Samson Carbon 49
USB MIDI keyboard controller
Our take on the Samson Carbon 49 by Crutchfield's James Ralston
A versatile keyboard for your home studio and beyond
Samson's Carbon 49 is a nice compromise for players who want a bit of keyboard real estate but also want to keep their rig highly portable. We like the fact that this USB MIDI controller can not only be powered off of your Windows® or Mac® laptop, but even off of your iPad® (Apple Camera Connection kit required, not included). In fact, the keyboard even has a built-in slot that props your iPad up for easy touchscreen access when you're using GarageBand® or other iPad-based MIDI software.
The Carbon 49's integrated iPad stand puts touchscreen control within easy reach.
Connect your computer for more comprehensive music tools
The Carbon 49 comes bundled with Native Instruments' Komplete Elements software, featuring over 1,000 studio-quality sounds of practically any kind of instrument you can think of, along with amp simulators, effects, drum loop players, and more. Together with the keyboard's semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keys, this software package puts a ton of music-making options at your fingertips, especially considering the modest price.
- keyboard MIDI controller for Mac®, PC, or iPad (use with iPad requires optional Apple Camera Connection kit, not included)
- 49 semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keys
- pitch bend and modulation wheels
- dedicated transpose and octave buttons
- volume fader and data encoder knob are assignable to control different MIDI parameters
- 3-digit LED display provides real-time feedback
- sustain pedal input (1/4" TRS)
- integrated iPad holder slot
- bundled with Native Instruments' Komplete Elements software, including over 1,000 premium sounds and over 3GB of samples
- works with a wide variety of DAWs
- powered by your computer or iPad via USB (USB Type A-to-Type B cable for PC connection included)
- 31-1/4"W x 3"H x 8-1/2"D
- weight: 6.2 lbs.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Computer requirements for Komplete Elements software:
- for Windows: Windows 7/Windows 8 (latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit); Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 processor
- for Mac: OS X 10.8, 10.9, or 10.10 (latest update); Intel Core 2 Duo processor
- 4GB RAM
- DVD drive
- 3.9GB free disk space
What's in the Box:
- 49-key USB MIDI controller
- 40" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Type B on other end)
- 2 iPad rubber shoes
- Komplete Elements software disc
- Komplete Elements installation/registration card
- End User License Agreement for Native Instruments
- Online Product Registration card
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Overview: The Samson Carbon 49 is a USB MIDI controller for your Windows or Mac based digital production workstation. In addition to the 49-key, velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted keyboard, the Carbon 49 is equipped with an assignable fader, a data knob, pitch bend and modulation wheels, and a 3-digit LED display. It also has an integrated iPad stand with rubber shoes to hold the device securely. The Carbon 49 can be powered by your computer's USB port, or directly by an iPad (Apple Lightning-to-USB Camera Adapter required). A 40" USB cable is included.
Operation Modes: The Carbon 49 offers two operation modes:
- Performance Mode: In Performance Mode, the 49 velocity-sensitive keys transmit note and velocity information via USB or MIDI output. The assignable controllers, pitch bend and modulation wheels all transmit continuous controller information.
- Edit Mode: In Edit Mode, the first 25 keys on the keyboard access functions and enter numerals 0-9. The rest of the keyboard transmits note and velocity information.
Display: The unit features a 3-digit, 7-segment LED display to indicate the controller data in real time in Performance Mode, and the adjustable parameters in Edit Mode.
Connections: The Carbon 49 has the following connections:
- USB: This Type B USB port is used to connect the controller to your computer via the supplied USB cable to power the unit, and to send and receive MIDI data. You can also connect the unit directly to an iPad using an Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit or a Lightning-to-USB Camera Adapter, sold separately.
- MIDI Out: You can connect an external MIDI device using a standard 5-pin DIN MIDI cable.
- Sustain Input: A Sustain or Expression pedal can be connected to this 1/4" input. It is preset from the factory to send MIDI sustain messages. The input can also be assigned to send different MIDI parameters in Edit Mode.
Controls: The Carbon 49 features the following controls:
- Power Switch: The Power Switch on the rear panel turns the keyboard on and off.
- Volume Fader: This horizontal slide control is preset from the factory to send MIDI volume messages. The fader can be assigned to control different MIDI parameters in Edit mode.
- Data Knob: This rotary encoder normally sends MIDI pan messages, but can be assigned to control different MIDI parameters in Edit mode.
- Octave + / - Buttons: The Octave + and Octave - are separate buttons that allow you to shift the octave of the keyboard up (+) or down (-) a maximum of four octaves. Each press of an octave button, the range of the keyboard shifts up or down 12 notes, and the buttons blink progressively faster or slower as the octave shifts. To reset the keys to the default range, press both buttons simultaneously.
- Transpose + / - Buttons: The Transpose + and Transpose - buttons shift the range of the keyboard up or down in up to 12 semi-tones or half-steps. The Transpose buttons can also be assigned to send MIDI Program and MIDI Channel messages.
- Pitch Bend and Modulation Wheels: The two wheels on the left side of the keyboard are the Pitch Bend wheel and Modulation Wheel. The Pitch Bend wheel lets you raise or lower the pitch of notes played on the keyboard. The Modulation wheel is used to add vibrato or other expressive effects to a sound being played. It can also be assigned to control different MIDI parameters in Edit mode.
- Function Keys: In Edit mode, the first 25 keys of the keyboard are assigned to numerical digits 0-9, and the Enter function (white keys), and MIDI functions (black keys). The MIDI function keys include: Reset All, All Notes Off, Velocity Curve, Default, Assign Transpose, Assign Fader, Assign Knob, Assign Modulation Wheel, Assign Pedal, and Snapshot.
Velocity Curve: The Velocity Curve determines how the keyboard interprets the speed with which a particular key is pressed, and the relative MIDI velocity number it transmits. The Carbon 49 offers four different curves to choose from: Normal, Soft, Hard, and Fixed. The Velocity Curve is changed by pressing the function key assigned to Velocity Curve, and turning the data knob or using the numeric keys to select the desired curve.
Software: The Samson Carbon 49 is bundled with Native Instruments' Komplete Elements software. The software offers a huge selection of studio-quality sounds, effects, and tools for producing, composing, and sound design. The included installation disc includes over 3 GB of samples, including more than 1000 premium sounds, and three player engines. In addition, Samson website has Firmware Updaters for both OS X and Windows, and the latest firmware version, for keeping your Carbon 49 up to date. Minimum System Requirements are as follows:
- Windows (PC):
- Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7
- 800 MHz or higher, 256MB RAM or larger, USB port
- Mac OS:
- Mac OS X 10.4.9 or higher
- 733 MHz or higher, 512 MB RAM or larger, USB port
- Apple iPad:
- iOS v4.2 or higher
Note: The minimum system requirements for the software you are using with the Carbon 49 may be greater than the above.
Our Product Research Team
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Why did you buy this?
this was within my price range and the reviews were better than others in the same price range. [ Roger Nov 30, 2016 ]
Compact, stylish design, USB interface with software included, and according to spec it is compatible with 64-bit Windows 7 [ Samuel May 23, 2016 ]
iPad compatibility. Ease of use. [ Randy Dec 13, 2015 ]
1 question already asked
Hi. You may want to check with the manufacturer. I only have their local number: 516-870-7200. Hope this helps. [ Kenny Jun 29, 2017 ] Staff