Best MIDI Controllers

Whether you are brand new to music production or a seasoned veteran, this tool will help you in a lot of ways.

A portable, solid and convenient MIDI Controller with great faders, wheels, and knobs can make all the difference in the world when it comes to making your MIDI instruments breathe and feel like it is being played by a real instrumentalist.

What is a MIDI controller?

This type of controller is, in my opinion, one of the most important tools to have when you are producing music. Especially if you are working with film scoring.

A MIDI controller is basically a set of faders and knobs that you can assign (or ‘map’) to do different tasks.

A MIDI controller is also a very good companion to your MIDI keyboard. Oftentimes they are combined, which means you’ll have both faders, sliders and keys.

Examples of tasks a MIDI controller could do are:

  • Control expression while you record MIDI strings (legatos, vibratos, and so on). This is especially valuable if you are looking to emulate real string players. You can read this article for useful tips on this topic.
  • Assign the knobs and faders to speak with your digital mixer. For example, if you want one knob to adjust the panning function, you could do that.
  • Use the MIDI controller to adjust different

Which MIDI Controller Should I Get?

I have used and tried several MIDI controllers during my years as a composer. My favorite is Palette Gear, a stylish, portable and solid MIDI controller which has no problems assigning MIDI commands (mapping).

I generally use the Palette Gear for MIDI Effects like “attack”, “legato”, “expression”, and so on. I have also assigned the buttons and wheels to other commands, like “start”, “stop”, “record”, “zoom” and more.

This neat little thing ticks all my boxes when considering what makes a great MIDI controller. You can even use it on all Adobe products, making it very versatile as well.

Every section has its own assignment, and the possibility to take it all apart makes it optimal for traveling.

If you need a MIDI controller, this would be my absolute “must-buy”. The prices on Amazon fluctuate all the time, so be sure to check out the price on Palette Gear on Amazon (affiliate link).

In order to have the best possible experience with this, make sure to order two faders!

What if I am Looking For an all-in-one Solution?

If you are looking for a Midi controller with keys as well, you won’t be disappointed with the excellent Komplete Kontrol series by Native Instruments.

The product ranges go from the excellent priced and wonderfully portable M32 (link to Amazon) and all the way up to 88- heavy weighted keys, (Amazon) so you will be sure to find a keyboard you will be happy with.

Recommended buy: Komplete Kontrol M32 or /and S88