Alesis have launched a trio of compact USB MIDI keyboards, known collectively as the Q series.
With its 32 velocity-sensitive mini keys, the Q Mini is little wider than a laptop, yet the wee panel over on the left still manages to squeeze in buttons for sustain, octave up/down, transpose and pitch bend, plus an assignable encoder.
Next up is the Q49 MkII, which has four octaves of full-size, synth-action keys. Its control panel is a little more extensive, and has proper pitch and mod wheels, an assignable slider, and even a transport control section. Sustain is taken care of via an optional footswitch, which connects to a rear-panel jack.
Finally we have the Q88 MkII, which pairs the Q49 MkII's control panel with a full-size 88-note keyboard — perfect for controlling piano and organ soft-synths, or for reaching the keyswitches on orchestral sampled instruments.
All three new Q-series controllers come with a copy of Pro Tools First and MPC Beats, to help you get started on your productions straight away, and buyers will also find themselves entitled to 60 free keyboard lessons from online music educators Melodics.
Finally, the Q series are class-compliant, meaning not only that they don't require drivers to work, but that you'll be able to use them with Apple and Android tablets (providing you have the required USB adaptors), and even some compatible hardware synths like the new Korg 2600 M.