7 Best MIDI Controller with Faders: Top Picks For Music Production 2024

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MIDI controllers with faders are an essential tool for music producers, DJs, and performers who want to take their music production to the next level.

These controllers allow for hands-on control of virtual instruments, audio effects, and mixing parameters in digital audio workstations (DAWs) and live performances.

When shopping for a MIDI controller with faders, it’s important to consider the number of faders, their length and quality, and the overall build quality of the controller.

The number of faders you need will depend on the complexity of your music production setup.

Longer faders can provide more precise control, while shorter faders can save space and be more portable.

Another thing to consider is the quality of the faders themselves.

High-quality faders will be more durable and provide smoother operation, while lower-quality faders may wear out or become scratchy over time.

Finally, the overall build quality of the controller is important to ensure it can withstand the rigors of live performances and frequent use.We spent hours researching and testing various MIDI controllers with faders to identify the best options on the market.

In the following sections, we’ll share our top picks and provide detailed reviews of each controller.

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, we’ve got you covered with the best MIDI controllers with faders to suit your needs.

Editor’s Pick

Best High-End MIDI Controller with Faders

Arturia KeyLab MKII 61 Professional MIDI Controller

Best High-End MIDI Controller with Faders

We recommend the Arturia KeyLab MKII 61 as the top high-end MIDI controllerbest mid-range MIDI controller with faders with faders for its exceptional build quality, versatile features, and included software.

  • 61-note keybed with velocity and aftertouch for expressive playing
  • 16 RGB-backlit touch and pressure-sensitive pads for drumming and triggering samples
  • 9 faders and 9 rotary knobs for hands-on control of your DAW and virtual instruments
  • Includes Analog Lab software with over 6,500 preset sounds
  • Solid metal construction for durability and premium feel

Best Mid-Range MIDI Controller with Faders

M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini

Best Mid-Range MIDI Controller with Faders

For those seeking a balance of performance and value, the M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini stands out as our pick for the best mid-range MIDI controller with faders.

  • 32 semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keys for a realistic playing experience
  • 8 assignable knobs and 4 assignable faders for hands-on control
  • Built-in arpeggiator, Smart Chord, and Smart Scale features for easy music creation
  • Includes comprehensive software suite with MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite, and more
  • Compact and portable design for easy transport and use on the go

Best Budget MIDI Controller with Faders

AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2

Best Budget MIDI Controller with Faders

When it comes to affordable options, we suggest the AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2 as the top budget-friendly MIDI controller with faders that still offers solid performance.

  • 64 RGB-backlit pads for launching clips, loops, and samples in Ableton Live
  • 9 assignable faders (8 channel faders + 1 master fader) for mixing and parameter control
  • Seamless integration with Ableton Live for intuitive workflow
  • Compact and lightweight design for easy portability
  • Excellent value for the price, providing essential features for Ableton Live users

Best MIDI Controllers with Faders

We know that finding the right MIDI controller with faders can be a challenge, especially with so many options available on the market.

That’s why we’ve done the research and testing for you, and have compiled a list of the best MIDI controllers with faders that are currently available.

Whether you’re a professional musician or just starting out, our list has something for everyone.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into our top picks for the best MIDI controllers with faders.

1. Arturia – MiniLab 3 Alpine

Arturia – MiniLab 3 Alpine

If you’re looking for a versatile, portable, and easy-to-use MIDI controller, the Arturia MiniLab 3 is an excellent choice.

If you’re looking for a versatile, portable, and easy-to-use MIDI controller, the Arturia MiniLab 3 is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • The MiniLab 3 is easy to use and adapts to your needs, style, and workflow, making it an ideal choice for beginners and pros alike.
  • It’s lightweight and compact, making it perfect for recording, performing, or jamming with friends no matter where you are.
  • The MiniLab 3 comes with all the creative software you need, including Analog Lab V, Ableton Live Lite, UVI Model D, NI The Gentleman, a 2-month subscription to Loopcloud, and a subscription to Melodics.

Cons

  • The keys are not weighted, which may not be suitable for those who prefer a more realistic piano feel.
  • The pads are not as responsive as some other MIDI controllers on the market.
  • The rotary encoders are not as smooth as some other controllers in this price range.

The Arturia MiniLab 3 is a versatile and portable MIDI controller that offers all the essential controls in a compact package.

It features a 25-note velocity-sensitive slim keyboard, 2 banks of 8 high-quality pads with RGB backlighting, 8 rotary encoders, 4 sliders, a mini display, and a clickable browsing knob.

It also has built-in arpeggiator, hold and chord modes, 2 touch sensors for pitch bend and modulation wheel, USB-C port, and MIDI out.

One of the best things about the MiniLab 3 is its performance-ready portability.

It’s light enough to fit in your backpack, and it connects seamlessly to your computer, allowing you to unleash your creativity in seconds.

It also features exclusive integration with major DAWs (Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Reason, Bitwig, FL Studio), so you can control your project entirely with MiniLab 3 and get totally immersed in your music production flow.

The MiniLab 3’s software package is also worth mentioning.

It offers thousands of world-class presets spanning dozens of timeless instruments, making it easy to get started with your music production.

It also includes a 5-year warranty, so you can get creative safely in the knowledge that it can go the distance.

In summary, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use, versatile, and portable MIDI controller that comes with all the essential controls and software you need, the Arturia MiniLab 3 is an excellent choice.

2. M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini

M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini

If you’re looking for a MIDI controller with faders, the M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini is a great option.

If you’re looking for a MIDI controller with faders, the M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini is a great option.

Pros

  • The semi-weighted keys and responsive playing experience make it feel like a high-end keyboard.
  • The included software suite, including MPC Beats and Ableton Live Lite, allows for comprehensive music production.
  • The Smart Chord and Smart Scale technology makes it easy to create music even for those with limited music theory knowledge.

Cons

  • The keys are shorter than standard size, which may take some getting used to for those used to a full-size keyboard.
  • The software included may not work for everyone, depending on their preferences and needs.
  • The faders may not be as smooth as some users would like.

We were impressed by the M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini’s build quality and versatility.

The semi-weighted keys and built-in arpeggiator make it easy to create complex melodies and harmonies.

The assignable knobs, buttons, and faders allow for tactile control of virtual instruments, effect plugins, DAW controls, and more.

The easy-to-read OLED screen and auto-mapping feature make it simple to configure the Oxygen Pro Mini with any mainstream DAW.

The Smart Chord and Smart Scale modes remove barriers to music production, allowing even beginners to create complex chord progressions and melodies.

The software suite included with the M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini is comprehensive and includes everything needed to record, sequence, arrange, and mixdown tracks.

The virtual instrument collection from AIR Music Tech and Akai Professional MPC Expansion packs provide a wide range of sound content to explore.

In summary, if you’re looking for a MIDI controller with faders that is versatile, easy to use, and includes a comprehensive software suite, the M-Audio Oxygen Pro Mini is an excellent choice.

3. Donner DMK25 Pro MIDI Keyboard Controller

Donner DMK25 Pro MIDI Keyboard Controller

If you’re looking for a portable MIDI controller with faders, the Donner DMK25 Pro is a solid choice.

If you’re looking for a portable MIDI controller with faders, the Donner DMK25 Pro is a solid choice.

Pros

  • The intelligent dynamic scale mode makes it easy to play bass lines, melodies, and leads in various musical genres without worrying about tuning issues.
  • Real-time multi-mode control allows you to create music clips on the fly with powerful arpeggio, note repeat, and chord functions.
  • The personalized touch bar with light scale and innovative wheels provide greater visual control and comfort when turning, making it easier to create music.

Cons

  • The 25 keys may be limiting for some users who require a larger range.
  • The intelligent dynamic scale mode may not work for all genres.
  • Some users have reported issues with the complimentary software and courses.

The Donner DMK25 Pro is a lightweight and portable MIDI controller that can be used for music production on the go.

The intelligent dynamic scale mode and real-time multi-mode control features make it easy to create music clips quickly and easily.

The personalized touch bar with light scale and innovative wheels provide greater control and comfort when turning, making it easier to create music.

One potential drawback of the Donner DMK25 Pro is its limited range of 25 keys, which may not be sufficient for some users.

Additionally, the intelligent dynamic scale mode may not work for all genres, so it may not be suitable for all musicians.Overall, the Donner DMK25 Pro is a solid choice for those in need of a portable MIDI controller with faders.

While there may be some limitations, the intelligent dynamic scale mode and real-time multi-mode control features make it a great tool for on-the-go music production.

4. Arturia KeyLab MKII 61 Professional MIDI Controller

Arturia KeyLab MKII 61 Professional MIDI Controller

If you’re looking for a versatile MIDI controller with faders, the Arturia KeyLab MKII 61 is a great choice.

If you’re looking for a versatile MIDI controller with faders, the Arturia KeyLab MKII 61 is a great choice.

Pros

  • The 61-note keybed with velocity and aftertouch feels great to play on.
  • The included Analog Lab software offers over 6500 TAE-powered preset sounds.
  • The 16 RGB-backlit touch and pressure-sensitive pads are a joy to use.

Cons

  • The controller is a bit heavy at 16.7 pounds, so it may not be the best choice if you need something highly portable.
  • The price point is a bit high, making it less accessible for those on a budget.
  • Some users have reported issues with the drum pads not being as sensitive as they would like.

We’ve had a chance to use the Arturia KeyLab MKII 61, and we can confidently say that it’s a great MIDI controller for those looking for faders.

The keybed feels fantastic, and the aftertouch adds an extra layer of expressiveness to your playing.

The included Analog Lab software is a huge bonus, offering thousands of sounds to choose from right out of the box.

One of the standout features of the KeyLab MKII 61 is the 16 RGB-backlit touch and pressure-sensitive pads.

These are incredibly fun to use, and they add a lot of versatility to the controller.

We found ourselves using them for everything from drum programming to triggering samples and loops.

While the KeyLab MKII 61 is a great controller, it’s not perfect.

It’s a bit heavy, which may make it less than ideal for those who need something highly portable.

Additionally, the price point is a bit high, which may put it out of reach for some users.

One issue that some users have reported is that the drum pads aren’t as sensitive as they would like.

While we didn’t have any issues with them ourselves, it’s worth keeping in mind if you plan to use the pads heavily.Overall, we think the Arturia KeyLab MKII 61 is a fantastic MIDI controller with faders.

If you’re looking for a versatile controller with a great keybed, tons of sounds, and fun pads to play with, this is definitely worth considering.

5. AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2

AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2

If you’re looking for a compact MIDI controller that can handle all your music creation needs, the AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2 is a great option.

If you’re looking for a compact MIDI controller that can handle all your music creation needs, the AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2 is a great option.

With its 64 RGB-backlit pads, 9 assignable faders, and drum and note modes, this controller is perfect for creative looping, remixing, and experimenting.

Pros

  • The bright 64 RGB-backlit pads provide a brilliant and precise representation of your Ableton Live session clips, making it easy to launch and activate loops, instruments, vocals, and more with confidence.
  • The 9 assignable faders are automatically mapped to the eight Macro Controls of Ableton Live’s selected device, allowing you to control multiple parameters with one Master fader to generate totally innovative sounds.
  • The Drum and Note modes feature seamless integration with Ableton Drum Rack, while the Smart Scale View Mode ensures that the musical key currently selected is also visible across the pads, making it easy to know what scale you’re in without having to reference your laptop screen.

Cons

  • The pads don’t feel as solid as some other MIDI controllers, with a small amount of movement that can make them feel more like buttons than pads.
  • The colors of the RGB-backlit pads are somewhat dull and weak, which can make it difficult to see them in certain lighting conditions.
  • The controller can be a bit difficult to program, and it may take some time to learn all of its features and capabilities.

Overall, the AKAI Professional APC Mini MK2 is a great MIDI controller for anyone looking for a compact and versatile solution for music creation.

Whether you’re working in the studio or on stage, this controller provides complete control over your Ableton Live clips and devices, making it perfect for creative looping, mixing, and live performing.

6. AKAI Professional MIDI Mix

AKAI Professional MIDI Mix

If you’re looking for a portable MIDI controller mixer that can control your DAW with the press of a button, then the AKAI Professional MIDImix is a great option.

If you’re looking for a portable MIDI controller mixer that can control your DAW with the press of a button, then the AKAI Professional MIDImix is a great option.

Pros

  • Complete mix control with a single push of a button
  • 8 individual line faders and 1 master fader for controlling track volume, virtual instrument parameters, effect settings, and more
  • 24 knobs arranged 3 per channel for controlling EQ, bus sends, virtual instrument parameters, effect settings, and more

Cons

  • The knobs could benefit from having a little more grip to help turn them better
  • The controller may feel a bit toy-like due to its plastic build quality and price point
  • Programming the use per channel for other DAWs can be a bit tricky

We’ve had a great experience using the AKAI Professional MIDImix.

The mixer is lightweight, compact, and robust, making it a perfect choice for musicians and producers who are always on the go.

The 1 to 1 mapping with Ableton Live (Ableton Live Lite is included) makes integration effortless, allowing you to focus on your music creation.

The 8 individual line faders and 1 master fader provide complete mix control, while the 24 knobs arranged 3 per channel allow you to control EQ, bus sends, virtual instrument parameters, effect settings, and more.

The 16 buttons arranged in 2 banks provide mute, solo, and record arm functionality per channel, giving you even more control over your music.

One downside we’ve noticed is that the knobs could benefit from having a little more grip to help turn them better.

Additionally, the controller may feel a bit toy-like due to its plastic build quality and price point.

Programming the use per channel for other DAWs can also be a bit tricky.

Overall, the AKAI Professional MIDImix is a great option for anyone looking for a portable MIDI controller mixer that can control their DAW with the press of a button.

7. iCON Pro Audio V1-M

iCON Pro Audio V1-M

If you’re looking for a high-quality MIDI controller with faders, the iCON Pro Audio V1-M is definitely worth considering.

If you’re looking for a high-quality MIDI controller with faders, the iCON Pro Audio V1-M is definitely worth considering.

We’ve had the pleasure of using this controller for a while now and we’re thoroughly impressed with what it has to offer.

Pros

  • The V1-M is a premium DAW controller that’s designed for efficiency and creativity.

    It’s packed with features that make it easy to elevate your digital audio production.
  • With 8 touch-sensitive motorized faders that offer 12-bit resolution, expandable to an incredible 64 channels with the V1-X DAW Control Expanders, you’ll have unparalleled control over your music.
  • The V1-M boasts a large, customizable 7-inch touchscreen with 5 color-coded layers, allowing you to access up to 120 DAW functions easily and tailor your workflow in real-time.

Cons

  • The V1-M is a bit on the expensive side, so it may not be the best option for those on a tight budget.
  • While the touchscreen is nice to have, it can be a bit finicky at times and may take some getting used to.
  • The V1-M is a bit heavy and bulky, so it may not be the best option for those who need a portable controller.

Overall, we highly recommend the iCON Pro Audio V1-M to anyone who’s looking for a high-quality MIDI controller with faders.

It’s packed with features that make it easy to elevate your digital audio production and offers unparalleled control over your music.

If you’re willing to spend a bit more for a top-of-the-line controller, the V1-M is definitely worth considering.

Buying Guide: What To Look Out For Midi Controllers With Faders

When looking for the best MIDI controller with faders, there are a few key features to consider.

Here are some factors to keep in mind when making your decision:

Fader Quality

The quality of the faders is an important factor to consider when choosing a MIDI controller.

Look for faders that are smooth and responsive, with a good range of motion.

It’s also important to consider the durability of the faders, as they will be used frequently.

Number of Faders

Consider how many faders you need for your specific use case.

If you’re a DJ, you may want a larger number of faders for controlling multiple tracks at once.

If you’re a producer, you may only need a few faders for controlling volume, panning, and other basic parameters.

Compatibility

Make sure the MIDI controller you choose is compatible with your software and hardware setup.

Check the manufacturer’s website for compatibility information, or consult with a sales representative to ensure that the controller will work with your existing gear.

Other Features

In addition to faders, many MIDI controllers offer a variety of other features, such as pads, knobs, and buttons.

Consider which features are most important to you and your workflow.

For example, if you frequently use drum samples, you may want a controller with velocity-sensitive pads for triggering those samples.

Overall, choosing the best MIDI controller with faders comes down to finding a product that meets your specific needs and preferences.

By considering the factors outlined above, you can make an informed decision and find a controller that will help you achieve your musical goals.

Dominic

Dominic is the chief editor of the Burton Acoustix blog which writes about acoustics and soundproofing to help readers with their queries and questions they might have with regard to improving any sound or noise issues that they faced in their life.