Alesis VX49 MIDI controller
With an era of smarter MIDI controller keyboards seemingly upon us, Alesis has taken the opportunity to launch the VX49, a 49-note controller that offers “advanced control of virtual instruments and DAWs”.
Central to this is a 4.3-inch full colour high resolution screen, while the hardware controls include knobs, drum pads and buttons. The keyboard is semi-weighted and supports aftertouch.
The bridge between the hardware and your plugins is the Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) software; if this sounds familiar, it’s probably because VIP is also used by Akai’s Advance keyboards. Alesis and Akai, of course, are under the same ownership.
The theory is that VIP automatically maps your hardware controls to those in your plugin, with parameters being displayed on the screen. You can also create ‘Multis’ – these comprise up to eight patches from multiple plugins, which can be layered, mixed and panned as you like. It’s possible to split the keyboard and transpose individual patches within a Multi, while Setlists enable you to set up groups of plugins that you can switch between from the hardware during live performances.
“The VX49 is a huge step forward for serious keyboard players and producers,” believes Walter Skorupski, Product Manager for Alesis. “Players can access and manipulate virtual instruments right from their keyboard, without ever being distracted by a computer. The entire creative/performance process is so smooth, seamless and natural. VX49 and VIP doesn’t slow the artist down – it works with them to maximise their experience and creative potential. We’re unlocking VSTs to feel like real hardware instruments. This is the way it’s supposed to be.”
Alesis VX49 features
Integrated 4.3-inch high-resolution full-colour 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