The Best 61 Key MIDI Keyboard Controllers In 2018

Keyboard Controllers
Alesis 61-Key USB MIDI Keyboard
We set aside time during few sessions for about one week to try different midi controllers from different manufacturers.

The trials we conducted clearly showed that the Alesis V61 vocal sensitivity is ranked one of the best among other similar products.

But that’s not the only reason why do we highly recommend this 61 key midi controller. It nicely responds to velocity and pressure. Moreover, it is powered by USB and has a great connectivity with other devices.

We do believe this model to be the best 61 key midi controller on market today.

Top-Rated 61 Key MIDI Keyboard Controllers

Alesis V61 61-Key USB MIDI Keyboard6080
M-Audio Oxygen 61 MKIV5070
M-Audio Keystation 61 II5080
Akai Professional MPK261 Semi-Weighted4080
Novation Launchkey 616080
Akai Professional Advance 611060
Alesis VI613080
Novation Impulse 615080
Pro Midi Keyboard Controller 6100
Nektar Panorama P62080

Alesis V61 61-Key USB MIDI Keyboard

Alesis 61-Key USB MIDI Keyboard

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Dimensions: 44.1 x 9.6 x 4.5 inches.
Weight: 11.5 pounds.
Power: Via Computer USB connection.
Octave: Full melodic range Up/Down buttons.
Compatibility: PC & Mac.
Connectivity: USB, 1/4 inches TS sustain Pedal.

One of the best 61 key MIDI controller keyboards that come with the versatility features and the controlled amount of power with the best USB connection to the computer. With the 61 full in size and velocity sensitive keys you are able to enjoy 61 key piano keys.

The 8 velocity range with the triggered pads for the beat production and the clip launching facility should be maintained in a proper manner.

There are approximately 8 assigning knobs that can be mixed and manipulated with the proper plugins and instruments. The portable keyboard with the assignable faders can be easily mixed.


  • The 61 full-sized keys are made adjustable to provide better control for users. Unlike other MIDI keyboards out there, it can be an inconvenience when the keys are too sensitive or the other way around.
  • It is a 61 Key keyboard that has 8 built-in drum pads with LED backlight. The good thing about these pads is they respond both to pressure and velocity.
  • Similar to most modern MIDI keyboards, it has 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable buttons. It also has pitch and Mod wheels for more tone control.
  • This keyboard comes with powerful software Ableton Live Lite 9 and Xpand 2. These would be perfect for musicians looking for complete control over their music.
  • This weighted MIDI keyboard is well-received by its customers, receiving an overall product rating of 86%. That is almost a guarantee you’d be buying yourself a high-quality keyboard.
  • Aside from the features that it offers, the good thing about this product is its price tag of just under $150. It is more affordable than most 61-Key Midi Keyboards out on the market. A good controller for your home no doubt.


  • You may need to update your firmware every time an update becomes available. Velocity tends to have an issue when not configured.
  • The software that comes with the package may need tinkering for a user to get used to it. Unless you’re already familiar with this kind of software, there’s nothing much to worry about.

M-Audio Oxygen 61 MKIV MIDI Keyboard & Drum Pad Controller

M-Audio Oxygen 61-Key

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Dimensions: 9.6 x 38.5 x 3.7 inches.
Weight: 9.39 pounds.
Power: USB powered.
Octave: Full melodic range Up/Down buttons.
Compatibility: PC & Mac.
Connectivity: USB.

This powerful MIDI controller with the MIDI keyboard can be easily used to compose the digital music with the virtual instruments as well as is simply powered with the USB connection that features all the music control software.

You will not have to reach the mouse and it comes with semi-weighted keys with the velocity intrinsic and sustained pedal for the expressive amount of performance. The modulation wheels and the transport controls will help in the pitch bending and it is also a world-class piano instrument.


  • With a decent price and good synth action velocity-sensitive keys, this one garnered a good amount of positive feedbacks evident with its customer reviews. In fact, it also has received a lot of recommendations among other MIDI keyboard reviews. It landed top 10 midi controllers and even top 5 midi keyboards on their list.
  • The product is a 61 keys midi controller which includes 8 velocity-sensitive trigger pads that make a good beat production.
  • The product has 8 assignable knobs that enable users to mix and manipulate plugins and even other instruments.
  • The package includes Pro Tools and First and Eleven Lite. They are also including their well-known music software Virtual Instrument Player in the package.
  • The keyboard features easy-to-use knobs and buttons. Even a beginner can use its functions without hassle.
  • This product is reasonably portable with a compact design and a weight of only around 9.39 pounds. Convenient for musicians with several gigs to perform.


  • Although this 61 keys midi controller is fairly easy to use, a more thorough manual would have helped the new users.
  • The buttons may require a bit of pressure for it to work. It’s not really a significant flaw but a flaw nonetheless.

Great Read: Best 25 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

M-Audio Keystation 61 II

M-Audio Keystation 61-Key

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Dimensions: 38.6 x 9.4 x 3.6 inches.
Weight: 10.6 pounds.
Power: USB powered.
Octave: + / – buttons.
Compatibility: PC & Mac.
Connectivity: USB, 1/4 inches TS sustain Pedal.

The Keystation 61 with the proper facility of composing the digital music while playing all the virtual instruments will help in getting the best experience. It is powered by the USB connection with the computer to get the controlled music in a software.

This semi-weighted midi keyboard by M-Audio has a proper sustainable pedal that can help you get the expressive performance.

With the octave range buttons and the velocity sensitive keys, you are able to transport the controls with the pedals. This virtual piano comes with the facility of the live instrument and is good for Ableton.


  • This MIDI keyboard is equipped with a pitch bend and modulation wheels. This capability is extremely convenient for those that prefer dynamic performance.
  • Users can take control of their DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) with ease. Transport controls do not require the use of a mouse.
  • Unlike most Midi keyboards out there, this one includes a ¼ inch sustain-pedal connection for users to have a better and easier control on their tunes.
  • This USB keyboard supports plug-and-play connectivity with either your MAC or your Windows PC.
  • It is conveniently portable with its somewhat compact design and lightweight of only around 10.6 pounds. A perfect keyboard for upcoming solo artists that usually perform in various places.
  • The 61 synth-action keys are semi-weighted. Just the right pressure needed for beginners.
  • The package includes some of the well-known software in the industry such as Ableton Live Lite, Xpand 2, Air Music Tech’s, and SONiVOX Eighty-eight.
  • This product is one of the affordable 61 Keys MIDI keyboards out there. That is comparing it to others with lower quality performance with the same price range.
  • The thin design of this controller is attractive and made more portable.


  • Although the keys are semi-weighted, some customer reviews find it a little too stiff.
  • Similar to most 61 keys MIDI controllers, the velocity is not adjustable and a little awkward to use.

Akai Professional MPK261 Semi-Weighted Midi Controller

Akai Professional MPK261

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Dimensions: 35.63 x 12.25 x 3.38 inches.
Weight: 16.1 pounds.
Power: USB powered.
Octave: 10- Octave ranged with up/down buttons.
Compatibility: PC & MAC.
Connectivity: USB, Expression Pedal, and 2 assignable footswitches.

The amazing all in one controller with the powerful trigger pads helps you to perform live with the studio composition and the 61 semi-weighted pressure sensitivity.

It is the most affordable and recommended professional control knobs and faders that come with switched and revamped control layouts. It is powered by the LCD screen and come with the high-quality experience. This can work for logic as well as for Mac.


  • This 61 semi-weighted MIDI controller is made by a well-known brand that has over three decades of experience in the industry. That is a statement on how well they make their products, assuring you of a good midi controller.
  • The product has a good product rating of 84% by many satisfied customers.
  • This MIDI keyboard provides users more control over their music with its 8 control knobs, 8 faders and 8 mechanical To top it off, these 24 controls are assignable via 3 banks.
  • The package includes a VIP, an award-winning music software platform. This would help artists have a powerful control solution to their tunes. It also includes other amazing software such as Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech, Akai Pro MPC Essentials and SONiVOX Twist 2.0.
  • Includes 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads to provide users more control over their music with ease.


  • With such features, you can expect this MIDI controller to be a little expensive at under $500.
  • The product is not heavy, but it is not lightweight either at 16.1 pounds.
  • The many features make the keyboard a little difficult to understand for beginners.

Novation Launchkey 61 for Ableton Live

Novation Launchkey 61

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Dimensions: 19 x 4.7 x 12.6 inches.
Weight: 9.26 pounds.
Power: USB powered.
Octave: Two Octave/Transpose buttons.
Compatibility: PC & Mac.
Connectivity: USB.

The Novation Launchkey 61 with the proper USB keyboard controller will help you get the 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads as well as 8 knobs that come with the navigated and the dedicated amount of control buttons.

It has a proper software for Mac and PC that comes with the fully accessible USB class compliance. This good quality keyboard controller doesn’t require any drivers and power cable.

With the special features of Ableton Live Lite and Novation Bass Station, there are so many virtual instruments that the Loopmasters samples. This USB keyboard will help in showcasing you with all the daily help.


  • A midi controller under $300 that offers better features and performance compared to the many competitors with the same price tag. Its 84% overall product rating is somewhat a testament to its quality.
  • Novation Launchkey 61 is made by a well-known brand that provides musical instruments to both professionals and amateur musicians.
  • It is one of the top midi controllers that offers 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads. It also includes 8 knobs, a dedicated navigation and other control buttons for users to have better control of their audio instruments and effects.
  • The package includes Ableton Live Lite, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, V Station virtual instruments and Novation Bass Station. This software can definitely help musicians bring out their artistry in them.
  • The product is conveniently portable with its light weight of only 9.26 pounds. In addition, it is fairly easy to set up.
  • According to Novation Launchkey 64 reviews, it is one of the best-rated MIDI keyboards that you can get for the money.


  • Some features of this MIDI controller aren’t supported by FL studio.
  • The keys feel somewhat cheaply made but according to customer feedbacks, it is sturdy.
  • You will need to purchase a separate power chord since the package does not include one.

Akai Professional Advance 61

Akai Professional Advance 61-Key

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Dimensions: 36.0 x 11.5 x 3.5 inches.
Weight: 12.1 pounds.
Power: 6 V DC, USB powered.
Octave: 10 Octave ranged with up/down buttons.
Compatibility: PC & Mac.
Connectivity: TS sustain pedal, TRS expression pedal, MIDI I/O, USB and power adapter.

This all in one controller with the keyboard and the trigger pads will provide with a good amount of performance. This 61-key with the semi-weighted amount comes with the full-size keys and very effectively make the pressure sensitivity.

The 16RGB illuminated MPC style and the vibrant pads with the effective use of the assignable banks will help in the controlling of the knobs and faders in perfection with the switches.

It is one of the most popular and top-rated control layouts that will help you in getting the LCD screen with the most powered USB connection to the computer. The revamped control system will enhance the backflow of the music in a soulful manner.


  • Another product by Akai, but this one offers more features that would help users to better themselves. This includes a 4.3-inch high-resolution full-color screen with of course its own dedicated interface buttons. On top of that, this screen provides 1:1 real-time feedback of your plug-in parameters.
  • The 61 keys are premium designed, semi-weighted and velocity-sensitive. Perfect for both beginners and experts who prefer reliable key action sensitivity over other unnecessary features.
  • Not a best budget midi keyboard, but certainly a good midi keyboard that is recommended by the majority of its customers.
  • Akai Professional Advance 61 is one of the best MIDI keyboards out there that can prove helpful for organ instrument users. With the many effects and controls this one offers, there are no better options.
  • Other features include Note Repeat, Pattern Arpeggiator, Tap-Tempo buttons, and Time Division.


  • This midi controller is not cheap. You may have to spend a little over $400.
  • It’s not heavy but it is not lightweight either with a weight of 12.1 pounds. Can be an inconvenience for some who carries their MIDI controllers around with them.

Also Read: Top-Rated 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

Alesis VI61

Alesis VI61

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Dimensions: 12.4 x 4.5 x 44.1 inches.
Weight: 7.67 pounds.
Power: 9 V DC adapter, USB.
Octave: Full melodic range Up/Down buttons.
Compatibility: PC & Mac.
Connectivity: USB, TS Footswitch, 5-pin MIDI out.

The advanced version of the MIDI keyboard controllable with the digital composition of the music and virtual instruments will help you get the 61 full sized square front. It is one of the best brands to provide a good MIDI keyboard controller and has 16 kinds of multi-color backlit pads.

It also helps in controlling the audio workstations with the proper plugins and instruments. It is powered by the USB connection with the optional amount of adapter for the complex setups. You are able to get the free downloads.


  • Ranked as one of the best MIDI controller keyboards out there, the Alesis VI61 is designed to better your digital music and virtual instruments tunes.
  • The 61 keys are full-sized, semi-weighted and are very comfortable to use, together with its 16 RGB lit pads. These pads are also velocity and pressure sensitive.
  • There are two power options, either USB connection through the computer or power adapter. This is actually a good advantage over its competitors since most are only USB powered.
  • The package includes AIR Xpand! 2 virtual instruments and Ableton Live Lite. As mentioned before, these help users to take better control over their music.
  • There are 16 knobs and 48 assignable buttons to have complete control of your audio workstation, instruments and even plug-ins. This includes the pitch and modulation wheels.
  • This controller has a 5-pin MIDI connectivity for more versatile use.


  • Although the overall design is rather large which is an inconvenience, it is surprisingly lightweight with only 7.67 pounds weight.
  • The Pads are not entirely great, but not that bad either. It could use a little improvement with its velocity being too sensitive even after configuration.
  • It is not a synth action keybed which many would have preferred.

Novation Impulse 61

Novation Impulse 61

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Dimensions: 41.3 x 6.3 x 15.1 inches.
Weight: 14.33 pounds.
Power: USB powered.
Octave: 2 Octave transpose buttons.
Compatibility: PC & Mac.
Connectivity: USB, expression and sustain pedals, and MIDI I/O.

With the ultra-responsive keyboard that has 8 knobs and 9 faders with buttons, this cheap MIDI controller has the automatic control process of the software that enables one to get the instant hands on the access.

The powerful roll beats and the launch clips act as an added value for the Ableton Live. This synthesizer keyboard USB controller comes with the power-packed performance and experience.


  • This is the one to get when you’re looking for a MIDI keyboard for Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic or other music software. Works with most used DAWs and plug-ins.
  • The semi-weighted keys are ultra-responsive with aftertouch This makes the users feel they’re holding a musical instrument rather than a simple digital device.
  • The drum pads are multi-functional that offers Warp Arpeggios, Launch Clips in Ableton Live, and Roll beats.
  • Due to the impressive design of its keys, it can be said that this product is one of the best MIDI pianos and not just a controller.
  • This controller includes an Automap 4 control software that enables instant access to your plugins and DAW.
  • Considered as a top-rated MIDI keyboard with its overall product rating of 82% from customer reviews.
  • The product has a 2-year limited warranty on any manufacturing defects users may encounter.


  • It is not a cheap MIDI controller that is priced a little over $300.
  • The knobs and other controls feel unreliable in terms of durability.
  • The automap feature can sometimes be more of an issue rather than being helpful to users.

Pro Midi Keyboard Controller 61

Pro Midi Keyboard Controller 61

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Dimensions: 39.4 x 9.9 x 3.6 inches.
Weight: 9.92 pounds.
Power: DC 9 V or USB.
Octave: +/- Octave buttons.
Compatibility: PC & Mac.
Connectivity: ¼ inch pedal jack, MIDI I/O, Expression Pedal, DC input, and USB.

This drum pad controller with the brightly lit LED display provides you with the editing controls and navigate the system for a menu.

The 8 velocity sensitive amount and the dynamic pads facilitate the finger drumming and help in the triggering of the loops and samples with the button with latching. It comes at the best price under $200 with the dedicated amount of transport and control surface that can be remapped.

The console-style faders come with the feature of the improved amount of feel in all kinds of adjustments. It has a good rating due to the warranty.


  • This one is made by one of the most popular brands in the music industry, Roland. Cakewalk A-800 Pro MIDI keyboard controller is ranked as one of the best MIDI keyboards out on the market as can be seen by the many positive customer reviews.
  • Features a dedicated transport section where users can have surface control through the product’s A-PRO. Not only that, but it can also be easily be remapped if preferred.
  • The product also has the 16×2 character with LED display. Definitely helps users with editing controls and even navigating other functions such as system menu.
  • The controller has console-style faders that make it easier when using tweaks and adjustments.
  • As seen by some Roland A-800 Pro reviews, everything performs perfectly from buttons, to keys and to its performance.


  • With a not-so-cheap price, it would have made it better if they added more dynamic pads to give users more options and control.
  • Although ranked as one of the best midi controllers that use Pro Tools, it does cost a more than most of its competitors with a price not going under $500.

Nektar Panorama P6

Nektar Panorama P6

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Dimensions: 42 x 5.9 x 15.4 inches.
Weight: 21 pounds.
Power: USB powered.
Octave: 10 Octave range with +/- buttons.
Compatibility: PC and Mac.
Connectivity: USB, MIDI output, Sustain and Expression Pedal.

The great brand at an affordable cost and within the budget will provide you with the single device. The single weighted 61 note velocity helps in offering you with the keyboard that comes aftertouch.

The velocity and pressure sensitivity of the product can be of good use. The assignable LED buttons and the preset locations with the F-key maps store the settings. As per the customer reviews and consumer reports you are able to get the good experience. You can easily buy after the great review.


  • Considered as one of the best USB MIDI keyboard out there with an overall product rating of 84%. Compared to its competitors, it is one of the most recommended 61 key MIDI keyboard controller.
  • The controller is integrated with Bitwig Studio, Cubase, Reason, Logic Pro X, or Nuendo. These provide users more options to bring out the creativity in them.
  • This one features a combined 93 real-time controls, fully functional at any given time.
  • It offers 12 pads that are velocity and pressure-sensitive to give users the comfort of pressing keys naturally.
  • Unlike their own Nektar Impact GX61, Panorama P6 features 100 mm ALPS motorized fader.
  • Unlike you 5 octave MIDI keyboards, this one can go 10 octaves by simply using its + and – control buttons.


  • The non-motorized fader isn’t as smooth as expected. The travel can feel a little bit grainy and uncomfortable.
  • It’s a good thing this controller has a 3 x 4-inch display, but navigation can be a little bit irritating.
  • Not the best MIDI controller for potential customers that have some issues with the budget. It can be quite expensive considering there are a lot more others that costs much less.



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Things to consider when buying a 61 Key MIDI Controller

There is a lot to consider when buying a 61 Key controller. It may seem easy at first, but unless you’re already an expert, it actually is more than just the number of keys or the features it offers.

Key Size/Weight

61 key fully weighted keyboard or semi-weighted, these can mean the difference of the user’s comfort and familiarity. Semi-weighted is the most common for the simple reason that they are well-balanced.

It also has a factor in dynamics and portability, but mainly on how comfortable a user is with the keys. Full weighted are for those that are already familiar with the heaviness of the keys. Not to mention, it also will cost more.

Key Sensitivity/Aftertouch

This is a standard feature for most MIDI controllers since it provides better control over the sound it produces. It measures the speed and pressure done on the keys, providing a more distinct sound.

Aftertouch is what detects the pressure that is applied to the keys. It can mean control over vibrato, the volume, or other parameters a user may prefer. You will have to spend a little extra if you want a controller with this feature.


This is not much of an issue since most keyboard controllers are compatible with Windows PC and Mac. You should, however, check for compatibility issues still, especially when purchasing older versions or models.


Depending on how you plan on using your newly bought MIDI controller, you may want to take note on its connectivity. If you plan on using other devices, check if it does support its connection such as expression pedals or MIDI inputs and outputs.

Pads & Effects

Basically, the more pads a MIDI controller offers, the more control you are given with your instrument or DAW. Don’t take this feature too much attention, however, since having too many pads can also mean having too much to think about.

Unless you’re a professional, it is wise to stay clear of using too many pads to allow users to concentrate on more important matters.

Motorized controls

This is no doubt one of the best features you can get from a product to have better control over your sound/music. It may not be for beginners, but once you get used to it, it can prove to be helpful in improving your music.

Not all MIDI controllers feature motorized controls and so you will have to spend more than the regular cost. It’s worth it as many users will tell you, as long as you have the will to learn how to use it.

Transport controls

Transport controls are simply the ease of use of your DAW. Assigning buttons for Play, Rewind, or Fast Forward is definitely a good feature that will help you save some time and hassle.

Power Supply

Sadly, not all MIDI controllers are multi-powered. Some can only be powered through USB, while some are powered through the use of 9 or 6V adapter.

Depending on how you plan on powering your controller, you may want to check this one out before buying. Better yet, pick one that is multi-powered, meaning it can be powered by multiple options.


Auto-mapping can be helpful, and stressful at the same time. For beginners, this feature can be very helpful. It will automatically configure itself and significantly helps with setup. For the more experienced, it can be frustrating if it doesn’t configure itself to what the user’s preferences are.

Benefits & Advantages of the 61 Key MIDI Keyboards

You may have noticed; 61 key MIDI keyboards are a little more in demand than others. This is simply because it has advantages over the others.

  • Perfectly balanced in terms of playability and functionality. Unlike 25 keys and 49 keys MIDI controllers, 61 keys are capable of more than just four Octaves. You’ll also be able to play a whole bass chord with your left hand while using your other hand to work wonders.
  • Familiarity and Budget. Unless you’re accustomed to piano playing, then you might be better off with 61 keys MIDI controller. The thing is, you will have to spend a little extra with more keys. If you are a piano player, then you will probably want the 88 keys MIDI controller like the Fatar SL88 Grand 88 key MIDI controller. It doesn’t offer much mind you, it just provides users with extra keys to those accustomed to having a bigger key station.

  • 4.8/5
  • 61 ratings