Alesis VI61 61-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller
Alesis continues its legacy of providing quality yet affordable equipment, as seen in their entry into this list, the Alesis VI61.
It's major highlight is the medium tension piano-style keys with aftertouch that it comes equipped with.
And it's not just about the keys, because the Alesis VI61 comes packed with features, with a staggering number of buttons to boot!
For the price, this MIDI keyboard comes with 16 full-color RGB backlit drum pads for controlling software drums and percussion instruments.
It also features 6 transport controls, nine sliders and eight knobs, all of which allow for in-depth control of your sound parameters and your DAW, right at the controller.
- Keys: 61 / semi-weighted / piano-style / velocity-sensitive / aftertouch
- Pads: 16 multi-color pads with velocity and pressure sensitivity
- Controls: 16 illuminated Encoders/Pots, 16 Knobs, 48 Buttons and Dedicated Transport Controls
- Bundled Software: Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition
- Power: USB powered and can use an optional power adapter (sold separately)
- Connectivity: USB, 5-pin MIDI out, Sustain pedal jack
- Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.7 or higher, Windows 7 & 8 compatible
- Dimensions: 12.4 x 4.5 x 44.1 inches
- Weight: 6.8 lbs
With the Alesis VI61, you're getting more than what you're paying for, and this is a sentiment shared by many of its users. Reviewers describe the keys in positive light, saying that they respond really well to playing, and can compete with more expensive keyboard controllers. The same can also be said with its 16 pads, which many electronic musicians appreciate.
It's not all sunshine and rainbows though, because there are concerns about the great feeling keys sometimes producing a squeaking friction sound. An experienced user provided a workaround that involved carefully lubing one of the supports for each key and that solved the issue for him. Still, this is not a universal issue so not much of a deal breaker. Another common concern is its lackluster software integration, it requires some legwork to get it to mapped to some DAW software.
This lightweight and affordable MIDI Keyboard controller has satisfied many users looking for an affordable piano-style keyboard.
Alesis VI61 isn't on our current recommended list - to see that go to our guide about The Best 61 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.