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One of the hardest things you can do as a music producer is to figure out the perfect combo between your DAW and a Midi controller
Believe me I have tried and it is really frustrating to say the least.
How do you know which one to get? And if you do get, is it the best one out there
While working with my latest DAW, Cakewalk I had this same problem trying to figure out the best midi controller for cakewalk
All the guides I saw out there on the net, were either outdated or did not have thorough information on which midi controller works really well with Cakewalk
Which is why I decided to write this article.
In this article I will be showing you the top 5 best midi controllers for cakewalk, what to look for when making a purchase and how to ensure that you get the best bang for your buck.
Related: Here is an article i wrote showing you the 5 best keyboards for hip hop production
Our Winner After Careful Research
5 Best Midi Controller for Cakewalk
1. Mackie MCU Pro Midi Controller
This is without a doubt the best midi controller you can get to use with Cakewalk in your home studio.
It is one of the expensive options in this list but trust me when I say, it is exactly worth every cent.
It comes with a designated fader for its master control that never changes unless you do it yourself.
One unique thing about this controller is that all its faders are motorized and jump to the position assigned to the fader within the DAW itself when in use.
This allows you to easily tweak and make adjustments to your settings while working
It also allows you to scroll across fader banks to change which channels are available to you at any time
It has 8 customizable buttons for you to designate so you have peak efficiency with your process, as well as displaying all channel names at the top of each channel
It has 100mm touch sensitive optical penny plus giles motorized faders for optimum output and effective communication
The ideal thing about this controller is that it is built to be less mobile ideal for a home studio setup and not especially for a professional studio.
2. Presonus FaderPort V2 Midi Controller
Without a doubt, this is an amazing selection no matter what you are working on in your home studio.
And the mobility and portability of this compared to a fully motorized board is incredible.
It allows you to easily scan through channels and select the one you want to work with
It also gives you the options to solo, record, mute, pan and edit plugins all within your fingertips and at the touch of a button.
It has single touch sensitive motorized faders and transport controls that makes your work easier when working with this controller.
It has seamless support for the majority of the workstations out there and can be easily hooked up and connected without issues.
This is one product that brings massive quality that you cannot find in most mobile units, especially one that has a motorized unit.
Related: Check out this article I wrote showing you the 5 best midi controllers for Studio One
3. Korg NanoKontrol Midi Controller
This particular midi controller is best for anyone looking to make music and do edits anywhere and at any time without complex setup issues.
It has numerous options for playing, stopping, recording solo, mute and more for each channel.
One thing you want to ensure you keep an eye on is that if you try to record an automation for a channel when the fader level is at a different volume, you may run into some clipping issues
This is to make sure that you do not get any jumps in the automation that you have to edit out after the fact.
One unique thing about this controller is the Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to easily connect with your computer, tablet or phone and also control your tracks without needing any external chords.
It comes with a built in battery which gives you longer play time anywhere.
If you are looking for a controller that does not come with the burden of lots of wires, then this is your best choice.
This best selling microKEY wireless midi controller helps you break free from wired problems and also allows your creativity to shine through
4. Softube Console 1 Midi Controller
This is one controller that gives you quite a few options, especially for customizations and for your home studio.
One thing I found really amazing is the layout and how the knobs and controls are well spaced.
I can easily reach to select options such as pan, channel select, gain and other options.
Using the Console 1 is almost like working with the top half of a channel strip of an analog board as this allows you to easily make music without stress.
It integrates easily and seamlessly with top DAWs such as Cakewalk and Cubase.
This is a unique experience for any DAW based studio and has over 60 Console 1 ready plugins to use instantly
5. Behringer X Touch Midi Controller
The Behringer X Touch family consists of a range of midi controllers and keyboards with a wide variety of options for any sort of job you need to accomplish
The X Touch is a universal DAW remote control for studio and live applications
It easily supports HUI and Mackie Control protocol which allows for seamless integration with most major music production software out there.
It has 9 fully automated and touch sensitive 100mm motorized faders that allow you to tweak settings and adjustments easily
It comes with 8 dynamic LCD scribble strips for instant overview of track names and parameters.
It has a unique Ethernet interface for Real Time Protocol Midi and future Behringer X32 remote control.
It has 8 rotary controls with LED-collars for on-the-fly adjustments of your favorite parameters and 92 dedicated illuminated buttons for direct access of key functions.
This is truly a unique and amazing product that delivers awesome sounds and makes your work so much easier.
Why you should use a control surface
If you have ever worked on making music or editing your own stuff, whether it is at a home studio or a professional studio, you will agree with me that having a real set of faders and knobs to work with is so much better than using a mouse
I mean…. Think about it
The ease of working with real knobs, controls and faders is simply amazing
Having an actual fader also helps with the automation mapping.
And you will also agree with me that this is far more easier to accomplish with a fader than to click and drag with a mouse.
All of the above mentioned midi controllers work very well with Cakewalk and come highly recommended by industry professionals and veterans.
Related: Check out this article I wrote showing you the top 5 midi controllers for bitwig