Quality MIDI keyboard controllers still available?

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Re: Quality MIDI keyboard controllers still available?

Post by madtheory » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:26 am

meatballfulton wrote:One of the reasons for the so-called "hardware resurgence" we are seeing is that DAWs and softsynths are so difficult to control in real time. Other than dedicated controllers like Push, APC, Launchpad, Panorama, Maschine, etc. the user has to do a lot of setup work and make a lot of compromises to get it to work. I'm not sure what the solution is except for more dedicated controllers.

I've worked with a variety of generic controllers over the last five years and all of them have severe drawbacks. What would really help is DAW designers getting away from skeumorphism and create interfaces that map well to existing controllers.

A good example is Racks in Ableton Live. A rack can contain multiple instruments and effects along with eight macro knobs, the user defines what those knobs control. Eight knobs isn't much...but you choose which controls to expose and map to the eight knobs on your typical controller.

For those who have never used Live here's an example:


Now imagine expanding those eight knobs into larger matrices...64 knobs or more that can be easily paged. That still requires someone to decide how the knobs are mapped. Now imagine some software mfrs actually came up with a standard mapping, like there is for MIDI CCs so that common controls would always be on the same knob. Now we are starting to see the immensity of the problem.
That's the clearest, most concise argument I've seen on this issue. Send it in an email to every controller manufacturer!

I f**k hate skeumorphism. Generally Ableton avoids it though- like those dials, they work well. They act more like sliders, but they can fit more in the window by making the slider round. Whereas Pro Tools is really a graphic display for a D Command.

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