Jim Aikin, one of the all time great wizards of synth and electronic music tech writing, has a terrific two-part series on O’Reilly Digital Media on choosing and using MIDI controllers:

(1) Look Ma—Hands! Choosing and Using MIDI Controllers

(2) Bring Your MIDI Music to Life

This is a must-read story for beginners, but it covers both nuts-and-bolts basics and power tips from this synth master. Heck, it even gets to mention the Morrison Digital Trumpet. And while we’re at it, since Digital Media is an O’Reilly site they’re busy hawking some less-than-relevant books in the margins of that story and can’t endorse what I think is the best book out there for synth programming, also by Jim:

Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming: The Ultimate Reference for Sound Design (Power Tools Series)

It’s geared slightly toward hardware synths, but I think soft synth lovers will find it indispensible, too, especially on basic patch design concepts. Jim is also tech editor on my upcoming book for Peachpit, Real World Digital Audio, and you can see his writings, well, almost everywhere since he went freelance recently. Now, if he’s reading this, he’s probably saying get back to work since I’m behind schedule, so I’ll do just that. Enjoy the links!