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Six octave MIDI controller - views?


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Hello all,


I've just registered on this forum, but have been buying Keyboard magazine since the 70's :D


I'm looking to find a MIDI controller to use for organ playing - Hammond-style. I like the Roland A-37 but note that it is E to G, and so does not have six octaves C to C, as I'd prefer.


What, if any waterfall-style keyboards should I be looking at? What about cheap organ keyboards that I could use as a MIDI controller. Feel is important.


TIA for you help!

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Hi and welcome!

The one that comes first in mind right now is the M Audio 88 model, the one without any buttons/knobs on it. It's lightweigh, has waterfall keys, and (i thing) it's C to C, street price is something like 400 euros. Mind that without any knobs/faders on the controller you have limited possibility to tweak drawbars/percussion, unless you use presets in your VST hammond. If you have any other old synth with midi you can make a try - maybe you can direct the virtual drawbars to the synth's knobs/sliders and see if that fits

Good luck

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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My very first post here -


I just went through this and ended up with the A-37 (which, by the way is no longer in production - I found a 'new condition' one on the bay). I like the feel of this controller over many others that I auditioned and I believe that I hit all of the 'majors'.


I own a B3/122 and wanted a simlilar feel and not a piano-style/weighted key action since I have that with an S08. While the range is a bit off, I was able to compromise.


I though about (and may still get) another synth for a second/third board as well (proably replace the S08 with a motif at some point). The a-37 just came available at the right time and will be used as a second keyboard for my S08 to take on the road (the B stays at home since it is 'minty').


Hope this provides some help. GOod luck.

Hammond B3, Leslie 122 - is there anything else?
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If you haven't already, check out the CME UF7 in April's Keyboard. I don't think the keys are waterfall...haven't seen one in person...but the key range is an unusual A to C...your six octave C to C plus three on the bottom, and it's possible to set up it's sliders as drawbars.


I also picked up an A-37 recently out of sheer desperation, to use instead of my SL-880 on gigs with difficult load-in or space requirements. It's keys are not true waterfall...they have a slight lip on them which can get caught on your palm if you're doing swipes. But I'm playing pianos on it and it's E-G range is more appropriate. Plus you can send program changes on an A-37. But it's action is very light, and with short keys to boot...not ideal but there's really nothing else out there.

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Thanks for the replies.


I played every keyboard I could manage at a music show late last year and the Roland felt the best. The CME was not so good as an organ keyboard. A-37 is still sitting at the top of my list, for feel alone. I could add a NI B4D controller on top of that, if I go that route...


I also thought about buying a Hammond or Korg organ, or possibly the Oberhein/Viscount and using that as a controller! Which is most like a B3/C3 out of those?

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i've got the same question, what to pick as a MIDI controller for organ playing. i'm a newbie but want to get off to a decent start.


i can't find the A-37 online, and i'm not interested in buying off of ebay.


is the M-Audio 88es (non-weighted keys) a good alternative? what about one of the new casio WK's?


i'll be using it with a mac G4.



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