Bringing home a 61-key MIDI controller can turn out to be a fabulous investment ahead of your musical journey in the long run. The reason is quite simple—61-key MIDI controllers give you full access to a full-sized keyboard with a variety of control options such as faders, pads, and knobs. But to find out which the best 61-key MIDI controller, you need to stay constantly updated on all the best options you can choose from.
In this article, we’re going to unveil some of the most exquisite models of 61-key MIDI controllers you could swear by for an unsurpassed musical adventure.
Looking for a smaller keyboard? Check out our other midi controller buyer’s guides:
- Best 25-Key Mini MIDI Controllers
- Best 49-Key MIDI Controllers
- Beginners Guide to MIDI Controller Keyboards and Pads
Best 61-Key MIDI Controllers Ranked by Musicians
Arturia KeyLab Essential 61-Key Keyboard MIDI Controller
The Arturia KeyLab 61 Essential is an outstanding 61-key MIDI controller packed with exciting features for modern keyboardists and music producers. Crafted with a plethora of software integration and MIDI encoders, the KeyLab 61 Essential from Arturia is a must have to modify and produce amazing tunes in no time. Whether it is its refreshingly intuitive design or control features, the Arturia KeyLab 61 Essential makes a wonderful choice for a 61-key MIDI controller at such an affordable price.
- Includes Analog Lab software with 5000 synth sounds.
- Includes Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano Model D.
- 61 keys with velocity.
- Model: KEYLAB61ESS
- Color: White
- Weight: 3.2 kilos
- EXPRESSIVE CONTROLLER WITH A FOCUS ON WORKFLOW: Durable, yet stylish, KeyLab Essential is an easy...
- ROLL CALL OF FEATURES: Remove all distractions and enjoy a responsive keyboard, tactile DAW...
- ALL THE ESSENTIAL CONTROLS: KeyLab Essential features 1 clickable encoder, 9 encoders, 9 faders, 6...
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 MK2
Designed in a captivating layout with enhancing features, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 MK2 is one of the best 61-key MIDI controllers you could ever have. Anyone familiar with the Komplete Kontrol brand might notice the hardware changes in their new S61 MK2 series. Crafted to perfection in a lightweight and ergonomic build, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 MK2 is the ideal MIDI controller to drive your music tracks to the next level. Whether it is its high-resolution full-color displays or encoding features, this amazing series from Komplete Kontrol has got everything you need for power-packed musical production.
- Includes Software/Keyboard Bundle.
- Komplete 12 Upgrade from Komplete Select.
- Plug-in Library with 50+ Virtual Instruments/Effects, 25,000 Preset Sounds, 10 Expansions and 170GB of Content.
- Model: Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 MK2
- Aftertouch: Yes
- Type of Keys: Fatar Keybed semi-weighted
- Weight: 14.4 lb
- Smart keyboard controller for all your virtual instruments
- Pro-grade Fatar keybeds with aftertouch - 61 semi-weighted keys
- Ergonomic pitch and mod wheels, plus touch strip for expression control
Novation Launchkey 61 MK2
Our list of the best 61-key MIDI controllers starts with the Novation Launchkey 61 MK2. This piece of amazing musical gear is one of the best MIDI-enabled keyboards that pave the way for thumping musical production and lively performances. The Launchkey 61 MK2 series from Novation is power-packed with a bevy of astounding features in a size that’s crafted to give you the best of both worlds. If you’re an Ableton Live Lite user who looks forward to bringing a branded 61-key MIDI controller and adding a professional touch to your music production adventure, then the Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 is what you’re looking for.
- 61 note velocity sensitive synth style keyboard.
- 6 full-color RGB backlit velocity-sensitive drum pads.
- Pitch bend and modulation wheels.
- 2 full-color RGB backlit round buttons.
- Model: Novation Launchkey 61 MK2
- Hardware Interface: USB 2.0
- Weight: 4.2 kilos
- MK2 version of Novation's 61-note USB keyboard controller for Ableton Live
- 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads, 8 knobs, and dedicated navigation and control buttons
- Software for Mac and PC
Akai 61 Key Semi-Weighted Keyboard Controller
The Akai MPK261 is one of the most popular 61-key MIDI controllers that has been setting the trend ever since its launch. Akai is one of the most trusted household names for music producers, and with its MPK261 series, it has gone a step further as one of the best MIDI keyboards of the highest quality and standards.
Crafted to perfection in a well-thought-out design and software, the Akai MPK261 is a one-time investment for a power-packed musical journey. Whether it is your live concert or an upcoming street gig, the MPK261 series from Akai is the only musical gear you need to make heads turn.
- 61 semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive full-size keys and a premium piano-style keyboard that offers a tremendous response and natural feel.
- 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads each with 4 banks for 64 pads for triggering samples, loops, one-shots, melodics and a lot more.
- 24 assignable Q-Link controllers with 8 control knobs, faders, and switches engineered for hassle-free mapping and unprecedented DAW, virtual instrument and virtual effect control.
- Model: Akai MPK261
- Weight: 15.1 lb
- (1)USB port
- (1)1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS expression pedal input
- (2) 1/4” (6.35 mm) TS sustain pedal
- (1) 5-pin MIDI in
- (1) 5-pin MIDI out
- Pro Keyboard Performance - 61 semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive full-size keys and a premium...
- Beat Making Essentials - 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads each with 4 banks for 64 pads - the...
- Assignable Control - 24 assignable Q-Link controllers comprising 8 control knobs, faders and...
M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3
If you’re looking forward to elevating your musical career with a lightweight and expressive 61-key MIDI controller, then look no further than that M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3. This simple yet highly-functional MIDI controller is equipped with a streamlined set of controls to rapidly unlock the power of your pianos and sound machines. It’s Mac/PC Class Compliancy and USB bus powering paves the way for ultimate plug-and-play and excellent sound production on the go. Lightweight yet disguised with a bevy of power-packed features, the Keystation 61 MK3 is everything you need to revive every rhythm of your music.
- 61 full-size velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted keys pave the way for a natural feel that grasps every minute nuance of your performance.
- Volume fader, transport and directional buttons for easy control of musical software.
- Easy plug-and-play connection to your Mac or PC.
- Model: Keystation 61 MK3
- Weight: 4.2 kilos
- Computer Connectivity: USB
- Ultimate Expression - 61 full-size velocity-sensitive semi-weighted keys provide a natural feel that...
- Total Control - Volume fader, transport and directional buttons for easy control of your software,...
- Immediate Creativity - Easy plug-and-play connection to your Mac or PC—no drivers or power supply...
Frequently Asked Questions
How many octaves are on a 61-key MIDI controller?
A 61-key keyboard has a range of 5 octaves.
Can you learn to play piano on a 61-key MIDI keyboard?
A 61-key keyboard would be more than enough for a beginner or people that play rock/pop music. 5 octaves would allow for the playing of most modern music without needing that extra range that an 88-key controller provides. Many piano teaching apps can be adjusted to using a 61-key controller.
Where is middle C on a 61-key keyboard?
Middle C on a 61-key keyboard is the 15th white key from the left.
The Final Word on the Best 61-Key Midi Keyboard Controllers
To recap, The Arturia KeyLab Essential 61-Key Keyboard MIDI Controller came in first based on user polling as the best 61 key midi controller from the money. The easy DAW integration and access to Arturia amazing VSTs really make this a workhouse.
When it comes to buying the best 61-key MIDI controllers for your music production needs, you might always get a handful of choices to select from. But it is always necessary and worthy if you bring home the best MIDI controller after in-depth research and know-how of its make and quality. We hope that our top 5 61-key MIDI controllers helped you to choose the one that best suits your needs.
If you’re interested in learning more about Midi Controllers, check out our beginner’s guide to midi controllers.
Whether it’s the Novation Launchkey 61 MK2 or the Arturia KeyLab 61 Essential, all the five brands listed in our review are not only top-rated best sellers but also few of the most trusted and best 61-key MIDI controllers preferred by various professional music production enthusiasts and keyboardists.