The Alesis V25 USB controller keyboard is a new device from Alesis that, like its predecessors, offers astonishing bang for the buck. Alesis keyboards have long provided features that defy their low price tags, but even with this reputation, the V25 is something of a benchmark for incredible value.
Essentially, this is a compact, USB keyboard controller, equipped with 25-velocity sensitive keys. For the uninitiated, velocity sensitivity means that when pressed softly the note played will be quiet, and when hit with more force, the volume will be louder- just like an acoustic piano. If you've never used a compact controller keyboard, and play piano, the small number of keys may also be baffling. However, an octave shift button allows the notes assigned to the keys to be shifted up or down through the full piano range.
To the left of the keyboard, there's a host of additional controllers. Alongside a familiar pitch bend and modulation wheel, there are eight, assignable trigger pads. These can be assigned to particular notes, to provide an easy set of controls for triggering samples or programming drum patterns. Incredibly at this price-point, they also respond to pressure. These pads are backlit with bright, blue LEDs.
At the top of this panel are four, assignable rotary controls. These can be assigned to control parameters within software, to provide more intuitive, hands-on control of software. So, it you're controlling a software synthesizer plug-in, you can use these to tweak filter settings, for example. In addition, there are four assignable buttons, too. A sustain pedal input provides the means for more 'traditional' control.
The Alesis V25 is compatible with both Mac and PC, and is powered via USB, minimising the number of cables on your desktop, and plug-sockets used. At its price, this compact controller is a tough act to follow. Features:
- 25 full-size, velocity sensitive keys
Pitch bend and modulation keys
Eight, assignable trigger pads, with blue LED backlighting
Sustain pedal input
Octave shift button