What’s the Best MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X?

Every seasoned musician understands that a true recording requires fine tuning.  To take your sounds to the next level, many use Logic Pro X.  This software tool, offered by Apple, was designed with functions for both the amateur and professional recording artist in mind. 

The features are able to extend by connecting a MIDI controller to the software, offering a complete recording studio with only your Mac computer.  Understanding how to upgrade your next recording style with this software introduces you to a new library of sounds and possibilities. 

But the question now becomes this: what MIDI controller is best for Logic Pro X?  Well, in this article, we’re going to answer that very question for you.  In fact, below, we’ve created an interactive guide that showcases (in our opinion) some of the absolute best MIDI controllers that you can use:

Akai MPK249Akai MPK249
arturia-keylab-49Arturia KeyLab 49 MKII
roland-a88Roland A-88
Novation Launchkey 61 MK3
Roland A49

How Logic Pro X Works

Mac has introduced Logic Pro X as an all-in-one recording studio available through your computer.  They offer a complete combination, including recording tools, editing and mixing additions to support your creation of your next hit.  The software is an upgrade from Garage Band, offering an extension of the number of sounds while producing the effects that merge with the perfected pitch you are looking for. 

The recording and creation tools include software, loops and instruments which integrate into the system.  The introduction of instruments is inclusive of over 3,000 sounds, 2,700 patches and effects that are used by professionals. 

Logic Pro X has taken many of the powerful tools that are known by the top artists and placed them into the patches and effects that every artist wants to add into the mix.  It also offers smart controls, including resonance, phasers, ambience, reverb, delays and pitch modulation so you can move beyond the flat sounds of recording and into a richer composition.

Below, please take a moment to view some of the best-selling MIDI keyboard controllers currently on sale online:

1) M-Audio Hammer 88
2) Arturia KeyStep Pro
3) Arturia KeyLab 49 MkII

What to Expect with Logic Pro X

The mixing and mastering approaches with Logic Pro X expands to the Apple additions.  You can enjoy:

  • Track stacks to reuse loops or segments of a song in another track
  • Additional video with the track for extra effects
  • Ability to record and edit straight from your phone
  • Smart controls to touch instruments and record remotely
  • Automated editing processes for fast renditions
  • Effects and plugins that extend your range of music

The Logic Pro X provides you with flexibility for recording and mixing at your fingertips.  The additional smart items and plugins offer more with the recording for flexibility while adding in complete editing features.

Logic Pro X is the latest version, budding from the foundation of Garage Band and Logic Pro.  The upgrade has been engineered with a higher number of features that are in demand by recording musicians.  More tracks, smart editing, controls for remote recording and extra plugins allow you to take your recording up another notch from the foundation of the software and new renditions of the recording equipment. 

Using MIDI Keyboards with Logic Pro X

A highlighted feature of Logic Pro X is with remote recording from touch instruments and controllers.  It uses MIDI as a central feature of the software, specifically to provide extra compatibility for professional sounds.  You can tap into a MIDI keyboard and connect it to the software for more control and unique tones that are available not only through Logic Pro X, but also from the extras that a keyboard controller offers.  A simple interface through hardware as well as updated versions with remote connections allow you to tap in with the MIDI controller. 

There are four central ways that you can use MIDI controllers with Logic Pro X.  The first is through a Firewire or iLink.  This is a standard for all computers and with a simple cord connection, Logic Pro X will be able to read your keyboard.  You can also consider a USB device to interlink your keyboard with the software to create a similar read out. 

If you don’t want to use a cable, then you can consider the PCI Express or Express Card / 34.  These are data cards you enter into your computer for an updated version to read your keyboard remotely. 

When choosing the hardware items to connect your MIDI controllers it is important to define specific characteristics.  Each of the formats to connect will read data at a different speed.  While each is compatible and has a base data transfer, cards are sometimes faster than a USB because information and data is read and transferred differently. 

It is also important to consider latency, which is a delay effect between the time you play and when the recording takes place.  Getting the least amount of latency saves hours of editing work and offers better timing between your software and hardware. 

A MIDI interface is one of the popular formats to add in when connecting Logic Pro X to your keyboard.  This offers a board that connects your MIDI items to the software.  With this hardware, you can add in a sound generator as well as tone generators and other applications.  Recording artists use this extra interface to control and alter sounds while buffering the sounds before it is recorded to save on editing time.  If you want to expand your recording possibilities, then these interfaces can add in an easier connection to your software. 

Best Features for MIDI Keyboards

When you begin to look for a MIDI keyboard, you want to make sure the features match with the Logic Pro X software.  Compatibility through certain features ensures you are able to produce the best sounds.  More important, it offers comfort with the types of recordings you are interested in creating by adding in sounds and effects through the keyboard. 

Follow these 3 tips when searching for your perfect solution. 

Tip 1: Know what you will use the keyboard for. 

Logic Pro X comes with a full board of controllers, sound effects and editing devices.  It is easy to use the controllers on the software while recording from a keyboard.  However, many musicians desire to use the MIDI keyboard for more controls, as opposed to the software.  Add up your features first before deciding on the final format used for recording controls. 

Tip 2:  Evaluate your keyboard playing. 

Even though you are using the MIDI keyboard for recording controls, your keyboard skills change how the recording sounds.  If you are familiar with the differences in touch, then a weighted or semi-weighted keypad offers more effects.  You can easily add in dynamics and controls through the keyboard.  However, if you don’t want to control your volume from keypads, then synth action or velocity based key controls results in better solutions.  Combine this with looking at how many keys you want on the keyboard for the possibilities with recording. 

Tip 3: Match your budget with the features. 

MIDI controllers come with a range of sounds, effects, pads and extras.  However, many of these are in the Logic Pro X.  You will want to look at what features are not available through the software or that are easier to record and control through the MIDI keyboard.  Compare this to the essentials you need and the extras on your must have list, specifically to balance your budget with features.  You will find that the build of Logic Pro X also introduces flexibility with the type of keyboard and sound patches you decide to use. 

5 MIDI Keyboards for Logic Pro X

  • Alesis VI49:

While budget friendly, the Alesis VI49 highlights flexibility with sounds.  There are 12 knobs for controller sounds and pads as well as 36 extra buttons for added effects.  You can enjoy a semi-weighted keypad with an aftertouch for the controlled recordings you need. 

You can read our review of the Alesis VI49 here.

  • Roland A 49:

This brand is known for the stability and durability of the keyboard model.  The Roland A49 is velocity sensitive for better performance playback.  It offers diverse knobs and channels for controls needed when recording.  The Roland extends to transpose buttons, octave changes and a sustain pedal.  It is also known for adding in unique patches and sounds that are unique to the Roland brand. 

  • Kontrol-S49:

Recording artists interested in diverse sounds can consider the Kontrol-S49 to expand their library.  This MIDI keyboard is designed to offer more controls and sounds to Logic Pro X.  You can use the universal adaptor to connect to even more instruments while adapting other software interfaces for compatibility.  If you have other Kontrol instruments, then this keyboard provides you with more recording sounds.

You can read our review of the Komplete Kontrol S49 here.

  • Nektar Panorama:

Nektar is one of the popular finds added into the recording artist gear list.  The Panorama edition is known for being the most compatible with Logic Pro X.  The keys in this controller are velocity sensitive and have an aftertouch, offering complete control for your recordings.  A fader, pressure sensitivity and 12 pads are available for recording control.  You can also enjoy encoders and assigned controllers for ease of recording.  More important, the Panorama is known for integration with the mixer of Logic X Pro, setting it apart from other controllers in the Nektar series.

  • Akai MPK series:

The AKAI brand focuses on the bundled software and iOS compatibility for recording pros.  The MIDI keyboards are also available with pitch blend, modulation wheels, transposition controls, sustain pedals and a series of patches that expand the range of sound possibilities. 

You can read our review of the Akai MPK249 here.

Get your next recording session into focus with Logic Pro X.  If you want an all – in – one compatibility software, then Apple offers the next best solution.  Expanding your range of sounds with the MIDI keyboard controllers guarantees a final and perfected masterpiece for your hit album.  Finding the best solutions ensures more enjoyment, control and connectivity with Logic Pro X and MIDI keyboard controllers. 

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