Alesis V61 Keyboard Controller

61-key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Eight Backlit Pads, Two Wheels, Four Assignable Knobs, and Four Assignable Buttons
Write review Item ID: V61
Alesis V61 Keyboard Controller image 1
Alesis V61 Keyboard Controller image 1
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Alesis V61 Keyboard Controller
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Compact Controller with Real Key Feel

Loaded with full-sized, synth-action keys, the V61 USB MIDI keyboard controller is perfect for using with virtual instruments, plug-ins, and other applications. You get the feel of large keys with a square front in a compact controller. Eight backlit, velocity- and pressure-sensitive LED pads let you tap out rhythms, trigger loops, and play synthesizers. A quartet of assignable knobs and buttons give you the power to map almost any function of your plug-ins to a tactile controller. Add that to the pitch and mod wheel, and you have a controller that's ready to take charge of your software. A single USB cable sends MIDI data and provides power to your keyboard. It also includes Ableton Live Lite 9 and a Software Preset/Parameter utility. Call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer for more information on the Alesis V61 USB MIDI keyboard controller.

Alesis V61 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller at a Glance:
  • A compact keyboard with tons of functionality
  • All of the controls you need, right where you need them to be
A compact keyboard with tons of functionality

The Alesis V61, with its 61-note synth-action keyboard, is ideal for two-handed performing - while remaining portable. The V61 gives you a bevy of controls, including pitch and mod wheels, transport controls, and a massive selection of pads, buttons and encoders. You have everything you need to take command of your virtual instruments and plug-ins in the studio or onstage. The flexibility and functionality of the Alesis V61 USB MIDI keyboard controller is something we at Sweetwater know most keyboard players will appreciate.

All of the controls you need, right where you need them to be

The Alesis V61 USB MIDI keyboard controller puts a wide selection of controls at your fingertips. First, there are the full-size keys themselves, all 61 of which give you velocity-sensitive control. You also get 8 backlit, velocity-sensitive drum pads let you tap out rhythms and trigger loops. Above the pads are 4 illuminated, assignable knobs and 4 illuminated, assignable buttons that can be programmed to control the parameters of your favorite virtual instruments. Add that to the pitch and modulation wheels and you have a controller that is ready to take on any project.

Alesis V61 Expressive USB Keyboard Controller Features:
  • Compact USB controller for controlling plug-ins and virtual instruments
  • Full-sized, synth-action keys with a square front
  • 8 velocity and pressure sensitive backlit pads
  • 4 illuminated, assignable knobs and 4 buttons
  • PitchBend and Modulation wheels
  • USB bus powered
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite Alesis Edition
The Alesis V61 is a compact and affordable USB MIDI keyboard controller!

Tech Specs

Number of Keys 61
Type of Keys Full-size, Synth-action
Pads 8
Other Controllers Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
Encoders/Pots 4 x Knobs, 4 x Buttons
Pedal Inputs 1 x Sustain
USB 1 x Type B
Height 4.5"
Width 44.1"
Depth 9.6"
Weight 11.5 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number V61

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
Write your review

Great Controller w/Great Features

This controller is exactly what I was looking for. BTW, Alesis includes there V61 software, which was fix for a velocity problem I was also having, like other reviews I have read. So, I read the manual and realized the controller was set to the wrong velocity curve setting. It was set to 4, which was non-linear, so I set it to 1, which is linear. It would have been better if was already programed to 1. Anyhow I give the V61 a 4.5 out of 5 because it doesn't have a built in note repeater for the drum pad and you can only switch the note settings via software, rather than being able to change the settings on the actual unit. But once you learn the software you realize it has some nice features. Regardless, Alesis has always had a great customer reputation and it sure looks nice lit up in blue on my new ProLine keyboard stand.
Music background: Recording Engineer, Composer, Audio Professional

Decent but could be better

Certain keys are not working as expected. I had to send the unit back. Sweet water was great and honored the warranty and shipped everything very quick. A few months after receiving the new unit, the key issue started up again.All in all, when it works, it does just fine. I haven't used it live, so I can't say much on that.
Music background: producer/worship leader

Don't buy this

I regret buying this. They completely cheaped out on the key bed so there is no consistency whatsoever with the velocity on playing the keys. You might be playing a soft, quite piano patch, and the all of a sudden one note will be hammered at full velocity and loudness, even though you played the key with the same sensitivity as the others. Also, reversely, you might find you have playing a drum/percussion part loudly on your keys where you need full velocity, but then some notes will drop out because although you have playing hard on your keys, some of them decided to play quietly. I bought this because it had the least real-estate on my work desk and is very compact and has only the necessary features. Something I was looking for for a long time, but its all a waste when you can't play it in real time and have to consistently replay, or go back and edit your performance. Its a piece of poop.

Can't say enough bad things about the board.

I wasn't expecting much for the price, but I was expecting "velocity sensitive keys" to actually be better than a Fisher Price keyboard.Out of the box, if you wish to use this controlling anything which requires a velocity input (eg. soft synths) you are out of luck. The default velocity curve setting is junk.So after downloading the required software to adjust to different preset velocity curve I realized it's not just the curve default preset that are the problem. The white keys no matter what velocity curve setting you choose will require you to pound the key to the point you think you are going to damage the unit to reach a ~100 velocity output. Playing as one would normally on any board (I've been playing piano for over 20 years) will output a velocity as if you were trying to hit the keys as light as possible on any other keyboard I have ever played.Then comes the kicker. The black keys are the exact opposite. They blare out max 127 velocity with about 1/4 of what is required for the white keys to put out 100 velocity. When I played a chromatic scale the volume spikes and dips proved this unit is unusable.It's been a while since I've been this disappointed in a product, perhaps because in my head I didn't think they could screw up this much even for a cheap midi controller.Steer Clear.
Music background: 20+ year hobbyist 10+ year home studio

Oh this is bad.

This thing looks great. It was exiting to take it out of the box. The keys were pretty stiff. Nothing wrong with that, I'll use it.Then I actually recorded some notes into my DAW. And thats when all the good vibe disappeared. The velocity input is absolutely atrocious. The black keys input too much velocity. The white keys input too little. And both black and white keys like to heavily very in velocity even if I'm hitting the keys at a consistent pressure. That and the velocity levels are very rigid, as in there are really only five levels of velocity it would seem.I use Reason 6. I asked them if there was a way to change note velocity AS I'm recording and they said it can only be done AFTER. And there is no software or anything that comes with the V61 to adjust its velocity input. Its supposed to be plug and play, with a free download of some VST synth I have never heard of before.A couple reasons I wanted to get this keyboard:1. I like being different. Everybody was using the M-Audio Keystation. Again, nothing wrong with that. But I didn't want to go that way.2. This seemed to have the perfect level of functionality. I like having just a handful of encoders/knobs to mess around with but I don't need that many.But in the end, I can plainly see why everyone likes the M-Audio Keystation. And this is another case in which Alesis–already notorious for very poor quality products–releases a product with all of the hype and nothing to show for it. This V61 is being returned....and traded for an M-Audio Keystation.Hmm. I'm a smart boy after all.
Music background: Musician
See also: Controller Keyboards, Alesis, Alesis MIDI Controllers