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Good MIDI controller with Roland style pitch bender

tmm

Senior Member
Hey - does anyone know of a good MIDI controller that has the Roland horizontal style pitch bender? Like the one you find on the JD-XA. I find that so much more intuitive than the vertical version, but it seems like it's a pretty rare thing. Thanks for any help!

(no... not willing to own a JD-XA just for the pitch bend (exactly the answer I'd jokingly post))
 

bill5

Active Member
Only 2 I'm aware of. These are tragically rare. I HATE the vertical wheels. I wish all major keyboard makers would at least give the option of one or the other. I can't imagine it would be that hard/expensive to make it modular.

PS the Roland DS88, although a workstation vs a full-up "synth" is only half the price FYI, if it matters.
 

shawnsingh

Active Member
Nord keyboards have a stiff angled pitch bender. Good for vibrato because of the stiff spring. But it's a very costly option to use only as a MIDI controller...
 
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tmm

tmm

Senior Member
How about a real Roland product?

A bit more expensive, but it has great keyboard feeling similar to the old XP series synths
Thanks! I somehow didn’t realize Roland made dedicated controllers, too. Browsed around, and found this, which looks perfect!

 

gamma-ut

Active Member
Thanks for all the suggestions! For the SL MK-II, is it pretty easy to manipulate the pitch without engaging the mod?
Yes, it actually takes a little force to move the stick up from its resting position to engage the modwheel. Not a lot, but it means you're not going to get unwanted modwheel vibrato from a sideways shuffle of the stick for pitchbend.

The keyboard action on the MkII is the nicest I've found so far for a small keyboard. I've got a 25-key set up as a secondary controller mounted on the desk because the 88-key is off to the side. Although it's old and the pitchbend doesn't always settle down to zero properly, I haven't found a better option that isn't another (likely secondhand) MkII.

Because the return-to-zero on the modwheel isn't always useful (for string swells etc), I've got one of the sliders mapped to CC#1. I haven't checked but I think it's possible to map the main modwheel to a different CC# from the front panel if you want to avoid using it for that.
 

gamma-ut

Active Member
OK. I think you've misread return to zero not always being useful as never being useful. Having the two operating in parallel works fine for me - for different situations.
 
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