Russell is a sound producer and songwriter. He deals with digital pianos and MIDI controllers on a regular basis so no wonder he knows everything about them.
Last updated: July 08, 2022
Play Piano Tips is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Welcome to an article about Ableton controllers. We want you to have the ability to have the best knowledge when choosing a controller. You never know when you may be in the market for a controller. Why not take a look at some of the best?
Wedding coming up, party, or even something simple? Then you may need a new controller. We are going to talk about some of the controllers that we have found to be the best. We chose these based on the following criteria: keys, pads, software, size, and more. These are all important features of a controller. Without these features, you wouldn’t be able to play the best music. Let us take a look at the best Ableton controllers that you can pick from.
"This pad was designed for beginners and experts alike. It has all the basic necessities for beginners and all the expert items for those more advanced. We have found that this is the best Ableton Keyboard Controller."
Software: Logic and Reason, Studio One, Cubase and Pro Tools, via HUI
More features: 8 control knobs; pitch and mod wheels; Ableton Live integration; three-chord modes
This keyboard will allow you to control your tracks in Ableton live with all your other equipment with ease. The three-chord mode will allow you to go into an interactive mode so that you can create music with a bang!
Many people like this model because it is such an upgrade from other models. If you have the mini versions, then this is going to be very easy for you. It has more options and music modes available.
What makes it stand out?
We liked that the keyboard allows you to work with Ableton Live. It works with a few versions; however, the most upgraded version will work best. We also love that it will support a few other DAWs. It is a great pad for those who are looking to make a statement with Ableton Live. Plus, we have also noticed that this one is great for those who are on the go a lot and making music.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
After taking the time to look at the board, we have determined that it is not as good as some other boards. However, it is still a great board. This board, we believe, would be best for practice and on the go because it does not have the best keys. It would also be better for a beginner than someone who is more experienced. Take the time to determine what you need in your panel.
There are a lot of programs and knobs that this board has. The software installed into the panel is going to have you ready for production in no time. Professionals will have the best board for the best money.
This is a great option for those who are looking to build their career. It is a great option for people who are knowledgeable about the board and its uses. Taking the time to look at all the components may be a headache if you are just starting out. That is why we believe that this keyboard is great for beginners and experts alike. However, it will help those who are learning more than experienced mixers.
What are our favorite features?
We looked at this and liked this because it has so many features in a small space. It makes your work easier when you are on the go. Plus, it supports many DAW programs so that you can make your music how you want to. Of course, we also love that it comes compatible with Ableton Live. We also love that it has 61 keys to control what is being made. That is why we recommend that this be used for experienced mixers. It has more keys which could make it harder to operate if you do not know what you are doing. Plus, we like that it is the best mini foot controller from Ableton. Not to mention it is the best midi foot controller for Ableton.
What could be better?
We have done some research and found that there is room for improvement. We found that it does not come with an amplifier or computer. This means that you cannot use it unless you have a computer or amplifier at your home. It is also noted that there is no power adapter included in the purchase. People have also stated that it is heavier than it should be for a portable control panel.
Software: Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech, and Toolroom artist launch packs
More features: perfect for mobile music performance, integrated MIDI mixer, simple setup
Finding yourself producing music on the go, then this is for you! It is a miniature version of the bigger models. It has all you need for your on-the-go music lifestyle. It features a simple setup for beginners to understand and a MIDI mixer as well.
This small board will allow you to have complete control in a smaller version. It would be best for those who are on the go and want to bring their board with them. Taking this board on the go is simple with its small size. Although it is small in size, it is very sturdy and durable. That is why this is ideal for musicians and those who travel a lot.
What makes it special?
We liked that you get everything you need in a controller without having to worry about size and price. Both are very small! We believe that this controller would be best for someone who is on the go and has more experience. However, there are many tutorials to ensure that you know how to play and use the board properly. We also like the ability to control the lights on the board.
What cons did we find?
We have looked and found that many people have had issues with the software on the panel. We have also found that beginners have had some trouble with this board as well. We also want you to know that some people have had issues with the software if you do not have it already downloaded. Plus, the sliders sometimes have issues that could be fixed. The sliders have a tendency to move without being touched.
Software: Analog Lab Lite, Ableton Live Lite, and more
More features: compact, portable, 8 presets, very responsive, two capacitive touch sensors
You will find that this is the second version of this controller. It is a portable version that is compact. However, it still features 21 keys and 16 encoders that will help you control the DAW you are using.
You will see that this is the second version of this keyboard. You will notice that you will have more a more rugged design to ensure that the keyboard will last. There are more features to allow tweaking and mixing of music. The rugged controls are going to allow you to make music like a professional.
What are its best features?
We like that this is the second version and has updates that many people will like. Taking the time to look at this, we found that we love that even though the keys are mini, they are very durable and responsive. They do not let you down when you need it. It is the new piano of the future. We love that you can put a new twist on your music.
What could be improved?
We have found that the controller appears solid. However, there is a process to get through registration and security with the product. It is a little longer process. However, it is worth it for the keyboard. If the company could figure out a different way to do registration for the programs, it would be better.
Software: total integration with Ableton Live’s, HUI compatible
More features: fully customizable
This board is going to allow you to have 16 different buttons that change color and can be customized based on what you are doing. Plus, you can enjoy it with 24 rotary pots that feature 300-degree motion. Not to mention it has HUI compatibility for many different DAWs.
This is going to be best for those who are on the go. It is going to be the best for those who are mixing in clubs or at parties. It is the best customizable option for those who are always on the go. The customization option will allow you to know your music wherever you go.
What are our favorite features?
We liked that you could customize the buttons. This control is very customizable to ensure that the music you are making is better than ever before. We also like that you can focus more on this rather than your laptop. Most people are worried about spending money, but we have found that this is very much worth the money spent. We also like how compatible it is with many different programs.
What could be better?
We believe that the only issue is that you need the latest version of Ableton Live. If you launch this with an older version, you will be unable to utilize the launch control. You need this to run the board, and however, if you upgrade to Ableton Live, you will be fine. If you do not want to launch as an upgraded version, there are ways you can simply launch this as a normal MIDI controller.
Software: M-Audio Edition, MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, 6 virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech, and 7 Akai Professional MPC
More features: velocity-sensitive keys, smart controls
This product is a MIDI keyboard that has 49 weighted keys. It also has zones that are assignable. This will allow you to be in command of the production as well with eight knobs, nine faders, and many other features.
Joining the pros has never been easier. This upgraded model has a complete arsenal of tools that you need to produce music. This is going to be best for those who are more experienced than those who are beginners because there are a lot of features. These features are going to allow you to work flexibly with any amount of workflow you may have.
Why is it special?
We like that it has 49 keys, and it is a complete MIDI controller. It will allow you to do the job you need wherever you need. We love that it allows you to create music while you are out and about and while you are in the studio. It has many features that are going to advance the world of music drastically. We also like that it has top-of-the-line DAWs.
What are the flaws?
The only problem we have found is that it does not work with iPhone or iPad products. Most people who are on the go utilize these items to make music. However, this board lacks those abilities. We believe that if this was compatible with these items, it would be a game-changing device.
Keys: 9 channel faders, 8 control knobs, and 8 device controls
Pads: not specified
Size: 9.96 x 16.68 x 1.8 inches
Software: Ableton Live
More features: clip launch matrix, collection of over 200 sophisticated audio effects
The AKAI Professional APC50MKII is going to change the world of music. It has nine different channel faders, eight device controls, and even eight knobs. This will allow you to navigate with ease on Ableton Live.
This board is going to be for those who are intense and serious with their music. This board can change your life. Some people believe that this version is better because it is updated. It is more durable and designed for those who are looking for a career in music. It is going to allow those who are experienced to make a splash with their sounds.
What makes it stand out?
We like that this controller can make someone feel in control. The numerous buttons and knobs allow for the music maker to feel in control when they are creating music. We also like that it is almost the only device you need when you purchase this. You do not need extra items.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
We have found out that some people only have minor issues. The things that could be improved are issues from the manufacturer. These issues are all resolvable, and we think that they are just defective items from the factory. We know that this happens. However, we could not find something that could be improved.
Things to Consider
We have talked about a few different mixing boards. However, we are going to talk about what you should look for when you purchase one. If you are an expert in the field, you may not need this. However, if you are new to music and music production, you may need some extra help picking out the best keyboard for you. Take the time to look at some of the important features we take into consideration when purchasing abroad. Keep in mind that MIDI is going to change the music industry. It is allowing a new approach to music as we speak.
We are going to talk about some of the important features you will find when you purchase a controller. This is going to help you determine which one is best for you. Let us take a look at some of the important features you should consider before purchasing a mixing board. We are going to talk about software all the way to keys and pads. Take the time to look at some of the specific features of a controller before purchasing the item. This will ensure that you get what you need without any compromises.
Most people will notice that there are keys on a DJ control board. However, many people do not know how to use these keys. These keys are an important part of creating music.
If you are a beginner, then you may want fewer keys than someone who is more advanced. This will help you make basic music.
Pads are another important part of a control board, and however, again, many people are unsure of what they are. Many people refer to the pads as the brain of the controller because it is so important. That is why it is a must to have good pads and keys.
Most controllers are considered pan controls. This means that the sound is controlled to which speaker it is let out. These controllers are going to be what allows you to control where your music comes from.
These pan controls are going to allow you to choose from the left and right speakers. This can help you create the best music possible when you have control. The best mixer has the most controllers because that means you have more control over what is being produced. You want to look for the best Ableton controller and best controller for Ableton Live.
You may also find that the best midi foot controller for Ableton is best for you. However, you may not like it. However, you will notice that the best DJ Controllers come from Ableton.
There are many types of software available, and however, if you are looking for the best Ableton
Trusted SourceAbleton: Inside the Music Software Company Everyone Wants to Buy – BillboardAbleton is the hottest music software company everyone wants to buy — but they’re not selling.
controller, you should choose M-Audio Oxygen Pro. If you are a beginner, you may want to opt for AKAI Professional APC40MKII. Harvard
Trusted SourceTechnomusicology | Harvard UniversityEmbracing such technologies ourselves, we employ popular, powerful music software (Ableton Live) to explore new techniques and idioms for storytelling by composing a series of Ètudes.
even offers courses to learn Ableton Live.
Size and weight
You want something that is going to be ideal for your needs. That is why you need to look at Ableton controller reviews. Suppose you are looking for something that is good for on the go you may choose AKAI Professional APC Mini because it is small. Plus, it has all the features you need to have a great show.
When you are on the go, you want a mixer that is going to be able to get your musician needs done. You want something that is going to be able to get the job done as easily as possible.
Keep in mind that you do not want to damage the mixer in the process. That is why using the best midi controller for Ableton is important.
Take the time to determine which item is best for you. Just because you think that it will be doesn’t mean it will. You need to determine what you need when you are on the go. What you need at home versus what you need on the go may differ. You may find that you need more on the go. You also want to make sure that the controller has all the features you need when you are making music on the go.
For those who are starting out and for those who are experienced, you need to know what you are looking for. You need to know your skill level. If you are a beginner, you will not need all the keys and pads that an expert would. Start small and work your way up. Find something that is going to fit your needs without overwhelming you.
We are going to talk about which controller is the best for live events. We believe that the M-Audio Oxygen Pro is the best for live gigs. It has all the keys, pads, and controls needed for live performances. It is also not too heavy so you can carry it as you need. It isn’t overwhelming to look at either. It is going to be best for those who have more experience. However, beginners will be able to use this controller as well. It is very good for producing music for larger scaled items such as a party.
When you have a controller, you want to make sure that it is taken care of properly. When you are not using your controller, make sure that it is set on a dry surface. If you have a stand, set it on the stand. Make sure that the controller is away from pets and children. These two do not mix. When the pad needs to be cleaned, you can use brushes or Q-tips to help clean. If you would like to make sure it is fully cleaned, you can use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the Q-tips. You may also use water. However, if you are unsure of what to do, do not use anything except a dry Q-tip.
If you have purchased an Ableton controller, then you will likely have to install the software if you do not already have it. This software is simple to install. All you need to do is download it to your computer and install it. You would install it just like you would with any other program. You must allow the download to be available on your computer. Ensure that you are not having pop-up blockers block the download.
We have gone over what you need to know about the top seven best Ableton controllers in this article. We want you to be educated so that you can purchase the best one based on your needs. Taking the time to look at the buyer’s guide and some commonly asked questions could save you some money. We want you to be educated, and we hope that this article has helped you determine which controller is best for you. Make sure that you take all items into consideration when you are purchasing an Ableton controller. We have picked three that we believe belong at the top of the list for their performance, quality, and universal use. Novation Launchkey MIDI Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live, Akai Professional MPK261, and the AKAI Professional APC Mini are going to be our best picks. These are our Editor’s Choice, Best Value, and Premium Pick.
Ableton: Inside the Music Software Company Everyone Wants to Buy – Billboard
Ableton is the hottest music software company everyone wants to buy — but they’re not selling.