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M-Audio Axiom 61 II Keyboard MIDI Controller

Play keyboards? Run Pro Tools? Control both with this semi-weighted 61-key beauty. DirectLink maps the Axiom's faders and knobs to your virtual instruments. (19) Read 5 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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Technology has come a long way from four-track tape machines. These days, you can buy a laptop with sophisticated multitrack recording software pre-installed, complete with built-in synthesizers, drum machines, and mixing capabilities. Spend a little time working with one of these DAW programs, and you'll quickly realize that your basic mouse-and-keyboard setup isn't letting you get the most out of your software. Time to upgrade to the M-Audio Axiom 61 II. This USB MIDI keyboard automatically maps its faders, knobs, and buttons to Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Reason, GarageBand, and Live. It's a tactile control surface for your DAW, not to mention a great-feeling full-size keyboard that maps to your virtual instruments. And because it's an Avid M-Audio product, Pro Tools setup is plug-and-play.

Get In Touch With Your Recordings

Drop the mouse! The Axiom 61 II's transport section puts the most common functions -- play, record, stop, fast-forward, rewind, and loop -- at your fingertips for instant access. With these controls so close to the keyboard, it's easy to punch in on your own keyboard part, and you won't have to readjust your brain or your sitting position to capture your best performance. Plus, using soft, rubberized buttons instead of a mouse helps cut down on the risk of repetitive stress injuries, so you can mix longer. Instead of trying to mouse faders and knobs onscreen, use the Axiom's 9 sliders and 8 rotary encoders, with Track Select buttons to bank through all your tracks. In Mixer Mode, LEDs for each fader light up to show you the status of each track -- mute, solo, or record-enable. Or press the Instrument Mode button to instantly map the Axiom's sliders, knobs, and buttons to virtual instruments within your DAW host. The Axiom can control just about any parameter you see on-screen, from volume and panning, to virtual instrument settings like resonance and filter cutoff.

No-Compromise Keys And Drum Pads

More than just a control surface, the Axiom 61 is a "control instrument." The 61 full-sized, semi-weighted keys offer just enough resistance, and are velocity-sensitive for expressive, dynamic performance. You won't feel like you're controlling your computer because you'll be playing it like an instrument, and you'll notice the difference in your music right away. In addition to sensing velocity, the Axiom's keys can detect aftertouch: once a key is struck, press harder for an extra layer of control via MIDI. Make strings go from simple sustain to vibrato, activate additional filters on a synth patch, give any instrument a little gain boost after the initial note attack -- the possibilities are endless. There are jacks for both your expression and sustain pedals. And if you're more of a drummer than keyboardist, fear not: the Axiom 61 provides you with eight rubberized drum trigger pads, perfect for programming beats, or just thinking about bass lines in a different way. It's a whole studio's worth of musical gadgetry in a lightweight, compact, and handsome USB controller.

Use It With Standalone Synth Modules, Too

The Axiom 61 isn't just a USB keyboard. Because it has real MIDI in and out ports, you don't even need a computer to enjoy its expressive keys. Just route it into a hardware synthesizer module and you're off and running. While most common functions will auto-map to your sound modules (pitch bend, modulation), Axiom keyboards also let you get deep into MIDI programming geekery. Preset editing tasks is made easier thanks to the generous, brightly back-lit LCD display, now centered on the keyboard in the "II" series for maximum visibility on the sleek angled surface. The M-Audio Axiom 61 II lets you get as deep as you want into your music.

You use your mouse and keyboard for emails, spreadsheets, accounting . . . you know, work. Treat your music like the art form it is, with the M-Audio Axiom 61 II Keyboard Controller.

Features:

- Update to the best-selling Axiom 61 keyboard -- with a better-designed control panel
- 61 semi-weighted keys
- 9 faders and 8 knobs
- DirectLink mode automatically maps the Axiom's faders, knobs, and buttons to your DAW and virtual instruments
- USB and MIDI I/O

Power Supply: USB Cable (Included) or AC Adapter (Not Included - only required if using without computer)

zZounds is an authorized dealer of M-Audio products.
- 61-key velocity-sensitive semi-weighted-action keyboard with assignable aftertouch
- DirectLink mode automatically maps faders, buttons, and encoders to common DAW and virtual instrument parameters*
- Dedicated Instrument mode button lets you instantly switch between controlling mixer and virtual instrument parameters*
- Intuitive custom LCD display, centered on keyboard for optimum visibility
- Angled top panel for easy viewing in any environment
- 4 zone buttons for stacking and splitting sounds on up to 4 MIDI channels
- 8 assignable trigger pads
- 8 assignable rotary encoder knobs
- 9 assignable faders
- 9 assignable buttons with LED lights for DAW feedback
- 6 dedicated transport controls with LED lights for DAW feedback
- 6 edit buttons
- Dedicated track up/down, bank , mute, and solo buttons
- Dedicated patch +/- buttons
- Assignable pitch bend and modulation wheels
- Octave up/down; transpose up/down

Factory presets map controls to popular music software:
- Xpand!(r)2
- Hybrid(tm)
- Velvet(r)
- Strike(r)
- Oddity
- ImpOSCar
- Minimonsta

- 20 non-volatile memory locations
- Memory dump via SysEx
- 4 keybed velocity curves and 3 fixed velocity settings
- 4 pad velocity curves, 3 fixed settings, and unique 'step' velocity curves
- 2 assignable pedal inputs
- Class-compliant with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X
- Powered via USB or optional power supply
- Built-in USB MIDI interface including standard MIDI In and Out jacks
- All controllers fully programmable to MIDI controller number and channel
- Controller Mute function mutes controller output to avoid parameter jumps
- Snapshot function transmits all current controller settings
- On/off rocker switch

Minimum System Requirements (PC)
Windows XP (SP3)*:
- 800 MHz Intel or AMD**
- 256 MB RAM

Windows Vista 32 (SP1) or Vista 64 (SP1):
- 1 GHz Intel or AMD**
- 1 GB RAM
- DirectX 10 or higher

Windows 7:
- 1 GHz Intel or AMD**
- 1 GB RAM
- DirectX 10 or higher

* Home and Professional Edition only. Windows Media Center Edition is not supported.
** CPU may be higher for laptops.
Please check the minimum system requirements for your software, as they may be greater than the above.

Minimum System Requirements (Mac)
Mac OS X 10.5.8 or 10.6.1:
- Intel Core Duo
- 1 GB RAM

Power Supply: USB Cable (Included) or AC Adaptor (Not Included - only required if using without computer)

M-Audio Axiom 61 II Keyboard Controller

The M-Audio Axiom 61 II controller combines all the production power and performance you need to get the most from your music software and MIDI gear. More than just a "data entry" controller, the Axiom 61 features piano-style, semi-weighted keys for a musically satisfying playing experience. Large dynamic trigger pads make it easy to program beats and trigger one-shot samples -- while the encoder knobs, faders, and buttons deliver complete real-time control over your software. DirectLink mode provides easy, automatic access to common DAW functions* including transport, mixer, track pan, and virtual instrument parameters -- no complicated setup required. The M-Audio Axiom 61 II even features a sleek, angled top panel for easy viewing in any environment.

Features

- 61 piano-style, semi-weighted keys
- 9 mixer-style faders and 8 smooth rotary encoders
- Angled top panel and centrally positioned LCD
- DirectLink mode
- Axiom Instrument Maps

Direct Link

Building on the best-selling MIDI keyboard controllers of all time**, the updated Axiom series features DirectLink, which automatically maps the onboard controls to common parameters in DAWs* like Pro Tools(R), Logic, Cubase, Live, and Reason. Take control over your software studio -- directly from the keyboard. Use the faders and encoder knobs to fine-tune the mix. Easily navigate through sessions using the Transport buttons. Interfacing a MIDI controller with your software doesn't get any easier than this.

Serious Production Power

When inspiration strikes, you need a keyboard controller that can translate ideas into killer tracks. That's why the M-Audio Axiom 61 is equipped with an ultra-expressive semi-weighted keyboard and eight Trigger Finger(R) pads for programming beats with incredible feel. Automatically map Axiom 61 to your DAW with DirectLink -- or delve deeper by assigning the pads, encoders, faders, and buttons to whatever controls you wish. Each controller can map to just about any MIDI message available, along with independent channel addressing for each. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Instrument Mode

With other MIDI keyboards, assigning encoders and faders to control virtual instruments has never been easy. Now thanks to the Axiom 61 controller's instrument mode, a single button instantly maps the faders, buttons, and encoders to any virtual instrument inside your DirectLink-compatible host*. You get direct access to synthesis parameters such as filter cutoff, LFO rate, and envelope settings -- without having to manually configure anything. It's almost like turning Axiom 61 into a dedicated hardware synth.

Intuitive Design

Whether you're on stage or in the studio, your keyboard controller should fuel your creativity -- providing all the right information and controls at your fingertips. That's why they designed Axiom 61 with a sleek angled top panel for easier viewing of the display and improved ergonomics. Smooth rotary encoders deliver precise, continuously variable parameter changes while low profile 40 mm faders give you a hands-on feel for the mix. The centrally positioned LCD screen provides informative feedback from DAW hosts, including on-screen display of parameters and settings. It all adds up to intuitive control over your MIDI software and hardware.

Mobile Operation

The Axiom series is extremely compact and lightweight and all models are powered directly from your computer's USB bus. Choose the size that's best for your needs, then take your music anywhere you want to go.
Customer Reviews
4 out of 5 (19 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
"Many features implemented at a respectable, but not excellent level. High price/performance ratio."
Feature: Decent set of all around features: Smooth endless rotary knobs that don't click at each turn (like the previous version of this product). Smooth faders with a nice rubber grip on each. All controls are assignable to custom uses, including the transport buttons. Eight drum pads with medium sensitivity out of the box (slightly better than the competing AKAI controller keyboard drum pads). I found the drum pads right out of the box to be far too insensitive, requiring one to press a bit harder than I like. For those who are ok with opening up their unit and potentially risking losing warranty, these pads can be made perfect with three layers of electric tape placed behind each (Google for the similar procedure on "AKAI drum pad modifications"). Lastly, this unit looks pretty sexy. The LCD display is way too bright (in my opinion, maybe not yours) for working in the dark or low light, but its backlighting can easily be unplugged - again if you are willing to take the risks associated with opening the unit up. Ease of Use: While I cannot comment on the auto mapping via direct link (did not try it since I define my own custom control sets), the overall ease of use is good, not great. Setting up controls for custom uses could be streamlined, and may prove challenging for those new to MIDI or hardware controllers - its really not too bad though, and most is covered in the manual. I would have rated this an 8 if the product retained the direct edit buttons from the previous Gen 1 version. Now you have to press 'Edit' and use the piano keys to make the same entries that were made previously with a single button push. Quality: I have taken this apart to modify the drum pad sensitivity (don't try this at home kids unless you know what you are doing). The build quality is respectable. For such an attractive unit made of plastic, its surprisingly solid construction, and the components inside seem to be of decent, but not premium quality. I don't care for the choice of segmented LCD display, as it is too bright and has goofy 'font' due to the segments. A non segmented display with pixels (much more resolution) would have added significant cost though. The semi weighted keys are a step up from the previous version of the product (from what I understand) but they are slightly stiffer than some semi-piano action keys you may have tried before. I'm getting used to their feel, and kind of like them now, but try them out at a store first if you have the chance. Value: I got this on sale for an excellent price - about 300 USD. I now have nice semi weighted keys, drum pads, knobs and sliders, and transport controls all in one easy to reach place. This can do a fair bit of the job of several separate controllers, and I find myself not wanting to reach as often for my dedicated drum pads or controllers, although this will not replace a dedicated controller like the BCR2000 or NI's Maschine. In summary, this product provides many useful features all implemented at a respectable, but not excellent level. Each of the features could be taken to the next level - but then so would the price. Considering this, I have to rate the price/performance ratio high. The Wow Factor: Quite nice looking. Very pretty in the dark with the blue illumination under some of the buttons. Overall: Provided this unit holds up - and I expect it will, it will be a great controller for some time.
Style of Music: Many styles
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "Axiom 61 (2nd Generation) keyboard best in class at that price-point"
Sound: It's a MIDI controller so isn't itself responsible for sounds. Feature: I bought the Axiom 61 2nd Generation for use with Apple's Logic Pro (9) composing 'classical' music. Its features, ease of use, reliability and adherence to standard protocols make it an excellent product for that purpose. Ease of Use: Easy to use. Good manual. Good technical support Quality: Well made. It is plastic, but seems durable and does everything it's supposed to do very well. Value: Yes; the best value for money in the range - and I did a lot of research! Manufacturer Support: Avid generally provides good and well-informed support. If a little slow at times. The Wow Factor: It's well designed. Overall: This will meet my needs for 'classical' music composition for the foreseeable future.
Style of Music: classical
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