Top 15 Best 88 Key Midi Controller: Let The Beat Drop! (2021 Edition)

Looking for something to help you create sweet music with your computer? A good midi controller is just what you need. But what to buy when there just seem to be so many choices? We've got you covered. Our team of experts has spent hours of reading and selecting out the best 88 key midi controller to put in the list down below.

A good midi controller is great for starting at learning or creating digital music, and we hope we can help you to find the best one for you. Read on as it can save you from wasting your time and money on the wrong choices.

best 88 key midi controller
best 88 key midi controller
best 88 key midi controller
best 88 key midi controller
best 88 key midi controller

Best 88 Key Midi Controller for highest quality performance.

Best 88 Key Midi Controller for heavy-handed people.

Best 88 Key Midi Controller for simplicity.

Best 88 Key Midi Controller for minimalists

Best 88 Key Midi Controller for low budgets.

** Below, you will find our detailed reviews of the Best 88 Key Midi Controller, but you can also click these following links to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

SaleBestseller No. 1
M-Audio Oxygen Pro 61 – 61 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With Beat Pads, MIDI assignable Knobs, Buttons & Faders and Software Suite Included
  • MIDI Keyboard Essentials - 61 velocity-sensitive, semi weighted keys with aftertouch and assignable zones for playing virtual sampler instruments and virtual synthesizer plugins
  • Beat Maker Mainstays - 16 RGB backlit MIDI assignable velocity sensitive drum pads with Note Repeat for beat production, clip launching, soundboard triggering and more
SaleBestseller No. 2
M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 - 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller for Mac and PC with Assignable Controls and Software Production Suite Included
  • Ultimate expression - 49 full-size velocity-sensitive keys provide a natural feel that captures every subtle nuance of your performance
  • Total control - Volume fader, transport and directional buttons for easy control of your software, plus pitch and modulation wheels, octave up and down buttons and sustain pedal input
SaleBestseller No. 3
Nektar Impact LX88+ USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW Integration
  • MIDI controller keyboard compatible with all MIDI software. 88 semi-weighted keys, split/layer, 9 faders, 8 knobs, 6 transport buttons, pitch bend, modulation + octave & transpose buttons
  • 8 back-lit hyper-sensitive drum/programming pads
SaleBestseller No. 4
Alesis V49 - 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 8 Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included
  • Your next production centrepiece - MIDI Keyboard with 49 full-sized, velocity sensitive square-front keys, perfect for playing virtual instruments
  • Make better beats - Eight velocity and pressure sensitive backlit pads for beat production and clip launching
SaleBestseller No. 5
Nektar Impact GX61 USB MIDI Controller Keyboard with Nektar DAW Integration
  • 61 note full-sized velocity sensitive keyboard
  • Nektar DAW Integration for most popular DAWs
SaleBestseller No. 6
AKAI Professional LPD8 - Portable USB-powered MIDI Controller with 8 Velocity-Sensitive Drum Pads for Laptops (Mac & PC), Editing Software Included
  • Production in your pocket - 13-Inch, slim-line ultra-portable pad controller with eight backlit velocity-sensitive drum pads for triggering samples, loops, controlling virtual instruments and more
  • Loose the mouse - Eight MPC Q-Link knobs for seamless mapping to DAW parameters, virtual instruments and effect parameters for hands-on control and expressive performances
SaleBestseller No. 7
Alesis VI61 - 61-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 16 Pads, 16 Assignable Knobs, 48 Buttons and 5-Pin MIDI Out, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included
  • The centrepiece of your studio - MIDI Keyboard with 61 full-sized, square-front, semi-weighted keys with after touch. USB MIDI and five-pin MIDI out offer flexible MIDI connectivity
  • Express yourself - Pitch and modulation wheels deliver expressive, creative control
SaleBestseller No. 8
AKAI Professional LPK25 - Portable USB-powered MIDI Keyboard with 25 Velocity-Sensitive Keys with Synth Action for Laptops (Mac & PC), Editing Software Included
  • Production in your pocket - 13-Inch, slim-line laptop performance keyboard with 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keyboard keys for playing melodies, bass lines, chords and more
  • Full range performance - Dedicated octave up and down buttons to increase the keyboard to the full melodic range plus a sustain button for expressive performances
SaleBestseller No. 9
AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 – 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included
  • Music Production and Beat Maker Essential – USB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for studio production, virtual synthesiser control and beat production
  • Total Control of your Production - Innovative Four-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control, plus a built-in arpeggiator with adjustable resolution, range and modes
SaleBestseller No. 10
AKAI Professional MPK Mini Play - 25-Note Piano Style Keyboard and USB MIDI Controller With A Built in Speaker, Drum Pads and 128 Instrument Sounds
  • Standalone piano style keyboard - Portable mini keyboard and USB MIDI controller with 25 velocity-sensitive synthesizer action keys, pitch/mod joystick control, plus 128 sounds and 10 drum kits
  • Play anywhere - Built in speaker, 1/8-Inch headphone output and battery powered specification (3 x AA batteries - not included) for performing and producing on the go

Top Best 88 Key Midi Controller Reviews 2021


Arturia Keylab 88 MKII (White)
  • Software Specifications:
  • - Includes Analog Lab software with 7000 synth and keyboard sounds-

So far as the MIDI game goes, the Arturia Keylab MKII is the best 88 key model. The build quality is amazingly impressive, as the Keylab not only looks beautiful but also can last you for a long time. It's lightweight, highly portable, and overall is a good investment for people who are serious about the MIDI game.


In terms of performance, the Keylab does its job awesomely well done. The pads are built well, and the feeling is quite nice. Everything is highly sensitive, and fully weighted keys. The control is easy to navigate. You can create some really nice muse with this one.


You'll find the bundled software that is necessary right after opening the box, and it takes no time at all to have everything set up and start playing with the DAW. Other than that, the Keylab MKII 88 also includes all the gears that you need for the installation process, as well as two modulation sources. 

PROS

  • Superior key-action
  • The pads are velocity and highly pressure-sensitive.
  • Amazing DAW integration.
  • Very durable, can last you a long time.
  • Pretty lightweight and easily portable.
  • Has Aftertouch.

CONS

  • Can be quite pricey.

Studiologic SL88 Grand 88-Note Graded Hammer Action Keyboard
  • 88-key graded hammer action keyboard
  • Real wooden keys with ivory touch

The SL88 Grand 88 is a neat MIDI controller. It looks very simple yet very elegant, and the build quality is super good. Some might even say it's built like a tank, and can last you for years. 


Aside from its durability, this MIDI controller is also highly compact, which makes it perfect for touring or fun times at home. It will definitely become a favorite addition at your home base in no time. 


The feeling is great. It's quiet without the additional "thump" at the end of each note like other weighted keys models, which makes it the perfect choice for heavy-handed people. There is a note-off also, as well as a great aftertouch. The pitch knobs are quite nice and do their job well. Every key works consistently without any rattles or unwanted noises. 


The only minus point of this model perhaps is that the main electronic jack can use some improvement in terms of consciousness, but this can be easily fixed as the SL88 Grand comes with extra inputs and all can work well.

PROS

  • Nice design.
  • Reliable triple sensors.
  • Highly compact and portable.
  • Extremely durable and sturdy.
  • Amazing performance. 

CONS

  • The electronics can be better. 

KORG D1 88 Key Digital Stage Piano - Black
  • The playing feel of a grand piano, on stage or in your room for pianists and keyboardists of any genre.
  • Japanese made high quality 88 Key RH3 real weighted graded hammer action keyboard with touch control

This is a great high-end model that will make you feel it's worth every penny. The D1 is a digital piano that can double as a great MIDI keyboard and controller. The setting up process is extremely quick and easy, no harder than eating a piece of cake. 


The line outputs can be easily connected to audio systems, and the MIDI ports give the D1 the chance to be a good MIDI-controller, especially for people that are interested in weighted keys. 


In terms of performance, the D1 feels good, works well, and sounds amazing. It's a good choice for pianists who want to try something more out of the box, or people who want to experience post piano and MIDI field. Overall, it's a great product and a well worth investment. 


The lack of a built-in speaker can be a minus point, but when combined with a good headphone or audio device then you're good to go. However, with this model, you will need a USB MIDI interface.

PROS

  • The keybed action is amazing.
  • Minimalistic yet elegant design.
  • Highly durable.
  • Very compact.
  • Easy to navigate control panel.
  • Offers natural piano sound as well as a good piano experience.
  • Full-sized connectors for audio and MIDI

CONS

  • Doesn't have built-in speakers.
  • Doesn't have a USB port.

Studiologic SL88 Studio Lightweight Midi Controller with 88-Key Hammer Action Keyboard
  • 88-key hammer action TP/100LR keyboard with After touch
  • Compact, lightweight, extremely portable professional controller

The Studiologic SL88 studio controller is an awesome choice for people who enjoy the fully weighted keys feeling. Everything about this product is simple yet works efficiently, from the design to the way it works. It's a favorite for many minimalists. 


The design is lightweight yet sturdy enough that it can last you a long time. The responsiveness of the control as well as the flexibility of the MIDI routing are excellent. The connectivity is a straight-up business, very easy to be put together. All of the jacks and the USB ports can be figured out quite fast, so it's a bonus point for beginners. 


You can have multiple zones across the keyboard, along with a 250 program memory. If you want to split and play around with cool effects, this should be a great advantage. Also, the MIDI performance is very good and can be fun.

PROS

  • High-quality build.
  • The MIDI routing is excellently flexible.
  • The control is highly responsive.  
  • Simple yet elegant design.
  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to use. 

CONS

  • The keys can be quite heavy for some people.

Sale
M-Audio Hammer 88 - Premium 88-Key Piano-Style Hammer-Action USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller Including Software Suite for Mac & PC
  • Perfect feel, ultimate response - 88 fully-weighted, hammer-action velocity-sensitive keys deliver natural piano feel, faithfully replicating every subtle nuance of your performance
  • Plug and play - Driverless class compliant and USB powered specification provides seamless USB-MIDI connection for playing virtual instruments, controlling recording software and more

This controller is one of the best budget-friendly 88 key MIDI controllers you can get your hands on, guaranteed. The M-Audio Hammer 88 is solidly built, great to feel, and does its job extremely well for a low price tag. 


The setup is really simple. You don't have to bother with additional drivers. All you have to do is plug it in, set it up as a MIDI device on your DAW and you're good to go. It has many features that are great for the people who are just starting, as well as average pianists. 


The hammer action is great and can offer really authentic feels of playing a real piano. The weighted keys and the zones work quite well too, as you can play around with layering and tuning your muses pretty easily. 


However, when it seems like this product is a good choice for average pianists, the more advanced class might find it quite boring.

PROS

  • Great hammer action.
  • Highly affordable.
  • Awesome build quality.
  • Comes with good software and plug-ins.

CONS

  • Can be boring for the more advanced people.

Casio CDP-S350BKC5 Full Weighted Hammer Action Digital Piano
  • 88 weighted keys with scaled hammer action II keyboard with battery powered option
  • With a USB connection and a new 3.5 mm AUX In socket, you can listen, learn and play music from your smartphone or tablet (cable required)

The CDP-S350 is a great arranger keyboard. The quality is good for a pretty decent price tag, and you can have a lot of fun with it. It's very compact and doesn't take much space in your home at all, and also very lightweight. The sounds are quite good and piano-like, although some notes can sound odd to an acoustic pianist's ears. 


It's a hybrid model that can double as a MIDI keyboard controller as well as a digital piano. It can be a good choice for people that want to learn piano through MIDI or pianists who want to try something new. The control is really minimalist and simple to avoid confusion. Overall, it's a great choice to consider. 

PROS

  • Compact and portable.
  • The control is really good.
  • Wide range of tones. 
  • Good piano sound.

CONS

  • For acoustic piano players, some keys might feel odd.
  • Doesn't have line outputs.

Sale
YAMAHA P-45B Digital Piano - Light and Portable Piano for Hobbyists and Beginners, in Black
  • Authenticity and portability in one: Authentic acoustic piano sound in a compact and portable package - P-45 offers great sound in a light and simple design
  • This full size piano offers a graded hammer standard (GSH) 88-key piano keyboard and 10 quality Voices - Play it like an acoustic piano or like a sweet electric one and have fun while practicing

For the beginners who are looking for something that can stimulate the grand piano quite well and also double as a MIDI keyboard, the Yamaha P-45B is a good pick. The price is very affordable, considering the performance of this keyboard is spectacular. It's fully weighted, designed to stimulate the best authentic acoustic piano experience. 


Using this keyboard is easy as a piece of cake. You'll figure everything out in no time at all, and can start to focus on learning techniques and composing tunes real quick. It's also a bonus point as this keyboard won't take much space at all. It's lightweight and highly portable, perfect for home use, and a great choice for people who live in a dorm. 


You can connect it to your computer as a MIDI device via the USB port and cable. Once connected, you can combine it with other software to have the best MIDI experience. 

PROS

  • Lightweight and doesn't take much space at all.
  • Using it is as easy as eating a piece of cake.
  • Fully weighted keys.
  • Good sound quality can stimulate authentic grand piano sound.
  • Affordable. 

CONS

  • Doesn't have an integrated recorder.
  • Awkwardly placed headphone jack.
  • The sustain footswitch can be better.

Alesis Recital Pro - Digital Electric Piano / Keyboard with 88 Weighted Hammer Action Keys, 12 Premium Voices and Built in Speakers
  • A Digital piano that’s tailored to you: Feature-packed electric keyboard with 88 premium full-sized weighted hammer action keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
  • Premium sounds: 12 voices (Incl. acoustic piano, electric piano organ, synth and bass), built-in FX: Chorus, modulation, reverb and two built in 20 W speakers for clear, room-filling sound

Overall the Recital Pro is a good MIDI keyboard controller within the middle-end section. For a very affordable price, you can have quite a fun time with this product. It can do a good job as a MIDI controller, while the sounds are still very nice. 


The keys although aren't weighted can still feel quite nice and can offer a semi-realistic piano experience. The sound quality is awesome, and the built-in speakers really add to that. There isn't any problem of distorting throughout the whole play session, even in loud volume. The control panel is easy to navigate.  


Overall, it's a good investment. The quality of the performance is good, and if you're on a tight budget this can be a great choice.

PROS

  • Fully-sized 88 keys.
  • Better sound than the original.
  • Can offer a wide range of sound effects.
  • Has a built-in MIDI recorder.
  • Can use batteries as the power supply. 

CONS

  • The Main piano sound can be better.

RockJam 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard Piano with Full Size Semi-Weighted Keys, Power Supply, Sheet Music Stand, Piano Note Stickers & Simply Piano Lessons
  • This RockJam 88 digital piano keyboard has 88 full-sized, semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keys that closely replicate the feel of a real piano
  • This weighted keyboard piano is packed with modern features including ten unique voices (upright piano, electric keyboard piano, grand piano, strings, synth, bass, guitar, percussion, Hammond organ, and church organ.)

The RockJam RJ88DP is one of the most affordable keyboards for beginners, and it can double as both a digital piano as well as a MIDI keyboard controller. It's portable, compact, and has all the features you'll need to start your journey. For people who are planning to learn piano through MIDI software, this can be a good choice. 


The sound performance is decent, but nothing really stands out much. The keys are full-sized and can offer a semi-weighted feeling when in action. The velocity sensitivity of this model is quite good. Overall, it's a good choice for people who're just starting and don't want to spend a lot of money on features they won't use much.

PROS

  • Fully-sized keys.
  • Has LED display.
  • Good built-in speakers.
  • Affordable. 

CONS

  • The sound quality is decent but can be better. 

Sale
Nektar Impact LX88+ USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW Integration
  • MIDI controller keyboard compatible with all MIDI software. 88 semi-weighted keys, split/layer, 9 faders, 8 knobs, 6 transport buttons, pitch bend, modulation + octave & transpose buttons
  • 8 back-lit hyper-sensitive drum/programming pads

For a very affordable price tag, the LX88+ is a great option for both keyboard and MIDI controller. It has great DAW integration, and sound performance is very nice. The built quality is quite solid, yet remains lightweight and compact. This keyboard can guarantee a welcoming place in your home studio in no time. 


The feeling that LX88+ is very nice. The keys feel nice to the touch and when in action, they don't have much of that thumping noise at all. The pads are sensitive, as well as being color-coded for easier navigation. Other functions are also very easy to operate. The underlying DAW integration is surprisingly good. 

 

PROS

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Solidly built. 
  • Great performance considering the price tag. 

CONS

  • The editing settings are kinda out of style. 

Sale
Alesis Recital – 88 Key Digital Electric Piano / Keyboard with Semi Weighted Keys, Power Supply, Built-In Speakers and 5 Premium Voices
  • A digital piano that’s tailored to you: Feature-packed electric keyboard with 88 premium full-sized semi weighted keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
  • Premium sounds - Five voices (acoustic piano, electric piano, organ, synth, and bass), built-in FX: Chorus, reverb, and two built in 20 W speakers that deliver crystal-clear, room-filling sound

The Alesis Recital is another great budget choice for beginners and pianists that are trying out something new. It's one of the best 88 keys for the lower-end price range that you can get your hands on. 


The keys are semi-weighted, and the touch response can be altered to better suit your needs. The sound performance is nice and definitely better than many budget models. The built-in speakers work amazingly well, and it can easily play the role of a MIDI controller after a few steps of connecting it to your laptop via USB. 

Overall, it's a great choice for people who are on a tight budget.

PROS

  • Very cheap, considering the great quality.
  • All keys are full-sized.
  • Decent speakers.
  • Can use batteries as the power supply.

CONS

  • Not many options when it comes to sound selection.

Sale
M-Audio Keystation 88 MK3 – 88 Key Semi Weighted MIDI Keyboard Controller for Complete Command of Virtual Synthesisers and DAW parameters
  • Music Production Essential – MIDI keyboard controller with 88 full-size velocity-sensitive semi weighted keys for MIDI control of virtual instruments, software samplers and plug-in synthesisers
  • MIDI Keyboard Must-Haves - Volume fader, transport & directional buttons; pitch & modulation wheels, octave up & down buttons and sustain pedal input for expressive performances

If you're looking for a good lightweight 88 keys MIDI keyboard to start your musical journey but don't have much money to spend, the M-Audio MK3 is your answer. It's a favorite of many pianists, composers, and hobbyists as it can offer very good performance, but doesn't cost a fortune to get one. 

The design overall is lightweight and compact. The keys feel great, and the velocity is quite decent. The VTS responded amazingly with this product. The addition of the pitch and mod wheel are great bonus points, and definitely an advantage for people that need something quick and affordable all in one package.  

PROS

  • Highly affordable.
  • The keys are quite nice.
  • Comes with a good piano VST. 
  • Lightweight and easily portable.

CONS

  • Can have a little latency. 
  • Not very good included software.

Native Instruments - 'Komplete Kontrol S88' MK2
  • Smart keyboard controller for all your virtual instruments and effects
  • Pro-grade Fatar keybeds with aftertouch - available with semi-weighted keys (S49, S61) or fully weighted, hammer-action keys (S88)

Need something that is fully weighted and works phenomenally? The Komplete Kontrol S88 can be your answer. This 88 key MIDI controller is all about creating sweet music most efficiently. It comes with the twin-screen Komplete Kontrol browser for easier operating purposes. You don't even need a monitor for this one. 


The installation and the setting up is quick and easy. You can play around with it and use every NKS compatible effect you want. Everything you need will be laid out in front of you, which can increase your flow tremendously. The keys are fully weighted and feel very nice. The sound performance is among the best you can get. 

Overall, it's a great choice and a good investment.

PROS

  • Fully weighted keys.
  • Offers an authentic piano feel.
  • Easier navigation with the lighting zones.
  • Has many integration options. 

CONS

  • Doesn't come with drum pads.
  • Need an additional power supply.

Alesis Q88 | 88-Key USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller with Pitch & Mod Wheels
  • Complete Piano Keyboard: 88 keys Semilastradas pressure-sensitive the speed of the pulses
  • Rad Reversible tone with a palette Zuweisbar

Long-lasting, easy to use, and works really well, the Alesis Q88 keyboard is a great choice when it comes to 88 key MIDI keyboard. Everything is very easy to navigate, and the design is nice and simple. This product is built very durably, so it can last you quite a long time. 


In terms of performance, the keys are semi-weighted but still offer a nice authentic feeling when in action. The Q88 can offer a very good experience in playing sessions. A pitch wheel and mod wheel will also come included with the keyboard to save you some money. Overall, it's a neat choice. 

PROS

  • User-friendly.
  • Works well.
  • Good quality build can last you a long time. 
  • The sound performance is better than many other models.

CONS

  • The velocity isn't adjustable. 
  • Spring action keys.

Roland A-88 MKII 88-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller
  • Unmatched playability with Roland's own PHA-4 keyboard
  • Built-to-last with wood and premium materials for years of dependable performance

The A-88MKII from Roland is a compact and lightweight 88 key MIDI controller keyboard that works very well. The feeling it offers is very realistic, and it's a nice experience to play with this keyboard overall. You can sit in front of your computer and play around for hours with the MKII in between without ever feeling bored. 

 

The MKII can give you better piano passes during DAW tracking, which is a great advantage over many other models. It works well and feels nice. The keybed is amazing, and the sound is awesome. You can experiment and create many sweet muses with this MIDI controller.

PROS

  • Great performance.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Easy to navigate the controller panel. 
  • Has MIDI 2.0 support.

CONS

  • The section layout can be confusing.

Factors To Be Considered Before Picking Your Best 88 Key Midi Controller.

Have you found the best 88 key midi controller yet? If the answer is "yes", then congratulations. You can start making some awesome MIDI music right away. Here is a quick tutorial on how to set up everything for all the beginners. 

Still, have some wonders left? Well, no big deal. Down below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding midi controllers. We hope we can clear up some questions and help you to find your best midi controller. Read on as our answers can save you precious money from getting the wrong choice.

Why the 88 keys?

best 88 key midi controller

The 88 keys controller is the best option for people who are interested in playing the piano or pianists who are into trying something new. Through software such as Synthogy Ivory, Modartt Pianoteq, or other piano software you can learn how to play this instrument in no time. All you'll need is a decent MIDI keyboard and your computer. 

The 88 keys controller is also a great choice for composers and arrangers, as they can offer more than enough space for zones setup and complicated layers. You can have all the sounds you need presented before you and create beautiful symphonies from them.

88 Key or 61 Key?

What is great about 61 keys MIDI controllers is that they come with more pads, faders, and controls. Is a great option for people who like to play around with digital music in general. 

A 88 key MIDI controller can also have that covered, though not all of them. The 88 key MIDI controller is more about better key-bed and weighted keys. If you're into the piano or want to use your MIDI controller to do things related to piano then 88 keys MIDI controller is the way to go. 

Budget.

Just like all other musical instruments, the more money you spend on it, the better quality it will likely turn out to be. Yes, it can be quite expensive, especially for the high-end model, but the high price tags often come with the guarantee of everything runs smoother. 

That being said, of course, there are still chances for you to find a decent 88 key MIDI controller without losing an arm or a leg. You can find some pretty budget-friendly choices featured in our list above.

Staying within your budget is important, but in the long run, you'll be better with the high-quality models. You can always save up some money, there is no need to rush. 

What is a weighted keyboard?

Speaking of weighted keys, this is a very important aspect to be considered, especially if you're a pianist or somebody who is learning piano through the MIDI. This feature is what decides whether or not your MIDI keyboard controller can perform as a piano. Graded hammer action keys are the best you can get, as they can fully simulate the feeling and the sounds when you play the piano. 

High-end models are often the ones with this feature. Something in the middle-end will have semi-weighted keys, which means some keys are strategically weighted while others are not. These models, while can't emulate the feel of playing a real piano fully as the graded ones, still can give you quite a nice experience. 

The low-end products often come without weighted keys, so if you're looking for that piano touch you might want to consider that.

Size, Weight, and Performance.  

Almost all 88 key MIDI controllers will be available in full-sized keys. Some models that go fully weighted keys will have keys and weigh much like a piano, and feel like a piano. For the pianist or people who are interested in the piano, the option to go fully weighted will be better as it can stimulate the feel of playing the piano better. 

Zones.

Another awesome bonus point of the 88 key MIDI controller is that you can have multiple zones on different MIDI channels. By proper organization, you can play one type of music within the area of keys that is on your left hands, while your right-hand plays another tune on the keys on the right side. To put it simply, you can both play organ and bass on one go. 

Zones will also give you better control over how the music is produced. You can add elements into your lower endnotes while keeping your higher notes clear of those effects if you want. It's a neat feature for digital composers to play around with. 

Transport Controls.

For DAW control, you'll work more efficiently with good transport controls. Models without this feature will require you to use a mouse and a trackball to control your DAW, which can affect and slow down your workflow as well as being inconvenient as hell. With decent transport controls, you can do multiple tasks at once without breaking a sweat. 

best 88 key midi controller

Pitch and Mod Wheels.

If you want to play around with your notes, then you should pay attention to the pitch wheel and the modulation wheel. The former is for changing the pitch of your notes, while the latter will add more vibrato. It's flexible features, which can bring you many fun times. 

Auto-Mapping.

For digital musicians, especially ones that rely heavily on the computer to create music, this will be a feature that you should focus on. The auto-mapping will help with the DAW controlling, plugins, and other software automatically. Without it, you'll have to spend a little time with the knobs and pads to get things going smoothly your way. 

Connectivity.

Most 88 key MIDI controllers will have a USB port for laptop or computer connection. Other than that, some models also feature extra inputs and outlets so you can connect other MIDI instruments or digital devices as well. Some products that come with a foot pedal will also have a pedal input. You should check the information about these extra features before you buy to find the best 88 key MIDI controller for your needs. 

Power Supply. 

Directly powered through USB is what most models will have when it comes to the power supply. However, if you're planning on using your MIDI controller without the computer, then you need an external power adapter. Often this is when you might want to play around with sound modules or synths, or just planning to use a tablet instead of your computer. 

The easiest and most reliable power supply is bus-powered. You can power your controller with your laptop this way, as well as with many other digital devices. Another note on the power supply is that aside from the main USB port, there are also models that require an additional mains socket, as an AC or DC adapter for power supply. 

Aftertouch

This is the feature that sends the midi data after a key is pressed. It is responsible for vibrato controlling, as well as volume controlling, and many other jobs that you've set up for the aftertouch to handle. With this feature, you can have extra control during your play sessions. More advanced players and digital composers will benefit from considering the aftertouch before they buy. 

Pads and Motorized Controls.

For digital musicians, these features are what you should focus on, as they allow you to play around with different zones, layers, and other cool stuff. You should focus on the technical information about these parts before you buy any MIDI controller. 

However, for the pianists and people who are only interested in piano-related stuff, these parts aren't important at all. In fact, they can be quite unnecessary if you're just focused on controlling virtual pianos.

Here is a video for you to grab more information:

Conclusion: My Top Pick For Best 88 Key Midi Controller

1

Best 88 Key Midi Controller for highest quality performance. 

Arturia Keylab 88 MKII (White)
  • Software Specifications:
  • - Includes Analog Lab software with 7000 synth and keyboard sounds-

2

Best 88 Key Midi Controller for heavy-handed people.

Studiologic SL88 Grand 88-Note Graded Hammer Action Keyboard
  • 88-key graded hammer action keyboard
  • Real wooden keys with ivory touch

3

Best 88 Key Midi Controller for simplicity.

KORG D1 88 Key Digital Stage Piano - Black
  • The playing feel of a grand piano, on stage or in your room for pianists and keyboardists of any genre.
  • Japanese made high quality 88 Key RH3 real weighted graded hammer action keyboard with touch control

4

Best 88 Key Midi Controller for minimalists. 

Studiologic SL88 Studio Lightweight Midi Controller with 88-Key Hammer Action Keyboard
  • 88-key hammer action TP/100LR keyboard with After touch
  • Compact, lightweight, extremely portable professional controller

5

Best 88 Key Midi Controller for low budgets.

Sale
M-Audio Hammer 88 - Premium 88-Key Piano-Style Hammer-Action USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller Including Software Suite for Mac & PC
  • Perfect feel, ultimate response - 88 fully-weighted, hammer-action velocity-sensitive keys deliver natural piano feel, faithfully replicating every subtle nuance of your performance
  • Plug and play - Driverless class compliant and USB powered specification provides seamless USB-MIDI connection for playing virtual instruments, controlling recording software and more

So it should come as no surprise that the winner of the best 88 key midi controller is the Arturia Keylab MKII. As far as the MIDI game goes, this one is the most worth it investment. It's beautiful, and is built to last you for a long time, but not heavy or bulky at all. Aside from the sensitive pads and fully weighted keys, its performance is amazing as well. 

It has all the bonus points that we need for such as lightweight, highly portable, comes with high-quality accessories, has an aftertouch, and is easy to use. Yes, it does seem to be on the pricier side, but you're most likely won't have to buy another one after purchasing the Arturia Keylab MKII. Why spend money on something that only lasts for a while when you could invest in something that could be used for many years after? 

  • Don't forget to share your thoughts about Best 88 Key Midi Controller at the comment box below!

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