Don’t be scared of technology anymore. When it comes to creating music on the computer as well as old analog hardware, the main language is Midi. However, this is not something you need to learn or understand to make music. In this writing, we will give you our buyer guides on choosing the best midi keyboards for garageband. Keep reading the post to get them.

Top 5 Best Midi Keyboards for Garageband

Midi Keyboards for Garageband Comparison Table

Best Midi Keyboards for Garageband
Product Image Product Name Brand Value Check Price
Arturia MicrolabArturia MicroLab Compact 25-Key USB-MIDI Controller MicrolabArturia MicroLab Compact 25-Key USB-MIDI Controller Arturia $$$

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Nektar Midi Controller Nektar Midi Controller (IMPACT LX25+) Nektar $$$

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KeyStep Pro 37-key Controller & Sequencer KeyStep Pro 37-key Controller & Sequencer Arturia $$$

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Alesis V25 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller V25 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller Alesis $$$

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Novation Impulse 25 USB Midi Controller Keyboard Impulse 25 USB Midi Controller Keyboard Novation $$$

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Akai Mpk Mini Mk2 Akai Mpk Mini Mk2 Akai Professional $$$

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Arturia Minilab Mk2 Arturia Minilab Mk2 Arturia $$$

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Akai Mpk 249 Akai Mpk 249 Akai Professional $$$

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M Audio Keystation 49 II M Audio Keystation 49 II M-Audio $$$

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Alesis V49 Alesis V49 Alesis $$$

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How Many Keys Should You Get?

Choosing keyboard size is actually a personal choice. In this article, we will keep it pretty in the range of 25 and 49 keys. They are the best options for garageband. Many people decide to choose the 25 key controllers because of their reasonable price as well as their compact size. That’s why they are perfect for small working environments.

You may like: Best Midi Keyboard Under 200

The 49 key controllers are also chosen because they are the most popular size used for bedroom studios. Also, you can play a range of octaves thanks to them.

What Are Midi Keyboard Compatible with Garageband?

Now, there is a wide range of options available on the market when it comes to the Digital Audio Workstations. They are ideal for those who prefer to try out some new software for editing your electronic music.

All of the midi keyboard listed in this post can be used with all the main DAW’s. Some units may be shipped with the version of Ableton Live Lite. That’s why you can test their functions.

Extra Features to Help You Make Better Music

We are going to review a list of USB midi controllers for garageband. All of them are designed with more than a row or midi keyboard keys. So, why?

The fact is that you will want to have more creative with interactivity. Also, you are going for more creative workflow. These points are necessary when using a controller. All products we will mention in our list today are equipped with a few of the important features so you can get more creative sounds and software through the functions of controllers.

Top Ten Best Midi Keyboard for Garageband

If you’re looking for the best midi keyboard controllers for garageband, then check out the top 10 garageband midi controllers bellow.

Arturia MicroLab Compact 25-Key USB-MIDI Controller

This one from the brand Arturia Microlab can be considered as one of the smallest as well as portable MIDI keyboards available in the market. Although remember that this doesn’t have several features that you can work with. One of the best ones though is the in-built USB cable that can retract. It offers ease of usage in case you had been searching for something that you can just put in your backpack while you travel.

The MicroLab Compact 25-Key also doesn’t require any additional cable that you need to take with you. When we talk about the features, there are stripped down controller that has been made for producers that are constantly moving or for beginners.

Arturia MicroLab Compact 25-Key USB-MIDI Controller
  • It has a retractable USB cable.
  • The weight is just around 2 pounds.
  • You also get bundled software.
  • It is a very affordable product.
  • It works amazingly with Garageband.
  • Offers ease of usage.


  • Features are pretty limited.
  • There are no pads.
  • The keys are small.

Nektar Midi Controller (IMPACT LX25+)

Nektar Midi Controller is one of the most famous models from Nektar. The LX25+ provides full-sized keys that are 25 in number. Then there are you get backlit pads that are 8 in number. Apart from this, there are also rotator knobs and faders. Again, it is light in weight and one of the most affordable options that you get in the market. The DAW software is included and this will be perfect if you are just starting.

One of the best parts about the software is that it has been developed in a manner so that’s easy or beginners. It is one of the models with a lot of positive reviews from verified buyers and the simplicity provided by full-sized keys is a vital feature.

Nektar Midi Controller (IMPACT LX25+)
  • You get 25 full-sized keys with it.
  • The DAW (Bitwig) software is included
  • There are 8 pads and 4 Transpose and Octave buttons.
  • Light in weight therefore travels friendly.


  • The key-bed cannot be regarded as of the best quality.

Arturia KeyStep Pro 37-key Controller & Sequencer

The Arturia KeyStep Pro 37-key is one of the latest models from Arturia and can be called a bit expensive when we compare it with other models from the ones we mentioned on the list. That been said, this has all of the advanced controls that you can get in the market today. For years now, Arturia’s original Keystep had been one of the biggest secrets that a lot of producers didn’t even know about till now.

With the KeyStep Pro, the secret has come into open and is recommended by musicians and producers all over the world. This has been equipped with 4 track polyphonic sequencers and also has 16 tracks dedicated sequencer. The controls work immensely well with all of the major DAW’s that include Garageband. Keep in mind that it cannot be called as specifically made for Garageband, nor does it have specific unique functions for it, but works well.

Arturia KeyStep Pro 37-key Controller
  • It has 4 track sequencer.
  • Comes with 16 tracks dedicated sequencer.
  • It has an Aftertouch.
  • It is light in weight.
  • It is velocity-sensitive.


  • The price is on the steep side.

Alesis V25 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

This Alesis MIDI keyboard as the name suggests has 25 keys and is undoubtedly among the most trending models that you can find. The build quality is very durable and you get it at a low price. It is one of those purchases where you can get the best deal without any compromise with the quality. Secondly, the keys that you get with it is full size. The issue that one usually faces with small controllers is that they usually have mini-sized keys. Therefore Alesis V25 aces in this aspect. You also get Ableton Live Lite with it and it is a fantastic DAW.

Another good thing about it is that the software also allows you plug-and-play right when you take it out from the box. It has been powered with a USB cable as well. So you can connect it with your laptop or PC. You get four different pattern buttons and 8 pads. One can make use of the buttons just like keyboard octave buttons. Therefore you are allowed with mainly 32 varied notes that can be assigned the pads for instead of 8.

Alesis V25 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
  • This MIDI keyboard is very durable.
  • The cost is on the low side.
  • You get high-quality keys with it.
  • 8 pads are velocity-sensitive.
  • The interface is simple.
  • This one will work in sync with about any DAW’s.
  • Light in weight hence travels friendly.


  • It doesn’t have the newest controllers.
  • The pads have been called for double triggering.
  • Aftertouch absent.
  • There is no LED screen.

Novation Impulse 25 USB Midi Controller Keyboard

Novation Impulse 25 is one of the best choices that you can take a look at If your budget is of under 200 dollars. It also seems to be one of the favorites among the buyers as there are several positive reviews. The product is of high quality and the brand has added natural feel keys that make it more upmarket. You get 25 precision keys and a complete control surface that has been powered by the latest Automap software.

This MIDI keyboard also has 8 drum pads that are back-lit and can roll beats, warp arpeggios and also launch clips with Ableton live. You get instant mapping for the things that need control. It means that you can use faders, buttons, and knobs and have hands-on control via music software

Novation Impulse 25 USB Midi Controller Keyboard
  • The build quality of the pads is perfect.
  • The keys offer a natural feel and worth a mention.
  • The full-size keys make it easy to use for people having larger hands.
  • You also get an Arpeggiator that’s a rare feature.


  • There can be an issue with knobs as they seem a bit lose and make accurate positioning finicky.
  • There is a lack of a “latch” feature that is essential with the Arpeggiator.

Akai Mpk Mini MK2 – Best Akai Midi Keyboard

The Akai Mpk Mini Mk2 is designed with a whole range of useful features. Indeed, it comes with the 8 X touch-sensitive pads for creating a drum pattern with your fingertips. This is a 25 key akai mpk mini garageband controller.

It is equipped with 8 X 360-degree rotary knobs, so it can be able to assign effect as well as manipulate sounds from the keyboard. The traditional mod and pitch wheel are removed and replaced by a 4-way dynamic pitch.

This device is a great investment for your money. It’s a portable midi keyboard controller. It’s a good option for beginners and advanced users because of so many features. Plus, you will get free synthesizer software.

Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Arturia Minilab Mk2 25 Slim-Key Controller

The Arturia Minilab Mk2 is designed with 16 heavy-duty, rotary, and thick rubber encoders. In addition to the great build quality design, this device is also on the smaller side of the scale. However, it comes with a punch in terms of features, value for money, or functions.

If you are looking for a good midi keyboard for garageband for those who have a small studio, you shouldn’t miss the Arturia Minilab Mk2. Additionally, it comes with touched sensitive slide pads for the mod wheel and pitch bend. Thus, you won’t have to worry about damaging your controller when you slide it in your backpack.

Arturia MiniLab MkII 25 Slim-Key Controller

Akai Mpk 249 – Top Akai MPK Mini Garageband

The Akai Mpk 249 is a good choice for those who are going for a midi keyboard controller to add to their Garageband home studio. This product includes 49 keys, faders, plus plenty of knobs, and pads as well. So, you can create music on.

This keyboard controller offers you a set of keys as well as a mod and pitch wheel. With this option, it won’t be essential to upgrade it for a slightly more advanced controller in the future. You can plug and play it with all major software like Garageband.

However, this option seems to be not a budget controller. Besides, you may also have to take some time to learn the additional midi mapping.

Akai Mpk 249

M Audio Keystation 49 II

One of the best midi keyboard for Garageband on a budget is the M Audio Keystation 49 II. This is a great investment before making a big financial commitment. This keyboard controller ensures to offer you all of the standard features you need for not only producing music but also playing your favorite sounds from Garageband.

This device is equipped with a bundle of sounds. That’s why it’s possible to check out the functions as well as the workflow of the DAW. The thing you need to do is just simply plug and play with the USB mid. It doesn’t require drivers.

However, this choice doesn’t come with knobs, pads, and faders. Besides, it brings responsiveness if you want to play advanced chords.

M Audio Keystation 49 II

Alesis V49 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

The last keyboard for Garageband on our list is the Alesis V49. This option is slightly more expensive when compared to the M Audio Keystation 49 II. It is built with features, a good design, and functionality.

It is designed with adjustable sensitivity, 4 rotary knobs, 8 pads, full-size keys, and 4 banks that allow you to access sounds and instruments from your DAW.

This is a great consideration for those who are looking for a midi keyboard at a budget price. With this device, you can plug and play with Garageband. It’s not essential to install drivers. Because it comes with rotary knobs, pads, and banks, you can grow into its functions.

Alesis V49 - 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller


Well, we’ve just discussed some points to keep in mind when shopping for a midi keyboard controller. Then, we introduced you to the top five best midi keyboards for Garageband. Sure, you have had enough info about all the features of each product. Hopefully, our reviews can help you make your decision with ease. Our top choice is the Alesis V49. It comes with plug and plays technology, so you can set up the midi controller without installing drivers and handling tech issues.

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