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Trying to decide which MIDI controller

Hi everyone, this is my first post.

I write my own songs for piano and voice and am looking to buy a MIDI controller, keyboard or synth so that I can record decent piano and other instruments on Studio 1, which is the software I use. I have a piano but it is completely out of tune and I'd rather just buy a MIDI controller so I can record piano and other virtual instruments in the areas of drums, guitar, bass, strings etc. Studio 1 has a lot of virtual instruments on it but obviously I need something digital that I can connect to my computer to play them. I've been looking at a few, namely:

Novation Impulse 61
Casio XW-P1 synth
Yamaha MM6 synth
Casio CDP230
Casio PX350
Casio PX5S

They all seem good and I'm just looking for advice on which one would be best for me to buy. I just want to record my songs so they sound professional, and I want to be able to play heaps of virtual instruments and synths using my software or ones included on the MIDI controller, if they come with it. I want the MIDI controller to be simple to use. It needs to have a sustain pedal jack and USB input.

I already own everything else I think I need - I have an audio interface, mic, leads, everything like that.

I'd really appreciate any advice on which one of these six I should buy. Thanks!


Member for
51 years 5 months

bigtree Tue, 11/11/2014 - 22:10


I like pads as well so I choose the Akai Renaissance. Maybe add Akai to the list . Its good to find controllers that are recommended for the DAW.

maybe this one too?

Member for
6 years 7 months

Sugar Wed, 11/12/2014 - 20:04

Thanks a heap! Those pages were super helpful, especially the top 10 MIDI controllers. I've been doing heaps of research and it seems to have come down to the Novation Impulse or the Casio PX350. So now I'm wondering which of those to get. PX350 apparently has a way better piano sound and feel, and it's got 88 keys, which is a plus.

My new question is: Is the Impulse simply a software-based MIDI controller and that's it? (I'm presuming it is.) More importantly, is the PX350 a MIDI controller plus a proper musical keyboard as well? Because I'm really liking the PX350 but need to make sure that it's still going to be exactly like a normal MIDI controller - perfectly compatible with computer software and all that stuff. I need to record with the keyboard straight onto the computer, not onto the keyboard itself.

I've also just found another MIDI controller, Arturia KeyLab 88. Any thoughts about that one? This one looks great, but again, is this one a controller with no in-built sounds?

I'm just bogged down with info and I can't really figure out exactly what each one is best for.

If you have an answer to this, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks.

Member for
51 years 5 months

bigtree Wed, 11/12/2014 - 20:11

If any of these keyboards have a usb connection, you can use it to trigger VSTi inside Studio One. Which I'm sure they do.

So, assuming that, choose the one that has the feature you need. Knobs, pads, joystick, benders, faders etc. You can assign the knobs etc to do things in your DAW. But if you don't have to assign as much, if the keyboard is already Studio One Friendly, your workflow might be better or more fun. Faster etc.

88 keys are cool but sometimes the smaller ones are better sitting in front of you.