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Rating and Reviews: M-Audio Axiom 49 Keyboard

49-key velocity-sensitive semi-weighted action keyboard with assignable aftertouch

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Great for beginners and intermediate." submitted August 13, 2007

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock, Metal, Progressive, Experimental
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: There's not much to say about sound considering the device doesn't necessarily make it's own sound. Feature: Comes with Ableton Live Lite (version 6 upgrade free on ableton.com). Assignable faders, nobs, pads, etc. The faders are a little... floppy... if you will. They are also a little laggy, it takes a second for them to move in software. Nobs feel good. Pads have a "sweet spot" directly in the center. If you hit them on the sides, it isn't as "loud". Keys feel lightly weighted. Bright blue backlight. Ease of Use: Enigma software needs better documentation. Axiom documentation a little lacking for a beginner. Installation is a severe pain. DO NOT DISABLE THE INSTALLER SERVICE AFTER IT'S INSTALLED! Also, the documentation says to turn on the axiom after the drivers are installed. Don't do that, turn it on THEN install or your computer won't recognize it. Faders are laggy (as stated above), pads have sweet spot (as stated above). Number pad makes switching presets faster than the 25-key version. More dedicated buttons than 25-key. Quality: Overall the product looks fantastic. The only REAL disappointment is the faders. They tilt slightly when you move them (not too much, but annoying), the nobs are dubious (I'm not sure if too much use will make the firm notches wear down), the pads would be better if the sides and the center were more uniform, the keys still have a "plastic" feel, but not necessarily cheap or flimsy. All other buttons feel very nice. Value: Compared to many other devices in this range, you get a lot of control for the price. Manufacturer Support: Never had to use them (though you might need to call them if you run into installation problems). The Wow Factor: This product looks very nice. It was designed well and I wouldn't might being seen with it. Overall: Currently, I don't have any need for a different keyboard. It has plenty of keys, enough pads for Ableton, sliders (though fine tuning is difficult), and assignable nobs for different things. You may still need additional nobs in the future as this only includes 8.
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"one of the best midi keyboards you can buy." submitted September 15, 2008

By a customer from inbox.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: dj, producer-to-be
Music Style: hip hop
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: it's a midi keyboard that has no sound. Feature: the keyboard came with a setup cd and another cd with ableton live lite. i don't use ableton so i have no opinion about it. the setup was fairly easy. it took about 30 minutes of troubleshooting to get it going, but after that everything ran fine. the faders are more useful than the knobs/dials. the knobs don't spin freely (although they spin infinitely). they click as they turn, which kind of prevents you from using them as very quick adjustments lile you would with the faders. it's not a big deal, but i would prefer it if they didn't click. Ease of Use: it sets up pretty easily. the transfer buttons (play, stop, pause, record, etc.) are hard to get to work with lots of DAWs, so i've heard. i use fl studio 6 and can't get them to work. i haven't tryed very hard because it's not that big of a deal. and i can't for the life of me figure out how to map the keyboards controls to different soft-synths in my DAW. when i try to map a new set of controls if starts overwrtiting the old ones. it's a problem with my DAW i think though, not the keyboard. and there is no manual booklet. i understand the reasoning behind it (save paper because not everyone is going to read it). but they don't even give you the .pdf manual on the setup cd. you have to find it on the net for yourself, which is completely retarded. other than that, it's easy to use. Quality: the keyboard seems like it's built pretty solid. more so than the few others i looked at (edirol, and the m-audio oxygen keyboards). the faders don't all move the same though. some slide a bit easier than other. not a huge difference, but it's noticeable. the keys have a good feel compared to other similarly priced keyboards i tryed. i like how the key extend down into the keyboard, rather than other keybaords that have a gap under the keys. it makes the key seem more solid. i only use it in my house and don't move it around much at all, but it seems like it would hold up well for gigs. Value: i payed more by buying it at a small local shop. it would have been maybe $50 cheaper if i got it online. but if the thing breaks i don't have to deal with it, i just bring it back the shop and they'll deal with the replacing. even for the steep price i paid i think it's worth it. Manufacturer Support: i only emailed m-audio once and got and answer back within 24 hours. so i don't have much to say about the support. one stupid thing is that the enigma program that lets you map the keys doesn't come on the setup disc either. m-audio definitely should include the enigma program and the .pdf manual on the setup disc. The Wow Factor: the keyboard looks pretty good. i'm not big on the futuristic, silver keyboards that are coming out, so this one looks good to me. it's simple, with no pointless, flashy additions. Overall: overall it's the best midi keyboard i've tryed. i haven't tryed a lot of them, but it's the best i've tryed. it's built solid, is pretty easy to set up, and feels good when you're playing it. other than having to go on the net to find the manual and key-mapping program, there have been no set-backs or problems. i haven't had it for a long time (2 months), and i treat my electronics well so i can see myself having it for a while.
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"Decent cost=performance budget controller...opt for the 25 key version" submitted July 1, 2007

Overall
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
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Feature: Covers all the bases...has touch pads, faders, knobs, decent key action Ease of Use: Mildly confusing interface and fairly useless manual. As long as you use it for midi controlling and such and mapping keys yourself it is good. Documentation was not helpful in getting into advanced programming. Quality: Faders have issues. If you move one fader to the side a bit, it cuts all the faders out. Very strange. You have to be gentle when fading, so live performance could be an issue if you get into your act much. Faders knobs are pretty loose and the thing is rather cheaply made (all plastic). Nice pitch and mod wheel though absolutely. Value: Good deal for the price-a little rough around the edges though. I would go for the 25 key option if I had the chance instead of the 49. The Wow Factor: Was dying for it....now i want a novation remote. Overall: decent value = performance ratio. Nice to have faders and knobs that work. Download the enigma software off m-audio's website. My axiom took a dump and I had to recalibrate it with the software. Now it is much more solid. It used to think all my knobs were one CC.
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"Overall, I love this device." submitted October 31, 2007

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Beginning keyboard
Music Style: no style yet, just the basics: scales, chords, fingering
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Sound: Sounds great through the FL studio program. Feature: n/a Ease of Use: I had a major problem getting it to work. After calling support, the problem was deemed to be excessive drivers assigned to USB ports. I uninstalled the drivers from the Axiom 49 (they are not necessary with Windows XP), unistalled nokia drivers, unistalled logitech drivers, and any other driver that was linked to a USB port. After this, the unit ran flawlessly. Quality: I love the way it looks, but I had an Oxygen 8 that was made like junk. This is by the same company, so I am holding my breath. I hope it is built better than their products used to be built. Value: Can't beat the value. Manufacturer Support: You have to call them. Forget email. Some things still work best with the phone. Long distance charges no longer apply to anyone, check out Rebtel for ultra cheap international calls. I called the UK from Latvia for 30 minutes... a few cents. Take that, Ma Bell! The Wow Factor: Looks great. Feels great. Keys are polished white and flat tone black, just as they should be. Semi-weighted feels good. Overall: Probably will be very happy with it until I can purchase an upper end Kawai grand piano.
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"I highly recommend this controller to anybody looking for the best bang for your buck in midi controllers." submitted July 12, 2006

Overall
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Feature: This controller has EVERYTHING. 49 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 9 faders, 8 360
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