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Best 25 Key Midi Controller 2024: 10 SUPER Midis With 25 Keys!

What is the best 25 key MIDI keyboard? Is 25 keys enough? We investigate...

The best 25 key midi controller packs a lot of functionality into an extremely small space.

Call it the Swiss army knife of midi keyboards. One of those weapons that’s on virtually everyone’s radar, yet is incredibly capable in the right hands.

And that’s where 25 key midis 1up their larger relatives. While they do come across as a bit space age, they’re not so technical that they’re overly daunting. In fact, once you delve into how these controllers work, they’re actually pretty simple. Neither are 25 key midis expensive – they don’t come tied to a four figure ££££ tag. Oh, and as any producer who makes music ‘on the go’ will tell you, when it comes to portability, they’re no slouch either. They’re incredibly light!

So it’s not that hard to see why 25 key midis are SO popular. They tick a lot of boxes! But with that being said, not all 25 key controllers tick every one. To be honest, finding a keyboard that does is actually quite rare. Therefore, to save you the hassle, we’ve decided to share our knowledge of midi keyboards, to bring you the rundown of the best 25 key midi controllers for sale in 2024.

After something specific about the best 25 key midi keyboards? Or here because you’re asking “Is 25 keys enough for a midi controller?”. If so, use the menu below to find all the info you need in 1 click…

25 key midi keyboards for sale

NOTE: Interested in more than just 25 key midi controllers? Be sure to also check out our Best 49 Key Midi Controller Review + our Review Of The Best Mini Midi Controllers too!

While they do all fall under the same category of a ’25 key midi keyboard’, that’s not to say that each of these midis are made equal. Some are designed simply to be the most functional, while others go down the route of lightness and portability. In other words, not every 25 key midi controller is fully-loaded. Neither are they all made for the same type of producer. Hence why tracking down the best midi controller for you is actually quite a task.

So to help you come to a firm decision, opposed to guessing, here’s what we consider to be the best 25 key midi controllers on sale in 2024…

1: Donner DMK 25

When you think ‘midi keyboard’ you don’t normally think of Donner. In fact, you’re more likely to associate them with some sort of ukulele or guitar effects pedal. But with that being said, the DMK 25 (Donners’ first attempt at a 25 key midi) ain’t half bad. Compare its level of equipment to other more high-end 25 key midi controllers and you’ll struggle to spot the difference.

The DMK comes with a selection of assignable controls including: 8 velocity sensitive drum pads, 4 programmable knobs + 4 faders too. On top of this you also get two touch strips for controlling pitch and modulation, just like you’d get with a midi from Novation or Arturia. All of which makes this 25 key controller ideal for producers who’re all about sound experimentation. There’s a lot of ways to ‘feel’ what you produce with the Donner. In this case, more than you even get with the equivalent keyboard from the likes of Nektar or Native Instruments.

The only obvious difference we found with the DMK 25 was the keys, which feel not to much semi-weighted, but more synth action. For that type of key though, they feel good, although that is something you need to bear in mind before you buy. These keys are reasonably lightweight, so aren’t necessarily going to give you the most piano-like experience – something to bear in mind.

However, that’s just us being picky. If you work mostly in-DAW, then chances are this isn’t going to be that big of a deal. And besides, for near on half the price of other midis on this list, can you complain? We think not.

Why the Donner is the best budget 25 key midi controller…

  • It’s portable, at just 3.6cm thick & is one of the few midis to use USB C!!
  • In terms of functionality, it packs much the same punch as a more pricier device – Arturia/ Novation beware!
  • Despite the keys being synth action in feel, they’re highly responsive to velocity & do not feel like on/off switches!
midi keyboard being used to make beats for a rapper

2: Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3

If you’ve read that Novation makes some of the best 25 key midi controllers, whatever you’ve read was spot on. The Launchkey Mini MK3 is direct proof! Reason being that while it hasn’t yet perfected the 25 key formula, if you ask us it has come reasonably close. And that’s because you can tell this 25-key midi was designed with one thing in mind… Precision.

So while you might find that some 25 key midi keyboards feel a bit slow to respond, the Launckey is very much awake. By that we mean its responsive, both in terms of the keys (which feel great) and those 16 RGB pads! What’s more , the DAW integration (from our experience) is pretty much seamless, especially if you’re using Ableton. Plus, each button has close to 3 in-DAW shortcuts, which once you get the hang of them is a workflow god-send!

And that’s just it – everything about this keyboard just feels so finely tuned and intuitive. So as you can imagine, we struggled to find fault. Those who want to be picky could say that the keys aren’t full-size, but in this case, we’re actually quite glad they’re no bigger. Spend 5 minutes with this board and you’ll soon see why. The Launchkey isn’t designed to be the best 25 key midi controller for pianists. It’s all about fast sound experimentation & speeding up your current workflow.

Best 25 key midi? Potentially…

  • This midi has shortcuts galore!! Hook it up to your DAW & you’ll soon realise that every button has near on 3 different functions! A tad confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it there’s no going back!
  • The velocity sensitivity on those keys, as well as those pads is just mmm… so perfect!
  • Everything on this midi is so accessible – we love those 16 RGB pads & the built-in arpeggiator!

3: Arturia Minilab Mk2

Yes, the Minilab Mk2 has been around for a while now (5 years & counting), but that’s not to say it should be overlooked. In fact, you’d be a fool for doing so! Scrutinise the Minilab on build quality and you’ll soon realise why it’s often regarded as the best 25 key midi controller. For what it is, it’s certainly good value for money, and that’s despite a horde of new 25 key midis being released since: the MPK Mini Mk3 by Akai & the Launchkey Mini Mk3 by Novation. Neither of which boast a metal base or (if you ask us) better feeling keys.

So yes, the Arturia Minilab Mk2 is a tough cookie, not to mention smart. That’s because there’s a lot of features in its design that have actually being copied adopted by other 25 key midis. Those touch strips for pitch and modulation? You’ll find that Novation now use those. And what about those endless encoders? Of course, Akai’s pounced on them too.

Couple this with the fact that the Minilab’s in-depth DAW integration is still very much up there with some of the best, as well as the access you get to Arturia’s Analogue Lab – a suite of over 6000 sounds – and it’s clear to see why this 25 key midi controller is so popular. Unlike of controllers in its segment, the Minilab hasn’t been designed to be a 25 key gimmick. It’s designed to be the future.

Why is the Minilab the best 25 key midi keyboard?

  • For a 25 key midi controller, it’s built like a tank – the materials used to create the Minilab feel super premium!
  • Its keybed is arguably the best in class. Just like with the rest of Arturia hoards, the keys have a nice soft bounce to them + impressive velocity sensitivity. The keys don’t feel like on/off switches!!
  • Integration with Ableton Live is super easy + access to Analogue Lab Lite is a nice touch!
close up of the keys on a midi controller

4: Donner Starrykey

Full-size keys aren’t usually something you’d find on a midi controller, but they are on the Donner Starrykey. A 25 key midi keyboard that really surprised us, both in terms of design & keyfeel. See, start playing this keyboard & you really wouldn’t suspect it’s RRP, which (at the time of writing this blog) is less than 3 figures!

To play, the keys have a really nice semi-weighted feel to them. Something that’s partially due to the deep key-bed, which really allows you to be expressive when you play. For keen pianists, this midi controller is (arguably) the best of the bunch! What’s more, at under 1.4kg, this controller is light too, not to mention compact both in terms of surface area & thickness.

For a controller with such a BIG keybed, portability is really quite impressive, especially when you consider that to get it, you don’t sacrifice much in the way of features. The Starrykey still gives you 8 drum pads, a bunch of assignable knobs & buttons + compatibility with virtually every mainstream DAW. Hence why as far as value’s concerned, we think you’ll struggle to pick fault with the Starrykey.

What makes the Starrykey the best 25 key midi controller?

  • The feel of those keys! There’s few midis with full size keys that play this good! We love the keybed.
  • Price-wise, this is cheap! Considering the keys, the numbers caught us by surprise.
  • Despite the larger keybed, the Starrykey is compact. It’s one of the smallest & lightest midi keyboards out there with full-size keys!!

5: M-Audio Oyxgen Pro 25

Think 25 key midi controllers don’t come with full-size keys? Think again, as not only are those on the Oxygen Pro 25 full-size and semi-weighted, but they also (crucially) come with aftertouch!! No typo! Thanks to M-Audio, there really is such thing as a 25 key midi with aftertouch. Guess the fact they call it the ‘Pro’ isn’t just clever marketing.

As for the keybed, it’s supple and if you ask us, on par with many of those midis with 32 or even 40+ keys. The keys themselves are really quite sensitive to velocity and make surprisingly little noise when played. We’re real fans of the keypress on this midi! Then again, that could have something to do with the build – this midi controller weighs in at over 2kg! Although it’s hardly surprising considering its vast functionality.

Aside from a solid set of keys, the Oxygen Pro 25 also comes with two pitch & modulation wheels, 16 velocity sensitive pads, an intuitive screen, ‘smartscale’/ ‘smartchord’ features and even a ‘Midi Out’ port. So yes, this is a 25 key controller that can even talk with the rest of your setup! Granted, it may not be the most portable 25 key midi on earth, but considering all its perks, that’s a workout we’d happily accept.

Best 25 key midi controller? Here’s why the Pro 25 could be…

  • As far as 25 key midis go, it’s a pianist’s wet dream… those full-size semi-weighted keys feel epic + they have aftertouch (oh yes!)
  • That ‘Midi Out’ port is a nice touch & makes this midi the perfect accompaniment to any studio.
  • Those 16 drum pads are ideal for finger drumming – in fact, they feel remarkably similar to those you find on an Akai!
finger drummer using the pads on a controller to create drum patterns

6: Akai MPK 225

Rate 25-key midi controllers on their functionality and the MPK 225 would certainly be a front-runner. That’s because this controller is by far the most flexible 25-key midi out there – call it a midi gymnast. A keyboard that works however you like to produce. Point being theirs more banks on this keyboard that there is down your local high street. Let us explain…

Any beat makers who’s fans will be pleased to know this midicomes with 8 MPC style pads, with a whopping 4 pad banks! Prefer to assign sound to knobs and manipulate them via your DAW? No problem – this 25 key midi has 8 assignable knobs, each of which have 3 banks! Or perhaps you’re more into sound affects and want some way of triggering a one-off sound? If so, the MPK 225 has 5 assignable buttons, which (yes, you guessed it) have 3 extra banks. But that’s just the start.

Get hands-on with the 225 and you’ll realise that those 25 keys aren’t just for show. They’re semi weighted and sit on a surprisingly deep keybed, which allows you eek a lot of sounds out of each note. Oh, and did we mention, they also have aftertouch too! As for pitch and mod, these are controlled by wheels, which are smooth the operate, much like the transport controls, which we found extremely easy to use.

Couple this with the fact that the MPK 225 is reasonably lightweight + portable & we can’t really understand how it’s smaller sibling (the MPK Mini) is SO popular. As for a fraction more ££, the 225 is more than twice the midi if you ask us. Puzzling that one…

Reasons why you can’t find a better midi with 25 keys…

  • The sheer functionality of this controller is insane – aside from the banks upon banks of assignable controls, you also get built in loop & note repeat features + and argeitator!
  • Those 25 semi-weighted keys feel super smooth and come with aftertouch… yeah baby!
  • To say the MPK Mini is substantially more popular, we’d pay the extra for the 225 ann day of the week. Ask us and this is what the MPK Mini should have been.

7: Nektar Impact LX25+

The LX25+ has that (+) for a reason. That being the reason why its often dubbed as the best 25 key midi controller you can buy. The quirk? It’s those keys, which keen pianists will be glad to hear are full-size and semi-weighted. Now granted, the LX25+ isn’t the only midi keyboard with full size keys, but you have to give it kudos for doing so, as to play, this 25 key midi is arguably the most piano-like of the lot.

Turn your attention to the back of the midi and you’ll discover something you don’t often see on 25 key controllers – a pedal input. Perform live and you’ll soon notice just how useful this can be! Get your hands on the keys and you’ll also notice that Nektar haven’t cheaped-out on the keybed either. Each key has significant travel to it and when pressed allows you to get a real good feeling for the notes you’re playing.

And yes, the keys do somewhat hinder its portability – we’d be lying to say the LX25+ is slim. But that’s something you’d expect from a key-focused board like this. A board that we may add, just gets better when it comes to DAW integration. All the controls feel well thought out & logical (no DAW pun intended). The whole build feels super solid too – you very much get the feeling that Nektar built the LX25+ to last. Which is good as this is a 25 key midi controller you won’t want to get rid of in a hurry.

Yep – this may well be the best 25 key midi keyboard because…

  • The build quality is there – we wouldn’t be surprised if the LX25+ is bulletproof (although we haven’t tested that theory).
  • Those full-size semi weighted keys are ideal for anyone with big hands (oy oy oy)!
  • This is one of the few 25 key midis where you can make your experience even more piano-like by adding a pedal!!
nektar impact midi controller

8: Akai MPK Mini Mk3

When you think of the best 25 key midi controller, the Akai MPK Mini is more than often what springs to mind. But is that presumption correct? Should you be giving a piece of kit such a title when it looks like it’s fallen off the shelf at Toys R Us?

Yes. Because despite its somewhat infantile appearance, the MPK Mini is a serious piece of kit. Then again it should be, as Akai have been in the instrument game since the end of WW2 (1946)! So really, it’s no surprise that the MPK Mini has a large following & is praised on many aspects of its build, most notably its drum pads. Get your hands on one of these and you’ll see why. When compared to the majority of 25 key midis, they’re feel and responsiveness is far superior. Finger drumming on the Akai is an absolute joy.

What’s more, this sensitivity also carries through to the keys, which are semi-weighted and sit on a vastly improved keybed. Speaking of which, the keys themselves also have a good level of resistance and thankfully don’t feel like on/off switches. A major peeve we had with the Mk2. All of which makes the Mk3 incredibly playable, and is exactly the reason why it’s the most popular 25 key midi to date.

* If you’re not a fan of the ‘classic’ design, don’t worry! You can always upgrade to something slightly more flamboyant. Our favourite is the inverted white edition…

Reasons the Akai is the best 25 key midi controller out there…

  • Those backlit MPC-style pads are super responsive… finger drummers rejoice!
  • Compared to the Mk2, it’s a vast improvement in almost every way! And when we say vast, we mean VAST!
  • You could well label the MPK Mini the best 25-key midi controller for beginners. It’s just so easy to use – call it the ideal introduction to midi.

25 key midi controllers are known for being the most affordable type of midi keyboard that you can buy. Hence their HUGE popularity amongst beginners! Although, if during your hunt for a 25 key midi keyboard, you’ve realised that your budget isn’t perhaps as big as you’d thought, then you’ll likely be looking focusing on the more affordable end of the spectrum.

And that’s perfectly fine. Even some of the cheapest midi keyboards come with all the features you really need for music production. The only sacrifice you make is that they may not be as polished or have as larger following as their more pricy bigger brothers. In which case, here’s what we think is the best budget 25 key midi controller you can buy in 2024…

9: Alesis V25 MK2

As for the best budget 25 key midi controller, the Alesis V25 is certainly up there. That’s because for around half the price of most keyboards on this list, you can get yourself what’s actually quite a rare piece of kit. The V25 is one of the few 25 key midis which comes with full-size keys.

A set that’s also semi weighted and feels pretty decent to play. Considering this is a 25 key midi controller, the keybed is reasonably supple too, as is the keypress. There’s a good amount of resistance with these keys, yet they don’t fall into the trap of being too springy. All-in-all we’re big fans of the way this midi plays!

Now obviously, besides the keys, you don’t perhaps get the level of functionality that you’d expect with a more pricier device. You do get 8 assignable drum pads, as well as a cluster of knobs. But there’s no screen or any sort of gimmicks with the V25. Something that if you’re all about the keys, may actually be a plus. Either way though, if you’re after a budget 25 key midi controller that’s key-focused, then you can’t really go wrong.

Here’s why the V25 could be the best 25 key midi controller…

  • It’s all about those full-size keys! We love the way this midi plays.
  • Hello?! That price is insanely cheap… making this one of the best value 25 key midi controllers out there!!
  • Call us ‘old school’ if you will, but the simplicity of this midi is, dare we say it… refreshing. For any beginner it’d be super easy to grasp!
compact midi controller tucked into a backpack

10: Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A25

Now we know this blog is all about the best 25 key midi controller you can buy, but when we came across this keyboard felt the need to give it a mention. And that’s because unlike the rest of the boards on this list, we can’t really see it’s purpose.

Yes, in true NI fashion it’s well made, the keys are semi-weighted (virtually full size and have a really nice feel to them. The pitch and mod wheels work really well too and as for DAW functionality that’s seamless, especially if you’re planning on using it any NI plugins. Like all NI midi controllers, this was made to work with the Komplete Kontrol software suite of around 45k sounds! On paper, this midi looks really promising – we thought it was a real contender. That was until we came across the M32.

It was at this point the A25 made little sense.

That’s because it was also at this point that we also realised the M32 is virtually the same keyboard. It too has 8 knobs that work seamlessly at controlling your DAW and that KK suite of over 45k sounds. All the transport controls are the same (just slightly scaled down), as is the screen. Even pitch and mod is dealt with on strips opposed to wheels. Yet another perk.

And yet this keyboard is substantially slimmer, lighter and has 7 more keys, all despite it being virtually the same width. Granted, the keys are mini keys compared to those on the A25 and don’t have as much depth to the keypress (they’re unweighted synth action keys). But with that, we’d opt for the M32 in a heartbeat.

Remember, the core idea behind 25 keys is to be portable for use ‘on the go’, so to side for the A25 over the M32 when it’s more compact in virtually every way, to us seems illogical. Hence why we’d advise that anyone looking to buy into the Native Instruments ecosystem, ditches the A25 for the M32.

Here’s why you should ditch the A25 for the M32…

  • The M32 has the exact same DAW controls you’ll find on the M32!
  • Yes, the keys on the M32 are shorter, but you get 32 of them, despite it & the A25 being virtually the same length. The M32 is also thinner, not as wide and in general, more portable.
  • Its uses touch strips for pitch & mod, which are more accurate than the wheels you get with the A25. Plus, the touch strips makes it far easier to relocate a sound, as unlike with a wheel, they don’t return to centre.
producer holding a midi keyboard to the sky in a victorious fashion

Whittling these down to find the best 25 key midi controller, wasn’t easy! If you must know, for us it came to a toss up between two 25 key controllers: the

Arturia Minilab MK2 = Our Runner Up

& the highly capable + well equipped…

Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3 = Best 25 Key Midi Controller

Reason being that both these midis really do deliver when it comes to functionality. The Arturia comes with virtually everything you’ll find on the Novation, bar a couple extra drum pads. Play both these boards and the keys on the Arturia also (in our opinion) feel ever so slightly firmer – the keypress has slightly more feel to it than you get with the Novation. Plus, they’re also ever so slightly wider, which makes a huge difference when playing, especially for those with chunky hands. But that’s not to say that the keys on the Novation are bad. They’re not.

In fact, we’d say that while the keypress doesn’t quite have as much resistance or feel as you’d find in the Arturia, it is more sensitive to velocity; you can get a wider range of sounds out of each note on the Novation. What’s more, the differences between the two also begin to show when you get onto the subject of DAW integration. The point at which we think the Novation takes the lead.

That’s because while the DAW control you’ll find in Arturia is good, it’s nothing compared to what you’ll find on the Novation. To put it kindly, this is where the age gap begins to show. With the Novation, each button has X amount of different functions in relation to your DAW, and goes a long way towards preventing you reaching for the mouse full stop. Very useful!

Also consider that the Novation is substantially lighter, as well as has a smaller footprint, and the 4+ year gap does begin to show. All-in-all, the Novation really does have the edge in terms of tech. So much so that we’d say the gap it creates is too large for the Minilab to make up.

In other words, the best 25 key midi controller for sale today is the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3.

Enjoy this review of the best 25 key midi controller keyboard & eager for more? Don’t miss out on all our latest Midi Keyboard Reviews, as well as our Guides To Music Production Tech. Recently, we also did a review of the Best 61-Key Midi Controller + another on the Best 88 Key Midi Controller, which may also be a good read!

band using a midi controller to design their new hit song

But, if you’re confident that a 25 key midi is enough, or still have a burning question, keep reading to discover even more about why 25 key controllers could well be all you need…

Much as it sounds, a 25 key midi controller is a keyboard with 25 keys that acts as a controller for virtual instruments, which you assign to it through your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

And that’s the great thing about having a controller over a keyboard. These instruments could be anything, from classic synths and guitar sounds, to harps, ukuleles and even vocal effects! Controllers are super flexible when it comes to sound, hence why most producers favour them over a conventional keyboards. Let’s just say that not being limited to a bank of in-built sounds can really open up your creative process.

All of which is the entire idea behind a midi controller. So while they may look like a bit of kit off Star Trek, don’t let that trick you into thinking that they’re hard to use. They’re really not – a couple of YouTube tutorials is (in most cases) all a beginner needs to get producing. Setup is a breeze too, as virtually all 25 key midi keyboards are ‘plug-in-and-play’.

Besides, the whole reason they look so ‘space-age’ is because they’re all about options. That’s what midi controllers are designed to give you. So even though you see rows of faders, knobs and assignable pads (many of which have more than one bank), that’s not to say you have to use them all.

Fact is, some producers prefer to produce purely using pads, while others tend to be more key-focused. Some may prefer to mix using physical encoders, whereas others might prefer using the digital controls in their DAW. It’s all personal preference.

So if you’re a beginner, we’d suggest getting yourself a controller with a wide array of functionality. That way you can naturally ‘stumble across’ your production style and go on to produce in a way that works for you. Hence why the best 25 key midi controller (Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3) is what we think is the best all-rounder.

Yes, 25 keys is certainly enough for music production, especially if you’re a producer who likes to work on the go.

And that’s because unless you’re a concert pianist, you don’t actually need that many keys. Two octaves is usually enough for making melodies and even if you do want to move further up or down the scale, all you have to do is hit your midi’s ‘octave up/ down’ button.

Hardly rocket science.

If you’re not sure about this, then jump into our take on whether 25 keys is enough for a midi controller.

A 25 key midi keyboard has two octaves of keys, making it the smallest midi controller that you can buy.

Although don’t let that fool you into thinking that you sacrifice an awful lot of functionality by opting for a 25 key midi over something with 60+ keys. Because in reality, you don’t. If you’re after the essential ingredients that you need for production, a 25-key midi is (in most cases) all you need.

Upgrade and you may get a few more knobs, faders and drum pads – potentially even access to a larger software package. A pricier midi may also give you a screen or slightly more weighted keys if you’re lucky. But you don’t really go without anything.

Exactly why 25 key midi controllers work so well for beginners – they’re the perfect portable induction.

Yes – for many producers, 25 keys is just right.

Put it this way, if 25 keys wasn’t enough then 25 key midis wouldn’t be the best selling type of midi keyboard out there. Which coincidentally – they are.

Reason being, not only does their size make them a great option for beginners, but it also allows them to remain budget friendly. So much so that most serious producers actually have two midi keyboards. A large 88 or 61 for the studio, and a 25 key midi controller for their backpack.

This is where 25-key midis get tricky.

That’s because while you can to some extent learn piano on a 25 key midi controller., it’s not something we’d advise. For those wanting to learn basic hand positions or get used to playing simple melodies then yes – as a way to familiarise yourself with a keyboard, a 25 key midi controller is great.

However, if you’re looking to learn scales and full piano pieces, then you’d be far better off with a full-size keyboard. Also, don’t forget that with a midi keyboard being a controller, it will need your computer in order to function – it won’t make sound independently.

Although with that being said, because of the wide variety of sounds you can channel through a mid keyboard, you could say that it’d make learning the piano more fun. What’s more, it’d could also increase your comprehension of sound between different instruments. Ideal if you aspire to become a full-time producer.

Despite the fact we’d say that the Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3 is the best 25 key midi controller you can pick up currently, the most popular out there at the moment, is the Akai MPK Mini Mk3.

This is because out of all the midi controllers, the Akai has managed to make itself known for being the most user friendly and intuitive for beginners. Which in many respects it is, however we’d still say that for beginners, the Novation Launchkey is the better bet.

Yes, it’s slightly more complex to use, but all that means is that once you get your head around it, you’ll be more or less fluent in how to use a midi controller full stop. Arguably, the best (& quickest) way for beginner to get up to speed if you ask us. The DAW control in particular could take some time to grasp, but it’s investing that time now (as a beginner), which will save you time and streamline your workflow down the line.

Let’s just say that in the case of midi keyboards, we don’t think it pays to follow the crowd.

While you can use a midi keyboard with 25 keys for virtually any sort of production, bar perhaps a full-on piano piece, here’s a couple of instances where we feel a 25 key controller would work really well…

  • Sampling & light production – 25 key midis work perfectly if you’re doing a spot of light sampling. Just like their bigger brothers, they work really well alongside a DAW to help you capture samples & mould them into the correct shape for your composition.
  • Beat-making – With 25 key midi controllers coming with such a vast array of drum pads and assignable controls, they’re the perfect tool for any aspiring beat-maker. Go on YouTube and we guarantee you that many of the ‘type beats‘ you listen to, are produced using a 25-key midi controller. As for loop-based genres like Hip Hop, that’s really all the keys you need.
  • Beginners finding their feet – For anyone looking to get into production, a 25 key midi is the ideal starting point. Aside from opening beginners up to sound design at its most simple, these midi controllers are also a great way to get used to how a controller feels, as well as what one’s like to work with. Important to know as not all producers warm to midi keyboards. For instance, we’ve heard that Dr Dre prefers to work with live samples, opposed to midi.
  • ‘On the go’ production – Production isn’t all done in the studio, so having to lug a full 88 key monster of a keyboard around is hardly ideal. Whereas with a 25 key model, a producer can meet with artists and start vibing with them straight away. If you ask us, this is one of the easiest ways to build a relationship them fast and ensure you stand out from other producers.

Plus, being backpack friendly, 25 key controllers can also function much like a notepad. That way if you have a revolutionary idea on the go, you can plug in your controller and get it recorded. Granted, not everyone carries a laptop in their bag, but you’ll be pleased to know that a good chunk of 25 key midis also work with iPads and phones too!