Top 5 MIDI controller for under 100 $

The current market is flooded with all kinds of MIDI controllers. This post gives just a brief overview of the different types and concepts. So you can decide if you need a device with or without keys and how many encoders or faders are necessary for your individual setup. All MIDI controllers should be listed with a price tag of less than 100$.

Akai APC Key 25

The APC Key 25 manufactured by Akai Professional is a mobile keyboard controller with a 5×8 clip launch matrix. These 40 pads can be used to start clips, play virtual instruments or control plug-ins. The bus-powered MIDI controller is especially well integrated in Ableton Live.

APCKey25_AKAI midi controller
The APC Key 25 provides a nice combination of pads, encoders and keys.

software included:

  • Ableton Live Lite
  • Hybrid3 by AIR Music Tech
  • SONiVOX Twist Spectral Morphing Synthesizer
  • Toolroom Records Artist Launch Packs

Product link: Akai APC Key 25

Novation Launchpad MK2

With a 8×8 multicoloured pad matrix the Launchpad MK2 gives you full control over Ableton Live – perfect for starting clips, arming tracks or playing drum racks.

lauchpad midi controller
Launchpad with a 8×8 matrix.

software included:

  • Ableton Live Lite
  • 4 GB Loopmasters Samples
  • Novation Bass Station
  • V Station Synth

Product link: Novation Launchpad MK2

Korg nanoKONTROL 2

nanoKONTROL 2 is suited for simple mixing tasks within your DAW. The ultra-slim device offers 8 Faders, each accompanied by an encoder and three buttons for “solo”, “mute” and “record”.

KORG nanoKONTROL2 midi controller
A very good MIDI controller for small mixing setups.

software included:

  • Korg KONTROL editor
  • Korg Software bundle

Product link: Korg nanoKONTROL 2

Arturia MiniLab MK II

The MiniLab MK II comes with 25 velocity-sensitive keys and 2 banks of 8 velocity- and pressure sensitive pads. Besides 16 rotary encoders it has 2 touch sensors for pitch bend and modulation wheel as well as a sustain pedal jack.

minilab midi controller
The MiniLab offers a lot of value for a low price.

software included:

  • Analog Lab Lite
  • Ableton Live Lite
  • UVI Grand Piano

Product link: Arturia MiniLab MK II

M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3

The Keystation Mini 32 is built very compact and focuses its feature set on 32 velocity sensitive keys. There are no real drum pads but a few buttons and one encoder that can be mapped in your DAW via “MIDI learn”.

keystation midi controller
No faders – just keys!

software included:

  • Pro Tools First M-Audio Edition
  • AIR Music Tech Xpand!2

Product link: M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK II


MIDI controllerEncoderFaderPadsKeys
Akai APC Key 2584025
Korg nanoKONTROL 288
Arturia MiniLab MK II16825
Novation Launchpad MK264
M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3132

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