Best PC keyboard and/or midi controller for Renoise

Greetings… and here`s my first post on Renoise forums!

I have ZERO experience with trackers, and I am about to pull the trigger on Renoise because it looks awesome and refreshing and inspiring (although I`m also sticking with Reaper for recording, routing, etc… and because Reaper is truly an amazing DAW).

a) My Lenovo Thinkpad W520 laptop keyboard seems fine for Renoise, but I`m wondering if I should get a decent external PC keyboard that pairs beautifully (function-wise, of course) with Renoise. Any suggestions?

b) Also, if my laptop keyboard will ultimately suffice, perhaps a recommendation for a MIDI controller that pairs really well with Renoise.

Either way, any ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


PC Keyboard:

  • i don’t think there is a keyboard that qualifies in a special way for dedicated renoise use. you might want one with a numpad though, as it usually comes in very handy whilst renoising.

MIDI Keyboard:

haven’t tested it personally though.


Regarding controllers, this is something of an FAQ here

The short answer: It depends.

It depends on budget, desk space, type of music, what combination of keys, pads, knobs, sliders is important, etc.

I’m a fan of the AKAI MPK MkII mini.

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Ah, yes… a numpad! I`ll make sure the pc keyboard has one!

Looking into the Keylab MKII as well…

Thx for your input!

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The AKAI MPK MkII mini looks perfect (small footprint too). Checking it out further. Thank you for your help!

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Yeah imma chime in on the numpad. Sample selection, loop block controls and track muting. Every time I look at a laptop if it don’t got a numpad then nope.

This one is new, and looks solid to me, for a small device. Also the only small one providing aftertouch. Still the foot pedal connector is missing, but hey, for nowadays it seems to be a good feature set:


Makes sense… thx man.

The Keystep 37 looks awesome. I`m going to try one at my local music store. Thx!

as long as there is an ‘alt’ key its all good because you can remap ‘insert’ to ‘shift+enter’, that way you dont need a numpad, so you can get the cheapest yet greatest keyboard like ‘advent akbmm15’. The gaming keyboards are so loud and uncomfortable, with annoying lights and non-wireless, too wide.

As for midi keyboards, I have also heard that arturia keystep is pretty great, but there is a cheap version too (arturia microlab) which looks good for saving money…and pretty much the same if you dont need control voltage, extra knobs and an inbuilt sequencer. Its a big difference in price.

Also I love my akai MPD218, although it could be a bit more sensitive still.
Drumming makes everything more fun for me personally.

If you have alot of money to spend then arturia keystep with ‘touche’ might be kind of awesome for epressive live play keyboards

just as an afterthought, I really wish the cheap midi keyboards and drumpads would come with a hard plastic case like the melodicas do.

You cant really just throw them into a backpack without a hard plastic case they, twist a bit and keys get mushed around, knobs get pushed in ways they shouldnt…a hard plastic case should be included as standard. It would make things much easier.

just hard plastic like the melodica cases would be fine.

I found a case for the mpd218. Its O.K, but the material is not that hard.
So I really hope for hard cases included as standard for backpackin’ or whatever…

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Ah, I did not know about the alt key. Since my laptop already has the alt, ins keys, I may be fine with it as it is (for Renoise, that is). The Arturia Keystep looks great (might pick one up). Thx for your suggestions! Much appreciated!

i use the alt key a lot for editing samples (alt + ctrl + s, alt + ctrl + a).

i have no insert key for pushing stuff down (opposite of backspace) in pattern editor so i remapped to shift + enter (which was suggested to me by someone here on the forum a while back). great idea, saves money on keyboards (and deskspce with keyboards that are too wide).