Best Midi Controller - Your Opinion

Hey all,
I’ve been looking at different midi controllers and am having trouble making any decisions mostly because I can’t get my hands on them.

I have the Korg NanoPAD, NanoKONTROL2, and AKAI MPD32. I’ve had a few problems connecting to the AKAI but honestly have not spent any time troubleshooting it.

I’m looking for portability (somewhat small in size), flexibility (multiple pages of presets and/or preset value storage), and a cool/geek factor.

This looks kind of cool:

What do you recommend?


I can vouch for the maschine! I spent a lot of time searching for a good drumpad controller with velocity AND pressure sensitivity. The maschine works great to trigger the subtleties of your visuals. Has a good editor too so you can customize it just how you want it. If you get it, I can give you the component I setup for it. Actually, I might as well go post that in the tox form.

Hmm, maybe that component forum is gone now?

Here is that component for the NI Maschine Mikro. I have it setup for all the pads and some of the buttons. I just stick that component in my root level and use select chops to grab whatever drumpad I need from it like this: /maschine_recording/drumpad1

It’s also setup to record all your midi hits so that you can export video of a performance using “Black Art Recording” as described here: … with_Audio
maschine_recording_b.tox (715 KB)

+1 for Maschine. I love my Mikro Mk2.

Livid makes great gear as well:

Livid also has a system where you can build your own controller, if you’re into the DIY methods.

Keith McMillen has some cool stuff:

Im quite happy with my nanoKontrol’s, tiny, does what they need to do, and super cheap to replace.

Hey guys,
Thanks for the suggestions and for sharing the tox file Enthe.

I ended up going with the Maschine MK2 & must admit that it is pretty damn awesome. It has way more functionality than my intended usage but when (and if) I get the time to play with some music, I have the tool for it. I’m still trying to figure out how to setup the controller without software but have quite a way to go through the extensive documentation. My questions are so basic that neither NI’s website or Dr. Google has been able to provide any answers.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for setting up the unit in the Midi Mapper or just in general? I don’t want to spend too much time setting anything up on the board so I was thinking of capturing MIDI data without altering CC info and using a Table dat to export values to parameters.

Something like:
Midi In MAP → Chop To DAT → Merge DAT (merge with table) → Export to parms.

Any tips will help. The Maschine has a slight learning curve…



Did you check out enthewhite’s Maschine project he posted above? Might be the best place to start.

This may be the perfect time to take advantage of the smilies :wink:

I thought I had opened the file when I downloaded it the first time but apparently did not :blush:. Elburz, you’re right - this is the perfect place to start.

:smiley: Enthewhite, this is awesome! :smiley:

Did you build this by hand or did you sprinkle some pixel dust on it to speed things along?

One more question for either of you that I’ve not been able to figure out yet despite referencing the manual, monkey punching, and googling: Have you found a way to edit midi channel data on the Mascine hardware without using any of the Maschine software?

Thanks for your help guys.


I think the only thing I did to speed it along was use the variable $OD in the Controller Index field in the MIDI In chops, which simply gets the number suffix from the name of the chop. That way, I just create one drumpad, make sure there’s a 1 after each chop name (mpressure1, mvelocity1, etc.) Then copy it all and paste 16 times, since touchdesigner conveniently ramps the suffix number to keep the names unique.

I have not found a way to edit the MIDI data coming from the maschine without using the software it came with, but I haven’t tried. Why do you need to change it without using the software? You can use the software to edit the MIDI output, then save the profile to the maschine and simply call up that profile whenever you plug it in.

Maschine MK2 still the best controller?

I was thinking of getting the Akai APC 40 for all the pads and sliders - but like you mentioned pressure sensitivity and velocity can make the difference.

I don’t know, at 600 bucks (for the Maschine) I’ll likely get the APC 40 first - and if it’s less than adequate get the Maschine.

Why not get the mikro? Should be around d $200 less.

Depends what you need. For sliders and such, I use Livid gear, or if in a pinch, a Korg Nano Kontrol. Maschine Mk2 Mikro pads I find the most responsive and comfortable to play.

Great thread. I too am using a Maschine V1 controller and in the process of creating a performance using it. I’m still learning Python so I can increase the functionality and program the many buttons the controller offers. Can anyone here help me with some issue Im having?
First, I want to Bypass the node when I push a pad down.