The latest lineup of controllers from Alesis carries one of the more affordable mini MIDI keyboards out there alongside updated versions of its Q-series 49- and 88-key models. All compatible with Mac/PC as well as iOS devices, the new Q mini MIDI keyboard is the real highlight here, offering up a particularly capable package and even more affordable price tag. Head below for a closer look.
New Alesis Q mini MIDI keyboard
The new Alesis Q mini MIDI keyboard packs 32 keys inside a frame not much wider than a typical laptop. Described as the “ultimate on-the-go songwriting and production companion,” you’re looking at velocity-sensitive keys and full compatibility with any DAW or production app that accepts MIDI — which is basically all of them.
From there, Q mini sports a modest yet useable side-mounted control panel for basic MIDI controller functionality. It carries buttons for octave switching as well as transposition, general and assignable modulation and volume controls, and trusty pitch bending (in the form of buttons as opposed to the more typical roller wheel). Although you will have to trade out the more familiar sustain input jack (for sold-separately MIDI sustain pedals) in favor of a secondary sustain button function. It essentially works the same as its pedal counterpart, but in a top-mounted button form factor.
Alongside compatibility with Mac/PC out of the box, as well as iOS devices with the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter (sold separately), new Alesis Q mini MIDI keyboard comes with a host of bundled software. It includes a copy of Pro Tools First and MPC Beats, both of which coming with “tons of professional-grade sounds and virtual instruments,” alongside “60 free lessons” from Melodics to “sharpen your keyboard skills.”
The Alesis Q mini MIDI keyboard is now available for purchase at $59 with a January 28, 2021, release date. The new Alesis Q49 MKII and Q88 MKII are starting from $109 and $229, respectively, and include the same bundled software package.
While there’s nothing overly new in terms of functionality here, any time we see the big brands launch a new model in the sub $100 price category it’s worth a look. A quick browse through our latest roundup of the best full-size and mini MIDI keyboards out there will show just how notable of a price tag the Q mini really carries. The next best bet for a brand-name sub $100 MIDI controller falls to the $79+ Arturia MicroLab with just 25 keys. While we would have preferred to see a proper pitch bend wheel or slide pad on the Q mini, there’s no denying how affordable this Mac and iOS MIDI keyboard is.
Just be sure to take a look at the new Gibson iOS/Android guitar app and the now available Moog Model 15 synth for Mac.
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