The 16 Pad MIDI Controller is a perfect beginner’s option for anyone looking to start playing music. The pads are made with rubber and feel very nice under your fingers, while the knobs on top give you great control over your sound. The 16 Pad comes in many different colors, from bright reds and blues to more subtle black or white models. Each controller has a built-in USB cable which makes it super easy to connect up to your computer without any extra equipment!
- The Best 16 Pad MIDI Controller
- 1. Akai Professional MPD226 | 16-Pad USB/MIDI Pad Controller
- 2. Alesis VI25 16 Pads MIDI Controller
- 3. Akai Professional MPD18 Compact Pad Controller
- 4. PreSonus ATOM Production and Performance 16 Pad MIDI Controller
- 5. Akai Professional MPD26 USB/Midi Pad Controller
- 6. AKAI Professional MPD218 | Ultra Portable USB Bus Powered 16 Pad USB/MIDI Pad Controller
- 7. Native Instruments Maschine Mikro Mk3 Drum Controller
- 8. Korg nanoPAD2 Slim-Line USB MIDI Pads
- 9. Akai Professional MPC Studio – 16 Pad MIDI Controller
- 10. IK Multimedia iRig Pads MIDI Groove Controller
- How To Choose 16 Pad Midi Controller
- 16 Pad MIDI Controller FAQs
The Best 16 Pad MIDI Controller
1. Akai Professional MPD226 | 16-Pad USB/MIDI Pad Controller
The MPD226 USB MIDI controller gives you everything you need to create beats on the go. Its ultra-portable design makes it easy to take anywhere, while its feature-packed build lets you produce professional beats wherever you are. With 16 Thick Fat RGB illuminated velocity and pressure-sensitive MPC pads, 4 assignable faders, 4 assignable Q-Link knobs, and 4 assignable Q-Link buttons, the MPD226 gives you unparalleled control over your beat production. And with Classic MPC Note Repeat, MPC Swing, 16 Level, Full Level and Tap Tempo controls, you can create expressive performances that bring your music to life.
The MPD226 provides a comprehensive software suite for music-making and sequencing, combining the finest beat production tools from Akai Professional’s MPC series with 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads that can light up in any color you want. Combine that with our robust MIDI inputs and Outputs, blend colors to produce a unique visual experience on the included 4 LED display, or plug in your iOS device to join the wireless revolution of Pad control capability using Apple’s Camera Connection Kit. The versatile MPD226 also includes Ableton Live Lite so you’ll be able to capture musical ideas quickly and streamline workflows before taking them further within your DAW of choice.
- Ultra mobile feature full, highly functional pad controller with 16 pads
- Readily accessible dedicated controllers for 4 pad banks supply a total of 64 assignable pads
2. Alesis VI25 16 Pads MIDI Controller
Alesis VI25 is the perfect MIDI keyboard controller for anyone looking to make music with Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, or any other DAW. With 25 full-sized keys and 16 trigger pads, it has everything you need to create beats and launch clips. The velocity-sensitive keys and aftertouch give you expressive control over your sounds, while the illuminated RGB feedback on the 16 pads makes it easy to see what’s going on during a performance. And with USB MIDI and 5-pin MIDI Out, VI25 offers flexible connectivity options.
The Alesis VI25 is a 25-key USB MIDI keyboard controller that features 16 pads and 16 assignable knobs for seamless visual feedback. The included production software, Ableton Live Lite and Xpand!2 by AIR Music Tech, makes it easy to start creating music right out of the box. And because it’s USB-powered and plug-and-play compatible with both Mac and PC, the VI25 can be up and running in seconds.
- 16 velocity-sensitive RGB activate pads Enable You to launch finger or clips drum
- 24 assignable buttons and 8 assignable knobs interface with your music Program
3. Akai Professional MPD18 Compact Pad Controller
The MPD18 is the simplest way to include real MPC pads for your installation. This MIDI-over-USB pad control for DJs, developers, manufacturers, along with other musicians is constructed round the pads and controllers by Akai Professional’s industry-standard MPC series. The MPD18 is a very expressive and intuitive tool for your own studio and stage. The MPD18 is constructed around the pads of this industry-standard MPC and comprises a number of the exact same technology that provides tracks created with all the MPC an unmistakably individual texture. The MPD18 is a highly expressive and intuitive controller for your own studio and period, and its compact footprint is not difficult to fit into almost any installation.
- 16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads
- Note Duplicate Allows You to quickly input patterns like hi-hat parts or drum rolls
4. PreSonus ATOM Production and Performance 16 Pad MIDI Controller
Ever feel like you’re still just not focusing and your creativity dried up? Maybe it’s because you’ve been staring at a screen too long? But how can we make music without the meticulously arranged samples, loops, and virtual instruments these days?! Well guess what! Now with PreSonus Atom production & performance midi pad controller, you’ll be able to get your mind off of the screens and back on to making some real magic. Produce; trigger loops and effects; play virtual instruments any way YOU want while staying in control.
And with sixteen RGB LED pads (and 8 assignable banks), this is one beautiful controller that won’t scare away any creatives who need some inspiration. So here’s the deal: design sounds on your software, bring in a track from your DAW and create a live performance with the loops. It’s easy when you have a controller that is designed to be both intuitive and inspiring!
- 16 full-size velocity- and pressure-sensitive, RGB LED pads
- Create, play with virtual devices, and trigger loops and samples together with unsurpassed expressiveness and versatility
5. Akai Professional MPD26 USB/Midi Pad Controller
The Akai Professional MPD26 USB/Midi Pad Controller is an affordable and portable controller that vastly expands the capabilities of your favorite DAW, with Ten levels of Undo/Redo in real time. Record and edit music in your favorite software while simultaneously playing live. Transport control over MIDI ensures timing perfection.
The Akai Professional MPD26 USB/Midi Pad Controller offers semi-weighted pitch and mod wheels for improved performance during pitch bends and modulation changes without accidental jumps when you’re performing live edits. Each pad features backlit buttons, providing excellent visibility in dark environments when cueing up samples or triggering loops from the touchscreen OLED display.
Get true hands-on control when shaping sounds on semi-weighted faders and knobs. The Akai MPD26 USB/Midi Pad Controller offers a comprehensive control surface for sequencing, mixing and other production applications.
- Access 64 samples on 16 strain and velocity-sensitive MPC pads together with four banks each
- Control virtually any 12 software parameters onto assignable Q-Link knobs and faders
6. AKAI Professional MPD218 | Ultra Portable USB Bus Powered 16 Pad USB/MIDI Pad Controller
Introducing the Akai Professional MPD218 MIDI Drum Pad Controller. This ultra-portable, feature-packed, and USB-powered pad controller is perfect for beat production, anywhere. With 16 thick fat MPC pads, assignable controls, and expandable banks, you’ll be able to create expressive performances with ease. Plus, the MPD218 sports 18 fully assignable 360-degree potentiometers accessible via three banks – perfect for controlling DAW, virtual effect, and virtual instrument parameters. The MPC note repeat and full level controls let you get creative with immersive expressive performances. So get your hands on an Akai Professional MPD218 MIDI Drum Pad Controller today!
Create beats and music with the Akai Professional MPD218 MIDI Drum Pad Controller. This controller comes with a comprehensive software suite that includes Ableton Live Lite and Drum Synth 500 by AIR Music Tech. The MPC Production Experience also includes MPC Beats Software, complete with essential production tools from the Akai Professional MPC Series. The controller is also iOS connectivity-covered, so you can control your iOS apps and open up a world of pad control capability using the Camera Connection Kit
- 16 ultra-sensitive, hyper-playable Thick Fat MPC pads
- Lightweight, ultra-portable and slim-line footprint
7. Native Instruments Maschine Mikro Mk3 Drum Controller
Native Instruments Maschine Mikro Mk3 is the beat maker you want to have on hand for any creative project that needs a new drum or melody. This compact music production instrument features four ways of inputting sound using its 16 pads, making it possible to play melodies with Keyboard mode, create more interesting chord progressions in Chord mode, and program an innovative sequence of patterns from Step mode. The tactile interface can also be used as a MIDI controller for computer-based music sequencing software. It’s easy to see why many professional musicians use this durable electronic device on their tours and remote recording sessions – at home or away.”
The Native Instruments Maschine Mikro Mk3 Drum Controller offers a variety of samples, patterns and loops to use in your productions. It also comes with its own sound bank designed for percussive electronic drum sounds such as house, techno and dubstep. The unit is compact and portable so it can be used anywhere you want!
- The dual-touch Smart Strip provides you with ways to play with sounds
- Automate any parameter, use lock to try out ideas, and hit note repeat to make quick fire drum rolls and arpeggios.
8. Korg nanoPAD2 Slim-Line USB MIDI Pads
16 velocity-sensitive pads give excellent response, providing drum components which are full of life. Four switchable scenes provide 64 different pad assignments. The X-Y pad may control several synthesizer parameters. Utilize the brand new”Touch Scale” work to play phrases onto the X-Y touchpad. Simply pick one of sixteen distinct scales, define the root key and note range to meet your song.
- Low-profile, multi-function control coating
- New track pick and mark advance parameters
9. Akai Professional MPC Studio – 16 Pad MIDI Controller
The Korg nanoPAD2 is a great mate for almost any type of production machine. It’s an ultra-thin controller that just won’t get in the way, and you’ll find plenty of reasons to use it with your software package of choice. With sixteen velocity-sensitive pads, configurable controls for each pad, and pressure sensitivity on the X‑Y touchpad so simple drumming becomes effortless, this instrument has all the features you need without sacrificing portability. Plug it in using one of two USB terminals: either into your laptops or desktop workstation; or straight into an outlet anywhere thanks to its internal Li+ battery which powers the unit for over five hours! The nano pad 2 also includes knobs and faders for real-time control over your DAW. But the best thing about it? It’s small enough to fit in your pocket when you’re not using it.
- Fuses mythical MPC production with all the processing capacity of your PC
- Huge LCD display enables you to make tracks Without Needing to look at your PC
10. IK Multimedia iRig Pads MIDI Groove Controller
The iRig Pads controller is a perfect tool for producers on the run. It’s ultra-portable size and slim form factor can be taken with you anywhere from London to Kyoto, transforming your iPhone into an expansive groove production station that is ready for any adventure. The 16 velocity-sensitive backlit rubber pads light multiple colors depending on velocity and outgoing and incoming MIDI messages which makes the possibilities almost limitless – never worry about forgetting your grooves again!
With two MIDI knobs, two pushbuttons, one slider, and a pushbutton rotary encoder all programmable, 16 user-programmable MIDI scenes for instant recall of custom maps rack up hours of seamless creativity to share out around the world. And because it’s universally compatible with both iOS and OS X, you can be sure that your iRig Pads controller will fit right into any groove production workflow.
- 16-velocity-sensitive backlit rubber pads
- 2 MIDI knobs, two pushbuttons, 1 slider and a pushbutton rotary encoder
How To Choose 16 Pad Midi Controller
Number of Keys
MIDI controllers are available in a different number of keys. You have to choose accordingly. For home use, you can go for 25 keys, while if you are interested in producing music on a professional level then you should rent something with 49 keys or more.
Though there are some new MIDI controllers that have 61 keys the market is still dominated by midi keyboards with 49 and 61 buttons. This is because many producers prefer not to spend money just on a touch-sensitive surface but also want to take control over sounds using knobs and faders.
The number of pads matters too when it comes to living performances. The quality of the controller depends on the key count and will be reflected in your performance.
Most keyboards come with full keys that are 3.5 to 4.3 inches long and 1 inch high. As a beginner, you should stick with smaller keys as they are easier to play and offer portability too. However, users consider all MIDI keyboards incomplete without weighted keys which have a weight of around 88 grams for each key.
If budget is not an issue then you should go for the expensive model with full-sized keys, but if it’s a matter of choice between full size or mini keyboard then pro musicians may want to choose the latter because the smaller pad enables them to use more space on stage.
This factor differs from one model to another so you need not pay attention to this unless your controller has built-in microphones . These days controllers come equipped with multiple microphone inputs, though some of them lack this option.
If you are at home and use your computer to produce music with the help MIDI controller then it is not necessary for you to invest in a model with built-in microphones. This can be done by means of external mics that may further increase the price tag of the unit.
If you want to connect your controller to your laptop or desktop computer then most models come with USB connectivity. There are also some advanced controllers that come equipped with 3.5 mm jack which offers compatibility with iPhone, iPads, and other mobile devices. It is advisable for beginners not to think beyond USB connectivity as they will only complicate things for you.
You must check if the model you are about to buy has after-touch, hammer action, or velocity sensitive keys. The first two models are ideally suited for live performances because they enable players to control how much an instrument sounds when pressed.
The third one enables the keyboardist to create music based on the fastness of striking a key. This feature is beneficial in creating banging beats and loops. Aftertouch further enables the musicians to overdub his/her own performance by pressing harder or softer on the midi keyboard.
You should go for something that is sturdy enough so that it does not break down during your shows. However, durability can also depend entirely on the player’s skill level. If you are a novice then do not spend too much money on something expensive because it will be difficult for you to manage the keyboard.
However, professionals should avoid cheap MIDI controllers as they are obviously not built to last. Quality of material is an important factor while deciding on the product’s price tag. If it isn’t made of quality stuff then you shouldn’t go for it even if it costs less, because that would end up eating into your savings.
No matter how large or small your budget might be, choosing a MIDI controller requires lots of research on your part. Unlike traditional pianos, these are available in plenty so there is always something new coming onto the market. However, this has become easier with reviews available online which enable buyers to do proper research prior to their purchase.
16 Pad MIDI Controller FAQs
1. How do I use it?
It’s not too difficult to learn how to use this MIDI controller; but if you’re having any problems, simply check out the manual or website to find detailed instructions for proper usage.
2. Is it easy to carry around?
The downside of this MIDI controller is that it isn’t exactly small or lightweight. However, once you become experienced enough with midi-programming, portability won’t be an issue because you’ll know exactly what you need and don’t need during live performance. Furthermore, there are products like the M Audio Axiom AIR 61 which allows you to easily connect your computer keyboard for mobile purposes.
3. Do I really need all these knobs and sliders?
If you’re only using the included software like FL Studio, then you really don’t need to worry about tweaking too many knobs and sliders. But if you plan on performing live with it, or are looking to expand your capabilities in midi-programming; there is nothing more important than these controls because they give you better quality control over any assignment.
4. Is there a warranty?
Yes! The controller comes with a 1-year limited warranty on parts and labor. There are no shipping costs involved either which makes it even more hassle-free for buyers who aren’t located in the United States of America.
5. Will this product ever be outdated?
MIDI controllers might not offer all the functions of actual keyboards, but they are always being updated with new features so there’s no way you can be stuck using the same old model every time a new one comes out. Furthermore, most upgrades are free of charge which means that you won’t be losing any money when it comes to purchasing this product in the future.
In this article, we have gone through all 16 best MIDI controller pads for keyboards in 2021. We have selected the top products based on their features or price range, to help get you started with choosing which product may be right for you!