Good controller with faders/knobs etc

Hey all,

Any recommendations for a serious controller to use with Cantabile. Ultimately I would like to have the option to have “any” keyboard hooked up to my laptop (useful when traveling) and use a good controller for all knobs/faders etc.

I use VB3 so 9 assignable faders would be helpful. I also play a lot of synth parts but probably wouldn’t need more than, say, 4 knobs in a live situation, though I guess most come with eight. Some assignable buttons (tempo tap, next song, fx on/off) would be useful too. Ideally with a small display about current assignments, although if I can comfortably view those in Cantabile next to my song notes that would also work.

Can anyone recommend something? Or are their other controllers that people use that they’re very happy with?

I’m EXTREMELY happy with my Akai MPK261. I’ve used cheaper controllers in the past (M-Audio) and the Akai has been really worth the investment. Only 8 faders, but I’m not familiar with any reasonably priced controllers with 9. There are however 3 banks for all 8 faders, knobs and buttons, plus transport control buttons that send midi cc messages that I use for my cantabile play lists.

Thanks, that’s good to hear! It’s a keyboard though, right? I was hoping for something compact without a keyboard.

There aren’t many choices filling your needs, but this might do and it is inexpensive:


Thanks for pointing that one out! It doesn’t seem to be available over here but I can get a friend from the US send one over if need be. I had looked at similar options but they all have only 8 faders which would be super annoying for drawbar control.

I heartedly concur! :slight_smile:

This review on YouTube has useful links in the comments section and on the reviewers website for that unit if you can obtain one. /watch?v=2orrQprX2ZQ


BTW - Ebay had a ton of them!


That’s very similar to the Korg NanoKontrol which I have been using. It’s set up a little more like a DAW controller with record/mute/solo buttons and so on but the faders can act as data sliders for all kinds of things. You’re right about using them for drawbars though. You can either just skip the top one (!) or assign a rotary knob.

Yes - Korg missed the boat on that one by not going with nine sliders for the drawbar organ players.


I know you don’t need a keyboard, but the 25-key Arturia (with a most cheesy keyboard from what reviewers at Amazon have indicated) does have nine sliders and ten knobs!

Really light, too!


Also, for a keyboard, this works gangbusters. You can get an older 61 key version with the pitch/mod wheels where they’re supposed to be (!) for under $100 usually. 9 sliders, buttons and transport controls- sweet!

Thanks for all the suggestions, keep 'em coming. I actually tried the Arturia 49 key one and thought it was fine as a second keyboard but I’d really rather not have a keyboard. I’m hoping to mount the controller on top of the master keyboard as I really don’t want it to occupy a shelf on my stand if I can avoid it. Obviously with something small like the Korg this is easier than with some others.

I found the Worlde one, over here the brand goes by Omnitron and it’s really super cheap and compact, both things speak for it but tbh I wouldn’t mind spending a couple hundred for the “perfect” solution. Which would include a pitchbend lever, a ribbon and an expression pedal input while I’m at it haha. I will probably get the Omnitron as a proper fallback easy-to-bring option, thanks again for putting me on that path. Meanwhile I’ve been looking at the Nektar P1 which has a nice display, 9 faders and lots of endless encoders. For 250, with the quality boost from the Omnitron that seems nice. There’s also the German company Faderfox which does custom controllers with a matching price. But that would allow me to build the Dream Controller…

Have you seen the Blocks from Seaboard? The little modules, you can click them together (they’re magnetized) and basically build what you want at a pace you can afford and they link up via Bluetooth (I think). Someone needs to design MIDI control modules the same way. Buy 9 slider module and click them together. Add three knobs. Whatever you want. Pay for what you need. Dang, I may do this lol

Almost like Legos…

Actually there is something like that with some soldering and something like that with magnets about to get on kickstarter. But the soldering one (Livid Brain v2) is a little too involved for me right now. Their smaller version (Brain Jr) only allows for 8 faders at a time. And I’m not waiting for the kickstarter one, it seems like it would have many issues anyway.

Ah, so sorry. I should have read your OP more carefully.

Has anyone checked this out yet? It looks ideal.

I really like the little joystick cursor controller idea! :slight_smile:


Yikes! It’s the attack of the Korg Nano copies … where there’s a need people compete and more choices come up. And yea how about the mini xy controller! :slightly_smiling_face:


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And it looks like you can daisy chain them on USB if you need more faders (i.e. both manuals on a B3).

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