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Stig Nørgaard Færch

Which MIDI Keyboard (with pads, knobs, transport controls)

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Hi,

I'm searching for a low cost midi keyboard with controls like faders, knobs, pads and transport controls which will work flawlessly with CbB.

I have been trying to find something on the used marked, but the ones I have found until know doesn't seem to work very well with CbB.

For example I found the Nektar Impact LX25+ which has all I need, but then I find a forum thread which makes me think that this is not the one:

Problem integrating Nektar Lx25+ with cakewalk - Cakewalk by BandLab - Cakewalk Discuss | The Official Cakewalk by BandLab Forum

I have an old Technics px201 digital piano, that I want to use in the setup, so I don't need a full size midi keyboard.

Which midi keyboard with all the controls can I expect to work without too much of a hassle?

Thanks in advance.

/Stig

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I found this:

https://audioassemble.com/best-midi-controllers-for-cakewalk/

And this-  @azslow3   is your man when it comes to this question. I just baited him with the old @ trick :) 

 

From my experience it should come with a dedicated driver and not use a Windows generic driver. So before you by go to the product page and look for downloads or some documentation about midi drivers. If it says "plug and play no drivers needed" I myself would move on. 

Edited by John Vere

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Hi Stig and welcome to the Cakewalk forums.

I have an older version of this controller.  I guess this is the only model and has 61 keys.  I am only mentioning the A-800Pro because it was specifically designed to integrate with SONAR and it is relatively affordable for the feature set.

https://www.roland.com/global/products/a-800pro/

I can't say much about it since I don't have one, but a few CbB users here have it.

Kind regards,

tecknot

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I have the A-300PRO, and yes it is a hassle to set up. The A-PRO series was originally produced by Roland back when they owned Cakewalk years ago.

But to my knowledge that was the only purpose built keyboard controller series ever made for Cakewalk.

There are other keyboards that will work, but all will require some user configuration. In any case, if you are comfortable setting up MIDI CC's, and using MIDI learning, you should be able to get some satisfaction from any generic MIDI keyboard.

It seems that generally hardware manufacturers only supply plug and play templates for some major commercial DAWs. Check their specs carefully for compatibility.

 

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13 hours ago, Stig Nørgaard Færch said:

I'm searching for a low cost midi keyboard with controls like faders, knobs, pads and transport controls which will work flawlessly with CbB.

That is like looking for low cost auto with all possible feature, which work flawlessly on each road type at any speed 😎

Transport and fixed set of parameters will work using any keyboard (as long as it has corresponding hardware controls). "Fixed set" means you need "setup time" to bring each fader/knob in sync with Cakewalk, so once you change what you control (f.e. switch the sync or preset in the synth, move to the next block of tracks, etc) you need "setup time" again.  Note that Synth control is normally work the same way as keys, so the DAW is not involved in that process (it just pass MIDI to plug-in).

For anything else (Mix, FXes, complicated synths control) low cost keyboards are not a good. Which more expensive keyboards to choose depends from required operations. F.e. for synth parameters adjusting while switching synths, NI is probably the best option. While for 8 channel mixer combined with keyboard, Motör can be better.

My usual quick and dirty advise: with TouchDAW you can get an idea what (expensive) DAW controller can do in Cakewalk, for $5. As low cost hardware try X-Touch Mini for $50. Put on your  PX201, it can somehow imitate  (expensive) NI keyboard experience with synths while providing reasonable DAW controlling functionality (NI can't do that currently in Cakewalk).

 

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If the Nektar LX+ controllers otherwise meet your requirements, you should not be put off by the threads where some people could not get them to work as they had hoped. I don't know what they did wrong, but I just got an LX49+, and had no trouble quickly connecting it with CbB. Their website clearly documents what it will do with each of the DAWs it supports, and it does everything they say it will with no user mapping/programming required. It has separate dedicated plug-ins for each DAW, including Sonar/CbB. You have to register with Nektar to download the plug-ins and installation instructions. I just followed those  instructions and it works flawlessly. I also set it up with the free version of Studio One 5, and it works as advertised there too.

The Nektar LX+ keyboards also allow for quite a bit of additional user programming for more specific control of VST instruments for example, if you are so inclined. I haven't gone down that path yet, and may not need to.

Everyone's needs are different, but yours may be similar to mine. I did a lot of research to find the best controller for me, especially considering that CbB  is my DAW of choice, and have not been disappointed in any way.  I think these are the only controllers anywhere near the price that do have a dedicated plug-in for Sonar/CbB. If you use one of the "major" DAWs, there are more choices.

If you want the nine faders, you'll have to go for 49 keys. The 25 key version only has room for one fader.

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I have the LX25+ and I like it a lot and have had no problems with using it with CbB.  Considering the price, I thinks it's awesome. However, if I have one complaint, it would be that the keys are somewhat noisy as they bottom out when playing with a little force. I've gotten used to it so I don't really even notice anymore. Also, I purchased my unit used so a newer unit might not be as noisy.

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