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A few months ago, I had to hook up an orchestra band and record their singles in my home studio.
While doing the research for this, I found out that the best midi controller for orchestra was actually the M Audio Code 61 Midi Controller
At first I was disappointed with all the outdated articles or garbage articles out there on what was an ideal midi controller for recording an orchestra band.
As a music producer or studio engineer, when recording a band such as an orchestra band, you want to ensure that you use the right gear and equipment
This makes your work so much easier and ensures that everything you put out is of high quality and crisp clear sound.
In this article I will be showing you my top 5 picks for the best midi controller for orchestra, how I selected them and what to do to ensure that you only get the best products.
Related: Check out this article I wrote showing you the best midi controller for hx stomp
5 Best Midi Controllers for Orchestra
1. M Audio Code 61 Midi Controller
The first midi controller I reviewed that impressed me so much is the M Audio Code 61
It features an exclusive keybed with action that is clean and precise
It comes with natural profile keys that are both high velocity and pressure sensitives which gives you maximum expressive capability and allows you to replicate every subtlety and nuance of your performance.
Also this midi controller can be split into four assignable zones that helps you maximize the flexibility and functionality of your setup
What this means is that with this midi controller you can easily assign different zones to produce different sounds which helps you get the rich orchestra sound that you want.
So for instance you can trigger four different instruments in their own separate zone or you can also overlap zones and trigger two instruments at the same time
With this midi controller, you can also map your commonly used shortcut commands into the controller so as to save time and improve your efficiency
It comes fully equipped with everything you need to start creating serious music – with multiple banks of faders, knobs, buttons and pads you can be sure that you have the right button ato tweak and ensure that your sound comes out just right
This is without a doubt a very cost effective and high quality midi controller that you should get for use with an orchestra band.
2. M Audio Keystation 88 II Midi Controller
When you use the M Audio Keystation 88 II, you enter the world of unrestricted computer based creation and high quality performance.
It is a simple but very powerful midi controller that is meticulously engineered for sequencing music and allows you to play any virtual music on a PC or Mac.
It comes with a premium keybed that delivers a natural, player centric response when used.
It has 88 full size velocity sensitive keys that helps you capture every subtlety and nuance sound especially when recording an orchestra.
It includes dedicated, conveniently located octave range buttons that give you unrestricted access to the full audible spectrum.
This powerful midi controller allows you to meet your needs in a format that keeps you totally focused on what is important – which is your performance.
With its conveniently located pitch blend and modulation wheels, you are in complete control of your performance and can tweak your sounds as you go – adding vibrato, portamento or any other parameter that is mapped to the modulation wheel for optimum performance.
Related: Check out this article I wrote showing you the best midi controller for hardware synth
It combines USB power, class compliancy and USB midi connectivity, this setup is a breeze that easily allows you access to the modern world of music production.
3. M Audio Hammer 88 Midi Controller
This is a premium no compromise midi controller that is ideal for professionals, semi pros and newbies alike that want something that delivers awesome sounding performance.
It has 88 velocity sensitive, fully weighted hammer action keys that you can use to capture every subtle nuance of your performance while providing the unmatched response of a traditional grand piano classic feel fused together with the unrivalled sonic capabilities of virtual instruments
With this midi controller, it allows you to experience your plugin collection like never before.
With its unique unity locking pitch wheel and a separate modulation wheel, you can easily tweak your sounds and add effects such as vibrato and portamento.
You can also map the mod wheel to any assignable parameter in your virtual instrument collection to reshape and evolve your sound on the fly.
It also has a dedicated master volume fader, that allows you to instantly control the intensity of your performance or MIDI map this to any compatible parameter in your DAW or virtual instrument collection for expanded, hands-on control
It also has a conveniently located 5 midi output that allows you to send all your midi automation or information to any compatible peripheral device such as hardware synthesizers, sound modules and drum machines.
With this midi controller you are sure to get the most out of your external sound generators.
4. Nektar Impact LX88+ Midi Controller
This is without a doubt a unique looking midi controller that is ideal for that music producer that wants something more.
It comes equipped with intelligent, expressive performance controls that also hooks up automatically to your preferred DAW.
With its built in Midi out as well as the extensive midi programming options you can easily control the midi hardware easily.
Carefully balanced with an even and dynamic response , the Impact LX88+ offers 4 velocity curves that gradually increase in dynamics so there is a match for any playing style.
If you don’t need velocity, 3 fixed velocity levels cater for a consistent output.
The full-size, piano-style keys are covered to protect against dirt and dust while also complementing the Impact LX88+ design.
It also allows you to Transpose buttons as well as pitch bend and modulation wheels are within reach, so you can quickly shift the keyboard up or down as needed, or apply additional articulation with the wheels.
For groove and beat creation, IMPACT LX88+’s 8 velocity sensitive pads make life easy. Calibrated to trigger at a light touch.
The best part is the “pad learn“ feature, which allows you to just select a pad, play the note or drum sound you want on the keyboard and assignment is done.
Related: Check out this article I wrote showing you the top 5 midi controllers for film scoring