MIDI Master/Controller Keyboard advice


Hi there,

I am in need of a new Midi Controller Keyboard for my composing studio and would be really appreciative of any advice/pointers you might be able to give me..

Although the keyboard would serve as my controller for Logic Pro, 88 hammer-like/realistic keys would be preferable. My upper financial limit is 1300 Euros. Ie. the Doepfer LMK-4. I see however that there are many other controllers available for much less money with many more programmable faders/knobs. Pitch-bend and a Mod Wheel are a must, although i'm open to the joystick option 2-in-one variation if anyone can recommend this route.. I have already visited my local music store (musicstore.de in Cologne, Germany) which has a massive collection of midi controller keyboards, and to be honest, I feel just as lost as I did before my visit! I found the feel of the Doepfer Keyboard very nice, but, I see with several other keyboards that there are now integrated drum pads and so many programmable faders/knobs...most of which the Doepfer seems to be lacking.. One perhaps trivial element I like about the Doepfer is it's minimal size. My keyboard will be installed on sliders hanging under a wooden table - due to it's pitch/mod wheel being located on the left side, the Doepfer wouldn't take up too much space. In comparison, the Studiologic VMK 188 Plus would take up quite a bit more space (in terms of it's depth)..

Can anyone provide me with any advice/pointers on their experience with such keyboard controllers? Does anyone have any experience with integrated drum pads? (ie. (Avid) Axiom Pro 61 or Akai MPK 88 for example) Perhaps it'd be better to buy then another unit which would then a dedicated drum pad? And any experience with the programmable faders/knobs? Apparently they can be quite inaccurate?! I.e. the faders/knobs sometimes have a nervous twitch and don't stay put...or the '0' value on the controller doesn't match up with the '0' value on the DAW. Perhaps it's also better here to get an other piece of hardware dedicated to this job? I've already read a number of reviews on different keyboards but some of the reviews i've come across are already 6 years old, so I thought i'd ask you about what the current collective opinion might be :)

Many many thanks for any help you can offer!!