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S2E27 – What Makes a MIDI Keyboard Good for Beatmaking

Release Date: Jun 23, 2022

Episode Resources:

View All Episodes of "Music Production Made Simple":

In this podcast episode of Music Production Made Simple, I talk to you about what I think makes a MIDI Keyboard Good for Beatmaking.

I understand everyone has their own preference, but when using FL Studio, this is my strong opinion to see great results, save money, and see RESULTS in your beats!

49-Key MIDI Keyboard is BEST!

When talking about price, size, and workflow, I truly think the 49-Key is the BEST MIDI Keyboard option for producers (with Semi-Weighted Keys):

MIDI Keyboard and Audio Interface on the Same Desk for a Good Workflow
MIDI Keyboard in front, with audio interface to the right.

Notice how my M-Audio Oxygen Pro MIDI Keyboard is right in front of me to play they keys easily, but I can still access my audio interface within arm’s reach to the right?

That is the awesome beatmaking workflow I’m talking about!

MIDI Keyboards are sold in:

  • Mini
  • 25-Key (Sometimes 32-Key)
  • 49-Key
  • 61-Key
  • 88-Key

And as you’d imagine, the more piano keys on a MIDI Keyboard, the more expensive it is. (As well as it gets A LOT wider!)

So pretty much to summarize this whole podcast episode is 49-Key Semi-Weighted, with Transport buttons that have the LOOP button (that’s pretty much it).

If you want the knobs/sliders, like I said, I’d MISS THEM IF I DIDN’T HAVE THEM.. but they are not totally necessary..

The More You Pay, Doesn’t Mean the Better Experience

Because a MIDI Keyboard has no sounds in it, it doesn’t matter if you buy a $99 MIDI Keyboard or a $1000 MIDI Keyboard.. the fact is, you play sounds with your Virtual Instruments.

FL Keys - FL Studio Stock Plugin by Image-Line
An example of a Virtual Instrument! (FL Keys)
Learn what version of FL Studio to buy.

Once the price of a MIDI Keyboard increases, you are paying for these types of things:

  • Development/Research time (for things like “advanced chords” which is not a good thing for beatmakers)..
  • “Bonus Software” which you may not ever use
  • Special software that integrates well WITH THAT MIDI KEYBOARD (if you stop using that MIDI Keyboard later on.. you may be “stuck” into their eco system).

In short, the sweet spot is in the middle-range for a MIDI Keyboard.

That’s why I highly suggest the M-Audio Oxygen Pro 49 for my students of my FL Studio courses..

M-Audio Oxygen Pro Review for FL Studio DAW (49-Key Semi-Weighted)
Read my M-Audio Oxygen Pro Review.
Specifically for FL Studio Users

Do All MIDI Keyboards Work Good in All DAWs

This is probably the biggest misconception in this industry.

Reviews will say “this is the BEST MIDI KEYBOARD”.. but they don’t fully explain that each DAW treats a MIDI Keyboard different..

Sometimes a MIDI Keyboard doesn’t work good in a certain DAW at all..

So you have to make sure that the review you’re watching IS SPECIFIC TO YOUR DAW OF CHOICE..

Thankfully, FL Studio has introduced MIDI Scripting, which allows essentially ANY MIDI DEVICE to work well in FL Studio with a MIDI Script (there’s many free ones out there on their forums!)

GratuiTous
GratuiTous
GratuiTous (Riley Weller) is a Recognized FL Studio Trainer with over 30 Beatmaking Courses. He writes Beatmaking Books, hosts the Music Production Made Simple Podcast, and helps students with FL Studio Lessons. He also makes lots of his own music!

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