12 Best Midi Controllers for Logic in 2017

Finding the best midi controller for Logic might seem like a truly intimidating task, but just like there’s a few different ways to play every chord, there are also more than a few ways to get the sound control that you’re looking for.

Finding equipment that’s compatible with Apple’s Logic Pro can make a difference to your music, so let’s get started and see which one will rock the hardest for you.

Top 12 Midi Controllers for Logic Comparison Table

Design Name Control Surfaces Surface Feel Rating (1-5)
   1. Novation Impulse 49 USB Midi Controller Keyboard  49 keys, 8 faders, 8 pads  Semi-weighted keyboard with after-touch  4.3
   2. Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller  49 keys, 8 pads  Velocity-sensitive keys and hyper-sensitive pads  4.3
   3. Akai Professional MPK249 | 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard & Drum Pad Controller  49 keys, 16 pads  Keys are semi-weighted; all surfaces feature after-touch  4.2
   4. Akai Professional MPK225 | 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard  25 Keys, 8 pads  Keys are semi-weighted; Keys and pads feature after-touch  4.2
   5. Novation Launchpad Pro Professional 64-Pad Grid Performance Instrument  64 pads  Each pad is sensitive to pressure and velocity  4.1
6. Nektar Panorama P4 49-key MIDI Controller Keyboard  39 keys, 12 pads  Each pad is sensitive to pressure and velocity  4.1
7. Akai Professional LPK25 | 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Keyboard  25 keys, 4 pads  Velocity-sensitive keys  4.0
8. Alesis V49 | 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard  49 keys, 8 pads  Adjustable sensitivity for all keys and pads  4.0
   9. M-Audio Keystation 49 II | 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller  49 keys with pitch and fader  Each key is sensitive to pressure and velocity  3.8
   10. Akai Professional MPD218 | MIDI Drum Pad Controller  16 pads  All pads are velocity sensitive  3.7
   11. Arturia 230421 KeyLab 49 Hybrid USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller  49 keys, 16 pads, 9 faders  Semi-weighted keys with velocity after touch  3.6
   12. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S25 Controller Keyboard  25 keys, 2 touch strips  Keys are semi-weighted  3.3

How to Choose Midi Controllers for Logic

Apple’s Logic Pro software is quickly becoming the standard for self-produced music, so finding the best midi controller for logic is all about finding the equipment that works best with your playing style. While you’re shopping around, here’s a few things you may want to keep in mind.

  • How Much Time Do You Want to Spend Mapping Features? – Lots of hardware will offer auto-mapping features that claim to quickly translate into Logic Pro, creating a promise of plug-and-play hardware. If you’re looking for a quick start or a simple function that doesn’t take much input, check out the auto-mapping features before you purchase.

If you’re really into the tech side of your musical production, then manually mapping the various effects and control surfaces may not intimidate you, and it might even be something you look forward to. If you’re that kind of player, then automapping really won’t be much of a concern.

  • Will You Be Playing Live, or Is This Piece Going to Part of a Studio Setup? – Even with all the features, if you can’t take advantage of them when you need them, what’s the point? Drum pads, keyboards, and combinations of the two can give you the control you need, but you should definitely consider the environment. Bulky equipment or interfaces that feel awkward on stage will only make playing more difficult if you’re playing live. Maybe you’ll be the one to bring back the keytar!

Don’t Be Embarrassed If You’re Not a Trained Musician

That’s the point of midi! It lets you sound like you can do almost anything. If you’re not an accomplished musician, maybe you’re the perfect candidate for a smaller keyboard. If you can do with less than 88 keys, there are many models with 25 or 49 keys that combine a number of different control surfaces into a smaller device. If you’re just after a couple chords or a few basslines, these shorter models may be just what you need.

Are You Looking for Focused Function, or a Piece That Covers All the Bases?

Midi controllers that offer a wide range of control surfaces with a full selection of faders, knobs, and buttons, can easily be adjusted to cover a wide range of the most common functions. As your needs grow, however, you may find yourself limited with your choices. At that point, you may think that bigger hardware is the answer, but that’s not always true. If you’re concerned about outgrowing the functionality of a particular piece, check the connection capability and see if it can become a modular part of a larger system. Being able to integrated more focused hardware like a dedicated drum pad or mixer might solve your issues without having to totally revamp your setup from scratch.

Top 5 Best Midi Controller for Logic Reviews

1. Novation Impulse 49 USB Midi Controller Keyboard

As an all-around device, the Novation Impulse 49 delivers a wide range of controls with faders, knobs, pads, and a 49-key keyboard. Each of these keys shows a remarkable feel with a design that’s semi-weighted and also incorporates after-touch.

This particular unit shows the usual level of high build-quality that you expect from Novation products. Novations’s Automap 4 software is designed to speed up the mapping process, and has been specifically tailed to play well with Logic Pro X. This software also enables the Impulse 49 to interact quickly with third-party equipment and accessories.

The multi-function drumpads give you the ability to warp arpeggios, roll out drumbeats and even launch samples. The custom LCD screen makes it easy to integrate this unit into your DAW, but you also have digital in and out ports so you can add more devices with simple, USB-powered connections.

2. Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller

Automatic function mapping and a versatile design is the rule and not the exception for our top-5 MIDI controllers, but the Nektar LX49 manages to set an even higher bar. The smart-mapping functions make it easy to set up, and in addition to the standard Mac and PC compatibility, this unit plays well with Linux operating systems as well.

Velocity-sensitive keys and pads let you put your heart and soul into your playing, and this keyboard also includes a sustain foot-pedal. The velocity system is also adjustable so you can customize the level of sensitivity.

Mixing control is easy to assign to any of the faders, and a switch-function lets you quickly transfer the control of any key or pad to a different key or pad at the touch of a button. Five user presets also let you use this keyboard as the center of your digital audio workstation.

3. Akai Professional MPK249 USB MIDI Keyboard

Plug-and-play functionality is hard to come by, but you’ve found it in the Akai MPK249. This unit can easily be at the center of your DAW, with 49 keys, 16 pads, and enough faders and knobs to digitally manage all of the parameters and effects of an entire range of sounds.

Akai has been at the forefront of midi technology for almost 30 years, and the versatility and easy of function in the MPK249 is a perfect example of their mastery of technology.

Each of the 49 keys is semi-weighted with aftertouch, providing a level of nuance and response that will give your playing a new life and expressiveness. The deeply integrated core functions make this an easy center for your digital audio workstation.

This unit truly is plug-and-play. You won’t need to install any drivers, as all you have to do is connect the USB output to your PC or Mac and get right down to work.

4. Akai Professional MPK225 USB MIDI Keyboard

Akai’s back in the top 5, and this time we’ve got the simple, compact form a 25-key mixer that’s going to be a powerful tool for you on the stage or in the studio. This design is essentially the scaled-down version of Akai’s MPK249. Like its bigger brother, each key is semi-weighted with aftertouch to deliver an extremely lifelike performance. 8 pads and 8 knobs allow you to control sequencers, workstations, and a full range of digital instruments.

The back-lit LCD screen makes control easy, and a USB port connects easily to any standard PC or Mac. MMC/MIDI transport controls allow you to control your DAW without going back to your computer or messing with your mouse.

The comprehensive interface makes it easy to play, and the small size is perfect for live performances or situations where you need your equipment to be portable.

5. Novation Launchpad Pro Performance Instrument

Out of our top 5, 2 come from Akai, and 2 more come from Novation, and their Launchpad Pro really is a delight. This simple unit has an 8×8 grid of silicone pads that are illuminated from behind. This simple unit can be plugged directly into Logic Pro and played like a keyboard, or you can assign different colors to each pad and use them to trigger clips or samples.

The infinitely configurable pad lets you create keyboards, drum kits, and almost any setup that perfectly organizes your sounds and effects. You can even turn each column into a fader, so you can mix on the fly.

Each pad is also sensitive to velocity and pressure, adding a level of honesty and expressiveness to your playing. The convenient size makes it easy to throw in a bag or backpack so you can take your show on the road.

Final Thoughts

Wow. That was a lot of information, but we think that you’re one step closer to find the best midi controller for logic that is going to be at the center of your digital audio workspace.

If you’re in the market for a full-sized keyboard controller that’s going to be at the heart of your digital audio workspace, then we really think either our #1 or #2 picks are going to get you where you need to go. Plenty of inputs, customizable controls, and high-response, velocity-sensitive control surfaces can let these pieces be almost any instrument in your whole orchestra.

The most mobile choice is the Akai MPK25, as it provides high-level performance on a small body. The keyboard is responsive and it offers enough knobs and faders to get you through most of your musical tasks.

But #1 is still #1, and the Novation Impulse 49 is a solid choice that is going to serve you well. Its open-ended design also lets it function well with other devices, so you can build and customize a modular system as you see fit.