Posted  by 

Garageband Midi Keyboard

  1. Garageband Compatible Keyboards
  2. Ipad Garageband Midi Keyboard
  3. Program Midi Keyboard Garageband
  4. Music Software For Midi Keyboard

Nov 01, 2015  In order to hear what you are playing and to make the instrument show in Garageband, use the left audio out on the keyboard then connect that to your mac. Open Garageband and add as.

Here in North America the NHL playoffs are now in full swing and perhaps you're inspired to play some rocking organ! With GB on the iPad we get some great keyboard sounds with nifty screen controls! N
  1. Connect the Keyboard to the iPad using the iRig MIDI. Open GarageBand, tap the + symbol in the top left and tap New Song. Select Keyboard. Tap and choose a keyboard. Hint: there are lots of amazing ones - give them all a try!
  2. Oct 12, 2011  Recording music with a USB MIDI keyboard and Garageband. Recording music with a USB MIDI keyboard and Garageband. Skip navigation. Recording a MIDI Keyboard on an iMac.
  3. Apr 24, 2012  Question: Q: connecting a midi keyboard to iPad garageband? This is something that is very easy to do on my macbook using either garageband or logic express. However, I am not sure how to do it on the ipad or if it is even possible.

Here in North America the NHL playoffs are now in full swing and perhaps you’re inspired to play some rocking organ! With GarageBand for iPad we get some great keyboard sounds with nifty screen controls! Not only can we use these keys in our songs that we’re recording, but as I explained in a recent tutorial, live use is also a possibility!

Setup and Equipment Needed

There are a few things we need.

  • Controller Keyboard with power supply - There are many to choose from and I use an Axiom Pro 61. You will definitely need the power supply as the iPad does not provide power through it’s dock port. If you want to use the Korg Nano series, you will need a USB hub with power supply.
  • Camera Connection Kit - Our keyboard controller communicates with GB through this device.

Axiom Pro 61

Apple's Camera Connection Kit


Each instrument has it’s own layout (organ with drawbars, synths with filter controls) but also there are some functions just above the keyboard and these will vary with the instrument selected. For example, “Sustain” will be on piano but not organ, organ will have the “Rotary” switch for the Leslie, all depending on the instrument.

Although we’re going to be using a keyboard controller, if you want to use the onscreen keyboard, you get different controls for how your screen keyboard responds. On the far left is an “Octave” plus and minus. A middle button for “Glissando”, “Scroll”, “Pitch” which vary again depending on the instrument selected and the right side has a “Scale”, “Arpeggiator” and “Keyboard Layout”.

“Glissando” lets you slide across the keys like a real keyboard would. Think of the piano player using the back of his hand and sliding up or down the keys.

“Scroll” allows you to play a note and while holding it, slide the keyboard up or down. Useful if you need to get into different octaves of the on screen keyboard quickly.

“Pitch” is a like a pitch bend wheel but lets you pitch up or down between notes simply by sliding your finger. Great for the vintage synths!

“Scale” is great for solos if you want to try different sounding scales in a piece of music. Once you pick the scale you want to use, the keyboard becomes more like a single row marimba minus the #/b keys. If you use a kb controller, you will still have all the notes available but you can learn what notes are used by playing them on the iPad and matching them on your keyboard. You’ll soon be playing “Klezmer” with ease!

“Arpeggiator” is your freedom to play multiple notes with one chord held down. You can choose note order, rate, and octave range. Great for dance tunes or your version of “Teenage Wasteland”! Unfortunately, the arpeggiator does not work with a KB Controller.

“Keyboard Layout/Velocity/Key Controls” - You can choose how you would like the onscreen keyboard to be set up with choices for one or two keyboards and octave range.
“Velocity” on and off is simple enough but you also can control the velocity range depending on the instrument (no velocity for organ since there is none!) left to the middle of the screen.
“Key Controls” simply turns on and off the view of the middle button for “Glissando”, etc.
There is also a hidden feature that is very cool and similar to an aftertouch on a KB controller. Load in the “Vintage Lead” preset under “Synth Lead” and strike a note. Now move your finger up and down that note.. instant filter sweep!

Keyboard Controller

Plug your keyboard into your Camera Connection Kit and make sure it’s secure as I find it can pop out easily. If it does, you may need to restart your iPad to get control again. Open up GB and navigate to the “Keyboard” instrument. Once this opens you can then select from pianos,organs, synths, etc. by tapping on the instrument in the middle of the screen. You can even store your own presets.
Again, think of the iPad screen as the controls for the organs drawbars or synths filters. Unfortunately GB won’t record this data during recording. Pitch bend and Mod wheels will respond on your controller as will velocity and after touch. Also, there are no ways to assign a KB controller’s sliders or knobs to say, organ drawbars or synth knobs, although I did find my “master” slider with MIDI CC#7 controlled instrument volume.

Using “Smart Instruments”

One feature I wish GB would allow is the use of “autoplay” but controlled via the KB controller. But there are some interesting ideas you can do by combining the “autoplay” feature and your keyboard. For example, select “Smart Keyboard” and choose one of the 4 “autoplay” modes. You then will see 3 bars with a chord on the top bar. The bar with the chord plays both left and right hand accompaniments, the middle bar is right hand only and the bottom is left hand bass. If you hit the top bar, you could solo on the KB controller. The middle bar could allow you to try bass combinations such as G-G/F-G/E or perhaps a piano bass line with a distinctive melody. Be careful though as the sustain is used most likely and can mush up your sound in the bass line. Using the bottom bar would allow you again more right hand solos or your own accompaniment.

If you want any electric or acoustic bass instruments, you will need to use “Smart Bass”. Using the acoustic bass gives a feature that is hard to emulate on the KB controller unless you get good with the pitch bend wheel.. sliding your finger along a fretless neck. Simply select Acoustic Bass, switch the “Chords” to “Notes” and tap on the screen. It adds some realism to the bass line and with some practice, can give some convincing results. Further editing can be done on GB on your Mac.

“Smart Guitar” is very similar to the smart keyboard and bass features with one additional feature. If you use your KB Controller, you can strike chords on your keys!Now you can use the “autoplay” feature for arpeggiated chords and “strum” chords on your keyboard. Great too for having ostinato picking patterns with multiple chord changes.

Recording Tips

First and foremost.. PRACTICE! Yes.. I said that again as I did in the last tutorial. GB on the iPad does not allow editing like GB on a Mac . Not even MIDI editing for wrong notes. Maybe in version 2.. BUT.. you can slow down the tempo, unlike the Guitar/Audio recording section, and speed it up after. If needed later, you can open up the song on your Mac and edit it there. You also can save time by recording repetitive parts and then looping them. Simply record your part, double tap on the track region and select “Loop”.

If your timing is not that great or you need to tighten up a section, “Quantization” will help. Simply tap on the top right “Mixer” in the Track view and select your quantization value. Use the fastest value you played. For example, if a lead synth line played as fast as 16th notes, use the 1/16 Note value. Quantization will also affect all of the tracks regions in a section! But.. you can have different quantization on each section if a part gets moved from one section to another. Confused? Yeah.. me too at first. If you quantize a part in Section A to 1/8 notes but then move it to Section B that is quantized to 1/16 notes, the new part will show “Multiple”. This is something I seriously hope Apple fixes as it’s frustrating if you need multiple quantizations within a section.

Also, don’t be afraid to record a part and try different instruments as your song may take on a whole new flavor choosing a clav instead of a piano for example. Try duplicating the track with a similar synth but with a different filter cutoff and panned hard left and right. Or use two totally different synths. Bass lines can get really fat with this idea! Slow your song down and play in your own idea of an arpeggiated pattern.. speed up and loop!
Stay tuned for more GarageBand for iPad tips and tutorials. Till next time..don’t drive your neighbors nuts with the Minimoog playing Axel F or Tom Sawyer synth leads.

Disclaimer: Links throughout the article may be affiliated. If you click and make a purchase, I get a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Developed in 2004, Apple’s Garageband quickly rose to the top for DAWs that were great for beginners. It has a simple layout and it is relatively easy to develop your songs on. The best MIDI keyboard for Garageband is going to be an option that is cheaper, portable, & compatible.

The good thing about this is that Garageband is a very common free DAW (digital audio workstation) or in other words: recording studio.

MIDI keyboards are definitely one of the most important purchases you can make when it comes to music production and songwriting.

If you’re looking to just wet your feet with making beats and producing music, Garageband makes for an easy choice as it comes with MACs and IOS. You can now download it for Windows as well.

My personal opinion is that you should just get a cheaper MIDI keyboard to use with Garageband as you get used to learning music production.

Because of this, I’m excluding some of the more expensive options I would recommend to just keep it simple.

If you’re curious to more expensive options, you can read more about MIDI controllers and my favorite 88 key MIDI keyboards in the links above.

Note: I’ve played every MIDI keyboard that I talk about in any of these articles. I have also spent years touring the country playing keyboards in a moderately well-known band. This article is meant to give you a better understanding and help make a decision.


  • 1 Best MIDI Keyboards For Garageband
    • 1.1 Novation Launchkey Mini MK3
    • 1.2 Arturia Microlab
    • 1.3 M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3
    • 1.4 Nektar LX 61 +
    • 1.5 Arturia Keystep Pro – Best All-Around

Best MIDI Keyboards For Garageband

Below are my favorite picks for Garageband. I hope you find this list helpful!

Novation Launchkey Mini MK3

The Novation Launchkey Mini MK 3 is an incredible mini controller that works really well with all major DAWs. The integration is flawless with Garageband and Novation typically makes super user-friendly controllers in general.

You are presented with 16 pads, & 8 knobs. Another big win for Novation with this controller is that you can also control hardware synthesizers with it.

This means that if you have a really nice hardware synth that you want to control, you now have an incredibly cheap way to do so with the Mini MK 3.

Up until recently, the Akai MPK Mini MK2 was the best option for mini controllers, but now with the Novation Mini MK3, it’s hard to not have it as my top pick.


  • 16 velocity-sensitive pads
  • Comes with impressive free software including Ableton Live Lite
  • Fully controls Ableton Live
  • 8 rotary knobs
  • Pitch & Mod sliders
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use


  • Smaller keys

Arturia Microlab

The Arturia Microlab is one of the smallest and portable MIDI keyboards currently available. With this being said, it doesn’t have a ton of different features to play with.

The Microlab comes in 3 different colors that all look pretty cool in my opinion. One of the nice features with the Microlab is that it actually has a built-in USB cable that retracts.

This is convenient if you’re looking to just throw it in your backpack while traveling. You also don’t need to remember an additional USB cable either.

As far as features, this is a pretty stripped down controller that is made for producers on the go or for beginner producers.


  • Retractable USB cable
  • Only weighs 1.8 lbs
  • Comes with bundled software
  • Inexpensive
  • Works great with Garageband
  • Easy to use

Garageband Compatible Keyboards


  • Limited features
  • No pads
  • Small keys

M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3

The M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is a keyboard I recently started recommending. You can get it in 49,61 or 88 keys, but the 49 key model is the cheapest.

There aren’t really a ton of features with this controller, but it has all the beginner essentials that you need.

You will find a pitch-bend and modulation wheel that feel pretty decent in structure.

Nov 26, 2019  TeamViewer 14.7.1965 is currently the newest version available' I'm from a Mac running Mojave 10.14.6 going to a PC running Win 10 Pro - just downloaded the. I have a TeamViewer license, I have been using it for more than a year, now I have a problem. I maintain a lot of computers and they started to update automatically to the new version. Why did they automatically update and complicate my work, because I did not give such permission to the program? With the first start automatic partner IDs are generated on both computers. Enter your partner's ID into TeamViewer and the connection is established immediately. Features and Highlights Remote Control without Installation With TeamViewer for macOS you can remotely control any Mac anywhere on the Internet. No installation is required, just run the application on both sides and connect - even through. I just had a customer who'd just downloaded Teamviewer 12. I got a dialog telling me the other end was using a newer version, and would I like to upgrade. Since yesterday mac users can test the new OS and explore the new features. The public beta for the new macOS is of course fascinating news for a lot of us, and we are happy to let you know, that our developers are already working on making TeamViewer fully compatible with the new OS and we will let you know once we finished our coding and testing. Teamviewer mac your partner uses a newer version.


  • Great bundled software including Ableton Live Lite & Skoove
  • Lightweight
  • Full-sized velocity-sensitive keys
  • iPad & iPhone compatible (Great for Garageband App)
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • Very slim


  • Not a lot of features
  • Lacks pads

Nektar LX 61 +


The Nektar LX 61+ is a great controller that you can use with Garageband. What I like about this option is that it has 61 full-sized keys, 8 pads, as well as faders and rotary knobs.

This is one of the most affordable 61 key MIDI keyboards currently available on the market.

The Lx 61 + includes the DAW software Bitwig and this is a great software to have when you’re starting out.

What’s nice about this software is that it’s easy to use and it’s been streamlined for beginners.

I’ve been recommending the LX 61 + a lot lately for many other DAWs just because of its simplicity and the fact that it has 61 full-sized keys.

If you’re a fan of ripping solos, you can do so nicely by taking advantage of the number of keys as well as using the modulation wheel and pitch-bend.

One thing that I feel like people complain about with this controller is that the key-bed isn’t great. While I do agree, I feel like that’s more on the buyer. It’s relatively inexpensive for a MIDI controller and it’s not a digital piano.

It doesn’t have weighted keys and its primary goal isn’t to replicate an acoustic piano, it’s to transfer MIDI and allow you to write music.

If you’re looking to spend around this price range, check out my guide to the best digital pianos under $300 if you’re looking for a good key-bed with 88 keys.


  • 61 Full-sized keys
  • Included DAW software (Bitwig)
  • Full transport buttons
  • Pre-mapped
  • 8 pads
  • 9 faders
  • 8 control pots
  • Only weighs 9 lbs


  • Key-bed isn’t the greatest

Arturia Keystep Pro – Best All-Around

The Arturia Keystep Pro is a brand new controller from Arturia that is a little bit steep in price compared to the others that I will mention.

With this being said, this is easily one of the most advanced controllers that you can own currently. For a very long time, the original Keystep by Arturia was kind of a best-kept secret that not all producers even knew about.

With the Keystep Pro, it’s no longer really a secret and it is now being recommended to all producers and musicians.

It is equipped with a 4-track polyphonic sequencer, & a dedicated 16-track sequencer.

This controller works extremely well with all major DAWs including Garageband. With this being said, it’s not specifically made for Garageband and doesn’t have special functions for it.


Ipad Garageband Midi Keyboard

  • 4 track sequencer
  • 16 track drum sequencer
  • Aftertouch
  • Polyrhythmic sequencing
  • 7 different arpeggiator modes
  • Lightweight
  • Metronome out
  • Aftertouch & velocity-sensitive
  • One of the best MIDI keyboards currently available


  • A little bit more expensive

Program Midi Keyboard Garageband


Music Software For Midi Keyboard

Keep in mind that there are tons of different DAWs out there that you can use with your MIDI controllers. I think that the ones featured in this article are the best controllers for Garageband as they all have a nice price tag and there’s a good range of sizes.