Arturia is a French company that makes some of the best controllers in their price range. The Keylab Essential series made it on to this list for this exact reason. These keyboards have a rugged construction and tons of features. To start, it includes Arturia's Analog Lab software that has over 5,000 vintage synthesizer presets! The Keylabs are also compatible with all major DAW's and any MIDI-capable software. If 49 keys is not enough (or too much), be sure to check out the other models here.
The Akai MPC was a staple among the hip-hop community and beat makers everywhere. Akai revamped it and made the MPC Studio for the modern producer. It is now equipped with the critically-acclaimed MPC Software 2.0. Here are the features of the new software: "MPC Software 2.0 is a cutting-edge production suite combining 128-track sequencing capability, real-time time stretching, clip-launch functionality, advanced MIDI editing capability, VST compatibility in controller mode, operation as a standalone application on Mac & PC, advanced sampling & audio editing/recording functionality, seamless DAW integration, a redesigned GUI, Ableton Link Compatibility and much more. Whether you're seeking freedom from computer based music production, or searching for the perfect controller for DAW-centric creative exploration, MPC Software 2.0 grants the ultimate in adaptive creative versatility."
Many people forget that control surfaces are MIDI controllers as well. Using MIDI data, the Behringer X-Touch will allow you to get hands on control of your session. The 9 motorized faders make automation a breeze and the built-in jog wheel and transport controls will shave off hours of session time. There are so many features packed into this thing that Behringer made a great video explaining everything!
For those just starting out, some of these prices and features may seem intimidating. If you're looking for something to get started without breaking the bank, the Launchpad Mini is for you. It is a portable controller that includes Ableton Live Lite, 4GB of Loopmasters sounds and samples, Bass Station softsynth, and your choice of 1 of 4 Addictive Key's VST's. This is everything you need to get started and more! Be sure to check out Pixel Pro Audio Exclusive Bundles here, where we include great deals and free add-ons! These are our favorite picks for MIDI controllers in 2018. As always, enjoy FAST and FREE shipping on any order in the continental US. If you didn't find something you were looking for here, feel free to give us a call at 855269-0474 or Stop in our store in Downtown Appleton!