Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Operating Systems: Mac and Windows
M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV Overview
MIDI controllers are have become a standard tool in every music producers kit and it should be one of the first things you buy as you look to upgrade your personal workstation. One of the top brands leading the pack is one other than M-Audio, the pioneers of MIDI controller technology. Their Oxygen series blazed a trail through the market and, after nearly a decade of innovation, has taken control, integration and portability to whole other level.
There’s more than one octave on the piano, so expand your ability using the 49 velocity(touch)-sensitive keys that can be used with any vst plugin in your DAW for playing eccentric chords, melodies and bass lines. Plus, the assignable knobs that allow for expert tweaking of virtual instruments and effect plugins. This is more than just a keyboard and is sure to give you absolute creative control with just those features alone but if that’s not enough, there are eight velocity-sensitive pads are available to trigger samples on the fly (ideal for finger-drumming) as well as nine assignable faders for mixing tracks or controlling the master output. Play? Stop? Record? It’s all there along with track buttons for simple up and down navigation. It also comes with asustain pedal input in the back for even more live control.
I’ve found one of the most annoying things in the production game to be the fact that nearly every single button you press, every switch you toggle and every fader adjustment had to be done with the point and click motion of a mouse. I mean, that just felt completely robotic at times and made automation a complete pain. Sure there are some keyboard shortcuts that you could memorise but many you’ll find hard to reach at the best of times (like when you wanna be recording). That’s one of the many benefits of adding one of these puppies to your arsenal. It takes all the necessary functions of your DAW environment and makes them available to you at the touch of a button once you’re plugged in with DirectLink. All controllers are USB powered and bring your workstation to life with one connection. Divers are readily available directly from M-Audio’s website if you’re unable to get started right away and it does come with support for iOS connectivity with the Apple iPad Camera Connection kit (sold separately), allowing you to stay in the game on your iPad and other OS Devices.
One Size Fits All
That’s gotta be the best part about this controller, it’s for everybody. Whether you’ve been at it since last year or last month, you won’t find a better stepping stone to full on producer-dom. And with the great plugins and software that comes free for you to download, you’ll be saving a bunch of money at the same time. This includes Ableton Live Lite, SONiVOX Twist and AIR Music Tech’s Xpand!2 (I myself cureently use 2 of these). All are high end plugins and programs so, without a doubt, you’ll be making a solid addition to your workstation with this fantastic starter keyboard. Onward to that producer life!.
Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.
The Short Version
- 49 full-size, synth-action velocity-sensitive keys
- 8 velocity-sensitive trigger pads for beat production, clip launching, and more
- 8 assignable knobs for manipulating virtual instruments and plugins
- 9 assignable faders built in so you can mix with ease
- Transport buttons let you control your DAW without reaching for the mouse
- DirectLink automatically maps controls to popular DAWs: Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, and more
- LCD screen provides instant parameter feedback
- Sustain pedal input for further creative control
- USB-powered, plug-and-play support, and USB-MIDI connectivity
- Includes Ableton Live Lite
- Includes SONiVOX Twist, a powerful spectral morphing synthesizer
- Includes AIR Music Tech Xpand!2, a multitimbral all-in-one workstation
- Macintosh: 1.25 GHz G4/G5 or faster (Intel Mac recommended), 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended), Mac OS X 10.4.11 (10.5 or later recommended)
- Windows: 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 or Celeron compatible CPU or faster (multicore CPU recommended), 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended), Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP, Windows compatible sound card (ASIO driver support recommended), QuickTime recommended
- Available USB Port
Available From Amazon.com