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Best 37/ 32-Key MIDI Controller 2023: 9 You MUST Consider!!

Is 32/ 37 keys enough? Here's why midi controllers with 32/ 37 keys are the way to go!

“Tracking down the best 32/ 37 key midi controller is surprisingly simple” (famous last words).

But seriously, it is! In comparison to other types of midi keyboards, those in their 30s are actually quite a rarity. So really, just by clicking on this blog, you’ve taken a large step towards differentiating yourself from 90% of producers. Kudos to you!

However, it is hard to see why these mid sized midi keyboards are so rare. When compared to other midis on the market, those with 32 or 37 keys are just as well equipped. In fact, compared to 25 Key Midi Controllers, a lot of those in their 30s come with extra features & in some cases, are even built to a better standard too – the keys aren’t the only upgrade.

All of which really does beggar the question, why are midi keyboards with around 30 keys, so rare? Is 32/ 37 keys enough? Read on & we’ll reveal a handful of the best 32/ 37 key midi controllers for sale today.

After something specific about the best 32/ 37 key midi keyboards? Or just curious if 32/ 37 keys is enough? Use the menu below to get clued up on mid-sized midis extra fast…

midi keyboard with 32 keys on a desk in a studio

NOTE: Curious about other sizes of midi controllers? Be sure to check out our reviews of Good Mini Midi Keyboards + the Best Midi Keyboards EVER!!

Now it’s no secret, what with all the various sizes & specs of midi keyboard out there, that tracking down the right one of you (especially today) is no easy task. When it comes to Music Production Kit, midi keyboards are one of the hardest things to get right, as there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.

Hence why choosing the midi keyboard that bodes best with your workflow is a must! Which is why we’ve taken the time to review the very best 32/ 37 key midi controllers that you can buy today…

Much as they sound, these are 32/ 37 key midi keyboards that come with all the bells & whistles – top of the line pads, great feeling keys, intuitive transport controls… the lot. In other words, they’re the maxed-out most capable versions of any midi controller with 32/ 37 keys.

So if you’re after a 32/37 key midi keyboard primarily for use in the studio, then we’d say one of the following would be a wise bet…

1: Akai MPK Mini Plus

Why’s the MPK Mini Plus the best 37 key combo controller?

  • If you’re after connectivity, look no further. There’s more inputs/ outputs on this midi keyboard than the majority of 37 key boards. Everything from sustain & Midi in/ Out to CV Gate & Clock i/o!!
  • Those drum pads. As with any Akai keyboard, for finger drumming it’s pretty much perfect. The pad response, feel and sensitivity is all fantastic. You can achieve some real delicate sounds with these pads!
  • Unlike the majority of other controllers, pitch & modulation are assigned to physical wheels, opposed to touch strips. YES AKAI – FINALLY!

NOTE: Intrigued? Be sure to check out our full Review Of The Akai MPK Mini Plus.

2: Arturia KeyStep Pro

Here’s why any pro should buy the Keystep Pro…

  • That sequencer. It’s one of the most comprehensive built-in sequencers you’ll find in any 37 key midi controller – it has 4 separate tracks, each of which can function as a polyphonic sequencer or a drum sequencer in the case of Track 1.
  • For controlling any sort of instrument, the Keystep Pro is fantastic. It can control virtual instruments via midi, hardware instruments like synths & even modular gear too!
  • Unlike with a lot of smaller midi controllers, the keys on the Keystep Pro come with aftertouch.
buy a midi keyboard with 32 or 37 keys

3: M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini 32

You should check out this 32 key controller, because…

  • It has a LOT of transport controls! As far as DAW control’s concerned, the Oxygen Pro Mini 32 ticks a lot of boxes.
  • For a 32 key controller it’s incredibly compact. The footprint of some 25 key controllers isn’t far off this. It’s thin too! So if portability’s a concern… now it’s not.
  • This 32 key board gives you every type of assignable control imaginable, from faders and encoders to drum pads & pitch & mod wheels. You even get a screen to monitor your adjustments too!!

4: Novation Launchkey 37 MK3 

This is the 37 key midi controller to have, because…

  • There’s 16 of those drum pads & each of them comes with polyphonic aftertouch, which makes finger drumming on this controller, an utter joy!
  • As far as integration goes, this is by far the deepest you get with Ableton Live in any 37 key controller. With each knob you can control the volume, sends and pan of each clip, as well as use the drum pads + the extensive ‘shift’ features to navigate your DAW directly from this controller. Very clever!
  • The transport controls you get on the Launchkey 37 are super in-depth. Aside form the usual stop, play & record, they allow you to quantise, click, undo & capture midi too. A serious time-saver!!
woman's fingers on the keys of a midi keyboard

5: Arturia Keystep 32

Why’s the Keystep 32 the controller to have?

  • For such a small controller, this keyboard has a lot of inputs/ outputs – Midi In/ Out, CV Gate, sustain & Clock In/ Out.
  • That built-in sequencer + arpeggiator are no gimmick. The sequencer has 8 internal memories & that arp comes with 8 pattern styles. A super quick way to change-up your sound!!
  • Compared toa lot of 32 key controller you find these days, the Keystep 32 is solid. The bottom is made of metal & the whole device itself just feels incredibly premium. Crazy, when you consider the £$€!

Want to see the Keystep 32 in action? Jump into this video…

6: Native Instruments M32

Here’s why the M32 is a great 32 key controller…

  • Navigation around the Komplete Kontrol sound suite is effortless with this 32 key board. You can navigate through menus, choose sounds & even load them up onto specific parts of the keyboard all without touching your computer. Now that’s workflow!!
  • Being a Native Instruments keyboard, the software you get is bananas! You get over 6100 sounds included with the M32, which equate to a whopping 10GB of content! Ontop of that you also get 2 Reaktor synths (Monark & Prism), as well as Scarbee Mark 1 electric piano.
  • The quality & feel of everything on the M32 comes across as expensive. There’s no bits that wobble or hollow sounding parts to the shell, yet this 32 key controller is cheap… very cheap!!
korg microkey midi keyboard controller

Just after 32/ 37 keys for the road?

If so, then all you’ll likely need is a budget 32/ 37 key midi controller that’s rugged enough to withstand touring & equipped with a basic level of perks & features. So while these may not be (from a technical standpoint) the best 32/ 37 midi controllers you can buy, for casual use, they’re really all you need…

7: Korg Microkey2 37

Here’s why you shouldn’t rule out the Korg MicroKey2…

  • Those keys. Despite this controller being a budget midi keyboard, the keybed itself is impressive. There’s a nice depth to it, which allows you to inject some real feel into what you play. For performing runs, this keyboard is great!
  • Very few budget midi controllers have pitch & mod assigned to wheels – most make do with simple buttons. Whereas with the Korg you do get physical wheels, which really adds to the playing experience & gives you that extra level of control.
  • You don’t even have to use a wire with this midi controller. It can be programmed for use a Bluetooth keyboard!!

8: IK Multimedia iRig Keys 2

Why is this the best cheap 37 key midi controller?

  • Unlike 99% of compact midi controllers, the iRig Keys 2 has a built-in audio interface, which allows you to output sounds directly into your android or ios devices. Incredibly useful if you want to produce while out & about & just have your phone or a tablet.
  • We’ve said it once with the Korg, but we’ll say it again – having a pitch and mod wheel on something this small is just great. As are those endless encoders, which work a treat for controlling plugins.
  • For the price, these keys are ridiculously good. The keybed is surprisingly supple & low noise too! We foudn you could really get expressive with these 37 keys.
beginner using a midi controller & a daw to create a song

If you’re a beginner looking at 32 keys, then you’re really just after one thing – the most features in the cheapest package.

In other words, a keyboard that serves as a learning step & allows you to get a feel for producing with 32 keys. That way you’re more aware of how to best invest your £$€ when it comes to upgrading to something more professional. Besides, why spend mega £$€ on the best 32/ 37 key midi controller if you’re not even sure whether you work well on keys??!! If finger drumming is more your thing, then chances are pad controllers would be a better bet. Just as a fully-weighted keyboard would be for a frantic pianist.

Point being that for a starting point with 32 keys, this midi controller is pretty much perfect – i.e. the best 32 key midi controller for beginners…

9: M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3

What makes the 32 key Keystation SO beginner friendly?

  • To say the Keystation is SO small, M-Audio don’t exactly scrimp on software. With this micro midi keyboard, you get Pro Tools First & Avid effects included, which considering the price, is mind-boggling value!!
  • If form factor is important to you as a beginner, then the Keystation score top marks. This keyboard is tiny!! Don’t believe us? Here’s the dims: 418 x 105 x 198mm
  • And yet despite the size & slim appearance, the keys don’t feel cheap. For such a bargain basement midi controller they feel well-seated & provide you with a good platform for making music. Ideal if you’re just getting into music.
is 32 keys enough

DISCLAIMER: Deciding on what we deem to be the best 32/ 37 key midi keyboard was tough. And by ‘tough’, we mean this verdict took us a good few days to reach!

See, when buying a 32/ 37 key midi keyboard, as far as we can tell you’re hunting for 3 key qualities: a solid build, decent keys & a good level of functionality. So in other words, a good all-round midi keyboard. A slightly different recipe to what you’d be after with a 25 or 88 key midi controller.

In which case, if you’re a professional-level producer, who’s after a midi controller that offers optimum control in a studio environment + impeccable keyfeel (or if you’re a high-level performer), then we’d without a doubt opt for the…

Arturia Keystep Pro 3 – Best 32/37 Key Midi Controller For Pros

Believe us when we say that as far as midi controllers get at the 32/37 key level, this is hands-down one of the most professional pieces of kit you’ll find. Not many midi controllers come with a built-in analogue sequencer, let alone aftertouch & this many buttons (most of which have secondary functions).

Not to mention the sheer amount if inputs/ outputs this keyboard has for modular gear & hardware synths. All of which makes it great for performing live, especially when you’re using multiple instruments, be they physical or software. In may ways, we like to think of it as a slimmed down Keylab 88 or S61, only with a few extra quirks. And all of that’s great, but …

If you’re not so fussed about using analog gear & more focused on fast DAW control, then you may be better off opting for the Launchkey 37 (especially if you use Ableton Live)

Novation Launchkey 37 MK3 – Best 32/ 37 Key Midi Controller For DAW Integration

We say so because just like it’s smaller cousin, the Launchkey Mini MK3, the 37 offers a LOT when it come to integration!!

The knobs can be used to control the volume, pan & sends of each clip in Ableton Live + the drum pads light up in such a way that they emulate session view. Certain clips & sounds correspond to the colours on each pad, enabling you to have a DEEP level of control without even touching your computer. The amount of auto-mapping you get with the Launchkey is workflow Godsend!

Plus, as it keyboard it hardly falls short either.

The transport controls are some of the most in-depth of any 37 key controller, & the fact there’s 16 drum pads makes it a decent platform for finger drumming/ making beats. The only areas where the Launchkey really falls short is the level of inputs/ outputs for which you would have to upgrade to a larger model.

Speaking of which, if you’re searching for the all-round best 37 key midi controller, then look no further than the…

Akai MPK Mini Plus – Best All Round 32/ 37 Key Midi Controller

A midi controller with 37 keys that really surprised us, due to its sheer amount of features.

While some 32/37 key controllers lack drum pads (cough… Arturia), the MPK Mini Plus doesn’t. If anything, it boasts some of the best feeling pads you get on any midi controller. It also boasts a sequencer that’s as good that you find in any Arturia keyboard, & yet around the back, there’s a whole host of inputs/ outputs for you to play with, from Midi In/ Out & the classic sustain to CV Gate & even Clock i/o.

And while the keys may feel that bit better on an Arturia, the 37 you find on the MPK Mini Plus aren’t bad by any means. Hence why if we were the average producer looking a multi-functional controller that ticks all the feature boxes & integrates well with the majority of DAWs, the MPK Mini Plus would be the one we’d choose.

Enjoy this 32/ 37 key midi keyboard review & eager for more? Be sure to also check out our latest Midi Keyboard Reviews, as well as get our thoughts on other Music Production Tech. Recently, we also did a full rundown of the Best 49 key Midi Controllers + another on Weighted Midi Keyboards, which may also be worth a read.

group of people finger drumnming on a 32 key midi controller

Or, if you’re here purely to read up on 32/ 37 key midi controllers, then keep reading & we’ll answer even more of your burning questions + discuss why a midi controller is such a vital part of your setup…

32 key midi keyboards are more than just good. If anything, you could say they’re the perfect size.

A midi controller that retains a good chunk of the portability you get with a 25 key midi, yet gives you another octave of keys + (usually) some extra technical perks. A fair few keyboards in their 30s come with additional inputs/ outputs, as well as slightly different keybeds.

Call them a good balance if you will – they’re not fully kitted out & neither are they so basic that they become limiting. In fact, for most producers/ beat-makers, they’re the perfect fit.

PS/ Also keep an eye on software bundles. Spend that bit extra to get 32 keys over 25 & you could also bag yourself some additional plugins, virtual instruments or maybe even a DAW.

The answer to that really on depends on how many keys you need from a mid keyboard in order to produce.

If you’re a concert pianist then your answer to this will likely be the full 88. In which case, 32/ 37 key midis just don’t cut the mustard. Not only do they restrict you in terms of playing area/ scales, but they also might not be weighted the way that you’d like or be big enough (on a key by key basis) for your fingers.

NOTE: A lot of 32/37 key controllers come with mini keys, which typically aren’t as long or as wide as conventional keys.

However, in the case you’re a producer or beat-maker who isn’t trying to layer your 808s with a work of Mozart, then a 32 or 37 key midi controller should more than suffice. Both for studio & ‘on the go’ use, these boards work great for musical notetaking.

Plus, they’re a darn site cheaper too!

When shopping for what you consider to be the best 32/ 37 key midi controller, there are a few factors to bear in mind. Here’s 3:

  • Portability – If you’re regularly producing ‘on the go’ or are just the type of prod who likes to have a midi controller stashed in their backpack incase genius strikes, then portability & size is something to pay close attention to. Luckily, the majority of midi keyboards in this key range, tend to be pretty thin, as well as light & (thanks to mini keys) not that lengthy.
  • Build Quality – Depending on what your intentions are with a 32/ 37 key midi, build quality is also another thing to lookout for. If you’re after a beginner keyboard (something to practice on), then this may actually not be that big of a deal. However, if you’re a pro looking to invest serious money then it’s a factor to seriously consider.
  • Key size – If you’re after 32/ 37 key midi controller with full-sized keys, be aware that your options are likely to be extremely limited. In fact, we’re not even sure there is a keyboard of this size that boast full size keys. So in the case they’re something you’re after, we’d suggest upsizing.

To put it bluntly, not more than 3 octaves – i.e. usually enough for most producers.

  • 32 keys = 2.5 octaves
  • 37 keys = 3 octaves

Ask us & we’d say that yes – 37 keys is enough (& in some cases, more than enough) for a midi keyboard.

See, while 32 or 25 keys can feel a bit crampt, especially of the keys are miniature, 37 keys (i.e. 3 octaves) is more than enough to give producers creative room to the point that they don’t have to keep smashing the ‘octave shift’ button every 2 seconds. Any piano-focused prod who’s picked up a 25 key controller, will know all about that (it’s a headache).

In fact, with most of these boards, we found it pretty easy to get a nice run going & found scales to be pretty simple too. Now of course that’s up to you to decide, but if the jump up to a 49 key midi is too much (both in size & price), then 37 keys is pretty much spot on.

PS/ Want to understand more about what’s the best key count for you? Jump into our article entitled ‘Is 25 Keys Enough?

As far as we know, there are no 32/37 key midi controllers with full-sized keys.

Part of the reason being sales. That’s because the majority of people who’re after 32 or 37 keys, are usually searching for something portable, which full-size keys could severely hamper. A longer & deeper keybed doesn’t exactly make a midi backpack friendly.

In which case, if full-size keys are what you’re after, we’d suggest upsizing to either 49 or 61 keys.