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Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

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Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby Ylan Sthlm » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:19 pm

Dear comrades in music,

I bought a second hand M-audio Axiom 25 mk ii, and have had so much problems with controlling instruments in Logic Pro X, see https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=66638#p608412.

I haven't been able to solve the problems with the control knobs, and have heard that other people have had similar problems.

Now I'm moving, and am considering 61 keys controller or perhaps a 49.

Since I am happy with the keys on the Axiom and would like something semi-weighted, or at least with good feel to the keyboard. But I would like something with controls that works with Logic, with minimal hassle.

What are you lot using, and what works great?

I have heard Nektar works great with Logic, but doesn't have nice keybeads.

Yours truly, Ylan
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:28 pm

The NI controller keyboards work pretty nicely - even without the Komplete Kontrol plugin they control transport, basic mixer functions and so on - and with KK, you can control plugins as well. They have a range from small tiny key mobile versions, all the way up to 88 key versions.

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/c ... keyboards/

I don't know what your requirements are for "controlling instruments", but the NI keyboards don't give plugin control unless you use the KK plugin, which works for some people but not for me for a bunch of reasons. Without KK you don't get control over plugin/instrument parameters by default, so if that's a prime concern, you need to use KK (which has some gotchas) or maybe look at something else.
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby Ylan Sthlm » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:35 pm

desmond wrote:The NI controller keyboards work pretty nicely - even without the Komplete Kontrol plugin they control transport, basic mixer functions and so on - and with KK, you can control plugins as well. They have a range from small tiny key mobile versions, all the way up to 88 key versions.

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/c ... keyboards/

I don't know what your requirements are for "controlling instruments", but the NI keyboards don't give plugin control unless you use the KK plugin, which works for some people but not for me for a bunch of reasons. Without KK you don't get control over plugin/instrument parameters by default, so if that's a prime concern, you need to use KK (which has some gotchas) or maybe look at something else.

Cheers Desmond!

I'm thinking that one (primary?) use (apart from basic transport functions) for hardware controls of software instruments would be to control filters and such on software synths, and to be able to do it live.

I haven't tried (unmotorized) faders so I can't say whether I'd use them for the mixer.

I'm going to have a look att NI!

Cheers, Ylan
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby Ylan Sthlm » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:20 pm

desmond wrote:I don't know what your requirements are for "controlling instruments", but the NI keyboards don't give plugin control unless you use the KK plugin, which works for some people but not for me for a bunch of reasons.

Hi Desmond,

I saw a video of KK with Logic, and it seemed nice. What would be the reason I could not run KK with latest Logic?

Humbly, Ylan
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:27 pm

Ylan Sthlm wrote:What would be the reason I could not run KK with latest Logic?

I didn't say you couldn't - when I said "it doesn't work for me", I didn't mean in a technical sense, I mean I don't like it's workflow, it's problems and limitations, or it's design, and the gains aren't significant enough for me when my own solutions work better.

It works for some people's needs, it's just not right for me. It's a shame, because some of the functionality is nice...
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby Ylan Sthlm » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:42 pm

desmond wrote:
Ylan Sthlm wrote:What would be the reason I could not run KK with latest Logic?

I didn't say you couldn't - when I said "it doesn't work for me", I didn't mean in a technical sense, I mean I don't like it's workflow, it's problems and limitations, or it's design, and the gains aren't significant enough for me when my own solutions work better.

It works for some people's needs, it's just not right for me. It's a shame, because some of the functionality is nice...

Ok Cheers!

And I would also like to thank you for all the answers you have given me and others before! :clap:

Yours truly!

Ylan
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:48 pm

You're welcome! :thumbup:
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby Luke W » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:26 pm

To add to what Desmond has said, I've got a KK S61 (the MK1, not the new one with the screens) and I get on with it very well, but I use NI software instruments almost exclusively so the integration is very nice . I think if you're not planning on using a lot of the Komplete stuff, there are probably more elegant (and cheaper) solutions available.
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby Ylan Sthlm » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:53 pm

Luke W wrote:To add to what Desmond has said, I've got a KK S61 (the MK1, not the new one with the screens) and I get on with it very well, but I use NI software instruments almost exclusively so the integration is very nice . I think if you're not planning on using a lot of the Komplete stuff, there are probably more elegant (and cheaper) solutions available.

Well, I shouldn't think I am. I am not a keyboardist, so most of it will be Logics stuff and some Novation and Addictiv Keys.

Humbly, Ylan
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:26 pm

Like I say, you can’t control eg Logics plugins like this, because KK only allows you to control plugins you load into KK, and Logics plugins aren’t actually plugins as such...
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby Ylan Sthlm » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:20 pm

desmond wrote:Like I say, you can’t control eg Logics plugins like this, because KK only allows you to control plugins you load into KK, and Logics plugins aren’t actually plugins as such...

Yup,

I'm thinking of having a look at Nektar Panorama T6 (or T4). Read a bit about it's integration with Logic and people seem really happy about it. Not very pricey either. Will need to try the keys, though.

Humbly, Ylan
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby Humble Bee » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:37 pm

NI have released an update recently that lest you assign the controller to any midi parameter.

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... e-updates/
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:35 pm

Humble Bee wrote:NI have released an update recently that lest you assign the controller to any midi parameter.

Hmm... I don't see how that changes anything - it's still (presumably) a KK parameter as it's part of the KK 2.3.0 update (so you need the KK plugin loaded on your instrument channel to use it I assume), and you can't load Logic plugins (eg instruments) into KK to control them.

I'll download the update and see what it says in the manual about this feature... But it sounds like it lets KK send raw MIDI messages which you can manually learn to plugins, and manual learning is an absolute no-go for anything other than the occasional mapping you need, it's useless as a general controller strategy.

Edit: It's not entirely clear from the manual, but it *sounds* like KK is used to define what MIDI commands the keyboard sends in MIDI mode, so should be useable outside the KK plugin (it's not clear on this point, and I'm away from home so can't try it at the moment). In any case, it's still just manual MIDI mapping, which is generally a terrible solution - but will give you the same kind of control over Logic and third-party plugins that a simple/dump generic MIDI controller will do - which is, generally, not great.

However, thanks for letting me know of the update, as I might have some ideas as to how I can use this to be useful in my own custom control solutions, depending on exactly how it works, which I'm now having a look at.
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby Humble Bee » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:11 pm

Well I have the M32 but I've not installed the new update yet. Will do soon and get back here with observations. :thumbup:
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Re: Best Midi Controller for Logic Pro X

Postby desmond » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:21 pm

Humble Bee wrote:Well I have the M32 but I've not installed the new update yet. Will do soon and get back here with observations. :thumbup:

Basically, entering MIDI Mode (pressing shift + Plugin) puts the keyboard into a mode where it transmits custom defined MIDI messages from the buttons, which you can edit and send to the keyboard with the KK stand alone version. You can save and load different templates but only one is stored on the keyboard as far as I can see... A useful extra feature which I can think of a few good ways to use....
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