Alesis VX49 - Setup with Presonus Studio One

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alesis vx49 mainWith the Alesis VX49 USB/MIDI controller keyboard, you can load up your favorite VST software synthesizers, samplers and drum machines as if you were working on a standalone keyboard workstation. The included VIP software scans your instrument plug-ins, indexes all of their presets, maps out the controls, and allows you to switch sounds and tweak parameters on the fly, without ever touching your mouse. This article walks through how to setup the Alesis VX49 with PreSonus Studio One.




VX49 Hardware Setup

  1. Connect the VX49 to your computer using a USB cable

    Note: VX49 does have driver software in order for the midi controller work with the VIP software. please make sure the driver is installed.


  2. Press the Main Button and use the data dial to scroll to Studio One. Press the PUSH TO ENTER knob.

    VX49 studio one presets


  3. On the VX49 itself, on page 3 of the GLOBAL menu (SHIFT + BROWSER), set the Clock Source setting to External. This will set the VX49 to wait for Studio One MIDI Clock signal and synchronize the timing of the arpeggiator/NoteRepeat.

    VX49 external


  4. While in the GLOBAL menu, go to page 1 and change the Transport Format to CC. This will help for the next section about MIDI mappnig controls.

    VX49 CC


  5. Save the Changes in page 4 of the GLOBAL menu. Now your VX49 is ready to control Studio One.

    VX49 Push to save


PreSonus Studio One Software Setup

  1.  Open Studio One

  2. From the top menu bar, choose Studio One > Options...

    akai mpk2 studioone software 3


  3. In the window that opens, choose the External Devices tab, then click on the Add... button.


    akai mpk2 studioone software 4


  4. Within Add Device window, change the Device Name to your VX49 controller, click on the drop-down menu next to Receive From and choose the VX49 USB Port1  series controller from the lists, and leave the Send To drop-down menu on None.  Then press OK.


  5. In the Options window, you will now see the VX49  controller listed.  Create a second device by clicking on Add...

  6. In the window that opens, choose New Instrument, change the Device Name to your VX49  controller, set the Send To drop-down menu to the VX49 controller, and put a check in the boxes next to Send MIDI Clock and Use MIDI Clock Start.  Press OK.


  7. Press OK in the Options window.


  8. Then hit OK.


Mapping the VX49's Knobs and Buttons to Studio One

Studio One allows you to create custom MIDI mappings for any MIDI controller. You can use this feature to map the VX49 transport controls as well as the rotary knobs and buttons. While the VIP software will take care of mapping the knobs and buttons to your VST Instruments automatically, you can still program the VX49 to controls to control Studio One for whatever you'd like (volume faders, pan, track zoom, etc...). Here is a walkthrough of mapping MIDI controls in Studio One.

  1. From the top menu bar, choose Track > New Instrument Track...

  2. In Studio One 2, click the drop down arrow in the Edit Device section to reveal the available MIDI devices and select your VX49. n Studio One 3, click Keyboard icon in the Instrument Track section to reveal the available MIDI devices and select your VX49 (or whatever you had chosen for the Device Name)


  3. You'll now see a window like below:


  4. As noted in the first section, be sure the VX49's Transport Format is set to CC (in the VX49's GLOBAL menu). Also, make sure the VX49 is currently on the Studio One preset. To do this, press the MAIN button, scroll to Studio One, and push the data dial to enter.

  5. Back in Studio One, click the MIDI Learn button to it is highlighted blue.

  6. On the VX49, press each Transport Control once (Stop, Play, Loop, Record). You will see each of the controls appear in the MIDI Learn window as you press them.


  7.  Right click each of these new controls and select Button (on/off).


  8. New controls will receive a default name (Control1, Control2, etc...). Double click each and re-name appropriately. 


  9. Right click the Play button and select Assign Command. You'll now be viewing a list of all the many commands in Studio One to which you can assign the Play button. All of the commands for Transport Controls will be found in the Transport section. You can get there quickly by simply typing "Start" in the Search field.

  10. Repeat the same process for the remaining transport controls. Here are the recommended assignments:

    • Play Button = Start
    • Record Button = Record
    • Stop Button = Stop
    • Loop Button = Loop Toggle


Virtual Instruments and Plugins

Install the VIP Software

You can obtain the included software for the Alesis VX49 by registering the product on the Alesis website.  Here you can create your account, and then register your keyboard to have immediate access to your software downloads.  The page will look like the picture shown below.

alesis vx49 reg

Authorize the VIP Software

  • Once the authorizer window is opens, you'll see an options allowing you choose to Activate, Try, or Quit. Choose Activate.


  • To unlock the full version of your software, enter the Activation Code that was emailed to you from the Upgrade Email Notification Utility.

  • You may be required to enter your e-mail and/or create or login to an iLok account. Please follow the on-screen steps as needed.
    Note: Your software utilizes PACE/iLok security measures to assist with anti-piracy. While a physical iLok is not necessary to use the plugin, the creation of an iLok account is required for activation.

  • Finally, choose to store your new license on your computer or your iLok and the activation is complete.


Adjusting the Studio One Plugin Sources

When VIP is not open, the VX49 will be controlling Studio One in what is called MIDI Mode. When the VX49 is controlling an open instance of VIP, is it called Control Mode. While controlling VIP, you can quickly switch to MIDI Mode by pressing SHIFT+CONTROL on the VX49. This way you can quickly switch back and forth between VIP and Studio One control. Finally, individual knobs and buttons in the VIP software presets can be assigned to the VST Parameter (by default), or to a MIDI CC value by clicking the parameter below each control.



Here is a walkthrough of VST plugin controls in Studio One

  1.  In the left column of the main Studio One window, click on the akai mpk2 studioone hybrid 1a button and the Add Tracks window will open.  Change the Count to 1, the Type to Instrument and choose New Instrument next to Output.  Do not press OK yet.

    akai mpk2 studioone hybrid 1b

  2. Now, also in the Add Tracks window, click on the bottom drop-down menu under Output and locate and click on VIP(or VIP_x64 if you are running the 64-bit version of Studio One) to load it into the Add Tracks window.  

    akai mpk2 studioone hybrid 2

  3. Press OK to create a new instrument track in Studio One with VIP loaded to it.
  4. In the track that opens, click on the Instrument Editor button to view the VIP interface

  5. The same process for the transport controls can be used for the eight buttons on the VX49. While still in MIDI Learn mode, press the eight buttons and you will see them appear. 


  6. Now, this is where your creativity comes in! You can map your buttons to virtually anything in Studio One. Since the VIP software takes care of mapping your VST Instruments, you're free to assign these buttons for Studio One functions.In this example, we'll cover how to map these to the MUTE buttons of the first eight tracks in Studio One. So, in this case, you'll want to change the buttons of the VX49 preset to Toggle instead of Momentary (to be sure Studio One links up correctly). 

    1. On the VX49, press CONTROL or SHIFT+CONTROL multiple times until you are on the button editing screen. 
    2. Press the VX49 data dial.
    3. Press each button below the rotary knobs and change the Mode of each to Toggle. ?

  7. After you've learned the eight buttons, make sure they're set to Toggle (on/off), and if you wish, renamed to Mute 1, Mute 2, etc... 


  8. Follow the same steps for the remaning controls. Again, this same process can be used to MIDI anything Studio One makes available to map. So, using the same methods above you could map the eight rotary knobs to the volume faders for each Studio One channel. 

Further Technical Support

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own a Alesis product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the experienced Alesis technical support team is available to help!

Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support. 






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