I've now had this little USB midi keyboard controller for about a month and so far I don't have any major complaints.
Having previously owned two other USB midi keyboard controllers I'm not brand new to the way these devices work. For new or aspiring producers who don't know what this device does, well, you have some work to do little homie lol.
Seriously though, in most cases a USB keyboard or keystation is as simple as plug it in, open up your DAW of preference and get started. In some cases a device may be a little dated or the manufacturer is not in the top brands so you may have to manually select a generic option in order to find Samson in your DAW preference menu.
Some may call this a bare bones unit, but I would say different. If your familiar with the M-Audio Keystation units, I would say those are a little more basic than this really, just bigger.
This Samson Graphite M25 gets the job done. Right out the box I didn't have any usage issue. No tricky methods to get the thing to work. Just plug and play.
As you can see on the Samson Graphite m25 all of your quick reach features. You have your drum pads which I like the feel of generally speaking, but the pressure to response seems off to me. I don't want to beat the thing up pounding the crap out of these pads lol.
The DAW record area of the USB keyboard is pretty straight forward. It does not work Reason out of the box. You will have to map it. (As of this blog entry I have not tried this feature with LMMS).
We have your typical pitch and modulation features to the left of the board. They are touch only and the sensitivity is so so. No actual moving wheel. Make sure your keyboard is on a flat surface and not on your lap when using either of those.
We have your range adjust, sustain, preset, pad, cc and program selection to the upper left of the board. To be honest I've only used the octave range selectors up and down and the sustain. The adjust wheel you see on the board is not mapped properly out of the box. The selector wheel along with the channel adjust knobs for volume, EQ and even automation will only control the master volume. Again, this is not a hold up for me. I'm, fine without it for now. My work flow is not hindered, but when I look at those knobs I feel like turning something like DJs at festivals lol.
All in all, my take on this little Samson Graphite M25 unit is that it's worth the buy for a price cautious producer with a home studio. This unit is also handy for on the go usage. Do you work with other studios on a regular and you don't want to bang on their gear?, or they won't let you, you can bring this bad boy along, plug in and get to work.
The price point, after I purchased my unit I did see that the price fluctuated. Example, it was retailing for around $60 USD when I bought mines. It's now on Amazon for $70 USD. Expect it to go up again for Christmas shopping and then it will go every which way. Take your time searching for the lowest price, but for under $100 USD, come on man, you can't ask for or expect much more.
To view and or purchase follow the link https://amzn.to/3iYQkCx
Side note: If you order this device be aware of a parts warning associated with the device. A warning will pop up about some material in the device may have been a cause of some illness in the state of California. Specifically as it relates to pregnant women. Be aware and make your purchasing decisions with full knowledge. Amazon will give you a pop up when ordering explaining in detail. This warning pops up for many other products on Amazon as it relates to the state of California.
Also, do not mistake the Samson Graphite m25 for the Samson Graphite 25. They are two different units. Peep the differences in the units. Below is the Samson Graphite 25. This is not what I just reviewed.