5 Best Keyboards for GarageBand: Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Keyboards for GarageBand

When it comes to the best applications for music production, we have to talk about GarageBand. Besides, you also need the right MIDI controller. Therefore, the MIDI keyboard controllers come in handy. You needn’t concern about how complicated MIDI technology is. Today, they are easier than ever. In this writing, we will focus on talking about the top five best MIDI keyboards for GarageBand.

Top Five Keyboards for GarageBand Reviews

Akai Mpk Mini Mk2

This brand has been out there for more than 30 years. This one is a 25 key keyboard controller. Also, it comes with a whole range of useful features. It comes with the 8 X touch-sensitive pads.

Besides, 8 X 360-degree knobs are for manipulating sounds directly from the device. This unit also has removed the traditional mod as well as the pitch wheel. Instead, it has a dynamic four-way pitch as well as modulation thumbstick.


  • Worth the money
  • Portable
  • Has features for beginners and advanced users
  • Offers free synthesizer software


  • Some people may like more keys and fewer pads, while it is a compact model.
  • Only 25 keys
  • Plastic design


Arturia Minilab Mk2

If you want to purchase a stylish keyboard for GarageBand, the Arturia Minilab Mk2 is for you. It comes with 16 heavy-duty, rotary encoders. Moreover, this product also has excellent build quality.

This one is the right choice for those who need features, value for money, and functions. It is excellent for those who have a small studio. Plus, this product brings the mod wheel and pitch bend.


  • Affordable price
  • Eight drum pads along with two banks
  • A slim and compact construction


  • No external power input
  • Only 25 keys


Akai Mpk 249

The Akia Mpk 249 is suitable for those looking for one to add their GarageBand home studio. It boasts many options that allow you to grow into when getting more advanced in making electronic music.

The model comes with 49 keys. Also, there are plenty of faders, knobs, and pads for music production. Therefore, it is ideal for beginners and advanced players. It offers you a set of keys as well as a mod and pitch wheel.


  • 49 full-size keys
  • Plenty of knobs, faders, as well as switches
  • 16 RGB backlit pads


  • Not a budget unit
  • You may have to take some time to learn additional midi mapping.


M Audio Oxygen 49 IV

The M Audio Oxygen 49 IV has 49 velocity-sensitive keys. Also, there are wheels for pitch and modulation control. You will also get eight trigger pads for beat production.

Besides, the M Audio Oxygen 49 IV comes with eight assignable knobs along with nine faders for virtual instrument control. Also, it offers you dedicated octave buttons.


  • 49 keys
  • 8 assignable knobs, 8 trigger pads, and 9 faders
  • Plug and Play


  • Keys seem to be loud a bit


Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A25

This model has 25 semi-weighted keys. Also, it includes pitch and modulation wheels. Therefore, you can adjust your sound with ease. Moreover, the model also comes with built-in buttons. Thus, it is easy to control your DAW.

It does not require any additional cables since it is completely USB powered. Also, the unit comes with eight touch-sensitive knobs along with a four push encoder.


  • 25 semi-weighted keys
  • 8 touch-sensitive knobs
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • Plug and Play


  • Lack of power switch


Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Keyboards for GarageBand

Rotary Faders/ Knobs

These features aim to control the effects parameters. Also, they control volume fades or panning. A synth with a low-pass filter allows you to use these rotary knobs to open/close the filter. Then, you can make a wobble.


They are used in triggering whole loops. They are perfect for performing multiple instruments within a session. Well, they allow you to play a lead melody on the keyboard.


They are often located near the keyboard. There will also be a mod-wheel that will enable you to auto-map FX with this while recording a MIDI performance.


You can use these faders for all functions, such as controlling settings while recording a MIDI performance or controlling faders while mixing a track. With a keyboard for GarageBand, you can produce your music. Also, it allows you to express yourself during MIDI performances. With faders, you can map controls to anything you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does Akai MPK mini work with GarageBand?

This model includes two plugins to expand your sound further. You can open these plugins as a software instrument inside of GarageBand. If you want to access them, you have to make an Akai account first, and then register.

  1. Why is a MIDI keyboard not working GarageBand?

Once your MIDI keyboard is not working your GarageBand, you need to choose Audio/MIDI. After that, click the button with the word “reset the MIDI Drivers.’’

  1. Do I need a keyboard for GarageBand?

Thanks to GarageBand, you can use your computer keyboard as a substitute. This way is not for professional musicians. If you want to use the musical typing keyboard, you have to choose it from the menu.


All the keyboards mentioned previously are the best choices for music production in GarageBand. Each model has its advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully, our guide is useful for you, and you can find the perfect one for your needs. Your decision will depend on whether you use GarageBand for basic use or for fun. Also, you should consider if you plan to move onto other DAWs.

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