M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV Review – The Perfect Addition

M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV Review – The Perfect Addition

Product: M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIVM-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV

Price: $135.00

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 eccM-Audio Oxygen 49 Angleentric 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.

DAW Friendly

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. M-Audio Oxygen 49 BackSure 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


System Requirements

  • 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


22 thoughts on “M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV Review – The Perfect Addition

  1. Brad

    This brings back memories. I used to fiddle around with an old Roland cdx-1 multi track studio. It was a fun little unit.
    I am very interested in getting back into it.
    So I can set this up with pro tools or Cubase. It seems reasonably priced too.
    Do you have any suggestions on a workstation setup? Does this device have any storage to record?
    Thanks for reviewing this. I’ll have to go through your site and see more.

    1. Ryan

      Thanks for the support Brad, I appreciate what you have to say. It definitely will integrate with ProTools and Cubase no problem. Basic components for a workstation setup (besides your laptop/computer) are monitor speakers, a good audio interface, a microphone and MIDI controller/keyboard. I’ll be going in depth with that in later posts so be sure to stay tuned. It does not have storage to record, however.

      Thanks again for your comment. Hopefully this helps

  2. ht

    Great review.
    I used to own the 61 key version of the M-audio Oxygen controller. Great stuff from a great company. I have since upgraded to a weighted key controller but have great memories of using it for my music projects and musicals in my younger days when I first started off. I will join you to recommennd this to others who are just starting off. Great starter controller.

    1. Ryan

      Thanks a lot bro! Yeah, I aim all my articles at beginners so I’m glad you think my content will help

  3. Funkydunc

    I don’t know much about music production but it still fascinates me to watch musicians such as Chet Faker using keyboards like this one and his Apple workstation to pump out some amazing music. Have you listened to Chet Faker at all? An Australian who has done well worldwide.
    I found the review to be quite clear and comprehensive and loved the “Short Version” summary at the end. I dabble a little with the guitar and find electronic music to be an interesting genre. As is hip hop.


    1. Ryan

      Thanks for the comment Duncan. I can’t say I have but I will be sure to give Chet a listen online.


    1. Ryan

      Thanks a lot Heather. I appreciate the support.

  4. Tar

    Hello Ryan,

    I wasn’t aware that producing music requires software. I know it is compatible for both mac and windows systems but I didn’t realize that it has to be upgraded constantly with plugins and software. I think since this controller is user friendly for every targeted producer, it justifies the review being raved about here.

    1. Ryan

      Upgrading is a personal choice but for everyone it’s an option. I found myself doing it more and more only as my own skill progressed.

      Thanks for the comment. 😀

  5. Christian

    What’s up! About 10 years ago or so, I had like two Oxygen 25 MIDI controllers. They were horrible! Didn’t last long, and it wasn’t like I was abusive or anything. They would glitch out and just not work, so I ultimately lost trust in the M-Audio brand.

    Then I think back in about 2007 or so, Digidesign (the company who created Pro Tools) was bought out by Avid, and M-Audio was converted to an Avid brand as well.

    Since then, I have noticed that the quality of their products, the MIDI controllers especially, have increased tremendously. As such, I have been looking at this Oxygen MKIV and reading reviews to see what people were saying about it. Are you currently using one? If so, what do you like about it?

    1. Ryan

      Nice to hear from you again Christian.

      Right now, I’m not currently using one but I had the pleasure of getting to know one through a friend of mine. That said, it’s gotta be the drum pads that i’m loving the most. The response is great and helps the creativity flow a lot better.

      Thanks for the Comment.

  6. uphill1

    Hey Ryan,
    great info. on the Oxygen 49. I was wondering, would you recommend this particular model for doing live pod-casts and DJ gigs? I am looking for a gift for my son who is a full-time DJ and Pod-caster. Is there any other models or brands that you recommend. I look forward to your response.

    1. Ryan

      Hi Jerome

      The drivers that come with the Oxygen are more geared for many of your standard music production softwares. When it comes to creating your podcast the more important thing would be the microphone, so although this will add some functionality, it isn’t really a necessary component.

      Bu when it comes to dj-ing, well it all comes down to your technical skills. You can assign various triggers to the drum-pads that can be activated to play anything you assign to it, and with the faders well it could enhance your live capabilities.

      For him I’d recommend the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII 25-Key USB MIDI Controller for $69.99

      It also comes with programmable pads and their are less keys, so if he does feel the itch to compose, the option is available.

      Hope this helps. Thanks for leaving your comment.

  7. Darrick Henry

    Very good site not a lot of hype very short and to the point. I didn’t see a lot of graphics in the site not for sure if you just felt you didn’t need it but i would put a little more not a lot tho. Just enough to boost your wording on the site. Great Job! Keep going

    1. Ryan

      Thanks a lot. I hope what I have to say helps those out there that wanna get into the game.

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

  8. lexibae98

    Amazing, I just love the review and the amount of information you provided. Very well laid out! I am actually striving to become a DJ like those who are playing at the electric daisy carnival this year and it’s only been my dream to perform alongside with them since I was about ten years old!

    1. Ryan

      Nice! Ay, every dream is achievable, don’t stop believing.

      Keep in touch and let us know how your journey goes.

      Thanks again for leaving your comment.

  9. Jess

    Cool review. Thanks for laying out all the specs on this MIDI controller. I really like the fact that you can save money with the free downloadable plugins and software it comes with.
    Would you say this is geared toward beginner, intermediate, or advanced music producers? Thanks for your reply!

    1. Ryan

      Hi Jess.

      This is undoubtedly made for beginners but there’s no reason a professional couldn’t pick it up as it has all the basics you’ll need plus many advanced features that you’ll make use of as your skill progresses.

      Thanks again for leaving comment with us.

  10. Mat

    Hey there! great article!

    I`ve been looking at different midi controllers for a while and perhaps getting a stand alone controller. Currently I`ve got a kb37 with integrated Audio Interface.

    I love the hit pads on these and it wouldbe a huge step up from what I currently have. Plus more keys! Win!

    1. Ryan

      Yeah! The pads are a feature I enjoy very much too.

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

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