If you are looking for the best midi controller with aftertouch, then my recommendation is the Keith McMillen Qu Nexus
You might ask what a MIDI keyboard controller is and to cure your curiosity, this device is a physical interface that lets you manage sounds or tasks from devices that support MIDI.
It is a vital piece of music gear in-home studio we find in our modern times and some of these supportive devices could be DAW, VST plug-in, and other synths.
It gives you both the physical touch of a keyboard and the freedom you get when editing music in your music production world.
MIDI is the connecting language between your computer and your electronic music instruments.
With this, they connect, communicate, and exchange information about what notes you play and the way you play them.
Related: Check out this article I wrote showing you the 5 best midi controller for worship
Our Winner After Careful Research
Choosing the Best MIDI Controller for Aftertouch
In the MIDI controller market, there are numerous kinds, and choosing one that will give you nice aftertouch could be a worry for you.
That is why we have listed out the top 5 MIDI controllers in this guide to help you make the right decision without stressing your mind.
The 5 Best MIDI Controllers for Aftertouch
1. Keith McMillen Qu Nexus – Budget Friendly
The Keith McMillen Qu Nexus is a slender MIDI controller that has a nice set of quality keys which puts it at an advantage over its peers.
These keys detect velocity, your finger location, and pressure easily due to the Smart Sensor technology it was fitted with.
There is also polyphonic aftertouch in this controller and it can connect to almost every device via USB, MIDI (through an optional MIDI Expander), CV, and OSC.
When you talk of the Keith McMillen brand, you also talk of durable designs that reach the extremity as it can be run over by a car or fall into the water and still function.
Some of its other functions are a dedicated set of buttons which include “Octave Up/Down, Record, Play, Bend”, a Pitch Bend pad, DAW software comprising of the QuNexus Editor, QuNexus OSC Bridge, QuNexusAbleton Live Sets (all downloadable online), and all major DAW integrations.
2. Novation SL MkII
The SL MkII is the flagship controller for the Novation brand and is fitted with almost everything.
There is the X-Y pad which gives you wonderful effects during play and several LED indicators to transmit signals to you.
It is the most suitable MIDI keyboard to use in playing and mixing music currently as it sports 16 Pads, 16 Knobs (8 of them have LED position indicators), 32 Buttons, 8 Faders, 1 X-Y Pad, 1 Joystick, a dedicated set of Buttons for Play, Stop, Octave Up/Down & more, 2 Wheels (Pitch Bend, Modulation), 2 Pedal Inputs, MIDI in/out/thru, Software or DAW included: Ableton Live Lite 9, Xcite+ and DAW integration in all major models.
However, there are some other versions of this brand that has 25 keys, 61 keys while the SL MkII comes with 49 keys (Semi-Weighted with Aftertouch).
3. Arturia Key Lab 49
This controller is fitted with MIDI Control Center software that aids you in creating and customizing layouts and the Arturia Lab with its 5000 presets of high quality.
There is also a Breath Controller input and you can pick either a black model or a white one.
In the ArturiaKeyLab 49, there are 49 different keys as you would not see in some other versions which sport 88 keys, 61 keys, or only 25 keys.
Additionally, there are 16 Pads, 9 Faders, a dedicated Button for Play, Stop, Octave Up/Down and other buttons for other functions, 2 Wheels (Pitch Bend + Modulation), MIDI in/out, Aux input, 2 Pedal Inputs, Software or DAW included: Analog Lab, MIDI Control Center, DAW integration in all major ones.
Just like the SL MkII, this model comes with a Breath Control Input which is a surprise to its users at its affordable price.
Related: See this article I wrote showing you the 5 best midi controllers with weighted keys
4. Akai Pro Advance 49
Preinstalled with backlit pads which sense velocity and pressure easily, the keyboard controller is unique in addition to its Virtual Instrument Player software.
With this software, you can alternate between software instruments directly from your controller – even when you are not using a DAW in performing.
You can as well share your keyboard into sectors and play different sounds.
Having 49 keys (Semi-Weighted with Aftertouch), 8 Pads and Knobs, a dedicated Button set which includes Play, Stop, Arpeggiator, Latch, Octave Up/Down, etc, 2 Wheels (Pitch Bend + Modulation) and Pedal Inputs, MIDI in/out, Akai Virtual Instrument Player Software included, AIR Music Technology, SONiVOX, and Toolroom Records and the DAW integration in all major ones, this controller is suitable for live gigs and events and would not let you down on that stage.
5. Native Instruments MASCHINE And Native Instruments MASCHINE Studio
In the MASCHINE workflow, there is a combination of samplers’ fun with the power of software and VSTs.
If you desire to create beats, tracks, and remixes, this all-in-one production station having high-quality effects will serve you appropriately.
Also, it is fitted with 16 Backlit Pads that are sensitive to velocity, aftertouch, 9 Knobs, 2 High-Resolution Displays, a dedicated set of buttons ranging from Play, Stop, Record, Erase, Solo, Duplicate, to Swing and some extras. It includes the MASCHINE 2 software and runs MASCHINE as a plug-in in any DAW.
Related: Also check out this article I wrote showing you the 5 best midi controllers for edm
6. Native Instruments MASCHINE Studio
The MASCHINE studio is the powerhouse of production in the Native Instrument s brand and as well stands as their flagship.
It is an upgrade of the MASCHINE and incorporates superior visual feedback.
It encompasses total hands-on control of DAWs and VSTs and it has high-quality sound samples that give you an endless creative control streak.
You can easily use it in music production, performance, and remixes.
Some of its features are the 16 Backlit Pads which are very sensitive to velocity, Aftertouch, 8 Multicolor and Mode Buttons, 2 High-Resolution Displays, dedicated buttons comprising of Play, Stop, Record, Erase, Solo, Copy, Paste, Quantize, etc, an inclusive MASCHINE 2 software and the ability to run as a plug-in in any DAW
Several producers confirm that moving from clicking on a screen in your DAW to tweaking real knobs transforms your creative procedure.
With the MIDI controllers, you get extensive possibilities of your VSTs and DAW and begin making groovier beats, easy music mixes, and precise tweaks.
Hence, with our guide, you simply go through the list of the top 5 controllers, pick the one that allures most to what you hope to achieve in your music production, and get the best out of the aftertouch they provide.