M-Audio's thinks that its CTRL49 controller keyboard "is a game-changer"

Announced at NAMM 2016, M-Audio has now released its new top-end keyboard controller, the CTRL49. This is a 49-note MIDI controller with semi-weighted keybed that also includes the Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) software.

Although similar to its InMusic stablemate, the Akai Advance, the CTRL49 looks to have more comprehensive DAW integration and offers a workstation-style layout comprising eight rotaries, eight pads and nine faders. Both the faders and the 11 multi-coloured backlit switches utilise the Mackie Control/HUI protocol.

"The CTRL49 is a game-changer for serious producers," said Walter Skorupski, Product Manager for M-Audio. "Now they can access their entire virtual instrument and effect library right from their keyboard, without ever being distracted by a computer, which makes the creative/performance process smoother than ever before. Working together, the CTRL49 and VIP unlock your VSTs and enable them to function like actual instruments. Once you get used to this, there's no going back."

CTRL49 is available now and ships with an MSRP of £329.99. For more information, check out the M-Audio website.

M-Audio CTRL49 highlights

  • 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
  • Custom 49-key M-Audio semi-weighted keybed with aftertouch
  • 9 faders and 8 buttons for instant and seamless control of your DAW
  • 8 performance-ready 360-degree knobs
  • 8 velocity- and pressure-sensitive drum pads with RGB illumination
  • Dedicated pad bank, transport control, octave, and performance buttons
  • Roll mode, time division, pattern arpeggiator and tap tempo buttons
  • Expression pedal and footswitch inputs; 5-Pin MIDI IN/OUT
  • Includes software: Ableton Live Lite, AIR Creative FX Collection, AIR Vacuum Pro, AIR Loom, AIR Hybrid 3, AIR
  • Xpand!2, AIR Velvet, AIR Transfuser and SONiVOX Eighty Eight Ensemble
Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.