MIDI control surfaces are vital for bringing your electronic music out of the screen and into the performance-sphere. No one wants to watch a musician staring at their laptop, and it's not much fun to perform that way either, so a decent MIDI controller can work wonders for your tracks in the live environment.
Geared towards Studio One’s new live performance options, but equally as comfortable as a Live controller.
The mighty Atom is a compact, USB-powered pad controller, that lets you make quick choices on the fly, and build detailed, layered live arrangements. Its velocity and pressure-sensitive pads add natural musical expression, too.
Take things to an ultra-modern level with a Live-controller on your mobile or tablet.
The app is hugely customisable, allowing you to sculpt your interface to only control the parameters that you need, or you can choose from 60 predesigned templates. A show with your telephone? Alexander Graham Bell would be astonished.
Enhancing the studio and the stage, the KeyLab series is a robust, well-built keyboard with 16 performance pads that allow sample and beat triggering.
It’s got inputs aplenty, while its DAW-controlling chops are impressive, meaning you can leave the laptop hidden from view, as you rock the ‘board like Jean-Michel Jarre.
Novation rule the roost when it comes to pad controllers, and the latest iteration of the Pro seals the deal with impressive new features including a more streamlined build, bigger pads and an in-built step sequencer, not to mention better control of Ableton Live (and any other DAW, for that matter). The pads are colourful and it looks cool as hell.
Commanding DAWs via 25 automatically mapped controls, as well as performance enhancing (read cheating!) abilities such as Smart Chord and Smart Scale, the latter of which restrains you to a selected scale.
The Oxygen Pro is simply designed to make you sound good. Its in-built arpeggiator is another fun addition.
If you use Ableton Live, the obvious choice of controller is Ableton’s own. The widely used Push 2 is literally a hardware extension of the software, with a high-res display to keep you visually clued in as you pound the expressive pads.
Sample slice, bring in third-party plugins and improvise with new musical elements till your heart’s content. A solid choice.