated with the large dynamic trigger pad. Thus, the process of programing the beats will be quite easy. You get a real time control with the help of the features like buttons, encoders, faders, etc.

Features of M-Axiom 49

  • Intuitive design- The design of the MIDI controller is worth mentioning. If you are a creative music player, the instrument you are using must put a boost to your performance. This is what Axiom does. It is designed with a sleek angular top panel. This will allow the user to view the display clearly. Thus, the user can improve the ergonomics.
  • Streamline session control- It provides direct link to the on board control. The controller uses the common parameters such as logic, pro tools, live, Cubase, etc. This will allow you have a control over the software audio. You can fine tune and mix with the help of encoders, faders and knobs.
  • Portability- The music players have become totally fed up with the heavy load musical instruments. They want something light which can be easily carried from one place to another. Now, this MIDI controller from Axiom is quite a light weight variation. You get the control and powers from the computer’s USB bus.
  • Keys and knobs- The name of the MIDI controller speaks about its key number. Yes, it is having 49 key variation. The knobs and switches placed over the keyboard controller is worth to say. Just with a single button, you will be able to have a control over the fader.


The MIDI controller from Axiom has the wonderful production power performance. This feature is almost not available in other MIDI controller within this range. It comes with various function associated with its keys and knobs. It includes the encoders, faders, programming, beats, etc. Even with the display side, you can give good point to this MIDI controller. It has a well improved ergonomics and display. With the greater view of angle, the MIDI controller provide a great scope to all the musicians.

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