About MIDI Controllers
MIDI controllers are essential to the modern music studio production setup. First introduced in the 1980s for live musicians who wanted to operate various sounds from one keyboard MIDI controllers are now used by studio performers sound designers and songwriters with laptops. Typically MIDI controllers contain piano-style keys along with a variety of sliders and knobs that send MIDI date to external sound modules sequencers and computer software synths. MIDI controllers are favored for their versatility portability and accessibility and a wide range of MIDI controllers exist on today's music market. Most use a USB cable to connect to a computer or laptop but some MIDI controllers are wireless and compatible with Bluetooth and the internet.
The MIDI controller keyboard is the most common MIDI controller type. It can have hammer action keys to feel like an acoustic piano but most have semi-weighted action keys for enhanced expression and control with other instruments. MIDI controller keyboards only work when plugged into a computer and when a sample is loaded up to play. Some have additional pads for triggering drum samples while others feature faders and knobs to control your DAW. Another common type is the percussion/drum pad MIDI controller. By hitting various pads you can trigger sound samples effortlessly; they're often used for drum patches but they can also be useful during live performances. Other MIDI controllers include foot controllers (ideal for guitarists who want more effects quickly at their disposal) and wind controllers which allow for multiple brass and woodwind instrument sounds to be operated digitally. Some respected MIDI controller brands are: Akai, Behringer, and Studiologic.