Samson Graphite 49 USB MIDI Controller Keyboard

Electric Factory | (03) 9474 1000 | www.elfa.com.au | RRP: $429

Samson has changed around the direction of their range of USB MIDI controllers with the Graphite series standing out ahead of the Carbon series for both features and build quality. Designed for musicians on the go, and those who struggle for space in the home studio, the Graphite units are not just compact alternatives, they are a fully integrated MIDI solution for home and studio production. This unit, the Graphite 49, probably packs more features into less space than any other MIDI controller on the market.

ALL THE TRIMMINGS

Like one would expect, a MIDI controller keyboard is all about giving the user the most flexible approach to controlling their software. The Graphite 49 certainly goes out of its way to offer plenty of options in the relatively small top panel. As well as your standard function buttons and transport controls, you get nine short faders that can be assigned to just about anything. On top of this, there are eight rotary encoders, and sixteen function buttons beneath these. This can allow you to set them up as volume, mute and solo controls for a mixer across eight consecutive channels if you so desire. The options are endless as to how you assign their functions. Moving across to the far right of the unit there are four pressure sensitive drum pads for tapping in rhythms when the keys just won’t give you the right groove.

 

A NOTEWORTHY MENTION

Of course, this is more than a compact MIDI controller, as it offers 49 full sized, touch sensitive keys that have a good feel to them if you are looking to use this for synthesizer based stuff. Naturally, there’s an octave shift so you can move the key range up and down and the standard pitch and modulation wheels are included on the left side. Both of these are larger than usual, and very easy to gain precise control over. One feature that every MIDI controller should have is found on the top panel of the Graphite 49, and that is a panic button. Although not a designated button in itself, two buttons when pressed together have the same result and force all functions to cease in the event of something going, like a stuck note or unwanted command being initiated. This is a well thought out controller. Bundled with Native Instruments’ Komplete Elements software, there are more than one thousand sounds to get you making noise as soon as you set this device up. 

Hits and Misses

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Loads of control

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Faders are too short to be really effective

Specs

• Number of Keys - 49
• Type of Keys - Semi-weighted
• Pads - 4
• Encoders/Pots - 8
• Faders - 9
• Other Controllers - Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
• Pedal Inputs - 1 x Sustain
• MIDI I/O - Out/USB
• Power Supply - Bus Powered • Height - 8.4cm
• Width – 79.8cm
• Depth – 24.6cm
• Weight – 4.6kg 

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