In Control

The ultimate buyer's guide to MIDI string, wind, and percussion controllers.

When most musicians think of a MIDI controller, the keyboard immediately comes to mind. This makes sense, considering the MIDI spec was created to accommodate keyboards and sequencers. However, if you think keyboards are the only mainstream MIDI controllers in the universe, think again. Wind, string, and percussion controllers are the most popular and widely used controllers after the venerable keyboard — and recent technological improvements have made them more powerful than ever.

To examine the range of mainstream MIDI controllers, we called on three of our experts: Assistant Editor Marty Cutler, who knows enough about string controllers to have coauthored the book MIDI for Guitarists (AMSCO); Technical Editor Scott Wilkinson, who has had years of experience using MIDI wind controllers; and finally, Associate Editor and percussionist Gino Robair, who surveys the wide world of percussion controllers.