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Samson Carbon 49 Keyboard Controller Reviews

3.0 stars based on 10 customer reviews
Questions about the Samson Carbon 49 Keyboard Controller?

Questions about the Samson Carbon 49 Keyboard Controller?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • stu
    from boston mass October 24, 2015Music Background:
    better than a lot and way below the musicians I admire.

    Does what I want

    Out of the box, using an Ipad, and garage band's instruments, the sustain pedal sustains the piano in piano mode and acts as a leslie fast/ slow foot switch in organ mode.

  • Arne Barnard
    from Anchorage, Alaska USA March 11, 2013Music Background:
    Lifelong Musician and Keeper Of The Faith

    There Is Only ONE Reason Why This ISN'T Getting 5 Stars

    And that is because it doesn't have 127 levels of MIDI velocity control, OUT OF THE BOX!

    I've been assured by someone that if you "dig in" and do some editing
    that you CAN get the 127, but for musicians who have enough "programming duties" to worry about, this is a small pain.

    The 4 VC's that are included are useless, except for #3, but I still haven't "dug in".

    My 12 year old Casio WK-1350 had 127 OOTB, so, Zoom, please take note! 127 out of the box!

    Aftertouch is not in here, but I've spent most of my musical life NOT really caring about it. Think about it, does a REAL piano have "aftertouch"? NOPE!

    Bad news aside, I LOVE this! 99 bucks for so much!

    Nice, compact 49 full-size keys which are semi-weighted. I've done the hammer action ( on a REAL piano) and the synth action ( again, my Casio) and semi is a nice compromise and has given my "synth fingers"
    a nice workout, as of late.

    USB POWER! YAY! Since I only use this in my studio, one less cord "to answer" is MY idea of a good time! That Zoom doesn't even include an AC option confirms this!

    I'm aware of the ipad slot-it may yet come in handy in the future, but for me, it's a dead issue. Never say "Never" though.

    I might also be able to use the MIDI jack with my much venerated SR-16, no?

    For the first time also, I can actually SEE this keyboard! White is a nice change!

    Haven't had a chance to work with the included Komplete Elements but am looking forward to it! All I need is a DAW that can accept 3rd party plugs! I love the way that "Value Added" rigs are available today!

    To Studio One Free Users! The Carbon 49 plays VERY nice with this DAW!

    Improvements will be in the offing with this controller ( 127 Out Of The Box!) but for a picture of Mr. Franklin, you CAN do a lot worse!

    I am a fan of Samson/Zoom and I can't *wait* to see what they come up with......*next*....

  • Warren Bloom
    from Brooklyn, NY June 27, 2014Music Background:
    music teacher; pro musician; live engineer

    great controller

    Great piano-like feel to the keys, and a great value considering its overall flexibility and features. (I was using an M-Audio KeyRig 49 [the consumer-branded 49-key edition of the KeyStation ES line], and the Carbon is a big step up even for the price.)

    (WARNING: Sweetwater will "recommend" the Gator GKB-49 case, but that case is WAY too big for this keyboard in all three dimensions.)

  • D. Manning
    from St. Louis, Missouri December 3, 2012

    A handy little winner

    The Carbon filled a real need in my rig, making life a lot easier. The keyboard feel is surprisingly good for the price point, my main concern. It handles trills well, which is the real acid test. I'd like a few more velocity-curve choices and the programming setup is spartan, though serviceable. The build isn't one you'd rely on for a front-line keyboard, but as a home studio tool or a back-up when playing out, it has great bang-for-buck factor going. Unless you're more into mini-keyboards and DJ setups, the Carbon is a competitive option for those who like to dig in to full-sized keys. Thumbs up!

  • Rick
    from FL September 3, 2012

    Samson Carbon 49

    Nice little MIDI controller. The keyboard has a nice feel to it. The bundled Native Instruments software is another story. I had to spend a couple of hours just to figure out how to get any sounds to work. The software may be able to do quite a bit, but for a lower end controller I would expect something a bit more simplified. It's way too complex for me, and I am not a novice musician nor at MIDI. It is the "teaser" version that you get and you soon find out that you have to buy more features and upgrades to get the stuff to do all that they say it can do. There is no MIDI recording capability as far as I can see with it. When I tried to contact them, after searching on their entirely unclear website, for some help it to 2 days to get a response. And when they did respond they wanted further proof that I indeed did pay for their software. I'm using other applications to do my recording.

  • Customer
    from United States July 19, 2012Music Background:

    decent little guy

    This little guy is about as plug n play as it gets. Only issue was that it did not come with the included Kontakt Elements, which Sweetwater sent within the week after I contacted them. It has some great instruments for Reaktor and I really did the Guitar Rig software for my guitar.
    The feel is nice. I do have some occasional weird issues like having to restart the keyboard or my DAW because sometimes the DAW isn't getting the signal but that's only upon startup as best I can tell. You might have to go into your DAW's MIDI settings and `remind' it that you want the Samson to be active, but like I said that's only on startup. Once you get it going you should be good.

    I plan on using this during live performances because it is cheap and therefore expendable during live gigs--not dragging my $200-300 xboard61 out to shows where the elements or people can do it harm.

  • Jerry M
    from Southern California March 21, 2014Music Background:
    Songwriter, Producer, Multi-Instrumentalist


    This would be a great little keyboard BUT...

    It is flawed by poor velocity response. The primary function of a controller keyboard is to accurately transmit MIDI note and velocity data, and that is where this little keyboard misses the mark.

    The velocity response has a very coarse feel that goes from too soft to too loud and seems to be missing a lot of "in-between" levels. It makes this keyboard frustrating to use if you require fine dynamic control, such as playing a fine acoustic piano plug-in. It made my beautiful Steinway D sound crummy. No kidding.

    It has a few settings for velocity sensitivity, but none of them correct the underlying problem; Imagine velocity of 60, 70, 80, 90 etc, but no values in between. That's more or less what you get with this keyboard and I think that is unacceptable.

  • Customer
    from May 30, 2017


    This is my first negative review I've ever given, but here it goes. It advertised that the native instruments would work on mac osx 10.6.8, but as I was trying to activate the software on NI's natorious "service center, I was informed that I must have 10.4 or higher to get it to work. This is a sad way of doing business kids.

  • Customer
    from March 26, 2015Music Background:
    30 year user of digital keyboards

    very disappointed

    The key action was very inconsistent. Several black keys would barely play. The velocity register of the keys was so imprecise as to be unusable. I had low expectations and it negatively exceeded my expectations. I am returning it.
    I don't know if it was just a fluke. But the keyboard was not useable in a professional context.

  • John
    from Sacramento January 12, 2014Music Background:
    musician, engineer, student


    If you're looking for a midi keyboard whose keys don't work then i would highly suggest buying this. have already replaced it and came home to find that the new one given to me also has keys that do not function. just save your money for a better keyboard

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