What MIDI controller would I need for?


Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Hi ya'll, I've been playing keyboards for over 30 years, mostly using Yamaha gear that has the 5 pin DIN MIDI jacks, and using miles of MIDI cables along with an Alexis MIDI sequence and Yamaha tone generators, but never used anything for recording, but now that I'm slowly edging to retirement, I've slowed down a lot, and just bought a basic Casio WK-500 (my other gear was for live performances), just to mess around with, and I saw that it uses USB for the MIDI connection which is great as I don't need miles of midi cables, just the one USB cable to the computer, now here's the dilemma, using the Casio just to send MIDI note data to the computer then to the DAW I use (Cakewalk Sonar X3), I can load up a few VSTi's and play them just as if the Casio had that built in, but I want to be able to use a basic midi controller, not a keyboard controller, but something like a small mixing desk that has sliders knobs, switches etc etc, and each movement or toggle sends a MIDI code to the DAW, so that I can assign that data to a function in one of the VSTi's, EG,,,,,When I use the Hammond B3 Vsti, I can assign different MIDI data to various functions, such as, that I can currently assign the Casio's pitch bend to the B3's Leslie speed control, so that when I pull down the pitch bend is slows the Leslie, and when I return it to center, it speeds up the Leslie, (this is not really practical if playing with both hands) this I want to do with a separate controller, that also has external inputs for things like foot switches that also send MIDI data,when the foot switch is pressed or released,, then I can assign that foot switch for the Leslie speed, and the sliders could be assigned to drawbars. The problem is I can't find a MIDI controller that doesn't use 5 pin DIN, being that my Casio uses USB, the controller would need two USB jacks, 1 for MIDI out and the for MIDI in.

Has anyone come across such a device? If so, what is the model? And if still available, where can I get it?
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
2,272
Reaction score
940
If I've understood what you have in mind, you don't need to connect the controller to the Casio; instead, just connect both the Casio and the controller to the computer. You should be able to merge the MIDI data from the Casio and the MIDI data from the controller together in the DAW.

Also, there are controllers that have USB-MIDI ports, MIDI DIN ports, or both. Check out this one from Akai Pro:

http://akaipro.com/products/pad-controllers/apc-40-mkii

That's not your only option, but I think it has the sorts of features you're talking about.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
If I've understood what you have in mind, you don't need to connect the controller to the Casio; instead, just connect both the Casio and the controller to the computer. You should be able to merge the MIDI data from the Casio and the MIDI data from the controller together in the DAW.

Also, there are controllers that have USB-MIDI ports, MIDI DIN ports, or both. Check out this one from Akai Pro:

http://akaipro.com/products/pad-controllers/apc-40-mkii

That's not your only option, but I think it has the sorts of features you're talking about.
Thanks for replying,,, but that Akai is specifically programmed and designed for Ableton Live DAW, I contacted Akai and asked them about it, and they told me it will not work with any other DAW, it is pre-mapped for Ableton Live, and comes with the DAW, but I tried Ableton and totally hate it, it's so flat on eye candy that it looks like an old pre-1980's 8bit system, and as I'm using Cakewalk Sonar X3, the Akai won't work with it, as the mapping is different, but thanks for the suggestion.

You also mentioned about using multiple USB, EG, Casio to PC and controller to PC using 2 USB ports on the PC, I totally forgot about doing it that way, but that means I'll have to get myself a powered USB hub (all my USB ports on the PC are filled).

I also contacted the local Guitar Center, and they couldn't find anything either. That Akai would be ideal if only it was fully programmable.

Ideally, this is what I'm looking for:-

A controller with rotary knobs, sliders, and toggle switches, with a completely empty map, and all the controls do is to send out MIDI data for that control, IE, I plug in the controller to USB, I start the DAW, insert a VSTi synth, then from within the synth GUI, I click 'Learn', which then all the control knobs and stuff on the GUI would light up different colors, then say, I choose the LFO, I would click on the LFO knob in the GUI, which would highlight,,, then I would go to the controller, and choose a rotary knob, which I would then rotate and the VSTi would sense the data and auto assign that data from the knob I chose to the LFO on the VSTi, by not having any mapping on the controller, it would allow me to use it to control any VSTi.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
2,272
Reaction score
940
I'm shocked that the Akai Pro controller I linked to is locked into Ableton Live, because they say on the product page that the sliders and other controls are "assignable," which normally means you can specify which MIDI CC message is sent by each control. Besides, I don't understand how they could make it so it won't work with any other DAW besides Ableton Live, unless it expects to receive messages from the DAW and only Ableton knows which messages to send it.

Here's another controller that I recently learned of, although I don't know much about it yet:

https://www.studiologic-music.com/products/mixface/

PS -- The product page for the SL Mixface lists several "supported" DAWs. It should work with any DAW that has a "MIDI learn" function, but when they say "supported" DAWs I'm pretty sure they mean that those are the specific DAWs they tested it with and have verified that it interfaces as intended with the DAWs. It does not mean that you can't use it successfully with another DAW that isn't listed-- such as Acoustica Mixcraft, or Cockos REAPER, or Tracktion, etc.-- only that they haven't tried to use that particular DAW. Also, if you use some other DAW that isn't "supported" then you'll probably need to set everything up yourself, as opposed to being able to select some preset configuration that they created for each "supported" DAW.
 
Last edited:

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
2,272
Reaction score
940
By the way, the SL Mixface isn't available yet; I think it's supposed to be coming out in another month or three.

Here's another controller, except it's rather pricey because it has motorized sliders-- meaning the sliders can be moved by the DAW, in addition to working the other way around as usual:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=behringer+x-touch+compact+universal+control+surface

If you want to search for other possibilities, try searching for "MIDI control surface." Another one that's much less pricey is the Korg NANOKONTROL2 Slim-Line USB Control Surface Black, but it has only 8 sliders, and you'll probably want 9 sliders if you plan to use them as drawbars.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top