Review: Alesis QX49


Miniaturisation has been vogue for some years now – 25 key keyboards were first, and then mini controls blocks saw 49 and upwards sized keyboards increasingly forgotten in the budget market. Alesis know that when it comes to keyboard control, bigger can be better; here we have the QX49, a 49 key controller with a host of features. How does it fare?

In/Out: USB out, MIDI out, MIDI out from computer.

Bundled: Ableton Live Lite 8 Alesis Edition

Dimensions: (WxDxH) 32″ x 9″ x 3″

Weight: 5.9lbs

Styling wise, the QX49 nails the smart casual look with matt black plastic, round bevelled edges and an ice blue backlit display.

The QX49 nails the smart casual look

The pads illuminate red when pushed – the transport controls don’t, though, however much they look like they might.

The QX49’s main attraction however is the sheer number of controls it features for its knockdown price. As well as a 49 key keyboard with dedicated pitch and mod wheels there are eight faders, eight pots, four velocity pads, transport controls and system buttons. You also get expression pedal input, a MIDI out for the keyboard and a thru from the computer. There’s a 9V DC power option for controlling other hardware (not included), although the QX49 takes power directly over USB.

All these features do come at a price, though… and in lieu of the actual price tag going up, build quality inevitably takes a hit.

The top panel bows when banging on the pads and tweaking the controls

The top panel bows when banging on the pads and tweaking the controls, and whilst it doesn’t feel like there’s any danger of it breaking it does have have an effect on the feel.

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  • Chipz

    I’m just a bedroom guy, i think i;ll get on until i can move onto something bigger and better!

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  • Julian

    hey guys.. I just got one of these and it seem to have a sustain problem even without using a sustain pedal(sometimes the sound just get “stuck”)..
    Is there any solution for this problem???

  • anony

    Same here – bizarre sustain problems when I haven’t connected a sustain pedal, and when I do plug in a sustain pedal it doesn’t behave properly. Not good. 

  • Tim S

    Same problem here, but unfortunately not a solution. When the sustain pedal isn’t connected, the sustain value is 127, so every note will “hold”. When the pedal is connected, and not pressed, it varies very fast between 70 and 95, which causes a delay. I’ve tested it with 2 different pedals. I didn’t find a solution for this problem, so tomorrow it goes back to the place I bought it.
    Greetings from the Netherlands…

  • Trax4capacity

    ok so ive only had this controller for 4 days and mines wqas doing the sustain thing to now i think ive found out how to fix it ok first theres a value that say 127 on there use the – button to take it down to 0 then hit ADVANCED then STORE then ADVANCED again to turn it off go to your DAW an play around with it hope it work also follow me on twitter for any other question @ TheRealCapacity im still learning how to use it myself

  • marlicomrecordsinc

    ow man this sucks….so r u telling me that this device has an error in its sustain system….am not happy, but whats the issue really? i just biught this item hoping it will do good  but my music mainly deals wit the sustain….WICKED…..*very angry*

    South Africa loves you’ all

  • MC Rachi

    Can anyone help me by telling me how to Sync its midi controls(pads,knobs) to Reason 5??
    read the midi implementation chart and kinda doesnt make sense to me.Rachi, Uk

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