How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live

Do you use MIDI controllers when you work with Live?

Yes, I'd feel lost without my MIDI controller.
75
59%
I use them sometimes but I also spend a lot of time only with my KB+mouse.
50
39%
No. I feel no need for MIDI controllers and I do all my work only with KB+mouse.
3
2%
 
Total votes: 128

BoddAH
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How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by BoddAH » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:11 pm

I do own a fair bunch of MIDI controllers but I noticed that most of the time I just can't be bothered using them. I tend to program my MIDI notes and automation and in the event I need to play a short melody or drum pattern in real time I just use the Computer MIDI keyboard and edit the velocity and timing afterwards if needed. When it comes to automation, maybe it's because of my gaming background and the fact that I practically grew up with a mouse in my hand but I even find using a mouse just as good, if not better, than using a knob or a fader for MIDI CC automation (with the sole drawback that I can't operate 2 at a time).

The sometimes shaky setup of MIDI hardware, the often counter-intuitive auto-mapping of controls (and the added work of having to do it manually), the wasted desktop real estate and the fact that I constantly have to switch between my MIDI controller and my KB+mouse actually kills my workflow more than anything. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that most of the time, using MIDI controllers does more harm than good for me. I DO enjoy a minimalistic setup.

Maybe I'm the norm, maybe I'm an exception. But anyway, I have always been under the impression that most, if not almost all *serious* Live users (and computer musicians in general) use MIDI controllers in one form or another. Be it a standard chromatic keyboard, MPC style pads, some more exotic controllers or even just pots and faders for hands on control of various parameters. I'm curious if this is actually the case. :)

UncleAge
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by UncleAge » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:33 pm

I'm not an accomplished keyboardist but I do play all my stuff on my midi keyboard and edit later on if needed. I also use a couple of those Akai mini controllers during sound design. I can't imagine only having the qwerty for input. Different strokes and all...

Nokatus
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by Nokatus » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:06 pm

As far as note ons/offs go, I usually record everything using my MIDI controller, then edit that if necessary. And I mean everything, including drums and repetitive arpeggios etc. Automation is more of a mixed bag, I tend to record that through MIDI as well, but also using plugin GUIs and plotting automation envelopes directly. What ever feels more natural.

Oh, and I have never ever used auto mapping. Oldskool MIDI learn is where it's at (for me).

:D

turnitto11
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by turnitto11 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:15 pm

About 98% of my work in Ableton is done with just keyboard and mouse. When I got writers block, having an actual keyboard really helps you think of parts.
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störgeräusche
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by störgeräusche » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:41 pm

i rely a lot on my midi controllers. I couldn't live without them.
the most used is a novation nocturn with a custom script done by guille. With it i control the mixer and the plugins (gotta love automap! as soon as you have spent some time making your own templates, you'll almost never need the mouse to edit your plugins) and of course most part of the automation recording.
A launchpad is waiting to get properly detected by live 9 (i have some strange things going on, ableton is looking into it) and 2 doepfer pocket dial, one for general purpose mappings (having 2 rows of 8 knobs i don't have to bank-jump so much like on the nocturn) and one is dedicated to a custom patch a fried wrote for me to control all the parameters of my waldorf Q from live.
Of course the waldorf Q acts as a midi keyboard as well, i really dislike note input with the mouse, so in studio i avoid it.
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Tarekith
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by Tarekith » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:43 pm

I pretty much only use a controller when I'm playing synths, and then just the keybed gets used on my MPK25. I never really use knobs or pads in the studio, but the time I get them mapped the way I wanted, I could have just done it with the mouse most of the time.

Otherwise for probably 95% of the time I'm in the studio working on music it's just a keyboard and mouse for me.

gjm
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by gjm » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:10 pm

I used to use a controller ONLY for in putting piano parts, then everything else was done with a mouse & qwerty. But after dealing for 18 months with severe RSI or what they now call OOS, I have worked hard to avoid the mouse and qwerty as much as possible. MIDI controllers have kinda saved the day for me...
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slatepipe
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by slatepipe » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:28 pm

i use a uc33e and a usb old school arcade style joystick when playing live

i just got an akai lpk25 which is pretty nice

and i use my custom made one string midi bass guitar which is absolutely great, especially now i got it working with my fcb1010 using maxforlive. :D
i'd like to do some live stuff with that too, need to practice a set a bit more with it though

Not_Elba
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by Not_Elba » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:08 am

I definitely need hardware. I was a synth fetichist (although I´ve sold most of my old gear, still have my old Yamaha DX-7 and Kurzweil K-2000), when DAW were not available or comparable to todays apps.

The feedback of a real keyboard (or pads) is essential to me.
Controller: Novation Zero SL MK 2, Akai MPK 49

I was really happy when they announced the Push, but I have to wait till June :|

The Carpet Cleaner
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by The Carpet Cleaner » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:30 am

Can't do anything without hardware/midi.
All task with M + KB become tedious.

kevwestbeats
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by kevwestbeats » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:44 am

Of course. I have Maschine and a BCF 2000 and I use my Akai Miniak as a controller as well. I had an Oxygen 61 but sold it because I wanted a synth
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störgeräusche
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by störgeräusche » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:00 am

funken wrote:
störgeräusche wrote:i rely a lot on my midi controllers. I couldn't live without them.
the most used is a novation nocturn with a custom script done by guille. With it i control the mixer and the plugins (gotta love automap! as soon as you have spent some time making your own templates, you'll almost never need the mouse to edit your plugins) and of course most part of the automation recording.
Where is the link exactly?
here the link:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=122831
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pepezabala
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by pepezabala » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:43 am

I really use my nanokontrol all the time, got it set up with a custom script, so the 8 knobs do the blue hand action.

Timbeaux
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by Timbeaux » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:09 pm

Iam a controller addict...

I own too much of them, but i cant give them up. Its not really logical, cause i only have two hands, but.... iam addicted to them...

AKAI LPD8
AKA LPK 25
AKAI APC40
ZERO SL MK II
LAUNCHPAD
MASCHINE MIKRO
BCR 2000
UMX 460

Too many knobs, or mabe too less hands?

Matt_Quinn
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Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?

Post by Matt_Quinn » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:54 pm

APC40
MPD18
Alesis ControlPad


The APC is the only one that gets constant use. I didn't realize how heavily I relied on it until I got a laptop and tried working in hotel without one. That said, it's still only used really in the initial idea/jamming stage. I would never use it to like record automation or anything for final cut of a track, all that would be mouse/keyboard, it's just so much more accurate and faster for me.

The Alesis exists just for drum rolls/fills that are hard/impossible with a pad controller or too time consuming to write in the piano roll.

The MPD gets used a lot for basic drum patterns or samples I've sliced to a drum rack.

I have a Roland RS-5 synth, but really only use the keyboard to control soft synths.



This thread does touch on something I've thought for a long time though, which is that the mouse is a truly under rated device. Like all devices, it has its issues, but for something that has been around forever, it's still incredibly versatile and fast.
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