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Best 49 Key MIDI Controllers in 2023

Any hardware or software that generates and sends data to MIDI-enabled devices, often to trigger sounds and control parameters of an electronic music performance, is referred to as a MIDI controller. Keyboards are the most prevalent sort of MIDI controller, and they come in a variety of sizes, from 25-key, 2-octave devices to full-sized 88-key instruments.

A 61-key or 88-key keyboard may be too large for the space you have to work with and your keyboard playing skill. 25-key controllers, on the other hand, may be too tiny for two-handed gaming. That’s where the best 49-key midi controllers come in: they’re a wonderful compromise between enabling dexterous gamers and decreasing the keyboard’s footprint.

AKAI Professional MPK249

AKAI Professional MPK249 - USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with 49 Semi Weighted Keys, Assignable MPC...
  • Pro Keyboard Performance - 49 semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive full-size keys and a premium piano-style keybed for unprecedented response and natural...
  • Beat Making Essentials - 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads each with 4 banks for 64 pads - the perfect solution for triggering samples, loops,...
  • Assignable Control - 24 assignable Q-Link controllers comprising 8 control knobs, faders and switches engineered for hassle-free DAW / virtual...

The Akai Professional MPK249 is a feature-rich MIDI Keyboard controller designed to bring everything a producer or performer needs in a mid-size, 49-key layout. Semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 16 pads, 24 assignable knobs and faders, and a backlit LCD screen are just a few of the features. Look no farther than the AKAI MPK249 if you’re seeking for a high-end, professional-grade MIDI controller keyboard. The MPK249 features 49 full-size semi-weighted keys and a premium Akai Professional piano-style keybed for unrivaled response and a natural feel that captures every element of your performance.

Players can access the complete melodic range with the integrated octave ‘up’ and ‘down’ controls, making this keyboard ideal for bass lines, piano harmony, solo leads, and more. It also has beat-making fundamentals like 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads, each with four banks for a total of 64 pads — ideal for triggering samples, loops, one-shots, melodics, and more.

The onboard USB-MIDI interface with 5-pin MIDI input and output offers for greater control over your work, while the 24 assignable Q-Link controllers with 8 control knobs, faders, and switches are engineered for hassle-free DAW / virtual instrument mapping. It also includes Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech, and SONiVOX Twist 2.0, as well as a comprehensive production software package for Mac and PC. This is the Best 49 Key MIDI Controller in 2023.

Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller for Ableton Live

Novation Launchkey 49 [MK3] MIDI Keyboard Controller - Seamless Ableton Live Integration. Chord...
  • Designed for Live — Get hands on with Ableton Live – An unrivalled integration to Ableton Live with your Launchkey gives you a seamless music...
  • Create and play with feeling – Velocity-sensitive keyboard and 16 velocity-sensitive pads enable expressive and dynamic performance at your...
  • Play chords with one finger – Lay down chords for your track quick with three chord modes — fixed, scale, and user. Play a chord with one finger...

The Novation Launchkey 49 Mk3 is the ideal creative hub for managing all aspects of your preferred DAW. Its user-friendly design integrates all of the most popular aspects of its predecessors, as well as some new innovations that help it perform even better. This 49-key MIDI keyboard works best with Ableton Live, but don’t worry if you prefer Logic or Protools; it’s compatible with all major DAWs. It has Novation’s classic fader, knob, and touch-pad design, which has made it a popular choice for producers and musicians for years.

There are eight onboard Scale Modes in addition to the standard functionality. Whether or not you’re familiar with music theory, these modes allow you to explore with a variety of scales and incorporate them into your productions. To use the Scale Modes, simply play a melody or riff and then select the scale to which the notes should be transposed. The major and minor pentatonic scales are the most prevalent. You can also choose between Mixolydian and Dorian modes if you want something a little different.

Chord Modes, Mutate, and an Arpeggiator are also included, in addition to the newly added Scale Modes. Chord Modes converts the MK3’s pads and keys from single notes to harmonies, allowing you to play a chord with every note you play. Your melodies are rearranged into new musical ideas using Mutate.

The Novation Launchkey is extremely playable, because to its larger and more sensitive touchpads. Pitch bend and modulation are built-in, the keys are velocity-sensitive, and the keyboard comes with a number of free VST plugins.

Nektar Impact GX49 | USB MIDI Controller Keyboard with Nektar DAW Integration

Nektar Impact GX49 | USB MIDI Controller Keyboard with Nektar DAW Integration Black
  • MIDI controller keyboard compatible with all MIDI software. 49 full-size synth-action keys, pitch bend and modulation wheels + octave & transpose...
  • Nektar DAW integration for most popular DAWs
  • Comprehensive MIDI functionailty. Compatible with all MIDI music software applications

The Nektar Impact GX49 is a versatile MIDI controller that fits neatly on your desk. This 49-key USB keyboard is ideal for home studio installations, as it has all of the necessary settings for recording digital audio. The GX49 has seven programmable buttons that may be used to change any parameter in your DAW. This keyboard will get the job done whether you need to quickly arm or disarm a track for recording, turn on a certain plugin, or activate the looper.

The ability to assign each of the seven buttons to two MIDI messages is another notable feature of the Nektar Impakt GX49. Simply put, this means you can record two MIDI outputs at the same time. This 40-key MIDI keyboard can also be used to control music apps on your iPad or iPhone if you purchase the extra USB camera connection kit. If you’re spending time in a remote location and yet want to keep track of your thoughts, this is a great thing to have.

The GX49 is compatible with any digital audio workstation (DAW). If you haven’t decided on recording software yet, you can use Bitwig, a simple 8-track DAW, which is included for free. Bitwig is a fantastic way to get started with digital audio workstations. The typical controls – a snappy pitch bend wheel and modulation wheel – round out this low-cost MIDI keyboard. There’s also a footswitch input that may be assigned to add expressiveness to the 49 keys.

M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3

M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 - Synth Action 49 Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Assignable...
  • Ultimate Expression - 49 full-size velocity-sensitive keys provide a natural feel that captures every subtle nuance of your performance
  • Total Control - Volume fader, transport and directional buttons for easy control of your software, plus ergonomically-designed pitch and modulation...
  • Immediate Creativity - Easy plug-and-play connection to your Mac or PC—no drivers or power supply required; compatible with iOS devices via the...

The M-Audio Keystation 49 is a good alternative if you’re seeking for a low-cost 49-key MIDI controller. It features full-sized expressive keys and a software bundle to help you improve your songwriting and productions. When it comes to MIDI keyboards, sometimes the simplest solution is the best. The Keystation 49 MK3 from M-Audio is simple in design, but that doesn’t mean it can’t compete with more complex models.

You can use the keyboard to manage almost every aspect of your digital audio workstation when it’s linked to your PC or MAC through USB. To the left of the keys are octave, pitch, and modulation controls, which can be assigned to whatever function you need. Dedicated transport cursors complement the reduced controls, allowing you to utilize the keyboard as a mouse if desired. There’s also a sustain pedal input, as well as an Advanced button that opens up a slew of extra MIDI control options.

Additionally, using an Apple Camera Connector, this lightweight and portable M-Audio keyboard can be linked to an iPad or iPhone and utilized with Garageband.

Arturia KeyLab 49 MKII Keyboard Controller

Arturia KeyLab 49 MkII - 49 Key Semi Weighted USB MIDI Keyboard Controller (Black)
  • THE BEST MUSIC-MAKING FLOW: Sensitive enough to accurately capture the subtleties and nuances of delicate playing, while still being robust enough to...
  • EXPRESSIVE AND INSPIRING: More than a simple MIDI controller, KeyLab MkII is a finely crafted tool that brings out the best in its users. Its...
  • SUPERB BUILD QUALITY: Reassuringly heavy, aluminum chassis, wood panels, machined pitch bend and mod wheels, and luxury keybed. Every aspect of KeyLab...

When it comes to resemblances, the MkII and Essential have a lot in common. The Arturia KeyLab 49 MkII, on the other hand, is far more complicated and serious in design than the majority of MIDI keyboards on the market today.

You’ll be hard pressed to find the best 49 key midi keyboard that supports a 44 pad grid with longer faders. The Arturia KeyLab 49 MkII is also significantly heavier and more durable, with a sturdy metallic housing. The Arturia KeyLab 49 MkII also has substantial buttons that seem clicky to the touch, rather than being too soft or soggy. The after-touch on the keyboard is identical to that on the MiniBrute 2 and MatrixBrute.

Three upgraded dedicated buttons for switching between DAW, Analog Lab, and User modes are located on the screen area and data knob. The Arturia KeyLab 49 MkII’s connectivity is also a key selling point. You can either use the USB port or the optional DC adaptor to get power.

Roland A-49 MIDI Keyboard Controller

Roland MIDI Keyboard Controller White A-49-WH
  • Comes with a licensed Ableton Live Lite music production software
  • Save and mix down your work contents without any restrictions during the use period

The Roland A-49 is a game-changer in the industry, with a lightweight, premium-grade container with finishes in black and pearl white. It’s a user-friendly MIDI keyboard with a cutting-edge vibe. This is especially evident with its roundly-shaped keys, which when touched, provide the gamer the desired result.

Its improved features have decreased mechanical noise and vertical tremors, making it a popular choice among musicians. The Roland A-49 was similarly created with portability in mind. It just weights a little more than 6 pounds, making it quite easy to lift and move around.

Despite its sleek appearance, the Roland A-49 offers a comprehensive range of functions, including a high-performance keyboard with 49 velocity-sensitive keys. The A-49 may be powered directly from your PC’s USB bus, so no converter or power cord is required. The Roland A-49 is an excellent music-making instrument. This product can be used to create demos by amateur artists and producers.

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2 Keyboard

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2 Keyboard
  • Smart keyboard controller for all your virtual instruments
  • Pro-grade Fatar keybeds with aftertouch - 49 semi-weighted keys
  • Ergonomic pitch and mod wheels, plus touch strip for expression control

The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 is a 4-octave keyboard controller for use with a DAW-equipped computer. Two high-resolution display units, eight rotary onboard knobs, four-way multi-purpose rotary knobs, and transport controls are included.

The controller comes with the Komplete Kontrol software, which allows you to manipulate and navigate through all of the intriguing plugins and soft synths samples. These samples are packaged in a Native Instruments-designed and trademarked Komplete 12 Select.

The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 keyboard provides unique access and physical control over the Komplete Kontrol software’s sounds and instructions. In your hands, you’ve got a modest synth studio. And regardless of the DAW you’re using, this is absolutely achievable.

The integrated arpeggiator on the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 is another intriguing feature. Even if you simply hit one key, this arpeggiator allows you to play a sequence of notes on repeat. It also allows you to perform more advanced things like modify the sequence and rhythm by adjusting the settings. For music producers and rehearsing teams, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 comes highly recommended.