General Question

DeanV's avatar

Can anyone suggest a MIDI controller?

Asked by DeanV (14193 points ) May 9th, 2010

Having recently been given a copy of Ableton by a friend, I’ve been fooling around with it a little bit and now that I’ve properly figured out the gist of it, I’d like to purchase a MIDI controller to work with my laptop, plus I’ve got some money in the bank.

Key or pad, it doesn’t really matter, I’d just like a beginning one to play around with, but not something too flimsy.
I can play keyboard to an extent if it makes a difference.

Anyone have any experience or any suggestions? I’d like to stay below 350$.

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10 Answers

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I use a full keyboard – it just seems more versatile. Mine’s a few years old, so I’m sure it’s not available anymore – but it’s a pretty straightforward 61-key Yamaha.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I used to use a Creative Labs Xboard 61until I dropped it, but I see they’re out of stock right now.

DeanV's avatar

@aprilsimnel, @JeanPaulSartre And would you recommend either of those?

I think I was kind of swayed towards a dedicated MIDI controller because of the price point and the audio interface, but I’m open to other suggestions.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

It seems to work for my purposes, I like it and would recommend it – but I haven’t ever used a dedicated MIDI controller, so I feel like my suggestion is half-cocked. I run everything through a full mixerboard, but have the keyboard hooked up twice, depending on if I want a MIDI interface, or to just record whatever sounds from the keyboard directly.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I used mine mainly because I have a Creative Labs Sound card.

RareDenver's avatar

I recently bought the Oxygen 25 and am using it with Reason (haven’t tried it out with Ableton yet, but I haven’t really figured out Ableton yet) I love it, it’s small enough to sit on my desk top, has loads of assignable knobs and also you can download DirectLink Drivers which automatically maps the controls to all the various functions in most DAW’s which makes it a breeze to just plug in and get going.

and it’s cheap

DeanV's avatar

@RareDenver Funny you should say that. At the moment, the Oxgen 49 is at the top of my list, mostly because of the DirectLink feature, which looks really good for a midi noob like myself.

How are the keys on it? That’s really the only thing I’m wary of, coming from a piano with weighted keys.

RareDenver's avatar

@dverhey the keys feel fine to me although I’m no pianist, can you go to a local music store and try one out before you buy?

DeanV's avatar

@RareDenver I can try my friend’s synth, which has nearly identical keys (that type, at least), so perhaps I’ll try that and see how it feels. I’m no pianist either, though, so I’m guessing they’ll be fine.

DeanV's avatar

Well, I ended up getting the Oxygen 49. I’m pretty happy with it so far, only lamenting the lack of drum pads. I’ve also realized I’m no pianist, though…

Thanks for the suggestions, all.

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