Tag Archives: midi controller

Samson Carbon 49 MIDI Controller Review

Samson Carbon 49 MIDI Controller ReviewSamson Carbon 49 MIDI Controller Review

The Samson Carbon 49 MIDI controller is a cool little MIDI Controller. This keyboard is USB powered and works directly with your iPad. There is a slot built in to the keyboard where you can hold your iPad and a USB cable is supplied.

This controller has 49 keys (which should be obvious by the name) and they are velocity sensitive and semi-weighted. I like the size of the 49-key keyboard, it’s big enough to play with two hands and small enough to be portable and not look too odd at the coffee shop.

Amazon Has The Best Price Here.

Garageband works really well with the Samson Carbon 49 but the keyboard is bundled with the Native Instruments Komplete Elements software which has over 1000 sounds, effects and tools and is designed to work well with this controller.

Here is what some owners have to say:

Mgmg Says:

I bought this keyboard not knowing what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. First I was very impressed by the weight and sturdiness of this keyboard. The semi weighted keys feel great and I would compare it with some $300 controllers. Having the iPad docked in the keyboard and powered by it makes for great convenience. Worked right out of the box with the camera connector. This one is a winner. Great work Samson. I highly recommend this one.

Review paraphrased for length see the full review here.

Jesse Says:

I had this out of the box and working with garage band on my iPad in less than 60 seconds. The little groove on the keyboard where you can prop the iPad is extremely convenient. I was worried that it would drain my iPad battery quickly (because it draws power from the iPad via USB), but I haven’t noticed this being a problem. You will need the $29 “Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit” to connect the USB connector to the iPad.

Review paraphrased for length see the full review here.

Overall this is a good little MIDI controller and if you are running your music software on your iPad it is one of the most convenient controllers available. I hope this Samson Carbon 49 MIDI Controller Review was helpful.

Get it for Under $100 on Amazon!

Novation Launchkey 49 Review With Updates for MK2

Novation Launchkey 49, 49-key USB/iOS MIDI Keyboard Controller with Synth-weighted Keys

Novation Launchkey 49 Review

Update: MK2 Version

The MK2 version of the Novation Launchkey 49 has the same great features with added control.

New features include:

  • RGB pads that provide color-matching clip feedback to help your workflow when you create and launch clips, trigger samples, or control devices in Ableton Live.
  • The updated Launchkey MK2 also uses inControl  to increase control over Ableton Live. Previously the inControl knobs could only control devices. With the Launchkey MK2 you can easily switch between controllers, pans and A/B sends for each track in your session.
  • There is the new Device Control Function which gives you control over all devices and device parameters in your Ableton Live track via inControl.
  • Requires external power. You can’t power it from your iPad without a powered USB hub.
  • Launchkey MK2 now has four different velocity key curves.
  • Select multiple effects directly from Launchkey MK2.
  • Better knob design for a more solid feel.
  • Due to changes in the firmware, the Launchkey Mk2 is unable to control the Launchkey iPad app via inControl however you can still use the keys to trigger the sounds.

Those are the updates.

With this Novation Launchkey 49 Review. I would like to tell you that the Novation Launchkey 49 is a midi keyboard controller for all major music software like Ableton Live, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Reason, Logic and Cubase giving you control of your mixer, transport and more.

The Novation Launchkey 49 is the latest midi keyboard controller from Novation. This midi controller features up to 50 physical controls that include 16 velocity-sensitive multi-color launch pads.  The launch pads trigger and stop clips, and launch scenes in Ableton Live. This is the keyboard version of the Launchpad.

This MIDI keyboard controller is now 15% off at Amazon through this link.

One of the cool things about the Launchkey is that you can run it not only with your computer but now with your iPad. They have an app called the Launchkey synth app which is very cool and FREE for a limited time and is used for triggering loops. The Launchkey will also enable control of your DAW’s mixer, instruments and more. You also get V-Station and Bass Station soft synths and V-Station and Bass Station soft synths.

The Launchkey has 16 multi-color backlit velocity-sensitive launch pads can be used to play drums and trigger loops without being near a computer. The launch pads are great for working out beats, drum patterns, or triggering clips and scenes in Ableton Live. The velocity-sensitive keyboard mechanism has pitch and mod wheels with octave, track up/down buttons.

Here are some features:

  • You can instantly use all major DAWs and music software
  • An entire suite of software for iPad, Mac and PC included
  • 16 velocity-sensitive multi-color launch pads trigger loops and play drums
  • Professional keyboard with 50 plus hardware controls
  • Novation Launchpad app for iPad included

I like the size of the Launchkey 49 keyboard. Sometimes a smaller size is not quite enough for how I like to work and the bigger size is too much. Novation also makes a 25 key and a 61 key version of the Launchkey.

I hope you enjoyed the Novation Launchkey 49 Review. If you are looking for a great MIDI keyboard controller with trigger pads and one that is versatile enough to do anything with whatever system you are using then the Novation Launchkey 49 is a good choice.

Akai Pro MPK Mini Review

I’ve been looking for a new portable MIDI controller for a while now and was thrilled to find the Akai Pro MPK mini. This small MIDI controller is great!

I need something to use with my Apple Logic system that I run on my laptop and this 25-note keyboard is perfect.

It has 8 back-lit, MPC-style pads and 8 Q-Link knobs that give you tons of input control. I like to use the pads for drum inputs more that the keyboard.

I like that the  MPK mini has velocity-sensitive keys. This will allow me to accurately express dynamics and that saves a lot of fixing time.

You can create cool leads and  great driving bass-lines with various time denominations and patterns with the built-in Arpeggiator. I use the tap tempo buttons a lot!

Get The Best Price Here!

Check out the features!

  • Ultra-portable software MIDI controller
  • 25-note, velocity-sensitive mini keyboard
  • Eight backlit, velocity-sensitive MPC-style pads (2 banks, 16 total)
  • Pads can send note information, MIDI CCs and program changes
  • Eight assignable Q-Link knobs to adjust virtually any parameter

Look at what new owners say:

Jason D. Says:

The MPK Mini is a combination of the LPD8 and LPK25, which is a great thing if you’ve been considering both!

This is my first MPC product but I am an experienced keyboardist. I like the pads and how they light up when you hit them, however, they aren’t as sensitive as some might prefer, and I’m inclined to agree. It tends not to register some lighter hits, so I’m having to get used to how hard I have to hit it. The knobs aren’t as nice as professional grade knobs, but they work nicely for such a compact unit. The keyboard has mini keys and they are very sturdy. The keys are fine for their purpose of capturing ideas. I do not consider them performance worthy.

The purpose of this product is portability and to allow you to capture ideas when you don’t feel like lugging around larger equipment. For these reasons, I find it to be an excellent product.

Definitely pick this product up if you’re looking for something extremely portable with acceptable mini keys and very playable MPC pads.

Review paraphrased for length. See the full review here.

If you are looking for a good controller that is portable and easy to use, the Akai Pro MPK Mini is a good choice. Highly recommended for working away from home, not so much as a studio controller.

Get 60% Off The Akai Pro MPK Mini Here!

MIDI Keyboards 101: How Does a MIDI Keyboard Work?

After understanding what a MIDI controller truly is, we get down to another basic concept, “How does a MIDI controller really work?”

A MIDI keyboard looks like any keyboard, but the difference is that MIDI keyboards do not send or create any sound on its own. MIDI controllers only produce MIDI info that is then translated to the PC or any other MIDI-enabled synthesizer or software.

The MIDI controllers transpose into a simple note on and note off info (1 means on and 0 means off). Your MIDI controller will record all of this data, including changes in velocity of the keys and drum pads, the level at which faders and buttons are utilized and so on. MIDI info will all be in numbers, essentially the 1 and the 0 and bunch of other numbers. Everything you’ve been doing in your MIDI synthesizers will be recorded in your MIDI controller. Then that is the time that the MIDI controller will transfer this information to your personal computer and software. And that is when you can hear the music you made.

Miguel (a thought up name, insert any name you would like in there if you like) tries to make music with his laptop. He doesn’t have any other person to play on the keyboards, drum, and guitars. So he uses a MIDI keyboard to do it all by himself. He starts by hitting the keys and incorporating some action on the drum pads. Now, these sounds would not be broadcast to the laptop and software he uses. Here is where MIDI comes in.

The MIDI controllers translate into a simple note on and note off data (1 means on and 0 means off). Your MIDI controller will record all this information, including changes in speed of the keys and drum pads, the level at which faders and buttons get used etc. MIDI information will all be in numbers, fundamentally the 1 and the 0 and bunch of other numbers. Everything you have been doing in your MIDI synthesizers will be recorded in your MIDI controller. Then that’s the time the MIDI controller will transfer this info to your PC and software. And that’s when you can hear the music you just made.

Excellent MIDI Controller – M-Audio Oxygen 49

M-Audio Oxygen 49

The M-Audio Oxygen 49 is one of my favorite MIDI controllers because of its ease of use and number of control options. I bought an Oxygen 8 and it worked well but didn’t have enough keys so I upgraded to the Oxygen 49.

The Oxygen 49 has 49 keys (hence the name)  so it is not a full keyboard and the keys are not weighted so if you are looking for a good performance keyboard this is not the one for you. But if you want a mid size MIDI controller keyboard that has assignable faders and knobs this is a great option.

I found the best price here!

How to use the M-Audio Oxygen 49

The M-Audio is easy to use. Just plug in the USB cable and it shows up. You can control many parameters of your DAW with the 8 knobs and 9 faders plus there are dedicated buttons for play and record as well as track select buttons.

The Oxygen 49 is designed to be used with the most popular virtual instruments and digital audio workstations. I use this controller with Pro Tools, Logic and Reason and it works well with all of them.

Here are some features of the M-Audio Oxygen 49

  • bus powered 49-key USB MIDI controller – easy computer cnnnectivity
  • 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable sliders – control DAW and virtual instrument parameters
  • DirectLink mode – instant controller mapping to DAW functions
  • dedicated transport and track slected buttons – streamlined session control
  • Pro Tools compatible – extends industry-standard functionality
  • Bus powered 49-key USB MIDI controller – easy computer connectivity

 

Save 30% through this link.

The M-Audio Oxygen 49 has been a great controller for the music that I create and I would highly recommend it if you are searching for a good inexpensive MIDI controller solution.