7 Best Midi Controllers For Logic Pro X Users (and 6 Must Have Features..)

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Logic Pro X is a powerful digital audio workstation that has become a go-to for many music producers and audio engineers.

One of the essential tools for working with Logic Pro X is a MIDI controller.

A MIDI controller is a device that allows you to control various aspects of your music software, including virtual instruments, effects, and mixing tools.

In this article, we will be discussing the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X.

When it comes to MIDI controllers, there are many options available on the market, from simple keyboard controllers to more advanced models with drum pads, faders, and knobs.

The right MIDI controller for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

One critical factor to consider when choosing a MIDI controller for Logic Pro X is the integration with the software.

Logic Pro X supports various MIDI controllers, but some models are designed specifically for use with the software, providing seamless integration and optimized control.

Another important factor to consider is the number and type of controls on the controller.

A controller with a large number of knobs, faders, and buttons can provide more precise control over your music software.In this article, we will be reviewing the top MIDI controllers for Logic Pro X, taking into account factors such as integration, control options, and overall value.

Our goal is to help you find the best MIDI controller for your needs, so you can focus on making great music.

Editor’s Pick

Best Overall MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X

Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3

Best Overall MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X

For Logic Pro X users seeking the perfect blend of functionality, integration, and value, we recommend the Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 as the top overall MIDI controller.

  • Seamless integration with Logic Pro X for efficient workflow
  • Innovative features like Scale Mode, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator for enhanced creativity
  • RGB-backlit pads with velocity and pressure sensitivity for dynamic performance
  • Comprehensive control options with 49 keys, 8 pads, 9 faders, and 9 rotary knobs
  • Includes Analog Lab V software with 2000 presets for a wide range of sounds

Best Portable MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3

Best Portable MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X

For music producers on the go, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 stands out as the top portable MIDI controller for Logic Pro X.

  • Compact and lightweight design for easy portability
  • 25 velocity-sensitive mini keys for expressive playing
  • 8 backlit MPC-style pads for drum programming and sample triggering
  • Built-in arpeggiator and 4-way thumbstick for dynamic performance
  • Includes Complete Music Production Starter Kit software bundle

Best Value MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X

Donner DMK25 Pro MIDI Keyboard Controller

Best Value MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X

For those looking for a great balance between features and affordability, we recommend the Donner DMK25 Pro MIDI Keyboard Controller as the best value MIDI controller for Logic Pro X.

  • Intelligent dynamic scale mode for easy melody and bass line creation
  • Real-time multi-mode control with arpeggio, note repeat, and chord functions
  • Personalized touch bar and innovative wheels for enhanced control
  • 25 velocity-sensitive keys and 8 velocity-sensitive pads for expressive playing
  • Compatible with various DAWs, including Logic Pro X, and offers plug-and-play connectivity

Best MIDI Controllers for Logic Pro X

We understand that finding the perfect MIDI controller for Logic Pro X can be a daunting task, especially when there are so many options available in the market.

As avid music producers ourselves, we have tested and researched extensively to bring you the best MIDI controllers that work seamlessly with Logic Pro X.

Our roundup includes a variety of controllers with different features and price points, so you can find the one that suits your needs and budget.

So without further ado, here are our top picks for the best MIDI controllers for Logic Pro X.

1. AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3

If you’re looking for a portable MIDI keyboard controller that can take your music production to the next level, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is worth considering.

If you’re looking for a portable MIDI keyboard controller that can take your music production to the next level, the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is worth considering.

Pros

  • The compact size makes it easy to take with you anywhere you go.
  • The 25 mini keys are velocity-sensitive, making it easy to add dynamics to your performances.
  • The 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads with Note Repeat and Full Level are perfect for programming drums and triggering samples.

Cons

  • The keys may feel a bit small if you’re used to playing on a full-sized keyboard.
  • The software included in the Complete Music Production Starter Kit may not be as robust as some other options on the market.
  • The 4-way thumbstick may take some time to get used to if you’re not familiar with this type of controller.

We’ve had a chance to use the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3, and we were impressed by its versatility and ease of use.

The keyboard is USB-powered, so you don’t need to worry about finding a power source when you’re on the go.

The MPC-style pads are a standout feature, and they’re perfect for drum programming and sample triggering.

We also appreciated the 360-degree knobs, which can be assigned to control various parameters in your DAW or virtual instruments.

The software included in the Complete Music Production Starter Kit is a nice bonus, but it may not be as comprehensive as some other options on the market.

However, if you’re just starting out with music production, it’s a great way to get started without breaking the bank.

Overall, we think the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 is a solid choice for anyone looking for a portable MIDI keyboard controller that can handle a wide range of music production tasks.

2. Arturia KeyLab Essential MK3

Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3

If you’re looking for a MIDI controller that’s versatile, easy to use, and comes with a ton of features, the Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 is a great option.

If you’re looking for a MIDI controller that’s versatile, easy to use, and comes with a ton of features, the Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 is a great option.

Pros

  • The Scale Mode, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator features make songwriting and beat-making more intuitive than ever before.
  • The RGB-backlit pads with velocity and pressure sensitivity, contextual button, and a bright new 2.5” LCD screen provide real-time feedback and easier control.
  • The Analog Lab V software package, which includes 2000 presets, is no longer limited to vintage sounds and now includes unique hybrids, modern synths, orchestral sounds, and more.

Cons

  • The sensitivity of the keys may be too high for some users, which may require them to disable the response to touch.
  • The product software may be outdated, and users may have difficulty registering the product.
  • The MIDI controller may not be suitable for beginners, as it has a lot of controls and features that may be overwhelming.

We’ve had a chance to play around with the Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3, and we’re impressed with its versatility and ease of use.

The Scale Mode, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator features make it easy to create complex beats and melodies, and the RGB-backlit pads provide real-time feedback and easier control.

The Analog Lab V software package is a standout feature, with 2000 presets that are no longer limited to vintage sounds.

Users can enjoy unique hybrids, modern synths, orchestral sounds, and more.

One potential drawback is that the sensitivity of the keys may be too high for some users, which may require them to disable the response to touch.

Additionally, the product software may be outdated, and users may have difficulty registering the product.

Overall, we think the Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 is a great option for those looking for a MIDI controller that’s versatile, easy to use, and comes with a ton of features.

However, it may not be suitable for beginners, as it has a lot of controls and features that may be overwhelming.

3. Donner DMK25 Pro MIDI Keyboard Controller

Donner DMK25 Pro MIDI Keyboard Controller

If you’re looking for a MIDI controller that’s versatile, easy to use, and comes with a ton of features, the Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 is a great option.

If you’re looking for a portable, versatile, and affordable MIDI controller that works well with Logic Pro X, the Donner DMK25 Pro is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The intelligent dynamic scale mode makes it easy to play bass lines, melodies, and leads in various musical genres without worrying about tuning issues.
  • The real-time multi-mode control with arpeggio, note repeat, and chord functions allows for more creativity and expression in music production.
  • The personalized touch bar with light scale and innovative wheels offer greater visual control and comfort when turning, custom mapping to allocate the information you need to control, and 6 transport controllers to improve arrangement efficiency.

Cons

  • The 25 keys may feel limiting for some users who need more range and flexibility in their music production.
  • The complimentary software requires you to ask for customer service, which may be inconvenient for some users who prefer more seamless and immediate access to software.
  • The intelligent dynamic scale mode may not work as well for some users who prefer more manual and precise tuning control.

The Donner DMK25 Pro is a lightweight and compact MIDI keyboard that can be easily carried around to different locations for inspiration and creativity.

With its compatibility with various DAWs, including Logic Pro X, it provides a complete music production experience for users of all levels.

The high-definition OLED display and 40 free keyboard-teaching courses also make it easier to learn and master all aspects of arrangement creation.

The velocity-sensitive keys and eight velocity-sensitive pads are responsive and pressure-sensitive, allowing for more dynamic and expressive playing.

The USB Bus Powered feature also eliminates the need for drivers and power supply, making it easier to plug and play.

Overall, the Donner DMK25 Pro is a great value for its price and features, especially for those who need a portable and versatile MIDI controller for Logic Pro X.

4. Vangoa MIDI Keyboard Controller

Vangoa MIDI Keyboard Controller

If you’re looking for a MIDI controller that’s versatile, easy to use, and comes with a ton of features, the Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 is a great option.

If you’re a beginner or an intermediate music producer looking for an affordable and portable MIDI controller, the Vangoa MIDI Keyboard Controller 25 Keys, Worlde Panda MINI USB Midi Keyboard with Drum Pads, Beat Maker Machine Pad, Black 4 Knobs+4 Sliders, Gen II Black is worth considering.

Pros

  • The compact size makes it easy to carry around and ideal for small home studios or traveling.
  • The 4+4 knobs, sliders, 4 memory banks, program, mod, and octave buttons allow for instant recall of personal control preferences.
  • The MIDI keyboard with drum pads has 7 RGB colors assignable via the editor, providing rich visual feedback.

Cons

  • The MIDI software is outdated and not user-friendly, which can be frustrating for beginners.
  • The setup process can be a bit tricky and requires some technical knowledge.
  • The keys and pads may feel a bit stiff and not as responsive as some higher-end controllers.

We’ve had the chance to test out the Vangoa MIDI Keyboard Controller 25 Keys, Worlde Panda MINI USB Midi Keyboard with Drum Pads, Beat Maker Machine Pad, Black 4 Knobs+4 Sliders, Gen II Black, and we found it to be a decent MIDI controller for its price range.

The compact size is a big plus, and it’s easy to carry around and use on the go.

The 4+4 knobs, sliders, 4 memory banks, program, mod, and octave buttons are within reach and allow for instant recall of personal control preferences, which is helpful when working on music projects.

The MIDI keyboard with drum pads has 7 RGB colors assignable via the editor, providing rich visual feedback that adds a nice touch to music creation.

However, the MIDI software is outdated and not user-friendly, which can be frustrating for beginners.

The setup process can also be a bit tricky and requires some technical knowledge, so it’s not as plug-and-play as some other controllers.

Additionally, the keys and pads may feel a bit stiff and not as responsive as some higher-end controllers, which can affect the overall playing experience.

Overall, the Vangoa MIDI Keyboard Controller 25 Keys, Worlde Panda MINI USB Midi Keyboard with Drum Pads, Beat Maker Machine Pad, Black 4 Knobs+4 Sliders, Gen II Black is a decent option for beginners or intermediate music producers looking for an affordable and portable MIDI controller.

However, if you’re looking for a more advanced and responsive controller, you may want to consider investing in a higher-end model.

5. M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

If you’re looking for a compact and portable MIDI controller that is compatible with Logic Pro X, the M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller might be the perfect fit for you.

If you’re looking for a compact and portable MIDI controller that is compatible with Logic Pro X, the M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller might be the perfect fit for you.

Pros

  • The wireless Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect to your device without any cables, making it easy to use on-the-go.
  • The 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys are perfect for studio production and virtual synthesizer control.
  • The 16 RGB backlit velocity-sensitive drum pads and 8 assignable rotary encoders make it easy to tweak synth controls and mix your music.

Cons

  • The semi-weighted dynamic keybed may not be suitable for those who prefer a fully-weighted keyboard.
  • The 2,000 mAh battery life of about 16 hours may not be sufficient for longer recording sessions.
  • The compact size may make it difficult for those with larger hands to use comfortably.

We were impressed with the M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller’s wireless connectivity and portability.

The 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys were responsive and easy to use, and the 16 RGB backlit velocity-sensitive drum pads and 8 assignable rotary encoders were a great addition for mixing and tweaking synth controls.

The smart chord and smart sound function is a unique feature that allows users to quickly choose through the keys, making it suitable for performance and practice.

Additionally, the M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS, and works well with all digital audio workstations, including Ableton live, Fl Studio, Cubase, Logic Pro X, Bitwig, Reason, Studio One, and GarageBand(iOS).

Overall, we recommend the M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller for those who are looking for a portable and versatile MIDI controller for Logic Pro X.

6. Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller

Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller

If you’re an Ableton Live user, the Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller is a must-have tool for your music production arsenal.

If you’re an Ableton Live user, the Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller is a must-have tool for your music production arsenal.

Pros

  • The seamless integration with Ableton Live makes it easy to control all aspects of your music production.
  • The velocity-sensitive keyboard and 16 velocity-sensitive pads allow for expressive and dynamic performances.
  • The chord modes, arpeggiator, and scale modes make it easy to create complex melodies and chord progressions.

Cons

  • The pads cannot be used to trigger Logic’s drum machine designer.
  • The key action is not as good as some of the other small keyboards on the market.
  • The price point may be a bit high for some users.

We recently had the opportunity to test out the Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller, and we were thoroughly impressed with its performance.

The integration with Ableton Live is seamless, allowing us to control all aspects of our music production without ever having to touch the mouse.

The velocity-sensitive keyboard and pads allowed for expressive and dynamic performances, and the chord modes, arpeggiator, and scale modes made it easy to create complex melodies and chord progressions.While the pads cannot be used to trigger Logic’s drum machine designer, they are still a great tool for creating beats and triggering samples.

The key action is not as good as some of the other small keyboards on the market, but it is still a solid choice for those who prioritize the integration with Ableton Live.

The price point may be a bit high for some users, but we believe that the features and performance of the Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller make it a worthwhile investment for any Ableton Live user looking to take their music production to the next level.

7. Nektar Impact LX61+ Keyboard Controller

Nektar Impact LX61+ Keyboard Controller

If you’re looking for a versatile and affordable MIDI controller for Logic Pro X, the Nektar Impact LX61+ is a solid option that won’t break the bank.

If you’re looking for a versatile and affordable MIDI controller for Logic Pro X, the Nektar Impact LX61+ is a solid option that won’t break the bank.

Pros

  • The 61 velocity-sensitive keys feel great and are perfect for playing melodies, chords, and basslines.
  • The 8 hyper-sensitive backlit pads are perfect for triggering drums, samples, and other sounds.

    They’re also great for finger drumming and live performance.
  • The software instruments are automatically mapped to the controls, which saves a ton of time and makes it easy to get started.

Cons

  • The keys are not weighted, which may be a dealbreaker for some users who prefer a more piano-like feel.
  • The build quality is not the best, and some users have reported issues with the buttons and knobs breaking over time.
  • The included Bitwig 8-Track DAW may not be the best choice for Logic Pro X users, as it’s a separate software that requires its own learning curve.

Overall, we think the Nektar Impact LX61+ is a great MIDI controller for Logic Pro X users who want a solid and affordable option.

While it’s not perfect, it offers a lot of features and functionality for the price, and the keys and pads feel great to play.

If you’re looking for a versatile and reliable MIDI controller that won’t break the bank, this is definitely worth considering.

6 MIDI Controller Must-Have Features For Logic Pro X Users?

For creative Logic Pro X users, the top six essential features to look for in a dedicated MIDI keyboard controller are: responsive, velocity-sensitive keys; aftertouch modulation control; high-quality faders and knobs; transport and navigation buttons; velocity-sensitive drum pad grids; and seamless plug-and-play integration with Logic via proprietary drivers or class compliance.

Below, we explore and detail why these specific MIDI controller features make mixing, recording, performing and programming instruments far more expressive, comfortable and efficient when using Logic Pro X as your main DAW.

1. Responsive, Velocity-Sensitive Keys

Image illustrating the seamless integration of a MIDI controller with Logic Pro X, showcasing the depth of interaction and control

Have you ever played a digital piano with cheap, plastic-feeling keys?

Or, on the flip side, have you tried using a midi controller keyboard with unresponsive, synth-action keys for more realistic virtual instrument parts?

It makes a world of difference in playability and expression.That is why having responsive, velocity-sensitive keys is a must-have for Logic Pro X users searching for a midi keyboard and controller.

Fully weighted hammer-action keys provide an authentic acoustic piano feel.But anything with some resistance and velocity sensitivity beats cheap mini-keys.

It allows you to control not just notes on/off but their volume – determined by how hard the keys are hit.

This dynamic playing makes all the difference when layering sample-based pianos, electric pianos, organs, orchestral instruments and more in Logic Pro for far more emotive and realistic performances.

2. Aftertouch Control

Image illustrating a MIDI controller with integrated productivity features, enhancing playback and performance in Logic Pro X for music production

Aftertouch is one of those underutilized performance controls that deserves more attention.

Especially by Logic Pro X users wanting more expression from their virtual instruments and effects processing.

In simple terms, aftertouch lets you modulate parameters like pitch bend, vibrato amount, or filter cutoff after keys are struck.

By applying downward finger pressure, you can infuse more feeling into held notes over time.

Some of Logic’s software instruments react to aftertouch for added realism and dynamics.Third party virtual synths and FX that support it do too.

String ensemble pads can swell in volume, analog synth notes can bend more sharply, electric piano tones get more bell-like, and guitar rig simulations can scream with more overdrive when aftertouch messages are received.

It beats automation or manual knob turning for organic changes in intensity.So consider a keyboard with aftertouch if you want to breathe more life into static midi parts in Logic.

3. Quality Faders & Knobs

Image illustrating the seamless integration of MIDI controllers with various software additions, showcasing the depth of interaction and control for music production

From EQ sweeps on channel strips to fine adjustments on compressors and de-essers, Logic Pro X keeps you tweaking plugin and instrument parameters constantly.

Doing this with your mouse or computer trackpad is inefficient.

Breaks the creative flow.And prevents the spontaneity needed for emotive mixes and performances.

This is why every Logic user needs a midi controller with smooth, accurate faders along with sturdy, tightly-spaced knobs for hands-on control of effect parameters and software instruments in real-time.

Tweaking that final dB of gain reduction as a vocal climbs in intensity…Sweeping a tight Q-factor boost for lead guitar solos…Or opening up a synth filter for big drops.

Quality mixer-style faders and knobs makes rides, sweeps and transitions effortless. No visual breaks to navigate on-screen GUIs with the mouse cursor.

Just close your eyes, trust your hands, and feel the music come alive through quality components with the right resistance and spacing.

4. Transport & Navigation Buttons

Image illustrating different pad types on a MIDI controller and how they enhance the workflow in Logic Pro X for music production

Good midi keyboards designed for DAW use have buttons dedicated not only to core transport controls but for navigating your project and selected tracks directly from the keyboard surface itself.

This keeps your hands centred on your controller when recording, arranging parts, and mixing inside Logic Pro X for greater speed and less distraction.

Dedicated controls for play, record, stop, undo/redo, quantize, loop record, track select left/right let you focus on performing rather than learning keyboard shortcuts or clicking tiny on-screen buttons with your mouse.

Some controllers even feature an LCD screen on the keyboard surface that displays the current playhead position, tempo/time signature info, cues and markers from your Logic session making it easy to jump to specific parts hands-free.

These transport and navigation aids on a dedicated controller keyboard vastly improve workflow for any Logic power user.

Keeping you creating, not wasting time hunting for buttons on plugins or the DAW UI itself.

5. Pad Grid For Drum Programming

Image illustrating a MIDI controller with various pad types, showcasing how they enhance the beatmaking workflow in Logic Pro X for music production

Logic Pro X has powerful tools for beat creation and drum programming through its audio to MIDI Transform window along with realistic virtual session drummers.

But for truly organic rhythm programming and performance, you need a midi controller with velocity-sensitive drum pads and preferably aftertouch too.

Pad grids modelled after classic hardware drum machines and samplers like the MPC series allow for finger drumming and step sequencing rhythmic patterns by ‘playing’ the pads.

Velocity controls loudness while aftertouch adds expressiveness through added pressure.

This dynamic pad input captures all the little human accents and pocket feels that rigid quantizing destroys.

Making beat programming more organic while allowing for creative rhythm performance in real-time – ideal for Logic users working heavily with electronic music production.

Some keyboards come with 16 or even 32 backlit velocity-sensitive pads great for crafting and triggering unique rhythms inside Logic’s Ultrabeat drum synth or other virtual instruments like a mallet keyboard laid out melodically.

6. Plug-And-Play Integration

Image illustrating a MIDI controller seamlessly controlling Logic Pro X's virtual instruments, showcasing the intuitive interaction between the two

What good is owning a dedicated DAW controller keyboard if you need to manually configure and map everything to work properly with your recording software?

Too much time reading manuals and assigning functions kind of kills inspiration.

That is why seamless integration with Logic Pro X through class-compliant connectivity or a proprietary driver is essential.

It allows for instant mapping of transport functions, macros, instruments and effect parameters right out of the box.

Some controllers even feature bespoke DAW mapping modes for popular programs like Logic Pro out the box.

This reduces setup to nothing for faster recording, arranging, sequencing, finger drumming and effect control through dedicated buttons, knobs, faders and displays.

Instant hands-on control elevates these keyboards over more generic controllers requiring extensive configuration.

Allowing Logic users to maximize creative workflow from the moment they plug in – no instruction manuals required!

Conclusion

In summary, investing in a MIDI controller with essential features like responsive keys, aftertouch, quality components, transport controls, drum pads, and seamless Logic integration leads to more expressive performances and efficient workflows.

This allows Logic users to infuse more organic feeling into their music production.

We hope our outline of the 6 must-have capabilities helps guide you in finding the perfect controller keyboard for unlocking your creativity.

And for those looking for specific recommendations, be sure to check out our list of the top 10 best MIDI controllers tailored for Logic Pro X users needing more expressive performances.

From the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 to the Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3, we cover top-rated, compatible options fitting a range of needs and budgets.

Dominic

Dominic is the chief editor of the Burton Acoustix blog which writes about acoustics and soundproofing to help readers with their queries and questions they might have with regard to improving any sound or noise issues that they faced in their life.