M-Audio CTRL49 | 49-Key USB/MIDI Smart Controller with Full-Color Screen (8 pads / 8 knobs / 8 buttons / 9 faders)
- Premium USB/MIDI controller and drum pad with Integrated 4.3" high-resolution color screen
- Custom 49-key M-Audio semi-weighted key bed with after touch
- Pitch bend and modulation wheels, dedicated pad bank, transport control, octave, and performance buttons
- Expression pedal and footswitch inputs; 5-Pin MIDI In/Out
- Now Includes Pro Tools | First and Eleven Lite for all new and existing customers, as well as Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) M-Audio CTRL 49
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From the manufacturer
Create, Transform, Remix, Go Live
The M-Audio 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 without breaking the bank.
Revolutionary Production Workflow!
The CTRL49’s integrated high-resolution full-color display and robust hardware controls instantly auto-map themselves to your favorite VST plugin controls using the included Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) software.
1st Class Software Package Included
Need we say more about the included software package? Ableton Live Lite, AIR Creative FX Collection, Vacuum Pro, Loom, Hybrid 3, Xpand!2, Velvet, Transfuser and SONiVOX Eighty Eight Ensemble, VIP 3.1. Professional software, no price tag.
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The M-Audio CTRL49 is a premium 49-key USB/MIDI controller that combines the creative power of Virtual Studio Technology (VST) instruments and FX plugins with dedicated Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) fader and transport controls to create an entirely hands-on production experience.
The CTRL49's integrated high-resolution full-color display and robust hardware controls instantly auto-map themselves to your VST plugin 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 plugin controls as well as your DAW channel level, solo, mute, record, select and transport controls—all without ever reaching for the computer.
The VIP software and CTRL49 also work together to give you even deeper access to sorting and manipulating your VST virtual instrument and FX plugin library. An integrated patch browser presents every patch for every VST plugin you have, and lets you to quickly filter, select and preview patches based on their specific attributes. You can layer patches together (from up to 8 different VST plugins) to create new patches and timbres. You can also create setlists that provide instant on-demand access to your instruments for stage performance and studio work.
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 that you’ve been waiting for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I download the software?
You will find download links for most of the software on your M-Audio account page after registering the CTRL49. VIP, Hybrid, Vacuum Pro, Loom, and Xpand!2 will all be included in a single download. The AIR Creative FX Collection and Eighty-Eight Ensemble will be separate download links on your account page.
Transfuser and Velvet will be available from your VIP store after VIP has been installed and activated (Select STORE from the main browser in VIP). You can also use the store to download any of the other included plugins, including Eighty-Eight Ensemble, and even some complimentary expansion packs for Hybrid (Mark Knight and Rene Amesz expansions).
Ableton will be available via download from the Ableton website. You will find a card with download instructions and authorization code included in the box.
Does the CTRL49 require any drivers?
Yes, there are drivers necessary for both Windows and Mac OS X for integration with VIP. The latest drivers will be available directly on your account page, as well as from the Drivers & Updates page.
Does the CTRL49 require a power supply?
Yes, the CTRL49 will be provided with a necessary power supply. This is an external, auto-switching 9V 800mA supply.
What is VIP?
VIP, or Virtual Instrument Player is a unique software interface that automatically maps your favorite VST plugins (instruments and effects) to controls on your keyboard. VIP comes as both a standalone VST player and a VST, AU, and AAX plugin to bring VST control into your favorite DAW. The software was initially developed for use with the Akai Pro Advance series but is now integrated with the Alesis VX49 and the M-Audio CTRL49.
Some of the keys aren't working. Are they broken?
If most of the keys on the keyboard have stopped working, this may be because of the keyboard's setup as a Mackie control surface. If the wrong MIDI port has been assigned to the Mackie control surface input, this may route the MIDI note data from the keys to the Mackie control surface instead of your virtual instrument. Please make sure to use the CTRL49 Mackie/HUI ports when selecting input and output ports for your Mackie Control Surface in your DAW.
My faders are affecting the pitch wheels in Ableton. Is this normal?
Similar to the last question, this is also related to Mackie and the ports selected during the set up. If the CTRL49 Mackie/HUI port is activated as a MIDI input, the MIDI data from your faders may be sent to your virtual instrument, affecting the pitch of the instrument instead of the faders in your DAW. To prevent this, make sure that the CTRL49 Macki/HUI port is not activated as a MIDI input for your instrument track. For example, in Ableton, this may include turning off "Track" for the CTRL49 Mackie/HUI input port, or in Cubase, assigning your instrument track input as CTRL49 USB, instead of "All MIDI Inputs."
Can the knobs, switches and pads be used outside of VIP?
Yes! While VIP is closed the knobs, switches (buttons below the knobs on the right), and pads will default to normal MIDI operation. Simply press the MIDI button to enter the MIDI control screen. Continue to press the MIDI button to view either the knobs, switches or pads.
To change the assignment of a parameter, simply highlight the chosen parameter by touching it or using the cursor buttons and press down on the Data Dial to enter the MIDI Edit Mode. Use the cursor buttons and data dial to change the editable parameters on the screen such as Type, CC#, MIDI Channel, Min/Max, etc. You can use the MIDI button to again scroll through pages of editable parameters on the CTRL49 including:
- Footswitch input
- Expression input
- Mod Wheel
- Pitch Wheel
What if VIP is open and I want to use the knobs and switches with my DAW?
While VIP is open (whether in standalone or plugin operation) the knobs, switches and pads will automatically default to communicate with VIP. But, you can quickly exit VIP mode and jump into MIDI Mode by simply pressing the MIDI button. Press the Control button to return to VIP control. You can continue to play your instruments in VIP, even when in MIDI Mode.
Can I use the CTRL49 with my external MIDI gear?
Yes! When no USB cable is connected, the CTRL49 will automatically default to sending all MIDI messages out to the MIDI Output port. If you do have the CTRL49 connected via USB and still want to send MIDI data out through the MIDI Output port, you have two options:
- To send MIDI directly from the keyboard to the MIDI Output port, press the GLOBAL button to change the Common Channel to B1-16. The A channels are for USB, the B channels are for the MIDI Output. You can also use the MIDI Edit mode to assign specific parameters to be sent out of a B channel to the MIDI Output port.
- Route MIDI data from your DAW or other midi software to the MIDI Output port by choosing CTRL49 MIDI as your output port. For example, you can create a MIDI track in your DAW with CTRL49 USB as the input and CTRL49 MIDI as the output to route all incoming MIDI data from the CTRL49 back out to its own MIDI Output.
Why won't the CTRL49 turn off when I press the power button?
To power off the CTRL49, hold down the power button for about 3 seconds. This works as a precaution to prevent accidentally powering off the keyboard.
What does the SPLIT button do?
The SPLIT button is a quick way to access a VIP feature that allows you to split the keyboard between different plugins in your VIP multi. This works a little like the classic split or zone features found on many keyboards, except without the need to use different MIDI channels or additional routing.
Simply press the SPLIT button and use the Lo Key and Hi Key options to change the range of keys you'd like for the particular patch. Use the cursor buttons to select the different options and the data dial to change the value. Press the SPLIT button again to cycle through and select the next multi slot.
Further Technical Support
Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own an M-Audio product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the M-Audio technical support team is available to help!
Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.
- M-Audio Support Contact
- (49) velocity- and pressure-sensitive keys
- 128-note range with Octave Down/Up buttons
- (1) Pitch-bend wheel
- (1) Modulation wheel
- Faders: (9) Mackie Control/HUI faders
- (8) 360° assignable encoders
- (1) 360° encoder with push function for display navigation
- Pads: (8) velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads, multicolor-backlit
- (33) function switches, single color-backlit
- (11) Mackie Control/HUI switches, multicolor-backlit
- (8) assignable switches, amber-backlit
- (4) directional cursor buttons, red-backlit
- Display: 3.75” x 2.125” (95.3 mm x 54 mm) full-color LCD
- (1) USB port
- (1) 1/4” (6.35mm) TS sustain pedal/footswitch input
- (1) 1/4” (6.35mm) TRS volume/expression pedal input
- (1) 5-pin MIDI input
- (1) 5-pin MIDI output
- (1) power adapter input
- (1) Kensington lock slot
- Power: via 9V DC, 800 mA, center-positive (included)
- Dimensions(width x depth x height): 32.04” x 12.36” x 4.08”
- Weight: 13.22 lbs
- VIP SOFTWARE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
- 2 GB free disk space for basic installation, 20GB free disk space for full content installation
- 4 GB RAM (8 GB recommended)
- Multi-core CPU
- 1280 x 768 pixel screen resolution
- Mac OS X 10.8 or later
- Windows 7 32-Bit, Windows 7 64-Bit, Windows 8 64-Bit, or later
- HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS
- (1) available USB port
- 200 MB free disk space
- Power Adapter
- USB Cable
- Software Download Cards
- Quickstart Guide
- Safety & Warranty Manual
Top customer reviews
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This is my 3rd midi keyboard. Before I used a 2nd gen (blue) M-Audio Oxygen 61 key midi keyboard, and a 1st gen Akai mpk mini. This is without a doubt a much more high-end product compared to the other two.
It both looks and feels
very nice. The keyboard keys are semi-weighted and feel nice enough. A huge step up from the non-weighted keys on my other controllers. I can't really compare it with other semi-weighted controllers since I don't have another one. I did try out the Akai MPK249 in store a few months ago, and I think it felt better than the CTRL, but the CTRl doesn't feel bad at all. I personally would like more resistance to the keys more like piano keys.
The drum pads are nice. Much more responsive than the MPK minis. Knobs have a slight resistance to them which is good. They spin all the way around. Faders and buttons are fine as well. They keyboard seems well-made. I don't have any complaints about it. I suppose a minor complaint is that the keys are unevenly spaced. Not terrible but if you look at it, there are some slightly larger-than-normal gaps. It doesn't affect playing.
This is arguably the more important half of the keyboard controller.
It is highly tweakable/customizable. If you don't like how the keyboard & pads play/feel, you can change their sensitivities and curves.
The faders and transport controls are easily configured to the DAW of your choice. The controller has default configurations for a few popular DAWs. Setting it up in Reaper was real easy. I like the number of functions they were able to assign to each button. The buttons below each fader can arm, mute, solo, or select each track.
There are four banks for the drum pads, allowing 48 unique pads. You can use the controller as a regular MIDI controller, setting CC control signals to the knobs/buttons/pads. I know through the VIP software, there are four banks for the knobs and buttons as well, but if you want to use the keyboard without VIP, it looks like you're limited to 1 bank for the knobs and buttons. (someone correct me if I'm wrong).
However, the main reason for getting this keyboard is for the VIP software. It is really neat. To start off, you use VIP to scan all of your different VSTs. I've got Reaktor 6, Kontakt 5 in, as well as Eighty EIght, Hybrid, Loom, Vacuum Pro, and Xpand!2 which either comes with VIP or as separate downloads for getting the CTRL.
If you don't already know, the VIP software allows you to browse your whole patch/vst library right on your keyboard. There is less fidgeting between your keyboard and computer in order to browse your patches and map/edit your controls although you can do everything you need on the computer if you need (and some things are easier/faster).
A neat feature of VIP are Multis. In multis, you can add 8 different VSTs on 8 different channels and combine them in various ways ( muting, soloing, changing the volume). You can also add up to 4 different effects on each channel.
There is a lot more I can say about VIP, and still some things I haven't yet learned/discovered (like Set Lists), but this review is horribly cluttered. Perhaps if anyone would like I could do a video review and/or walkthrough. I know there's only been one unboxing of it on YT.
Overall, the keyboards been great. Learning VIP and how to navigate via the keyboard has a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it's not bad. Included VSTs are also great. (Eighty eight has some great pianos/keyboards, Hybrid is a great subtractive synthesis VST.) Also included is a key for Ableton Live 8 lite and a host of AIR VST effects.
I had no trouble connecting the controller to my PC and had the drivers installed within a matter of minutes. However, the VIP software (and all the extras) took a bit longer as I had to download over 6gb of software. I had to go to M-Audio and register, then I had to install said previously mentioned software, THEN I had to input the software keys from the website, THEN I had to deal with the licensing software (Which gave me problems the first couple of times I attempted to authenticate). See what I'm getting at here?
The whole installation process could've been a lot smoother. I have the product up and running, but it took QUITE a while to do so.
All-in-all, the CTRL49 is a great MIDI controller. I would just suggest that M-Audio look at different installation options.