Looking to upgrade my midi keyboard/controller for orchestral programming...any recommendations?

So, I have been using a Yamaha clavinova connected to my interface through midi... it's starting to go (it's 15 years old, and it's still doing great, but I'm thinking ahead)... what is the best midi (hopefully USB, or Usb-c, though I don't know if USB-c keyobards exist yet) keyboard/controller options I can get for under $1,000?

Best Answer

  • Angus
    Angus admin
    100 Answers 500 Likes 500 Comments First Anniversary
    Answer ✓

    Hi @Spencer

    The top brands are Arturia, Komplete Kontrol, and Doepfer. Others here might have recommendations, but I would personally look into those brands first.


  • Hi Spencer,

    I already have a decent controller with my Korg Kronos X 88 and use a Windows 10 Workstation PC.

    since one of the Win10 upgrades, my Korg midi driver started acting out, not showing my Kronos (or any other Korg device) in my midi device list in my DAW.

    I found a youtube video on on how to fix this but from time to time it’s gone again so I started using a good old midi cable instead, connecting my Kronos to my audio interface (Steinberg UR816C) which is midi equipped.

    This always works without any problems.

    So, I’m actually not a big fan of midi over usb.

    I assume other manufacturers have less issues with their usb-midi drivers.

    The keyboards that Angus suggests are certainly great quality models.

    The NI Komplete Kontrol keyboards obviously has the advantage that NKS compatible sample libraries can be auditioned and selected, right from the keyboard display. This is nice but, not a must. On the negative side, the NI keyboards only have rotary controllers, no faders, which is a shame as you’d want that to control expression, etc while playing. This is of course easily solved by using a separate fader controller.

    The keyboard response is of course personal so, it’s best is to test different keyboards to see which one feels best for you. (If possible)

  • Thank you! Both answers helped immensely!

  • If you are interesting in looking for a cheaper alternative, I’ve been using Nektar Impact LX88+, 250 €. But ditto what Angus and marcmdsys have said.

  • Maudio Hammer Pro, check the latest one

    My Music (Spotify): https://spoti.fi/3uvO8YK