Looking for feedback: MIDI Controller keyboards

David -
I’m assuming the Keylab mkii is the 61 key version – how would you say the keybed compares to NI Kontrol S series or Novation Remote SL (if you’ve tried them)? I know I prefer these :slight_smile:

I have an old(er) Novation Remote SL 61 (mki) in which I just replaced the joystick…

Our local GCs/SAs don’t have the Keylab mkii to demo, nor any Nektar products, and a good semi-weighted keybed is what I prefer.


PS – FWIW I’ve tried the Akai MPK261 and thought the keybed was pretty close the NI Kontrol.

I like the Arturia better. I tried those other ones in Sam Ash when I was looking for a replacement for my Rolands but didn’t like the somewhat clunkier feel of them nor the after touch response. The keylab Mk ii is much better but a) it’s a little heavier than I would like and it’s a bit impractical for live performance (at least for my playing style) given that the sliders are on the right.

I believe this would be worth looking into. Nektar T6. It is only US $360 and has aftertouch.

I own the step down from this which is the LX61+ and I love it. The keys feel nice, controls are quick to navigate, can be powered with an ipad, and is only like 8 pounds.


Thanks for the feedback. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it (i.e., return shipping charges) to order my top 3 controllers from Amazon and return 2.

Now if the new Kontrol A series had aftertouch, I’d probably get that.

I’m hoping Novation will announce a new Remote MK3 on 10/13 https://us.novationmusic.com/beats-and-bytes :star_struck:

So yeah, Novation’s SL MkIII did come out, and turned out to be very silly. Ok I understand there may be some features in there that may be cool and work for some… I guess the sequencer seems to have been given a lot of thought and the prime real estate on the panel. But seriously? LEDs on the keys to show you scales? Knobs on the top edge of the keyboard, how is that going to travel? And most mind boggling of all, Novation felt the one thing they nailed on MkII and should carry over to III was to just have 8 faders???

I use a MkII now and like it a lot, (except for the fact that it only has 8 faders) and I really thought MkIII could be a monster…but it does not at all build on the strengths of the MkII, it is instead a total redesign more narrowly focused on the home recording market…

Oh well, still searching for a great controller designed for live work. Man I would pay any amount of money for that. Roland seems to have nailed it with at least the controllers aspect with the RD2000, Endless rotary knobs with LED rings and LED feedback for the faders as well.

“Any amount”? :money_mouth_face: Then i would recommend to contact “Keyboard Manufaktur Berlin”, they will build a keyboard for you exactly the way you want it to be… surely it won’t be a cheapo.
But looking at the photos on their page, i think their builds may be well worth the price.

Has your code 61 given any midi hung notes, ? apparently was notorious for that , stores were final salesing them…, I had to return 2, until I settled on a sl88, ( since then have Nordstage 2, due to computer reliance)

Yeah, it does… unfortunately.
One time, one of the first notes hangs (this can be ‘loosend’ again by sweeping over the keys, playing lots of notes), another time it’s after about two hours, sometimes it drops out completely, other times it works like a charm… i never know how it will behave.
First i thought it would be GP (or a script) that hangs from time to time, but now (after some reading) i know that this keyboard seems to have a quite crappy electronic. M-Audio don’t seem to really care about this (or maybe it’s not possible at all to fix it with a firmware update).
So, since i don’t play ‘real’ gigs (just jamming with friends) and otherwise playing at home for myself, it’s not a real killer-bug, but it’s naggy and i tend to buy a new keyboard in the near future.

…and Thankyou for your help on this forum , we are lucky to have your problem solving skills

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Oh ye of little faith !!!

:laughing: :innocent:
Forgiveness!!! I will instantly crawl down to my cold and damp cellar rooms and give my self some self-mortification for such blasphemous thoughts… :confounded::lying_face:

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What i always wanted to know (but i never found someone to ask):
How ‘good’ are those little levers as a replacement for pitchbend- and Mod-wheels?
I cannot imagine that these really work well.

They suck! I use an SL88 for touring because I can lift them. As a weighted controller, it’s quite nice but as a control surface (including pitch bend and mod)” it’s useless

Edit: just to be clear, by they, I’m referring specifically about the use of a joystick rather than actual wheels which I’m used to from instruments like the Minimoog. So that’s my personal opinion as a musician :slight_smile: I wish the SL88 had regular wheels and even a few sliders.

Hmmm… that’s what i actually expected.
I thought about using the Numa Compact 2X, maybe in combination with the little Behringer controller-board… but without Pitchbend- and Modwheel: No way.
If there only was a separate wheel-box on the market, but there obviously isn’t such a device.
I really thought about building something like this by myself… there are ready-to-use controller boards from Doepfer and some other makers and i just saw that there are wheel-sets available from Fatar.
I guess, this actually could be makeable… depends on the price and quantity Fatar sells the wheel-set (i won’t buy 100 sets).

Schamass, the numa compact 2 is a cheap plastic baby toy, Sl88 keys are the real thing ( board is light and cheap$) , …, have a Nordstage 2 sw just because it’s practical but the keys are crap , I miss sl88 , ( had to trade it in)which had no midi / automation hardware , unlike the absurd code 61, which was awesome except the hanging notes they admit can’t be fixed

So it seems that the Arturia Keylab 88 is a good compromise between keybed and control surface when it comes to a graded hammer 88 keys keybed.

But what about a waterfall/organ controller with a good but lighter keybed ? Pfft… pfft… pffft… I think there no other option than a single keyboard organ clone. Could somebody have the opportunity to test the Numa Organ mkII ?
There is also the Dexibell J7 which has nice motorized drawbars to control/and recall two different keyboards with the same drawbars, but it is twice the price of the Numa Organ mkII. And I won’t talk about the Hammond XK-5 :crazy_face:

Touché is really a nice controller, well built and very clever :wink:

This may be for people who like to play a piano, but i don’t want weighted hammers because i very often play other sounds than piano.
What i am looking for, is a keyboard with not more than semi weighted keys, 76-88 keys, it should have aftertouch and Pitch-/Modwheel, a set of faders would be nice (ideally 10 -> drawbars plus volume).
That’s why i think the Numa Compact 2X could really be what i am looking for (apart from the absence of wheels).


Touché is really a nice controller

This looks very interesting but i think it may be a bit ‘over the top’ for what i’m doing and also for my playing skills (a bit pricy too).
But thank you for pointing at it - i haven’t realized that something like this exists :+1:

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It looks good I had the basic numa compact 2, the sounds were a joke, ya, the code 61 was the best , just didnt work

6 posts were split to a new topic: DIY Midi controller (thoughts, plans, links…)