MIDI CC Controller

edited September 2021 in Digital Audio Workstations

I'm curious to hear what people are using and what experiences they have with their midi cc controller. Everyone has slightly different preferences and/or certain issues with theirs. I have a nanoKontrol2 and it's been very good for me so far; worked on all my rigs, I can transport it easily, it has a nice dip to place your finger, BUT, the distance from 0-100 is a little short. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Ox



  • Following as well. I'd like a controller that allows me to be a bit more sensitive with my gestures.

    Associate Professor of Music / The University of Virginia’s College at Wise

    Conductor + Music Director / Winds of the Mountain Empire

  • nanoKontrol2 along with the toggles on my Studiologic SL73 studio keyboard, I have tried a variety, but have

    gotten used to this setup.

  • Since three weeks I'm an owner of the Monogram Creative Console Traveler Kit. It tooks many, many time for a decision. But inspired of @Christian I took a bunch of money and bought that device. And...

    I'm very happy with it. The faders are easy to operate and the entire device is pleasantly flat. This does not strain the hands so much. But yes, the faders are not motorized. That was not so important for me.

  • Hi Oliver! Which DAW are you using? I'm on Logic 10.6 and trying very hard to troubleshoot this issue: I have the Nanokontrol 2, and I'm able to map faders to CC1, 11 and 21 to control my Spitfire instruments, but as soon as I assign any other parameters to the controller in Logic's Controller Assignments, I lose my CC control! I've been talking to lots of folks about this, trying to sort it out. (I've contacted Korg as well, haven't heard back yet)

  • I'm using a Palette Gear combo for now...3 faders, 4 rotary knobs for navigation and clicking for mute/solo, and 3 buttons for record, play, and jump to beginning.

    I have some of the same trouble @Christian had with his though—dropouts mostly.

  • I use 2 x Roland EV-5 expression pedals for expression and dynamics using Audiofront midi expression controller  https://www.audiofront.net/MIDIExpression.php. I have configured the rest of midi settings like Reverb, Vibrato, pan, master volume on my Arturia Keylab Essential 88 as a User patch.

  • I use a Behringer X Touch Compact, which has nine 100mm faders. Despite the name, it’s not even in the same league as the nanoKontrol in terms of portability, but it absolutely solved my issue of not having fine enough control over the expression controls. Also, it has 16 rotary encoders, which I have set to control parameters like attack, release and variation, as well as the common Spitfire mics (CTAO, mixes).

    Every control on it can be set to MIDI CC, but the caveat is the software to do that is only available for Windows. However, once I’d got it set up how I wanted it, it’s worked perfectly with Logic ever since.

  • This works for me as well. While not exactly sexy, it gets the job done and is small enough to be portable if necessary.

  • Joe B
    edited March 2021

    I’m very new to this and currently using TouchOSC on iPad. I realize dedicated physical hardware is more appropriate, but TouchOSC is $5 and you can build custom controllers to your liking. Built one for Contemporary Drama Toolkit that really made a huge difference in the types of sounds you can get out of it. It’s a good place to start.

  • I’m using a Novation LaunchControl XL, getting it pummeled into submission this week. 60mm faders - not ideal but better than the ones on my Oxygen61 keyboard, tighter and more precise, and the Craigslist price was right. Lots of buttons and knobs to assign to functions - more than I need, honestly, I’m going to keep an eye on my workflow and see what functions I can assign to it.

    [Although I have been with Logic since the 1990s (earlier, if you count its precursor, Notator/Creator XL by CLab, running on an Atari) I’ve been struggling to make it to do my will. It’s not one of Logic’s “recognized ” control surfaces so it really didn’t want to behave like one, just a midi CC source. But I think I finally “cracked the code” on getting its midi CC info to show up as “automation” so I can use the fancy main-page lanes rather than the janky CC editor - seems it’s a matter of mapping it to “smart controls”, sorting out the fact that it doesn’t properly map their movement (flipping thevalues to “relative” and “unsigned” seems to have done the trick) then mapping the “smart controls” to the plug-in parameters to get me the real-time results I need.

    Did I just reinvent the wheel? Is there some “best practice” I missed or did I just stumble across it? Anybody know?]

  • Thanks! I’ll post something official once I am happy with everything. If you’re on Instagram hit me up on there.


  • I assume you downloaded their specific controller dmg package for Logic?

    Read up on the CC assignments controlled and assigned under Logic Pro. I highlighted where it is stored. I have yet to tweak that file to see if there is an automatic override, but I'm betting there is one. I don't know if Kontakt or Komplete Control has a means of loading any file that reads CC assignments. I'm in the market to get one of these types of units to allow for such functionality. Until then, I'm just suggesting these might be areas to research.

  • preciously I just either used my mod wheel and then programed expression after the fact...was thinking of getting the nanokontrol (cuz I spent all my money on plugins) but then I saw TouchOSC looked cool and was $5 so I grabbed that and use it on my iPhone 11pro max ?? it’s actually pretty tight and working just fine!

  • Yea it’s great! What settings did you manipulate for the CDT if I may ask for the controller? I pretty much just use the mod wheel with that sample pack.

  • Really, anything I found that could be controlled :) I’m still trying to figure out how to swap between presets/instruments. It will work across all of them as is, but the labeling for articulations, and quantity of them is different for each. Also, reverb control has to be learned as it’s not set by default. The cool thing is you can easily select multiple articulations and layer them. Also added an XY controller that’s hooked to dynamics and expression.

  • I went for the DIY project option for dynamics/expression etc. as well, I'm pretty limited on desk space and pretty much everything I could find with decent sized faders had a load of other bits and pieces that I wouldn't need or use.

    Touch OSC is great as well, I've just started putting a template together for BBCSO and a bit of extra control over a few other instruments.

  • Michael B. Oliva
    edited March 2021

    Damn nice! Guess o haven’t scratched the surface with TouchOSC yet. I just use the simple set up with the 4 sliders so far haha. Which layout is that? Maybe it’s different for me since I’m using it on a phone and not iPad but I also noticed nothing is labeled on mine.

  • I built it using the TouchOSC editor on PC. I've attached the template if you want to take a look. Way too much going on to put on an iPhone, and they don't dynamically resize which sucks, but you might find it helpful to create your own. I tried using UACC rather than CC and MIDI note, but had no success, and I read there are bugs with UACC that are being addressed in next release.

  • Michael B. Oliva
    edited March 2021

    Ah gotcha! Thanks so much for the quick reply. I’ll just soldier on as I am then until I can get an iPad. I’m still only 4-5 months into my midi journey after 14 years of being in a psych rock/noise punk band. I’m not even sure what UACC is haha. Cheers man! ??

  • Katherine
    edited March 2021

    I’m also a recent Monogram Creative Console adopter, and very happy with it so far. The macOS software was initially quite quirky but a few updates later and it seems to have settled down. I even spent a little time figuring out how to use one of the programmable buttons as a sort of articulation shift key (see http://www.thinkersnacks.com/al-articulation-switch.html.) There’s a lot to like about it, even though the fader throw is a little short. It’s smooth, flexible, and can fit into a lot of different spaces as a consequence of the clever design.

  • Damn nice! Guess o haven’t scratched the surface with TouchOSC yet. I just use the simple set up with the 4 sliders so far haha

  • Expressive E Touché SE in standalone mode controls multiple parameters very intuitively just by placing your hand on it and changing the pressure or moving it sideways. I've configured top and bottom for dynamics + expression and movement to the right for vibrato.

  • I use an AKAI APC mini. It is very cheap and the faders are very short, but if you get used to it, it does it's job :D

  • I just wait and hope someday, native will launch a controller with touch strips just like the KK mk1. Would be total gem.

  • I have recently stumbled upon a fader control module called PBF4 by Intech Studios. They are a small emerging company and their controllers are modular as well but they are far more affordable than the Monogram modules that @Christian uses. I'd really like to see him review this module and compare it with the Monogram console once.

  • I mainly work with a Korg NanoKontrol 2 and I also use a DIY one, based on a Teensy LC board with five 60mm faders with 3D printed box.

  • Just bought an ICON iControls, planned to be used with a studiologic SL88 (once it's back in stock...)