Adding a second Blofeld Keyboard to my rig means I really don't want to be peering at two displays and twiddling two knobs to get the programs changed. But of course they support program select MIDI codes. So I figure what I need is a stupidly-simple MIDI controller with about a dozen programmable pads.
The intent is that I should be able to hit a pad and it will send the appropriate (different) program select codes to the two device IDs, routed via a rackmount MIDI thru box with a cable to each Blofeld Keyboard. If I'm feeling adventurous I can hook up the Taurus 3 and send it program select and delay on/off at the same time. The only time I will use it is between songs, just to change settings for the next one.
So between songs all I have to do is twiddle the knobs on the Voyager OS and hit one pad on the MIDI controller, and all my synths will be ready to go.
But what should I be looking for in a controller, and what models would you all recommend? Any extra features aside from large pads I can label with handwritten tape labels are a negative -- I want the pads and as few other distractions as possible. I find all the talk of velocity sensitive pads, drum controller, and especially DAW interface and so on rather confusing, and I'm guessing the MIDI wizards here can break it down to just what I need. All it has to do is change programs on a few devices.
Something like the Korg nanoPAD2 looks like the right kind of design, but it's supposed to be a drum controller and the pads are kind of on the lower range of big-enough. The Akai Professional MPD26 has good sized pads, but it's USB rather than MIDI out, and has a lot of stuff I'd have to assign to null to make sure I don't hit it accidentally and freak out the synths, right? See how I'm floundering out of my depth here?