MIDI Controllers

Image of MIDI Keyboard controllers

What are MIDI CONTROLLERS?

A MIDI controller is any hardware or software that generates and transmits Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) data to MIDI-enabled devices, typically to trigger sounds and control parameters of an electronic music performance. MIDI controllers usually do not create or produce musical sounds by themselves. MIDI controllers typically have some type of interface which the performer presses, strikes, blows or touches. This action generates MIDI data (e.g. notes played and their intensity), which can then be transmitted to a MIDI-compatible sound module or synthesizer using a MIDI cable. The sound module or synthesizer in turn produces a sound which is amplified through a loudspeaker.

There are many other types of MIDI controllers. A slider assigned to open and close a low-pass filter on a synthesizer may be assigned to controller 18, for example. Changes in the position of the slider are transmitted along with "18" so that they are distinguished from changes in the value of other controllers. The MIDI controller can be populated with any number of sliders, knobs, buttons, pedals and other sensors, and may or may not include a piano keyboard. While the most common use of MIDI controllers is to trigger musical sounds and play musical instruments, MIDI controllers are also used to control other MIDI-compatible devices, such as stage lights, digital audio mixersand complex guitar effects units.
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Image of Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol 49 / 61Keyboard controller

A MIDI keyboard is typically a piano-style electronic musical keyboard, often with other buttons, wheels and sliders, used for sending MIDI signals or commands over a USB or MIDI 5-pin cable to other musical devices or computers connected and operating on the same MIDI protocol. The basic MIDI keyboard does not produce sounds by itself, as it lacks an onboard sound engine. Instead, MIDI information on keys or buttons the performer has pressed is sent to a receiving device capable of creating sound through modeling synthesis, sample playback, or an analogue hardware instrument.
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Image of NI Maschine KontrolMusic Production Controller

A solid MIDI controller will let you tap into the full creative potential of your favorite soft synths and virtual instruments. If you're beat production system is mostly in the box, then we'd recommend checking out our selection of MIDI controllers. Full-sized controller keyboards are perfect for studio production, whereas compact pad controllers such as Novation's Launchpad series are just what you need if you want to work your laptop into your live performance rig.
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Image of a Roland Aerophone GO Digital Wind InstrumentDigital Wind Instrumets

Digital wind instrument are capable of controlling one or more music synthesizers or other devices. Wind controllers are most commonly played and fingered like a woodwind instrument, usually the saxophone, with the next most common being brass fingering, particularly the trumpet. Models have been produced that play and finger like other acoustic instruments such as the recorder or the tin whistle. One form of wind controller, the hardware-based variety, uses electronic sensors to convert fingering, breath pressure, bite pressure, finger pressure, and other gesture information into control signals
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