How to Use MIDI Controllers With [Specific Software]?

19 minutes read

To use MIDI controllers with [specific software], first ensure that your MIDI controller is connected to your computer through a USB port or MIDI interface. Open the software and navigate to the settings or preferences section where you can select the MIDI controller as the input device. Assign each control on the MIDI controller to a specific function within the software, such as adjusting volume, effects, or parameters. You may need to map the controls manually or use pre-configured templates provided by the software or MIDI controller manufacturer. Test the functionality of the MIDI controller with the software by moving faders, knobs, and buttons to see if they respond accordingly. Make adjustments as needed to achieve the desired control and performance.

Best MIDI Controllers of May 2024

1
Akai Professional MPK Mini Plus - USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 37 Mini Keys, 8 MPC Pads, Sequencer, MIDI/CV/Gate I/O, Music Production Software

Rating is 5 out of 5

Akai Professional MPK Mini Plus - USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 37 Mini Keys, 8 MPC Pads, Sequencer, MIDI/CV/Gate I/O, Music Production Software

  • Full Creative Control - A dynamic 37-Key MPK Mini keybed for 3 full octaves of melodic and harmonic performance. Easily connect to your DAW or studio equipment with the USB-powered MIDI Controller
  • Advanced Connectivity - Connect to different sound sources with CV/Gate and MIDI I/O. Control modular gear, sound modules, synthesizers, and more to bring new sound sources into your music production
  • Record and Compose Without a Computer - Connect to your production station and use the built-in 64-step sequencer featuring one track for drums and one for melodies or chords, with up to 8 notes each
  • Control Your DAW - Transport section for intuitive hardware control of your DAW. Arm and start recordings, stop playback, rewind or fast-forward for easy navigation of large sessions and projects
2
AKAI Professional MIDImix - USB MIDI Controller Mixer with Assignable Faders & Master Fader, 24 Knobs and 16 Buttons, 1 to 1 Mapping With Ableton Live

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

AKAI Professional MIDImix - USB MIDI Controller Mixer with Assignable Faders & Master Fader, 24 Knobs and 16 Buttons, 1 to 1 Mapping With Ableton Live

  • Mixdown Essentials - 8 individual line faders and 1 master fader for controlling track volume, virtual instrument parameters, effect settings and more
  • Assignable Control - 24 knobs, arranged 3 per channel for controlling EQ, bus sends, virtual instrument parameters, effect settings and more
  • Get Hands-On - 16 buttons arranged in 2 banks provide mute, solo and record arm functionality per channel
3
M-Audio Keystation 88 MK3 – 88 Key Semi Weighted MIDI Keyboard Controller for Complete Command of Virtual Synthesizers and DAW parameters

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

M-Audio Keystation 88 MK3 – 88 Key Semi Weighted MIDI Keyboard Controller for Complete Command of Virtual Synthesizers and DAW parameters

  • Music Production Essential – MIDI keyboard controller with 88 full-size velocity-sensitive semi weighted keys for MIDI control of virtual instruments, software samplers and plug-in synthesisers
  • MIDI Keyboard Must-Haves - Volume fader, transport & directional buttons; pitch & modulation wheels, octave up & down buttons and sustain pedal input for expressive performances
  • Your Music Studio Equipment Centrepiece – Slimline design fits any desk, studio or stage setup perfectly and advanced functionality customizes your controls for your recording software
4
Arturia MiniLab 3 - Universal MIDI Controller for Music Production, with All-in-One Software Package - 25 Keys, 8 Multi-Color Pads - White

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Arturia MiniLab 3 - Universal MIDI Controller for Music Production, with All-in-One Software Package - 25 Keys, 8 Multi-Color Pads - White

  • GO WITH YOUR FLOW: MiniLab 3 is an easy keyboard controller that adapts to your needs, your style and your workflow, so you can make music just the way you like it. It lets you control instruments, mute tracks, punch in your 8 pad drums, and adjust your 4 faders with a flow so fluid you’ll forget you had a mouse. Hook it up, discover fresh sounds, enjoy premium velocity-sensitive keys, and get hands-on with your music like never before!
  • ALL THE ESSENTIAL CONTROLS IN A COMPACT CONTROLLER: MiniLab 3 is USB powered with 25 note velocity-sensitive slim keyboard, 2 banks of 8 high quality pads with RGB backlighting, 8 rotary encoders, 4 sliders, Mini display & clickable browsing knob, Built-in Arpeggiator, Hold and Chord modes, 2 touch sensors for pitch bend and modulation wheel, USB-C Port, MIDI Out. Great for beginners, it also fits for pros, and allows you to tweak every aspect of your mix in an instant.
5
Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] — Portable 25-Key, USB, MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW Integration, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator — for Music Production

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Novation Launchkey Mini [MK3] — Portable 25-Key, USB, MIDI Keyboard Controller with DAW Integration, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator — for Music Production

  • Get creative easily with arpeggiator - Easy to use but deeply controllable, Launchkey Mini’s creative arpeggiator allows you to change rhythm, beat, pattern, octave, gate and more to add a whole range of diversity to your ideas and melodies.
  • Play chords with one finger - Lay down chords for your track quick with fixed chord mode. Play a chord with one finger by assigning a fixed shape to the keys and it’ll transpose as you move up and down the keyboard.
  • Finest-tech at your fingertips - The Launchkey Mini might be small in size but it’s packed with features. The 25-key device has 16 velocity-sensitive RGB, eight rotary controls, pitch and mod touch strips, and sustain input. Our finest mini keymech to date is also included.
  • DAW Integration - In addition to Apple Logic and Ableton Live, Launchkey Mini also has excellent integrations with Reason, as well as any HUI compatible DAW, such as Cubase, Pro Tools, and more.
6
AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2 - USB MIDI Pad Controller for Clip Launching with Ableton Live Lite, 64 RGB Pads, Drum and Note Mode and MIDI Mixer

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2 - USB MIDI Pad Controller for Clip Launching with Ableton Live Lite, 64 RGB Pads, Drum and Note Mode and MIDI Mixer

  • Complete Control – Ableton Live Clip Launching MIDI Controller, perfect for creative looping, mixing, home studio and live performing. Connect to Ableton Live and control all your studio equipment
  • Bright 8x8 RGB Pad Matrix - 64 RGB pads for launching clips in Ableton Live providing visual color feedback. Trigger everything from Loops, Vocals, and melodic samples for instant creativity
  • 9 Assignable Faders - With 8 assignable faders + 1 master fader instantly map to Ableton Live's mixer for hands-on mix control of volume, pan, or devices. Use Device mode to control Ableton macros
  • Drum and Note Modes -The Drum sample mode features seamless integration with Ableton Drum Rack. With the inbuilt "Smart Scale View", Note mode enables you to visually play melodies effortlessly
7
AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included, Grey

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3 - 25 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller With 8 Backlit Drum Pads, 8 Knobs and Music Production Software Included, Grey

  • Music Production and Beat Maker Essential – USB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production
  • Total Control of your Production - Innovative 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control, plus a built-in arpeggiator with adjustable resolution, range and modes
  • Complete Command of your Virtual Instruments and FX - 8 360-degree knobs assign to all your music studio plugins for mixing, tweaking synth controls and more
8
AKAI Professional MPD218 - USB MIDI Controller with 16 MPC Drum Pads, 6 Assignable Knobs, Note Repeat & Full Level Buttons and Production Software

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

AKAI Professional MPD218 - USB MIDI Controller with 16 MPC Drum Pads, 6 Assignable Knobs, Note Repeat & Full Level Buttons and Production Software

  • Beat Production, Anywhere - Ultra-portable, feature-packed and USB powered pad controller with 16 thick fat MPC pads for triggering drums, melodic samples, effects and more
  • Expandable Banks - Easily accessible dedicated controls for three pad banks provides a total of 48 assignable pads
  • Feature Packed - MPC note repeat and full level controls for immersive expressive performances
  • Comprehensive Software Suite Included - Ableton Live Lite, Drum Synth 500 by AIR Music Tech
9
Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 — 61 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Analog Lab V Software Included

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3 — 61 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Analog Lab V Software Included

  • New creative features: Scale Mode, Chord Mode, and Arpeggiator, making composition, songwriting, and beat-making more intuitive than ever.
  • Custom DAW integration: KeyLab Essential 3 features custom scripts for deeper control over DAWs, including Ableton Live Logic Pro X, FL Studio, and more.
  • Easier controls & interface: RGB-backlit pads with velocity and pressure sensitivity, contextual button, and a bright new 2.5” LCD screen for real-time feedback.
10
Alesis V49 MKII – USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 49 Velocity Sensitive Keys, 8 Full Level Pads, Arpeggiator, Pitch/Mod Wheel, Note Repeat and Software Suite

Rating is 4.1 out of 5

Alesis V49 MKII – USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 49 Velocity Sensitive Keys, 8 Full Level Pads, Arpeggiator, Pitch/Mod Wheel, Note Repeat and Software Suite

  • Plug in the USB Powered V49 MKII MIDI keyboard, and turn your PC, Mac, or iOS device into a feature packed production studio - Ideal for home studio producers, piano beginners, and desktop djs
  • 49 Full-Size, Velocity Sensitive, Synth Action Keys alongside 8 velocity sensitive backlit beat pads with full level and note repeat controls, all in a design that fits easily into your workspace
  • Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels for added expression, and an Arpeggiator with 6 modes for creating unique melodies and inspiring creativity


What is the process for assigning MIDI controllers in Cubase?

To assign MIDI controllers in Cubase, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Cubase project.
  2. Click on the "Devices" menu at the top of the screen.
  3. Select "Device Setup" from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the Device Setup window, click on "MIDI Port Setup" in the left-hand column.
  5. Locate the MIDI controller or device you want to assign in the list of available MIDI ports.
  6. Check the box next to the MIDI controller/device to enable it.
  7. Click on "Apply" and then "OK" to save the changes.
  8. Close the Device Setup window.
  9. In the track you want to control with the MIDI controller, click on the track to select it.
  10. In the Inspector panel on the left-hand side of the screen, click on the "MIDI" tab.
  11. In the MIDI tab, click on the drop-down menu next to "Input Routing" and select the MIDI controller/device you just enabled.
  12. You should now be able to control the selected track with your MIDI controller.


Remember to check the user manual of your specific MIDI controller/device for any additional setup instructions or configurations that may be required.


How to connect a MIDI controller to FL Studio?

To connect a MIDI controller to FL Studio, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the MIDI controller to your computer using a USB cable or MIDI cables. Make sure your MIDI controller is powered on.
  2. Open FL Studio on your computer.
  3. Go to Options > MIDI Settings in the FL Studio menu.
  4. In the MIDI Settings window, select your MIDI controller from the Input list. You may need to click on the Refresh button to see your controller in the list.
  5. Check the box next to "Enable" for your MIDI controller in the Input list.
  6. Click on the dropdown menu next to "Output" and select the MIDI port that your MIDI controller is connected to.
  7. Click on "Close" to save your settings.
  8. Now your MIDI controller should be connected to FL Studio. You can now use your MIDI controller to play and record MIDI notes, control virtual instruments, and more in FL Studio.


If you're still having trouble connecting your MIDI controller to FL Studio, refer to the user manual for your MIDI controller or FL Studio's documentation for more specific instructions.


What is the difference between MIDI controllers and audio interfaces in Studio One?

MIDI controllers and audio interfaces serve different functions in Studio One and are used for different aspects of music production.

  1. MIDI controllers: MIDI controllers are used for controlling virtual instruments, software synthesizers, and other MIDI-enabled devices within Studio One. MIDI controllers typically have keys, pads, knobs, and sliders that can be mapped to different parameters in the software to manipulate sounds and perform music. They send MIDI data to the software, which can be used to trigger notes, adjust parameters, and record musical performances.
  2. Audio interfaces: Audio interfaces are used for recording audio signals into Studio One from external sources such as microphones, guitars, synthesizers, and other audio devices. Audio interfaces convert analog audio signals into digital data that can be recorded and processed within Studio One. They also provide high-quality audio outputs for monitoring and playback.


In summary, MIDI controllers are used for controlling virtual instruments and software parameters, while audio interfaces are used for recording and playing back audio signals in Studio One. Both are essential tools for music production, but serve different purposes in the recording and production process.


What is a MIDI controller and how does it work with Logic Pro X?

A MIDI controller is a piece of hardware that allows you to input musical notes and commands into a digital audio workstation (DAW) or music production software, such as Logic Pro X. It typically consists of keys, pads, knobs, and other controls that can send MIDI data to your software.


In Logic Pro X, you can connect your MIDI controller to your computer using a USB cable or MIDI interface. Once connected, you can map the controls on your MIDI controller to parameters within Logic Pro X, such as volume, pitch, modulation, and effects. This allows you to play and control your virtual instruments, synths, and effects plugins using your MIDI controller.


You can also use your MIDI controller to record MIDI data directly into Logic Pro X, allowing you to easily create and edit musical performances using the physical controls of your MIDI controller. MIDI controllers are a popular tool for musicians, producers, and DJs who want a more hands-on and expressive way of interacting with their music software.


How to optimize MIDI controller settings for smooth performance in Reason?

  1. Assign MIDI controllers to specific parameters in Reason: Go to the Preferences menu and select Control Surfaces. Click "Add" to add your MIDI controller, then assign specific controls (e.g. knobs, faders) to different parameters in Reason.
  2. Customize MIDI mapping: In Reason's Preferences menu, you can also customize the MIDI mapping for your controller. This allows you to assign specific functions to different knobs, sliders, and buttons on your controller.
  3. Adjust MIDI controller response: In Reason's Preferences menu, you can adjust the sensitivity of your MIDI controller. This can help to ensure that your controller responds smoothly and accurately to your movements.
  4. Use MIDI learn: Reason also features a MIDI learn function, which allows you to quickly and easily map MIDI controls to parameters in the software. This can be a more intuitive way to set up your MIDI controller for optimal performance.
  5. Use MIDI presets: Reason includes a variety of MIDI presets for popular controllers. These presets can save you time and effort when setting up your MIDI controller. You can select a preset and easily map controls to different parameters in Reason.
  6. Test your settings: After setting up your MIDI controller in Reason, take the time to test each control to ensure that everything is working smoothly. Make any necessary adjustments to optimize your performance.


By following these steps, you can optimize your MIDI controller settings in Reason for smooth performance and a more enjoyable music-making experience.

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