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The best of both worlds!
The Alesis Photon X25 USB/MIDI Keyboard Controller with Audio combines superior USB/MIDI control and high-quality recording in one cool package! Unique features like the Axyz Controller dome and 10 - 360° knobs give you powerful MIDI control over your software apps. Balanced 24-bit, 44.1/48kHz audio I/O allows recording and playback from your computer. The Photon X25 has a 25-key, velocity-sensitive keyboard with full-size Pitch and Modulation wheels. LCD screen with dedicated encoder for fast and easy set up. User-customizable templates can be placed on the front panel. The Alesis Photon X25 operates on USB power, optional external adapter, or 4 C batteries (not included). Windows XP/Mac OS X-ready.
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Reviewed by 7 customers
Displaying reviews 1-7
I've had the Alesis Photon X25 for about a year. At first I thought it was OK because i just wanted some more compact keys, and a few knobs. It kind of does this.A problem I had with it from the start was it wouldn't transmit midi cc vales more than one at a time e.g. you cant turn two knobs at once (!!!). There was nothing in the menus about it and it wasn't a host problem because this was not a problem for other gear. My Edirol PCR30 had no problem at all. Was this just mine or are they all like that? I've head of it before with Behringer stuff.Second thing that happened was the mod wheel lit up and acted like it was at 50% when it was at 0%. I called Alesis about it, and they ran me through a few things. They thought it would be but couldn't find the problem. This was all done in the set up menu, which was accessed by turning it on holding the two octave keys. Later I was in this menu trying to sort it out by resetting the min-max position as described, decided to exit, pressed the two octave keys and DELETED the firmware!!! Yes I know, my bad but how can it be that easy to DELETE the firmware?!?!
I own and use this for about 6 months.It works just fine in mac, but not in windows.the dome function works, but only on certain sounds, and it could be better.I use it extensively with Logic, Reason and Sibelius.I swapped controller a lot between Photon and O2, and my Mac works without a glitch. Not in windows.You got the idea.
I was looking forward to this thing like no other, due to the two major selling points: the AXYZ Dome and the Audio Interface. The AXYZ Dome is awesome, but has a somewhat small range. The audio interface is noisy and unreliable, however. When attempting to use both the audio in and out simultaneously, the root of the keyboard was shifted randomly down, causing everything to be out of tune. Plugging into a PA system, there is a constant, horrible digital noise which has random peaks (seems to be when the PC's processor is active). I had the problem other users have had where the MOD and Pitch wheel stop working correctly. I almost wasted money on getting this repaired by the company, but Alesis finally posted the recalibration procedure on their site and the keyboard works perfectly again. http://www.alesis.com/downloads/manuals/PHOTONx25_Controller_Recalibration.pdf Overall, this is a great piece of gear, but not quite ready for live performance as I was hoping for.
I was amped about this before I got it. Now that I have it, I don't feel shafted, but somewhat let down. The AXYZ controller feature is quite nice. However, it's not very responsive when hand gets beyond 6 inches or so. The endless knobs are great, and the presets for Reason and all of its units are a great feature. The layers option for the knobs adds so much more to play with. However the lack of faders kind of leaves me scratching my head. The overall build and feel is kind of cheap feeling too...no weight, Casio feeling keys. Overall, it's still a decent addition and was not a waste of my money.
I've had and used the Photon X25 for a few months now and while it's a great idea, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. First of all, the windows driver for this thing is the lamest, laziest piece of code one could imagine. No control panel, no way to do anything except hope it all works like it is supposed to. When I was trying to power this with the USB bus, I had to reinstall the driver EVERY time I wanted to use the keyboard. Nice of Alesis tech support to actually NEVER reply to repeated polite emails. After a month of trying, I gave up on them. After buying a power supply, things improved with reliability. But the problems didn't end there. Once I accidentally unplugged the photon during use; it came back on fine, but now with the wrong sampling rate. And can I change that using the control panel that ANY other manufacturer would supply to accompany their driver? No, of course not, because there isn't one, and Alesis hasn't updated this driver for an eternity. I still suffer minor audio glitches of unknown origin; glitches that most definitely do not occur with several other interfaces I have. The photon is still very useful as a midi controller, but don't expect much as an audio interface...
I've had the Photon X25 for about a month. It did everything it promised... until: This product is missing one crutial function, a factory reset button that works. Somehow, using Reason Adapted 2.5, my Photon X25 got confused. Since, the two wheels stopped working correctly and nothing I did would reset them to where they belong. Pitch Bend quit working all together and the Modulation Wheel only has about 20% of its range. If you know Alesis products, you also know they are not big on words or explanations. We'll see what their tech support can do. In the meantime, be careful how you program the functions. Reloading the presets through SysEx (in CuBase LE) is not a simple matter and did not fix this particular flaw.
I just returned my X-station which I owned for 1 day before it decided to stop working (the LED screen burnt out within the 1st 30 minutes of use) so I returned it and got the Photon X25 becuae I thought it looked cool. After using it for the fist 30 minutes I had it all figured out and it's easy to customize and navigate the menus.Gt/reat product if you just want a midi controler with a built-ibn audio interface for those soft synths. I'm using mine to run my Reason 3.0 and Cubase SX. No complaints here. It all works great.