Best Controller

Hi there, I am updating my studio equipment and I am in need of a USB MIDI Controller I have been looking in to ;

A)M-Audio Code 61 61-Key

B) Akai Professional Advance 61 .

Are the M-Audio Code pads compatible with HALion Sonic SE 2 , Groove Agent SE 4 , LoopMash 2 and/or any VSTI?

I will be using the controller with Cubase and Native Instrument so which out of the two is more highly recommended by compatibility and is user friendly?

I have heard that Akai Professional Advance 61 comes with sounds and software I would like to know will this conflict with Native instruments or will it be compatible ?

Best Controller by far for integrating with Cubase a most VST´s including NI.

You might want to consider one of these, the integration with Cubase is great…

I love mine. :mrgreen:

Wow, what’s the odds on that!!

Hahaha Great minds think alike.

I have an AKAI MPK88 and a Panorama P1 - love them both.

I’ve got the nectar panorama keyboard and whilst I do really enjoy it… And the controller integration is great… I have issues with the build quality of the keyboard.

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I’ve got a Nectar P6 and apart from experimenting with it the first day I bought it, I don’t think I’ve used it a single time to control anything apart from just playing the keys. All that scrolling around the quite small screen to find the parameter you want… no thanks, I’ll just grab the mouse that’s right in front of me. That’s been my personal experience with it.

For the price, as a primary DAW controller, I’m quite content with the Akai MPK261. The keys feel nice, and the unit I got seems well run through quality control (all the sensors and switches are well calibrated and uniform). Aftertouch is a bit stiff (will probably soften up with regular use over time), but it does work well. The MPC pads are decent (I’ve felt better pads on dedicated MPC units…but these are quite useable). The build quality is quite good on this thing. It’s solid enough to haul it around and beat it up. It’s also one of the lowest profile 5 Octave controllers on the market so it fits well on my desk (since the bend/mod wheels are above the keys instead of out to the side, it shaves a good 4 to 6 inches off the length of the board).

The MPK2 doesn’t have the fancy color screen with a plugin host and all (Like the Advance), but it’s easy to tweak and map the numerous controllers and MPC pads on the fly. Since I only use this board with a DAW sitting right in front of my PC, I personally don’t miss the overhead of trying to manage plugins through something like VIP (The Host for the Advance that lets you view Plugins right there in the Advance’s Color LCD screen)…I just do it right in the DAW/Host directly.

The included software plugins by Akai (MPC Essentials), SONiVOX (Eighty Eight Ensemble Piano and Twist), and AIR (Hybrid 3) are not bad (maybe quite good depending on your style of music). I actually use the Eighty Eight Piano pretty often for jazz, pop/rock, folk, school/educational band, and progressive rock mixes. The other included plugins will be of more interest if you’re into dance/house/trance/rap/hiphop styles of music (stuff I love but don’t get as much time to fiddle with).

If you’re looking at some of the newer boards like the Advance, that allow you to integrate plugins and manage them on a screen, I’d pause to ask myself a few questions and do a bit of research.

  1. Do I already have a bunch of high end/expensive instruments I want to use with it? If so…browse the support sites of said boards and make sure their included hosts are working well with your plugins/libraries. If not, and your life is on a tight budget, you might would rather apply your money towards a really nice sound engine (Halion 5, Kontakt, Vienna Pro, Mach 5, Omnisphere…whatever fits your style/needs best) instead of for a fancy LCD screen?

  2. How mission critical is your rig? If you’re going to depend on the controller for rock solid reliability in a performance scenario, and you’ve got a lot of existing plugins to try to get working, I’d get myself to a pro audio store and TRY such a board in person before buying, or get it from a place with good trial/return policies.

The plugin hosts for the boards with fancy screens are still pretty new…add to that recent Windows 10 and Apple El Capitan upgrades throwing a monkey wrench into things, so if you get one, be prepared to require a bit of patience as they work kinks and bugs out of the software. They should still be quite usable (even if you drop to a dumb controller mode)…it’s just still really new technology. The technology should be a good long term investment…just be ready for some reasonable disappointments in the short term.

You mean Controller with Keyboard not Controller alone by the way…

Why not the Komplete Kontrol or Maschine?

My personal best Controller (without Keys) is Mackie MCU Pro with BCR2000 with my Generic Remote configuration described here:

It took me one year to config it properly and I work with it 5 years now every day so I can say this is the best controller for ME.

Out of curiosity… what kind of issues are you having with the keyboard?

I sent the first nektar p6 back after a week because two of the buttons below the midi faders had been wired in the wrong way around.

They sent me a new one with minimal hassle it has to be said. I’ve had this one for maybe a year and it’s fine but I do get ghost notes when I’m playing hard which shouldn’t happen.

Manike, when I first set up my P6 I was getting double notes. I found that I had 2 inputs activated in the Cubase MIDI set up. One for the midi input and one for the USB. Just wondering if you maybe have something like this going on.

Anyone rate the Novation SL MK2

Cheers for the response but no its not that. If I’m playing the keys hard, sometimes a note close by will trigger very quietly like on an electric drum kit.

I like mine quite a bit. I don’t use the automap most of the time, and I have an MCU and some extenders for mixing, but as a straight up keyboard with lots of assignable controls, I really like my SLMkII

Could anybody please let me know how to be able see Eighty Eight in my virtual instruments within cubase.
I’ve been trying to solve this for 2 days now

I am using mpk261

I’m assuming you’ve already run the SONiVOX installer, and have iLok software with your license keys and all in place.

At that point, you’ll need to make sure its plugin is in a directory that Cubase is scanning.
You can view and make adjustments to the folders (directories) Cubase will scan for plugins by:
Clicking in the top menu of the main project window, “Devices” then choosing “Plugin Manager” in the drop down menu.

In the top pane you can use tabs to view the current VST effect and VST instrument plugins.

In the lower pane of the dialogue/window that pops up, you can add new plugin directories with the plus button, remove them with the X button, and force resets or rescans with the other icons.

The 64bit version of the plugin is named “Eighty Eight 2 x64.dll” if you’d like to use a Windows Explorer ‘drive or system search’ to track it down. I.E. Here I ran an Explorer Search in Windows 10 with the wildcard pattern “Eighty*.dll”.
As you can see here in ‘my case’, that Windows Explorer found where I’ve made a second copy (or junction links) in my Bidule Host’s setup directory as well.

Keep in mind, that if you like having different assortments of plugins for different hosts (I.E. Sibelius, Finale, Bidule, other DAWS, etc.), then you can always copy and paste the main dll to different places that your different hosts might scan.

By default plugin installers tend to be use a location similar to ones below, but they usually allow you to change this if desired at the time you run the installer.
C:\Program Files\VSTPlugins
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VSTplugins
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST2
C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTPlugins

32bit plugins (if you happen to be using 32bit Cubase and need these instead) are similar but would be located under
C:\Program Files (x86)…
and have the name “EightyEight 2.dll”.

Once you’ve located the plugin, make sure Cubase is scanning the directory where the Plugin lives, or copy/move it to one of the plugin directories that Cubase scans at launch.

Once Eighty Eight plugin is loaded…if for some reason it’s not finding its samples, redirect it to look for them in:
“C:\Program Files (x86)\SONiVOX\EightyEight 2” That’s where they go by default unless you instructed the installer to put them elsewhere at the time you ran it. Where these ‘resource files’ are concerned, both 64bit and 32bit versions share them from this same place.

Bumping this thread for 9.5: what’s everyone using for a tightly-integrated MIDI controller nowadays?

I waffled on a dedicated hardware sequencer because I figured for the price of Pyramid/Live/Deluge/Cirklon/etc., I’ll need a DAW anyways, and Cubase on a beefy box should run circles around anything out there… except the workflow: jamming on a DAW with a keyboard/mouse is a real flow killer.

I’d love to have a dedicated controller (no keyboard; have my REV2) that I can use for transport and track-toggling and pads. A Push Lite for Cubase would be stellar.