Emu Xboard 49 49-Key MIDI Controller

No longer available at zZounds
Fullsize Keys. Programmable Real-Time Controllers.

The new E-MU Xboard 49 Professional USB/MIDI controller for PC and Mac offers unmatched playability, real-time control and programmability in a portable keyboard package ideal for studio and stage use. The Xboard 49 features fullsize velocity sensitive keys with aftertouch, 16 programmable real-time controllers, Xboard Control editing software, and E-MU's new Proteus X LE Desktop Sound Module with over 1000 sounds. The Xboard Control software provides an intuitive desktop interface that lets you effortlessly create custom templates for all of your favorite hardware and software instruments. The Xboards also allow you to set discrete MIDI channels for each controller and offer unrivaled real-time control and performance features, including Snap Shot that lets you send multiple program changes and controller values by pressing a single button, and Xboard Latch Mode that enables you to define a section of the keyboard as on/off triggers -- perfect for drum loops. The Xboard 49 is ultra-portable and can run on USB, battery, or AC power.

49 full-size professional keys with Aftertouch -- the Xboard 49 is a true performance controller with a high-quality synth-action key-bed

Xboard Control software lets you easily create custom setups for your favorite hardware/software instruments

Advanced studio/live performance features, like Latch Mode for triggering drum loops, Snap Shot for instantaneous program changes, and many more

16 real-time controllers that can be assigned read more to the key performance parameters of all your favorite virtual instruments

Includes Proteus X LE Desktop Sound Module (for Windows) with over 1000 presets and Ableton Live Lite 4 for E-MU (for Windows)

USB, battery or AC powered -- take your music anywhere

PC & Mac compatible -- Windows XP, 2000 and Macintosh OS X drivers
read less

Dimensions (to top of knob): 3.12 x 9.5 x 31.12 in. (79 x 241 x 791 mm)

Weight: 8.5 lbs. (3.9 kg)

Knob height: 0.62 in. (16 mm)

Minimum System Requirements:
Mac: OS 10.2 or greater with native USB port

PC: Windows 2000 SP4 / Windows XP SP1 + / Vista

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 831-438-1921

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. (61 ratings)
Submitted December 13, 2008 by a customer from kc.rr.com

"Best-in-class keys with aftertouch, enormous sample/loop software library make it a great overall value."

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
I think that this is the best deal going for a MIDI controller in its price range.

This is a MIDI controller, so it doesn't make any sound by itself. But included in the box are all of the software and libraries you'll need to make an insanely wide array of very impressive sounds. With the included Ableton Live Lite and Proteus X2, you've got the tools to put the enormous libraries of sounds to use right out of the box. The bundled version of Ableton Live Lite leaves much to be desired as a multitrack app, and Proteus X2 has a few shortcomings as well. Don't let that deter you though. There's no deal-breakers in this box.

Oh this thing has features, all right. The "key" features (pardon the pun) are the keys themselves. The XBoard's semi-weighted, synth-action, velocity-sensitive keys with aftertouch seem to be regarded as best-in-class. When I was researching before I bought this unit, the quality of the keys' feel and response was frequently cited as the best in this price range, beating out M-Audio and Alesis. The rest of the chassis is pretty lightweight plastic and doesn't feel like it could take much abuse. Then let's talk accessories. The amount of sounds that this MIDI controller comes with is staggering. You get: - Protean Drums (a couple hundred acoustic and electronic drum kits) - Studio Grand (a couple hundred pianos and synths) - Mo' Phatt (a bunch of urban/dance/hip-hop read more sounds) - Beat Shop One (a bunch of urban/dance/hop-hop loops) - Planet Earth X (tons of world music instrumentS) - X Producer (odds and ends like sound effects and additional drum kits, synths, and loops) - Proteus X2/Proteus XLE (a VSTi plugin and standalone host ) - XPerience (more odds and ends loops, grooves) How's that for features and accessories?!?!

Ease of Use
This was my first MIDI controller so my learning curve included not just this unit, but the concepts of MIDI and VSTi altogether. I have to hand it to EMU, they put together a decent owner's manual. Although, I still can't figure out how to create a custom drum kit!

This is a tough category to rate for the XBoard. The keys are great, the variety of extras is awesome and so is the quality of the samples. But the unit itself is a little lightweight so I've got to knock off a couple of points there. I wouldn't tote this around to gigs or parties or anything like that. I simply wouldn't expect it to hold up.

Value is where this unit shines! It's priced better than the competing M-audio units yet has better keys. It's not much more expensive than the competing Alesis units but it comes with so much more stuff.

Manufacturer Support
I haven't had to make any contact with EMU customer support yet. That in and of itself merits at least something.

The Wow Factor
Nothing too striking or visually appealing about this unit. It's pretty plain-Jane. But beauty is way more than skin-deep when it comes to the XBoard line of MIDI controllers.

Musical Background:

Musical Style:
Rock, Alternative
read less
25 of 28 people (89%) people found this review helpful. Did you?
Thanks for your opinion!

No longer available at zZounds

In most cases, a product is unavailable because it has been discontinued by the manufacturer