March 28

8 Best Keyboards For Music Production: Pianos with Drum Pads


Creating music is an exciting journey, and using the right tools can make it even better. Music production keyboards and pianos with drum pads bring your ideas to life. These devices let you play various instruments, create beats, and craft melodies, all in one compact package.

Music production keyboards come in many forms, but the most versatile ones are MIDI controllers. MIDI keyboards connect to your computer, allowing you to control virtual instruments and sounds. They provide a tactile way to experiment with music, even if you're new to the world of production.

When choosing a music production keyboard or piano with drum pad, consider factors like keys, drum pads, and knobs. The right mix of these features ensures a seamless creative process. Also, keep in mind your skill level and how the device fits in your workflow.

Explore these top-rated options to help you find the perfect companion for your musical journey. Let your imagination soar as you create irresistible grooves and captivating melodies.

8 Best Keyboards for Music Production

Discover the best piano and drum pad combinations below.


Upgrade your music production with the versatile AKAI MPK Mini MK3.


  • Compact, portable design
  • Dynamic keybed and pads
  • Wide range of controls


  • Learning curve for newbies
  • Software confusion
  • Limited access to hardware features

The AKAI MPK Mini MK3 is a game-changer for creators, boasting a sleek and portable design that's perfect for taking on the go. With 25 dynamic keys and eight backlit drum pads, this MIDI keyboard controller provides endless creative possibilities, no matter your experience level.

One of the MK3's standout features is its four-way thumbstick, which allows you to effortlessly control pitch and modulation while you work. Additionally, the MPC-style beat pads make it easy to program drums and trigger samples, so you can dive right into crafting your musical masterpiece.

Although the MPK Mini MK3 is an impressive piece of hardware, the included software may prove confusing to novices. However, if you're willing to invest time in mastering the software, the AKAI MPK Mini MK3 will prove to be a valuable tool in your music production arsenal. Check it out here!

Alesis VI49 MIDI Keyboard Controller

Alesis VI49 - 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
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Alesis VI49 offers excellent control and versatility for music production enthusiasts.


  • Responsive semi-weighted keys
  • Plenty of assignable controls
  • Included production software


  • Requires a bit of setup
  • Some users report pad issues
  • Heavy for its size

The Alesis VI49 MIDI Keyboard Controller is a powerful piece of gear for music producers. With 49 full-sized, semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, you can play melodies and chords with ease. The controller offers hands-on control for plugins and virtual instruments, making it simple to tweak sounds and adjust levels.

One of the standout features is the 16 velocity-sensitive drum pads with RGB feedback. These pads allow for beat production and clip launching with great response and visual cues. While some users have reported issues with the pad sensitivity, the majority of reviews are positive in this regard.

Despite needing some initial setup and being on the heavier side, the Alesis VI49 is an excellent investment for any music producer. With its solid build quality, responsive keys, and a comprehensive suite of included software, the VI49 is a reliable and powerful addition to your music production setup.

M-Wave 25 Key MIDI Keyboard (White)

M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller (White)
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Pick the M-Wave 25 Key MIDI Keyboard for a portable and versatile music production experience.


  • Compact and wireless
  • 8 backlit drum pads
  • Smart chord & scale feature


  • Software tough to find
  • Bluetooth setup may be tricky
  • Mini keys not for everyone

The M-Wave 25 Key MIDI Keyboard is a great tool for songwriters and beat makers. Its compact size and wireless capabilities make it easy to carry and use anywhere. The 25 velocity-sensitive keys and 8 RGB backlit drum pads allow for diverse beat production and control.

This keyboard is compatible with various software like Ableton Live, FL Studio, and Cubase. The smart chord and scale features help users quickly switch between keys, perfect for live performances and practice sessions. However, some users have reported difficulty locating the editing software and setting up the wireless Bluetooth connection, so patience may be required during the initial setup process.

In conclusion, the M-Wave 25 Key MIDI Keyboard offers an impressive range of features and portability for its price, particularly for those who want a compact and wireless option. Just be prepared for some technical challenges during setup.

M-WAVE 25-Key MIDI Keyboard with Drum Pads

M-WAVE 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Drum Pads (Black)
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This compact and portable music production keyboard is perfect for songwriters and beat makers on the go.


  • Wireless connectivity through Bluetooth
  • 25 velocity-sensitive keys
  • 8 backlit drum pads


  • Software can be hard to find
  • May require setup on Windows devices
  • Battery life could be better

I recently used the M-WAVE 25-Key MIDI Keyboard, and it was a joy to work with. The Bluetooth connectivity allowed me to wirelessly connect to my device, making setup a breeze. Its small size and lightweight design made it easy to slip into my bag and take with me to various locations for music composition.

The keyboard features 25 velocity-sensitive keys and 8 backlit drum pads. This combination provided me with versatile and expressive controls for creating music on the fly. I was particularly impressed with the responsiveness of the keys and pads, which translated my playing nuances accurately into my digital audio workstation (DAW).

While the battery life could be better, the overall performance and convenience of the M-WAVE MIDI Keyboard make it a fantastic choice for anyone looking to purchase a music production keyboard or piano with built-in drum pads.

Novation Launchkey 37 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller

Novation Launchkey 37 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller
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This keyboard is perfect for creativity and smooth integration with Ableton Live.


  • Deep Ableton Live integration
  • Expressive velocity-sensitive keys
  • Chord and scale modes


  • MIDI cable not included
  • Some customer-reported defects
  • Primarily for Ableton users

The Novation Launchkey 37 [MK3] is an intuitive and versatile MIDI keyboard controller. Its integration with Ableton Live makes it a seamless music-making experience, and its various features help you expand your musical ideas.

The Launchkey offers several modes like chord, scale, and arpeggiator, helping you develop melodies and ideas quickly. Its velocity-sensitive keys and pads allow for expressive performances and precise control of dynamics.

Despite some minor negatives like the absence of a MIDI cable and occasional defects, the Launchkey remains a fantastic option for those seeking a powerful yet user-friendly MIDI controller, especially if you use Ableton Live.

Asmuse Wireless MIDI Keyboard

Asmuse Wireless MIDI keyboard, 25 Keys USB MIDI Controller Keyboard
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This Asmuse MIDI Keyboard is perfect for on-the-go music production with its wireless capabilities.


  • Wireless and portable
  • Compatible with major platforms


  • Requires additional cords to function
  • Software purchase necessary
  • Small size not for all users

The Asmuse Wireless MIDI Keyboard is an excellent choice for creating music wirelessly. This compact keyboard connects to most devices, such as IOS, Win, and Android, and comes with force-sensitive keys and eight beat pads.

One downside is that you need to buy extra cords to use it, and specific software is required. However, when set up, it performs well and is perfect for those who don't need a large setup.

If you're looking for a portable, wireless keyboard with essential features for music production, the Asmuse Wireless MIDI Keyboard is worth checking out.

Donner DMK25 Pro MIDI Keyboard

Donner DMK25 Pro MIDI Keyboard Controller
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Donner DMK25 Pro is a compact and versatile music production keyboard packed with features.


  • Intelligent Dynamic Scale Mode
  • Real-time Multi-Mode Control
  • High-Definition OLED Screen Display


  • Small 25-key range
  • Requires practice to master touch bar
  • Software must be requested from customer service

You'll enjoy using the Donner DMK25 Pro. Its Intelligent Dynamic Scale Mode makes playing different genres simple. The 16-scale tones help you avoid any tuning worries while arranging music.

The real-time multi-mode control on this MIDI controller expands your creativity. Use the arpeggio, note repeat, and chord functions to create music clips. Customize the four innovative wheels to control the MIDI parameters you need.

The eye-catching, high-definition OLED screen provides clear insights into important parameters. You can easily monitor arpeggio, velocity, and more. Its lightweight design makes it easy to bring the keyboard to a variety of locations to capture your inspiration.

My Own Personal Top Choice

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2 Keyboard

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2 Keyboard
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Let me just put it out there... I freakin' love this keyboard! It's a joy to play, and the keys have a delightful touch, reminiscent of a beautiful piano or a high-quality electric keyboard. Many midi keyboards I've encountered previously felt flimsy and low-grade, even when they were anything but cheap!

When I decided to level up from my entry-level Novation midi controller/keyboard, I invested countless hours delving into my options. Eventually, I zeroed in on a few key criteria that would help me make my choice:

  • Semi-weighted keys
  • Touch-responsive keys
  • Software & plugins
  • Size (I had my heart set on 49 keys as the perfect middle ground)

Once I identified these priorities, the decision-making process became a breeze. Among all the music studio gear I possess, this keyboard easily ranks as one of my top acquisitions. In the past, my recording sessions were all about guitar-centric tracks, with vocals as a secondary focus. But now, with this fantastic midi keyboard at my fingertips, I'm inspired to experiment and lay down fresh ideas with a newfound enthusiasm for the keys.

Best Music Production Keyboards Buying Guide

When choosing a music production keyboard, focus on key features.

Consider size, keys, and functions for your needs.

Size and Portability

Find one that fits your space and is easy to carry.

Key Count and Type

Select a keyboard with the right number of keys.

Weighted or semi-weighted keys give a real piano feel.

Drum Pads

Make sure it comes with drum pads for beats.


Check for USB or MIDI ports to link with devices.


Some keyboards include software to help with music.


Compare features and choose within your budget.


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