I need some advise on midi controllers

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
chk071
KVRAF
17622 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:02 am

I've been looking at the Keystep a couple of times now too. It's a nice device. Might get one sooner or later.

Blacklight
KVRist
58 posts since 17 Mar, 2011

Re: I need some advise on midi controllers

Post Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:56 pm

sprnva wrote:FWIW, I looked into MIDI controllers a lot a few years back and concluded that none of them were worth the money. Even the more expensive controllers seemed to have issues going by reviews. In most cases buying an old 90s synth would get a better quality keybed for almost the same price. The downside would be the need for MIDI and power cables while a lot of the current MIDI controllers use a simple USB cable for both.

However, eventually I picked up a LaunchKey 49 and haven't had any issues with it. In the end I rarely used the knobs or sliders to control VSTs as I just couldn't be bothered mapping stuff all the time but the drum pads were handy for banging in some beats. I got it half price when the MkII Launchkeys were announced. It's not getting any use now because it's just a bit big for my current setup so I'm using a KeyStep instead. But I couldn't really fault it for my needs.
I normally would take your advise and hook up my Korg MS2000. That's exactly what I used to do prior, but unfortunately, I was forced to change the location where I work on my music now and I can't lug the MS2000 back and forth with me, so I need something that's small and portable, and can fit on a small laptop table at the moment, that can also be played live. My MS2000 would have been my first choice.

I just got back from my other local music store and the Novation Launchkey 25 definitely SEEMS to be the best built one and seems to have the best keys out of the bunch for the price range that I can afford. It's at the top of my price range actually.
"What the hell is that godawful noise !?! Oh. It's just you."

Blacklight
KVRist
58 posts since 17 Mar, 2011

Re: I need some advise on midi controllers

Post Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:57 pm

Blacklight wrote:
sprnva wrote:FWIW, I looked into MIDI controllers a lot a few years back and concluded that none of them were worth the money. Even the more expensive controllers seemed to have issues going by reviews. In most cases buying an old 90s synth would get a better quality keybed for almost the same price. The downside would be the need for MIDI and power cables while a lot of the current MIDI controllers use a simple USB cable for both.

However, eventually I picked up a LaunchKey 49 and haven't had any issues with it. In the end I rarely used the knobs or sliders to control VSTs as I just couldn't be bothered mapping stuff all the time but the drum pads were handy for banging in some beats. I got it half price when the MkII Launchkeys were announced. It's not getting any use now because it's just a bit big for my current setup so I'm using a KeyStep instead. But I couldn't really fault it for my needs.
I normally would take your advise and hook up my Korg MS2000. That's exactly what I used to do prior, but unfortunately, I was forced to change the location where I work on my music now and I can't lug the MS2000 back and forth with me, so I need something that's small and portable, and can fit on a small laptop table at the moment, that can also be played live. My MS2000 would have been my first choice.

I just got back from my other local music store and the Novation Launchkey 25 definitely SEEMS to be the best built one and seems to have the best keys out of the bunch for the price range that I can afford. It's at the top of my price range actually This was very much an unexpected purchase.

How is the software that comes with that one? Is it any less clunky and difficult to work with than Akai's software when it came to getting it to work live with older VST's? Akai's "VIP" software was a nightmare to get to function correctly with all the stuff I use.
"What the hell is that godawful noise !?! Oh. It's just you."

sprnva
KVRian
1365 posts since 16 Jan, 2013

Re: I need some advise on midi controllers

Post Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:26 am

It doesn't use any software. The older Novation keyboards had AutoMap but not the Launchkey series. They use InControl for mapping to DAW controls. There's a pdf here that shows how it works with various DAWs. But you can turn that off via the InControl button and manually map whatever control you want to a parameter via your DAW's MIDI map function.

I should have said that I primarily use Live, but also have Logic and Cubase and can't recall having any trouble but again, I'm not big on mapping controls so didn't do that a lot.
Image Image Image

User avatar
zerocrossing
KVRAF
9313 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: I need some advise on midi controllers

Post Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:02 pm

low_low wrote:Pair w/ your favorite keyboard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFrqLm3R7XY
Friendship is magic!
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

User avatar
rod_zero
KVRAF
2936 posts since 28 Jan, 2011 from MEXICO

Re: I need some advise on midi controllers

Post Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:27 pm

About MIDI controllers, DAW and VST's:

There are 4 ways MIDI controllers interact with the software:

1.- Basic and old MIDI mapping in the DAW, all DAWs have this, you lick MIDI learn, press the parameter you want to control and tweak the control on the controller and it gets assigned. This is not dynamic (can control various instances of plugins).

2.- MIDI Learn in the VSTi, not all but many plugins have a "midi learn" function similar to the DAW, the advantage is that a single MIDI controller can be used to control the same plugin across different tracks when the track is armed and getting MIDI.

3.- Some "wrapper" that handles the mapping and communication between plugins and MIDI controller: automap, VIP, Komplete kontrol, I hate this since it adds a layer of complexity.

4.- DAW propietary system for MIDI mapping, as SCRIPTS in Ableton Live (and this is the reason why most controllers support Ableton Live first), This a system for MIDI mapping that allows dynamic Mapping and allows stuff Like Push, launchpad, APC to exist, it is not hard mapped as old MIDI mapping. Bitwig also has SCRIPTS. There quite a few people who actually can write scripts for any controller and offer some software for making your own, beyond what the DAW company offers normally for generic controllers.
dedication to flying

low_low
KVRist
362 posts since 20 Jul, 2018

Re: I need some advise on midi controllers

Post Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:20 pm

rod_zero wrote:About MIDI controllers, DAW and VST's:

There are 4 ways MIDI controllers interact with the software:

1.- Basic and old MIDI mapping in the DAW, all DAWs have this, you lick MIDI learn, press the parameter you want to control and tweak the control on the controller and it gets assigned. This is not dynamic (can control various instances of plugins).

2.- MIDI Learn in the VSTi, not all but many plugins have a "midi learn" function similar to the DAW, the advantage is that a single MIDI controller can be used to control the same plugin across different tracks when the track is armed and getting MIDI.

3.- Some "wrapper" that handles the mapping and communication between plugins and MIDI controller: automap, VIP, Komplete kontrol, I hate this since it adds a layer of complexity.

4.- DAW propietary system for MIDI mapping, as SCRIPTS in Ableton Live (and this is the reason why most controllers support Ableton Live first), This a system for MIDI mapping that allows dynamic Mapping and allows stuff Like Push, launchpad, APC to exist, it is not hard mapped as old MIDI mapping. Bitwig also has SCRIPTS. There quite a few people who actually can write scripts for any controller and offer some software for making your own, beyond what the DAW company offers normally for generic controllers.
You mentioned creating a profile with midi learn in the DAW, and DAW scripts, but Cubase (as an example) also has a "generic remote" capability where you are creating a map using variables and parameters exported from the VST (offered to the DAW through the API) that is not midi learn, but a static mapping. It's probably using the same VST offering that the DAW's midi learn capability uses, but on the DAW side it is different than track or VST "quick controls", which are more of a midi learn function. It's very close to what you have in (1) above except in "generic remote" you see the exported variables from the VST and map them without any kind of "move this control and click" type functionality.

User avatar
Mathematics
KVRist
275 posts since 10 Sep, 2015 from You haven't unlocked this character yet

Re: I need some advise on midi controllers

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:11 pm

Maybe look at something like the Alesis V49. The only thing you should be aware of is the velocity control. You can read about it. Easy adjustment.
...and the electron responded, "what wall?"

Return to “Hardware (Instruments and Effects)”