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If you have ever wanted to be a music composer or learn more about film scoring, then you know that you absolutely need the right gear
Most especially you need a good midi keyboard
You can key in notation using your mouse or trackpad or you can even use your computer keyboard to key in the notes
Yes you can… no doubt about that but you will be completely miserable and it will take you a long time just to get that done
Which is why I always advise people to get a midi keyboard if you are thinking about film scoring
So you can definitely relate with my disappointment when I found out there was no comprehensive article on the internet on the best midi controller for film scoring.
So after careful research, I decided to write this article and show you the top 5 recommended midi controllers for film scoring, where you can get them at very cheap prices and what to do to ensure that you get a quality product after purchase
Related: Here is an article I wrote showing you the best midi controller for edm
Our Winner After Careful Research
5 Best Midi Controller for Film Scoring
1. Akai Pro MPK Mini MKII Midi Keyboard
This is without a doubt an awesome midi controller that is ideal for music composition and film scoring.
It is a 25 keys keyboard controller with eight sample pads, eight assignable rotary faders and a small joystick which helps you with expression control.
It also comes with options for changing the octave range, pad banks, sensitivity, note repeat, tempo input and the arpeggiator.
One thing I really liked about this midi controller is the fact that it is well known for its hardware music controllers and it’s pedigree shines through here.
Its sample pads are the best among other controllers like it and the sensitivity is really groundbreaking and awesome.
Even though the rotary faders are quite small, they are very comfortable and the keyboard’s touch sensitivity is very natural
One awesome thing about this controller is the joystick which can be easily assignable to any XY control in your DAW and it usually defaults to a pitch bend control when playing a compatible virtual instrument like a synth.
If you are someone that likes big and huge keyboards then you might be put off by the size of this keyboard.
For me while i really appreciated the compact size of this controller, the size suffered but I just had to deal with it
The keys are small and narrow and will definitely take some getting used to
The Akai Pro MPK Mini MKII shines brightest with its pads and sample pad. Being made by Akai with their history, you can be sure of getting a quality midi controller that will deliver awesome sound quality.
2. M Audio Oxygen 25 Midi Controller
Second on our list is the M Audio Oxygen 25 Midi Controller
It has a two octave touch sensitive keyboard, eight pads, eight rotary faders, pitch bend and modulation wheels as well as transport controls and one linear fader
M Audio as a company makes high quality, solid and affordable gear that is great for music composers and indie filmmakers
It comes with a Directlink software that automatically routes the controls to those of your DAWs so you can easily plug it in, boot it up and start making music easily
Its layout is very simple and intuitive and does not come with any complex knobs and buttons
Its transport controls are very impressive
Having the ability to play, stop, loop and record audio on the controller simplifies the recording process and makes it very efficient
While the size isn’t really full and big, it’s a comfortable keyboard with the right touch sensitivity
One thing I didn’t really like about this controller is the feel of the plastic case and some of the buttons
The sensitivity is also a bit wonky and might require some manual mapping of the response curve.
All round, this is a great all round midi controller for anyone who is serious about getting into music composition and film scoring.
Related: Check out this article I wrote showing the top 5 recommended midi controllers for dub
3. Alesis V25 Midi Controller Keyboard
Next on the list is the Alesis V25 Midi Controller keyboard
This is an incredible value midi controller
While it does not feature as many bells and whistles as other midi controllers on this list and only has just 4 faders, it is a powerful midi controller that is ideal for film scoring and music composition
It has eight sample pads, four assignable buttons, dedicated modulation and pitch wheels, and – most importantly – a two-octave full-size weighted keyboard.
One unique thing about this midi controller is the full size square front keys
Alesis managed to get all the details and specifications of a standard keyboard into this midi controller and music composers all over the world will forever be grateful about this.
The look and feel of the device can’t be denied either.
It’s simple, stylish, and sleek, even though it’s wider than most other small midi controllers.
The blue backlit controls and elegant design look great, and the build quality is top notch.
It really stood out as the most high-end in terms of design and feel.
One thing you might have issues with is the mapping and touch sensitivity of this controller
But there are numerous firmwares and updates that you can find online to help you map and change the touch sensitivity to your liking
This is a stylish midi controller that delivers awesome sound quality when used especially for fil scoring
4. Arturia MiniLab MKII Midi Controller
The Arturia MiniLab MkII features a slim-key two-octave keyboard, eight sample pads, two capacities pitch/modulation strips, and 16(!) rotary encoders, all for under $100.
The MiniLab stands out for its large array of rotary control knobs.
It has four times as many as the Alesis V25!
These encoders feel great and give you many options to tweak individual effects, controls, and filters.
For me, this is a major plus when it comes to mixing a cue – I can mix the levels of 16 tracks at once, all from this small piece of kit.
The device is small, owing to the slim-design keyboard.
This makes it portable, and gives you more room on a desk or in a small studio.
Plus, the build quality is great, and feels like a substantial instrument.
While the rotary encoders feel great, they have one quality that ended up being a negative for me.
There were no hard stops on the knobs, so you could spin them endlessly. What this meant in practice was that, if you have one assigned to a filter that goes from 0% to 100%, it’s impossible to hit 0 or 100 on the knob once you’ve started spinning it.
Different DAWs have different settings for this, but just spinning and spinning meant a twist of the knob did unpredictable things.
Related: Check out this article I wrote showing you the 5 best midi controllers for battery 4