Best MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X

If you want to really unlock the power of Logic Pro X, you’ll want to get your hands on a good MIDI controller. These useful pieces of equipment will help you create music and control various aspects within a DAW. 

There are many different MIDI controllers available, but it’s always a good idea to know the best options from the basic ones. This will allow you to be ready to tap into your creative flow whenever inspiration strikes. 

I’ve been a working musician for over a decade and have years of experience recording and producing with Logic Pro X. I’ve set up multiple home studios and have used many different MIDI controllers with Logic over the years. 

This post will spotlight some of the best MIDI controllers for Logic Pro X. I’ll tell you what makes each option worth exploring and why you might want to purchase it. I’ll also provide you with some other relevant information to help you make an informed decision. 

Let’s get started. 

Key Takeaways

  • A MIDI controller is an essential piece of equipment for any musician or producer using Logic Pro X. 
  • A good MIDI controller will enable you to control software instruments and other aspects of your audio projects to give you better overall control than working without one. 
  • MIDI controllers come in various sizes and designs, so you can typically find one that fits your exact needs and preferences in the studio. 
  • MIDI controllers can have simple functions and act as a keyboard, or they can have more complex controls and features that allow you to really work within a Logic Pro X project. 
  • Most MIDI controllers will work with Logic Pro X and any other DAW you want to use. 

FAQs

Here are a few short answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X. 

Can you use a MIDI controller with Logic Pro X?

Yes, you can and should use a MIDI controller with Logic Pro X. While you don’t have to use a MIDI controller to use this DAW, it can help you create music and better control various features and functions within the app.

What is the best feeling MIDI controller?

The AKAI MPK Mini is one of the best-feeling MIDI controllers. It has a very natural bounce in the keys that accurately represents a real keyboard or piano. But there are many options, and the best feeling option is often personal preference.  

What is the best MIDI controller for beginners?

Many MIDI controllers can work for beginners, but the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 is one of the best. This affordable option gives you 25-key MIDI control and tap pads to use with Logic Pro X or any other DAW.  

How do I select a MIDI controller in Logic?

Logic will typically recognize a MIDI controller when plugged into your Mac or DAW. But you can also access it through the Preferences menu under the MIDI Controllers heading. This will allow you to change controllers if you need or want to. 

What Makes The Best MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X? 

There are a few essential factors that you should consider when looking for the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X. 

Size

The size of a MIDI controller is one initial factor to keep in mind. There are many different sizes to choose from, including small mini controllers with 25-keys or less and full-size controllers that give you the full 88-keys. There are also many options in between. 

Functions/Features

Just like how MIDI controllers come in many different sizes, they are also available with many various features and functions. A simple controller will just provide keyboard controls, while more advanced features expand what you can control with Logic Pro X. 

Compatibility

Most MIDI controllers have universal compatibility, meaning they will work with any DAW or operating system you use. But always double-check to ensure that the option you want will indeed work with Logic Pro X before purchasing.  

Cost

There is also a wide range of cost differences between MIDI controllers. Basic options will be the cheapest, and the large options with more features will cost more. There are options out there for virtually any budget you have. 

The 9 Best MIDI Controllers for Logic Pro X

Best OverallAKAI MPK249
Best for BeginnersNovation Launchkey Mini MK3
Best for KeyboardM-Audio Oxygen 61
Best FeelAKAI MPK Mini MK3
Best Budget Option Nektar Impact LX25+
Best for DrummersPreSonus ATOM SQ
Best for MusiciansAKAI Professional MPC Key 61
Best 88 Key Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII
Best MiniAKAI LPK25

1. AKAI MPK249

  • Great design, performance, and control from a trusted brand. One of the best keyboards/controllers out there. 
  • 49 weighted keys but available with fewer/more keys depending on your needs and preferences. 
  • Velocity-senstive keys for authentic keyboard-like performance and control. 
  • Assignable controllers to give you more direct control in Logic Pro X or any other DAW. 
  • Packed with many other features and functions. 

At the top of the list sits the AKAI MPK249. This is one of my favorite all-time MIDI controllers from my favorite keyboard brand. AKAI has been well-known and respected in the music industry for years, and the MPK249 reflects all that and more. 

The feel of this controller is impressive, and you get authentic keyboard-like performance and control with 49 weighted and velocity-sensitive keys. You’ll be impressed with how your fingers hit and control everything if you are a keyboard player. 

You also get many features that will help you in any audio project you dive into, like 16 drum pads and 24 assignable controllers. This will assist you in all sorts of ways and help you customize a workflow that is ideal for your creativity. 

There isn’t much not to like about the MPK249, but the price might be one of them. This isn’t a budget option, and you’ll need some extra cash to buy it. But you won’t be disappointed if you can get your hands on one. 

My Verdict: Great MIDI controller all-around with an exceptional feel and all the features/functions you need to take your audio projects to the next level. Not cheap, but it is very much worth the price for everything it offers.  

2. Novation Launchkey Mini MK3

  • Solid option for beginners with an affordable price and easy controls. Not complex but has everything you need to get started. 
  • Built-in arpeggiator and drum pads give you even more control over your audio projects than keys alone. 
  • Small enough to be portable and travel without comprising a lot of features or performance. 
  • Includes velocity-sensitive keys and eight control knobs for additional control within Logic Pro X or other DAWs. 

The best MIDI controller for beginners is the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3. This is a great option to explore if you are just getting started with your audio production career, and it works well with Logic Pro X. 

The controller is affordable, which is always ideal for beginners who need to purchase all sorts of gear when putting a studio together. And it also gives you 25 keys and 8 control knobs to work with for plenty of hands-on ability. 

I also like the arpeggiator and drum pads built into this model. These are great for making electronic music or controlling various software instruments and samples with Logic Pro X. They make your life much easier than controlling these in the box. 

The controller is a bit small, which can be an issue if you have large hands or simply like a larger controller setup in your studio. But this also makes it easy to travel with if you ever want to take it on the road. 

My Verdict: Awesome mini controller with an affordable price tag, making it an excellent option for beginners. It has plenty of features to get you started without being too complex to overwhelm you.  

3. M-Audio Oxygen 61

  • Authentic keyboard feel that keyboard players and pianists will appreciate. 
  • 61-keys for extended playability in the studio. It also gives you added control with more keys. 
  • Velocity-senstive keys give you precise control over software instruments and pads in Logic Pro X. 
  • Assignable knobs and faders provide added control, making for seamless integration into a home studio. 

Keyboard players and pianists will love the M-Audio Oxygen 61 MIDI controller. This is another all-around solid option that features 61 velocity-sensitive keys that give you precision and control when you connect it to your DAW. 

The Oxygen 61 also includes features like eight assignable knobs that give you more control in the box and additional faders you can use to control plugins and other effects during the production process. 

And this one is not just for keyboard players, as it has plenty of drum pads that can help you get the perfect groove down in no time. The increased size of the keyboard also gives you more room to work with these pads. 

If you don’t play a lot of keyboards, then this option might be overkill. You don’t always need a 61-key controller, and it can take up a lot of space in the studio. But it’s also a pretty affordable option for its size if you need it. 

My Verdict: Very authentic keyboard feel that makes it easy for piano players to use. Comes with many other features to help control your DAW and is another affordable option. 

4. AKAI MPK Mini MK3

  • Great feel, making it a favorite option for professional musicians and producers. 
  • Small size but still very equipped to handle everything you need from a MIDI controller. 
  • 4-way thumbstick is an innovative feature that gives you increased control in many ways. 
  • Assignable knobs give you better control of Logic Pro X and can be used with plugins and other effects. 
  • Comes with many synthesizer sounds you can use within Logic Pro X. 

The AKAI MPK Mini MK3 is my pick for the MIDI controller with the best feel. There is just something about this one that clicks, making it a favorite with many professional musicians and producers I know. 

This is a portable controller, but like every other AKAI keyboard I’ve ever used, it works wonders in the studio or on stage. The keys are responsive and well-sized, and you won’t experience any sticking or other issues. 

In addition to 25 velocity-sensitive keys, you get eight assignable knobs you can put into action right in Logic Pro X. One of my favorite features with the MPK Mini MK3 is the 4-way thumbstick that helps you control pitch and modulation, among other things. 

The only thing I don’t like about this controller is that the smaller size can make it a little harder to use the drum pads. It’s a minor issue, but I like larger-sized pads when working up a beat or producing electronic music. 

My Verdict: This controller just feels great. It’s fun to use and easy to travel with as well, making it a solid option for the musician or producer on the go. I also really like the 4-way thumbstick. 

5. Nektar Impact LX25+

  • Affordable option but still packed with features you can take advantage of in Logic Pro X. 
  • 25 keys give you plenty to work with when creating music or controlling software instruments. 
  • Comes with drum pads and assignable knobs as well for increased control. The pads are backlit for easy use. 
  • Programmable controls help you dial in your workflow and make the most out of your studio time. 

No matter how far along you are in the audio production journey, it’s always good to explore some budget gear options. And the Nektar Impact LX25+ is one of the best budget-friendly MIDI controllers you can get to use with Logic Pro X. 

The biggest benefit of choosing this model is that you’ll have a quality controller at your fingertips without spending much money on it. But you also get 25 full-size keys to help you create and control any project you want to get into. 

The Impact LX25+ also comes with programmable controls that allow you to dial in your settings with Logic Pro X or any other DAW you want to work with. The drum pads are also pretty nice when you want to make beats. 

Being a budget option, there are some trade-offs regarding quality and reliability. This isn’t the most well-designed controller out there and lacks a few features I typically want. But it’s still a good choice for the money. 

My Verdict: Solid budget-priced option gives you plenty to work with without spending and arm and a leg. The keys feal nice, and the drum pads and controllers work well enough. Not packed with additional features. 

6. PreSonus ATOM SQ

  • Awesome controller for drummers, thanks to a pad-based design rather than strictly keyboard-style. 
  • 32 backlit pads that are pressure sensitive and easy to use. Well-designed layout makes it fun to play. 
  • Configurable knobs for additional DAW control and comes with an expressive arpeggiator to help you create. 
  • Comes with loop packs and drum sounds you won’t find in Logic Pro X. 

Drummers will appreciate everything that the PreSonus ATOM SQ has to offer as a MIDI controller. This pad-centric style controller will make all the percussionists out there feel right at home. 

The ATOM SQ comes with 32 LED pads that are at the heart of the controls for this unit. It’s a different approach than most keyboard-like controllers, but that makes it very approachable if you like making beats. 

The pads are all pressure and velocity-sensitive for authentic touch and feel, and you can also take advantage of 8 assignable knobs for even more control with your DAW. I also like the arpeggiator which can help you make melodies pretty easily. 

This isn’t a great choice for anyone who likes a keyboard-style controller, and it can take some getting used to if you aren’t a drummer. It can also have somewhat of a learning curve to use if you don’t have experience with this style of MIDI controller. 

My Verdict: A cool and innovative MIDI controller that can work very well for drummers thanks to a pad-based design. Can take some while to get used to, but very functional and effective once you figure it out. 

7. AKAI Professional MPC Key 61

  • Total package of awesome MIDI controller and fully functional keyboard/synthesizer for studio or stage work. 
  • Built with professional musicians’ needs in mind and packed with high-end functions and features. 
  • Includes over 20 instruments and 6000 sounds you can use in your audio projects. 
  • Wireless software connectivity with some DAWs and other apps. 

The AKAI Professional MPC Key 61 is a workhorse of a MIDI controller and is an excellent option for professional musicians and producers. This is one of the most functional controllers you can find, and it is awesome in many ways. 

The controller gives you 61 keys to work with, and they are all super responsive for the precision that professionals demand. It also comes with a 7-inch touch display alongside a number of pads and knobs for increased control. 

Another awesome feature of the MPC Key 61 is that it comes with over 6000 customizable sounds and 20 different software instruments you can use in addition to all the sounds already in Logic Pro X. The possibilities are endless with this in mind. 

The big downside of this one is that you will pay quite a bit for all the features and functionality. It’s easily the most expensive option on the list. But if you need the best of the best with a controller and keyboard, it’s worth exploring. 

My Verdict: An extremely capable and functional controller that gives you complete keyboard/synthesizer creative power. Many additional features can boost your audio projects but comes with a pretty hefty price tag. 

8. Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII

  • Full 88-key model gives you an entire piano length controller to work with. 
  • Also includes 16 backlit pads and plenty of other knobs and sliders to boost connectivity with Logic Pro X. 
  • Good feel and design, making it another option that can work very well for keyboard players and pianists. 

If you are looking for a full-size keyboard MIDI controller with Logic Pro X, then the Arturia KeyLab 88 MkII is recommended. This one has 88 keys to give you an authentic piano-like experience in your studio. 

It also has plenty of features you can take advantage of, like 16 backlit pads for making beats and controlling other aspects of a DAW. And there are plenty of sliders and knobs to customize your workflow. 

This model has a great feel to it and can also help you practice any keyboard or piano parts you need to get down before recording. It’s a great addition to a working musician’s studio and is a reliable option. 

A full-size MIDI controller is overkill for the average musician or producer and can take up a lot of space. This isn’t a good option for smaller studios or people who don’t play much keyboard. It’s also another fairly expensive controller. 

My Verdict: Good option to explore if you want a full-size controller in your studio, but probably overkill in size and price for everyone else. But it has a nice design and feel that is easy to get used to.  

9. AKAI LPK25 

  • Small and compact with a very affordable price tag. A good option to travel with or for smaller studios. 
  • 25 velocity-sensitive keys for good feel and response despite a small size. 
  • Octave up and down buttons allow you to get the proper notes from the full piano range. 
  • Programmable memory banks help you dial in software instruments and effects. 

The AKAI LPK25 is a solid mini MIDI controller that you can use on the go or in a small home studio with Logic Pro X. It’s small enough to pack easily in a backpack but also capable enough to effectively control your DAW. 

This is definitely a mini option, and the entire controller is just over a foot long. You still get 25 velocity-sensitive keys within that foot, and they respond and feel solid. It’s also built well and can take a beating if you want to travel with it. 

You also get octave up and down buttons that allow you to dial in whatever keyboard range you want to work with when recording or producing. And it also has a little sustain button for added controls during the creative process. 

This one doesn’t come with programmable knobs, and it can take some getting used to because of being so small. If you are accustomed to a larger controller, this might not be a great option to choose. 

My Verdict: Awesome little mini controller that is effective and easy to travel with. It is well-designed, sturdy, and dependable but very small and can take a while to get used to. 

Final Thoughts

There is a wide range of MIDI controllers out there, as you can quickly see from all the options described above. Read through my reviews and do your best to pick an option that best meets your needs and preferences in the studio. 

While all MIDI controllers function the same on a basic level, higher-end options give you more flexibility and, ultimately, control of your projects. It’s worth investing in a good one if you plan on doing a lot of production or recording work. 

Do you know of any good MIDI controllers for Logic Pro X that I didn’t mention here? What do you like about them? Leave me a comment below and let me know.

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