midi keyboard controller with 16 channel buttons (for live performance)

Dec 29, 2016
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I'm looking for a controller with 16 buttons that I can use to set the midi channel on which the keyboard is transmitting. I've seen units with 16 (or more) buttons but they only send data on the base channel of the keyboard. I want to actually change the keyboard transmission channel in real time. (I'm driving a DAW which is loaded with several virtual instruments, each on a different midi channel.)
In addition to the channel selection buttons, I'm looking for:
- full-size keys, semi-weighted
- 49 keys preferred
- USB connectivity preferred

Doesn't need to be a current-production model.

(I currently have an M-Audio 49, but to change the midi transmit channel you must fist tap an "Advanced" button, then a particular keyboard key for the desired channel. This works, but I'd rather have a single, dedicated button for each midi channel.)

Many thanks for your suggestions!


John Garside

Aug 23, 2016
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Wellingborough, UK
A bit late in the day to answer your question, but initially I know of no keyboard that has dedicated MIDI channel buttons.
I wanted a similar device so that I could play various instruments loaded into a 16 channel sample playback application. In this case the Garritan ARIA player.
What I eventually decided upon was the Samson Graphite 49.

To change channel is relatively straightforward.
Upon first switch on one uses the "Page" ">" button to select the parameter "Ch" (for channel).
Thereafter one can use the "Data" "+" or "-" buttons to single step or scroll through the channels (after channel 16 it scrolls right on through to 1) then press "enter".
It's certainly not as quick as a set of dedicated channel buttons would be, but it's the best compromise I could find.

Amazon UK has this keyboard now for just £109. Which, in my view, is exceptional value.
The only down side to the keyboard, again in my view, is the pads (which I don't use) and the manual.
I must admit the manual leaves a lot to be desired being rather unclear.
However, once the method of selecting a set of presets and then editing them is grasped, it becomes a rather versatile keyboard for playing virtual instruments.
Again, in my view.


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