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Topic: Anyone have suggestions for a good midi controller?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Mesquite (Dallas)

    Question Anyone have suggestions for a good midi controller?

    Hi, does anyone have any suggestions for a good but not very expensive midi controller keyboard? I had been using a 61 key Roland XP-50, but one of the switches broke on it last night. I will probably go ahead and get it repaired, but I’m thinking about getting a 76 or 88 key midi controller keyboard to hook up to my computer for my sequencing work. I don’t really know very much about them or how they vary from brand to brand, but I would basically want it to have a good (and if possibly, quiet) “feel” to it when you play it. My Roland has served me well over the years, but when you’re playing it with the headphones on, your roommates hear a lot of “clackety clack” from the keys.

    I really do not want to get one with weighted keys. The most important thing to me would be that the keys have great sensitivity, after touch, etc. so that all the little subtle nuances when I’m playing are caught when I’m recording tracks on my sequencer. The other thing of course would be that it has a good, user friendly expression/mod lever or wheel. My Roland XP-50 (my first and only keyboard) has an expression/mod lever which took some getting used to when I first got GPO as my left hand hardly ever leaves the lever, but I am accustomed to it now. However, if anyone has used both the expression lever and the expression wheel before and has a preference this information could be helpful too. I have been checking out Sweetwater and Guitar Center’s midi controllers and to be honest I am a little overwhelmed right now. I intend to go to the local Guitar Center tomorrow and try some of them out. I know it will boil down to personal preference, but if anyone has any suggestions/advice on the matter I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
    "The above remarks must not be taken as pointing backwards to the bad old days when viola players were selected merely because they were too wicked or too senile to play the violin. Those days are happily gone forever." [-Cecil Forsyth on "The Viola," Orchestration]

  2. #2

    Re: Anyone have suggestions for a good midi controller?

    Hi Frodo,

    I'm sure we all have our favorites; I've grown to really like my two M-Audio Axiom controllers (I have a 25-key to travel with and a 61 for my home office/studio). Velocity sensitive with aftertouch and SEMI-weighted, full-size keys, whichI think feel very responsive (and quiet!)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Orlando, Florida

    Re: Anyone have suggestions for a good midi controller?

    I really like the M-Audio Pro-88 Stage Piano, if you have the bucks. I bought one for our Church.


    Keith W/

  4. #4

    Re: Anyone have suggestions for a good midi controller?

    i use the axiom 25 as well. i have a 66-68 (not sure) keyboard that runs through my axiom. i use the bigger when i need a lot of keys. the axiom is great because its not too too bad on price and it has everything. one thing that most don't have anymore is aftertouch, and only the really expensive ones do. the axiom does have aftertouch, which in my opinion is essential with the strad and gof. it might even be used with the GPOA (not sure).

    so, in short - i'd suggest the axiom, and it comes it larger sizes, i just didn't need all that. it has all the great features including knobs and faders (only on the larger sizes), and also drum pads that help out sometimes.
    -Keith Fuller

    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  5. #5

    Lightbulb Re: Anyone have suggestions for a good midi controller?

    I purchased a 76 key CME UF70 and have really liked it. It has knobs, sliders, wireless MIDI and is inexpensive. I like the feel of the semi-weighted keys and the keyboard offers both velocity curves and aftertouch. (Velocity curves allow you to change how the keyboard reacts to your particular touch. In other words, if you are heavy handed it will compensate and `tone down' your key presses or vice versa. Many controllers offer this.) It is worth taking a look at.

    No matter what, I suggest you do not purchase a controller without having played on it first. Getting the right feel is paramount in importance and controllers differ a great deal. If you get something that does not feel right you will not be a happy camper.

    Good luck with your search!

    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  6. #6

    Re: Anyone have suggestions for a good midi controller?

    I use the M-audio Axiom 61 and I like it a lot. It has plenty of knobs and faders for controlling Midi CCs, and the keys feel pretty good with the semi-weighted response.

    Hope this helps,


  7. #7

    Re: Anyone have suggestions for a good midi controller?

    Axiom's aren't bad at all, but I encourage you to look into Edirol's PCR series as well.

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