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Review MIDI keyboard Roland A-49 Black. Where to buy it?

Roland Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. Ikutaro Kakehashi founded the corporation in Osaka on April 18, 1972. I’ll tell you how this post is built. First I’ll list the features of this Roland A-49 Black keyboard. Then you have a video or two, purchase links and useful comments from other users, and then you have one of the most useful parts; tables of comparisons with similar keyboards so you can compare.

  • 49 large format sensitive keys
  • Compact design
  • Two regulators and two buttons
  • D-Beam Controller
  • Powered by USB
  • Sustain and Expression Pedal Connections (Jack)
  • MIDI out
  • USB Computer (USB type)
  • Dimensions: 836 x 182 x 84 mm
  • Weight: 2.5 kg
  • Color: Black

review roland-a-49-black
This MIDI keyboard is usually priced at around €169/£155/$169 and offers 49 sensitive keys in a large format (full size), in a range of 4 octaves where you can play melodies, chords, and other compositions using the samples from your favorite DAW libraries.

It also offers two knobs and two buttons that are assignable, which will also allow you to control some functions or parameters of the plugins you are using.

Its most relevant function is the D-Beam Controller, which is a Roland patent and is an infrared beam that is an interface that can control and manipulate sounds by hand movements interacting with an infrared light beam. The controller is usually mounted on the panel of the machine facing upward and detects the performer’s hand (or another body part) at a height of up to 40 cm (15 in.) above the device. Although controlled in a similar manner to a theremin, the operating principles are fundamentally different; the theremin uses capacitive detection.

It is powered via USB and offers sustain and expression pedal connections in addition to MIDI output.

Now that we have seen the features of this Roland A-49 Black keyboard look at these related videos to learn more.

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Roland A-49 Black vs Alesis V49

The Roland A-49 Black MIDI Keyboard is priced at €169/£155/$169 while the Alesis V49 is priced at €91/£79/$91. Having a difference of 74 Euro, we will see your face to face:

  • Both offer 49 keys with sensitivity, in the Alesis V49 they are square.
  • The Roland A-49 Black offers two knobs and two buttons both of which can be assigned, transport controls (rec, play, pause, stop) and a D-Beam controller, which is an infrared interface that is manipulated with the hand or another part of the body, where it works as a kind of theremin.
  • The Alesis V49 offers 8 speed-sensitive (MIDI language intensity) backlit pads, as well as 4 assignable knobs and 4 buttons. It shares visual information through the illuminated knobs and buttons.
  • Both can be powered via USB. And the Roland A-49 has connections for sustain and expression pedal, and MIDI output.
  • The Alesis V49 includes the Ableton Live Lite software license (download), Xpand! 2 software (download).

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Roland A-49 Black

Alesis V49

  • 49 large-format sensitive keys
  • Compact design
  • Two regulators and two buttons
  • D-Beam Controller
  • Powered by USB
  • Sustain and Expression Pedal Connections (Jack)
  • MIDI out
  • USB Computer (USB type B)
  • Size: 836 x 182 x 84 mm
  • Weight: 2.5 kg
  • Color: Black
  • 49 full-size keys
  • Square front keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive backlit pads
  • 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable buttons
  • Octave up and down buttons allow you to access the full keyboard range
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • Visual information through illuminated knobs and buttons
  • USB-powered and USB MIDI connectivity for Mac and PC
  • Includes USB cable, Ableton Live Lite software (download) and xpand!2 by Air Music Tech software (download)
  • Dimensions: 955 x 244 x 114 mm

In our first comparison, we have two MIDI controllers one of the brand Roland, the model A-49 Black, in reference to its color. It offers 49 sensitive keys, two knobs and 2 assignable buttons, and a D-Beam controller that allows you to control and manipulate sounds with hand movements thanks to its infrared beam, a very interesting function that cannot be found in any other brand as it is a Roland patent. On the other hand, the Alesis V49 offers 49 full-size keys with square fronts, 8 backlit pads, 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable buttons.

And here’s a video of the Alesis V49 keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Alesis V49 review.

Roland A-49 Black vs M-Audio Keystation 88 MkII

The Roland A-49 Black MIDI Keyboard and the M-Audio Keystation 88 MkII are priced at €169/£155/$169, being the same price, it will be a very interesting face-to-face:

  • Both offer keys with sensitivity, on the Roland we have 49 and on the M-Audio Keystation 88 Mk II .
  • The Roland A-49 Black offers two knobs and two buttons both of which can be assigned, transport controls (rec, play, pause, stop) and a D-Beam controller, which is an infrared interface that can be manipulated with the hand or another part of the body, where it works as a kind of theremin.
  • The M-Audio Keystation 88 MK II features pitch bend and modulation wheels and octave controls, plus transport buttons (play, rec, stop, etc).
  • Both can be powered via USB, and have connections for the sustain and expression pedals and MIDI output.
  • The M-Audio Keystation 88 MK II includes the Ableton Live Lite and the SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble plug-in.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Roland A-49 Black

M-Audio Keystation 88 MkII

  • 49 large-format sensitive keys
  • Compact design
  • Two regulators and two buttons
  • D-Beam Controller
  • Powered by USB
  • Sustain and Expression Pedal Connections (Jack)
  • MIDI out
  • USB Computer (USB type B)
  • Dimensions: 836 x 182 x 84 mm
  • Weight: 2.5 kg
  • Color: Black
  • 88 speed-sensitive full-size keys
  • USB MIDI connection for playing virtual instruments, controlling recording software and more
  • Transport and directional buttons to operate with DAWs and software
  • Pitch Bend, Modulation and Octave Controls
  • USB powered
  • Supports Plug-and-Play connectivity with Mac and PC
  • Lightweight design
  • IOS support using the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit (sold separately)
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite, a powerful software sequencer for music creation and live performance
  • Includes the SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble plug-in, a virtual piano instrument that captures a 9-foot Steinway CD327
  • USB port
  • 1 MIDI port
  • 6.3mm Expression Pedal Jack
  • Jack for 6.3mm sustain pedal
  • Operates via USB or optional power supply
  • Approximate dimensions: 1346 x 240 x 100mm
  • Weight: 7,30Kg approx.

In this comparison, we have good MIDI controllers according to their price and functions that are different, on one hand, the Roland A-49 Black that allows us to use some functions, among them the D-Beam that we have already analyzed before, and that for sure will help us to experiment a lot. And on the other hand the M-Audio Keystation 88 MkII offers us a wide range in its 7-octave keyboard that will allow us to play any musical composition. If you want something to experiment with that also has a keyboard, the Roland A-49 Black, and if you want to focus more on performance or composition, the M-Audio Keystation 88 is for you.

Here’s a video of the M-Audio Keystation 88 MkII keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the M-Audio Keystation 88 MkII review.

Roland A-49 Black vs Novation Impulse 49

The Roland A-49 Black MIDI Keyboard is priced at €169/£155/$169 while the Novation Impulse 49 is priced at €223/£205/$228. Having a difference of 74 euros between them. Let’s move on to the face-to-face:

  • Both offer 49 keys with sensitivity, in the case of the Novation Impulse 49 they are semi-balanced and with Aftertouch.
  • The Roland A-49 Black offers two knobs and two buttons both assignable, transport controls (rec, play, pause, stop) and a D-Beam controller, which is an infrared interface that is manipulated with the hand or another part of the body, where it works as a kind of theremin.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 offers 8 backlit Drum Pads, 9 assignable faders, 9 assignable buttons, 8 assignable knobs, 6 transport keys (rec, play, stop, pause) and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • Both can be powered by USB (USB port), have connections for sustain and expression pedal and MIDI output.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 includes the Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton Live Lite.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Roland A-49 Black

Novation Impulse 49

  • 49 large-format sensitive keys
  • Compact design
  • Two regulators and two buttons
  • D-Beam Controller
  • Powered by USB
  • Sustain and Expression Pedal Connections (Jack)
  • MIDI out
  • USB Computer (USB type B)
  • Size: 836 x 182 x 84 mm
  • Weight: 2.5 kg
  • Color: Black
  • 49 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW control and plug-in operation
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotary controllers
  • 6 transport keys
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • 2-octave keys
  • Arpeggiator
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB connection
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 846 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 5kg

In this interesting comparison, we have, on the side of the house to the Roland A-49 Black that as we have commented before has an outstanding function of D-Beam where we will be able to control and to manipulate sounds by means of our hand and an infrared ray, similar to a theremin. And on the other hand, we have a very complete MIDI controller, the Novation Impulse 49, just looking at its functions section in the table, we realize that we are with a versatile MIDI controller. So if you’re looking to experiment on Roland A-49 Black, and if you want a MIDI keyboard that allows you to fully control your DAW, the Novation Impulse 49 is your choice.

And here’s a video of the Novation Impulse 49 keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Novation Impulse 49 review.

Roland A-49 Black vs M-Audio Oxygen 61 Mk4

The Roland A-49 Black MIDI Keyboard is priced at €169/£155/$169 when the M-Audio Oxygen 61 Mk4 is priced at €155/£133/$154, but the difference is so small that this may vary depending on which shop we ask.

  • The Roland A-49 offers 49 keys with sensitivity, and in the case of the M-Audio Oxygen 61 MK4 offers 61 full-size, synthesizer-action keys
  • The Roland A-49 Black offers two knobs and two buttons both of which are assignable, transport controls (rec, play, pause, stop) and a D-Beam controller, which is an infrared interface that is manipulated by hand or another part of the body, where it functions as a kind of theremin.
  • The M-Audio Oxygen 61 Mk4 features 8 speed-sensitive trigger pads, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, and transport buttons for DAW control.
  • Both can be powered via USB, and have connections for the sustain pedal and MIDI output. The Roland A-49 also has an expression pedal connection.
  • The M-Audio Oxygen 61 Mk4 includes the SONiVOX Twist (Software), Ableton Live Lite (Software).

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so that you can compare

Roland A-49 Black

M-Audio Oxygen 61 Mk4

  • 49 large-format sensitive keys
  • Compact design
  • Two regulators and two buttons
  • D-Beam Controller
  • Powered by USB
  • Sustain and Expression Pedal Connections (Jack)
  • MIDI out
  • USB Computer (USB type B)
  • Size: 836 x 182 x 84 mm
  • Weight: 2.5 kg
  • Color: Black
  • 61 full-size speed-sensitive synthesizer action keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive trigger pads
  • 8 assignable knobs
  • 9 assignable faders
  • Transport buttons for DAW control
  • Automation for popular DAWs: Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, and more
  • LCD screen
  • USB powered
  • Plug-and-Play Support
  • MIDI-USB connectivity
  • Input for sustain pedal
  • Included software: Ableton Live Lite and SONiVOX Twist Synth
  • The box also includes: SONiVOX Twist (Software), Ableton Live Lite (Software), USB cable, quick start guide, warranty and safety manual
  • Dimensions: 977 x 243 x 94mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 3.4kg

In our penultimate comparison, we have two MIDI keyboards, the Roland A-49 Black that we have already analyzed, and its most curious function is that of the D-Beam. On the other hand, we have the M-Audio Oxygen 61 MK4, which offers a moderate list of control functions for our favorite DAW. In short, if you want to experience the Roland A-49 it will be your choice, but if you want to focus on controlling your DAW, the M-Audio Oxygen 61 Mk4 will be your choice.

Here is a video of the M-Audio Oxygen 61 Mk4 keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the M-Audio Oxygen 61 MK4 review.

Roland A-49 Black vs Arturia KeyLab Essential 61

The Roland A-49 Black MIDI Keyboard is priced at €169/£155/$169 while the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 is priced at €239/£215/$240. With a price difference of £70 between them, let’s move on to your face-to-face:

  • The Roland A-49 offers 49 keys with sensitivity, and in the case of the Arturia KeyLab, Essential 61 offers 61 full-size keys.
  • The Roland A-49 Black offers two knobs and two buttons, both of which are assignable, transport controls (rec, play, pause, stop) and a D-Beam controller, which is an infrared interface that is manipulated with the hand or another part of the body, where it functions as a kind of theremin.
  • The Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 offers 8 sensitive pads with Aftertouch, 1 pushable encoder, 9 assignable batteries, 13 buttons, a transport section with 4 function switches and tone and modulation wheels.
  • Both can be powered via USB, have connections for a sustain pedal and MIDI output. The Roland A-49 also has an expression pedal connection.
  • The Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 includes the SONiVOX Twist (Software), Ableton Live Lite (Software).

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Roland A-49 Black

Arturia KeyLab Essential 61

  • 49 large-format sensitive keys
  • Compact design
  • Two regulators and two buttons
  • D-Beam Controller
  • Powered by USB
  • Sustain and Expression Pedal Connections (Jack)
  • MIDI out
  • USB Computer (USB type B)
  • Size: 836 x 182 x 84 mm
  • Weight: 2.5 kg
  • Color: Black
  • With 61 speed-sensitive keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch
  • 1 encoder
  • 9 rotating knobs
  • 13 buttons
  • Transport section with 4 function switches
  • LCD screen
  • Tone and modulation wheel
  • Mode of interpretation of chords
  • Compatible with Mackie/HUI protocol
  • USB port
  • MIDI output
  • Connection for sustain pedal
  • Input for power supply (not included)
  • Native USB support
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lab 2, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software
  • Dimensions: 882 x 76 x 248mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3,3Kg
  • Attention: Internet connection required to authorize the product

In our last comparison, we found two MIDI controllers, on the one hand, the Roland A-49, which we have already analyzed before, and whose most interesting function is its D-Beam Controller. On the other hand, we have the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 that offers us functions such as 8 sensitive pads, 1 pushbutton encoder, 9 rotary knobs, 13 buttons, and so on. So, if you want to have a MIDI controller next to the D-Beam Controller that will allow you to experiment, while if you want a MIDI controller with many control functions (pads, knobs, buttons, push encoder) your choice will be the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61.

Here is a video of the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 review.

Which is the best of these MIDI keyboards if I am a beginner on a low budget?

While the answer to this question lies mostly in what specific need you have, for example, if you want to have a keyboard with the widest possible note range, or if you want to have as many control functions as possible, or perhaps a mix between the two, that is without leaving behind the different connections and software licenses that most MIDI controllers offer, we will give an objective opinion according to our experience in music production and thus also with the price that the controllers demand, a kind of value for money.

As a MIDI controller, we can mention the M-Audio Oxygen 61 Mk4 that for a fair price offers many control functions, among others we have: pads, knobs and faders all assignable to different functions or parameters in your preferred DAW. Its automation function is really useful to start composing directly by connecting to the computer. If you have the opportunity to acquire it, don’t think twice.

Where to buy the keyboard Roland A-49 Black

Amazon

  • Free Shipping and the possibility of shipping in one day with Amazon Premium.
  • Full Guarantee but they are no experts in music equipment.
  • Sometimes a better price.
  • He’s got worse stock than Thomann.

Thomann

  • Free Shipping.
  • Full warranty. If you have any problems, they take care of everything.
  • 100% reliable payment.
  • A leader in trouble-free shipping.
  • Usually the Best price.
  • Best Reputation: They are the leading online store in Europe and have the best catalog and information.

Also, look at these models with a similar price and features:

Jaime Echagüe

Hi! I'm Jaime Echagüe, a musician and an authentic fan of musical instruments. With this blog I want to give general information about musical instruments in an easy, direct and honest way. I hope you enjoy my website and that you find it very useful.

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