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M audio Axiom 49

M-Audio Axiom 49 (2nd gen)

3.65 3.65 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

20th February 2012

M-Audio Axiom 49 (2nd gen) by mahasandi

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 3
M audio Axiom 49

49 piano-style, semi-weighted keys > musically satisfying playing experience

I got used to the action of this keyboard and its the best part about the unit.

9 mixer-style faders and 8 smooth rotary encoders > hands-on control over your DAW

I found it hard to use any of the encoders. The set-up is not that intuitive and I just never dug into this .

I got used to the midi control and screen ui but it was not the strong point maybe the new model which supposedly has a more intuitive connection to software is worth it.

However the build quality of this thing was a little in question, not just from my experience but from others I have spoken to.
But in my case I dropped it and thats on me. And otherwise it performed rather well so eh ...I guess it could go either way.
I mean things break.

so all in all not a bad controller on the cheap but if I had to do it again I would get the akai model or a higher up model from m-audio

I felt that the keyboard itself was the best thing here.
The unit once dropped and the usb cord broke the input.
It was a fall I caught but not fully .

it was my fualt but, the repair shop was very familiar with taking in broken m-audio stuff. Hhmmm well it worked fine after I fixed it.
I did sell it when I got a synth with a better keyboard.

But it never reall stuck out at me as a bad set of keys.
Now the drum pads were not right, for me. Not responsive enough to firm , and while you can adjust the velocity curves the feel was not there to inspire me YMMV.

5th March 2012

M-Audio Axiom 49 (2nd gen) by MTStudios

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
M audio Axiom 49

The Axiom 49 is a well designed, premium MIDI controller keyboard from M-Audio. It comes three different sizes: 25 key, 49 key, and 61 key. It looks fantastic, and in a recent redesign, now even more stunning. But is it well designed or over engineered?

The Features

The first thing to examine is the crux of any keyboard – the keys! They are, without a doubt, fantastic. Solidly built and shaped like piano keys they’re much easier to work with than a lot of keyboard style keys. The action on them is fantastic and in general they feel somewhere between weighted and non-weighted. This is by far the strongest selling point for this controller. And just to add a little sugar to this delicious set of keys, the keyboard has an aftertouch sensor.

Beyond the keys we have 9 sliders, 8 rotary encoders and 8 drum pads. The sliders can be fantastic for controlling Organ bars, however most of the time they’re pretty redundant. They’re not terribly firm and I wouldn’t expect them to take much abuse. The rotary encoders are almost a waste of space. Eight is probably overkill anyhow. Most of the time I find myself reaching for a control on a synth module. They have saved the day when an encoder on one of my synth’s carked it, but most of the time setting up CC assignments isn’t intuitive and ultimately not worth the effort.

The drum pads however, are more useful than the two features above. Being assigned to Channel 10 by default, and a lot of synth/drum modules using a GM Drum map, it’s pretty easy to plug in and get some drums going.

It’s worth mentioning the ease of installation with the Axiom 49. On a Mac, simply plug in the USB cable and it now has power and MIDI I/O. Very easy and very quick.

The Criticisms

My main criticism of the Axiom 49 is two fold. Firstly, the brains behind it are pretty hard to get around, changing zones/assignments/etc is pretty difficult without the Enigma software, which takes some chasing down to find. Secondly it’s a bit of a weakling! Unfortunately the stocky sturdy build of the keys doesn’t extend to the rest of the unit. The plastic chassis feels pretty weak and after a couple of years of use the keyboard has intermittently stopped working.

It looks like my first concern might have been addressed in the recent revision of the Axiom series, which now has a simpler and centrally located control panel. However without thoroughly road testing one, it’ll be hard to tell how the new version survives being well used.

The Final Word

All in all it's a fantastic little keyboard if for the keys alone. However whether or not this is worth the price tag, or if the other features hold any value to you, is simply something you have to assess on your own.

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