The Best MIDI Controllers for 2018

Armed with the very best MIDI controller for the job, it’s now possible to single-handedly produce the kind of studio recordings that would once have needed a small army of participants. Rather than bringing in countless instrumentalists to make things happen, the best MIDI controllers enable capable and creative musicians to fly solo.

With a solid dose of talent, a reliable software package and a quality MIDI controller, building and operating a professional-grade recording studio has never been easier. Best of all, picking up the best MIDI controller to make all this happen doesn’t have to mean overspending.

By collating customer feedback and adding our own expertise into the equation, we’ve put together a shortlist outlining some of the best MIDI controllers on the market right now. When it comes to versatility, dynamic performance and overall value for money, you’ll be right at home with any of the following:

Ableton Push 2

First up, the Ableton Push 2 when used in conjunction with Ableton Live is perhaps the single most outstanding controller of its kind money can buy. Two industry powerhouses that come together to create the most extraordinary music production suite and recording studio imaginable. The Ableton Push 2 was designed from the ground up to maximise creative freedom and allow DJs and recording artists at all levels to maximise their potential. Extraordinarily adaptive and responsive, the Ableton Push 2 can be picked up as a standalone unit for £599, or complete with Ableton Live 9 with Free Upgrade to Live 10 for £789.

Pioneer DDJ-XP1

One of the latest and greatest releases from the industry’s most iconic brand, the Pioneer DDJ-XP1 has been designed to get the most out of rekordbox dj and rekordbox dvs. Boasting 32 multicoloured Performance Pads and a uniquely customisable interface, the Pioneer DDJ-XP1 combines professional performance quality with comprehensive affordability. Enjoy tactile control over Hot Cues, Pad FX, Beat Jump, Sampler, Beat Loop and the new Key Shift and Keyboard modes – all for the hugely attractive price of just £229.

Native Instruments Maschine MK3

Engineered to cope with the increasing demands of a new generation of recording artists and performers, the Native Instruments Maschine MK3 is intuitive, responsive and enjoyable on an entirely higher level. Featuring a generous 8GB library with samples, one-shots, sliced loops, sampled instruments, presets, patterns, drum kits and songs, this incredible kit contains everything needed for laying down creative and complex pro-grade recordings. Available as a standalone unit for £469, or packaged with the extraordinary KOMPLETE 11 software suite for just £729.

Novation Launchpad Mini Mk2

Last but not least, the Novation LaunchPad Mini MK2 Software Controller had to be given a notable mention for being perhaps the best MIDI controller on the market for newcomers and musicians on the move. Despite boasting 64 multicoloured backlit pads and 16 extra function buttons in an attractive, compact and user-friendly package, this highly capable piece of hardware is priced at just £84.99. Which also includes Ableton Live Lite and Novation's Bass Station software synth for even more extraordinary value for money.

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