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M-Audio Axiom 61 MkII (2nd Gen) MIDI Controller

Total MIDI Control

Dolphin id:8136 Product SKU:9900-53120-10

In stock

The Axiom 61 is an advanced 61-key USB MIDI controller with semi-weighted keys and assignable aftertouch. The M-Audio Axiom 61 MIDI controller combines all the production power and performance you need to get the most from your music software and MIDI controller gear. More than just a “data entry” controller, the Axiom 61 midi keyboard controller features piano-style, semi-weighted keys for a musically satisfying playing experience.

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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. Axiom 61 even features a sleek, angled top panel for easy viewing in any environment.

M-Audio Axiom 61 Mk II (2nd Gen) Key Features:

  • 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!2
    - Hybrid
    - Velvet
    - Strike
    - 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 , 64bit (SP1) / Win7 32, 64bit 
  • 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

£ 214.99 Web price, inc VAT

Ex Vat:
£179.16, VAT at 20.00%

SRP:
£ 295.15
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M-Audio Axiom 61 MkII (2nd Gen) MIDI Controller Reviews

8/10

Not bad at all

I bought one of these a while after they were released so can't comment on the waiting period - it came within a few days. I am a big fan of "no-nonsense" looking equipment and aside from the blue LEDs (maybe I'm just old fashioned but would have preferred green or orange) this didn't disappoint. The controls are very well laid out and labeled, and there are plenty of them too as you will see from the specs.

The rotary encoders can't really be faulted - they're ratcheted to enable tweaks of 1 unit, but I found them equally capable of making sweeping changes without too much of an irritating clicking noise. Especially useful is the configurable "acceleration" on them (you turn faster and the value increments/decrements faster than just linearly).

The faders seem equally, if not more, useful but feel slightly fragile in that they can wobble a bit from side to side (plus the bit on the top comes off if you pull it, but can easily be attached again with no ill effects). This doesn't really affect their use. Making small tweaks with these is more difficult than the knobs though.

The buttons are, well, just buttons, but as with all the controls you can program them to do just about anything, plus they are easy to trigger and good quality.

To me the drum pads feel like an afterthought - I don't play a lot of drum stuff but found it difficult to get a good velocity from them without hitting them hard or turning off the velocity curve (and just having a fixed velocity).

Onto the most important part - the keyboard. This is quite nice and the keys are well made. However they do wobble from side to side a bit, and in fast pieces you can hear them moving. If you're doing a lot of fast keyboard solos I'd recommend an unweighted keyboard with shallower keys - it seems a bit easy to mis-hit the adjacent key on this board (but maybe I'll get used to it). The aftertouch is good - not easy to accidently trigger, nor difficult to get the full range out of. It is programmable to any controller number (maybe you want to pitch bend when you press they key harder) and the display shows how hard you're pressing in real time.

There were just a couple of other "faults" I found. Firstly, there is a slight delay after keying in a program number before this is transmitted over MIDI - so care needs to be taken doing this live. In fact, I found if I carried on playing while waiting for this, it sometimes cancelled and left me with the current program, no change. I haven't found this a major problem, and you can always assign the programmable buttons to change the program which happens instantly.

The other problem was a slightly flimsy USB port - the cable wobbles around a bit and is easy to pull out. I haven't had it fall out on it's own or a bad connection while properly inserted yet though. While on the subject of USB, the supplied drivers work well, although it has to go through the setup process every time you plug it into a different USB port.

For the price this is brilliant - couple it with some software synths (like for example Korg's Legacy collection if you're into classic synths) and you have a modern, flexible setup at a fraction of the price of "the real thing". Oh, final point - the latency over the USB link is practically non-existent, any delay (any I can't say I've had any, only read about it) is purely the fault of software.

9/10

Review: Axiom 61

This is my second midi keyboard/controller and I can't be more pleased with it. The keys are big, semi weighted. The action feels nice. The trigger pads are a nice feature. I've not used them extensively but they certainly seem to work well once you've broken them in. The encoders are nice too. They make a clicking noise as you turn, while that may annoy some, it's good for accurate turning and with eight encoders you have a great deal of functionality. The faders by the side of them are again pretty good. They're quite thin but slide well. There's nine of them so you can have alot of control. With programable memory, transpose, octace, pitch bend, modulation, this keyboard would be a good buy at any time and I can't recommend it enough. Finally the keyboard is very big and sturdy, for me it's not the 'prettiest' controller out there but it's certainly one of the best.

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9/10

Review: Axiom 61

This is my second midi keyboard/controller and I can't be more pleased with it. The keys are big, semi weighted. The action feels nice. The trigger pads are a nice feature. I've not used them extensively but they certainly seem to work well once you've broken them in. The encoders are nice too. They make a clicking noise as you turn, while that may annoy some, it's good for accurate turning and with eight encoders you have a great deal of functionality. The faders by the side of them are again pretty good. They're quite thin but slide well. There's nine of them so you can have alot of control. With programable memory, transpose, octace, pitch bend, modulation, this keyboard would be a good buy at any time and I can't recommend it enough. Finally the keyboard is very big and sturdy, for me it's not the 'prettiest' controller out there but it's certainly one of the best.

9/10

Worth the wait

I originally ordered my Axiom 61 in March, when they were supposed to be released. Having received mine today, after 3 and a half months' wait, I have to say that it was worth the wait.

Unpacked, the original thing that struck me was the lack of an instruction booklet. (Possible that mine is a one-off, but all it had was a 'quick start' and a 'presets' document). As a user of Mac OS X, I knew that it should just run straight through core MIDI, and that's exactly what it did. Powered off the bus, I plugged it into a spare USB slot and immediately loaded up Logic Pro, and there it was, ready to go. The faders and knobs were automatically mapped to the most-often used parameters and worked great - not fiddly to use at all. The knobs are ratcheted so slight tweaks are easily achieved.

The keyboard itself is very small and tidy and laid out very well. Light too (4kg, so my courier informs me) which makes it extremely portable. One thing to note is that the keys are a little plasticky - to get the full velocity out of the keys u really have to whack them, and it does feel a little dangerous. However it's very easy to play and the performances that it produces are subtle and effective. The aftertouch facility also works fine, but again feels a little delicate.

With the lack of an instruction booklet I'm kinda struggling to navigate the buttons under the screen, as they're not exactly clear to use. However, having only had it a couple of hours, I can't really complain!

Definitely one of the most competitive MIDI controllers out there right now for the price, and combining assignable knobs and faders with semi-weighted keys and aftertouch is a winning combination.

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