Best MIDI Keyboard for Logic Pro X: Plenty of Time to Hammer Away on the Keys

Written by: Zach Wright

Logic Pro X is a powerful yet straightforward digital audio workstation for your Mac. It offers powerful tools that you can use to create songs, drop beats, edit, and mix. You can remotely control this digital workstation from your iPhone or iPad, and there are hundreds of plugins you can use to customize your experience and expand your sound banks. The latest version includes a 3D object spanner so that you can create 3D audio sounds for your listeners. 

In this article, we will take a look at the best MIDI keyboards for Logic Pro X . We’ll take a look at the criteria for choosing the best keyboard for the job and give you our thoughts on the pick for the best one. Let’s get started. 


Best 5 MIDI Keyboards for Logic Pro X Reviewed

Akai Professional MPK Mini MK3 - Midi Keyboard Controller for Portability

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included (Grey)



  • 25 Velocity-sensitive keys 
  • This keyboard is USB powered rather than needing a power cord. 
  • You’ll find eight programmable midi beat pads and knobs for drum beats and effects 


If you want a MIDI keyboard that is highly portable and easy to use, you might love the Akai Professional MPK Mini MK3. It’s compact, lightweight, and small. It will easily stow away in a closet when you aren’t using it or fit into a gig bag for when you are recording on the go. This easy-to-use keyboard integrates easily with Logic Pro X and is excellent for both the aspiring beginner and the gigging pro. 


  • Beat pads are responsive and create crisp beats. 
  • This keyboard is available in a cool grey color. 
  • The keyboard is small and lightweight, making it easy to transport. 
  • This is a plug-and-play device. 


  • The keys are velocity-sensitive, which means they will respond to how quickly you push the key down, but they are not weighted. 

IK Multimedia iRig Keys - For Audio Integration with MAC and iOS

IK Multimedia iRig Keys I/O 49 49-Key Music Creation Workstation with Integrated Audio Interface



  • This keyboard uses 49 full-size keys with velocity-sensitive synth-action
  • Ultra-compact design makes it portable and easy to store away. 
  • This keyboard includes two programmable sliders for pitch and modulation control, program change, and transport controls to customize your music experience. 
  • It includes 24-bit/96Khz capable input/output audio interface compatible with iPhone, iPad, and Mac
  • Includes input jacks for instrument or microphone with phantom power 


The IK Multimedia iRig gives you plenty of features packed in a tiny size. It works seamlessly with your iOS and Mac devices, which is perfect for Logic Pro X users or even Logic’s little brother, Garageband. Plug and play makes it easy to set up and get started so you don’t have to waste time on putting your keyboard together or figuring out your software package. 

One of the best parts of this keyboard is the wide range of inputs and outputs, including professional audio lines, so that you can use it as a MIDI controller and recording device both at home and on the go. 


Synth-action keys are well done and have a balanced feel

  • Works seamlessly with Mac and Logic Pro X 
  • Offers a range of inputs and outputs to meet all your music needs. 


  • May need adapters for USB-C devices 

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro - Full-Size Keyboard

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro – 88 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With Piano Style Weighted Hammer Action Keys, Beat Pads, and Software Suite



  • It offers a traditional piano feel with graded hammer action weighted keys, velocity-sensitive, aftertouch 
  • Assignable key zones 
  • 16 assignable velocity-sensitive drum pads with repeat note 
  • Eight knobs and buttons, nine faders for real MIDI control of effects, virtual instruments, and other controls 


The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro offers a graded hammer-action keyboard for a realistic playing experience that pianists will love. It includes assignable aftertouch effects, as well as many customizable knobs, buttons, faders, and drum pads. The Hammer 88 Pro also features an easy-to-read OLED screen and auto-mapping of MIDI instruments, so you don’t have to guess what’s happening. 


  • Great realistic piano feel for the price, making it an excellent option for piano-based musicians or piano-heavy music 
  • It offers plenty of options for effects and controls 
  • Bright OLED screen helps you keep track of everything that is going on in your music performance. 


  • Settings may need to be tweaked to balance out velocity issues

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 Mk2 Keyboard - For Live Performance

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 Mk2 Keyboard



  • This keyboard features fully weighted, hammer-action keys with aftertouch 
  • Includes premapped instruments to make set-up and recording easy. 


The Komplete Kontrol features excellent hammer action, 88 keys and visual feedback. It integrates easily with Logic Pro X, as you can see here. The keyboard Includes high-resolution color screens to control your DAW and keyboard seamlessly. This MIDI keyboard is easy enough for beginners to use, but also offers full-weighted keys that make live performance enjoyable, as well. 


  • This keyboard features excellent touch sensitivity and a realistic feel for pianists.
  • It can be used for live performances with Logic Pro X. 


  • There is no on/off switch. Instead, you turn off the controller by unplugging it from the USB. 
  • Long key travel may make playing faster passages difficult.

Alesis V49 MKII USB MIDI Keyboard Controller - For Beginners

Alesis V49 MKII USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 49 Velocity Sensitive Keys, 8 Full Level Pads, Arpeggiator, Pitch/Mod Wheel, Note Repeat and Software Suite



  • 60 free midi controller lessons to help the beginner understand how midi controllers work. 
  • Featuring a plug and play midi keyboard that helps you get started on projects quickly. 
  • Features 49 full-size, velocity-sensitive synth-action keys for a well-balanced feel that isn’t too spongy or too heavy. 
  • Includes eight velocity-sensitive beat pads for all your drum beats. 
  • Includes four assignable knobs with octave change, transposition, pitch bend, and modulation buttons and wheels.


The Alesis V49 is a great keyboard for beginners starting their journey mixing with Logic Pro X. It includes 60 free midi controller lessons to get you on your way to making your own great music. 49 full-sized synth-action keys give you enough room for basic piano playing or any other virtual instrument. In addition, it is an easy-to-use and streamlined keyboard. 


  • Includes beginner lessons 
  • It features plenty of MIDI controllers alongside of its 49 full-sized keys. 


  • Drum pads are easily double-triggered and may need to be adjusted with Logic Pro. 
  • Key velocity may need to be adjusted to balance out the volume of individual keys. 

Criteria For Choosing The Best Keyboards for Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X is a full-featured recording program for Mac and iOS. Although it is a little bit similar to the much-adored Garageband, Logic Pro X is much more robust and capable. It is often used for its MIDI capabilities, for recording, mixing, and creating spatial audio files. 

To get the full use out of your digital audio workstation (or DAW), you’ll probably want some kind of MIDI-capable keyboard controller. This will allow you to play music to record, create licks, melodies, and even drum beats. From there, of course, you can mix your tracks into a finished work of art. 

You’re going to need a few prerequisites before using your Logic Pro X software with a keyboard. And you’ll also need to understand the criteria we used to pick the best keyboards.

Prerequisites for Using Logic Pro X 

First and foremost, to use Logic Pro X you need a Mac with OS 11.5 or newer. You’ll need a minimum of 6GB of disk space. Of course, if you’re going to install the entire Sound Library, you’ll need as much as 72GB of free space. 

If you have all of that, you can use Logic Pro X. You’ll also need a good instrument and a way to connect your instrument to your MAC, which we’ll look at a little bit later. But first, let’s talk about what type of music you’ll be making and how that affects the keyboard you choose. 

Type of Music 

As a classically trained pianist, all of the music I composed tended to be piano-heavy because that was natural for me and what I enjoyed. Other types of music, however, are more synth-heavy. Of course, there are all kinds of different types of music, and knowing which type you plan to create will help you choose the right keyboard. 

For example, suppose you are going to be creating piano music. In that case, you’ll want a keyboard that works with your software that features weighted keys, graded hammer standard, and touch sensitivity so you can create the most expressive music you can dream up. On the other hand, if your music is more synth-heavy, you might feel better using semi-weighted velocity-sensitive keys because you don’t need as much nuance in your synth beds. 

If you are looking to create dance mixes or drum-heavy tunes, you’ll want to be sure to have some programmable pads on your keyboard to give you that ability, as well.

Type of Recording or Performance 

If you are going to be recording live music, you may want to use a keyboard that has an audio line out. On the other hand, if you are going to be recording MIDI tracks, you can use a MIDI controller keyboard that doesn’t have an onboard sound engine or soundbank. Instead, you can use the sound banks found right in Logic Pro X. 

Type of Keys 

The type of keys will be important depending on the kind of player you are. For example, suppose you are a trained pianist and will be recording piano tracks. In that case, you’ll probably want keys that feel the most like an acoustic piano: weighted, with touch sensitivity and graded hammer standard. Then again, if you are going to be creating layers of synth beds, you don’t need so much touch sensitivity since synths are more easily manipulated in the DAW. 

You may also be playing other types of virtual instruments from your keyboard, which means you‘ll want it to be velocity-sensitive so you can make a trumpet sound like a trumpet, and so on. 

Key Size 

Most keyboards have standard piano-sized keys. However, when you break into the field of MIDI controllers, these keyboards don’t always adhere to the same standard. In fact. IN fact, you might find mini keys that enable you to play the riffs you need without playing. A lot of notes at one time. 

Number of Keys 

Once again, the number of keys has a lot to do with the type of music you’ll be playing. For example, if you are playing complete piano recordings, you’ll likely need a full-size, 88-key keyboard. On the other hand, if you’re just laying down a bass line or filling in some synths, you don’t need to spend a lot of time worrying if you have enough keys. Instead, just use the ones you have. 

Additional Keyboard Controls 

If you are laying all kinds of tracks, not just piano or synth, you may want to consider some additional controls to use with your DAW. For example, you may need drum pads, knobs, faders, and sliders to mix tracks and control effects. 

On the other hand, many of these functions can be done digitally. For example, you can play a number of instruments, including drums, via MIDI on regular MIDI-capable keyboards. 

Available Space

How much space do you have for your music studio? If space isn’t a problem for you, you may want to invest in a full-size, 88-key keyboard so you can enjoy a full range of piano keyboard licks. But if space is tight, you might want to look into a space-saving 61-keys or less. 


If you’re going to be gigging, traveling, or making and recording music on the go, you’ll want to look for a more portable piece of equipment for your music studio. Check the size and weight of the keyboard you are planning on purchasing, especially if you need to take it with you. 

For example, although many digital pianos are also MIDI-capable (at least via Bluetooth or USB) they aren’t at all portable, and you won’t be taking them to a friend’s studio to record. On the opposite end of the spectrum are tiny MIDI-capable keyboards with just 25 keys that can go almost anywhere and fit easily into a gig bag or backpack.


Things can get a little complicated when it comes to hooking up your keyboard to your computer. Initially, all MIDI connections used a 5-Pin MIDI I/O interface. Next, you needed a hub to connect to your computer. Finally, you needed a direct line out, a headphone jack, or a line out through an amplified and into your recording device for audio. 

More modern keyboards often use USB ports to go directly from the keyboard into the computer. So, for example, you would use a USB to lightning cable for an iPad or iPhone. 

If you are going to be using MIDI technology with your Logic X Pro software, you’ll want to be sure what kind of connection you need between your keyboard and your computer. If you are going to be using digital audio out from your keyboard, you might need a direct line from your keyboard to your computer. 

If you’re going to use multiple keyboards with your software, you’ll need to be able to connect them together.


We can never forget to look at our budget, either. Ideally, you will purchase the most up-to-date, best keyboard that will fit your budget. You may have to pick and choose which features are most important to your music-making so that you can be sure to get the controls you need without breaking the bank. 

Our Pick for the Best Keyboard for Logic Pro X 

If you’re looking for portability, you can’t go wrong with the Akai Professional MPK Mini MK3. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner, the free midi controller lessons that accompany the Alesis V49 MKII USB MIDI Keyboard Controller are invaluable. However, our favorite choice for the best keyboard for Logic Pro X is the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro  . Maybe we’re just enamored by full-size keyboards, but this one will give you everything you need for a serious at-home studio. 

We love the weighted, graded hammer action keys that mimic the feeling of playing an acoustic grand piano. You don’t find that often in MIDI-focused keyboards, so this is an outstanding feature. You also get 16 assignable drum pads and plenty of faders and knobs to keep you making music. 

The only drawback, really, is its large size. But if you have the space, we genuinely think the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro gives you the best feeling keyboard for making music. Use it live or in the studio with your DAW since there are tons of options for sound banks using all of the available plugins. Just plug it in, and you’ll be hammering away at the keys in no time! 

Written By:
Zach has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Being a studio owner for 13 years, he actively helps musicians and producers with technical issues around musical instruments and studio and audio equipment.

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