Some people who aren’t professional musicians may wonder why 49-key midi controllers are currently so popular. After all, there’s a ton of different keyboards available these days including the sub-49 key models and the above 49 key models. What makes these keyboard great for both musicians and studios is that they are still small enough to be mobile, but large enough for the musician to have access to four octave-sets of keys. Which is why we’ve jumped on the bandwagon and have listed the ten best models currently available. Anyone of the following controllers is designed to give the pianist the features they need while remaining small enough to be transported from one gig to the next.
Our Top Picks for the Best 49-Key Midi Controllers
#1 Roland 49-key Keyboard Controller
Designed for composers who are series about their compositions or for use by professional musicians, this 49-Key Midi Keyboard Controller has all the features needed to get the job done. It comes with 45 assignable controls that really allow the player to make the sound that they want to make. These controls come in a number of different buttons, sliders, and knobs, so the user has good control. It also as 8 dynamic pads for triggering MIDI events or for drumming and it’s capable of working with both MAC and PC computers. And since it’s designed with Roland’s specifications, users can expect quality from this keyboard.
#2 Akai Professiona MPK249 Keyboard
The Akai Professional MPK249 isn’t a controller that’s designed for amateur use. It’s a product that’s designed to put some of the most powerful tools in the hands of professional musicians, and it does it unapologetically. It has 49 semi-weighted full-size keys that are pressure sensitive and have just the right amount of pressure to them. This controller also has 8 faders, knobs, and switches which give the player plenty of control over their sound. Additional features found on this unit include 16 RGB-illuminated pads, and software which include Ableton Live Lite and MPC Essentials. This makes this controller ready for the studio.
#3 Nektar Panorama P4 MIDI Controller
The Nektar Panorama P4 looks like someone has combined a soundboard with a keyboard and labeled it as a 49-key Midi Controller. It not only has semi-weighted keys that are sensitive and have a slight after-touch, but it also has a number of controls which gives the player complete control over their sound. It has 12 pads that have pressure and velocity sensitivity built into them, 16 different encoders, 10 assignable LED buttons and 4 keyboard zones that are programmable with program changes and controller filters. And to think, that’s only the beginning of the features found on this quality controller.
#4 MidiPlus Midi Controller Mini X4
Although it’s compact size is often the reason why some people buy the X4 Mini, once they begin playing it they soon realize that this keyboard also contains quite a few helpful features. It has a backlit LED, 49 weighted keys and is powered by USB, so no external power supply has to be set up for use with it. This instrument also has 4 knobs, which are customizable and this keyboard is Plug N’ Play compatible, so no drivers are needed to set it up. And finally, this instrument has capacitive touch sensors which allow modulation and pitch to be easily controlled.
#5 Alesis V49 USB MIDI Keyboard
Not only is the Alesis V49 an intuitive and easy-to-play MIDI controller, but it’s also one that has a pretty good amount of features for a device in its price range. It has 49 full-size keys that have a beautiful touch to them, and it has a number of knobs, wheels, and buttons which make it infinitely customizable. Not only does this keyboard have modulation and pitch wheels, but it also has 4 knobs and 4 buttons which are assignable. And if that isn’t enough, it also has 8 LED backlit drum trigger pads that are responsive to not only velocity but also pressure as well. This allows the player to really customize their sound.
#6 Korg MicroKey Air 49 Controller
Although this keyboard isn’t equipped with a variety of buttons and gizmos like other midi controllers have, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t offer the same capabilities to its operator. This product can connect wireless to any iPad, iPhone or MAC, and it comes with free software that allows the player to have an exceptional amount of control over their sound. This instrument can also be connected via a USB cable if needed. All of these innovative features make this a compact keyboard that can be taken just about anywhere and has a natural touch mini-keyboard that’s easy to play.
#7 Samson Graphite USB Controller
At first glance, the Samson Graphite looks like a complicated keyboard that has a variety of buttons, faders, wheels, and dials. However, it’s not as complicated as it looks, but it does contain a lot of features which makes it worth checking out. This keyboard has 49-keys which are semi-weighted, so they have a nice feel to them. It also features a large LCD screen that allows the player to know what’s going on at all times and it has both pitch and modulation wheels. Other features found on this keyboard include 9 programmable faders, 16-buttons for DAW and virtual instrumentation control and 8 encoders.
#8 Alesis Q49 USB MIDI Keyboard
The Alesis Q49 is a MIDI keyboard that attempts to take a lot of the guesswork out of playing it, so the composer can concentrate on their musical composition. It has pitch and modulation wheels which allow the player to add musical expression to their pieces and has octave up/down buttons that extend the note range of the keyboard without making it larger. Another key feature found on this keyboard is a single USB cable that not only delivers power to the unit but can also deliver data from the keyboard. And finally, this product comes with Ableton Live Lite software so the player can begin creating the next piece right away.
#9 Novation Impulse 49-Key Keyboard
This high-quality midi controller is packed with a number of exciting features. First of all, it’s USB powered and has sustain and expression pedal inputs along with its MIDI in/out ports for hooking up to external instruments. It also has 49 semi-weighted keys that are very responsive and have a nice touch to them. Another thing that people will notice when they first look at this keyboard is that it’s packed with sliders, buttons, and knobs that give the player the utmost control over their music. It also features multi-function drum pads and an LCD screen so the player can see their settings at a glance.
#10 Midiplus AK490 Controller
Powered by 6 AA batteries or by hooking it up to a USB power supply, this 49-note midi controller is easy to set up and get running. This keyboard features a modulation wheel, a socket for a sustain pedal that can be purchased for this unit separately, and it has a pitch wheel. This product also has velocity sensitive full-size keys that make it a joy to play. This unit’s 5-pin DIN midi connection is easy to hook up to a PC’s sound card or a midi interface. And the final feature worth mentioning about this keyboard is that it has octave up and down buttons for added effect.