This article will discuss the best numeric keyboards for music production in 2023.
Numeric keyboards are computer keyboard that includes a separate set of numeric keys on the right-hand side. These keys are arranged like a traditional calculator, with the numbers 0 through 9 arranged in three rows of three keys and a separate key for the decimal point.
Numeric keyboards are often used for data entry, accounting, and other applications requiring numerical input. They are also commonly used in financial and business settings, where large amounts of numerical data must be entered quickly and accurately.
However, they are also used in music production but in a different context. In this case, they are used as MIDI controllers, which means they send MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) messages to a computer or other device that can interpret them as musical notes, rhythms, and other parameters.
Numeric MIDI keyboards often have drum pads, faders, knobs, and other controls that can be assigned to different functions in a music production software or hardware device, making them a versatile and convenient tool for musicians and producers. They are also typically portable and lightweight, making them popular for live performances and mobile music production setups.
How Numeric Keyboard Can Improve Musician’s Workflow
Numeric keyboards designed for music production can greatly improve a musician’s workflow. Firstly, they offer a compact, portable solution for triggering sounds and controlling different parameters within a digital audio workstation (DAW) or other music production software.
Doing that allows musicians to work more efficiently in the studio or on the road. Secondly, there are certain shortcuts you can trigger via the keyboard that you can map to various functions within a DAW or plugin, which are called hotkeys.
Hotkeys, also known as keyboard shortcuts, are a series of keyboard combinations that can perform various tasks in a digital audio workstation (DAW) more quickly and efficiently than a mouse or trackpad.
Most DAWs have many hotkeys that can be customized to suit the user’s preferences and workflow. These hotkeys can perform various tasks, including starting and stopping playback, recording, selecting and manipulating tracks, adjusting levels and panning, adding and editing notes, and many other functions.
Learning and using hotkeys in a DAW can significantly speed up your workflow, allowing you to work more efficiently and creatively. Hotkeys can help streamline repetitive tasks, reduce the need for constant mouse movements, and allow quick access to commonly used functions.
Hotkeys can be especially useful for musicians and producers who prefer to work quickly and with minimal distractions, enabling them to focus on the music and creative process rather than the technical details of the software. Many numeric keyboards let you efficiently use these hotkeys; some even have shortcuts printed on them. That can result in a more intuitive and efficient music production workflow.
Next, numeric keyboards and hotkeys can also trigger chords, arpeggios, and other musical patterns, speeding up songwriting and helping musicians explore new creative possibilities.
They are often designed to be plug-and-play, meaning they can be easily connected to a computer or other device without additional drivers or software. This makes them a convenient and user-friendly tool for musicians of all experience levels.
Overall, numeric keyboards for music production offer a compact, portable, and versatile solution for musicians and producers, helping to streamline their workflow and unleash their creativity. Now let’s get to the main topic of discussion.
Top 11 Numeric Keyboards For Music Production 2023
1. Editors Keys Backlit – FL Studio
Editors Keys Backlit FL Studio keyboard is a specialized keyboard for FL Studio users. The keyboard is designed to help streamline the production process and increase efficiency when working with the software.
The keyboard also includes a range of features like backlit keys, dedicated shortcuts, and other features that make it a great choice for FL Studio users. For example, the keyboard is made from high-quality materials and is built to last. It is also compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems, making it a versatile option for users on different platforms.
- Backlit Keys
The illuminated keys make working in low-light conditions or a dimly lit studio environment easier. This feature can be particularly helpful for users who work long hours and need to maintain focus on the keys.
- Dedicated FL Studio shortcuts
These shortcuts are printed directly onto the keys, making accessing commonly used commands and functions within the software easier. This can save users time and improve their workflow, as they won’t need to remember or look up keyboard shortcuts. That makes it easy for users to access commonly used commands and functions in FL Studio, saving them time and improving their workflow.
- Dedicated function keys
The device includes a set of dedicated function keys specifically designed for FL Studio. These keys are labeled with their corresponding FL Studio functions, such as quantize, zoom, and select.
- High-Quality Construction
The keyboard is made from high-quality materials, which makes it durable and long-lasting. This is important for musicians who use their equipment frequently and need it to withstand wear and tear.
The keyboard is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems, making it a versatile option for musicians who use different platforms. Secondly, the keyboard has a USB connection, making it easy to command use to a computer immediately.
- Ergonomic Design
The keyboard has an ergonomic design that helps reduce strain on the hands and wrists. This is important for musicians who spend long hours at the computer. In addition, it has multimedia keys that allow users to control playback, volume, and other settings without switching between programs.
2. Editors Keys Backlit – Ableton Live
The Ableton Live Backlit Keyboard from Editors Keys is a fully backlit keyboard designed to produce music, edit, and work faster with Ableton Live, reduce eye strain, and improve studio setup.
It features color groups and shortcuts that help you find similar tools and work more efficiently. The keys have icons and labels colored to represent their function type. The keyboard is a plug-and-play device compatible with Mac and PC, so no software installation is required. This feature makes it easy to set up and use right away.
- Easy on eyes
The keyboard is fully backlit, which means it is designed to be used in low-light environments, making it easier on the eyes and reducing eye strain. However, it is less useful in bright daylight.
- Ableton Live shortcuts
The keyboard contains all the shortcuts for Ableton Live, which helps users to work more efficiently and find similar tools quickly. For example, there are shortcuts for inserting a MIDI track, an audio track, flattening a track, etc.
- Graphical cues
Each key has an icon and text label on a colored background, grouped according to the type of function they represent. This feature helps users to get a quick visual cue based on color, graphics, and text, making it easier to remember shortcuts and find the right tools quickly.
- Return policy
The product has a 30-day free return period per the company’s return policy. To be eligible for a refund, the item must be unused and in its original packaging, and customers must provide proof of purchase.
3. Editors Keys Backlit – Logic Pro
The Editors Keys Backlit Keyboard for Logic Pro is a Logic Pro-specific keyboard designed for Mac computers, also compatible with PCs.
The keyboard is backlit, making it easy to use in low-light environments and reducing eye strain. It also features a set of Logic Pro shortcuts printed directly on the keys, allowing users to access commonly used functions quickly. Each key is color-coded to group functions by type, making it easy to quickly remember shortcuts and locate the right tools.
- Logic Pro shortcuts
The keyboard features a comprehensive set of Logic Pro shortcuts printed directly on the keys, making it easy for users to access frequently used functions quickly. These shortcuts cover many functions, including recording, editing, mixing, and more.
- Color-coded keys
Each key on the keyboard has a unique color code that groups function by types, such as transport controls, editing tools, and navigation. This makes it easier for users to quickly remember shortcuts and find the right tools.
- Backlit keys
The device is fully backlit, with bright LED lighting designed to make it easy to use in low-light environments. This is particularly useful for Logic Pro users who often work in dimly lit studios or bedrooms.
The keyboard is specifically designed for use with Logic Pro, and the printed shortcuts are tailored to the software. It is compatible with Mac and PC and is a plug-and-play device, making it easy to set up and use immediately.
- Macro keys
The device includes five dedicated macro keys that can be programmed to perform specific functions or combinations. This feature allows users to automate repetitive tasks and streamline their workflow.
- High-quality construction
The device is built with high-quality materials and is designed to withstand the rigors of daily use. It features a sleek, modern design that looks great on any desk and is designed to provide years of reliable performance.
4. Editors Keys Backlit – Cubase
The Editors Keys Backlit Keyboard for Cubase is a keyboard designed for music producers and audio engineers who use the software program Cubase.
The keyboard contains color-coded shortcuts to help users edit faster and improve their workflow. It is fully backlit, making it easier to use in low-light environments, and the backlighting can be turned on and off using the scroll lock key. Overall, the Editors Keys Backlit Keyboard for Cubase is a useful tool for Cubase users who want to speed up their editing and improve their workflow, particularly in low-light environments.
- Cubase-specific workflow
The device contains all the Cubase-specific shortcuts, which can help users to work more efficiently and find similar tools quickly. These shortcuts are color-coded and grouped according to the type of function they represent, making it easier to remember them.
- Familiar workflow
The keyboard has a QWERTY layout, which makes it easy to use for those who are familiar with typing. It also has additional Cubase-specific functions that the user can assign. However, it is worth noting that Cubase has a flexible system that allows users to reassign key commands, so the keyboard’s default shortcuts might need to be maintained.
- Ease of use
The device is fully backlit, making it easier to use in low-light environments. The backlighting can be turned on and off using the scroll lock key. Next, the keyboard has a slim profile, so it doesn’t take up much space on a desk. It is also compatible with Mac and PC and is a plug-and-play device, so no software installation is required.
- Build & Price
The keyboard is made of high-quality materials, and the keys are designed to be durable and long-lasting. The product is available from the Editors Keys website and priced at about £99.99 ($125).
5. Editors Keys Backlit – Pro Tools
The Editors Keys Backlit Keyboard for Pro Tools is a specialized keyboard designed with Avid’s Pro Tools, a digital audio workstation (DAW) software for professional music and film production.
The device features a comprehensive set of Pro Tools shortcuts printed directly on the keys, making it easy for users to access frequently used functions quickly. Each key has a unique color code that groups function by types, such as editing, mixing, and navigation. In addition, it is fully backlit, compatible with both Mac and PC and is a plug-and-play device, making it easy to set up and use immediately.
- Grouped shortcuts
The Pro Tools shortcuts are grouped according to the task being performed. For example, editing functions such as copy and paste are grouped, while mixing functions like solo and mute are in separate groups. This helps users quickly find the right shortcut for the task.
- Multi-functional keys
Many keys on the keyboard have multiple functions, depending on whether the user is in edit or mix mode. For example, the F1 key can be used to undo in edit mode and to save in mix mode. This feature allows for a more efficient workflow and reduces the need for constant switching between modes.
- Numeric keypad
The keyboard has numeric keypads, which are useful in Pro Tools for users who work with timecode or use numerical values for automation parameters. They allow quick entry of precise values and save time when working on large projects. In addition, these keypads are also useful for entering commands or shortcut combinations that use numbers.
- Transport controls
The keyboard includes dedicated transport controls, such as play, stop, and record, that are easily accessible. This is particularly useful for users who need to control playback or recording without reaching for the mouse or computer keyboard.
- Compatibility with other software
The keyboard is compatible with other software programs besides Pro Tools. However, the printed shortcuts are tailored specifically to Pro Tools, making it a great tool for primarily working with this software.
6. ROCCAT Magma Silent Membrane Switch
The ROCCAT Magma Silent Membrane Switch keyboard is a gaming keyboard designed for quiet operation and maximum comfort.
It features a durable, silent membrane switch mechanism that provides a tactile feel without producing the loud clicking noise of many mechanical switches. The keyboard also includes a range of customizable lighting effects, with individual key illumination that can be programmed to suit your preferences.
- Quiet Operation
The silent membrane switch mechanism of the keyboard provides tactile feedback without producing a loud clicking sound. This makes it ideal for use in quiet environments, such as recording studios, where noise levels must be minimal.
- Programmable Keys
The keyboard includes a range of programmable keys that can be customized to your preferred music production commands. This lets you quickly access frequently used functions, such as record, play, and stop, without navigating through menus.
- USB Passthrough
The keyboard features a USB passthrough port, which allows you to connect additional peripherals, such as a MIDI controller or audio interface, without reaching for the back of your computer.
- Ergonomic Design
The keyboard is designed to be comfortable, with an ergonomic wrist rest that reduces strain and fatigue during extended music production sessions. That is great for you if you are a music producer, recording engineer, or audio engineer who sits and practices for long hours and spends lengthy sessions in your studio or desktop/laptop.
- Dedicated Media Controls
The keyboard includes dedicated media controls, such as play/pause, stop, and volume control, allowing you to easily control your music playback without switching to another application.
- Anti-Ghosting Technology
The Magma Silent includes advanced anti-ghosting technology, which ensures that every keystroke is registered accurately and without delays, even when multiple keys are pressed simultaneously.
7. Fiodio Rainbow
The FIODIO Rainbow Keyboard is a backlit gaming keyboard designed for gamers, audio professionals, video editors, and typists.
It is a wired keyboard with a USB cable compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. The keyboard has 104 keys, including a number pad, and is designed with a rainbow backlight that illuminates the keys.
The FIODIO Rainbow Keyboard is easy to use and plug-and-play, which can be connected to a computer without additional software installation. However, it’s important to note that music producers can use the keyboard. Still, it may not be the best option for those who require a lot of dedicated shortcut keys or a specific layout for music production software.
- Rainbow Backlighting
The keyboard’s rainbow backlighting can be useful for working in low-light environments, especially for music producers in studios with dim lighting. That also looks attractive and has a
- Waterproof Design
The keyboard is designed to be waterproof, which means that it can withstand spills and splashes. This feature can be helpful for music producers who may accidentally spill liquids on their keyboards while working.
- Anti-ghosting Capability
The keyboard has an anti-ghosting capability, which means it can recognize multiple keypresses simultaneously without registering any missed or extra keystrokes. This feature can be helpful for music producers who need to play multiple notes or chords simultaneously.
The device is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, which means it can be used with various music production software programs.
The FIODIO Rainbow Keyboard is an affordable option for music producers who want a backlit keyboard with a unique design. Its price is around $25, which makes it accessible to music producers who are on a budget.
8. Apple Magic Keyboard
The Apple Magic Keyboard is a wireless keyboard designed and manufactured by Apple Inc.
It is the successor to the Apple Wireless Keyboard and was first introduced in October 2015. It is a versatile and portable keyboard that can be useful for music producers who need to work on the go or who want to control their music software easily.
Its low-profile keys and multimedia controls make it a great option for extended typing and audio playback. In contrast, its wireless connectivity and compatibility with Apple devices make it easy to use in various situations.
- Slim and Lightweight
The slim and lightweight design of the Apple Magic Keyboard makes it a great option for music producers who are always on the go. It’s easy to throw in a backpack or laptop bag and take to a studio, gig, or coffee shop.
- Wireless Connectivity
The wireless connectivity of the Apple Magic Keyboard means you can use it without being tethered to your computer, giving you greater freedom of movement in the studio. You can position the keyboard wherever you like and use it from across the room with Bluetooth extenders.
- Rechargeable Battery
The built-in rechargeable battery of the Apple Magic Keyboard is a great feature for music producers who are always on the go. It allows you to work for long periods without worrying about running out of battery power.
- Low Profile Keys
The low-profile scissor-switch keys of the Apple Magic Keyboard provide a comfortable and responsive typing experience that’s ideal for music production. The soft keys require minimal pressure, making them great for extended typing sessions.
- Multimedia Keys
The dedicated multimedia keys on the Apple Magic Keyboard allow you to control audio and video playback without switching back to your computer. This is useful when you want to quickly adjust the volume of a track or skip to the next song.
- Compatible with Mac and iOS Devices
The Apple Magic Keyboard is compatible with Mac and iOS devices, making it easy to use with your iPad or iPhone. This is great if you want to use your mobile device for music production or for controlling your computer from a distance.
- Integrated Touchpad
The version of the Apple Magic Keyboard with the integrated touchpad is especially useful for music producers who use software instruments or other digital tools. The touchpad allows you to control your Mac or iPad using gestures, similar to those used on the MacBook trackpad, making it easier to manipulate sounds and control software instruments.
9. Microsoft Number Pad
The Microsoft Number Pad is a standalone device designed to provide a dedicated number pad for increased productivity when working with numbers.
It is a useful device for music producers who must input numerical data quickly and efficiently. Its ergonomic design, wireless connectivity, and compatibility with music production software make it a versatile addition to any music production setup.
- Ergonomic Design
The ergonomic tilt angle of the number pad promotes a natural wrist position, reducing strain and discomfort during extended use. This is especially important for music producers working long hours on their computers.
- Wireless Connectivity
The number pad connects wirelessly to your computer via Bluetooth, allowing you to work without being tethered to your desk. This is particularly useful for music producers who need to move around their studio while working. It’s also useful for audio/recording engineers in a live setting.
- Lightweight and Portable
The Microsoft Number Pad is lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport and use. It can be easily carried in a backpack or laptop bag.
- Numeric Keypad
The full numeric keypad provides a convenient way to input numerical data, including tempo, time signatures, and MIDI note values. It can also be useful for entering values into automation curves in music production software.
The number pad is compatible with Windows and MacOS operating systems, making integrating it into any music production setup easy. It can be used with various software applications, including DAWs, virtual instruments, and plugins. However, the device is best compatible with Windows systems.
- Long Battery Life
The Microsoft Number Pad is designed with a long battery life, allowing you to work for extended periods without recharge. This is particularly important for music producers who must work on long sessions.
- Quiet Keys
The keys on the Microsoft Number Pad are quiet and responsive, providing a comfortable typing experience that won’t disturb others in the studio. This is particularly useful in recording situations where silence is essential.
10. HyperX Alloy Core RGB
The HyperX Alloy Core RGB is a gaming keyboard with features that can be useful for music production.
Its customizable RGB backlighting, quiet keys, media controls, and anti-ghosting technology can make it a valuable addition to your music production setup, making it a versatile keyboard useful for gaming and music production.
- Customizable RGB Backlighting
The keyboard has customizable RGB backlighting, which can help you work in low-light environments and add a visual element to your music production setup.
- Quiet Membrane Keys & Media Controls
The keys on the HyperX Alloy Core RGB are quiet and responsive, making them comfortable to type on for extended periods without disturbing others in the studio. In addition, the device also has dedicated media controls that allow you to adjust the volume, play/pause, skip tracks, and mute the sound, all without leaving your music production software. That also makes your keyboard workflow super quiet and non-intrusive.
- Rollover switches
The term “rollover switches” in a keyboard generally refers to the number of simultaneous key presses the keyboard can register without any keys failing to register or “rollover.”
The HyperX Alloy Core RGB keyboard features a 6-key rollover or 6KRO, registering up to 6 simultaneous key presses without issue. This can be important for music production as it allows for more complex and rapid input, such as playing multiple notes or chords at once on a MIDI keyboard.
The keyboard features anti-ghosting technology that allows multiple keys to be pressed simultaneously without any missed or repeated key presses. This can be helpful for complex keyboard shortcuts and MIDI input.
Spill resistance refers to a keyboard’s ability to resist damage from liquid spills. A spill-resistant keyboard, like the HyperX Alloy Core RGB, can be particularly useful in environments with a greater risk of liquid spills, such as in a recording studio or on a stage during a live performance.
If a spill does occur, a spill-resistant keyboard can help prevent damage to the keyboard and potentially avoid interruption to the music production process. However, it is important to note that while a spill-resistant keyboard can provide some protection against liquid damage, it is not completely waterproof and may still be damaged if exposed to excessive amounts of liquid.
The HyperX Alloy Core RGB is compatible with Windows and MacOS operating systems, making integrating it into any music production setup easy. It can be used with various software applications, including DAWs, virtual instruments, and plugins.
11. iHome Wired USB Numeric Keypad
The iHome Wired USB Numeric Keypad is a peripheral device that provides a separate numeric keypad for those who need to do a lot of numerical input but do not have a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad.
Suppose you own a Magic Keyboard without a numeric keypad. In that case, the iHome Wired USB Numeric Keypad can be a cost-effective solution to add numeric input capability to your setup. It connects via USB and is compatible with both Mac and PC.
In terms of music production, the iHome Wired USB Numeric Keypad can be useful for entering numerical values such as tempo, time signature, or MIDI note numbers. It can also help navigate and control music production software, as many programs use numerical hotkeys and shortcuts.
While the iHome Wired USB Numeric Keypad is a cheaper alternative to purchasing a full-sized keyboard with a built-in numeric keypad, it is important to note that it may not be as convenient or portable. It is also a wired device, so you may need to rearrange your workspace or use a USB hub to accommodate it.
- Wired connectivity
The iHome Wired USB Numeric Keypad is connected to your computer via a USB cable, which provides a reliable and stable connection for entering numerical values in music production software.
- Plug-and-play setup
The device is a plug-and-play device, which means that no software installation is required to use it. Plug it into an available USB port on your computer, and it will be ready to use.
- Compact and portable design
The iHome Wired USB Numeric Keypad has a compact and lightweight design, which makes it easy to take with you on the go. This can be especially useful if you need to work on music production projects outside of your home studio. In addition, it is compatible with both Mac and PC, which means that it can be used with a wide range of music production software.
As a low-cost option, the iHome Wired USB Numeric Keypad can be an affordable solution for adding numerical input capabilities to your music production setup.
- Shortcut compatibility
Many music production software programs allow you to customize keyboard shortcuts, and the iHome Wired USB Numeric Keypad can be a useful tool for assigning specific shortcuts to individual keys. This can help streamline your workflow and speed up repetitive tasks.
- Standalone functionality
The iHome Wired USB Numeric Keypad can also function as a standalone calculator, which can be useful for music producers who need to perform quick calculations for things like tempo adjustments or time conversions.
- Durable construction
The device is built strongly and durably to withstand frequent use over time. The keys are rated for up to 10 million keystrokes, which can help ensure that the device will last for years of use.
We have discussed different numeric keyboards designed for music production on different DAWs, including Pro Tools, FL Studio, Cubase, Logic Pro, and Ableton. Let’s talk about the Editors Keys DAW-specific keyboards first. These keyboards have features like backlit keys, dedicated shortcuts, and ergonomic designs to make the music production process more efficient and comfortable for users.
If you’re an FL Studio user, go for the Editors Keys Backlit Keyboard for FL Studio, as it has shortcuts printed directly on the keys for easy access. Next, as an Ableton user, you can go for the Ableton Live Backlit Keyboard, which has color-coded keys with graphical cues to help users find tools more quickly.
Moving on, the Editors Keys Backlit Keyboard for Logic Pro has a comprehensive set of Logic Pro shortcuts printed on the keys. Similarly, there are Editors Keys Keyboards for Cubase and Pro Tools.
These keyboards are designed to help musicians and producers work more efficiently and comfortably, whether using Mac or Windows operating systems. Next, we discussed keyboards and numeric pads with general functionalities not designed for a specific DAW but great for music production.
For example, the ROCCAT Magma keyboard is perfect for music and audio professionals who want a quiet and comfortable typing experience. It has a unique silent membrane switch mechanism produces tactile feedback without making loud clicking sounds. Additionally, it has programmable keys, ergonomic design, dedicated media controls, and anti-ghosting technology to enhance your gaming and audio editing experience.
Next, the FIODIO Rainbow Keyboard is a good choice for audio engineers/music producers on a budget. It has a waterproof design and anti-ghosting technology and is compatible with various operating systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux. The rainbow backlighting also makes it convenient for working in low-light environments.
Further, the Apple Magic Keyboard is a wireless keyboard that is slim and lightweight, making it easy to carry around. It has a rechargeable battery and low-profile multimedia keys and is compatible with Mac and iOS devices. It’s an excellent option for music producers who need to work on the go or want better control over their music software.
Shaurya Bhatia, is an Indian Music Producer, Composer, Rapper & Performer, who goes by the stage name MC SNUB, and is also 1/2 of the Indian pop music duo, called “babyface”. A certified Audio Engineer & Music Producer, and a practicing musician & rapper for more than 6 years, Shaurya has worked on projects of various genres and has also been a teaching faculty at Spin Gurus DJ Academy.