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M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard  (Open Box)
Ships Internationally
  • Write a Review
Product# J40790
OVERVIEW

All-in-one production controller.

The M-Audio CTRL49 is a premium 49-key USB/MIDI controller that combines the creative power of VST instruments and FX plug-ins with dedicated DAW fader and transport controls to create a hands-on production experience. The CTRL49’s integrated high-resolution, full-color display and robust hardware controls instantly auto-map themselves to your VST plug-in controls using the included Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) software.

This unprecedented tight integration between hardware and software enables immediate 1:1 access to your all of your plug-in controls as well as your DAW channel level, solo, mute, record, select and transport controls—all without ever reaching for the computer.

Most importantly, the CTRL49 intuitively combines an all-new custom premium keybed and hardware control surface with groundbreaking software features to create a truly next-level workflow experience. The CTRL49 lets you focus on what’s really important—creating music. This is the MIDI controller you’ve been waiting for.

FEATURES
  • Integrated 4.3 in. 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
  • 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

Solve your production control challenges here. Order today.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
M-AudioCTRL49 Controller Keyboard
 
4.1

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

77%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (12)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

For the price, it's a great tool in my studio

First, thanks to MF for a great sales price, packaging and delivery.
Review:
This is not a plug-n-play package. The M-Audio Cntrl 49/VIP package is for users who know...Read complete review

First, thanks to MF for a great sales price, packaging and delivery.
Review:
This is not a plug-n-play package. The M-Audio Cntrl 49/VIP package is for users who know how to work around unforeseen problems/glitches such as getting your DAW to communicate with the Cntrl 49 and VIP. I spent the past two evenings (about 8 hours total) getting the drivers/software downloaded and communicating to my Studio One, and exploring the many features of VIP and Cntrl 49. Some frustrations, but now it's all fun. So far, this is what I can do: control my VST's inside S1 using the 8 knobs, pitch, mod wheels and, most importantly, the Cntrl 49 Arp works. NICE! The faders are also working nicely to control volume levels of my DAW channels. Using VIP I can currently access patches in Omnisphere, Absynth, Velvet, 88 Piano, FM. The mapping of the 8 knobs to the VST parameters isn't consistent. Personally, I can do a faster job of accessing sounds and assigning parameters to keyboard/midi knobs with a mouse than using packages like VIP or Komplete Kontrol. The pads and some other features of the Cntrl 49 only work using VIP. But the main features that I was concerned with: the knobs to control VST parameters, the faders for voulme controls, the keys to play the VST's and the ARP are great for me. To be fair, VIP is fun to play with and sometimes I get some ideas from unexpected sounds I might accidentally tweak with it:).

The construction and controls of the Cntrl 49 are solid. The keys are great for laying down pads, arps or simple lead lines, but not for playing piano or serous long, fast runs, though it's doable. My only criticism with the keys is that the black keys are a bit noisy. But for the sale price, this is a top quality item.

If you have the experience, the time and the patience, I recommend getting this and dive in! 5 Stars.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Nothing seemed to work right

I bought this when it was on Stupid Deal, thinking the control options combined with the bundled plugins would be like buying a cheap workstation, in a way. After fussing with the drivers,...Read complete review

I bought this when it was on Stupid Deal, thinking the control options combined with the bundled plugins would be like buying a cheap workstation, in a way. After fussing with the drivers, downloading software, trying several DAWs in various configurations, etc. for something like 6-7 hours, I haven't been able to get this thing to work reliably. It works okay when you're just using it for VIP (bundled plugin that has a standalone mode) but when I try it in Ableton Live, the MIDI shuts off abruptly after a few minutes of use. I'm returning it. It's not worth the hassle.

To be clear, the hardware is really nice. The bright LEDs on the pads and buttons, the semi-weighted action, even the quality of the screen is pretty good for the price (esp. on sale). VIP is a decent plugin; the menus are strange, but the ability to combine multiple VST instruments into one "multi" on one track is pretty handy.

The main nuisance, for me, is that VIP is so integral to this thing's design, that without it, the on-board menus and whatnot are pretty difficult to use. Documentation is lacking for the keyboard and VIP. There is not a single real troubleshooting tip to be found. (Not that I found, anyway, after several hours of searching.) Overall, the experience of setting this board up, downloading/installing/registering everything, and then having it fail at several points...it was very disappointing.

Reviewed by 15 customers

Displaying reviews 1-15

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Nothing seemed to work right

By Nate

from Ohio

See all my reviews

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Bundled plugins
  • Does basic MIDI stuff
  • Good build quality
  • Keys feel nice
  • Looks great

Cons

  • Doesn't seem to be reliable
  • Limited features (without VIP software)
  • Not compatible with latest Mac OS X
  • Pads aren't sensitive enough

Best Uses

    Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

    I bought this when it was on Stupid Deal, thinking the control options combined with the bundled plugins would be like buying a cheap workstation, in a way. After fussing with the drivers, downloading software, trying several DAWs in various configurations, etc. for something like 6-7 hours, I haven't been able to get this thing to work reliably. It works okay when you're just using it for VIP (bundled plugin that has a standalone mode) but when I try it in Ableton Live, the MIDI shuts off abruptly after a few minutes of use. I'm returning it. It's not worth the hassle.

    To be clear, the hardware is really nice. The bright LEDs on the pads and buttons, the semi-weighted action, even the quality of the screen is pretty good for the price (esp. on sale). VIP is a decent plugin; the menus are strange, but the ability to combine multiple VST instruments into one "multi" on one track is pretty handy.

    The main nuisance, for me, is that VIP is so integral to this thing's design, that without it, the on-board menus and whatnot are pretty difficult to use. Documentation is lacking for the keyboard and VIP. There is not a single real troubleshooting tip to be found. (Not that I found, anyway, after several hours of searching.) Overall, the experience of setting this board up, downloading/installing/registering everything, and then having it fail at several points...it was very disappointing.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Had it for 2 weeks, now. Still, loving it.

    By electricblues

    from St Paul

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

    2 weeks later, I've figured out how to use most of the features - the features that I actually use every day. I also got to test drive the free VST plug-ins that comes with it. They are outstanding. And these VST's are not "Trial" software. They are useable with hundreds of presets. The controller and free VST pug-ins are the best deal I've gotten on-line for a long time. Thanks MF.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Mixed feelings

    By J Hopkins

    from Evans, GA

    Pros

    • Arpeggiator
    • Build Quality
    • Keyboard Action

    Cons

    • Aftertouch
    • Buggy Install
    • Controller Limitations

    Best Uses

      Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

      This is a mixed bag of really cool features, nice build quality, and some really glaring omissions.

      The keyboard action is amazing for a budget controller. The key depth is short but unless you play towards the back of the keys, it's not a problem. Velocity response is even across the keyboard. After adjusting the default sensitivity and curve, I could play with the usual dynamics I'd apply to a piano. The pads also required adjustment but were nice to play. Whoever set the defaults must be one ham-fisted dude. ;)

      That said, aftertouch takes too much force to engage and has a fairly shallow range of control. Oddly, you cannot adjust its sensitivity or curve via the onboard config either. M-Audio really missed the boat here.

      Encoders, sliders, and buttons are all solid.

      As other reviews have mentioned, the faders and accompanying buttons are strictly for DAW control (Mackie HUI protocol). This cannot be changed in any way. If there's ever a version 2 of this product or a firmware update, they really need to consider this.

      It is HUGE fun being able to navigate a massive library of VSTs (VST2.x only) from the gorgeous front panel. You can import other presets--automatically or manually--but the preset names are not visible to the VIP software, so that's a manual renaming process. (This may be a limitation of the VST API?)

      The arpeggiator is a nice bonus, with lots of patterns you wouldn't otherwise expect.

      Warning to Mac OSX users: after downloading the install package, try installing the VIP software ONLY from the "installer" folder and make sure it works. THEN install the AiR plugins and scan for your VSTs. I couldn't get VIP to work using the "master" installer.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      Great Controller

      By Donald038

      from Augusta,Ga.

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Verified Reviewer

      Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

      I purchased this controller shortly after Christmas.I have had approx. 6 months to fully experience this controller.I had difficulty downloading the software because it was a new experience.THe build quality is excellent.I downloaded the complete manual,read it,and watched plenty of videos.My controller is now fully functional and I have added the Akai APC mini.I am pleased and look forward to many days of enjoyment.Thanks M-audio and musicians friend.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      Stupid Deal - Smart Keyboard

      By Steve

      from Indianapolis, IN

      Pros

      • Build quality
      • Controls
      • Display
      • Included software
      • Price

      Cons

      • Learning curve
      • Set-up time

      Best Uses

      • Computer music enthusiast
      • Second keyboard

      Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

      I bought this as a SDotD, and for the price it is unbeatable. Even at normal price it is still competitive. This is a high-end midi controller, and it has features many people don't need and won't use. That's okay because M-Audio has several cheaper models for those people. For a professional or serious enthusiast there are pleanty of features to keep you learning for a long time. The software download and installation was a pain in the ___, but other than that it's been all good. I have one beef. I wish rhe sliders could control VST instruments as midi continuous controllers. The pots can, but the sliders can't. The sliders are for Daw control. (There might be a workaround.) It seems like M-Audio and Musicians Friend might be in the process of discontinuing the CTRL49, but the same parent company, InMusic, offers similar VIP based controllers under the Alesis snd Akai brands. You should check those out. VIP has limits, but it is useful.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes
       
      5.0

      Great Product but not a good service from Musicians Friend

      By Darrel

      from Reno, NV

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

      I love every part of it. Just wish that it was 61 keys.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      Great for VST users

      By Braj

      from San Francisco

      Verified Reviewer

      Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

      I'm totally blown away, it works great in Studio One v 3 once I got the settings correct. The keyboard is nice, aftertouch is a little stiff to get engaged but acceptable. The screen is great, helpful information and the interface isn't a PITA. The included software package is better than expected, and could be all many people would need. VIP doesn't work with every VST's preset system, so there may be a few plugins that you won't be able to use, some VSTs also fail with errors when scanning, but that is to be expected to ensure stability. My software finally feels much more like hardware, which was the whole point. I'm very pleased.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      For the price, it's a great tool in my studio

      By electricblues

      from St Paul

      See all my reviews

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Great for home studio recording, DAW

      Cons

      • Not a plug-n-play. Need experience with midi.

      Best Uses

        Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

        First, thanks to MF for a great sales price, packaging and delivery.
        Review:
        This is not a plug-n-play package. The M-Audio Cntrl 49/VIP package is for users who know how to work around unforeseen problems/glitches such as getting your DAW to communicate with the Cntrl 49 and VIP. I spent the past two evenings (about 8 hours total) getting the drivers/software downloaded and communicating to my Studio One, and exploring the many features of VIP and Cntrl 49. Some frustrations, but now it's all fun. So far, this is what I can do: control my VST's inside S1 using the 8 knobs, pitch, mod wheels and, most importantly, the Cntrl 49 Arp works. NICE! The faders are also working nicely to control volume levels of my DAW channels. Using VIP I can currently access patches in Omnisphere, Absynth, Velvet, 88 Piano, FM. The mapping of the 8 knobs to the VST parameters isn't consistent. Personally, I can do a faster job of accessing sounds and assigning parameters to keyboard/midi knobs with a mouse than using packages like VIP or Komplete Kontrol. The pads and some other features of the Cntrl 49 only work using VIP. But the main features that I was concerned with: the knobs to control VST parameters, the faders for voulme controls, the keys to play the VST's and the ARP are great for me. To be fair, VIP is fun to play with and sometimes I get some ideas from unexpected sounds I might accidentally tweak with it:).

        The construction and controls of the Cntrl 49 are solid. The keys are great for laying down pads, arps or simple lead lines, but not for playing piano or serous long, fast runs, though it's doable. My only criticism with the keys is that the black keys are a bit noisy. But for the sale price, this is a top quality item.

        If you have the experience, the time and the patience, I recommend getting this and dive in! 5 Stars.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        5.0

        Solid (Heavy!) Professional Controller

        By Hagiography

        from Greenville, SC

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Solid Build, easy to setup

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Studio

          Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

          This is a very solid product...surprisingly heavy, actually. For this reason, personally (given what I need onstage), I would not want to tour with it. That said, once it's in your studio, it's a great tool.

          I was able to download the drivers and software without much fuss, and it integrated easily into my Logic X workflow. The semi-weighted keys are great, and give me a lot of control out of the signals it sends.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No
           
          3.0

          Lots of potential, Sonar support iffy, tons of features.

          By Stefancitoe

          from Seattle,wa

          Verified Buyer

          Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

          This was a STOD so it was reasonably priced. I am reviewing it because there are so few reviews it seems. I'm not a keyboard guy, I use it for running a DAW or tapping out a few simple melodies. It doesn't have a preset for Sonar but just about everything else so if Sonar is ur DAW be prepared for some work. The Faders seem to use Mackie protocol, I have gotten them to work in Sonar but they are iffy sometimes they work fine and other times not at all, i dont know if the problem is me, sonar or the keyboard.
          The transport buttons work fine but u will have to dig or experiment a little. I have FL studio which i dont use much but it has a preset and it works like a breeze. I had problems with the installtion of all the software. i needed to keep track what directories the exes and the dlls were going to or i never would have gotten anwywhere. For me as another reviewer has remarked the VIP software is not stable. I would say its a mixed bag. It has tons of potential, I still have a millon things to learn about it. But I have spent hours on it just for basic functions. It looks cool and the displays are great. Its an adventure but I am not so sure i would want (you dear reader) to repeat it. If your a beginner with Sonar look elsewhere. I might as well list the presets it has i guess: I'm just reading the display --- AbeltonLive9,PT (Pro Tools I assume), Logic ProX.,Cubase,Bitwig Studio,FL Studio,Reaper, Studio One,MPC

           
          4.0

          Nice Keybed

          Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

          I really like this controller. It feels good and you can get to your patches from it which is convenient if you are far from your computer. It does have a learning curve (a lot to remember) if you want to get into all the nuances. I am (as of this post) still trying to get the Arpeggiator to work with Studio One sending out a MIDI clock to control it. the Arpeggiator does work in Pro Tools controlling the tempo. It has locked up and I had to reboot it.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No
           
          4.0

          Very nice controller

          By zonja

          from Falls Church, VA

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Rugged
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • Bulky

          Best Uses

          • Live Performance
          • Production
          • Studio

          Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

          I use the CTRL49 strictly as a traditional MIDI controller (I don't use Windows or Mac OS X so it is impossible for me to use the VIP software) and even in that respect, it is very good. The semi-weighted keys feel pretty good, not perfect for me but it's definitely not flimsey. I know that i can bang on these all day and night at a performance and the action won't fail on me. Very good pitch and mod wheels and octave buttons make this a very good 49 key keybed. Used strictly as a MIDI controller, I have total control of the knobs, pads, buttons, faders, DAW control buttons, and the (very cool) arpeggiation capabilities so even without the VIP system, this is a really expressive controller if you can even consider a controller expressive. If you have a mac or pc, you'll probably be astounded by the possibilities VIP gives you, too, but I can't comment.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          take my advice

          By skellz16

          from miami

          See all my reviews

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • good build quality

          Cons

          • software is awful and restrictive

          Best Uses

          • giant paper weight

          Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

          I read bad reviews after buying the product and seeing it in person. I thought it was well built and people just like to make a fuss out of minor issues or don't take the time to figure out whats going on. Well I installed correctly and read from one official site to the next to get little nuggets of information. Now I understand their frustration. To sum it all up I'd say I wouldn't recommend this product. Don't buy MAUDIO its a headache. Firstly the software is full of glitches. It will give an error message before completing boot-up. Imagine glitches in a live setting... Most of your quality vsts use some sort of stand-alone software like UVI Workstation and kontakt. Don't expect that to work well. You will be using the mouse more than the keyboard instrument which is the complete opposite of what its advertised to do!! And those giant faders taking up half of the control surface? If you think you can manipulate it to do whatever you decide think again!! Its designed for DAW use only.(???) The screen is useless too. No useful information. If you want to understand whats going on look at your computer screen. This product has been out a months now and its... wow.... Talk about frustrating...I can go on but I give up. Don't buy!!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No
           
          5.0

          Solid midi keyboard

          By skellz16

          from miami

          See all my reviews

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • 20Gb of creation software free
          • Loaded with features
          • Well built

          Cons

          • None

          Best Uses

          • Home studio
          • Live performance

          Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

          First of all let me make note of the great deals Musician's Friend offers every once in a while. I got this on sale and its one of the best deals I've gotten in a while. Really good feeling keys, no flex and not toy like. I wish there were more but it fits perfectly on my desk. The nobs and levers are solid feeling and there's a respectable amount of weight to the whole device. The software works from the get go. No complaints. I am more than satisfied and I recommend it over anything 500 and under.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No
           
          5.0

          It works for me

          By jfunk

          from frederick, md

          Pros

          • easy setup with reaper and pro tools
          • looks nice
          • works well

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about M-Audio CTRL49 Controller Keyboard:

              Honestly, I just downloaded everything it told me to and everything just happened to be really easy to use and work. There's a lot of other reviews saying this thing is a piece of junk (m audio stuff is junk imo), but this thing ended up being nice to me. It feels and looks expensive. The features are very useful and the plug ins that come with it are pretty nice too.

              Displaying reviews 1-15

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