Which Keyboard controller for Cubase 7?

A few years ago I bought an MAudio Axiom 61. Many knobs, sliders, buttons, all are completely useless unless you either want to spend hours programming XML yourself, or have the file that MAudio use to provide on their website, but since they have spun off their keyboard to something called InMusic, they no longer support it.

So I’m in the market for a replacement keyboard. I’m looking for a good quality keyboard controller like the Axiom, but one that’s company stands by its product (unlike the Axiom) .
One that works seamlessly with Cubase.

The new Axiom might work fine with cubase, but once bitten twice shy…

Any suggestions?


novation sl mk11 61 note automaps keyboards are very good , it’s a good quality keyboard and all your plugin’s once wrapped are accessible on the controls without having to program anything so these keyboards are worth a look


very cool. so the transport buttons work fine with cubase? how is the support (ie, drivers , etc).


yes the transport works fine and there is a lot of support from focusrite with the drivers and they are always updating the automaps :wink:

I have had two novation controllers, great keyboard feel, much better than M-audio for sure, used 3 generations of auto map than i have decided to quit! wrapping the plug-ins means you have to load there version of the plug-in, not very friendly for future compatibility, and i have little time to follow up on updates and wraps…So i ended up getting a Roland BASIC controller, A-500, its very thin, so it sits nicely between the computer and doesnt force me to push the screen really back…Most midi controllers on the market are a compromise and dont work that great, unless you have the time and the skills to re-program them, I am not that smart to figure that stuff out! i just got the steinberg QC controller, Its great because it gives me instant access to the Q control menus in cubase, and the F keys are EASILY assignable to anything in cubase… I love the integration, the QUICK learn function in cubase, it just works, WIthout the need to load an extra layer of software that interfer between you and the workstation, I have had SO many troubles with novation automap in the past V2-V4, so manytimes i was more troubleshooting than working on music, so many plug-ins i had to unwrap and reload …your experience may vary, and i am sure lots of people have had excellent work with auto-map, for me i decided that its not worth my time, cubase Q menu are very handy and having them always available in a controller rules!
here is my minimalist setup

bashar i feel your pain but i personally have not encountered any of the issues you are talking about ,im on automap 4.6 and everything is wrapped fine with cubase 7 and my uad plugin’s ,camel plugin’s and padshop pro is automapped ,even my vsti’s from midiquest10 xl are automapped so id go as far to say this issue is system specific…
While you mention the cmc QC q function your right it is pretty cool but steinberg still haven’t sorted out the issue of NO eq control and steinberg have gone very quite about the issue ( check the cmc threads about it) and we have no idea when there will be an update of the cmc os or weather there ever will be .
In my eyes im very happy with the automap , you just need to find a version that works for you and your setup and stick with it and not update ,as they say “if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it”


The QC is fine for controlling the track, but terrible when you try to control multiple plugins on the same track. You need 8 QC per plug, not per track.

Hello! I just got the QC and still in the love phase! i noticed the EQ not working, not a big deal so far,i have been mousing with the EQ, Padshop and halion work really nice with this thing, and the fact that you can drag anything to the Q menu and enable it. I am going to some steinberg event next week and i will ask them about this, hopefully its coming in the updates…
i am happy that novation has fixed auto-map. can you assign the Q control menu to it, or any other controller? I am new to cubase and find this thing indispensable! sometimes limitations are good:")


I would just be happy if I could find a keyboard that when I hit the record button it records in cubase, when I hit the stop, it stops, and the rewind, it rewinds. I’m not that hard to please… :laughing:

THat is too advanced for my slow-head, i am not that good at multi-tasking! what i really like about cubase 7 is that it pushes me to work on the music on one side and mix on the other end, never needed to control more than one plug “instrument” at a time… and the quick learn, assignability is brilliant. as for mixing, i still find it easier to use the mouse then figuring out where everything is on the controller, i had 2 novation remote SLs, that stuff was never fluid, but that is just me!

That is supposed to be the point of things like the QC… you shouldn’t have to hurt your head. When Padshop is in focus it should have the QC mapped that is saved with the patch. If on the same track you have a compressor in the next slot, when you focus on it, you should have 8 QC controls automagically available to you that will save with the patch. When no VST or VSTi is in focus the QC are the track QC.

If it worked like that it would be worth $500 or more to me. Without that it is worth $7.50. The AI controller has to be the dumbest thing ever … Use the mouse to point at the control, then DON’T USE THE MOUSE SCROLL WHEEL THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE YOUR HAND ON, reach over there and twist this other dial. And, a $100 jog wheel is uhmmm not for me.

It is what the automap stuff tries to do for you, but ends up being a hassle.

thats a very valid point about the QC, but it seems to learn from more than one plug in at a time “you can assign the 8 Q to different plug-ins”. I am still in the test -drive phase, not sure if this thing is Enhancing or degrading my productivity, I used to have racks of gear in the past and trimmed it down to absolute minimum. Also, the mouse and turn the dial solution is Retarded at best… :smiley:

Yes, but all 8 are used by Halion or Padshop alone … now none left for the track settings or maybe another filter in the next slot down … or maybe the track parameters like volume/pan/send volume etc… etc… 8 for all plugs on a track is simply not enough. 8 per plug + 8 for the track is probably a good number, if skimpy in some cases(multiple filters/envelopes in a VSTi). But, a good general number.

But 8 per track is useless.

I’d also really like to be able to use the QC in stand alone mode with Halion and Padshop.

Not really! i just tested it, i loaded halion, then assigned the first 2 controls to a different plug in “camel audio”, it worked, Not the ultimate automated solution, but it worked.

Yes, but you lost those controls for Halion. That patch that had 8 controls assigned is now broken … or at least that’s how it worked for me. If there is a way to do it without losing control of the other two halion commands, I’m all ears.

you are way off topic fella’s

sorry filter freak, we shall behave:)

Ok, back on topic… NOT the Steinberg controllers as they are right now … :laughing:

yes back to topic, NAMM is coming in less in 2 weeks, its a good idea to wait, lots of new controllers will be announced according to the guys at gearslutz