This article will discuss the best MIDI keyboards/controllers/devices for FL Studio in 2023.
Using MIDI devices in FL Studio can provide several benefits that can enhance your music production workflow. It gives you more efficiency, adds depth to your expressions, and lets you accurately play automation lanes, notes, articulations, and more.
Further benefits include greater control and flexibility through the use of physical controllers, increased productivity through efficient recording and editing of MIDI data, improved accuracy compared to using a mouse and keyboard, compatibility with a wide range of software and hardware products, and expanded creative possibilities through the use of virtual instruments and other sound design tools.
Overall, incorporating MIDI devices into your music production setup can help you to achieve a more immersive, expressive, and efficient workflow. We have curated a list of the best MIDI devices for FL Studio in 2023, so let’s dive right into it.
Top 11 MIDI Keyboards/Controllers For FL Studio 2023
Novation FLkey 37
The Novation Launchkey 37 is a MIDI keyboard controller specifically designed to work with the music production software FL Studio.
It has 37 velocity-sensitive keys, 8 knobs, and 16 pads that can control various aspects of your music, such as virtual instruments, effects, and mixer settings. The Launchkey also comes with a number of features that make it easy to use with FL Studio, such as dedicated transport controls and a set of templates for the software’s most popular virtual instruments.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
There are several reasons why the Novation Launchkey 37 is a good choice with FL Studio. First, it is specifically designed to work with the software, including features and controls optimized for use with the DAW. For example, it has dedicated transport controls for play, stop, record, etc., and a set of templates for the software’s most popular virtual instruments.
Second, the Launchkey is a high-quality MIDI keyboard controller that offers a range of features and controls that are useful for music production. Finally, the Launchkey comes with a copy of FL Studio Fruity Edition, so you can start making music right out of the box.
This can be a great way to get started with the software if you’re new to music production or looking to upgrade from the free version of the DAW.
- Expressive playing
The keyboard has 37 full-size keys that are velocity-sensitive, meaning they can detect the speed at which you play them and respond accordingly. This can add expression and dynamics to your music by allowing you to play softly or loudly, depending on how hard you press the keys.
- 16 pads
The keyboard also has 16 velocity-sensitive pads that can trigger drum sounds, samples, or launch clips in your DAW. The pads are also RGB-backlit, meaning they can light up in different colors to indicate different things, such as the clip’s status or the type of pad.
- Templates for popular FL Studio virtual instruments
The instrument includes a set of templates for some of the most popular virtual instruments in FL Studio, such as the 3xOSC synthesizer and the FPC drum machine. These templates make it easy to control the instruments using the knobs, pads, and keys of the Launchkey.
- Ease of use
The Launchkey can be powered via USB, so you can simply connect it to your computer. In addition, it is compact and lightweight, making it easy to take on the go.
- Optional sustain pedal and protective case available separately
If desired, you can purchase a sustain pedal and protective case separately to use with the Launchkey. The pedal can add sustain to your playing, while the protective case can help keep the keyboard safe when traveling.
The Launchkey is reasonably priced compared to other MIDI keyboard controllers, and it is well-built and should withstand the wear and tear of regular use. In addition, it can be used with other music production software so that you can use it with a range of different programs and virtual instruments.
One potential con of the Launchkey is that some users may prefer a keyboard with more keys or a different type of keyboard action (e.g., semi-weighted or weighted keys). The included copy of FL Studio Fruity Edition is a cut-down version of the software, so it may not have all the features of the full version.
The sustain pedal and protective case are sold separately, which may be an additional cost for some users. Additionally, some users may prefer a controller with more knobs, pads, or controls. Finally, some users may prefer a controller with other advanced features.
Novation Launchkey MK3
The Novation Launchkey MK3 is a MIDI controller designed for use with music production software.
It features a grid of drum pads, faders, knobs, and buttons for controlling various aspects of your music, as well as a keyboard for playing melodies and chords. It is compatible with various software, including Ableton Live and FL Studio, and can be used to create, perform, and produce music.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
The Novation Launchkey MK3 is a good choice with FL Studio as it is compatible with the software and can control its various features and functions. The grid of drum pads can be used to trigger samples and loops, the faders and knobs can be assigned to control various parameters, and the keyboard can be used to play virtual instruments and enter notes into the piano roll.
It also includes software like the LABS Expressive Strings by Spitfire Audio, XLN Additive keys instrument, and more plugins you can use in the DAW.
The 16 velocity-sensitive drum pads can trigger samples, loops, and audio clips in your music production software. They are arranged in a 2x8 grid, which makes it easy to create beats and perform live.
8 knobs and 9 faders can be assigned to control various parameters within your software, such as volume, panning, and effects settings. They can also manipulate virtual instruments and other sounds in real-time. However, faders are not available in the Launchkey versions with 25 and 37 keys.
- Melodic movements
The onboard arpeggiator and chord modes allow you to create complex melodies and chord progressions with just a few key presses. The arpeggiator plays a series of notes in a specific pattern, while the chord mode allows you to play entire chords with a single key.
It has several built-in sounds, including synths, drum samples, and acoustic instruments, that can be used in your music production. These sounds can be accessed via the controller, played in real-time, or used as a starting point for creating your sounds.
It is compatible with various music production software, including FL Studio, and can control various features and functions within the software. It is also class compliant and USB-powered so that it can be used with any computer without additional drivers.
It has a compact and portable design, making it easy to set up and take. It is also relatively affordable compared to other MIDI controllers on the market. In addition, it has built-in sounds and onboard arpeggiator and chord modes and is also compatible with various DAWs.
The number of buttons, knobs and faders may be limiting for some users. Plus, it has limited pitch bend and mod wheel control compared to other controllers. Some users may find the drum pads to be a bit small and close together.
The Akai Professional Fire is a grid controller specifically designed with FL Studio software.
It features a 4 x 16 control matrix of velocity-sensitive pads that can trigger samples, play drums, and control various other aspects of your music production. It also has several buttons, knobs, and faders that can adjust various parameters in FL Studio, making it a powerful and convenient tool for music production.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
It has buttons and controls corresponding to different functions in FL Studio, allowing you to easily control its various aspects. For example, the DAW’s entire sequencer and channel rack interface is replicated in the device, such that each row of pads represents a channel in the channel rack.
You can select different channels using the “Select” knob and monitor them on the LED screen next to it. Additionally, the control matrix of pads is well-suited for triggering samples and playing drums.
- Hands-on control
The 5 rotary encoders are knobs that can adjust various parameters in FL Studio. For example, you could use them to adjust a track’s volume, the filter’s cutoff frequency, or the delay effect’s rate.
- Step Mode
The Step Mode allows you to enter notes or other events into a sequence one step at a time. When step mode is active, each pad corresponds to a specific step in the sequence, and pressing a pad will cause the associated event to be triggered at that step. It is useful for creating precise, rhythmic patterns and melodies in your music.
It can be especially helpful when working with drums or other rhythmic elements, as it allows you to create and edit complex patterns easily.
- Note Mode
The Note Mode allows you to play and record melodies and chord progressions using the pads. When note mode is active, each pad corresponds to a specific note on the musical scale, and pressing a pad will cause that note to be played.
It is a useful tool for creating melodies and chord progressions in your music. It can be especially helpful when working with synthesizers or other melodic instruments, as it allows you to play and record musical ideas using the pads easily.
- Performance Mode
The Performance Mode allows you to control multiple tracks or parameters at once using the pads, rotary encoders, and faders. When performance mode is active, you can use the pads to trigger clips or scenes in your music software or to control multiple parameters simultaneously.
- Drum mode
Drum mode is a feature of the Akai Professional Fire that allows you to trigger drum samples or play drum sounds using the pads. When drum mode is active, each pad corresponds to a specific drum sound or sample, and pressing a pad will cause that sound to be played.
The device can send MIDI data over USB or wirelessly over Bluetooth MIDI, allowing for flexibility in how it is used. In addition, its compact and portable design makes it convenient to use in a studio or on the go. Lastly, the step mode, note mode, drum mode, and performance mode provide a range of options for controlling your music production.
Some users may find the pads too small or difficult to play accurately, and you may require some setup and configuration to use all of its features effectively. Lastly, it is more expensive than other grid controllers on the market.
Arturia MiniLab 3 (Vid)
The Arturia MiniLab Mk III is a compact, portable MIDI controller.
It has 25 velocity-sensitive mini keys, 16 rotary encoders, and 8 pads, as well as a variety of buttons and controls for navigating and manipulating various parameters in your DAW. It is compatible with Mac and PC and can be powered via USB or using optional batteries.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
Arturia MiniLab Mk III is well-suited for use with FL Studio as it has a variety of buttons, encoders, and pads for hands-on control. It can be powered via USB or with optional batteries, making it convenient for studio and mobile use.
You can use its controllers to browse your sounds, samples, and instruments, navigate through the channel rack, and control various instrument settings. In addition, the display on the device shows you what track you are on. The device also comes with software instruments and effects, including the Analog Lab Lite synthesizer, which can be used in the DAW.
The MiniLab Mk III has 25 velocity-sensitive mini keys, which are smaller than full-size keys but are still capable of producing a wide range of dynamics and expressions in your music.
There are 16 rotary encoders on the device, which can adjust various parameters in your software. These encoders can be assigned to control things like the level of a particular track, the cutoff frequency of a filter, or the depth of an effect.
The instrument has 8 backlit pads, which can trigger samples, drums, or other sounds. The pads are velocity-sensitive, so you can play them with different levels of force to produce different dynamics.
- Octave buttons
The device has dedicated octave up and down buttons, which allow you to quickly shift the range of the keyboard up or down by octaves. This is useful for playing melodies or basslines that span a wide range of pitches.
- Pitch bend and mod wheel
The Arturia MIDI keyboard has a pitch bend wheel and a mod wheel, which can add expression to your playing. The pitch bend wheel allows you to bend the pitch of a note up or down, while the mod wheel can be assigned to control various parameters in your software.
One of the main benefits of the Arturia MiniLab Mk III is its compact size and portability. It is small enough to fit in a backpack or carry-on luggage, making it easy to take with you on the go. Additionally, the controller offers a wide range of controls, which allow for great flexibility regarding how you can control your music production software.
One potential downside of the instrument is that some users may find the mini keys too small or cramped for comfortable use. The keys are velocity-sensitive, but some users may prefer a full-size keyboard with heavier, more responsive keys. Additionally, the controller does not have built-in audio recording capabilities, so you must use an external device or software to capture your performances.
Overall, the Arturia MiniLab Mk III is a compact and capable MIDI controller with many features that make it well-suited for music production on the go.
M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini (32-Key Controller)
The M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini is a compact MIDI controller for digital audio workstations and other music software.
It features 32 velocity-sensitive keys, 8 velocity-sensitive pads, and a variety of control knobs and buttons. The device is designed to be portable and easy to use, making it a good option for musicians who need a compact and versatile controller for on-the-go music production.
It can create and play back music and control various parameters within software instruments and effects. The Oxygen Pro Mini is compatible with Mac and Windows computers and can be used with various software platforms, including Ableton Live, Logic Pro, and Pro Tools.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
The device is a good MIDI controller for use with FL Studio because it is compact and portable, making it easy to carry around. It also has a variety of control knobs and buttons that can be used to manipulate parameters within the DAW, such as the mixer, transport, and virtual instruments.
The velocity-sensitive keys and pads allow for dynamic and expressive performances. The controller can be easily configured to work with the software using its built-in MIDI mapping capabilities.
- 32 velocity-sensitive keys
The keys on the Oxygen Pro Mini are velocity-sensitive, which means they can detect the speed at which they are played. This helps you translate your ideas and create demonstrative and meaningful performances.
- Hands-on control
The device is small yet consists of sliders, pads, switches, modulation wheels, smart chord capabilities, USB connectivity, and more. It consists of pitch, scale, latch, arpeggiator controls, etc., which gives it great hands-on control. Lastly, the device has a sustain pedal input, which allows you to connect a sustain pedal to the controller.
- Built-in MIDI mapping capabilities
The instrument has built-in MIDI mapping capabilities, allowing you to easily customize how the controller works with your music software. This can include assigning specific functions to the knobs, pads, and keys or creating custom templates for different software instruments or effects.
- Included virtual instruments
It consists of virtual instruments like Hybrid 3 (multi-oscillator synth), Velvet (EP), Mini Grand, Vacuum (analog synth), Boom (vintage drum machine), and DB-33 (Organ).
- Chord Mode
The Chord Mode feature allows you to play chord progressions by pressing a single key. When Chord Mode is activated, the keyboard is divided into two zones, with the lower zone (the left side of the keyboard) used for selecting the chord’s root note and the upper zone (the right side of the keyboard) used for selecting the chord type.
The Oxygen Pro Mini has various control options, including knobs, faders, and pads, which can adjust a wide range of parameters within your music software. Other than FL Studio, you can use it with Ableton Live, Logic Pro, and Pro Tools, as it is compatible with all of them.
First, 32 keys may be insufficient for many users. Secondly, it doesn’t have a screen. Lastly, it has too much crammed up in little size, and the pads’ quality and size are not good enough.
Arturia KeyLab MK2 (Various Version – 49, 61 & 88 Keys)
The Arturia KeyLab MK2 is a MIDI keyboard controller that allows you to connect to and control your digital audio workstation (DAW) software.
It features a 49/61/88-key velocity-sensitive keyboard and a variety of knobs, buttons, and pads that can be programmed to control various functions within your DAW. The device also comes with a software bundle that includes several virtual instruments and effects plugins, as well as a control software called the Arturia MIDI Control Center, which allows you to customize the behavior of the controller’s various controls.
In addition to being a standalone controller, it can also be used as a traditional MIDI keyboard with external synthesizers and drum machines.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
The Arturia KeyLab MK2 is a good choice for use with FL Studio because it has a variety of controls that can be assigned to different functions within the DAW. The keyboard is velocity-sensitive, which means that the volume and timbre of the notes you play can be controlled by how intensely you play the keys.
The device also has knobs, buttons, and pads that can be programmed to control various parameters within Fruity Loops, such as the volume and panning of individual tracks, the cutoff and resonance of filters, and much more. Additionally, it comes with a software bundle that includes several virtual instruments and effects plugins that you can use in the DAW, making it a great value for the price.
- Multiple knobs, buttons, and pads for programming and control
The KeyLab MK2 has a variety of controllers that you can use creatively to command many parameters in FL Studio. For example, you might use the knobs to control the volume and panning of individual tracks or use the pads to trigger samples or drum sounds. The buttons can be used for various functions, such as starting and stopping playback, arming tracks for recording, or activating effects.
- MIDI Control Center
The device comes with a control software called the Arturia MIDI Control Center, which allows you to customize the behavior of the controller’s various controls. You can use this software to assign different functions to the knobs, buttons, and pads, and you can also create and save your custom control maps for different software instruments or effects.
- Virtual instruments
The instrument comes with a software bundle that includes many virtual instruments and effects plugins that can be used within FL Studio. These include synths, pianos, drum machines, and more, and they can be a great way to expand your sound palette and add new creative options to your music production workflow.
- Traditional MIDI connectivity for external synthesizers and drum machines
In addition to being used as a controller for a DAW, the KeyLab MK2 can also be used as a traditional MIDI keyboard with external synthesizers and drum machines. This can be useful if you have a hardware setup in addition to your computer-based setup and allows you to integrate the KeyLab MK2 into a wider range of music production setups.
- Robust build quality with a top aluminum panel
The KeyLab MK2 has a robust build quality, with a top aluminum panel that gives it a durable and professional feel. This makes it well-suited for use in a studio or live performance setting, and it should withstand the rigors of regular use.
The high-quality build, multiple controllers, and software bundle are some of the biggest pros of the device. It has USB connectivity for computers and can also be used to command hardware synthesizers and drum machines.
The only con of the Arturia KeyLab MKII is that it is expensive compared to other MIDI keyboards in the market. Secondly, it doesn’t have a scale function, and its display is not large enough.
Novation FLkey Mini
The Novation Launchkey Mini is a 25-key MIDI keyboard controller designed with music production software such as FL Studio.
It has a condensed design, making it easy to carry. The keyboard features velocity-sensitive keys, 8 velocity-sensitive pads, 8 knobs, and a variety of buttons for controlling different aspects of your music production software. It also includes software tools and features, such as the Novation Launchpad app, which allows you to control and program the Launchkey Mini directly from your phone or tablet.
The device is a versatile and powerful tool for bedroom music producers, traveling musicians and DJs, and professional studios.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
In addition to its MIDI capabilities, the Launchkey Mini includes many other features that make it well-suited and tailored for use with FL Studio. For example, it has buttons for browsing through the presets, a note repeat button, and 8 velocity-sensitive pads, which can trigger samples or play drum beats in real time.
It has controllers for having hands-on experience with FL Studio virtual instruments like Sytrus, FLEX, Slicex, Harmor, etc. It also has 8 knobs, which can be assigned to control various parameters within FL Studio.
- Hands-on control
The keyboard has 25 keys, which are velocity-sensitive, meaning that they can detect the speed at which you play them. This allows you to play and record melodies and chord progressions naturally.
The Launchkey Mini is small and lightweight, making it easy to take. This is particularly useful for musicians needing a portable solution to control their music production software, which makes it good for traveling musicians and tours.
The device is easy to use, with straightforward controls and a user-friendly interface. It is a good choice for both beginners and more experienced music producers.
- Easy compatibility
The keyboard includes many preset templates, which allow you to get up and run with not just FL Studio quickly, but also other popular music production software like Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Cubase, and more.
The device is small, portable, and costs less than other MIDI devices. At just $100 of price, you get a playable keyboard, many knobs, pads, octave shift buttons, a pitch mod touch slider, transpose, shift, and dedicated FL Studio controls to scroll up and down on the channel rack.
Its limited number of keys and lack of built-in sound generation may be drawbacks for some users. Plus, it doesn’t have any display or aftertouch, limiting its expressiveness.
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49/S61 MK2
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol MK2 is a MIDI keyboard controller developed by Native Instruments.
It is designed to provide seamless integration with Native Instruments software products, such as the Komplete software suite, and offers many features to make music production more efficient. The high-quality synth-action keys and built-in push encoder can provide a more intuitive and expressive playing experience. It can be a valuable tool for producing music with FL Studio or other software.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
It is designed to be fully integrated with different software products, including FL Studio, and offers a range of features that can be helpful for your workflow. For example, it has buttons for enabling recordings, pressing play, etc. With the help of the Komplete Kontrol plugin, you can have all plugins supported by the device on the OLED screen of your controller.
Further, you can use the knobs and buttons to manipulate the instrument. Some additional features include an expansive arpeggiator, a touch strip, and a two-line OLED screen, which can all be used to help you create and edit music more efficiently in FL Studio.
- Advanced arpeggiator
The advanced arpeggiator on the Komplete Kontrol MK2 allows you to create complex, rhythmic patterns quickly and easily by simply playing a chord on the keyboard. You can customize the arpeggiator’s settings, such as the tempo, the number of octaves, and the note order, to create a wide range of patterns.
- Customizable touch strip
The touch strip on the keyboard can be customized to control various parameters in your software, such as pitch, modulation, or volume. You can use the touch strip to make real-time adjustments to your sounds while you play, adding expression and movement to your music.
- Two-line OLED screen
The OLED screen on the keyboard provides easy navigation and displays important information, such as the name of the currently selected preset. The screen also allows you to browse and load presets directly from the keyboard, making it easier to find and audition different sounds.
- 49/61 high-quality synth-action keys
The keyboard has synth-action keys that provide a responsive and expressive playing experience. The keys also have smooth, fast action, making it easier to play fast passages or complex melodies.
- Built-in four-directional push encoder
The push encoder can be used to control a variety of parameters in your software, such as panning or effects levels. You can use the encoder to make real-time adjustments to your sounds while you play, adding expression and movement to your music.
The Komplete Kontrol MK2 is USB powered, making it easy to connect to your computer. Simply plug the keyboard into a USB port on your computer, and you’re ready to start making music. In addition, it is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems so you can use it with a wide range of software products.
The device is a high-end MIDI keyboard controller, which carries a premium price tag, and hence may not be the most budget-friendly option for those looking for a basic MIDI keyboard. It is primarily designed to be used with Native Instruments software, such as the Komplete software suite, but it may not offer as many features or benefits if you use other software products.
Akai MPK Mini MK3
The Akai Professional MPK Mini MK III is a compact, portable MIDI keyboard controller with 25 keys, 8 MPC-style pads, and 8 knobs.
It is designed to be used with music production software on a computer, such as a DAW (digital audio workstation) or VST (virtual studio technology) plugin. The MPK Mini MK III has a built-in arpeggiator and a sustain pedal input and is USB-powered.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
The MPK Mini MK III is also well-suited for use with FL Studio because it has a range of controls that can manipulate parameters in the software. For example, the 8 knobs can be assigned to control various parameters in the DAW, such as the volume or pan of a track or the cutoff frequency of a filter.
In addition, you can also use the MPK Mini software to edit and save various configurations of the device and get detailed control over how it performs with the DAW.
- Built-in arpeggiator
The controller has a built-in arpeggiator, which allows you to create arpeggiated patterns by simply holding down a chord on the keyboard. The arpeggiator has various modes, including Up, Down, Up/Down, and Random, and allows you to adjust the tempo, note duration, and octave range.
- Software included
The MPK Mini MK III comes with various software tools, including Ableton Live Lite, a 4-week trial of Splice Sounds, and MPC Beats. These tools can create and edit music and are compatible with popular DAWs such as FL Studio.
- Memory banks
The controller has 4 programmable memory banks, which allow you to save and recall custom knob and pad configurations. This can be useful if you want to use the MPK Mini MK III with different software or for different projects.
- MPC Beats
The device comes with a free download of the MPC Beats software, beat-making software that includes a drum machine, a sample editor, and virtual instrument plugins. It is based on the Akai Professional MPC hardware samplers and is a powerful tool for creating beats and music.
- Great pads
The MPC-style pads are inspired by the pads on Akai’s MPC series of hardware samplers, which are widely used in hip-hop and electronic music production. These pads are backlit and have four banks, allowing you to access 32 pads. In addition, they are also velocity-sensitive and allow you to add more dynamics to your performance.
The MPK Mini MK III is a great choice for producers who want a portable, versatile, customizable, and easy-to-use controller with various creative options. The controller is USB-powered and is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. Lastly, it’s priced at $119, making it a great and affordable tool, especially for entry-level and traveling producers/DJs.
Some potential drawbacks of the Akai controller are its limited key range (25 keys), small key size, lack of a built-in screen, absence of pitch and mod wheels, limited pad banks (4 banks, 32 pads total), and the fact that it does not have a built-in audio interface. While these may not be deal-breakers for all users, they are worth considering if you have specific requirements for your MIDI keyboard controller.
Novation Launchpad Pro Mk3 (Made For Ableton But Great For FL As Well)
The Novation Launchpad Pro Mk3 is a 64-pad MIDI controller designed for music production software such as Ableton Live.
It features velocity-sensitive pads and an 8x8 grid of buttons for triggering clips and playing drums. It can create beats, trigger loops and samples, and control virtual instruments and effects in real time. The device also has built-in support for creating and performing with music using the Ableton Live software, and it can also be used with other music software like FL Studio.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
The Novation Launchpad Pro Mk3 can be a good choice with FL Studio because it is a versatile MIDI controller that can control various aspects of the software. For example, it has a grid of pads that can be used to trigger samples and play drums and knobs that can be assigned to control various parameters in the DAW.
In addition, it is also compatible with the Ableton Live software, which many electronic music producers use in conjunction with FL Studio for live performances.
- Customizable controllers
The Launchpad Pro Mk3 has several customization options, including assigning different colors to the pads and buttons for different functions and creating custom mappings for the pads and buttons. This allows you to tailor the controller to your specific needs and workflow.
The device has a “Mutation” feature that allows you to create variations of your clips by mutating their parameters, such as pitch, length, and timing. This can be a useful way to create new and interesting variations of your clips without creating entirely new ones from scratch.
- Generative Playing
The Mutation feature works by randomly altering the parameters of your clips according to a set of probabilities that you can specify. You can set different probabilities for different parameters, such as length, timing, and velocity, allowing you to fine-tune how the Mutation feature works.
- Step sequencer
The controller has a built-in step sequencer that allows you to create and edit melodies, drum patterns, and other rhythmic sequences using the pads on the controller. You can use the pads on the controller to enter notes and create a sequence and the knobs on the controller to adjust the sequence’s timing, velocity, and other parameters.
- Live performances
You can use the pads on the Launchpad Pro Mk3 to trigger loops and samples in real-time, allowing you to create eloquent performances. You can use the grid of pads to trigger different sounds and samples and use the knobs on the controller to adjust various parameters in your DAW. Its pads are also velocity-sensitive, making them well-suited for playing drums.
- Controlling virtual instruments
You can use the device to control virtual instruments in your music software, such as synthesizers and drum machines. This can allow you to play melodies and create beats in real time, adding an extra layer of interaction and expressiveness to your performances.
The Novation Launchpad Pro Mk3 is a versatile and easy-to-use MIDI controller designed for DAWs. It has a simple and intuitive layout, with velocity-sensitive pads, an 8x8 grid of buttons, and eight knobs that can control various aspects of your software. It has several customization options and offers good value for money compared to other controllers in its class. It is popular for music producers and electronic musicians due to its versatility, ease of use, and good value for money.
The Launchpad Pro Mk3 requires a computer and music software and does not have a standalone mode. Secondly, it is a relatively expensive controller compared to some other options on the market. Lastly, its integration with software other than Abelton and FL Studio may be challenging.
Arturia Keystep 37
The Arturia KeyStep 37 is a portable MIDI controller and sequencer with 37 keys.
It has a built-in arpeggiator, chord mode, various performance controls, and connectivity options, including USB, MIDI, and CV/gate outputs. It is designed to be used with software or hardware synthesizers, drum machines, and other MIDI-compatible devices.
The device can be used to create melodies, chord progressions, and other musical ideas, and it can also be used to control and sequence external hardware devices.
Why It’s Good For FL Studio?
The MIDI device is a good controller with FL Studio because it provides a range of performance controls and connectivity options that can enhance your music production workflow. Some specific features of the KeyStep 37 that may be useful when using it with the DAW include built-in arpeggiator, chord mode, and velocity-sensitive keys.
- Comprehensive Arpeggiator
The KeyStep 37’s arpeggiator has multiple patterns, including up, down, up/down, and random. The note division and octave range can also be adjusted to suit your needs. The arpeggiator can be synced to an external MIDI clock or to the KeyStep 37’s internal clock, and you can hold the arpeggio and play over it. The KeyStep 37’s arpeggiator is a useful tool for creating musical ideas and adding depth and movement to your compositions.
- Chord Mode
The chord mode allows you to play complex chords with a single key press. In chord mode, the KeyStep 37 maps a specific chord to each key on the keyboard, so you can play various chords simply by pressing different keys. This can be especially useful for playing chords that you might not be able to play easily with your left hand or for creating chord progressions quickly and easily.
The device has a built-in sequencer that allows you to record and play back musical ideas. The sequencer has a variety of settings and options that you can adjust to suit your needs. For example, you can set the length of your sequence, choose the time signature, and set the tempo. You can also quantize your recorded notes to snap them to a specific grid or use the KeyStep 37’s swing function to add shuffle or groove to your sequences.
- Sequencer Modes
The sequencer has two main modes: real-time recording and step recording. In real-time recording mode, you can play the KeyStep 37’s keyboard and record your performance in real time. This is similar to how a traditional tape recorder works, except that you can edit and manipulate your recorded performance using the KeyStep 37’s controls.
Step recording mode allows you to input notes and other information one step at a time. This allows you to create precise, rhythmic patterns and melodies.
Overall, the Arturia KeyStep 37 is a versatile and user-friendly controller that can enhance your music production workflow and help you create and perform music in many ways. Secondly, its compact size and lightweight design make it portable and easy to use in various settings.
Lastly, the USB, MIDI, and CV/gate connectivity allow you to connect the KeyStep 37 to various software and hardware devices, giving you flexibility and control in your setup.
First, the 37 keys may not be sufficient to play complex melodies or chord progressions requiring a larger range. Secondly, the velocity sensitivity may not be as refined as that of higher-end controllers. Lastly, it lacks display and aftertouch.
If you are a piano player or require a full-fledged 61-key MIDI keyboard, the Novation Launchkey and Arturia KeyLab MK2 are good options. However, the MK2 has more controllers: knobs, pads, modwheel, etc., and includes Analog Lab, Ableton Live Lite, Piano V2, and Arturia MIDI Control Center.
If you require a pads-based controller, the AKAI Fire and Novation Launchpad Pro MK3 are great options. However, the MK3 is designed to be integrated with Abelton more. On the other hand, AKAI Fire is a more suitable option with great customization and feature richness. It’s also good for triggering live samples, sequences, patterns, etc.
If you’re looking for something more affordable and portable, the AKAI MPC Mini, Novation FLKey Mini, M Audio Oxygen Pro Mini, and Arturia MiniLab Mk III are some good choices. MPC Mini has great banks and knobs but lacks octave shift buttons and a mod wheel. On the other hand, the M Audio Oxygen Pro Mini has sliders, knobs, pads, and mod wheels.
Next, if you’re a Kontakt user, go for the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol, which is dedicated to that, has great functionalities, and has parameters directly mapped with Kontakt’s parameters. Lastly, the Novation FLKey 37 and FLKey Mini are the most FL Studio-friendly devices on the list. I hope the article was of help. Thank you for reading.
K. M. Joshi is a multi-award-winning composer and sound designer, specializing in film, game, and TV audio. He enjoys making cinematic music, rock, blues, and electronica.