Quality Controller keyboard?

I thought this forum would be a good place to ask please…

I am looking for a well built 61 note controller keyboard. I have a very good RD 700NX fully wieghted main keyboard and a Nord C2 in my studio, but neither of these is a controller keyboard. I do have a Axiom 61 which does a job, but it is pretty cheap and plasticky the keyboard is very spongy and the faders feel indefinite and wobbly.
I am seeking to upgrade on the second hand market and buy something well built. Stricktly a controller keyboard, mod and pitch and enough faders is what I am seeking, with a good action.

I cant really go by pictures, I am hoping to check out recommendations

Soemthing well made in all respects please, does not matter how old in design.



Good luck, and be sure to write here about your experiences. I own a Novation Nocturn 49 that I hate. I hate every single darned controller that I’ve ever owned, for various reasons. I’ll describe here, however, just to see if perhaps some engineer at Steinberg sees this and gets intrigued enough to maybe give us what we need (and what I want)!

  • A 49 or 61 key keyboard with an AWESOME, semi-weighted keyboard. NONE of these stupid “Tru-Touch” or “Synth-Action” crapola keys…

  • NO KNOBS OR SLIDERS. Really. Nobody cares. I don’t use them for anything, because I’m strictly a studio guy. I want something that I can use to PROGRAM VSTi’s with – not something that would be more appropriate on a tour with Steve Vai.

  • An actual ASCII keyboard right smack in the top panel.

  • An actual space to put a mouse and / or an easily-reachable and programmable touchpad – preferably one that lets you disable tapping. (I HATE “tap-to-click” touchpads. They are Satan’s spawn – really.)

  • Something that is light-weight (under five pounds) and that is also extremely strong – like carbon-fiber.

I don’t care if the thing costs $1,000. I’d pay it in a second if I knew that I was getting the best-darned keyboard on the planet. I would suddenly love playing the awesome synths in Cubase, and I would never go back to Fatar, M-Audio, Alesis, Roland, or Novation again. I hate all of the products that those companies release. They are cheap and crummy and don’t let me do what I want to do.

Thanks for asking though. And I was serious when I said “good luck” and let us know if you find anything even remotely good out there.

I have the novation SLMKII it has very decent keys for a controller most of them are not great though, I find for controllers novation slmkII comes as close as possible to good feel plus automap once set-up right is pretty fun to use although not essential.

The rule is this, the best controllers are actual on stage keyboards, like a yamaha motif, Kurzweil keyboards, korgs, roland V-synth, access virus. they have the best keys and make the best controllers, and they cost a lot of money. So if you want the best get an actual instrument preferably one you will actually use the sounds on and use it as a controller as well.

If not I recommend the novation sl MKII keys are good enough and in my mind are the best out there when compared to other controller only keyboards. I like the feel of the controllers, knobs are a little close together but you get used to it pretty fast, most of em are not great but we live with them and continue to make music somehow : ).

Thanks for the input folks…

I am wondering how the MK2 integrates with Cubase 6 (64 bit) ? I have quite a few plugins all the spectrasonics, absynth, kontakt, Halion, Play stuff etc. So, you have the Novastation software installed, open up Cubase 6, then a plugin, what happens? Do you just find everything mapped? For example if I load my NI B4 (hammond) will I find the sliders mapped to thedrawbars? If I load a Kontakt instrument - say a synth does it map the cotnrls here? How does it ‘automap’? Seems to good to be true?

Did you make a decision?

I have an FA08. Not too happy with it. Keys are ok but it has lots of features I don’t use. Also the DAW control is laughable.

Played a Roland RD 2000 and Roland Juno DS88. I like the feel of the 2000 better but, again, it has all these features I’m not going to use. The DS88 has a good feel too but still a few features I won’t use. And I’m pretty sure the DAW controls aren’t any better than the FA

I’ve been also eyeing the Komplete Kontrol S88 MK2. It probably has good DAW control but I haven’t been able to feel the keys. I went to a few guitar centers but they didn’t have one out.