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After lots of researching looking for the best midi controller for hardware synths, I found out that the best one is the Novation 61SL MKII midi controller
As a music producer and studio engineer with my own home studio, I am constantly looking for midi controllers especially the ones that are setup for hardware synths
While doing research, I found out that a lot of the content out there on midi controllers for hardware synths are either outdated or just plain garbage.
The type of midi controller you get for your hardware synth depends on a lot of factors and you need to check the table below for the one to pick.
Best Midi Controller for Hardware Synth – Comparison Table
|Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2 Keyboard||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||Novation 61SL MkIII, MIDI and CV Equipped Keyboard Controller with 8 Track Sequencer||Prime||Buy Now|
|Roland A-500PRO-R 49-key MIDI Keyboard Controller, Black||Prime||Buy Now|
|Akai Professional MPC Renaissance||Prime||Buy Now|
|Elektron Octatrack MKII||Prime||Buy Now|
5 Best Midi Controllers for Hardware Synth
1. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 MK2 Keyboard
This obviously one of the best midi controllers you can get for use with hardware synths.
It is a smart keyboard controller for all your virtual instruments and works really well with hardware synths
This awesome piece of work allows you to perform expressively, browse and preview sounds, tweak parameters, sketch your ideas, then navigate and mix your sounds all from the comfort of your home music studio.
It allows you to stay on key with notes of the currently selected scale or mode lit on the light guide.
What this means is that you can easily play all your songs and be on key with the tracking and prompts from this midi controller.
You can easily activate chord mode to create a progression by playing single keys and then flip on the arpeggiator and turn it into an expressive musical performance.
And if you are a beginner and just starting out, the unique Easy Mode allows you to map the white keys to whatever scale you like so you never hit a wrong note.
It comes equipped with two ergonomic and rubberize wheels that gives you precise control of pitch and mod functions
With the Komplete Kontrol S49, making music with hardware synths becomes much more easier and intuitive with hands on experience.
You can easily call this your one stop fully integrated centrepiece for studio and stage.
2. Novation 61SL MKIII Midi Controller
The next midi controller I reviewed and will suggest you get for hardware synth is the Novation 61SL.
This is one midi controller that is the centerpiece and can be used to control your whole studio and works perfectly with your preferred DAW.
With its 8 track polyphonic sequencer, you are sure to make working with your hardware easy and creatively rewarding with everything staying in sync.
With this controller you can easily bring your MIDI hardware and CV/ gate synths together simply by plugging them in
What this means is that you take total control of every tweak and knob using the internal eight track polyphonic pattern based sequencer.
It also allows you to control your software by easily recording productions from your studio centrepiece.
It comes equipped with 5 color LCD screens that give you complete full parameter feedback which allows you to see everything you are recording in real time.
You can also play and edit your sequences from the midi controller which gives you as much control as you need and also record your movements as automations into the sequencer bringing your music to life.
If you are someone that always has issues with timing, then the midi and analogue clock and transport controls will keep you on time without any issues.
One unique thing about this controller is that you can easily create your own templates while you work and then save them so you can always come back to them again
This is one Midi controller that will definitely work with your hardware synths and also deliver awesome results when used.
Related: Here is an article I wrote showing you the ideal midi controller for cubase
3. Roland A-500 Pro Midi Controller
This is one versatile very impressive keyboard that can be used in your home studio, on the road and on stage.
It has an inspiring feel and response for serious and professional players who want specific sounds from their midi controller.
It comes with a velocity sensitive 49 keys with channel aftertouch that allow you to get the right sounds with any pressure on the keys.
It has 45 assignable controls – which includes knobs, sliders, buttons, transport and more so you can easily tweak and make adjustments on your sounds as you go.
It is USB bus powered which means that you do not need to worry about charging and it can be used on the road or in tight spaces.
It comes equipped with 8 dynamic pads for finger drumming and midi triggering which allows you to get the exact sound you want especially with hardware synths
It works with any DAW on Mac and PC and is made from durable Roland quality manufacturing and craftsmanship.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best midi controllers you can get for hardware synth and be sure of getting your money’s worth.
4. Akai Professional MPC Renaissance Midi Controller
This is one Midi controller that fuses the legendary MPC production with processing power of your DAW or PC via the included MPC software.
It comes loaded with 9 gigabytes of sounds included with vintage mode that allows you to work with different sounds and setup easily
It has 16 genuine pads and 16 touch sensitive Q link controls that comes with MPC note repeat and swing for inspirational workflow.
It comes with XLR ¼ inch combo inputs and dedicated turntable inputs that allow you to capture and use samples from almost anything – any digital device
It also has an integrated 4 channel USB 2.0 audio interface with 2 port USB 2.0 hub for fast manipulation of your audio sounds as they come in.
Also with its 2 midi inputs and 4 midi outputs, you can easily connect to as many external devices that you want.
This particular Midi controller is one that works very well with hardware synths and gives you the options to make amazing music.
5. Electron Octatrack MKII Midi Controller
While this is a very expensive option on this list, you can be sure that using this will give you all the amazing sounds you need.
Its crisp OLED screen gives you timely and immediate feedback even in dimly lit environments.
It has ultra durable back lit button that has been tested and passed 50 million presses without any issues.
It comes with a contactless silky smooth performance crossfader that allows you to tweak and make adjustments to your songs as your make them
It has precise hi res encoders that ensures that your sound is amazing and you get crisp clear sound
It comes with an increased amount of dedicated buttons that enable quicker workflow and helps you get your music easier
This is a very good midi controller that you can get for hardware synths that is very durable and works without any issues.