Keyboard, Surface & Pad Controllers

Video Chat with a Pro Audio Expert - Live

An Overview of Keyboard Controllers

When making music from your computer, it's much easier when using keyboard controllers. Read more to find out all about the different types of controllers, and which will best suit your needs.

What Are Keyboard Controllers?

A MIDI keyboard controller is a device that sends information to your computer to control your music production software. While you can use a computer keyboard and mouse or trackpad, it's much easier and more natural with a dedicated USB/MIDI keyboard controller. The most traditional types of controllers feature piano keyboard setups with varying numbers of keys, and they often have various buttons, knobs, and sliders to manipulate your audio. Many controllers also connect to your computer via USB, rather than MIDI cables, so you don't need any additional hardware.

Types of MIDI Controllers

While piano-like keyboard devices are among the most common MIDI controllers, there are many other options. MIDI pad controllers, or drum pad controllers, use pads instead of keys to trigger sounds, and they're very useful if you're programming percussion sounds or samples. There are also hybrid keyboards, which include pads in addition to keyboard keys, providing you with more flexibility in one controller. MIDI performance and wind controllers allow you to simulate different instruments, such as guitars or wind instruments. The device registers your breath or finger movements, and transmits the data to your software for a more natural music-making experience.

What Are Computer Audio Control Surfaces?

If you want more options for adjusting your audio, you can add computer audio control surfaces to your setup. MIDI control surfaces function more like mixing boards, adding additional sliders, knobs, and buttons so that you can tweak your sounds, and you can use them in combination with other controllers.

There are numerous keyboard controllers, other types of controllers, and accessories available at B&H Photo and Video, so you're sure to find a setup that works for you.