Looking for one of the best Bitwig midi keyboards for your home studio? We help you to find the best midi controller for Bitwig Studio and pay less than £100.
Playing a midi keyboard is one of the best ways to improvise and try out melodies and riffs when composing. Trying to do this on a computer keyboard is not the same as playing the keyboard. Having a midi keyboard in your home music studio helps with creativity and allows you to experiment.
Having a Bitwig midi keyboard is a productive way to try out ways to get that killer hook. Link it in with the Polysynth synthesiser and you have a music making machine at the touch of a few keys.
We take a look at some budget Bitwig midi keyboards that will cost you less than £100 but will be a fine investment for the home studio.
Our Top 5 Bitwig Midi Keyboards for under £100
The selection of keyboards we have chosen have all come from gak.co.uk. I chose this site to select from as I have had good experience from buying from there. I’m not sponsored or linked in any way to this store. Purely good customer service and prompt delivery has been the deciding factor.
Obviously there are plenty of stores online and in the high street where you can get this range of keyboards. Make sure you shop about and find the best deal for you. What you save here you can put away and invest in your home studio another time.
So let’s take a look at what midi keyboards I found. Starting with the one I actually own.
Korg microKEY Controller Keyboard 25
Slim, lightweight, USB bus powered, the microKEY is a great way to create your production setup.
The Korg microKEY 25 is a compact, lightweight and simple MIDI controller keyboard. This USB powered controller keyboard from Korg is the ideal piece of kit for producers and musicians that need a MIDI keyboard they can travel around with safely and set up in seconds. Some great features of the Korg microKEY Controller Keyboard 25 include Octave Shift, Key Transpose, and even the ability to be used with your iPad!
This was my personal choice for my on the road production setup and is one of the best Bitwig midi keyboards for under 100 GBP. A long deliberation between this and the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 keyboard. The Korg 25 Key was portable enough to fit in my laptop bag and that is what won me over.
Arturia BeatStep Step Sequencer and Controller
Not strictly a keyboard, but playable non the less. The Arturia BeatStep is a Bitwig Midi Keyboard with extra trimmings.
How I have been doing music production for over 5 years and not bought one of these yet is beyond me. However as a drum pad, sequencer array of knobs and mixer, the Arturia Beatstep and its bigger brother, the Beatstep Pro offer excellent value for money.
The best thing about these knobs (no jokes please) is that in Bitwig Studio everything is assignable. This means that assigning a midi control or number to a knob on the controller can be done very quickly in Bitwig. As I say, it does not strictly pass as one of the Bitwig midi keyboards but it does compete with the others here and can be used in such a way.
Alesis V49 Controller Keyboard
Featuring 8 pads and 49 keys, the Alesis is biggest of our selection.
The V Series controller keyboards are new fully integrated keyboard/pad controllers from Alesis aimed at musicians, producers and performers.The Alesis V49 is a powerful, intuitive MIDI controller that lets you take command of your music software with a series of pads, knobs, and buttons. With 49 full-size velocity-sensitive keys and Octave Up/Down buttons, you can expand the keyboard to the full melodic range and play bass lines, chords, and melodies.
The V49 is also one of the Bitwig midi keyboards here that features four assignable knobs and buttons for manipulating effect plugins and virtual instruments: open and close filters, adjust volume levels, activate effects, tweak parameters, and more. Eight velocity-sensitive backlit pads allow you to launch clips or finger drum with exceptional response, and pitch and modulation wheels expand the expressive capabilities of your performing.
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 Controller Keyboard
The NI range is the newest in the list of Bitwig midi keyboards, featuring some modern touchpads for Mod and Pitch bend wheels
Portable, compact, and ready to tap into a wide range of instruments and effects from NI and an ever-evolving list of NKS partners. Play on a best-in-class keybed, get inspired by the Smart Play features, and explore your creativity with hands-on controls – letting you fine-tune your sounds from one of the newer Bitwig midi keyboards featured in our list.
They say “This is an absolute bargain. Ships with a huge collection of sounds, and integrates perfectly and seamlessly with Maschine. The keyboard itself is surprisingly great quality for the price too.”
There is a huge amount of software that comes with this package too. Komplete Select is available and the NKS packages mean that finding the right sound for your track is really easy. This was one of the Bitwig midi keyboards that make my shortlist when I was looking for some on the road kit.
Akai Professional MPK Mini MK 3 Controller Keyboard
Your entry-point into a world of pro production starts here. The world’s legendary keyboard controller that redefined how a generation of creators make music.
Everything the modern producer demands is here. Universal compatibility for instant integration with your favourite host music production application means its compact size makes it an ideal travel companion. It has an arsenal of pads and assignable controls let you take compete command of every aspect of your production.
The new second generation enhanced dynamic key bed guarantees your performance is captured with every subtle inflection of your delivery. For the beginner, MPK mini is a complete package with every tool you need to create hit songs from the get-go.
For the working professional, MPK mini is the ultimate musical Swiss Army knife in our Bitwig midi keyboards range, ready to deliver on any musical task. Every song starts somewhere, so rid yourself of any roadblocks by starting your next hit with MPK mini.
Setting up your new keyboard
Once you have your new bit of studio kit home, it should just be a case of connecting via USB to a spare slot on your computer. Then open up Bitwig and choose the keyboard from the dropdown list (that is if it doesn’t pick up the keyboard automatically).
That should be it. Simple as that. Now if it is not found, then you may need to look at getting a driver for your midi keyboard. Sometimes there are 3rd party drivers required, such as the various Bitwig Studio Extension for several controllers provided by Jurgen Mossgraber. He is certainly worth a visit if your keyboard or controller does not work first time. Of course there is also the Bitwig Studio support forum.
Take your time in getting the setup right. There may be some knobs to map or pads to allocate midi to. There are various ways to do this in Bitwig Studio. The help menu in Bitwig is very good too for assisting you will getting all types of Bitwig midi keyboards set up.
So there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to buying one of the Bitwig midi keyboards for your home studio. Spending less that £100 will not mean you are breaking the bank, but it does mean you will have some kit to help improve production techniques. Your workflow will feel more natural and smooth compared to using just a computer keyboard and mouse. Some people draw notes in manually.
I’d be interested to hear from you if you have seen any improvement in your production technique or workflow after buying a keyboard. Has it helped you improve your mixes? Did you pick it from one of our Bitwig midi keyboards selection? Let me know in the comments below if it has helped or hindered.