What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer?

Author
jtmusicAnalog
Max Output Level: -90 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 26
  • Joined: 2016/02/02 17:01:35
  • Location: Northern Virginia
  • Status: offline
2016/03/19 17:30:37 (permalink)

What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer?

I know I know, this has probably been addressed countless times, particularly with newbies to PC music creation, etc.....
I, however, am not a newbie, been using Cakewalk since mid-90's, and pretty much know what I'm doing.
I am presently on the quest to purchase a 61-note Midi/USB controller for my Sonar X3 (x64) Producer, and am looking for some experienced and good advice and what a good purchase would be, and what would not.
I have in the past heard a lot of complaints about M-Audio drivers, so I'm thinking of perhaps avoiding the M-Audio line of controllers. Is this still applicable across the board?
I would like a controller that would easily integrate into Sonar, with minimal effort and headaches.
 
Wish list - 61-keys, velocity, maybe aftertouch, knobs and sliders, buttons, sequencer transport buttons, maybe some drum/trigger pads (not very important), and controls being reassignable from the board itself.
 
I am mostly looking on eBay, for something in the very affordable bracket - used, up to $200. I'd love to spend more, but, being married, the wife puts the damper on that!
 
I am eyeing the Novation LaunchKey 61... Any thoughts/opinions on that? I do like Novation's products....
A M-Audio Axiom looks very tempting and fits the bill, but, with the drivers, etc., am I looking at a headache??
 
Would appreciate any input.....
Thanks very much!!
 
JT
#1

10 Replies Related Threads

    azslow3
    Max Output Level: -42.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 3285
    • Joined: 2012/06/22 19:27:51
    • Location: Germany
    • Status: offline
    Re: What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer? 2016/03/19 19:45:30 (permalink)
    Not an advice, just an information.
     
    There are only 2 61 controllers with official Sonar support: discontinue (and potentially with driver problem) Roland A-800 and Naktar Impact LX61 (but not Panorama!).
     
    Controlling part of other boards requires DIY to work with Sonar. There arr two approaches with that, official and my. For official there will be almost no difference between boards, support will be basic and uni-directional.
    For my solution, documented boards like LaunchKey (InControl, there is a preset for it) are better then undocumented like Axiom (no support for DirectLink).

    Sonar 8LE -> Platinum infinity, REAPER, Windows 10 pro
    GA-EP35-DS3L, E7500, 4GB, GTX 1050 Ti, 2x500GB
    RME Babyface Pro (M-Audio Audiophile Firewire/410, VS-20), Kawai CN43, TD-11, Roland A500S, Akai MPK Mini, Keystation Pro, etc.
    www.azslow.com - Control Surface Integration Platform for SONAR, ReaCWP, AOSC and other accessibility tools
    #2
    mcouture1961
    Max Output Level: -90 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 31
    • Joined: 2014/12/18 18:57:16
    • Location: Quebec, Canada
    • Status: offline
    Re: What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer? 2016/03/19 20:37:51 (permalink)
    Hi,
     
    been using an old M-Audio Axiom 61 for many years and no issue at all. Now running on Windows 10 with an old driver and so far so good. The tricky thing to do was to setup the transport buttons. I don't remember how I did it but I know I found the solution on this board ...

    Sonar Platinum,
    Windows 10 64-bit , Intel i7 2600K Quad 16GB
    Focusrite 2i2
    M-Audio Axiom 61, Roland Juno Di,
    Dimension Pro and Rapture Pro
    M-Audio M3-6 monitors,
    Guitars and Mics
    #3
    tenfoot
    Max Output Level: -53.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2185
    • Joined: 2015/01/22 18:12:07
    • Location: Qld, Australia
    • Status: offline
    Re: What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer? 2016/03/19 21:44:02 (permalink)
    The Roland A-Pro series are great value, and are one of the very few that come with a completely functioning control template for sonar, mainly because they were originally branded as 'Cakewalk by Sonar'. I have the A-300 pro as a travelling keyoard and it works a treat, but there are also 49 and 88 key versions.
     
    http://www.roland.com/products/a-800pro/
    post edited by tenfoot - 2016/03/20 13:54:52

    Bruce.
     
    Sonar Platinum 2017-09, Studio One 3.5.3, Win 10 x64, Quad core i7, RME Fireface, Behringer X32 Producer, Behringer X32 Rack, Presonus Faderport, Lemure Software Controller (Android), Enttec DMXIS VST lighting controller, Xtempo POK.
    #4
    Maarkr
    Max Output Level: -81 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 488
    • Joined: 2011/12/10 09:35:33
    • Location: Maine
    • Status: offline
    Re: What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer? 2016/03/19 22:27:16 (permalink)
    Something to think about... don't know what your long-term ambitions are, but I started with a controller and quickly moved to a keyboard with sound so I could learn how to really play piano and keys.  Some keyboards have a few knobs that you can assign functions from you vsti, and it's so nice to play some stuff without firing up the computer/daw/vsti just to work on some notes.

    Maarkr
    Studio: SPALT Lifetime/BL Cakewalk, Studio One 3.5, UAD, Z3ta+2, IKM, NI, Waves, iZotope, Melda, Reaper
    i7 3770/Giga Z77 mobo, Win10 Pro-64 w16Gb, MOTU Ultralite MK4, Yamaha HS80M wSub, Live: PX-5S, FA-06, Roland Lucina, Epi Les Paul, Ibanez Bass, Amps, e-drums, Zoom R-16...
    Latest album release, NEW! Counry Classic at http://genemaarkr.bandcamp.com/
    #5
    Mystic38
    Max Output Level: -59 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 1622
    • Joined: 2010/08/30 17:40:34
    • Location: Mystic, CT
    • Status: offline
    Re: What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer? 2016/03/20 13:10:45 (permalink)
    it all depends what you want in term of keybed quality.. a Novation SL2 - 61 would do everything you want and more, but would even used be probably $350.. but, compared to any $200 keyboard controller the keybed will feel like a rolls royce.

    HPE-580T with i7-950, 8G, 1.5T, ATI6850, Win7/64, Motu 828 III Hybrid, Motu Midi Express, Sonar Platinum, Komplete 9, Ableton Live 9 & Push 2, Melodyne Editor and other stuff, KRK VXT8 Monitors
    Virus Ti2 Polar, Fantom G6, Yamaha S70XS, Novation Nova, Novation Nova II, Korg MS2000, Waldorf Micro Q, NI Maschine Studio, TC-VoiceLive Rack, 2012 Gibson Les Paul Standard, 2001 Gibson Les Paul DC, 1999 Fender Am Hardtail Strat, Fender Blues Jr, Orange TH30/PPC212, Tak EF360GF, one mic, no talent.
    #6
    Vastman
    Max Output Level: -50 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2508
    • Joined: 2006/08/30 02:49:18
    • Location: Oakland, CA
    • Status: offline
    Re: What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer? 2016/03/21 00:43:39 (permalink)
    The Nektar  keyboards are an amazing value... and are mapped for Sonar, including transport controls... I have the lx-61 but am going to get the new lx-88, which provides additional keys for setting up keyswitching and playing the full length of a piano without having to go back and forth with octave ups/downs...
     
    It is lightweight, well build, keyboard is good... Here's a link from Walid, a fellow Sonar user and forum poster, reviewing it  on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV98xf3EVhU   Playes it, discusses it... very good user review...
     
    Sweetwater link   lx-88 $399/ lx-61 $299 amazing deal; no tax; free shipping
     

    Dana
    We make the future... Climate Change Music
    VastMaschine:SP4L/W10/i74930K/32GB/RME/CAD E100s; The Orchestra! NOVO!/Inspire/BohemianViolin&Cello, ARK1&2,/MinimalCapriccioMaximoSoto/OE1&2, Action&Emotive/Omni2/Tril/RMX/All OrangeTree/Falcon/APE Jugs/Alpha&Bravo/BFD3 & SD3
    Gravity/DM307/AEON/DM/Damage/Diva/HZebra/Hive/Diversion/VC4/Serum/Alchemy/blablabla
    Spitfire/8DIO/SL/KH/EW/NI; Shred1&2/AGF,G,M&T Torch&Res&Ren/GD-6; Ibanez SR1200&SR505
    NOVAX FanFret Tele&Strat 
    #7
    Glyn Barnes
    Max Output Level: -0.4 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 7550
    • Joined: 2009/06/10 05:12:31
    • Location: A Stone's Throw from the Line
    • Status: online
    Re: What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer? 2016/03/21 06:59:38 (permalink)
    Don't discount the Native Instruments S61. The advantages controlling VSTis are considerable and I can't imagine being without mine.

    Most of the promotional material and reviews concentrate on using it with Komplete but see my thread on this forum for info on using it with non NKS stuff.

    It may not be for you but it should be on any short list.

    Intel i7 3770K @4.4GHz, 32GB RAM, 240GB SSD System disk, 2 x 2TB and 1 x 1TB (with SSD Cache) HDD. Windows 10,  Sonar Platinum. Roland Quad Capture. 
    Music - Switchwater on Soundclick
    Music - Goldry Bluszco on Soundcloud
    #8
    Jim Roseberry
    Max Output Level: 0 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 9864
    • Joined: 2004/03/23 11:34:51
    • Location: Ohio
    • Status: offline
    Re: What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer? 2016/03/21 14:17:47 (permalink)
    If you're looking for a new MIDI keyboard controller, don't buy blindly.
    Quality/feel of the keybed varies *radically* between units.
    IMO, The Komplete Kontrol S61 has one of the best keybeds.
    If you use Komplete, it's an absolute no-brainer.
    As Glen mentioned... even if you don't use Komplete, it's still a good choice.

    Best Regards,

    Jim Roseberry
    jim@studiocat.com
    www.studiocat.com
    #9
    Cactus Music
    Max Output Level: 0 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 8362
    • Joined: 2004/02/09 21:34:04
    • Status: offline
    Re: What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer? 2016/03/22 22:27:50 (permalink)
    +1 to going and playing a few boards before buying. I'm not a real keyboard player but I can sure feel a big difference between brands. I ended up with a Roland A49 because that's the feel I like best. My first was a Roland PC 200. A lot of them felt like toys to me. 

    Johnny V  
    Cakelab  
    Focusrite 6i61st - Tascam us1641. 
    3 Desktops and 3 Laptops W7 and W10
     http://www.cactusmusic.ca/
    My Sonar Tutorial on using MIDI
    http://www.cactusmusic.ca/Sonarmidi.htm
     
     
    #10
    SpaceElation
    Max Output Level: -90 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 11
    • Joined: 2014/12/26 22:48:50
    • Status: offline
    Re: What's a good MIDI/USB Keyboard controller for Sonar X3 Producer? 2018/09/20 02:59:33 (permalink)
    I would recommend Native Instruments Komplete Control 49,61 or the 88 key. The key have a great feel and it interfaces with many 3 party vst plugins. Take a look at them.
    #11
    Jump to:
    © 2018 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1