Cubase 8 & Newer Controller Keyboards

I’m not sure if I’ve posted this in the right place…I was going to post in the hardware forum but not everyone is using Cubase 8 so figured I’d be better here…

Anyhow, after a sad incident (trusty ancient midi keyboard passed away) I am in the market for a 25 key midi controller keyboard that will control Cubase 8 somewhat, but also add a reasonable keybed, 4-8 rotary knobs for automation, transport controls and drum pads with reasonable sensitivity.

I have a larger keyboard to take care of the main keyboard playing so I’ve been looking at these smaller keyboards:

Akai MPK 225

M-Audio Axiom 25 (2nd gen)

Nektar Impact LX25

Alesis V/VI 25

I’ve searched around and can’t really find much info or reviews about them as (apart from the Axiom) they are all quite new…I can’t seem to find out their individual controller software supports Cubase 8 properly. Plenty say 7 and 7.5 but not 8.

Do any of you own any of the above models? Do you find they work/control Cubase 8? Any I should avoid?

Huge thanks!

Perhaps the UMA25S or UMX250 might also suffice.

Hi MusicalKat,

I’ve recently purchased NI Komplete 10 ultimate and needed a new midi controller to control the keyswitches which is akward on a 25 midi keyboard (have to transpose all the time :slight_smile:.

Anyway I bought a Alesis vi61 and can program any button and knob the way I like, only downfall is there are no templates so you have to fill in what type of function the controller knob does and which CC parameters it controls.

It’s simple and straight forward, so I can recommend it (also the VI series have aftertouch and semi weighted keys).

Thanks for that! I’d not even seen those in my search…there are no pads but I’ll take a look at the links! :slight_smile:

Hi, thanks for this! I only really have room for a 25 key as I already have a 61 key keyboard too. How do you find the drum pads on the VI61? I see that you get the same 16 on the VI25! Are they any good/have good velocity? I’ve read on Alesis help forum that the keys and pads have wonky velocity curves even when you change them in the editor so your ‘real world’ experience would be great to hear! The pads were what attracted me to the Akai MPK225 and the Alesis VI series…I’d use them mainly with Battery 4.

Thanks! I really appreciate all input! :smiley:

Wel the pads are working, but I really do not use them so my opinion isn’t the best practise. My 7 years old daughter finds them attractive due to the different colours with different velocity haha. And I know that akai has a far better reputation for pads.

The Alesis V-series (I don’t know anything about the VI-series) have a bug where you cannot successfully change the polarity of the sustain pedal settings. So unless you’ve got a sustain pedal with switchable polarity, you won’t be able to use it with piano VSTs, etc. (I am a V25 owner, and Alesis’ tech support has failed on many levels… owners of the other V-series models have complained of the same problem.)

I own the 25-key Nektar Impakt. It’s quite a good controller, and already tailored for Cubase. I only bought the Alesis board because its form factor was perfect for my cramped workspace. Too bad it doesn’t really work for me.

Aww :smiley: I’m the same…a child of the 80s. Show me coloured lights and I’m there lol. Thanks for the info though!

Hi there, thanks for replying…this was one of the things that concerned me along with the other issues people were having.

If you don’t mind me asking, how do you find the keybed and in particular, the pads on the Nectar Impakt LX25? Can you get a rough beat laid down with the Pads?

It looks like I’m down to the Nectar Impact LX25 or the Akai MPK 225

Huge appreciation to you all for your ‘real world’ input! It’s a huge help! I’m in recovery so unable to get to a store!

If you don’t mind me asking, how do you find the keybed and in particular, the pads on the Nectar Impakt LX25? Can you get a rough beat laid down with the Pads?

It looks like I’m down to the Nectar Impact LX25 or the Akai MPK 225

What controller model did you end up choosing? I also narrowed my choices down to the same 2 models but have read some negative things about the Akai MPK series.

Is anyone using the Nectar Impact LX25 with Cubase 8? Any opinions suggestions pros/cons?

much appreciated

There is a firware update for the Alesis VI controllers -
the vi49 in this case. The other models also have updates on the download tab of the appropriate page

How do you find the alesis integration with cubase 8?

Is anyone using the Nektar Impact LX25 successfully? It boasts about its integration with DAWs but there are little to no reviews with regards to cubase 8…

Thanks dude! :mrgreen:

I don’t have a keyboard controller but I do use the Nektar Panorama P1 and I am very happy with it. The integration with Cubase is excellent and works exactly as claimed. I have found it to be an intuitive piece of kit. My only initial issue was a mistake I made setting it up that support sorted out immediately. I would imagine that the keyboard version would function in exactly the same way.

Here is a video demonstration of the LX with Cubase…

It’s a fact that Nektar controllers integrate with Cubase better than any other brand, since Nektar are the only company writing a customized protocol for each product for Cubase integration. Other controllers rely on MCU, or a basic MIDI preset using the generic remote.