61 Key keyboards are perfect for producers, DJ's and musicians like. They offer large format, midi map-able keyboards with features such as RGB trigger pads and other controls. They are a great way to create, control and perform your favourite melodies and songs without taking up too much room on your desk or living room.
Today we'll be looking at the best 61 key keyboards to suit every budget, from aspiring amateur musicians to international DJ's, there's something for everyone to consider.
Midi keyboards connect directly to your computer or laptop allowing you to convert analogue sound into a digital masterpiece. They also come with features such as light up keys to help you learn to play the keyboard as well as instrument voices.
So what makes 61 key keyboards different? Well they vary in key size, weight of the keys and whether or not it comes with feature pads or tones. Below we'll help you to choose the very best one for your specific needs.
Best 61 Key Keyboards
All the keyboards below are available to purchase on Amazon.com.au which offers fast delivery nationwide (usually free for prime or $39 spend).
1. Casio 61 Note Full Size LK280
If you’re looking for a beginner’s way to start learning either the piano or the keyboard, the Casio 61 note is a good option.
Resembling a traditional piano it gives the learner an introduction to the feel of an acoustic piano but with features which make the learning process easier than it is when starting with a full-size traditional piano.
The Casio LK280 has 600 built-in tones and features light-up keys to make learning easy and fun. The Key Lighting system shows the learner which keys to press when learning any of the pre-programmed 152 songs.
The Step-Up Lesson method helps the beginner to advance at their natural pace through a series of increasingly difficult tunes designed to teach without stress.
The keyboard has a 5-song 6-track recorder for those who are ready to compose and record their own music. It also has a 48-note polyphony.
The keyboard has a micro-SD card slot which enables the player to not only record songs on to that storage device but also to learn songs from music on the card once it’s been formatted.
Whenever a song is played, whether from the pre-programmed list which comes with the keyboard or from the micro-SD card storage, the keys will light up to allow the player to learn the song.
As a way for a learner wanting to progress to a standard acoustic piano in due course, or an aspiring electronic musician, this keyboard is a fun and really easy way to start off training your fingers and mind to play a musical instrument.
2. Yamaha PSR-E263 61-Key Portable Keyboard
61 key electronic keyboards are entry-level instruments for beginners who want to progress either to a traditional acoustic piano or to a full-size electronic keyboard.
This Yamaha portable keyboard has a lot of attractive features to recommend it to aspiring musicians.
It has an impressive 400 high-quality instrument Voices which allow for playing music from any genre. The 130 auto accompaniment styles provide backup sounds for the chords being played on the keyboard.
The teaching mode is a 3-step system which has Listening, Timing and Waiting modes for each hand and for both hands playing together. The lessons are supported by pre-programmed onboard Songs.
To aid the learning process the keyboard allows you to record and listen back to your playing for self-critique and for repeat playing with pausing until you get it right. The tempo of the playback will even change to match your repeat speed each time.
For added effect, there are 9 types of Reverb to introduce ambience into your playing, and a Chorus effect enriches the tone and timbre of the sound. Master EQ provides the best possible sound for different reproduction systems – built-in speakers, headphones or external speakers.
For a beginner's keyboard, the Yamaha PSR-E263 is an excellent choice at a very good price. It has many attractive features and is light and portable.
3. Alpha 61 Keys Lighted Keyboard
At a surprisingly low price which includes a stand, the Alpha 61 key lighted keyboard is an ideal beginner's keyboard for learning to play a keyboard before progressing to a full-size acoustic piano or larger sophisticated electronic keyboard.
The lighted key learning system is not unique to this brand but it is a very effective way to learn the keyboard.
The Alpha has a lot of features to recommend it. It has 255 rhythms, 255 timbres, a tempo and volume control, 50 demo songs, multiple chord options, 61 percussion effects, record and playback, to name a few.
The 3-step intelligent training function uses the lighted keys to guide your fingers through playing the pre-programmed songs. As you become familiar with the songs your fingers will remember the keys and won’t need the lighting.
And as you keep progressing your fingers will memorise the entire keyboard and you will learn how to read the sheet music and be competent to play without assistance. There is a Silent Practice mode which allows players to practice with a microphone input and USB port and headphones so as not to disturb others.
The keyboard has an LCD display and lots of sounds and functions.
The stand for the keyboard is very sturdy and height-adjustable, as well as being foldable for portability. And a music stand is also included.
4. Casio 61 Note Full Size LK265
With Casio’s Key Lighting system the LK265 portable 61 note electronic keyboard is a great way to start a beginner off on their magical journey through learning to play a musical instrument.
The lighted key progressive learning process makes learning a fun and easy way to learn how to navigate the keys and eventually to master them.
The keyboard features 60 Songs to learn, with the keys lighting up to show the learner which keys to press. The rhythms, instrumental sounds and songs keep one interested for many hours at a time. And the record and playback functions are not only fun but an integral part of the learning process.
For players who are already proficient enough to be creating their own music, there are 400 high-quality tones and 150 built-in rhythms.
There's a Dance Music mode to have fun with, creating and remixing electronic dance music really quickly and so easily. Create variations of drumbeats and bass parts with the lower register keys.
And Casio has an app, Chordana Play, which will help you learn all your favourite songs stored on your smartphone or tablet.
The keyboard has ports for headphones, for a sustainer pedal, a mic-in and mic-volume and audio-in. The keys and controls are touch-sensitive rather than push type. The keyboard can be powered by AC or by batteries.
5. Alesis 16/VI61 Advanced Midi
The Alesis Advanced 61 Key keyboard is a huge step up from most other 61 key keyboards out there. In fact, it is in a separate league altogether.
This is definitely NOT a beginner’s keyboard but a sophisticated piece of equipment suited to computer savvy and musically competent users – professional musicians and producers in particular.
It is a ‘USB/MIDI’ controller - that is a Musical Instrument Digital Interface controller. This is an instrument which operates in conjunction with your Mac or PC to produce amazing sounds.
The keys are velocity-sensitive semi-weighted with aftertouch and Octave Up/Down buttons. That means that you can expand it into a full-size keyboard with the complete melodic range of bass and treble notes.
Semi-weighted keys mean that they feel like the keys of an acoustic piano, ie that they require some degree of pressure.
This keyboard has been designed to integrate seamlessly with your music software via a USB connection which provides both power and the MIDI functionality.
The Alesis has 16 assignable knobs and 48 assignable buttons for you to play around with and use as you wish for manipulating plugin effects, virtual instruments, filters, volume control, parameter setting, and much more.
A host of premium music creation and production software is included with purchase, such as a tailored version of Pro Tools, Air Music Tech, Ableton Live Lite, Xpand2! etc.
Surprisingly the Alesis is portable and can be taken on the road or can be integrated into a studio environment.
This is beyond the scope of a review of 61 key keyboards. Suffice it to say that it is something else altogether!
A passionate blogger, mum of three and expert in product design. She’s studied extensively in Shanghai and now lives in the Gold Coast running her own business.