Need advice/opinion on controllers

I’ve been looking for a weighted-action controller for quite some time now. I ended up buying an Akai MPK88 sight unseen and I hat it – the action is terrible. A number of people on other forums have held that to get a really good piano action, you need to buy a nice digital piano or even a workstation (same if you want a synth action – you need to buy a synth). Even the Roland rep who I ran into lately agreed with this.

But my main question here is with regards to modulation control. I’ve been operating under the ASSumption that I need a controller that has a mod wheel, since I do a lot of work with sample libraries where the mod wheel controls various things – volume, attack, etc. The only two companies that still use mod wheels however seems to be Kurzwel and Yamaha.

My question to you is: do you think one can get the same functionality with a controller that uses a joystick, like the Korgs, or a handle-thingy, like the Rolands? I ask this because my two principle candidates at this point are the new Korg Kronos or a Roland RD-700

At least look at, and play, the Yamaha S90 XS. It, and the Roland RD-700, have decent piano-like action.

I use an old RD-300s as a controller. It’s heavy, and has great action. The onboard sounds are marginal however.

The newer stuff like the Yamaha S90xs and Roland RD-700 onboard sounds are impressive.

Also, the Nord 88-key Stage Piano’s sound great and enjoy good action.

The Nord does sound good but doesn’t have any pitch or mod controls – need that.

My buddy has an S90 XS and it’s very nice. Isn’t it discontinued, however?

Do you have any opinion on my question regarding using joystick or the handle-thingy for manipulating sample libraries?

The S90ES is discontinued. IIRC the XS model replaces it.

I use neither. If I want a high level of “feel” in the part I’ll usually track it with a midi guitar controller to capture all the nuance … then edit to suit once in Cubase.

I have a Yamaha KX8 - discontinued, but it’s a great graded hammer action controller with both pitch and mod wheels.

There are a few on eBay right now at good prices.

Here is a new one for a good price:

I use an old DX-7 as a controller. I find the key weighting and feel a good compromise between an organ keyboard and a weighted KX88 (which is still my dream). The DX-7’s are quite cheap at the moment depending on the condition.

Interesting. I used to have a KX88 – I assume this is similar. Thanks – I’ll look into that