Affordable 49-Key MIDI Keyboards for Your Home Studio

As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you click on certain links on this site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Looking for an affordable 49-key MIDI keyboard for your home studio? Here are the best options on the market, with features and prices to suit every budget.

 

1. Akai Professional MPK249

TOP-TIER PERFORMER

Read more

2. M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3

AFFORDABLE EFFORTLESSNESS

Read more

3. Arturia KeyStep 37              

VERSATILE SEQUENCER

Read more

4. Novation Impulse 49

DYNAMIC PERFORMER

Read more

5. Nektar Panorama T4

INTUITIVE INTEGRATION

Read more

6. Alesis VI49                               

BUDGET-FRIENDLY FLEXIBILITY

Read more

 
 

1. Akai Professional MPK249

TOP-TIER PERFORMER

49-key MIDI keyboard.Semi-weighted keyboard.
16 Pads!8 Faders.
Picture by Akai

Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • The Akai Professional MPK249 MIDI keyboard offers several important pros that make it a standout choice for home studio producers. Firstly, the MPK249 is highly affordable, making it a great option for those on a budget. Despite its reasonable price, it offers a wide range of features and functionality, providing excellent value for money.

    Secondly, the MPK249 boasts a great keybed. It features a responsive and expressive semi-weighted keyboard that is suitable for most music genres. While it may not offer the heaviness of a fully weighted keyboard, it still delivers a satisfying playing experience.

    Thirdly, the MPK249 comes equipped with comprehensive controls that enhance its usability. It features 8 MPC pads, 9 faders, 8 knobs, as well as a pitch bend and modulation wheel. These controls make it easy to manipulate your digital audio workstation (DAW) and plugins, ensuring seamless control during the production process.

    Lastly, the MPK249 includes a versatile software bundle. This bundle features a variety of software such as Ableton Live Lite, MPC Beats, SONiVOX Big Bang Theory II, and AIR Hybrid 3. With these powerful tools, users have everything they need to start producing music immediately.

    Overall, the MPK249 perfectly aligns with the blog’s focus on MIDI keyboards for home studio producers. It offers an affordable yet well-equipped option that is perfect for producers at any skill level. The semi-weighted keyboard and extensive controls make it effortless to play and control your DAW and plugins. Additionally, the included software bundle provides all the necessary tools for users to begin their musical journey without any delays.

    In conclusion, the Akai Professional MPK249 MIDI keyboard excels in affordability, keybed quality, control versatility, and software bundle inclusion. Home studio producers will find this instrument to be an excellent choice that meets their needs across different musical genres, making it a worthwhile investment for both beginners and experienced professionals.

CONS

  • 1. The MPK249 is relatively heavy and bulky, which may pose a challenge for those who require frequent movement or have limited space in their home studios.
    2. Compared to other MIDI keyboards, the keys on the MPK249 are not as velocity-sensitive, resulting in less accurate representation of performance dynamics in virtual instruments.

    It’s worth noting that the MPK249 remains a highly capable MIDI keyboard that offers good value for its price. With 49 semi-weighted keys, 16 MPC pads, 8+1 sliders, and 8 knobs, it provides a range of features. Additionally, it includes Ableton Live Lite software, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced producers.

    For those seeking an affordable 49-key MIDI keyboard, the Akai Professional MPK249 is a viable choice. However, if weight and bulkiness or high velocity sensitivity are concerns, alternative options are available.

    Consider these other affordable 49-key MIDI keyboards that may better suit your needs:

    – M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3: Lighter, more portable, and more velocity-sensitive keys than the MPK249.
    – Nektar Impact LX49+: Lighter, more portable, and offered at a more affordable price than the MPK249.
    – Arturia KeyStep 32: Compact, portable, and packed with features, ideal for those seeking a smaller MIDI keyboard.

    Ultimately, selecting the best MIDI keyboard depends on your specific requirements and preferences. Prioritize factors like weight, portability, velocity sensitivity, and price to make an informed decision.

2. M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3

MOST AFFORDABLE

Mod & Pitch Bend Wheel.

49 Keys.

Very Portable!Multiple connectivity options.
Picture by M-Audio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

PROS

    • 1. Affordable price: The M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is priced competitively, making it an ideal option for musicians on a budget. With this keyboard, you can have access to a high-quality MIDI controller without having to spend a fortune.

      2. Portable design: Weighing just a few pounds, the M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is designed to be extremely portable. Its compact size allows you to easily carry it to and from your home studio or take it on the go to gigs and rehearsals. This convenience ensures that you can always have a reliable keyboard with you, no matter where you intend to create music.

      3. Durable build quality: The Keystation 49 MK3 is built to withstand the demands of regular use. Its sturdy construction ensures that it will last for many years, even with extended hours of playing. This is especially important for home studio musicians who rely on their equipment for long periods of time.

      4. Flexible connectivity options: The M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 offers a range of connectivity options, including USB, MIDI In/Out, and a dedicated sustain pedal input. These versatile connectivity features allow you to easily integrate the keyboard into your existing setup, whether you’re connecting it to your computer, other MIDI devices, or utilizing a sustain pedal for enhanced performance control.

      Overall, the M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is an excellent choice for budget-conscious home studio musicians seeking a portable and durable MIDI keyboard. Its affordability, portability, build quality, and connectivity options make it a versatile tool that can cater to various musical needs.

      This keyboard is particularly beneficial for those starting their musical journey, as its affordable price enables beginners to invest in a reliable MIDI controller without straining their finances. The portable design allows budding musicians to carry their keyboard wherever they go, exploring different environments and gaining inspiration from diverse surroundings.

      The Keystation 49 MK3’s build quality ensures that it can endure the demands of frequent use, guaranteeing its longevity even in rigorous studio sessions. Its versatile connectivity options empower musicians to effortlessly connect the keyboard to their preferred equipment, software, and hardware setups, enabling them to fully unleash their creativity.

      For home studio musicians looking for an affordable and dependable MIDI keyboard, the M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is certainly worth considering. With its well-rounded features and performance, it strikes an ideal balance between quality and affordability.

CONS

  • The M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is an affordable MIDI keyboard for your home studio, but there are two cons to consider:
  • Firstly, it has limited control features. With only a few knobs and faders, it may not satisfy advanced users wanting to manipulate their software synths and effects in more detail.
  • Secondly, its unweighted synth-action keys lack resistance and feel compared to weighted keys. If you desire a wider range of control features and weighted keys, alternatives like the Nektar GX49 and Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 are available, albeit at a higher price.
  • In summary, the Keystation 49 MK3 is suitable for budget-conscious musicians seeking a simple and dependable MIDI keyboard, otherwise, a pricier option might be worth researching.

3. Arturia KeyStep 37

VERSATILE SEQUENCER

49 Keys!7 Control Knobs.
Includes: Expression Pedal.Includes: Headphones
Picture by Arturia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

PROS

  • The affordable price of the Arturia KeyStep 37 is definitely one of its standout features. In today’s market, where MIDI keyboards can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, finding one that is reasonably priced without sacrificing quality is a rare find. At around $150 USD, the KeyStep 37 offers incredible value for its price, making it an attractive option for budget-minded musicians who still want a high-quality MIDI keyboard for their home studio.

    The compact size of the KeyStep 37 is another positive aspect that sets it apart from other 49-key MIDI keyboards. With its lightweight and thin design, it is incredibly portable and easy to transport. Whether you’re a musician on the go or have limited space in your studio, the KeyStep 37’s compact size allows you to take it anywhere or fit it comfortably on your desk without cluttering your workspace.

    Versatile connectivity is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a MIDI keyboard, and the KeyStep 37 does not disappoint in this regard. With MIDI in/out/thru, USB, and CV/Gate options, this keyboard can seamlessly connect to a wide range of music hardware and software. This versatility enables users to integrate it into their existing setup and gives them more flexibility in their creative process.

    Considering its affordable price, one might assume that the KeyStep 37 lacks in features. However, this is far from the truth. Despite its budget-friendly nature, this MIDI keyboard is packed with powerful features that enhance your music-making experience. The built-in arpeggiator, sequencer, and loop recorder allow you to experiment and compose music with ease. These features make the KeyStep 37 a versatile tool that caters to both beginners and experienced musicians looking for creative inspiration.

    Finally, the durability and high build quality of the Arturia KeyStep 37 should also be highlighted. It is built to withstand the rigors of consistent use and is designed to last for years, eliminating the worry of frequent maintenance or replacement.

    In conclusion, with its affordability, compact size, versatile connectivity, powerful features, and durable construction, the Arturia KeyStep 37 stands out as an excellent choice for musicians of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner starting your home studio or an experienced artist seeking a reliable MIDI keyboard, the KeyStep 37 offers everything you need to unleash your creativity without breaking the bank.

CONS

  • Two cons of the Arturia KeyStep 37 for home studio use are:
  • Firstly, the non-weighted keys lack the resistance found in piano keys, which may not suit users accustomed to playing weighted keyboards.
  • Secondly, the build quality is subpar compared to other MIDI keyboards in the same price range, with users reporting wobbly keys and an overall flimsy feel. These drawbacks are important considerations for those seeking a comfortable and durable MIDI keyboard for their home studio.
  • Nonetheless, the KeyStep 37 offers excellent value with its portability and feature set, making it a popular choice among budget-conscious musicians. However, individuals who require weighted keys and superior build quality may want to explore alternative options.

4. Novation Impulse 49

DYNAMIC PERFORMER

1. Affordable price2. Well-built construction
3. Comprehensive features4. Suitable for all experience levels
Picture by Novation

       

PROS

  • 1. Affordable price: One of the most appealing aspects of the Novation Impulse 49 MIDI keyboard is its affordable price tag. With a tight budget in mind, this keyboard becomes an excellent option for home studio musicians who are looking for a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality.

    2. Well-built and sturdy construction: Another significant advantage of the Impulse 49 is its solid and durable construction. Crafted with high-quality materials, this keyboard is designed to withstand the inevitable wear and tear that comes with studio use. Its sturdy build ensures longevity and reliability, making it a smart investment for any studio setup.

    3. Comprehensive features for the price: Despite its affordable price, the Impulse 49 offers an impressive range of features. It boasts velocity-sensitive keys, which enables musicians to achieve expressive performances with varying degrees of intensity. Additionally, the keyboard includes aftertouch, pitch bend and modulation wheels, and an arpeggiator, features typically found in higher-end models. These comprehensive features allow for a versatile musical experience, ensuring that users can explore a wide range of creative possibilities.

    4. Great for beginners and experienced users alike: One of the key strengths of the Novation Impulse 49 is its versatility and user-friendly interface. While beginners can easily navigate and operate this keyboard, it also has enough advanced features to satisfy more experienced users. The inclusion of a range of intuitive controls and the overall simplicity of the design makes it accessible and enjoyable for musicians of all skill levels.

    Overall, the Novation Impulse 49 offers an unbeatable combination of affordability, durability, and versatility for home studio musicians. With its impressive features and user-friendly design, this MIDI keyboard is a reliable and cost-effective choice that delivers exceptional performance for both beginners and experienced users. Whether you need expressive capabilities, advanced control features, or simply a reliable instrument, the Novation Impulse 49 is an excellent option to consider for your home studio.

CONS

  • 1. The Impulse 49 is not as portable as other affordable 49-key MIDI keyboards due to its heavy and bulky nature. While it offers a solid build and an enjoyable playing experience, transporting it to gigs or rehearsals can be challenging.

    2. The pads on the Impulse 49 are not as sensitive as those found on other market options. Although velocity-sensitive, they can feel stiff and unresponsive at times, making it difficult to achieve the desired nuance in samples and loops. For users who heavily rely on pads, a MIDI keyboard with more sensitive pads may be a better choice.

    So…

    In conclusion, the Novation Impulse 49 is a reliable MIDI keyboard considering its price point. With its keyboard feel, controls, and features, it appeals to many home studio musicians. However, those who prioritize portability and pad sensitivity might find these aspects to be drawbacks.

5. Nektar Panorama T4

INTUITIVE INTEGRATION

49 semi-weighted Keys.8 Pads!
9 Faders.Pitch and mod wheels
Picture by Nektar

PROS

  • The first noteworthy aspect of the Nektar Panorama T4 is its affordable price tag. As one of the most budget-friendly 49-key MIDI keyboards available, it presents an enticing option for musicians who are mindful of their expenses. What’s even more appealing is that the Panorama T4 is frequently on sale, further sweetening the deal for thrifty shoppers.

    A major advantage of this keyboard is its extensive integration with popular digital audio workstations (DAWs). Musicians utilizing commonly used DAWs such as Ableton Live, Logic Pro, and Cubase will find the Panorama T4 particularly appealing. The keyboard’s knobs and faders can be seamlessly integrated with these DAWs, enabling users to effortlessly control features such as mixers, transport controls, and more. This integration significantly reduces the time and effort required for tasks like mixing and recording, making it an incredibly efficient tool for musicians.

    Moreover, the Panorama T4 boasts a robust and durable construction. Musicians who rely on their keyboards regularly will appreciate its sturdy build, as it ensures its longevity and resilience. Additionally, the keyboard’s comfortable playing feel, complete with full-size keys and a smooth action, further enhances its appeal for musicians seeking a satisfying playing experience.

    Lastly, the Panorama T4 flaunts an extensive range of features that cater to various musical preferences. With velocity-sensitive keys and bonus functionalities like aftertouch, pitch bend, and modulation wheels, this MIDI keyboard provides musicians with expressive and dynamic controls. Furthermore, its built-in Arpeggiator and Step Sequencer add an extra layer of versatility, allowing users to craft intricate and captivating melodies and rhythms.

    In conclusion, the Nektar Panorama T4 emerges as an exceptional choice for musicians seeking an affordable, reliable, and feature-rich 49-key MIDI keyboard. Its compatibility with popular DAWs, durable construction, and wide-ranging set of features set it apart from the competition. Especially for musicians looking to optimize their workflow, the Panorama T4’s integration capabilities grant them the invaluable luxury of saving time and effort during their creative process.

CONS

  • The Nektar Panorama T4, an affordable 49-key MIDI keyboard, has two notable cons.
  • Firstly, lacking a built-in sound engine, it requires connection to a computer or MIDI device for usage. This additional step during setup could be seen as a drawback by some users.
  • Secondly, the non-weighted keyboard may not suit those seeking a more authentic piano-like experience. Particularly, individuals accustomed to weighted keyboards might find this a disadvantage.
  • Despite these limitations, the Panorama T4 remains a great MIDI keyboard at its price point.
  • However, potential buyers seeking a built-in sound engine or a weighted keyboard should explore other options. In a home studio, the Panorama T4 can be connected to a computer to control DAW software, play virtual instruments, or command MIDI effects pedals and external hardware.
  • While limited, the Panorama T4 is a versatile and powerful MIDI keyboard for various tasks within a home studio.

6. Alesis VI49

BUDGET-FRIENDLY FLEXIBILITY

49-key16 pads.
Mod and pitch wheel.12 Knobs.
Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • The Alesis VI49 is a MIDI keyboard that offers numerous benefits for your home studio. One of the most notable advantages of this keyboard is its affordable price. This makes it an excellent option for musicians on a budget who still want a high-quality MIDI keyboard.

    Another noteworthy feature of the VI49 is its versatility. It comes with a wide range of features that cater to the needs of various musical genres. The 49 semi-weighted keys are velocity sensitive, allowing for expressive playing. Additionally, the eight backlit pads have multiple functions, providing a dynamic and interactive playing experience. The nine faders and knobs on the VI49 enable you to seamlessly control your software instruments and effects. Furthermore, it includes pitch bend and modulation wheels, sustain pedal input, and USB-MIDI connectivity for increased flexibility.

    The compact and portable design of the VI49 is particularly beneficial for musicians who frequently travel to gigs or rehearsals. Its lightweight construction ensures easy transportation without compromising on performance quality. Additionally, the VI49 is built with durable materials guaranteeing its long-lasting reliability, whether used in live performances or studio settings.

    Moreover, the VI49 is user-friendly and comes with a software suite that includes Ableton Live Lite, SampleTank SE, and Xpand!2. These software programs cater to a wide range of musical needs and allow users to start creating music right away.

    In conclusion, the Alesis VI49 is an excellent choice for a home studio MIDI keyboard. Its affordability, versatility, compactness, and durability make it an appealing option for musicians. Furthermore, the inclusion of the software suite provides added value and convenience. With the Alesis VI49, you can enjoy a reliable and feature-rich MIDI keyboard experience without breaking the bank.

CONS

  • The Alesis VI49 offers affordability and functionality with its 49 keys, but it has two noteworthy cons.
  • Firstly, its limited velocity sensitivity, featuring only 4 levels, may restrict expressive playing, especially for dynamic musicians. This could result in less nuanced performances compared to other MIDI keyboards within the same price range.
  • Secondly, the absence of aftertouch deprives players of the ability to add further expressiveness by applying increased pressure on the keys.
  • Consequently, potential buyers should consider these limitations when selecting a MIDI keyboard for their home studio, particularly if they prioritize a broader range of expression in their music-making process. Nevertheless, the VI49 remains a suitable choice for beginners or those not requiring the utmost expressive capabilities.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top