Acorn Instruments announces Masterkey 49 keyboard

Masterkey 49: a simple 4-octave MIDI controller.
Masterkey 49: a simple 4-octave MIDI controller.

Don't get us wrong: we love MIDI keyboards that have a multitude of controllers that automatically map themselves to your software's parameters, but what if you just want a playable, reasonably-sized model that doesn't cost the earth? Acorn Instruments thinks that it might have the answer with the Masterkey 49.

This is a 49-note, velocity-sensitive, synth-style USB controller that has octave shift, transpose and MIDI program change functions that can be used on the fly. Pitch bend and mod wheels are in place, and there's a socket for a sustain pedal.

You'll also find four knobs and a fader, all of which are assignable, with menus and parameters being viewable in the red LED display.

Masterkey 49 is bus-powered and class-compliant, and has a retail price of £99.99. What's more, it ships with a copy of PreSonus's Studio One Artist DAW, making this a one-stop bundle for anyone who wants to start making music on their computer.

Masterkey 49 will be available in July.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.