MIDI contol units vs. touch surfaces vs. alternatives? (what's your opinion?)

Hi all,
me and my colleagues are working lately a lot with live shows (mainly theatrical performances such as this: http://vimeo.com/84604423) using ofx and we are very happy with it. As is it expected, during the show, we have to change various settings on stage (what the ofx renderer will show on stage). We usually spit the show in “scenes” and within each scene we have various keyboard shortcuts to do the things we want to do.
“tg” -> “toggle ghost”
“tr” -> “toggle rain”

As shows get more and more complicated these keyboard shortcuts can get quite impractical as we need to remember them as well as type them flawlessly in a pressured setting.

We are therefore considering alternative ways of communicating and controlling our show. We have looked into MIDI controllers such as this one:

which is about 150USD or more expensive options such as this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/American-DJ-APC40-Ableton-Controller/dp/B001T9O60Q (which are above our budget, really).

An alternative solution would be to use a tablet that runs some OSC-touch software which we can program each time for each show to do the things we want to do.

What are you using? What would you suggest? We would love to hear your opinion of how to control a live (ofx-run) show.



I’ve had good experiences with the Korg Nano controllers:

I’ve never actually used them with ofx but they’re just standard MIDI controllers so I can’t imagine it would be a problem. They’re the cheapest MIDI controller I’ve found that works well and reliably.

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Thanks for your reply @ivaylopg. Before anybody replied we went for this:

which we haven’t received or tested yet. Post soon to follow.