What Does A MIDI Controller Do

Have you ever seen music producers or DJs working with a computer and a keyboard? That keyboard is most likely a MIDI controller. But what exactly is it, and what does a midi controller do? Let’s answer your questions in this article!


What is a MIDI controller?

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MIDI is a system that enables digital music equipment to communicate in the same language. Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI for short, allows musicians to link computers and digital instruments into a unified setup.

Ikutaro Kakehashi, Roland’s creator, thought of creating a global language that transmits a musical performance in a digital language. As a result, MIDI has long affected the design of digital music equipment.

A MIDI controller is a MIDI interface that includes a keyboard input device that transmits and receives MIDI messages from and from a computer. When a sound source receives MIDI data, it is converted to audio signals. It also enables you to layer in drum beats and modify tones.

Types of MIDI controllers

MIDI controllers do not have to be in the shape of a piano keyboard. Pad controllers, like the AKAI MPC or MPD, are fantastic for percussion and beat-making. Pad controllers are also excellent for general sequencing.

What does a midi controller do?

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MIDI controllers allow you to transmit MIDI signals to other synthesizers or computers. Most models have various key configurations, allowing you to choose the ideal one for your needs and portability demands. For example, M-popular AUDIO’s Keystation MK3 has 88 keys, or you may pick from their 49-Key or Mini 32 MK3.


In order to create sound, all MIDI boards rely on a computer and software. The majority of keyboards include free software.

Editable features

The number of changeable control knobs depends on the application. If you want to utilize it for performance, having more knobs readily available to you during the event is preferable. Keep an eye out for pitch and modulation wheels. For even more control, there are expression pedals and footswitch inputs on the rear of the keyboard.

It’s nice to have features.

Some keyboards feature very sensitive keyboard aftertouch, allowing you to convey the smallest details.

Why do you need a MIDI controller?

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Simply because it is feasible to create/sequence music using a mouse does not imply that it is a good idea. Don’t get me wrong: there are instances when a mouse is an excellent choice. For instance, when traveling or sketching up a preliminary demo/template. But it’s not a real musical procedure.

The use of a MIDI keyboard is significantly more melodic and intuitive. In general, a more tactile, hands-on approach to music-making works well.

Aside from the time it would take to bring in every tiny piece of dynamics and emotion using a mouse, it would just not sound as natural.

Adding emotion to your performance doesn’t end there; assignable controls come into play. When employing virtual symphonic instruments, faders and knobs are used effectively.

The use of faders to simulate the natural rise and drop in velocity as the bow varies its pressure on the strings results in a more convincing recording. So much so that many film composers of Hollywood compositions employ a MIDI keyboard and virtual instruments.


Is a MIDI controller suitable for beginners?

If a newbie wants a faster workflow and a more natural approach to composing music, they should invest in a MIDI keyboard. There are 25, 37, 49, 61, and 88-key MIDI keyboards, each with its own capabilities and functionalities.

What distinguishes a keyboard from a MIDI controller?

A midi controller is just a keyboard that sends and receives midi data; there are no sounds built into a controller, so you will need an external source for sounds – if you connect to a computer to edit, you will then be able to utilize software to modify the sounds you have made.

Can you use a MIDI controller to play the piano?

Can a midi keyboard be used as a piano? With speakers, there is a way. MIDI keyboards often lack built-in speakers. Rather than being a full console capable of simulating a piano, it must be combined with anything capable of producing sounds, such as a virtual instrument or a DAW.

Do musicians still use MIDI?

The majority of music is recorded in a professional studio or played live. MIDI is still utilized for music composition, though. It’s an excellent tool for composing since it eliminates the monotony of creating notes and playing them back to hear how they sound.

Is it possible to produce music with just a MIDI controller?

Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is a technical language that assists computers in understanding music input. Because MIDI keyboards lack built-in speakers, they produce no sound independently. Making any form of music must be linked to a computer.

Final words

With the above information, you know what a MIDI controller is and also have the answer to the question: What does a midi controller do? Please understand its use and be able to choose for yourself the best midi controller.

Author: Geraldine Ben

Do you have any idea about what are some popular musical instruments? What about your favorite band? Do you know anything about any particular bands or musicians? There are so many musical instruments available for sale that it would be challenging and time-consuming for customers to compare many items among them and choose the best. I am Ben - a lover of all things musical. I synthesize the best instruments to help anyone with their equipment needs.

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