Need help choosing a midi controller for Cubase AI (and Cubasis 3)

Hi there,
I recently bought the UR24c that came with Cubase 12 AI and Cubasis 3. I’m looking to get a midi controller - hopefully one that I can use with both and wondered if anyone could help me with choosing something that works well.

I’ve got two ideas :

  1. Buy a midi controller with pots, sliders, pads, buttons and keys
    I was looking at the Nektar Impact 49+, because it has enough pads for finger drumming, sliders to map for mixing and also transport controls, mapping softsynths, etc. From the spec., it looks like it works well with Cubase.

Is the Impact ok, or is there something better? I can go to around £300.

  1. Buy a midi controller with pots, sliders, pad and buttons (no keyboard)
    I’m not an accomplished pianist, so I could probably do without keys if the pads are good enough. This also helps with keeping the overall size down, which might mean it could stay on my desk all the time. However, I don’t see any hardware that does most of the things the Impact does - enough sliders for mixing, buttons and sliders for transport control in Cubase, hardware control of softsynths, to name a few.

Are there any non-keyboard midi controllers you can recommend for Cubase (and, less importantly, for Cubasis?)


I use an Akai MPK249 mostly on the road with Cubasis (with iPad), but it works just as well on Cubase. Pretty descent keys with all the pads+pots+sliders you can cram in this footprint.
I just wished it had 9 sliders instead of 8…

For a more compact alternative, look into the MPK225, but you lose the sliders.

For complete kit without keys:

Akai has so many flavors of midi controllers… odds are good you can find a match…
No, I do not work for Akai, or even own any stocks/equity… :wink:

I just looked at the Nektar LX49+ you suggested. A very impressive feature set for the price!
Probably a good pick also.
Their Panorama P4 would be close to perfection for me with its motorized fader… but it’s even larger than my MPK249 that I find too cumbersome already. A bit expensive also…

Here’s an alternative, maybe loads cheaper:

Microsoft Surface dial and Hi!computer Elephant - Steinberg Lounge - Steinberg Forums

I like it for editing/mixing after recording, it is a bit finicky for use during recording, IMO.

Thanks Y-D for your input. I was really thinking about MPK249 mk2, especially since the build quality was supposed to be great, but I think it’s a hefty piece of kit. I’ll have another look at the last one on your list.

Thanks again!

Hi Alexis,

Thank you for posting an alternative. Years ago I might have gone for that option, but these days I’m going for as out-of-the-box-experience as I can get!

It is intriguing though - enough for me to have spent an hour or so going over the pros and cons of it.