Alesis QX49

Alesis QX49 USB/MIDI Keyboard Announced

UPDATE: Our review of the QX49 is now here!

The 49 key controller market is pretty saturated, but most of the products in it have something small to differentiate them from the pack. The Alesis QX49 looks like it’s shooting for the midrange players in the market, with a decent feature set including eight faders, eight 7 o’clock – 5 o’clock knobs, transport controls, and four pads which look like they are probably the same as the Akai LPD8/MPK Mini offerings.

The Alesis QX49 looks like it’s shooting for the midrange players in the market

Nothing particularly special there, although interesting features like the purported ability to split the keyboard to allow different instrument control and the included Alesis edition of Ableton Live Lite could help give the keyboard an edge.

Its success will, I imagine, depend largely on its price point, although I’ll have to get my hands on it to see whether the overall quality of the QX49 can outshine the competition.

  • Shugs

    that actually looks quite sik. i want to know if its as good as the axiom 49, can yu let me know?

    • Grey

      It has a few extra feature that the Axiom doesn’t have like midi out and the ability to split the keyboard so you can play more then one instrument at a time. It also has a snazzy LCD display, I forget if the Axiom has a display?

  • Grey

    I just bought it tonight (QX49). I’m not sure if I’ll fool around with it tonight though, maybe tomorrow. I originally bought the Q49 a few weeks ago then I heard about the QX and decided to return it and spend the extra cash for the faders, pads, and knobs that the QX comes with. I liked the feel of the Q49 though and this new model is the same thing with extra controls.

    • Chris

      I hope it works out for you Grey! One is coming in for review soon…

      • Grey

        Hey Chris,

        I fooled around with it early this morning (2:00am-4:00am). One problem right off the bat was notes sustaining indefinitely. I had to unplug the USB and quiet my sampling programs a few times before it finally started working correctly. I used the panic/null button but that didn’t seem to help at all most of the time. It eventually started working properly though there were some minor glitches. I’m not sure if it’s the USB driver that automatically loads when you plug in the keyboard in or if the problem is on my end. Would you have any ideas on what usually causes this problem?

        I’ll report back after I’ve spent more time using it.

        • Chris

          A late night session, like it! That sounds like a power issue – do you have any other USB devices plugged in to your computer? It’s often the case that internal connections such as laptop mice and keyboards share a USB connection with an external port too – does the problem arise no matter where the keyboard is plugged in? Try switching your USB cable too, in case you have a bit of a problem with a wire in it. If it is a power issue, the problem will disappear if you plug the keyboard into the mains or put some batteries in it too. Let me know how it goes!

          • Grey

            I will man, I was thinking the same thing. I have various USB ports on my computer (I built it myself). I’m using one of the two USB ports in the front of the computer. I have a Yamaha Audio Interface plugged in up front also. Maybe I should move the Yamaha AI to one of the back USB ports? I also have a wireless mouse and keyboard that is using up one of the USB ports on the back.

            I’m brand new to midi so my experience level is a joke. Some of the things seem fairly confusing to me. I need to learn how to program all of the pads, sliders and knobs in conjunction with the programs I use (Massive, Kontakt, etc.) I don’t even know what a C.C.# is? I use Reaper as my main DAW.


            Thanks Chris.

          • Chris

            Maybe the QX49 doesn’t have a battery compartment, apologies if not! You could try a mains power assisted USB hub if you’re running out of dedicated USB slots, and have a quick check on your motherboard stats to see where you have actual discrete ports and where different sockets are really sharing a single connection. There’s always the slight chance that you might be pushing your power supply to its maximum take, but that’s a test for another day!

            The new series of tutorials is just about ready to hit Oh Drat so stick around and I’ll break everything down – MIDI CC (Control Change) is the part of the MIDI spec that sends non-note based information, so your knobs and sliders etc… if you have any further questions or suggestions please feel free to email me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

          • Grey

            I’m definitely going to need help Chris, thank you.

            I’ll take a look at my motherboard specs to see which USB ports are dedicated. What software do you use with your midi controllers?

            Thanks man.

          • Chris

            You’re welcome! As far as software, I use a variety of things and will show as many as possible to illustrate the constants as well as each one’s unique features – expect Reason, Record, Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Maschine, Reaper and more!

          • Grey

            I was thinking more along the lines of sample-based programs like Kontakt and Massive, Sample Tank, etc. Basically the programs I use that provide the sounds my midi controller uses. I’m glad you’re including Reaper in the DAWs you mentioned. I used to use Cubase but switched to Reaper because it’s more intuitive for me.

            Would you like me to post my experiences with the QX49 in the next few hours/days? I don’t want to irritate you or take up too much of your time.

            Thanks again Chris.

          • Chris

            Oh I see! Well, in that respect I use a wide variety of software and try and review as much as possible – I have three or four synth reviews that will be posted over the next week or so.

            I am just about to install a forum into Oh Drat to provide a place for production based chat – it’ll be running in the next couple of days and will be the perfect place for you to write your feelings and get more help!

          • Grey

            I think I’m going to clean out the inside of my PC today and get rid of all the dust. It’s due for a spring cleaning. I can’t find mthe manual for my motherboard but I think the two USB ports in the front of the computer might be different from the eight I have in the back. Four out of the 8 USB ports are 2.0, the others aren’t, maybe that ‘s the problem? I do have a wall powered USB hub floating around somewhere, I just don’t know where.

            I look forward to learning from you Chris, thanks again.

        • Wubupon

          I had the same issue with it, but that was because I had inadvertently unplugged my sustain pedal while I was playing. I am using it with Reason and need to learn how to really set it up so that it can operate reason’s controls. Otherwise, this is a pretty good buy. 

          • Grey

            Hey man,

            Most of the controls are easily assigned by right-clicking on the effect or parameter in whatever program you are using. As for saving and programing everything via the controller itself I haven’t really been playing for the past few months at all. I go in and out creativity wise and don’t play my instruments sometimes for months. Then I suddenly get the urge to play again and get back into it. Maybe that’s why I don’t accomplish much? :)

  • George

    I just bought this keyboard and was excited like many of you. I can’t find a driver for it though and it subsequently won’t work in pro tools 8 or in FL studio. I am using Windows 7 64 bit. Any suggestions? I am mainly trying to use it for pro tools through the USB connection.

    • Ben

      Hi george, i had this problem. What you need to do is update the firmware on the keyboard itself, using this

      If that still doesnt do it, follow this:

      These steps require that you modify the windows registry.


      Hold down function/Windows key and press the letter R. This will open the Run window.

      Type in: regedit to open the Registry Editor

      Press CTRL + F on the keyboard to open the search window. Copy and paste the following key in the “Find what” field.

      (make sure there are no leading or trailing spaces)

      There will be several registry keys that look very similar. You can confirm that the search function has located the correct key because the (Default) value is “Sound, video and game controllers” and the Class is “MEDIA”

      Right-click in the right hand pane and choose New -> Multi-String Value
      Under the Name column right-click “New Value” and select Rename and type :” UpperFilters” (case-sensitive) (without quotationmarks).

      Double-click UpperFilters and under Value data , type :”ksthunk” (case-sensitive) (no quotationmarks).

      Click File Exit to close the Registry Editor and reboot .

      Hope it helps

      • Gezo

        I think this is the ONLY thing on the entire internet that actualy works!

      • Gezo

        I think this is the ONLY thing on the entire internet that actualy works!

  • Nora Kane

    My husband bought a qx49 a few weeks ago but cannot get any sound from it. He is too proud to give the shop a ring and ask for help.
    Anyone out there have an answer?

    • Nevik Reyemein

      Nora, not sure if you got your answer yet, or not, but you have to have a program like abbleton or reason as the sound module for the qx49. It doesn’t have it’s own sound module. It’s just a controller for one.

  • Jlird808

    Can anyone comment on its intergration with Cubase? 

    I see that there’s a Cubase Controller Map but I can’t find anyone online that’s actually used it. At this price, I don’t know why it’s not more popular, its almost half the price of the axiom mkii!Makes me think there might be something wrong with it…though the axioms have their issues too.

  • Will Edwards

    Does anyone know if the Qx49 can connect to Reason. I’m trying to do so and Reason isn’t receiving the messaging sent from the Qx49. The computer is connected to it though!!

  • kaasie

    i do have this keyboard to and tried it with reason 5 and windows 7 (64) and it does work..
    but the alesisi qx49 is not included in the ad list, only the alesis photon x25..
    if select that one allmost all controls work but not like it must be..
    the slider can be a knob then as an example
    you can also select other, and then try some options there..
    so open reason go edit, then preferences then keyboard and control surfaces..
    for driver issue’s you can go to the site from alesis, they gave out an firmware update that should also fix the sustain problem go to docs and downloads..
    i am still looking how i can set all like it must be so, this is all i know for now

  • Nar City

    That controller is trash. Get the Akai pro or Novation even M-Audio.
    Wish I never bought it!!!

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