Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds
Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Novation FLkey controller keyboard line expanded: we compare them all

With the recent news that Novation has expanded its FL Studio-based FLkey controller keyboards to include 49 and 61 key models, we now take a look at the four-strong devices and compare their features.

Each of the controller keyboards has been designed with Image Line Software, the makers of FL Studio, to offer a high degree of integration with the DAW, to make controlling many aspects from the hardware controller easy and intuitive. That said, the newer, larger models do feature more controls which are not found on the original smaller keyboards, primarily due to space constraints.

What is an FLkey controller?

Novation claims the FLkey controller keyboards are the “ultimate MIDI keyboards for making music in FL Studio” and feature controls for FL Studo’s step sequencer, channel rack and mixer, creative scale and chord modes.

As controllers, they do not produce any sound of their own. They are designed solely to interact with other MIDI-enabled devices and, specifically, the FL Studio DAW.

They can be used with other instruments and DAWs but may require the receiving device to have additional mapping in place if the advanced controls are to be used.

FLkey models

The four models in the FLkey lineup are:

  • FLkey Mini: 25 key keyboard with mini keys, no screen, but a basic selection of pads, knobs, sliders and transport controls.
  • FLkey 37: 37 regular sized keys with screen, physical pitch bend/modulation wheels, pads, knobs, and more transport controls.
  • FLkey 49: 49 regular sized keys (four octaves) with physical pitch/mod wheels, pads, knobs, sliders, screen, and transport controls.
  • FLkey 61: 61 regular sized keys (five octaves) with same controls as FLkey 49.

FLkey images

FLkey Mini
FLkey 37
FLkey 49
FLkey 61

FLkey comparison table

Here is a rundown of the features found on each FLkey instrument:

FLkey MiniFLkey 37FLkey 49FLkey 61
Key SizeMiniRegularRegularRegular
Pitch & ModTouch StripsWheelsWheelsWheels
Fader ButtonsNoNo99
Note RepeatYesYesYesYes
Scale ModeYesYesYesYes
Fixed ChordNoYesYesYes
User ChordNoYesYesYes
Scale ChordNoYesYesYes
Channel Rack Pad ModeYesYesYesYes
Instrument Pad ModeYesYesYesYes
Sequencer Pad ModeYesYesYesYes
Pattern Pad ModeNoYesYesYes
Custom Pad ModeYesYesYesYes
Plugin Pot ModeYesYesYesYes
Mixer Volume Pot ModeYesYesYesYes
Mixer Pan Pot ModeYesYesYesYes
Channel Rack Volume Pot ModeNoYesYesYes
Channel Rack Pan Pot ModeNoYesYesYes
Custom Pot ModeYesYesYesYes
Graph Editor ControlYesYesYesYes
Preset BrowsingYesYesYesYes
Tap TempoYesYesYesYes
Score LogNoYesYesYes
Mixer NavigationYesYesYesYes
Channel Rack NavigationYesYesYesYes