Yamaha KX49 49-Key Keyboard MIDI Controller

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Includes Cubase AI4, HALion One software and X Factor DVD. Built-in arpeggiator.
The Yamaha KX49 USB Keyboard Studio (hereafter referred to as the “KX Series”) were conceived and designed to support creativity and MIDI music composition without getting in the way. Based on a range of innovative features with advanced software integration and connectivity via a single USB cable, these control keyboards help create an efficient environment that supports traditional music production workflow.

They also feature a range of drum, guitar, bass, keyboard and other musical phrases built in, minimizing the need for complex manual MIDI data programming. Complete compositions can easily be created with just one finger. Of course Yamaha keyboard know-how acquired and refined through years of experience offers feel and response that provide optimum musical control and comfort for smooth production.

The KX series derives its superior feel from a long lineage of Yamaha pianos and keyboards with its own high-quality Yamaha keyboard action. With the addition of four assignable control knobs, dedicated performance controls, and DAW integration controls for soft synths and sequencers functions, the KX Series is a complete USB MIDI Studio that is as comfortable on stage as it is in the studio.

The KX Series enables easy song creation with its built-in arpeggio function. Inspired by the Motif ARP phrases, these arpeggios can be played back by the included HALion One softsynth using sound content from the Yamaha Motif or the VST Mega Pack Bundle featuring exclusive content read more from IK Multimedia, BFD, and Arturia. A dedicated control section on the KX enables complete control of sounds and content.

The KX USB Studio includes Cubase AI, a special Advanced Integration version of Steinberg's legendary music production software. Cubase AI is conveniently controlled via a dedicated control section on the KX, turning it into a complete music production solution.

The KX Series is also bundled with the new X Factor DVD from Yamaha. This DVD contains a massive collection of sounds and VST instruments from industry leaders like IK Multmedia, Sonic Reality, FXpansion, Arturia and Keyfax. In addition to the bundled sounds there are thousands of dollars worth of rebate coupons and added values from Antares, ASK Video, Broadjam, Electronic Musician, Electrix, Garritan, KeytoSound, Obedia, Steinberg and Tunecore.
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KX Series Keyboards System Requirements

Windows Vista
Computer: 1 GHz or faster Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron family processor, with USB terminal.

RAM: 1 gigabyte minimum

Windows XP Professional/XP Home Edition
Computer: 750 MHz or faster Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron family processor, with USB terminal

RAM: 128 megabytes minimum

Macintosh
Compatible OS: Mac OS X 10.3.3 or later

Computer: PowerPC G3 or later processor, with USB terminal

RAM: 128 megabytes minimum

Accessories Included
AC Adapter PA-3C, CD-ROM x 2, USB Cable x 1, Owner's manual
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 714-522-9011
(6 ratings)
Submitted July 3, 2008 by a customer from verizon.net
"Tried and true"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I expect to use this keyboard for a long time.

Sound
Obviously, this midi controller doesn't have a sound, so I based my score on latency. If you get yourself a good computer and make sure your software is set up properly this keyboard has less than 2 MS of latency, which feels like no latency to me.

Features
I give it a 9 only because it doesn't have aftertouch. But I'm not much of a keyboard player, so no aftertouch doesn't bother me. This is actually a plus for me, since it prevents me from setting off the aftertouch accidentally. There is a mod wheel, same thing as far as I'm concerned. One thing I like about this keyboard is that all of the buttons are layed out on top of the keyboard, clearly marked. You don't have to go digging into some digital nether region to find what you need. On the other hand, this keyboard comes with a complete computer-based recording studio. Of course, it is in the form of gimped software that you will have to upgrade, which will cost you hundreds of dollars. But it's better than a sharp stick in the eye. The big advantage that this keyboard has is the DAW controls, which work splendidly with Cubase 4. The keyboard has built-in settings for Sonar, LogicPro, and Digital Performer, so I am assuming that it works just as well with them. But I can't testify to it. One last thing I want to mention is the variable

Ease of Use
This would read more have been a 10, but the manual failed to mention that before you can power the keyboard using USB you have to set the midi out setting to USB. I spent at leat an hour screaming at this thing before I accidentally found the setting and changed it. On the other hand, once you get the drivers installed KX windows start popping up in all of your menus. They really went out of their way to make this compatible with 3rd party software.

Quality
It's plastic, but its hard plastic. It's very light. But it is very solid. The keys, wheels, buttons and knobs are all very solid, there is no play, and the connection with the computer is accurate and immediate.

Value
I bought this keyboard strictly for the keyboard, and I am satisfied. The software meant little to me (I now have TWO gimped versions of Cubase4 which I haven't opened because I own Cubase4). But to someone just starting out with a computer-based studio the software could be very valuable. They have a code you can enter where you are supposed to be able to upgrade ALL of the software at once. I didn't use it so I don't know how much it is, but it's probably worth it. Analog Factory 2 is a rockin' little VST with big fat old analog patches. Worth the price of admission.

Manufacturer Support
The website for the IK Multimedia software offer doesn't even exist, so you can't download the "Free Sounds" that are offered with the DVD. I found the Yamaha website (like everything else about this keyboard) to be a little dated and slow, like the slow, steady, reliable company that Yamaha is. Maybe I should call them conservative.

The Wow Factor
I shopped hard for this. It was the best fit for my situation. But Yamaha is not a "sexy" company. It is the tried and true, reliable company.

Musical Background:
Recording Songwriter

Musical Style:
Rock, blues, instrumental, ambient
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