The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

The Highest Rated 49-Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

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Sometimes A full 61 or 61-Key or 88-Key MIDI Controller is too much in terms of utility and size. On the other hand, some find compact 25-Key controllers to be too small for two-handed playing. 49 Key controllers fill in that middle ground for more dexterous players while keeping a form factor that doesn't consume your entire desk area.

If a good middle ground is something you're looking for in a MIDI controller, we did the research and selected the highest rated 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards with data from the latest reviews and ratings up to late May, 2021.

The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

Author & Contributors

Raphael PulgarRaphael Pulgar

An audio engineer of nearly 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.

Nektar SE49

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$80
Nektar SE49 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

The SE49 is a value priced 49 key MIDI controller from Nektar with features usually seen at higher priced products.

Nektar devoted research into good key action for a firm feel with good rebound.

The velocity curves enable you to tailor fit the response to your touch and playing style.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 Full-size, Synth action with 4 x Velocity Curves, 3 x Fixed
  • Pads: No
  • Arpeggiator: No
  • Motorized Controls: No
  • Bundled Software: Bitwig Studio 8-track
  • Power:USB powered.
  • Connectivity: USB and TRS input for sustain pedal.
  • Control Hardware Directly: No
  • Compatibility: OS X 10.8.5 or later + Windows 7 SP1 or later
  • Dimensions: 31.69" x 7.75" x 2.71"
  • Weight 4.85 lbs.

Pros

At this price, some that were looking for a "basic" MIDI controller were pleased to find the SE49's great feeling keys were its highlight. For such a simple MIDI controller, Nektar's investment in the keys was noticeable for many users.

Cons

Despite the rave reviews for the keys, some people who were accustomed to weighted piano keys did not like the synth-action keys of the SE49.

Overall

If you're looking for a great budget MIDI controller with high quality synth-action keys, the Nektar SE49 is for you.

Nektar Impact GX49

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 550+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$100
Nektar Impact GX49 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

The Impact GX49 is a light-weight and compact controller that has Nektar's DAW Integration feature, making it compatible with most major DAWs.

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 USB compatible computer to tablet.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 note full-sized velocity sensitive keyboard
  • Pads: No
  • Arpeggiator: No
  • Motorized Controls: No
  • Octaves: Up and Down Octave Buttons: 3 Octaves Down, 4 Octaves Up
  • Bundled Software: Bitwig 8-Track included
  • Power: USB Powered
  • Connectivity: 1/4” TS jack foot switch input (MIDI Assignable), USB port, Connects to iPad via Apple Camera Connection Kit (not supplied)
  • Control Hardware Directly: No
  • Compatibility: Class Compliant. Windows, OSX, iOS and Linux (you may need to install a MIDI package such as JACK)
  • Dimensions: 31.63" x 7.75" x 2.75"
  • Weight 4.8 lbs

Pros

Both users and experts found the the keys to be responsive with a rigid feel. In his Music Radar review, Dan Goldman said the keyboard had "a nicely deep key travel and the well-balanced springy feel facilitates fast accurate playing, both for synth lines and sounds that normally demand a weighted action". Most reviewers gave positive responses for its ease of use since it provided the essential controls they needed. A few people mentioned that they had to contact Nektar support and reported that their customer service was excellent.

Cons

A couple of users report some dissatisfaction with the keybed saying it's a bit noisey.

Overall

This is a great choice for beginners and and those on a budget.

M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 1550+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$119
M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

The M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is a streamlined MIDI keyboard controller with velocity sensitive synth action keys.

Under the hood, it includes a suite of software such as Ableton Live, Protools First M-Audio edition and a suite of Virtual instruments to quickly get you up to speed with music creation.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 full-size, velocity-sensitive, synth action keys
  • Pads: No
  • Arpeggiator: No
  • Motorized Controls: No
  • Bundled Software: AIR Music Mini Grand/Velvet/Xpand!2, Ableton Live LIte, Pro Tools First, Skoove, Touch Loops, Melodics Tutorial
  • Power:USB powered.
  • Connectivity: USB and TRS input for sustain pedal.
  • Control Hardware Directly: No
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.6 or later + Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista.
  • Dimensions: 32.36" x 7.44" x 2.68"
  • Weight 4.72 lbs.

Pros

Seamless integration was hailed as a positive by several users. the Keystation 49 MK3 has wide compatibility with different DAWs including Protools. Long term durability was a plus for the MK2 and many users feel that this iteration also feels solid despite being lightweight.

Cons

Some wished for more features at this price point.

Overall

If you want a near-universal Keyboard MIDI controller and use multiple DAWs, the M-Audio Keystation 49 MK3 is a versatile choice.

Alesis V49

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 2100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$149
Alesis V49 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

The V49 is a compact 49 key MIDI controller with velocity-sensitive synth action keys, 8 velocity and pressure sensitive backlit pads, 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable buttons.

These features allow the user various custom mapping options.

Backlit controls make them visible in the darkest stage or fit in with any studio illumination.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 velocity-sensitive synth action keys
  • Pads: 8
  • Arpeggiator: No
  • Motorized Controls: No
  • Bundled Software: Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition
  • Power:USB powered.
  • Connectivity: USB and TRS input for sustain pedal.
  • Control Hardware Directly: No
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.6 or later + Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista.
  • Dimensions: 37.6" x 9.6" x 4.5"
  • Weight 9.5 lbs.

Pros

Customizability and integration were hailed as consistent plus points for the Alesis V49. With so many map-able buttons and knobs, users were quick to establish custom mappings to suit their workflow. The key response was also noted to be decent.

Cons

Some issues with sensitivity popped up in some reviews. Additional research brought us to discussions saying that the issue was resolved with installing updates from the manufacturer's website.

Overall

If you're looking for a blank slate MIDI keyboard controller, the Alesis V49 is a great choice.

Nektar Impact LX49+

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 700+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$170
Nektar Impact LX49+ 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

The Impact LX49+ goes beyond what a normal MIDI controller can do at this price point as most usually feature just keys and simple controls.

The LX49+ introduces assignable pads, faders and knobs, enabling it to be a centerpiece for even the most frugal producer.

While it is fully capable of giving you musical control over your notes and settings, the assignable controls mean the LX49+ also makes it easy to control your DAW, including your channel faders, pans and even some plugins.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 velocity-sensitive synth action keys
  • Pads: 8
  • Arpeggiator: No
  • Motorized Controls: No
  • Bundled Software: Studio One
  • Power:USB powered.
  • Connectivity: USB and TRS input for sustain pedal.
  • Control Hardware Directly: No
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.6 or later + Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista.
  • Dimensions: 31.6" " x 10.5" x 3"
  • Weight 7 lb.s

Pros

Users love how it hits the sweet spots between MIDI controller and DAW controller; especially at this price point. The seamless integration with their DAWs also earns it strong positive reviews.

Cons

Users say build quality and materials could be better. Some people had trouble with less popular DAWs with regards to integration.

Overall

The LX49+ is a great, affordable MIDI Controller and more. For the price, it comes packed with features you'd usually see in controllers at higher price points. So if you're looking for a MIDI and DAW controller in one at a relatively affordable price, the LX49+ is the one to get.

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 325+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$219
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

This is Native Instruments' affordable entry into their music production ecosystem.

The A49 features semi-weighted keys, chord and scale mode, and full integration with Native Instruments Maschine.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 velocity-sensitive semi-weighted keys
  • Pads: No
  • Arpeggiator: No
  • Motorized Controls: No
  • Bundled Software: Komplete Kontrol, Maschine Essentials, Komplete Instruments and Effects
  • Power:USB powered.
  • Connectivity: USB and TRS input for sustain pedal.
  • Control Hardware Directly: No
  • Compatibility: MacOS 10.12 or later + Windows 10 Anniversary Update or later.
  • Dimensions: 32.3"" x 10.1" x 3.5"
  • Weight 7 lb.s

Pros

The Kontrol A49 is noted by users as the best way to get into the Native Instruments ecosystem. Full integration means that all the functions have been mapped out already and quite a lot like this about the Kontrol A49.

Cons

Some experienced integration problems with other DAWs but looking through discussions online, this seems to have been fixed with newer updates.

Overall

If you want to dip your toes into the Native Instruments catalog and want a hardware solution that was designed to harness that potential, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49 is a great pick.

Novation Launchkey 49 MK3

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 250+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$220
Novation Launchkey 49 MK3

At publication time this was the Highest Rated 49-Key MIDI Controller Keyboard.

This is the latest version of Novation's Keyboard / clip launcher hybrid designed for use with Ableton Live. For this iteration, Novation took to getting feedback from users to further streamline the MK3 version.

The result is a controller that feels familiar, yet refined.

Compositional tools like new scale and chord modes, better custom mapping, as well as a 5-pin MIDI out for controlling hardware synths are some of the new features in the MK3 version.

The pads have also been updated in this version, with them being larger than its predecessor.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 velocity-sensitive synth action keys
  • Pads: 16 x RGB, Velocity-sensitive Pads
  • Arpeggiator: Yes
  • Motorized Controls: No
  • Bundled Software: Ableton Live Lite, Virtual Instrument and Sample Plug-in Bundle
  • Power:USB powered.
  • Connectivity: USB and TRS input for sustain pedal.
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes; 5 - pin MIDI out
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.11 or later + Windows 7 SP1 or later
  • Dimensions: 31.06" x 10.16" x 3.03"
  • Weight 6.68 lbs.

Pros

Ableton Live users immediately flocked to the MK3 version of the Novation Launchkey. The new features as well as the minor incremental improvements were gladly welcomed by the community. Many users liked the new compositional tools such as the scale mode as it helps them with songwriting and productivity. The price was also a surprise for them as the new version remains a great value.

Cons

Some users felt the keybed could be better. Some missed notes have happened for some users but comments speculate them to be an issue with their computers such as CPU usage.

Overall

If you're an Ableton Live user and want a Keyboard Controller to launch clips and compose without having the need for separate hardware for both, the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 is the one to pick.

Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 550+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$229
Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Don't let the "Essential" wording fool you: The Keylab Essential 49 has numerous features that help accelerate your workflow and productivity.

Also able to function as a DAW controller, the Keylab Essential 49 sits well as the core of your music production workstation.

It also comes bundled with a DAW and great sounding software synth sounds.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 Velocity-sensitive. Synth Action
  • Pads: 8 x back-lit, pressure-sensitive performance pads
  • Arpeggiator: No.
  • Motorized Controls: No.
  • Bundled Software:Ableton Live 9 Lite, UVI Grand Piano Model D
  • Power: 9V DC power supply (sold separately) / USB bus powered
  • Connectivity: USB , 5-pin MIDI out, 1 x TRS input for expression pedal and sustain pedal or footswitch input.
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.6 or later + Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista.
  • Dimensions: 30.9" " x 9.7" " x 2.9"
  • Weight 6.6 lbs.

Pros

Beginners love how user friendly it is despite the number of knobs and faders. Everything was easily mappable according to most positive reviews. The unit itself is designed and built well with many praising its aesthetics.

Cons

No power supply included.

Overall

The Arturia Keylab Essential 49 doesn't skimp on features and build quality at this price point. It includes everything you need to get started with MIDI controller-focused music production including a DAW and virtual instruments.

Akai Professional MPK249

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 700+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$399
Akai Professional MPK249

The Akai Professional MPK249 is a feature-rich MIDI Keyboard controller aimed towards converging everything a producer or performer might need in a mid-size, 49 key layout.

Features include semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 16 pads, 24 assignable knobs and faders, and backlit LCD screen to name a few.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 velocity-sensitive semi-weighted keys with aftertouch
  • Pads: 16
  • Arpeggiator: Yes
  • Motorized Controls: No
  • Bundled Software:Ableton Live Lite and Pro MPC Essentials, Virtual synths included: Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech and SONiVOX Twist 2.0, Akai Professional VIP3 virtual instrument workstation software/plug-in
  • Power:USB powered.
  • Connectivity: USB and TRS input for sustain pedal.
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes: 5-pin MIDI out
  • Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or Later + Windows 7 SP1 or later
  • Dimensions: 29" x 12.25" x 3.38"
  • Weight 12.6 lbs.

Pros

The MPK 249 gets praise for users for having "everything" at your fingertips. They bought the unit because of the sheer amount of assignable features. Everyone has different parameter assignments and controls according to the varied experiences in their reviews so it scores points in versatility and features.

Cons

Some users noted inconsistency with the velocity sensitivity. Another user noted the unit to be heavier than other units of this class.

Overall

If you're looking for a MIDI Controller with a suite of features and great feeling keys, the Akai Professional MPK 249 is worth checking out.

Arturia KeyLab 49 MkII

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$499
Arturia KeyLab 49 mkII 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

The Arturia Keylab 49 MkII features the same aftertouch-sensitive keybed used in Arturia’s flagship MatrixBrute.

It also features 16 RGB backlit performance pads, 9 faders, 9 encoders, 4 CV outputs, 5 expression control inputs, and great software to to back it all up.

All these features are housed in a roadworthy aluminum body.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 semi-weighted, velocity sensitive with aftertouch.
  • Pads: 16 x Back-lit RGB Performance Pads
  • Arpeggiator: No.
  • Motorized Controls: No
  • Bundled Software: Arturia Analog Lab 4, Ableton Live Lite, Piano V 2, Arturia MIDI Control Center
  • Power: 9V DC power supply (sold separately)
  • Connectivity:USB, 1 x 1/4" (sustain), 1 x 1/4" (expression), 3 x 1/4" (aux), MIDI In/Out/USB, 1 x 1/8" (CV in), 4 x 1/8" (CV out, Gate out, Mod 1, Mod 2)
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes
  • Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later + Windows 7 SP1 or later
  • Dimensions: 31.2" " x 11.7" " x 2.1"
  • Weight 13.8 lbs.

Pros

Reviewers note the Keylab 49 is inspiring with the keybed's incredible feel and response. The aluminum housing is also noted as sturdy and some users who are touring musicians felt the unit was well equipped for travel. Many also liked the included software, saying the sounds were excellent and tweakable to their liking.

Cons

Some users wanted to have a bigger LCD Screen to display more information.

Overall

For the price, the Arturia Keylab is a MIDI controller that's ready to take on your next tour with its roadworthy construction, excellent keybed, and included software.

Yamaha MX49 V2

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$550
Yamaha MX49 V2 Music Synthesizer MIDI Controller Keyboard

The Yamaha MX49 is a hybrid between a MIDI Controller and a dedicated synthesizer.

As a MIDI Keyboard controller, it features class compliant MIDI Connectivity, DAW control for transport, mixer and knobs (assignable) for all-around music production use.

As a synthesizer, it includes Yamaha's MOTIF sound engine and VCM (Virtual Circuit Modelling) for analog-accurate sounds.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 velocity-sensitive synth action keys
  • Pads: No
  • Arpeggiator: Yes
  • Motorized Controls: No
  • Bundled Software: Cubase AI included, FM Essential iOS synth app
  • Power:USB powered.
  • Connectivity: USB and TRS input for sustain pedal.
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.6 or later + Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista.
  • Dimensions: 32.68" x 11.7" x 3.58"
  • Weight 8.38 lbs.

Pros

One user noted it's a MIDI Controller on steroids. With the features as a MIDI Controller alone, many users were glad to be able to have great DAW and VST integration. Having onboard synth circuitry adds to the convenience and creative control of the MX49 V2.

Cons

Some felt that it tries to do everything but it doesn't excel in many of them. It's a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of unit. Some people who wanted simpler features felt the number of available controls was too overwhelming.

Overall

If you want a MIDI Controller and a synthesizer in one, the Yamaha MX49 V2 is the one to get.

Novation 49SL MkIII

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$600
Novation 49SL MkIII 49-Key MIDI Controller Keyboard

At first glance, all the buttons, lights, knobs and screens would look overwhelming to the untrained. What the musician sees however is a veritable array of controls for a great amount of tweakability.

The Novation 49SL is -just- a 49-key MIDI controller at its core, but with the huge amount of parameters its able to control, and the amount of visual feedback you get from the screens alone, it's depth goes beyond what the amount of available keys offers.

The keys themselves are no slouch: a sweet spot hybrid between semi weighted and synth action gives it a responsive but familiar feel.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 semi-weighted/synth style hybrid, velocity sensitive with aftertouch.
  • Pads: 16 x RGB Backlit Pads
  • Arpeggiator: Yes
  • Motorized Controls: no.
  • Bundled Software: No.
  • Power: 12V DC power supply (included)
  • Connectivity: 1 x Type B USB, 5-pin MIDI In/Out/Out2/Thru/USB , 1 x 1/4" (expression), 1 x 1/4" (sustain), 1 x 1/4" (footswitch), 1 x Clock out, 2 x CV out, 2 x Mod out, 2 x Gate out
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes
  • Compatibility: OS X 10.11.6 or later + Windows 7 SP1 or later
  • Dimensions: 32.16" x 11.81" x 3.93"
  • Weight 11.8 lbs

Pros

Deep customization options, great information readouts via the 5 screens, great tweakability are just some of the pros reviewers gave the 49SL. It was considered a workstation in itself by an expert review and is highly recommended for studios centering around electronic music production.

Cons

Knobs and controls feel flimsy for some. This affects its overall roadworthiness.

Overall

If you're looking for an electronic music production centerpiece where it has everything you need to see in one unit, the Novation 49SL MkIII is a great addition to your desk.

Things to Consider When Buying A 49 Key MIDI Controller

  • What Do You Want To Control? If you only want to control computer software then all of the options above will do that, although some offer more control options than others. If you want to control external hardware, such as a stand alone synth, then you'll need to get one that explicitly says it will do that - the ones that come with a 5-pin MIDI out port do that and we tell you above on each description whether or not it meets that need.

  • Software Integration. Most of the MIDI keyboards we recommend below come with presets or automatic configuration options that make it easy to integrate with most major DAWs - sometimes you have to download some extra files from the manufacture's website to do that. I've tried to indicate which major applications each keyboard integrates well with, but if you're unsure then feel free to ask about your particular software and the particular controller you're interested in and I or someone else here will advise you.

  • Transport Controls. These are dedicated buttons to control standard DAW recording controls such as Play, Stop, Rewind, Fast Forward etc. They can be a very handy feature because you can keep your recording workflow going without having to reach for your computer mouse.

  • Motorized Controls. These are seriously cool, but usually only found on larger than 49 key controllers, but the Nektar Panorama P4 does have this feature.

  • Key Size & Weight. Some 49-key controllers have full sized keys but some don't. Many also don't have piano style full weighted keys with 'synth action' keys being the most popular. If you're a piano player and you need piano style keys then read the specifications carefully or look at 88-Key controllers instead.

  • Power Supply. If you need one for portable use with a laptop or tablet then you need one that uses batteries or takes its power from USB, however USB power comes at the cost of draining your device's battery more quickly. You also may have problems getting enough power from the iPad which only provides 100mA instead of the USB 2.0 standard of 500mA. 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.

Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2016 and the latest edition was published on May 31, 2021.

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 store.

For this update, we began by updating the Gearank Rating scores of all the 49 key MIDI controllers in our Music Gear Database to reflect the current market sentiment, then we looked to see which newer keyboards we should add to our short-list for consideration. 34 items made it to our shortlist. During this procedure we collected information from over 12,500 online ratings, discussions and reviews - all of which were processed by the Gearank Algorithm to produce rating scores out of 100 for each controller. We then used the scores to feature only the best of the best in this guide.

For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Raphael PulgarRaphael Pulgar

An audio engineer of nearly 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.

Aside from endlessly window shopping and watching hours of gear reviews for leisure, he enjoys playing competitive FPS games, MMORPGs and caring for his 5 cats. He is primarily influenced by guitarists like Kurt Ballou and Paul Gilbert. His favorite pieces of gear are his Ibanez RG550RFR, Orange Brent Hinds Terror amplifier and EQD Acapulco Gold fuzz.

Contributors

Alden Acosta: Product research.
Jason Horton: Supplemental writing, Product research, Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: Created by Gearank.com using a photograph of the Novation Launchkey 49 MK3 along with the logos of the brands that appeared in this guide at the time of this edition's publication.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

Comments

How can 8 keyboards with so

How can 8 keyboards with so much price difference, all have gearank scores at either 89 or 90? I can't help but thinking the score is flawed and may not be much help to consumers who are trying to understand the reviewer's HONEST opinion about these products. Do they all have pretty much the same score because the reviewer is afraid of making any of the manufacturers unhappy with a lower score?

Hi Larry,

Hi Larry,

It looks like there's a misunderstanding about what a Gearank Rating score is.

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. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews." We provide further explanation in How Gearank Works.

This is similar to how a retailer's 5 star ratings are not the opinion of the retailer, but the opinions of the people who have bought it.

The reason so many of the rating values you see above are similar is because we have only recommended the keyboards with the highest ratings. If you look at the list of 49 key controllers in our Music Gear Database, you will see that most of them have lower ratings than the ones we have recommended. We believe this helps consumers save time by only presenting the products with the best reputations.

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.

I hope this clears up the issue, but please let me know if there's something else you'd like explained.

Jason.

Thank you for your response.

Thank you for your response. 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. I stand corrected - your explanation made sense to me.

Unfortunately it's no longer

Unfortunately it's no longer available from most retailers so you pretty much have to buy it second hand these days.

Hi, thanks for making this

Hi, thanks for making this comparison review article. 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.

In my research, most "best" list from other sites includes "M-audio Code" and "Novation Launchkey MkII". Launchkey is even number 1 from those other sites too.

I'm very much curious why these 49 key midi controllers aren't in your list. Because if I'm convinced enough, i will buy the "Akai Professional MPK249" as that is very easy to reach right now.

Thank you for asking that

Thank you for asking that question because it made me ask myself the same question about the Novation Launchkey 49 Mk2.

To find the answer I have reprocessed the Gearank scores with fresh data for all 16 of the 49 Key keyboard controllers in our database.

The Novation Launchkey 49 Mk2 has increased it's Gearank score to 86 which means that we can now recommend it.

On the other hand, the M-Audio Code 49 remains one of the lowest rated 49 key controllers, with a current Gearank score of only 76, so it still hasn't earned it's way into a list of controllers we would recommend.

Thanks for this excellent

Thanks for this excellent comparison summary. Really helpful. If you decide to do an update, a couple of other items that impact my buying considerations are whether the keyboard has a port for an expression pedal, and also the weight of the keyboard for those of us who are looking for portability. Also curious what you think of the m-audio ctrl-49 when it comes out soon.

Thank you very much for your

Thank you very much for your feedback.

I will put it on my to do list to add information about pedal ports and keyboard weights.

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.

It also have VIP on the

It also have VIP on the Ctrl49 that allows you to download VSTs or Presets from VSTs to be able to be used on the board standalone (perfect for musicians that don't want to have to also hook their laptop up during a live set) that means you can play straight off the MIDI controller itself

This is incorrect. You can

This is incorrect. You can control VSTs that are on you computer using VIP on the CTRL49. It does not play the VSTs as a standalone.

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