What is the best MIDI controller for beginners? | Beat Making Tips

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What is the best MIDI controller for beginners?

TaurusBeats answers a question about What is the best MIDI controller for beginner beatmakers.

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What is the best MIDI controller for beginners?

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Akai Professional MPD32

Besides keyboard controllers, the “other” common type of MIDI device you'll find is the pad controller.

Made popular by the original Akai MPC's from back in the 90's…

These pads have since become standards for making drum beats, and controlling almost any type of percussion-based virtual instruments.

While the early MPC's where intended as full “Music Production Centers“…

The one I'll show you today: the Akai Professional MPD18…is more of a stripped-down “pad-only” version that offers:

16 velocity/pressure backlit sensitive pads
Ableton Lite
iOS compatibility
6 assignable potentiometers
Plug-n-play USB connectivity

So for a cheap and simple option to pound-out some beats, I highly recommend the MPD218.


M Audio Oxygen

M Audio Oxygen 25Rather than needing separate controllers for both keyboard and percussion…

Many people now use these new “hybrid” designs, which combine both functions into a single unit.

And many versions, such as the M-Audio Oxygen, even feature DAW control/plugin control as well, with a collection of knobs and sliders.

If you're like most musicians and you hate programming MIDI…the M-Audio Oxygen is also great because it auto-maps to all major DAW's.


Do I need a MIDI controller?

Short answer: No, you don't need a MIDI controller.

You can use your computer keyboard to "play" notes or use your mourse to "draw" notes in a piano roll. So, you can get by without a MIDI controller.

For me, making music is an experience that I enjoy most when I am moving and playing the notes. It's about playing music and not programming music. I'm a professional programmer (web developer). That's my day job. I don't want to do anything that resembles programming when it comes to music.  


What is the difference between a MIDI controller and a keyboard? 

A MIDI Keyboard is an instrument that does not need any other parts to work. When you play the keyboard you trigger sounds contained within the keyboard itself. A MIDI Keyboard controller has nosounds in it. You use the MIDI Keyboard controller to trigger sounds located in another device, like a computer.

My Yamaha DJX is a MIDI Keyboard that has its own sounds and speakers. I turn it on and play it as a standalone unit. My M-Audio Oxygen 25 has no sounds in it and no speakers. I plug it into my computer and trigger sounds in Propellerhead Reason. Because the YamahaDJX is MIDI capable, I can use it to trigger sounds in Propellerhead Reason, like the Oxygen 25. But when I do this, I turn the Yamaha DJX volume all the way down so I don't hear the sounds coming out of the DJX speakers.

Grace and Peace!

Taurus (aka TaurusBeats)

Music Maker | Mentor

Keywords: midi controller

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What People Are Saying

andrew silway - India

Thank you so much for the music. They are great!

Ricon Carter - USA

What's good fam ? Yo I replied about that track earlier "When Im Gone". Man I need that joint super bad. I kept listening to it over and over and I already got a song wrote for it. Its about my grandmother that died while I was holding her hand and how I was rebellious but she continued to pray for me and I didn't give my life to Christ until after she passed. Man its mad emotional I was crying while I wrote it. Please get back at me fam. Grace and Peace - Ricon

jjcue3 - na

Hey TaurusBeats just letting ya know you are inspirational man. You say your a drummer and not a pianist..........damn dude, you rock dem keys pretty gooooooood! All the best to you man and I gonna keep on listening!

Andy D - UK

Taurus - ur stuff is the *ting* man i'm tellin ya. I also learned that your a drummer - me to! When I was a kid I used to play around with the piano/keyboard in the 80's/90's (26yr old now). But I can't read music - I play by ear, just like you. You hit the pads & keys, (i gotta mpd32 to!;) in the same manner as me - it flows. I reckon we can play steel drums - even tho we never have! or maybe you have - i don't know! I'm luvin your youtube flix - keep em comin dood. Peace bruv Andy D, birmingham UK.

gospa rap theme records - na

hey wazup..love the banging beats man..even the remix to lean back, and the song how we do it...keep it up for god god bless...peace G.R.T productions
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