NAMM 2015: Best MIDI Controllers, Keyboards

NAMM 2015 ended. Here are some of the best MIDI Controllers and MIDI Keyboards announced at the event and expected this year to be on the market:

Launchpad Pro Ableton Live Controller by Novation

Launchpad Pro Novation

Novation introduces this year at NAMM 2015 event their Launchpad Pro Ableton Live controller with a similar design as the original but with some many new enhanced features.

Features:

  • Integrate seamlessly with Ableton Live
  • Control a variety of other music software and external hardware
  • Play using RGB pads that match the color of your clips
  • Create expressive beats on drum racks spread across the whole 8 x 8 grid
  • Easily play notes, melodies and chords on an illuminated chromatic keyboard
  • Get immediate, slick access to all your mixer controls
  • Control your effects and instrument mid-performance
  • Download and control a growing library of Max for Live devices
  • Compact, lightweight, tough and bus-powered
  • Comes with everything you need to start

Launchpad Pro will be available from Spring 2015, priced at $299.99 USD.

BeatStep Pro Step Sequencer/Controller by Arturia

Arturia BeatStep Pro

Arturia unveils BeatStep Pro step sequencer/controller, a new, imporved version of the original BeatStep controller. This new controller features 16-track drum sequencer (that’s one track per pad) and is designed to inyetgrate with a wide range of digital or analogue gear.

Features:

  • Up to 64 steps per sequence
  • 16-track drum sequencer (one track per pad)
  • 6 drum sequences and a controller map
  • Performance controls
  • Sequences MIDI and Computer (VST/DAW etc) via USB
  • 8 gate outputs for triggering analogue drums and synthesizers
  • Touch sensitive knobs
  • Tap Tempo

BeatStep Pro will be available in the Spring (2015) priced at $299/€249.

Aira MX-1 Mixer/Controller by Roland

Roland Aira MX-1

Roland introduces at NAMM 2015 the Aira MX-1, their new ‘performance mixer’ that can be used as a standalone mixer, with your DAW or as a control surface.

The MX-1 Mix Performer brings together your synths, drum machines, loops, DAW tracks, and more into a single performance-optimized mixing instrument. Combining elements of a mixer, control surface, audio interface, and step-based effector, the MX-1 is designed to be the nerve center of your electronic music rig. It’s a mixer you can play – and so much more.

Features:

  • 18 channel performance mixer with step-sequenced FX, transport, and tempo control
  • Three kinds of step-sequenced Beat FX (Filter, Side Chain, Slicer) with TR-style buttons
  • Six kinds of Master FX (48 variations) with large performance control knob
  • Beat FX and Master FX can be applied to any or all inputs; Beat FX are per channel
  • Combi mode rhythmically alternates the Master FX using the step-sequencer
  • Mix mode provides six analogue, one digital (stereo), four AIRA (stereo), and two PC channels through mixer and FX
  • Control Surface mode for full DAW control via MIDI

There’s no details about price or availability.

Code Series MIDI Controller/Keyboards by M-Audio

M-Audio Code MIDI Controllers

M-Audio debuts at NANMM 2015 with Code Series, three MIDI controller keyboards available in three sizes: 25-, 49- and 61-note.

Features:

  • Smooth-feel, semi-weighted keybed with aftertouch
  • 16 velocity-sensitive pads with LED feedback
  • Touch pad for X/Y axis control
  • USB Bus powered for portability and ease of use
  • 5-Pin MIDI Input, and Output jacks allowing you to control your favourite synths
  • Assignable pitch & mod wheels, knobs, faders, buttons (with macro ASCII support), and transport control with Mackie Control and HUI modes
  • Split keyboard with four assignable zones
  • Expression and Sustain pedal inputs
  • 6-digit LED display

The Code Series will be available in May 2015, priced at £149.99 GPB for Code 25, £189.99 GBP for Code 49, and £229.99 GBP for Code 61.

Advance Series MIDI Keyboards by AKAI

AKAI Advance Keyboards

AKAI presents their Advance Series of MIDI Controllers/Keyboards that includes three controllers availavle in different sizes, as M-Audio’s Code Series above: 25, 49, and 61-note, each of which features a 4.3-inch colour display.

Features:

  • Available in 25-, 49-, and 61-key sizes
  • Integrated 4.3-inch high-resolution full-colour screen with dedicated interface buttons
  • Includes Virtual Instrument Player software for unprecedented virtual instrument preset management, control mapping and multi patch creation
  • 8 large, endless and continuously variable control knobs
  • 8 velocity- and pressure-sensitive MPC pads with RGB illumination
  • Note repeat, time-division, pattern arpeggiator, and tap-tempo buttons
  • Rubberised Pitch and Modulation wheels
  • Also functions as a standalone controller

The Advance Series by AKAI (25, 49 and 61) will be available in the Spring and have retail prices of $400, $500 and $600 respectively.

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