Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Reviews

Preview
Best Choice
Alesis V49 | 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 8 Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included
Novation Launchkey 49 USB Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live, 49-Note MK2 Version
M Audio Oxygen 49 IV | 49 Key USB/MIDI Keyboard With 8 Trigger Pads & A Full Consignment of Production/Performance Ready Controls
Akai Professional MPK249 | 49 Key Semi Weighted USB MIDI Keyboard Controller Including Core Control From The MPC Workstations
Alesis VI49 | 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 16 Pads, 16 Assignable Knobs, 48 Buttons and 5-Pin MIDI Out Plus Production Software Included
Title
Alesis V49
Novation Launchkey 49
M Audio Oxygen
Akai Professional MPK249
Alesis VI49
Rotary Encoder
4
8
8
8
4
Fader
no
9
9
8
no
Pads
8
16
8
16
16
Knobs
4
8
8
8
12
Sounds
2000
-
500+
48
2000
OS Compatibility
Mac OS X 10.7 or higher Windows 7 & 8 or higher
Mac OS X 10.9 or higher. Windows 7 & 8 or higher
Mac OS X 10.4 or higher. Windows 7 & 8 or higher
Mac OS X 10.7 or higher Windows 7 & 8 or higher
Mac OS X 10.7 or higher Windows 7 & 8 or higher
Octave up and down buttons
Software
Dimensions
9.6 x 37.6 x 4.5 inches
30.5 x 3.5 x 10.6 inches
9.6 x 32 x 3.7 inches
12.3 x 29.1 x 3.4 inches
12.4 x 37.6 x 4.5 inches
Weight
6.28 pounds
8.16 pounds
6.4 pounds
12.94 pounds
11 pounds
Prime Benefits
-
Price
$149.00
$376.97
$179.00
$347.93
$229.00
Best Choice
Preview
Alesis V49 | 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 8 Backlit Pads, 4 Assignable Knobs and Buttons, Plus a Professional Software Suite with ProTools | First Included
Title
Alesis V49
Rotary Encoder
4
Fader
no
Pads
8
Knobs
4
Sounds
2000
OS Compatibility
Mac OS X 10.7 or higher Windows 7 & 8 or higher
Octave up and down buttons
Software
Dimensions
9.6 x 37.6 x 4.5 inches
Weight
6.28 pounds
Prime Benefits
Price
$149.00
Preview
Novation Launchkey 49 USB Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live, 49-Note MK2 Version
Title
Novation Launchkey 49
Rotary Encoder
8
Fader
9
Pads
16
Knobs
8
Sounds
-
OS Compatibility
Mac OS X 10.9 or higher. Windows 7 & 8 or higher
Octave up and down buttons
Software
Dimensions
30.5 x 3.5 x 10.6 inches
Weight
8.16 pounds
Prime Benefits
-
Price
$376.97
Preview
M Audio Oxygen 49 IV | 49 Key USB/MIDI Keyboard With 8 Trigger Pads & A Full Consignment of Production/Performance Ready Controls
Title
M Audio Oxygen
Rotary Encoder
8
Fader
9
Pads
8
Knobs
8
Sounds
500+
OS Compatibility
Mac OS X 10.4 or higher. Windows 7 & 8 or higher
Octave up and down buttons
Software
Dimensions
9.6 x 32 x 3.7 inches
Weight
6.4 pounds
Prime Benefits
Price
$179.00
Preview
Akai Professional MPK249 | 49 Key Semi Weighted USB MIDI Keyboard Controller Including Core Control From The MPC Workstations
Title
Akai Professional MPK249
Rotary Encoder
8
Fader
8
Pads
16
Knobs
8
Sounds
48
OS Compatibility
Mac OS X 10.7 or higher Windows 7 & 8 or higher
Octave up and down buttons
Software
Dimensions
12.3 x 29.1 x 3.4 inches
Weight
12.94 pounds
Prime Benefits
Price
$347.93
Preview
Alesis VI49 | 49-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 16 Pads, 16 Assignable Knobs, 48 Buttons and 5-Pin MIDI Out Plus Production Software Included
Title
Alesis VI49
Rotary Encoder
4
Fader
no
Pads
16
Knobs
12
Sounds
2000
OS Compatibility
Mac OS X 10.7 or higher Windows 7 & 8 or higher
Octave up and down buttons
Software
Dimensions
12.4 x 37.6 x 4.5 inches
Weight
11 pounds
Prime Benefits
Price
$229.00
Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Reviews

Many people don’t understand the difference between midi-controllers and traditional keyboards. They are almost sure that these terms are synonyms but the real situation differs. In fact, it’s a great idea to buy the best 49 key MIDI controller because a midi-controller is a studio instrument, which helps you create music, while traditional keyboards are usually used during live performances.

In this article, we will provide you with 49 key MIDI-controller reviews. It is probably the best choice for people who want to get a small controller which gives you the possibility to use two hands during playing. Moreover, people usually buy 49 key midi controllers to learn how to play the piano because it’s relatively cheap. On the other hand, it’s also a great product for professionals who create music every day.

Also consider that there exist other types of midi controllers, which you should know:

  • 25 key MIDI controller
    It’s the smallest MIDI controller. You can take it anywhere without problems to create music. Many customers like its portability but there are also some disadvantages. For example, it’s difficult to create “complicated” music because it’s a “one hand” instrument. They are very popular among hip-hop beatmakers.
  • 61 key MIDI controller
    This controller is significantly more difficult than its previous competitors. We can recommend you to buy this product in order to play difficult songs. This controller produces music, which is similar to the real piano.
  • 88 key MIDI controller
    This controller has as many keys as acoustic pianos have, that’s why it’s strongly recommended for experienced musicians. However, it’s difficult to transport this instrument. Keep in mind this fact.

49 key MIDI Controllers Reviews

Alesis V49

Alesis-V49-1

I have had an opportunity to test this 49 key MIDI for several days and now, I am ready to present you my MIDI controllers reviews. The Alesis V49 MIDI keyboard provides all the necessary dynamics of the game, due to 49 full-size keys which are sensitive to changes in velocity. 8 velocity-sensitive backlit pads provide access to a variety of drum parts.
The convenient location of the interface-controls is represented by four knobs, two wheels, and buttons. The octave shift keys provide access to all notes in the range. The MIDI keyboard can be powered through a computer via a USB cable. It is possible to connect a sustain pedal and has a 6.3-millimeter jack, located on the rear panel of the device.

Pros
  • You can change the pads from note to CC, change the padding behavior to momentary or latch.
  • The slim size of the keyboard is great for fitting into a workstation and accommodating a computer keyboard or laptop.
Cons
  • The physical key resistance is just too much to get soft dynamics out of.

Novation Launchkey 49 — Best 49 Key MIDI Controller

Novation Launchkey 49

The Novation Launchkey 49 MIDI keyboard is a full-featured interface for managing DAWs that can trigger loops/clips in Ableton Live and FL Studio. In combination with the iPad, you can get even greater results than with a keyboard connected via USB. The Novation Launchkey 49 key controller is a powerful integrated tool with a more practical controller than any other device in its class. InControl software makes the Novation Launchkey a perfect complement to any music software, giving you instant control over tracking, sending, and controlling DAW plug-ins and effects. 16 multi-color pads are velocity-sensitive and can be used to play drums or trigger loops/clips and scenes without having to work with a computer.

Pros
  • This Novation keyboard is really lightweight (8.16 pounds). You can forget about any portability problems.
  • The compact minimal design avoids the “plasticity” visual bloat of other boards.
  • Highly playable synth key action, with no “clacky” key noise or spring “groan”.
  • Pressure-sensitive pads with a playable slightly rubbery feel.
Cons
  • InControl does not natively support Reason RE’s, but programming templates are provided.

M Audio Oxygen

M Audio Oxygen 49

The M Audio Oxygen 49 key midi controller has a full-sized, velocity- and pressure-sensitive keys and quite a wide functionality, allowing for high customization. The key’s action is adaptable and captures your performance with high precision. Despite the fact that this model is limited to 49 keys, the provided octave up and down buttons allow expanding the keyboard’s functionality to the full melodic range. This 49 key keyboard has 3 velocity settings.

The unit has 8 trigger pads that illuminate with LED orange light as you touch them. Besides, these pads are fully assignable. Except for them, there are also 8 assignable knobs and 9 assignable faders. A pitch bend wheel allows creating expressive changes in your performance by raising and lowering the pitch. The modulation wheel is designed to change the intensity of certain effects. A small 3-digit LED display provides visual information about the keyboard’s operation, programming, etc.

This hardware has plug-and-play functionality so the setup is a breeze. The provided software (Live Lite, Sonivox Twist, etc.) is compliant with both Mac and PC. The keyboard also has an input for the sustain pedal. This model comes with a 500+ sound library. The loop, play, record, and stop buttons are conveniently placed over the center of the keyboard.

Pros
  • There is a transport button that allows controlling the DAW without a mouse.
  • The DirectLink software ensures easy integration with supported software.
  • The keys have a nice tactile feel, similar to a real piano.
Cons
  • The velocity curve lags sometimes.
  • The keys may seem somewhat stiff for some users and will require some time to get used to it.
  • There is no volume slider.

Akai Professional MPK249

Akai Professional MPK249

The Akai MPK249 Series MIDI controller 49 supports QWERTY commands that allow you to work more efficiently with the software. The controller is compatible with iOS devices (via the Camera Connection Kit), and a special energy-saving mode is also provided. Full-length, half-weighted keys, synthesizer mechanics applied. The controller is equipped with a USB port, 5-pin MIDI input, and output, as well as two inputs for connecting the expression and sustain pedals. The Akai 49 key piano is designed to replace the previous generation in order to improve and add convenience to the hardware control of your software.

Pros
  • Key’s are superb, and the pads are extremely responsive.
  • Compact and user-friendly.
Cons
  • Short USB cable.
  • The controller has a 90-day warranty.

Alesis VI49

Alesis VI49

In this Alesis V49 review, we will take a closer look at a model that has a large set of features. There are 16 pads, 12 assignable knobs, 36 assignable buttons, and 2 modulation wheels. The knobs and wheels are firm but accurate and convenient to use. The octave up/down buttons are present as well. The pads have illuminated RGB feedback while all the rest controls are illuminated with cool-blue light, thanks to which this unit looks modern. There is also an LCD screen that reflects VI49’s current operation. This 49 key MIDI keyboard is equipped with very responsive keys that will probably suit well for piano players due to their full size.

Like most keyboards from Alesis, this one feels sturdily built. The rear part of the unit contains a 5-pin MIDI output and a USB MIDI connector. This MIDI keyboard with 49 keys also comes with a rich set of premium software for music editing, such as Air Music Tech with pro-grade virtual instruments, specifically tailored Pro Tools software, and others.

Pros
  • The modulation wheels have medium resistance with minimal inertia which is especially convenient for soloing.
  • The layout of controls is really intuitive, and there is no need to waste your time trying to get used to it.
  • The keys with aftertouch sensors allow you to conveniently control vibrato, volume, and other parameters.
Cons
  • The control buttons have a too bright backlight which can be painful for eyes, especially in complete darkness.
  • Pads are not sensitive enough.

Nektar Impact LX49+

Nektar Impact LX49+

This 49 keys MIDI keyboard is unique for offering integration with a wide range of DAWs. More precisely, it supports 9 programs. You just have to download the installer for a certain software from Nektar’s website. It also offers an extensive range of features. The unit comes equipped with 8 pads that are hyper-sensitive providing a high precision level. I like how this sensitivity works for finger drumming, allowing the player to create dynamic and expressive beats. Besides, the Pad Learn feature allows you to quickly assign sounds to the pads: just hit a pad and press a dedicated button on the keyboard to assign. One also can save your settings and change them anytime. The pads are green-colored but change their color (4 different colors) as you touch them.

This model has 26 programmable controls (8 faders, 9 MIDI buttons, and 8 potentiometers) and 5 user presets. Two wheels for pitch and modulation are present as well. The Inst mode button lets you control virtual instruments directly from the keyboard.

This model uses synth-action keys. There are 4 velocity settings, so you can choose the one that fits your playing style. The setup is simple: you just need to connect the unit to your Windows/OSX/Linux /iOS device via an included MIDI cable and the installation will start automatically.

Pros
  • There is a low-power mode that turns the backlight off. Thus, you can power the keyboard from your laptop or iPad.
  • Knobs and faders are smooth and convenient to use.
  • Fast key response.
Cons
  • The keys sound overly loud when pressed with high intensity.
  • The unit seems to be made of lightweight plastic which doesn’t inspire durability.

M-Audio Code 49

M-Audio Code 49

The M-Audio Code series is distinguished by special design elements that make it claim to be the best 49 key midi keyboard. The basic principle followed by the manufacturer is that no limitations should arise in the way of creativity. M-Audio Code 49 provided its users with all the possibilities for the fullest expression and transfer of their creative potential without much effort.

Pros
  • The pad on the left side is very functional and sensitive.
  • The drum pad colors are programmable and can even be turned off.
Cons
  • It is not compatible with FL Studio.
  • The chassis of the controller is not that strong so a little pressure on the keys bends the chassis.
  • The M-Audio code 49 review shows that it doesn’t come with a wall power cord, only a USB.

Nektar SE49

Nektar SE49

The Akai MPK249 Series MIDI controller 49 supports QWERTY commands that allow you to work more efficiently with the software. The controller is compatible with iOS devices (via the Camera Connection Kit), and a special energy-saving mode is also provided. Full-length, half-weighted keys, synthesizer mechanics applied. The controller is equipped with a USB port, 5-pin MIDI input, and output, as well as two inputs for connecting the expression and sustain pedals. The Akai 49 key piano is designed to replace the previous generation in order to improve and add convenience to the hardware control of your software.

Pros
  • Key’s are superb, and the pads are extremely responsive.
  • Compact and user-friendly.
Cons
  • Short USB cable.
  • The controller has a 90-day warranty.

Buyer’s Guide

49 key interface’s benefits

As we have already mentioned, there are 4 main types of midi controllers. However, the 49 key type is probably the most popular right now. So, what are the main benefits of its interface? Let’s figure out!
Well, the most obvious reason is its ideal balance: this controller is relatively small but it has a lot of useful functions and you can use two hands to play songs. You can play 5 octaves and I think that it’s pretty enough to create a real masterpiece.
Also, don’t forget that such a model gives you a lot of additional pads, knobs, and other regulators, which let you create an exclusive song. All these recording options give you various options for playing.
Finally, these controllers are extremely lightweight and it’s easy to transport this instrument, that’s why thousands of people from all over the world want to choose the best 49 key MIDI controller.

Things to consider when choosing 49 key controller

If you are going to buy the best 49 midi keyboard, you should follow some recommendations to find the best alternative.
First, pay attention to the weight of this product if you need to transport this instrument a lot. If you think that this factor is not important, I recommend you to think twice because you will change your mind in several weeks.
Second, don’t forget about the power supply. If you need to use a MIDI controller with 49 keys outside of your home or studio, you should choose instruments, which use batteries or power from USB.
Finally, you should check out all the information about software integration. It will be really difficult to create exclusive music if your controller isn’t compatible with the newest apps.