I’m on the market for a new Midi controller and wanted to check what folks are using with Dorico and whether any integrate especially well.
I’m considering Novation SL mkiii, Arturia Keylab mkii, and NI Komplete Kontrol S series. Do any of these (or others) work well enough that you don’t need mouse / keyboard while using them for note input etc.?
They are all superb performance controllers. I have the big Arturia Keylab 88 MKII. You can control DAW functions with it as well as play. But not functions in Dorico.
I suppose it’s a personal thing but I find it far easier to engrave with the keyboard than mess around with MIDI controllers. Others like it. But in terms of pure note entry, maybe get a cheap small one that fits on your desk. The iRig Keys device is good and a whole let cheaper than the Arturia.
But in terms of ‘work well enough’ - these are all top end keyboards. But they are not Dorico control surfaces.
I have a Native Instruments M32 mini keyboard which is fine for entering notes into my laptop when away from home, but as others have said, it doesn’t really integrate into Dorico (yet…?) So I guess any old keyboard would do.
What I do find really useful though is a Streamdeck with the NYC Music Services Dorico template. Well worth considering if you don’t already have one.
You can’t currently use a hardware controller for things like controlling the mixer or transport; though I dare say that will come, in time.
You can assign MIDI commands as shortcuts – e.g. to trigger program functions – under “MIDI Learn” in app Preferences > Key commands.
I have a Roland A-49 on my desk, which works perfectly for note entry, without being too monstrous; and I use an Akai LPK-25 when I’m ‘on the move’ (though TBH, the built-in virtual keyboard suffices).
There are a few threads where people have posted pics of their setups, which may be helpful to you. Here’s my old post about my Alesis VI keyboard. It is PERFECT for note entry, and because it has so many programmable buttons. You can really do a LOT with it. My setup has evolved a bit since this picture, but the keyboard has remained ever faithful and useful. Frankly, I can’t imagine working in dorico without one.