Mix with a Keyboard’s MIDI Control Surface

If you like mixing with physical controls, your keyboard might be able to do the job

When it comes to mixing, a lot of engineers will tell you there’s nothing quite like a good piece of hardware with real faders. Some synthesizers include faders for real-time control over the sound you’re playing, however you may be able to program these to control the faders in a recording program’s mixer. Several keyboards, made by companies like Yamaha, M-Audio, and others, have templates you can load so all the various hardware controls (which may also include rotary controls and switches) are pre-mapped to useful functions in various pieces of software.

For example, Nektar’s Impact LX88+ (shown above), as well as their, LX61+ and LX49+ keyboards, can also function as control surfaces for Cubase, Digital Performer, FL Studio, Garageband, Logic, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Cakewalk Sonar, and Studio One.

Or, your program may have a MIDI Learn function that makes it easy to map controls to mixer functions. Either way, you’ll find that compared to constantly clicking and dragging on a screen, being able to move a physical fader can often improve workflow.