13 Best Digital Audio Workstation Controllers

List Updated January 2021

Bestselling Digital Audio Workstation Controllers in 2021


Icon Pro Audio Icon ICOA-APPLP Logic Auto-Detect Panel for QCon Pro X

Icon Pro Audio Icon ICOA-APPLP Logic Auto-Detect Panel for QCon Pro X
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2021
  • Aluminum overlay panel for icon QCon Pro x
  • Automatically boots the QCon Pro x in Logic Pro Mode.
  • Easy to Install using included tool

Alesis Q49 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller

Alesis Q49 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2021
  • 49-key USB MIDI keyboard controller provides the ideal surface for composing and performing music with computer-based digital audio workstations, sequencers, and more
  • 49 velocity-sensitive keys ensure a dynamic performance
  • Pitch and Modulation wheels add musical expression; perfect for emulating the nuances of specialized musicians via DAW software
  • Octave Up and Down buttons extend the note range without taking up critical desktop space
  • Sustain pedal input and MIDI output for pro-level functionality and versatility
  • Single USB cable simplicity delivers both data and power
  • Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition software is included to get you creating right out of the box

Allen & Heath AH-XONE:K2 XONE:K2 Professional USB DJ MIDI Controller

Allen & Heath AH-XONE:K2 XONE:K2 Professional USB DJ MIDI Controller
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2021
  • Universal MIDI controller for use with any DJ software
  • Extremely durable, touring grade build quality
  • Minimal design with slim line chassis and soft touch controls
  • 12 analog and 6 endless rotary encoders with push switch
  • Includes durable black padded case that doubles as a stand

PreSonus DAW Controller, 1 Fader Surface (FADERPORT)

PreSonus DAW Controller, 1 Fader Surface (FADERPORT)
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2021
  • Touch-sensitive 100mm longthrow motorized fader
  • Dual-servo drivebelt motor motor design for fast, precise operation
  • Full transport control including track solo and track arm
  • Compatible with virtually all Mac and Windows recording software
  • Greatly increases efficiency and enjoyment of "in-the-box" mixing

Soundbrenner Pulse | Smart, Vibrating & Wearable Metronome | For All Instruments (Guitar, Piano, Drums) | Tap Tempo (BPM) + Visual Beat Counting | Practice Like A Pro | As Seen At NAMM

Soundbrenner Pulse | Smart, Vibrating & Wearable Metronome | For All Instruments (Guitar, Piano, Drums) | Tap Tempo (BPM) + Visual Beat Counting | Practice Like A Pro | As Seen At NAMM
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2021
  • Vibrational Metronome that is 7x more powerful than the average vibration of a smartphone
  • Create Custom Rhythms. Customize time signatures and subdivisions. Set accents. Feel the difference
  • Multi Player Synchronization. Link up to 5 devices via Bluetooth to one phone or tablet and feel the beat together
  • Rhythm & Setlist Library. Create and save your rhythms and organise them in setlist
  • DAW Support via MIDI. The Soundbrenner Pulse can receive input from all major DAWs via MIDI

Ableton Live 10 Suite Multitrack Recording Software

Ableton Live 10 Suite Multitrack Recording Software
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2021

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 Flight Case

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 Flight Case
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2021
  • Elevates your S4 unit to industry-standard DJ hardware height
  • Detachable front panel for adjusting controls on the front of the S4
  • Material: Wood with aluminum casing and inner felt padding
  • White Traktor Kontrol S4 logo print on front
  • Outer dimensions: 60 x 46 x 21cm, 23.6 x 18 x 8.3 inches Weight: 8.7 kg, 19 lbs

Akai Professional LPK25 | 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Keyboard Controller for Laptops

Akai Professional LPK25 | 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Keyboard Controller for Laptops
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2021
  • 25-key USB MIDI keyboard controller gives you expressive performance with computer-based digital audio workstations, sequencers, and more
  • 25 velocity-sensitive mini-keyboard keys are highly portable; writing sessions, capturing ideas and studio use with nearly all music creation software
  • Built-in arpeggiator provides melodic inspiration and versatile patterns for modern music production
  • Plug-and-play USB connection for Mac and PC; no driver installation required. Perfect for Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Studio One, Reaper, Digital Performer, Ableton, etc
  • USB-powered; no additional power cable needed
  • Sustain button, octave up and down, and tap tempo controls ensure your ideas translate from head to hardware
  • Includes editing software for Mac and PC; easily customize the keyboards' MIDI commands to fit your workflow

Nektar Impact LX61+ Keyboard Controller

Nektar Impact LX61+ Keyboard Controller
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2021
  • USB MIDI controller keyboard with 61 velocity sensitive keys
  • 8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads
  • Mac, PC and iOS compatible
  • Software instruments automatically mapped to controls
  • Includes Bitwig 8-Track DAW

Akai Professional APC Mini | Compact Ableton Live controller with Ableton Live Lite Download (8x8 Backlit Clip-Launch Grid)

Akai Professional APC Mini | Compact Ableton Live controller with Ableton Live Lite Download (8x8 Backlit Clip-Launch Grid)
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2021
  • Ultra portable, low-profile clip launching controller for live performance and studio production
  • Seamlessly integrates 1-to-1 with Ableton Live, no drivers or configuration needed
  • 8x8 clip-launch matrix with tri-color lighting displays current clip status, scene navigation
  • 8 assignable faders + 1 master fader for hands-on control of Ableton Live
  • Powered by USB connection to computer

TASCAM US428 USB Digital Audio Workstation Controller

TASCAM US428 USB Digital Audio Workstation Controller
BESTSELLER NO. 11 in 2021
  • Features 24-bit front end, with 2 XLR inputs, 2 balanced 1/4 in. TRS inputs, 2 unbalanced 1/4 in. inputs (switchable to Hi-Z), and S/PDIF I/O
  • Simultaneous four-channel audio in & 2-channel audio out, through your USB
  • Frequency Response - 20 Hz-20 kHz; 0.5 dB/-0.3 dB
  • Real tactile controls for all the most-used function in your DAW applications
  • Supports unlimited banks of 8 faders

Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller

Nektar Impact LX49+ Keyboard Controller
BESTSELLER NO. 12 in 2021
  • Premium midi controller with 49 expressive synth-action keys, on-board pitch bend and modulation wheels for performances
  • 8 Hyper-Sensitive backlit pads
  • Mac, PC and iOS compatible
  • Software instruments automatically mapped to controls
  • Includes Bitwig 8-Track DAW

Akai Professional APC40 MKII | Ableton Performance Controller with Ableton Live Lite Download (5x8 RGB Clip-Launch Grid)

Akai Professional APC40 MKII | Ableton Performance Controller with Ableton Live Lite Download (5x8 RGB Clip-Launch Grid)
BESTSELLER NO. 13 in 2021
  • Compact Ableton Live controller powered by USB connection to computer
  • 40 pad (5x8) clip-launch matrix seamlessly integrates 1-to-1 with Ableton Live
  • RGB pad feedback for clip status, color coding, and more
  • 8 channel faders, 1 master fader, and 8 device controls map to Ableton directly.Premapped controls and plug-and-play setup for maximum portability
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10; multicore processor; 2 GB RAM; Windows compatible sound card (ASIO driver support recommended), QuickTime recommended

Bob Marley and the Wailers One Love at Studio One: 1964-1966

This double-disc set is filled with little treasures and the liner notes are great. They give a story behind almost all the songs, providing insight into what was happening at the time of the recordings.

First off, this isn't a "best-of" or a mixes disc, or any of that shit. During these recordings, the band had taken to the Rastafarian religion and culture, evident in the first song on disc one, "This Train", which was previously unreleased. First recorded in 1927 by the Biddleville Quintet, "This Train" is steeped in the praises of Jesus, of which Rastafarian beliefs are embodied. The second track is "Simmer Down". Here you find the beat and root of reggae, rocksteady, which is a blend of Ska and R B.; It was BM W;'s first release and their first big hit. Rocksteady had a huge influence on BM W;, as this CD testifies to that.

The next few songs are total rocksteady beats, with the horns mixing with vocals, you get the feeling of being in those dank dance halls in Kingston or maybe its just the haze I'm sitting through while listening. You will also notice that Bob doesn't sing all the songs. Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Junior Braithwaite all contribute. Peter takes a page from Rasta with "Amen" and Junior hits it with "Habits". The rocksteady beat adds to the Rasta gospel songs, giving them an energy and pace different than others of the time.

This double-disc set is filled with little treasures and the liner notes are great. They give a story behind almost all the songs, which is pretty cool. Kind of gives you an insight into what was happening at the time of the recordings. Let it be known that there are ten previously unreleased tracks, six on the first disc and four on the second; seven of which are alternate takes

Not all the songs are Wailers originals; there are a few covers. The discs themselves lay out the songs chronologically according to the liner notes, but "This Train" is first and was done in '65 while "Simmer Down" was laid down to vinyl in '64. Hmm, maybe it's just the haze they are sitting through. Who cares? This collection is awesome for someone like myself, who is dedicated to the reggae beat, and all its roots. Yet, not all the songs are dancehall songs either. Bob busted out the love ballads early and you can feel them through songs like "I'm Still Waiting" and "Lonesome Feelings", which is more of a weeping request for help from the Almighty. Bob pours out his heart here, and he's only in his twenties.

The elements of Rasta gospel and rocksteady were a staple for BM W; and after adding the rhythmic Island sounds, reggae seemed to be a natural hit, and not just in Jamaica. Nowadays when we think of Bob Marley and the Wailers, the first thing that comes to mind is - besides that, we think of that driving reggae beat, and now with this collection you can really get a feel where that initial drive came from. One Love has more roots than an oak tree. Even the title track, "One Love", is a lot different then what you will hear on the radio or on Legend. It may not be reggae, but it does rocksteady.
Written by Fumo Verde

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