Is there a way to use the controllers or wire the controllers to the gpio pins on the right side… Without caps… Kind of direct soldering to the pins… I can make them neat etc

Of course, you can do it. The “caps” make some “debouncing”, and this is good for many reasons, but the system will work without it. There is a software debouncer that will do the trick, although it will consume more “high priority” CPU cycles (IRQs), and could cause more “XRUNS”.