There are a lot of programmable controllers with just knobs and sliders. One of the cheaper ones is the Korg NanoKontrol, but I don't know how easy it is to assign mod wheel and pitch bend. It is rather complete and got raving reviews. Behringer, Novation, Akai and M-Audio make similar products, as undoubtedly do other manufacturers. Some of them seem to have very small knobs, so test them before buying. You could consider a small keyboard with a few knobs and sliders instead.
The M-Audio Oxygen Series is a 2 octave controller keyboard - I use it in tandem with my piano-action Roland 88 (RD-100) key because the Roland does not have the pitch and mod wheels but the Oxygen 8 does.
I like to have a piano action and love having 88 keys.
A small desktop solution would be the Oxygen keyboard series. I used mine with a laptop to take to gigs - I could modify my Finale files to make score corrections at rehearsal and get the part to the player right away.
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.
The market is swamped with small keyboard controllers like you're asking about, Raymond. I see you got the Oxygen 25 USB. I bet it works for what you want just fine. That's the sort of thing which is really all a MIDI composer needs.
For years now I've only used a 49 key MK-4902. That's what I produced "Dorian" and everything else with. One programmable wheel, sustain pedal slot, pitch bend, CC7 volume control slider (not programmable) --that's it. For Aftertouch and anything else I want, I do it by hand in Sonar's PRV.
Raymond. I see you got the Oxygen 25 USB. I bet it works for what you want just fine. That's the sort of thing which is really all a MIDI composer needs.
... I am struggling with the manual. Again some "proza" written by programmer for "nerds". Isn't there anybody in this whole world who can imagine that a "layman" doesn't understand all that technical nonsense?
I'd wished winning the lottery, then I would go to those guys and tell them to make it easy for "simple minded" guys like me (haha).
By the way, today I met something very strange in Sonar. I had the midi envelope for CC#7 assigned. Did some testing with that "new thingie" and saw it "happening". All lines and nodes were drawn nicely. After that I assigned a new envelope for CC#1 and again I saw the info being drawn.
But when I hit the Spacebar again (or any knob/button) to stop the recording, those nicely drawn slopes just disappeared and were nowhere to find.
I will sort this out... but the first impression... strange, weird, unexpected, mind blowing,.........