Unlocking the Potential: Configuring Mechanical Keyboards for Music Software

May 23, 2024

One of the many advantages of mechanical keyboards is that they can be programmed. Keyboard manufacturers often include free customization software that can be installed in their products. Communities also create open-source software that can expand your keyboard's capabilities even more.

But what about the music industry? Can mechanical keyboards accept software for producing music? Is there existing software that allows you to create, edit, and modify audio from your keyboard?

Let's go through this article and find out.

How Mechanical Keyboards Are Used in Music Production

eSports and computer gaming are the primary arenas of mechanical keyboards. However, mechanical keyboards are getting recognized for their amazing characteristics and features in other industries. That includes the music industry. Mechanical keyboards have several practical applications in music production:

  1. DAW Control and Navigation
    • Producers can map DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) commands like play, stop, rewind, and fast-forward to specific keys. This reduces the producer's or engineer's reliance on a mouse.
    • With layered key mappings, producers and engineers can switch between different command sets for various production stages (e.g., recording, mixing, mastering) without constantly changing software settings.
  2. Shortcut and Macro Execution
    • Programmable keys help automate repetitive tasks such as opening effects chains, exporting audio, or switching between tracks. They offer quick access to commonly used tools and effects, making workflows more efficient. 
  3. MIDI Control and Note Entry
    • Some mechanical keyboards can be mapped to act as MIDI input devices, allowing producers to play notes, trigger samples, or control virtual instruments through keypresses.
    • Keyboard shortcuts help manage MIDI note entries or autotuners.
  4. Project and Session Management
    • Keyboard shortcuts and macros simplify project management tasks like creating new projects, saving versions, or importing files.
    • Quick access to session controls (e.g., muting/unmuting tracks, soloing instruments) via assigned keys improves efficiency.

Benefits of Using Mechanical Keyboards in Music Production

Although they're still not mainstream in music production, mechanical keyboards are increasingly used in the industry due to their customizable features, tactile feedback, and durability. 

  1. Efficient Shortcut Access
    • DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) heavily rely on keyboard shortcuts for navigation and control. Mechanical keyboards enable producers to easily assign frequently used commands to specific keys or programmable layers.
    • Built-in macro keys can store complex macros, toggle effects, switch tracks, or launch specific plugins with a single key press.
  2. Custom Layouts and Key Mapping
    • Remapping keys or entire layouts allows producers to tailor their keyboard setup for their specific workflow. 
    • Labeling essential functions can be done by changing the keycaps. These help producers identify and press the right keys.
  3. Durability for Long Sessions
    • Mechanical keyboards are highly durable and are good long-term investments.
    • Hot-swappable switches allow producers to replace worn-out switches easily without buying a new keyboard.
  4. Creative Inspiration and Atmosphere
    • Many mechanical keyboards feature RGB backlighting. These can be used to enhance the studio ambiance.

Is There Music Production Software for Mechanical Keyboards?

Ableton Live Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

Mechanical keyboards are not primarily designed for music production. Thus, there isn't specific music production software solely designed for mechanical keyboards.

However, several DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) and keyboard management tools allow the integration of mechanical keyboards in music production workflows.

  1. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)
    • DAW Shortcuts: Most DAWs such as Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic Pro, and Pro Tools allow customization of keyboard shortcuts.
    • Macro Support: Some DAWs include native support for macros and custom key combinations. Users can automate tasks and navigate through production stages efficiently.
  2. Keyboard Management Software
    • Brand-Specific Tools: Many mechanical keyboard brands (e.g., Corsair, Razer, Logitech) have proprietary software to remap keys, program macros, and set up custom layouts.
    • Open-Source Tools: Software like QMK, VIA, and Karabiner-Elements can be used for advanced keyboard configurations.
  3. Macro Software
    • Third-Party Tools: Custom macros can be made with programs such as AutoHotkey (Windows) or Keyboard Maestro (macOS). These can be mapped to specific keystrokes or DAW commands.
  4. MIDI Mapping Tools
    • MIDI Translator Tools: Software like Bome MIDI Translator Pro can convert keyboard input into MIDI messages. This enables mechanical keyboards to have a somewhat limited function similar to MIDI controllers.

These software solutions aren't specifically for mechanical keyboards in music production. However, combining their capabilities with your mechanical keyboard's customization options can help improve music production workflow.

Examples of Music Production Software

Finally, let's take a look at some software commonly used in music production. These software examples help musicians, producers, and audio engineers achieve high-quality results across different music production processes from composition to mastering.

Perhaps in the future, many aspects of these apps and programs can be integrated into mechanical keyboards.

  1. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)
    • Ableton Live: Popular for electronic music production and live performances with its intuitive clip-based workflow
    • FL Studio: Offers a pattern-based approach suitable for electronic music producers and beat makers
    • Logic Pro: Apple’s powerful DAW with a range of tools for composition, recording, editing, and mixing
    • Pro Tools: Known for professional audio recording, editing, and mixing, used widely in commercial studios
    • Cubase: Offers a robust set of features for composition, scoring, and mixing
  2. Virtual Instruments and Plugins
    • Native Instruments Kontakt: A sampler and instrument library with a wide range of sounds
    • Spectrasonics Omnisphere: A versatile synthesizer plugin with a large library of sounds
    • Serum by Xfer Records: A wavetable synthesizer popular for electronic music production
    • iZotope Ozone and Neutron: Mastering and mixing suites with AI-driven features for analysis and adjustments
  3. Audio Effects Plugins
    • FabFilter Pro Series: Offers high-quality EQs, compressors, and limiters
    • Waves Plugins: A comprehensive collection of mixing and mastering effects
    • Soundtoys: Creative effects plugins, including delays, distortions, and modulation tools
  4. Scoring and Composition Software
    • Sibelius: Music notation software for scoring, orchestration, and arranging
    • Finale: Advanced notation software with a focus on flexibility
    • Dorico: A newer notation software with modern workflows and support for both scoring and playback
  5. Audio Editing Software
    • Audacity: A free, open-source editor suitable for basic editing tasks
    • Adobe Audition: Offers comprehensive audio editing tools for podcasting, sound design, and audio post-production.


Presently, there are no music-production-related programs or apps that can be installed on mechanical keyboards. However, this should not dissuade you from not using a mechanical keyboard in your musical endeavors. These computer peripherals can make your production processes easier and more efficient.

Additionally, technology is constantly evolving. Who knows? With such advancements, you may be able to create studio-quality music using your mechanical keyboard thanks to special, versatile software dedicated to creating music.

Chris Greiner, a Mechanical Keyboard specialist, boasts a solid educational background with dual bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Management from Lewis University. His additional certification in Mechanical Keyboard Design showcases his dedication to staying on the forefront of keyboard technology. Chris primarily writes for keyboard enthusiasts and has been featured on platforms like Jestik, solidifying his reputation as a thought leader in the mechanical keyboard community.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Pinstack is a dedicated online media platform focusing on selling and reviewing mechanical keyboards. Our commitment is to provide comprehensive reviews, in-depth guides, and much more. With our active presence on YouTube and our website, we strive to deliver top-quality content across multiple platforms, aiming to bring the best to our audience.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscription Form
We care about the protection of your data. We’ll never share your details.

Pinstack is an Amazon Affiliate. All earnings from this website are from qualified purchases. Learn more about our affiliate disclosure terms.
2023 - Copyright, All Rights Reserved
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x