Alesis Introduces VX49 MIDI Controller Keyboard

Alesis_VX49_AngleAlesis has just introduced their new MIDI controller, the VX49.

Dubbing it “revolutionary,” the keyboard provides advanced control of virtual instruments and DAWs via a full-color, high resolution 4.3-inch screen, a 49-key keybed with aftertouch, and “intuitively placed,” performance-friendly hardware controls.

VX49 is powered by the Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) software (included). The VIP software enables users to access any VSTi virtual instrument in their computer directly from the keyboard. Using the built-in “tagging” function, users can quickly filter and search through every patch in their plugin library. After a plugin is selected, VIP auto-maps the VX49’s controls to the selected plugin, and displays the plugin parameters directly on the VX49’s full-color display for a full 1:1 workstation style experience.

The VIP software also works with the VX49 for creating a “multi” directly from the controller keyboard, combining up to 8 patches from 1 or more plugins, with the capability to layer, mix and pan these patches all at once. Users can even set keyboard splits, and transpose individual patches within their “multi.”

In addition, the VIP software can create “setlists” that provide on-demand access to virtual instruments for live performance, switching to the next plugin needed for the set with a single button press on the VX49.

Alesis_VX49_OrthoAlesis VX49 Features:

  • Integrated 4.3-inch high-resolution full-color screen with dedicated interface buttons
  • Screen provides 1:1, real-time feedback of plugin parameters
  • Includes Virtual Instrument Player software— load, play and control any VST plugin quickly
  • Custom 49-key Alesis semi-weighted keybed with aftertouch
  • 8 performance-ready 360-degree knobs
  • 4 banks of 8 velocity- and pressure-sensitive drum pads with RGB illumination
  • Roll mode, time division, transport, arpeggiator, and tap tempo buttons
  • Functions as a standalone MIDI controller or controls your plugins and DAW simultaneously
  • Includes software: Ableton Live Lite, Vacuum Pro, Loom, Hybrid 3, Xpand!2, Velvet, Transfuser, Eighty Eight Ensemble

Pricing and Availability. The Alesis VX49 has a U.S. retail price of $399.99, and will be available after December 15, 2015. For additional information, consult the Alesis website.

20 thoughts on “Alesis Introduces VX49 MIDI Controller Keyboard

  1. This is a nice idea. Couple it with a tiny little headless PC that autostarts into your DAW and you’re on your way to a nifty portable setup.

      1. with additional software bundle on Alexis vx49 compare Akai Advance, cheaper for the hardware, too. But wasn’t sure how both compare, in realtime live play situation, rgd.

  2. This would be a neat idea if the form was little better. The pitch/mod wheels and drum pads should be reversed. Is there any change that you WON’T hit the drum pads when going for the wheels?

      1. “Look! We’re different!” showroom floor nonsense.

        InMusic has some technology, presumably licensed vs invented, and they’re going to (re)package it in as many ways as they can.

        I can’t imagine why some one would get something like this (or the Akai version) instead of a Nektor Panorama.

    1. Completely disagree

      The pads are what – 1/4″ tall? And mod wheels stick up a couple of inches. You can’t really rest your palm while you are using mod wheels, so with this design, your hands should always be well above the pads.

      On the other hand – if they put the pads above the mod wheels, your palm would be bumping into the mod wheels all the time, because they stick out so much.

      Obviously – this is a compromise, because they’re cramming a ton of controls into a small space. But – unless you want to be the next Jan Hammer doing constant pitch bends – this looks like a smart way to pack the controls into not much space.

      1. Your opinion is certainly valid and makes sense. But I’d still prefer to have the wheels down there on the front, and be in “keyboard mode” then reach up and hit pads.

    2. Totally… Just like having knobs on a guitar just underneath where you strum.
      I mean, how insane are they to think you need to practice and develop muscle memory to prevent making mistakes!

      This keyboard may end up being a sleeper hit with left handed players, who will finally have a keyboard with the drum pad features located in a place optimal for them.

  3. Their controllers looks quite nice – quite boxy but attractive.
    A shame the pads aren’t up on the right top hand side where the logo is…..and the wheels moved above the keys. Wasted Space.
    Personally I’d like a controller in front of my screen rather than at 90 degrees to it – maybe that’s just me.
    Still it will be interesting how Alesis do with this if it’s a bit cheaper than the competition.

  4. i’m so happy they pointed out “illuminated pitch and mod wheels” … that has always been my top priority!

    All facetiousness aside, we still have a layer of software between our software vsti’s and the hardware – the vip or advance software – whatever you want to call the “layer”…
    It will always be inferior to direct hardware integration to software which is (presumably) what we all want, from any midi controller.
    You either program it yourself, creating your own interaction, or use a pre programmed layer to control your software, i just hope the pre programmed ones are getting better, but am not convinced yet.
    I get the feeling that NI are probably doing the best job of this at the moment – as they are getting the developers to map their software to the NI hardware, not the other way around where the hardware manufacturer is trying to map to the software.
    However, I have played neither the NI or the AKAI keyboards and it will come done to the feel of the keys combined with the software interaction to make me decide if either are the real deal.

  5. The controller market is certainly heating up, but I have been burned with Alesis ‘drop a product and move on to the next’ in 6 months policy before, so just don’t buy Alesis.

    Its all about the keybed really, if you like the feel of it…the drum pads would definitely be no use top me as a right handed player….obviously this is designed for lefties!

    Somehow I still think there is room for the ultimate controller, I use a P6 and that is about as close as I think anyone has got

  6. AKAI Advance = Alesis VX – same company… Jack O’Donnell’s ‘InMusic’.
    It is sort of like a “fake choice” for the customer.

    And I’ll bet we’ll see a similar offering from M-Audio too, just to complicate matters …guess what – M-Audio is an ‘InMusic’-brand as well.

  7. Looks like a great value as it comes with many AIR synths, I’ve been wanting Loom for awhile. It looks incredible. However I actually really prefer Fatar style synth keds in comparison to semi weighted fake piano keys like this so I will probably pass on it.

  8. Does anyone know if it can run other plug-ins like EQ and compression? Also does it have internal memory or do the instruments have to be reloaded every time it is powered up – clearly this wouldn’t be good for live performers?

    1. It doesn’t actually host anything. It just works as a “front-end” to plugins in the VIP software (that runs on your computer/in your DAW…and that currently doesn’t host FX yet).

      Although hypothetically if the FX plugins support MIDI learn you could just map a knob to an effect parameter the old-fashioned way.

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