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Looking for a midi keyboard that will just work with FL Studio?
You’re not alone.
If you’re using FL studios it’s probably because it’s known for having the best workflow when it comes to MIDI.
And wouldn’t it be nice if there was a MIDI keyboard that you didn’t have to spend hours mapping the different faders and knobs?
Well here’s the list from FL Studios itself of controllers that were preconfigured to work automatically with FL studios!
Note – links are to Amazon.
- Alesis Photon X25
- CME UF Omnipotent Master Keyboard
- Edirol PCR-30/50
- Korg MS-20 Controller
- M-Audio Oxygen 25/49/61
- Korg nanoKEY
And here are the MIDI keyboards with drum pads:
- Cakewalk A-Series
- Edirol PCR-300/500/800
- Korg KONTROL49
- Korg microKONTROL
- Novation ReMOTE SL
- Novation SL MK II
- Sinn7 Kontrolux
What does preconfigured mean? It means you get additional features such as endless (relative) knobs, switch controls, support for jog and transport controls.
If the keyboard I want isn’t listed above does that mean it won’t work? Absolutely not.
It just means some of the special (non-standard) controls may not function correctly. But you will have a fully functioning keyboard.
Which brings me to my list below.
To be honest, I’m not familiar with every single keyboard on the above list. Frankly, I don’t think many people use most of those – they just aren’t as good as some of the competition!
So, if you want to know what the more popular equipment is I’ve gathered the top 5 below.
If you really want the preconfigured capability, then I highly recommend you go with the M-Audio (more on that below.)
Let’s get started.
The Five Best MIDI Keyboards For FL Studio
You’re either going to be someone who likes to use analog controls (knobs and faders) or you’re going to be someone like me who just controls everything digitally.
I’ll admit, it can be faster to control things with knobs and faders once you get the hang of it.
But, if you’re producing hip-hop or electronic music and only need to lay down chords and melodies then this first option is for you.
1. Akai Professional LPK25
- 13 inch, slim line laptop performance keyboard with 25 velocity sensitive mini keyboard keys for playing melodies, bass lines, chords and more
- Dedicated octave up and down buttons to increase the keyboard to the full melodic range plus a sustain button for expressive performances
I love this little controller. It’s simple to use and compact. It’s easy to carry around when you’re travelling and doesn’t take up space on your desk.
It doesn’t require any additional drivers to be installed. Simply plug it in and you’ll be ready to produce.
The keys are velocity sensitive – just a word of advice, I’d ingnore this feature if I were you. Especially for hip-hop and electronic music.
If you’re producing something that is a little more instrumental you may find it useful.
It also comes with a built-in arpeggiator. Most VST synths with have arpeggiators built-in, but if you’re working with your own samples this can be a fun feature.
Overall, this is the controller I wish I bought when I was first getting started.
Best for people producing electronic or hip-hop music who want to control things digitally and won’t be using drum pads.
2. M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV
- Compact, ultra portable performance keyboard controller with 49 full size, synth action velocity sensitive keys and on board pitch bend and modulation wheels for expressive performances
- 8 velocity sensitive trigger pads for beat production and clip launching; 8 assignable knobs and 9 assignable faders for manipulating virtual instruments, daw parameters and plugins on board lcd screen provides instant parameter feedback
One of the only keyboards on my list that is actually preconfigured to work directly with FL Studios – bonus!
This means you get a few additional functions that you would have otherwise.
If you have some experience play the keys then you may benefit from having more than 25 keys to play with.
This is where the Oxygen 49 comes in – it’s a reasonably priced keyboard with all the functionality you will want in a midi keyboard.
My only complaint is it’s a little bulky. When I first bought my midi keyboard I didn’t realize how much space they took up on a desk.
Because I produce with a desktop computer instead of a laptop I always have to awkwardly place my computer keyboard in front of the midi controller. I would have the exact same issues with this keyboard.
Other than that, this keyboard is exactly what you’ll need.
It will directly interface with FL Studio. With a little bit of mapping work (this is the process of connecting your analog controls to FL Studio) you’ll be up and running in no time.
My final complaint with this keyboard is the provided software – I don’t really want to have to pay extra to have copies of ProTools Lite and Ableton Live Lite if I know I’m going to be working in FL Studio.
Best for people who want a keyboard that is preconfigured to work with FL Studios.
3. Novation Launchkey
- MK2 version of Novation's 49-note USB keyboard controller for Ableton Live
- 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads, 8 knobs, and dedicated navigation and control buttons
Another great option. The NOvation Launchkey is very similar to the Oxygen 49 – just with a few more add-ons.
You’re getting 16 drum pads as well as Addictive Keys.
So if you plan on laying down your percussion ideas using drum pads, or if you want to mess around with vocal chops then this may be a better option.
Keep in mind, you’ll be paying a little extra – so if that doesn’t sound useful to you you may be better off with the Oxygen.
The Addictive Keys VST is a nice bonus. I still use Addictive Keys for my background piano and know a few professional producers who do the same.
Best for people who want the extra drum pads and a larger number of keys.
4. Alesis VI49 | Advanced 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard & Drum Pad Controller
- MIDI Keyboard with 49 full sized, square front, semi weighted keys with after touch. USB MIDI and 5 pin MIDI Out offer flexible MIDI connectivity
- Manipulate plugins and virtual instruments with hands on controls. With VI49, you can open and close filters on virtual synthesizers, adjust volume levels in your mix, activate effects, and much more
If you want the best equipment these last two are for you.
The V149 is one of my personal favorite MIDI controllers. It’s super functional and is built really solid.
If you’re producing electronic or hip-hop music and want the best MIDI controller for your studio this is a great option.
The keys are semi-weighted – a great feature for anyone who has some background playing piano.
It also has plenty of drum pads. So instead of buying the Native Machine you can just spend a little extra money on your controller and get pretty close.
As will all the keyboard on this list – it will be plug and play with FL Studio. You will just have to work on mapping out the knobs and pads.
Best for people who want the best equipment on the market.
5. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2 Keyboard
- Smart keyboard controller for all your virtual instruments
- Pro-grade Fatar keybeds with aftertouch - 49 semi-weighted keys
If you want to be a baller and have incredible equipment in your studio then this is the premium option.
I don’t have this controller (I wish) but I have a friend who does and I go over to his studio at least once a week.
These MIDI keyboards are amazing. The feel is just incredible and the screen is fantastic.
It also has light-up keys. So, if you’re nervous about your ability to follow correct music theory while producing this option can be a life saver.
You just have to tell the MIDI keyboard which key you are playing in and it will light up all the notes in the scale that you want. It’s so simple!
You don’t even have to learn music theory anymore.
There’s also a good chance you will be working with Native Instrument samplers and sample libraries – this keyboard will sync up perfectly with them.
I can’t say enough positive things about these keyboards.
The only downside is they are very expensive. One day, hopefully I will be rich enough to get my hands on one!
Best for people who can afford to buy the best equipment for their studio and want a premium option.
Tips Buying The Right MIDI Keyboard For FL Studio
You actually don’t really have to worry about compatibility very much anymore. Especially with modern midi keyboards.
Every keyboard on the list above will work easily with FL Studios without having to search around or download additional drivers.
Connecting Your MIDI Controller To FL Studios
To connect your controller to FL Studio simply go to Options -> MIDI settings and set the input and outputs.
The MIDI Settings page contains settings for MIDI driver input, output and syncing.
Additionally, it contains options related to MIDI keyboard recording and automation.
If you’ve never connected a MIDI keyboard before you can read everything you need to know here.
If you want to scope out a few more MIDI keyboards you can check out my other suggestions: