Best MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X

BEST OVERALL

AKAI PROFESSIONAL MPK249

Our Rating
5/5

BEST VALUE

NEKTAR IMPACT LX49+

Our Rating
4.5/5

FOR BEGINNERS

ALESIS V49

Our Rating
4.4/5

Our reviews of the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X are made by experienced producers and performers. The list only includes MIDI keyboards that have a seamless integration with Logic Pro X.

When we started this research we looked at some features that we think the best Logic Pro X MIDI controller should have. That includes flexibility, ease of use, portability and value.

Let’s dive in!

Our Top Picks

  • Editor’s Choice: Akai Professional MPK249
  • Best value: Nektar Impact LX49+
  • Best MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X for experienced producers: Novation Impulse 49
  • Best MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X for beginners: Alesis V49
  • Best MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X for piano players: Nektar Panorama P6
  • Best budget MIDI Controller for Logic Pro X: M-Audio Oxygen 49 IV

Best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X reviews

9.5Expert Score
Akai Professional MPK249

Akai Professional MPK248 is a MIDI controller that integrates very well with Logic Pro X. The keyboard feels sturdy and durable and it can be used in both home studio setups and live performances due to many control features. The 49 full-size semi-weighted keys gives you a natural feel of a piano with aftertouch and velocity-sensitive. The keyboard also has eight knobs, faders and switches that you can assign to basically any parameter inside the Logic Pro X software. The variety of lightning options helps you keep everything organized. If you play melodic harmonies or baselines the Octave Up and Down controls expand your melodic range.

Overall, the Akai Professional MPK249 is the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X overall.

See the official guide on how to setup Akai Professional MPK series controllers with Logic Pro X

Positive
  • Included Preset for Logic Pro X
  •  16 MPC-style pads with RGB feedback
  • Durable build.
Negatives
  • Expensive
9Expert Score
Nektar Impact LX49+

The Nektar Impact LX49+ is a great option if you are on a tight budget and the price tag won’t burn a hole in your pocket. This MIDI controller is equipped with everything that you could ask for + built in integration with Logic Pro X. The 49 full-sized keys are synth action and velocity sensitive. Even if the price is low, the LX49+ are equipped with 9 faders, 8 backlit pads, 8 knobs, 9 buttons, transport controls and LCD screen. The pads are smaller than standard but they still make finger drumming possible. The faders and knobs don’t have the sweet resistance that more expensive alternatives have but they will definitely do the job. Overall this MIDI controller delivers on all counts!

Nektar Impact LX49+ is the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X if you are on a tight budget!

See the official guide on how to setup Nektar Impact LX49+ with Logic Pro X here.

Positive
  •  Easy integration with Logic Pro X
  • Very affordable
  • Lots of control options
Negatives
  • Lack of semi-weighted keys
  • Plastic construction
9Expert Score
Novation Impulse 49

Novation Impulse 49 uses Automap 4 Control Software (a system developed by Novation) which instantly lets you map all of the buttons, knobs and faders seamlessly with Logic Pro X. The keys are full-size piano-style with a fantastic aftertouch. There are 8 backlit velocity sensitive pads with unique functions like warping arpeggios and rolling beats. This keyboard is packed with controls that you can map to any parameter in the Logic Pro X software and adjust every aspect with very little effort. For many beginners they might be redundant but if you are an experienced producer you know how handy they are.

Novation Impulse 49 is the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X if you are an experienced producer!

See the official guide on how to setup Novation Impulse 49 with Logic Pro X here.

Positive
  • Great aftertouch on keys and pads
  • Quality build
  • Many control options
Negatives
  • Different aftertouch between black and white keys.
8.5Expert Score
Alesis V49

Alesis V49 has a very simple design but is still one of the best MIDI controllers for Logic Pro X. The keyboard is equipped with adjustable sensitivity on the 49 full-sized keys so you easily can set the sensitivity to match your style. On the left side you have 8 pressure- and velocity sensitive pads. You also get four buttons and four knobs that can be assigned to any parameter inside of Logic Pro X. Alesis V49 comes with the advanced virtual instrument Xpand!2 that provides some premium sounds and effects. The pitch and modulation wheels help you create the exact sound you are looking for. The keyboard ships with Ableton Live Lite but still works great with Logic Pro X!

Alesis V49 is the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X if you are a beginner!

Positive
  • Full-sized high quality keys
  • Durable construction
  • Simple and powerful design
Negatives
  •  No transport controls
  • Basic for advanced users
9Expert Score
Nektar Panorama P6

The Nektar Panorama P6 has 61 weighted velocity-sensitive keys with aftertouch. This controller also has 5 velocity curves as well, giving you a wider dynamic range than standard keyboards. The weighted piano-style keys are ideal if you are a piano player and want to explore the world of MIDI controllers. This keyboard integrates very well with Logic Pro X and all other major Workstations on the market. Other features include 12 pads, 16 encoders, 9 faders and 10 assignable LED buttons. You can save up to 20 presets so you don’t have to assign every control again when you sit down and play.

Nektar Panorama P6 is the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X if you are a piano player.

See the official guide on how to use Nektar Panorama P6 with Logic Pro X here.

Positive
  • Seamless integration with Logic Pro X
  • Weighted keys
  • Many control options
Negatives
  • Expensive
8Expert Score
M Audio Oxygen 49 IV

M Audio Oxygen 49 IV offers easy integration with Logic Pro X thanks to an exclusive technology called DirectLink. The software automatically maps the keyboards knod, faders and transport buttons with your DAW. This portable keyboard is suitable for production in home studios and offers 49 full-size, velocity-sensitive keys. Other assignable features include 9 sliders, 9 buttons, eight knobs plus transport buttons (Stop, Play, Record, Fast Forward and Rewind.  If you are using Logic Pro X and looking to get the most out of your money, the Oxygen 49 IV is worth considering!

Download DirectLink for Logic Pro X here

Positive
  • Easy integration with Logic Pro X
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Affordable
Negatives
  • Faders feels a bit loose
  • Not suitable for live-performing

Buying Guide

Logic Pro X is one of the best DAWs available and Apple’s flagship when it comes to music production softwares. There are many compatible keyboards available but some are better than others. The best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X plug effortlessly and allow instant control over your DAW. Instead of using your mouse and keyboard to navigate, you should be able to produce a whole track using only your controller. Apple’s DAW are designed for both experts and beginners and it comes with a wide variety of useful features. Adding the best MIDI keyboard for Logic Pro X unleashes the full potential of this powerful DAW.

The result? An entire recording studio in your own home.

If you use FL Studio, make sure to check our detailed guide on the best MIDI keyboards for FL Studio!

What is Logic Pro X?

Logic Pro X is a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that turns your Mac into a professional recording studio. Logic Pro X was released on July 16th, 2013 and offered a complete redesign and new user interface from its predecessor Logic Pro 9. With Logic Pro X you can record, edit and mix digital audio and the music production software counts as one of the most popular today!

Big names who use Logic Pro X are Pharell Williams, Chris Martin, Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. The software supports all essential key features like time stretching, piano roll, sampling and pitch shifting. You can download Logic Pro X from the App Store and it costs $199. You can try Logic Pro X free for 90 days before making a purchase!

kendrick lamar in studio
Hip-hop sensation Kendrick Lamar in his studio

Using a MIDI keyboard in Logic Pro

A MIDI controller combined with a powerful production software like Logic Pro X takes your creative abilities to a whole new level. You can definitely use Logic Pro on its own but it’s when you add a MIDI keyboard to your setup of studio equipment you really get flexibility. The world of MIDI controllers are almost infinite and it ranges from full-size models to compact 25-key models. Many keyboards have built-in pads, knobs, sliders and controls that you can use to control and automate different effects and software instruments of your choosing.

When choosing the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X you should have a basic understanding of what’s available and how different features can help improve your workflow. The idea of using a MIDI keyboard in Logic Pro is to get away from using your mouse and keyboard while producing.

Guide on how to connect MIDI devices to use with Logic Pro

Key features for Logic Pro X controllers

best midi controller for logic pro x

Logic Pro X is one of the most popular DAW on the planet thanks to all its capabilities. You can put thousands of hours of work in Logic Pro X and still learn new features that help improve your workflow. Other Digital Audio Workstations like FL Studios and Ableton Live are more aimed towards loop-based and sample-based electronic music. Logic Pro X lets you record, edit audio and all of the above.

The developers approach is fluid workflow and removing unnecessary barriers to creativity

The best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X should have enough pads, sliders, faders and knobs so you can automate and control every parameter of importance to you. Obviously you know your needs and your current limitations but all MIDI keyboards in our list are packed with useful features!

midi keyboard

Key weightening

Key weightening is one of the most important things to consider. Most MIDI keyboards have “Synth Action” and don’t have any weight attached to them. If you are a piano virtuoso you are probably used to fully weighted keys. Synth Action keyboards produce a quicker and lighter feel and they work very well when playing other sounds than piano.

Number of keys

There is no right or wrong number of keys when choosing the best MIDI controller for Logic Pro X. The standard amounts are 25 keys, 32 keys, 49 keys, 61 keys and 88 keys. More keys gives you a wider melodic range which usually is preferred for those with a background in piano. With larger keyboards you also need more space on your studio desk or a separate keyboard stand.

Pads

If you are into beatmaking, drum pads are an important feature on your Logic Pro X controller. Pads are much more efficient than keys when you create drum patterns or sampling music. Many MIDI keyboards have drum pads but if you are more into chord progressions they might be redundant.

Controls

Many MIDI keyboards have knobs, rotary pots, sliders and faders. When mapped to Logic Pro X, these controls let you adjust settings and automate different parameters in the software. If you are a beginner and don’t need all the extras, a more basic model could be your best choice!

More keys, pads and controls equals higher cost

Connect a MIDI keyboard with Logic Pro X

best midi keyboard for logic pro x

Today most modern MIDI controllers send and receive MIDI through USB. Older versions use MIDI cables and require a third-party hardware interface. All the keyboards in our list transmits MIDI through USB. This is how you setup a MIDI keyboard in Logic Pro X:

  • Connect your keyboard to your computer with USB
  • Open up Logic Pro X
  • In the menu, Click on “Logic Pro
  • Select “Control Surfaces” and click “Setup
  • Click “New” and “Install
  • Select your MIDI controller in Logic Pro X
  • Click “Scan

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