The 7 Best 25-Key Mini MIDI Keyboard Controllers 2020


If you’re a producer who needs to work on the go, it’s good to take a look at the very best 25-key MIDI controllers obtainable in 2020. These backpack-sized controllers have gotten you lined every time/wherever the artistic temper strikes.

Our high 7 doesn’t simply embrace probably the most transportable MIDI keyboards but in addition some real studio powerhouses. From drum pads to deep DAW integration, these compact MIDI controllers have all of it.

Here are the very best 25-key mini MIDI controllers in 2020:

  1. Akai MPK Mini Play
  2. Arturia MiniLab MkII
  3. Novation Launchkey Mini
  4. NI Komplete Kontrol A25
  5. Alesis VI25
  6. Nektar SE25
  7. Korg microKEY2 Air

1. Akai MPK Mini Play

The one which does all of it

Akai Professional is likely to be most recognized for his or her MPC pads, however they’re no novices with regards to MIDI keyboards both. The Akai MPK Mini Play takes what the MPK Mini MkII provided and goes a couple of steps additional. The primary motive we place it above the opposite 25-key MIDI controllers is that it has genuine MPC pads.

It has eight drum pads which might be by far probably the most responsive in its class. They are excellent for shortly laying down a beat if you find yourself producing new concepts. The pads have two banks (A and B), which implies you’ve gotten 16 pad slots to assign samples in complete.

The most important improve is that the MPK Play has a built-in sound module and speaker. It comes filled with 128 voices and 10 drum kits, protecting a variety of types. You not want a laptop computer and software program to generate sound; you possibly can actually play wherever (with batteries, in fact).

The MPK Mini Play comes with the Akai Professional VIP 3.Zero software program. VIP 3.Zero is a complicated digital instrument participant and workflow administration system. What it does is permits you to load your plugins and mix as much as eight digital devices and results with key zones and customized mapping. It’s mainly a simple approach to mix the plugins that you just use most, and a very good approach to discover combos you may not have thought of earlier than.

Along with VIP 3.0, you get an entire bunch of software program, together with Pro Tools First, Hybrid, Wobble, MPC Essentials, and a few MPC enlargement packs.

Akai MPK Mini Play Mini Controller Keyboard

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  • Authentic MPC pads.
  • Play wherever with built-in voices.
  • Intuitive thumbstick.
  • Arpeggiator.
  • Note repeat.
  • Fantastic software program bundle.
  • Eight assignable knobs.
  • Small keys take some apply.

The MPK Mini MkII was a very long time favourite of our and a trusted journey companion, the MPK Mini Play is a worthy successor to the throne. Akai MPC pads are the very best round, and having them on such a transportable MIDI controller is ideal for any producer on the street.

The built-in sound module may not produce voices that you’ll use in your ultimate observe (though some are nice), however it permits you to work on concepts irrespective of the place you might be. It has all the things that you really want from a bit of MIDI controller and extra. For our cash, it’s the very best 25-key MIDI controller round proper now.

2. Arturia MiniLab MkII

All type and substance

Arturia is on a roll in the intervening time; the newest line up of MIDI controllers is implausible. The MiniLab MkII is the little brother to the KeyLab sequence, and it shares the identical smooth but purposeful design.

It options slim synth-action keys that supply a well-balanced really feel for numerous sounds. The Minilab MkII has the identical velocity-sensitive pads that you just discover on the bigger KeyLab fashions. There are eight pads with two banks, providing you with as much as 16 assignable pads.

In typical Arturia vogue, there are many assignable encoders, 16 to be precise. Two of the encoders are clickable to supply deeper integration with Arturia’s Analog Lab software program.

The MiniLab MkII comes with Analog Lab Lite, a slimmed-down model of Arturia’s flagship digital devices package deal. Even although it’s not the total model, it’s nonetheless filled with 500 top-notch sounds. Along with Analog Lab, you additionally get a replica of Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano. So, from acoustic devices to electrical pianos, to synths, you get the lot.

Arturia Minilab Mk2 Mini MIDI Controller

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  • Deep integration with in style DAW’s.
  • Plenty of assignable encoders.
  • Top-quality digital devices included.
  • Sleek design.
  • The earlier model got here with extra sounds.

The MiniLab Mk2 is the very best trying transportable MIDI keyboard on our record; it’s beautiful. The motive that issues is that it could be straightforward to imagine it’s all type over substance, however that not the case in any respect.

The keys really feel good; the pads are responsive, and the huge quantity of encoders make it excellent for bed room producers. It can be good if it nonetheless got here with extra sounds, however Analog Lab Lite is so good, it’s exhausting to complain.

3. Novation Launchkey Mini

The greatest transportable MIDI controller for Ableton

The Novation Launchkey Mini is among the most purposeful 25-key MIDI controllers in the marketplace. It comes with a full set of 16 velocity-sensitive pads, which is uncommon on a controller so small. Despite being small and the bigger variety of pads, the format of the Launchkey Mini isn’t too clustered in any respect.

Novation has upgraded the keybed for the Launchkey Mini MkIII, and it feels higher than most mini-key controllers you’ll ever play. Rather than a pitch/mod wheel, Novation has gone for contact strips that work very nicely.

Two built-in options actually stand out; they’re the onboard arpeggiator and chord mode. Chord mode has a couple of completely different settings, rhythmic patterns, and ranges over 4 octaves. It permits you to set completely different chord formed then set off them with a single notice. There’s additionally a mutate mode that can robotically generate completely different variations.

The Launchkey Mini is purpose-built for Ableton, however it works nicely with other DAWs, too. It comes with a fairly helpful software program bundle, together with Ableton Live Lite, AAS Session Bundle, and diverse plugins.

Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3 Mini MIDI Controller

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  • Excellent clear format.
  • 16 velocity-sensitive pads.
  • Smart arpeggiator and chord modes.
  • Pads aren’t the very best for quick finger drumming.

Novation by no means appears to go far improper with regards to MIDI controllers. They have been doing it for some time now and doing it in addition to most. The Launchkey Mini MkIII is presumably the most effective feeling keyboards on our record; it’s pretty to play. The incontrovertible fact that it’s meant for Ableton may put some customers off, however it’s a minor subject at most. Overall, it’s the most effective mini MIDI controllers you should purchase.

4. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A25

The greatest for Native Instruments plugins

The Komplete Kontrol sequence has been an enormous success amongst lovers of Native Instruments plugins. This A25 mannequin comes with a semi-weighted customized Native Instruments keybed. The really feel of the keys gives sufficient resistance if you need it, however they snap again quick sufficient for taking part in synths or percussion.

Eight touch-sensitive rotary knobs are pre-mapped to Komplete Instruments or may be assigned to parameters in your DAW. A quad-directional push encoder lets you browse sounds and results with one hand whereas previewing them with the opposite.

The A25 has some useful transport controls and integrates with main DAW’s for hands-on management. There is a small OLED show that helps you browse presets, however looking is way simpler by way of the Komplete Kontrol software program. The software program permits tag-based looking, making it should simpler to seek out the best sound shortly.

Another good function for a speedy workflow is Smart Play; it permits you to map over 100 scales/modes to white keys solely. It additionally permits you to set off chords or arpeggios from a single notice.

Native Instruments put collectively a complete software program bundle for the A25, together with Komplete Instruments & Effects, Komplete Kontrol, and Maschine Essentials. As we talked about already, the A25 is pre-mapped to all the Native Instruments Software.

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A25 Controller Keyboard

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  • Semi-weighted keys.
  • Pre-mapped to Native Instruments software program.
  • High-quality digital devices and results.
  • Smart Play.
  • The trendy design is let down by its considerably cumbersome body.
  • No Maschine pads.

The Komplete Kontrol A25 is a fairly formidable effort from Native Instruments, and for probably the most half, it’s on the cash. It’s a bit of bulkier than it must be, however with the numerous performance on provide, we will forgive the additional measurement. Native Instruments make some completely superb devices, and the included bundle is top-notch.

It’s a easy conclusion; in the event you primarily use NI plugins, that is the one 25-key MIDI controller for you. If not, there are a few higher choices, however it’s nonetheless certainly one of our top-rated 25-key MIDI controllers.

5. Alesis VI25

The little studio workhorse

Alesis has a fame for delivering most performance on a price range. The VI25 packs in about as a lot as a 25-key MIDI controller can deal with.

There are two issues that you’ll discover right away, full-size keys and 16 velocity-sensitive drum pads. The keys are semi-weighted with aftertouch, and the pads are second solely to the Akai MPK Play.

Like any other controller with pads, the pads can be utilized to set off samples or loops. Where the VI25 pads come into their very own is full-on finger drumming as a result of they’re very responsive.

It options eight illuminated, assignable rotary knobs and 24 assignable buttons. That stage of assignable management is remarkable on most MIDI controllers of this measurement. Along with the assignable controls, there are devoted transport controls for fast recording/enhancing in your DAW.

The VI25 is just not solely superb for controlling your digital devices however due to a 5-pin MIDI out, it’s nice for controlling exterior gear. It works fantastically nicely with any DAW, however it comes with a replica of Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition.

Alesis VI25 MIDI Keyboard Controller

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  • Full-size semi-weighted keys.
  • Aftertouch.
  • Fantastic drum pads.
  • Lots of assignable controls.
  • Not probably the most transportable in its class.
  • A greater software program bundle can be good.

The Alesis VI25 is superb in nearly each space. Having 16 high-quality drum pads and full-size keys with aftertouch are superb for a 25-key controller. However, including these options means the controller gained’t be as small as most others. Ultimately, it’s not probably the most transportable MIDI controller on our record. But, if it’s primarily for studio use, it is best to undoubtedly take a look at the Alesis VI25.

6. Nektar SE25

The one you didn’t anticipate

The Nektar SE25 is probably the most unassuming controller on our record. At a look, it doesn’t seem like it has an excessive amount of to supply, however appears to be like may be deceiving.

Being so small doesn’t depart a lot room to play with with regards to a sensible keybed. However, the mini-keys on the SE25 have three velocity curves and are as responsive as most.

The complete physique of the SE25 isn’t a lot larger than the scale of the keys. So, so far as being transportable goes, it’s pretty much as good because it will get. Despite being so small, there are six assignable buttons (octaves, transpose, MIDI channel, layer, and latch).

One distinctive function of the SE25 is the Part Two perform. By holding the ‘2’ button, you possibly can briefly swap to a distinct octave, MIDI channel, or add a concord layer. Releasing the button returns you to the unique voice setting, opening up new efficiency prospects.

The SE25 comes with Bitwig 8-Track with over 50 digital devices and results. What’s much more spectacular is that Nektar’s DAW integration software program immediately maps your controller to popular DAWs. A function that’s hardly ever discovered on a controller this low cost, if ever.

Nektar SE25 MIDI Controller

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  • Part Two perform.
  • DAW integration software program.
  • Extremely slimline and transportable.

The Nektar SE25 needed to make it onto our record for its value and measurement greater than the rest. That’s to not say it doesn’t have any spectacular options; the Part Two perform may be very intelligent certainly. The reality it has such straightforward DAW integration for underneath $50 is one other large plus.

If you need one thing low cost, small, and dependable, look no additional. For these with minimal baggage house, the SE25 is kind of presumably the final word MIDI keyboard for journey.

7. Korg microKEY2 Air

The no-nonsense Korg

Korg isn’t often the primary title that involves thoughts after we take into consideration transportable MIDI controllers. However, the Korg microKEY2 Air is among the greatest now we have seen thus far.

It comes with Korg’s natural-touch keys, that are ever so barely heavier than most related controllers. The keybed encourages extra expressive taking part in and works nicely with the maintain button.

The microKEY2 Air has an onboard arpeggiator so as to add movement to your concepts. In addition to the arpeggiator and maintain buttons, there’s octave up/down buttons and a pitch/mod joystick. The joystick provides you all of the management it’s good to form and bend your sound as you would like. One of the very best options of the Korg microKEY2 Air is how streamlined it’s; it has what it wants and no extra.

It connects to your pc or sensible system by way of Bluetooth or USB. The Bluetooth connection is low-latency, however like all wi-fi connection, outcomes will fluctuate. If you’re going fully wi-fi, you’re going to get round 30 hours of play from two AA batteries.

Korg throws in a very respectable software program bundle, together with their Legacy Collection M1 Le, AAS Modules, Propellerhead Reason Limited, and extra.

Korg microKey 2 25 Air Bluetooth MIDI Keyboard

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  • Extremely slim.
  • Natural contact keys.
  • Long battery life.

The Korg microKEY2 Air is among the most transportable 25-key MIDI controllers obtainable. It doesn’t include a variety of options; there are not any pads, no knobs or faders, however that’s a part of its enchantment. If you desire a MIDI controller that may do a little bit of all the things, it gained’t be this one.

If you need an expressive keyboard that gives not more than crucial with out taking over priceless house in your bag, it’s this one. The microKEY2 Air one of many smallest MIDI controllers in the marketplace and the included software program bundle is a beautiful bonus.


The wonderful thing about these little mini MIDI keyboards is that they’re the middle-man between the studio and the surface world. How many instances have you ever been away from dwelling and had a implausible concept that you just forgot earlier than you bought again to the studio?

If you journey, you want certainly one of these, and what’s even higher is that they’re a contributing a part of any dwelling studio, too (not simply on the go). So, select correctly, and by no means miss a chance to put down a killer observe once more.


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