This quality of software integration actually has little to nothing to do with how the MIDI controller interacts with your DAW–for once. However, a quality arpeggiator on your MIDI controller can increase your workflow and make subtle adjustments on the fly not only a breeze, but a pleasure. You also may have problems getting enough power from the iPad which only provides 100mA instead of the USB 2.0 standard of 500mA. While it is fully capable of giving you musical control over your notes and settings, the LX49+ also makes it easy to control your DAW, including your channel faders, pans and even some plugins. Semi-Weighted – This is by far the most common type of key action in the MIDI controller market. Akai Mpk 249. Thankfully, the Nektar not only sets up easily with most arrangements, it is even fairly easy to customize the control mapping–something not found all that often. Further details: The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards, What To Consider When Buying A 49 Key MIDI Controller, Portable Keyboards - MIDI Enabled Under $500, list of 49 key controllers in our Music Gear Database, 16 of the 49 Key keyboard controllers in our database, The Best Drum Practice Pads & Mutes: Single/Snare + Sets, The Best Drum Thrones - Round - Saddle - Backrest, The Best Guitar Patch Cables & Pedal Couplers, The Best Budget Guitar Pickups: Singles < $100, Sets < $150. For instance, within the key profile, or the shape of the key, a dipped profile is generally preferred as it provides a more durable key. Hi, thanks for making this comparison review article. What the musician sees however is a veritable array of controls for a great amount of tweakability. The 25 key options and the 49 Key options. However, it does require a fair amount of proficiency to achieve the myriad results with any consistency. 49 key keyboards are usually the most popular among producers since they offer a good compromise between portability and performance. Further details: How Gearank Works. At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated 49-Key MIDI Controller Keyboard along with the Arturia KeyLab 49 MkII and Nektar Panorama P4. Weights have now been added as requested. 30, 2020. • • • • •. I stand corrected - your explanation made sense to me. While most people will only really need to worry about Windows or OS X, a MIDI controller that provides drivers with greater operating system flexibility also generally produces a better quality driver in the first place. Unfortunately it's no longer available from most retailers so you pretty much have to buy it second hand these days. Boasting a full-size computer keyboard using semi-weighted keys, the MPK249 feels much better to play than more economical synth-action tickets. Firmware updates are reported to be slow and take a while to download but this may have been addressed by the time you're reading this. I know this is a "best" list according to your own statistics, but I'm very much surprised that the 2 midi controllers I'm comparing to buy one or the other right now are not in your list. It’s no surprise as Akai maintains quality in all its gear, such as LPK25 and MPCs. Submitted by Jason Horton on May. M-Audio Keystation 49 MkIII – Best Beginner Controller. Furthermore, it features a mixer section that gives the user a … Motorized Controls. We then used the scores to feature only the best of the best in this guide. Submitted by Caleb (not verified) on Feb. 14, 2017. I hope this clears up the issue, but please let me know if there's something else you'd like explained. All I know about the M-Audio CTRL-49 is what I've read about it and some videos from NAMM - it certainly looks good and packed with features and I'll be looking forward to seeing how well it is received when it finally hits the stores. 00 £84.99 £84.99 With its dedicated set of transport and navigation controls, this controller lets you efficiently produce music without reaching for your computer mouse or keyboard. The class compliant feature allows this controller to connect to any computer system or device. It's a very simple yet powerful keyboard that's not only good for sequencing music, but also gives you the ability to … They aren’t widely regarded as high-end MIDI controllers but they offer great value for money which makes them hugely popular. Moreover, the keys use a synth action and feel flimsy–a trend that seems to permeate the product as a whole. However, those MIDI controllers are often some of the most expensive available. Another issue with the touch pads that also seems to plague the keys is a hit-or-miss velocity. Today’s buyers of keyboard controllers are spoilt for choice, but if you’re looking for a full piano-size 88-note MIDI controller, said choices are more limited. Sliders can technically be used the same way as knobs–and even for the same functions depending on how you map them. These are dedicated buttons to control standard DAW recording controls such as Play, Stop, Rewind, Fast Forward etc. Many also liked the included software, saying the sounds were excellent and tweakable to their liking. It includes everything you need to get started with MIDI controller-focused music production including a DAW and virtual instruments. Submitted by Jason Horton on Apr. However, that does not mean that you are simply stuck with using the DAW offered. Incorporating 325+ ratings and reviews. However, the number of arrangements and brands of MIDI controllers make selecting one a daunting task. For instance, the VI 49 comes in two different configurations, each boasting their own advantages and disadvantages, however, both products suffer from a complete absence of sliders which is one of the more standard type of controls found on pretty much every reputable MIDI controller. Deep customization options, great information readouts via the 5 screens, great tweakability are just some of the pros reviewers gave the 49SL. This second MIDI controller from Novation comes in 49-key and 61-key variations. The LX49+ is a great, affordable MIDI Controller and more. And although these annotation experts for artists look like any kind of keyboard used in real time, they actually serve a much broader function. Designed for composers who are series about their compositions or for use by... #2 Akai Professiona MPK249 Keyboard. Starting our list of the best 49 key midi controller is the Akai Professional MPK249. Overall, if you have one of the listed DAWs above, then you'll find the Panorama P4 will improve your work flow immensely. Submitted by Jason Horton on Jun. 25 keys may not be enough for 2 handed playing with their octave range and 61 to 88 Key controllers may take up too much of your space, especially if you're running a home studio setup. In this instance, the keys will utilize a spring or even a modified hammer design to replicate the feel of playing a piano. With a no-frills approach to control and performance, the Keystation 49 Mk3 prides itself on simplicity and utility, with 49 full-size velocity-sensitive keys with natural-feeling action. This is a great choice for beginners and keyboardists on a budget. Users love the Panorama T4 for it's flexibility and integration to their DAWs. In terms of its function, arpeggiators are actually a VST or plugin that is applied by the DAW to the track. Some MIDI controllers may offer an excellent map of the DAW’s functions, but their actual controls do a poor job of controlling them in as easy a manner which can lead to a host of frustrations–though not outright failures in most cases. One great option is Nektar’s Impact LX88+, which combines an 88-key semi-weighted USB-powered keyboard with extensive DAW control via nine sliders, nine buttons, eight knobs, eight pads and transport controls. While not completely replicating the genuine feel of an analog piano, a fully-weighted key action comes exceedingly close. Today’s MIDI controller market is flooded with an abundance of different options like keyboards and pads available at every imaginable price range. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews." I have updated the list of Key features for each keyboard above to include their physical dimensions - this is useful information for deciding which keyboard stand to get. The way the MIDI controller maps its controls encodes those controls and even updates its drivers can all influence whether it will offer an easy experience or a frustrating one. This is especially relevant if the user is employing an older version of the DAW or outdated computer hardware. 7, 2017. A Gearank Rating it is not a representation of our opinion about a product, it is a statistical representation of the collective opinion of the owners and users of a product and in addition to the rating number we also provide the number of sources each rating is based upon - EG: "90 out of 100. 90 out of 100. However, like a number of the lower priced MIDI controllers on our list, the Nektar provides these features at such a low cost by skimping on the keybed. At first glance, all the buttons, lights, knobs and screens would look overwhelming to the untrained. It looks like there's a misunderstanding about what a Gearank Rating score is. A piano melody here, a beat there… Having both the physical touch of a keyboard and the editing freedom of MIDI is a blessing in music production. 89 out of 100. That is not to suggest other factors are irrelevant, but without an internal databank, a MIDI controller relies on the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) more than many other pieces of music production hardware. Novation 49SL MkIII, 49-Key MIDI Controller. Unfortunately, the Oxygen series present as a bit underwhelming. The best 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controllers in 2019 include: Alesis VI49 89 out of 100. Some MIDI controllers are almost designed to be used with a specific DAW–and a few outright are designed to be used with a given DAW, often including it as a bundle with the MIDI controller itself. 89 out of 100. To summarize, the reason that the items we recommend in our guides tend to have similar ratings is because we usually only recommend the items with the highest ratings, and those ratings are determined by actual owners and users rather than by our opinion. Moreover, this is not truly a MIDI controller as it does not feature a MIDI output, making it entirely reliant on a computer or smart device–and even the smart devices are limited to Apple products, though that is not unusual. Hopefully, our comprehensive buyer’s guide provides you with more than enough information to fully understand what makes a MIDI controller tick, what makes one feature better than another, and which features are most relevant depending on your level of experience. Still, there are points where the key’s feel may produce legitimate concerns. In particular it has a channel strip control with a 100mm motorized touch sensitive fader above the 2 mod wheels which responds to the volume of the selected track in your DAW - select a different track and the fader will automatically move into the correct position. If you have a problem getting enough power from an iPad you'll need to get a powered USB hub (link to Sweetwater.com) or use a power adapter to supply the keyboard directly. For people using Hammon B3 Organ virtual instruments, the 9 B3drawbars can easily be mapped to each of the 9 faders. Middle C on a 49-key keyboard is the 15th white key from the left. I entered my original comments under the wrong assumption that Gearank provides comparison reviews without understanding "How Gearank Works" - I was researching online for midi controller reviews and came upon your site. Moreover, graded hammer key actions are generally reserved for keybeds with a full 88 keys–the least common number of keys found on a MIDI controller. In terms of quality, a MIDI controller pedal should feel somewhat robust. Really helpful. Everything was easily mappable according to most positive reviews. This guide was first published on February 17, 2016 and the latest comprehensive update was published on April 30, 2020 written by audio engineer Raphael Pulgar with additional research and writing by Jason Horton. On the other hand, a diving board profile can feel insubstantial and be more prone to break over time. Aside from the fact that it provides 16 pads, they are also lighted with a wider RGB range than most MIDI controller touch pads. However, the version we decided to focus on makes use of an impressive 4.3” full color high-resolution display screen. Basically, how well does your MIDI keyboard controller play with Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, and any other operating system your device might use. For this update, we began by updating the Gearank scores of all the 49 key MIDI controllers in our Music Gear Database to better reflect the most current market sentiments, then we looked to see which newer keyboards we should add to our short-list for consideration. A few people mentioned that they had to contact Nektar support and reported that their customer service was excellent. The best MIDI controllers are compatible with most professional DAWs on the market, and some might even offer incredible flexibility for indie DAWs or lesser-used models. The Final Word on the Best 49-Key Midi Keyboard Controllers The transition from a 25-key to 49-key MIDI controller is not just about the number of keys or features in the instruments. It also features solid DAW mapping with DirectLink, but you will need to download the appropriate DAW drivers from M-Audio’s website first. The Seaboard Rise 49 opened up a great deal of creativity in a lot of its users. These are seriously cool, but usually only found on larger than 49 key controllers, but the Nektar Panorama P4 above does have this feature. 90 out of 100. Still, if you are looking for the best all-around value, it is hard to argue with the Novation’s price and combination of features. 13, 2016. Our Top Picks for the Best 49-Key Midi Controllers #1 Roland 49-key Keyboard Controller. All these features are housed in a roadworthy aluminum body. Submitted by Larry (not verified) on Jun. It’s one of the music-making gear you’ll find an expert producer’s studio. However, some people may have different preferences on the size or texture of the buttons but rarely does that end up being the deciding factor. Sine users wanted to have a bigger LCD Screen to display more information. This is... Arturia Keylab MKII 49. Just keep in mind, if a MIDI controller comes with a DAW package, it will likely work best with that DAW and may present issues when using a different DAW. However, just because this key action is the new standard does not mean that the products are of a poor quality–nor does it indicate they will fall within a lower budget. Also curious what you think of the m-audio ctrl-49 when it comes out soon. However, the quality and intuitive sense of that map can range from effortless to thoughtless, ultimately making using the MIDI controller a pleasure or a pain. Many consider it like learning a new instrument because effects like vibrato, pitch bends and other effects are in play aside from just playing notes. Our selection criteria included all controllers that are widely available from major US-based music equipment retailers, this is to ensure we only recommend items that you can readily buy online or at any good local music gear stores. This is incorrect. The Arturia Keylab 49 MkII features the same aftertouch-sensitive keybed used in Arturia’s flagship MatrixBrute. In a Rush? With so many things available at a glance, the Nektar Panorama T4 may look a bit overwhelming at first, but it's amazing integration and initially deceptive user-friendliness thanks to its LCD display quickly dispels that notion. The 2017 version of this guide has now been published above. Finally, we feel confident that you can find a solid option for a 49 key MIDI controller within our list. In this detailed guide, we’ll look at the best 49 key MIDI controller available in the market right now as well as the key … The design of the Novation 49-key MIDI keyboard controller is such that you can easily customize your sound to suit your purpose very well. That is not to suggest other factors are irrelevant, but without an internal databank, a MIDI controller relies on the DAW more than many other pieces of music production hardware. Modulation and pitch wheels are rubberized and they provide you with direct, simple note manipulation. Most reviewers gave positive responses for its ease of use since it provided the essential controls they needed in a controller. The Code lineup has taken up that reign as M-Audio now attempts to enter the more budget-friendly market with the Oxygen series. Here's some of the best you can get for under £200! It comes stocked with 49 full size semi-weighted keys that are each velocity-sensitive. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews. We believe this helps consumers save time by only presenting the products with the best reputations. The best midi controller keyboards have all these features.