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Looking for a good MIDI controller with pitch and mod WHEELS

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Ok, so I've completely dropped the idea of getting a Nord C2, and am now dedicated to get a modular synthesizer. I already have pretty much everything decided about the synthesizer itself, if everyone wants to check it out, see this thread: http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6823


Now, in the first few weeks/months/whatever, I'd be controlling it with a Roland D-50, but I hate the pitch/mod stick, it's completely unusable for controlling modulation, which is pretty much essential in a modular set-up. The action on it has gone pretty noisy too.


So my plan is to eventually get a 49/61 keys MIDI controller with pitch and mod wheels with good synth action, and not only that, but could also be used to decently control organ and electric pianos and stuff, from software.


I'm inclined towards the M-Audio Axiom 49/61, but I'd welcome more suggestions and opinions on the Axiom.




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I've toyed with some of the M-Audio stuff and have been more than just a little underwhelmed by the feel. If I were looking purely for a controller - I'd be looking at the Yamaha KX series (either the KX61 or KX8). They may not be the cheapest thing on the market - but all of my Yamaha keyboards have given me years of constant service.
The SpaceNorman :freak:
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My Yamaha CS6x also makes an awesome controller due to how many knobs it has, and is one of the precious few keyboards/controllers on the market that has a dedicated knob that sends Portamento Time (vs. Portamento On/Off, which by itself doesn't accomplish much).


I can accelerate preparing it for sale if you are local and interested (I do not have a box for it so do not want to ship it). I've had other priorities but have no problem shifting priorities as a favour to someone on the forum.

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I'm not that keen on the Yamaha stuff. It has no sliders (and no pads, but I still don't know what to use them for) and I don't really like the looks of them. The lack of sliders make them pretty much unusable for organ, which would be one of the instruments I'd be controlling with the Axiom.


And btw, what would you go for, 49 or 61 keys? I can't make up my mind.

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I have a 49 key eMu Xboard, which I was using with a notebook computer and NI B4. Seems reasonably well made (not pro gear like my various Kurz's), works OK as a MIDI controller, and was reasonably priced.


When I bought it several years ago, I compared it with some of the M-Audio models - the keyboard action seemed better to me. If I were to buy over, I'd buy 61 keys though (unless it HAS to fit in a smaller space).


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I would check out the Novation Remote SL MkII...I don't own one but it looks very nice with lots of knobs/sliders/pads,e tc.


I do have a Novation X-Station and the keyboard is very nice-feeling and supports after touch. You may not care for the combined mod/pitch joystick, but I didn't have much problem getting used to it. I still prefer seperate mod and pitch, but I find the Novation controller far better than the Roland paddle. For one thing, the Novation controller allows you to leave the modulation in place, i.e. the "spring back" is optional. Novation also has the X-Y controller pad which is nice for filter mod.


The other vendor you might want to check out is Akai; I've heard good things about their controllers.

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I have the Axiom Pro 61 and pretty much love it for what it is. The action is obviously light, but the feel is very good. There are a lot of options for the velocity curve--I use NORMAL-HIGH which is well balanced but gives you a little more boost at the higher velocity numbers making it a bit easier to snap out accented notes.


The Novation is probably the only rival in terms of controller capabilities. Both the Novation and Axiom allow you to send just about anything on any knob, slider, pad or button.


Both the Novation (via Automap) and the Axiom Pro (Hyper Control) will connect to supported hosts automatically so everything just pops up and is ready to be controlled, or you can roll your own.


I use the Axiom Pro 61 to control Ableton Live as a host for my soft synths in a live setting. I wish it had more keys. That's really my only complaint.


Anyway, check out the Pro version. Pick it up. It feels substantial. Everything has a good feel to it. Be sure to check it out attached to some soft synths.


Here's a Paul Jackson video that covers the main points of the controller.







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When I was looking for a 49-key controller I'd researched and determined the Novation and Axiom would be my top choices. I then demo'd them both, and immediately preferred the Axiom. Maybe it was the waterfall keys, I don't know... but overall the Axiom has a more substantial feel to the action, and seems better-built overall.


Here for the gear.

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