Best 49 key controller for Ardour PC

Hi all,

Setting up on a new Surface 64 bit OS & x64 based processor running Windows 10 Ent.

Looking for tips on the best controller, preferably a sub $200/€200 keyboard wirth pads would be great:-

  • Which is easiest to set-up & integrate?
  • Any specifically set-up for Ardour?
  • Any info is much appreciated.

Hope lockdown sanity is holding:)


I’ve got extremely minimal experience on this one but I was in the same boat as you a couple weeks ago. After a bunch of research and identical criteria to you, I opted for the Alesis V49. It has 8 pads and 4 knobs that you can set to whatever function you want, however I am also minimally experienced with ardour and haven’t figure out how to do that part yet. I’ve been fantastically happy with my choice as the feel of the keyboard is really nice (for someone who is new to keyboard/piano) since the keys are synth-action with a spring to them which makes them a little heavier that typical synth keys which I personally like.

My only stipulation with this is the pads which are flawed. Half the time they work perfectly and the other half they register being hit twice with one tap (This will explain what I mean by this).

I found this review to be quite helpful in understanding some key differences in what to look for in a keyboard which may be helpful.
Review of some MIDI Keyboards

This keyboard came out to be about $190 CAD and I’m very happy with it, hopefully this helps you.

After researching the subject online, I recently bought an M-Audio Oxygen 49.
8 pads, 9 faders, 9 push-buttons, 8 knobs, transport control, all fully recognized and working out of the box in Ardour as Control Surface.
Paid 120€ for it and pretty happy with it so far
For this price, of course the keys are not weighed so it’s got a synthesizer touch but hey, I’m not a pianist anyway :wink:

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