What are you guys using for MIDI controllers?

Hi all, presently Im controlling my Shruthi-1 with my DSI mopho Keys, but I need to buy a dedicated MIDI controller, what are you guys using? and do you have any recommendations or products to avoid? thanks

I use my V-Synth for a controller. Big and has aftertouch.

Best to avoid anything that is USB MIDI only. You want real outputs too.

Yups. I have a Novation SL Thingie, its OK as long as theres no Load on the USB but if it theres a bit of Audio on the Port and yo think about timing…so i solely use the MIDI Ports from that one. For me works best any real MIDI capable Keyboard and a tight MIDI Interface (AMT-8/Unitor on MacOS X). So your MoPho Key should be OK - its made by the Inventor of MIDI :wink:

I know, but I want to play that too but use different keys :frowning:

I have an old Roland XP-10 multitimbral synth I will be using/modifying (going to put a shruthi inside it! possibly with a midipal as well). I also use an MPK-61 (has USB-MIDI as well as standard MIDI). I also have other MIDI devices (USB and through the interface on my pc with its MIDI outs). The MPK I have is nice because you can set its faders, buttons, and knobs to wherever, you want. 16 pads as well, though they aren’t very sensitive.

I agree with the “stay away from USB MIDI”, very good advice. I have a Roland A-37 that I was using and now have a Roland A90EX, but I also use my Kurzweil K2600XS as a controller too. The A-37 is cool because it has two MIDI outs, so I would hook one to the 4PM Shruthi and one to the SMR4 Shruthi and I could split or layer the keyboard. The A90 is even better with 4 MIDI outs, but is alot heavier and a bit more complicated. If you can find a Roland A-37, they work great. Only catch with a controller only keyboard is that it’s a bit of a waste in some ways because it doesn’t have any internal sounds, but it’s the only easy way to get multiple MIDI outs. My A90 is the EX version, so it has sounds too.

Im kicking myself because a local dude had a Yamaha shs-01 keytar for like 70 bucks, and i found out its a MIDI controller :frowning:

I have a miditech midicontrol 2, it’s cheap but it’s a pure crap, regularly note off signals are not sent, which is very annoying (and it’s the case with any of my hardware midi synths, so I suppose that the controller is the source of my problems…).Wouldn’t recommend that.

How about the Akai MPK49? although you could get a 2nd hand synth for that price. But it has some nice features.

I’m using this

But in white.

I’ve had no real problems with USB midi over the years. Although I do tend to make sure that USB midi gear is plugged into either it’s own USB port/bus, or at least a port that I know isn’t very busy…

Anyway, I don’t have one of these, but I think I would quite like one…


It has usb, and midi (Im assuming it can also operate without a computer…?). It can also output CV (!), has 12 drum pads and 8 funky touch sensitive LED faders. And given that I am no Rachmaninov, 49 keys would suit me just fine too (and thats still more than you got on the Mopho). Plus there is an arpegiator & sequencer in there.

Like Frank I’ve got a Novation SL (MkII) controller, but I’m not worried about USB MIDI timing, since on all my tests USB MIDI ports tend to perform nearly as well as posts on PCI/PCIe cards, and generally a whole lot better than those found on Firewire audio interfaces.

@herrprof: now that’s just showing off


i’m no abletonist, so usually i have my atari ST with notator. but for interesting stuff like dnigrin’s sequencers i use the GM5x5x5. but i just do basic things with midi control.

and the atari is rock solid midi timing wise. and this having less computional power than your bluetooth mouse…

yes it’s true. and notator is not bad at all, i don’t do audio recordings on hdd anyways, just need it for midi control. notator+unitor n+human touch+export (2 or 3 instances of all that haha, but just one system set up)
it’s totally 1991 i believe

Why limit myself to one MIDI controller? My main battle axes the mighty K5000s, it has a very fast and “synth-ish” keyboard. Plus it has 16 knobs that transmit cc:s and one very groovy arpeggiator. Then there’s the USB Korg Nano2 controllers and a Novation Xio 25 for portable fun. Plus teh iSlab… I need moar!

novation SL25 mk2 here as well (and a launchpad I never use)
I find the SL25 ok as a keyboard controller, but the knobs are crap, the xy pad just does not work, plus I find that it takes up far too much space than it should.
I had a blofeld keyboard but swapped that with the desktop version and the SL25 for your same reason. now I regret having done that.

All this talk of using STs makes me consider setting up my Amiga 3000 and installing Bars and Pipes professional. It was the best MIDI sequencer I ever used and it had “plugins” in the early 90s.

Each track was an input tool, a pipeline to the sequencer, an output pipeline and then an output tool. You dropped tools into the pipeline to affect the MIDI notes. So you could add MIDI echos, transpose, adjust velocity, quantise etc by using different tools, you adjusted them in realtime until it sounded how you wanted.

If you put the tool in the input pipeline then playing notes on the keyboard would get affected and then recorded into the sequencer.

I wrote a few simple plugins for it, an output tool that played samples and a MIDI output tool that could work with any serial port (the default one would only use the internal serial port) so you could use more than 16 channels.

It seems to have been improved recently by a 3rd party developer, the company who made it were bought by Microsoft who shut it all down.

There seems to be a more and more common discomfort when using a DAW. In former times i enjoyed an AMT-8 and Notator, nowadays all Logic does here is being kind of a tape machine - I’m totally overwhelmed with the myriad of possibilities so all i do is record and quantize, maybe correct a note from time to time - or directly record Audio.
I think we are in need of a simple Hardware sequencer - please don’t point to the MIDIbox stuff, i spent a whole evening puzzling together what i would need and how to connect everything till i found out i could better spend this time at work so i can buy a Sequentix Circlon :wink:

Hmm, fcd try FL Studio? I know that it for some reason has a somewhat newbie reputation, but
A) It works
B) It is super simple, or super complex, your choice
C) It works really well with external gear (according to me), although it doesn’t handle multiple soundcards that well (it’s a disaster).
D) The fully featured demo is freely available, only limitation is no saving of projects (export to mp3 is unlocked though)
E) It’s really cheap