M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV Review

M Audio Oxygen 49 Key Midi Controller

Manufacturer: M-Audio

Model: Oxygen 49

Type: MIDI Keyboard Controller

Price: $$$

Product URL: Website

If you are looking for a light, small, and well laid out MIDI controller, this is it. If you are looking for a MIDI controller that is not only versatile but also flexible, this is the one. First, it is the ideal candidate to accompany you during travel. Secondly, you can use it in your home studio as well. M-Audio designed the keyboard well so that the keys are tight and firm. The keys are not too hard and not too soft, meaning they are balanced. And the most important thing is that you can travel with this unit, just make sure you keep the box intact.

Features

  • It has eight velocity sensitive trigger pads that are useful for producing beats and launching clips
  • You can manipulate virtual instruments and plugins with 8 knobs
  • You can mix with ease with 9 assignable faders
  • The M-Audio Oxygen 49 MIDI controller allows you to map controls to popular DAWs without using mouse, thanks to the transport buttons
  • It has LCD display for instant feedback
  • It features sustain pedal to keep your creative juices flowing
  • This keyboard is versatile and you can easily connect it to your computer with a USB cable

Pros

  • It comes with enough pads for clip launching and beats production – recording, composing, remixing and improvising can happen out of the box. And thanks to the production software accompanying this model – integrating your hardware/software is straight forward.
  • The M-Audio Oxygen is well built with a nice sound. It is versatile and can help you learn and play drum pads and keys simultaneously.
  • It maps itself so you don’t have to be a genius to get it to work. Moreover, it works seamlessly with many DAWs such as Ableton, Logic, Logic Pro, FL Studio, and many others.
  • It is affordable and allows you to make music on the go – you don’t even need to reach for the mouse to make music.
  • You can integrate it with most of the popular DAWs out of box, and if you are using Reason, then this works without installing drivers.

Cons

  • The velocity curve is flawed, so it’s difficult to get right the velocity curve on it.
  • The pads are a little difficult to trigger and the keys have some clickity-sound to them.
  • It does not have a volume slider.
  • The LED interface is not intuitive.
  • The drum pad is not re-assignable.

Portability

While most people praise this product for being small and compact, I think it’s going to take some space on your desk if you don’t have a large studio desk. If you have a dedicated space for a 49-key MIDI keyboard, then there is no problem in going for this.

Fortunately, the M-Audio Oxygen 49 is at the middle of the pack here. Therefore, if you are looking for mid-sized MIDI controller to make music, go for it. And, if you are looking for something to travel with, this will work well for your purpose.

Budget

The M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV is more than a hundred dollars. Nonetheless, it is still very affordable for many people. On another note, majority of those who have owned it are pleased with it while citing ease of use, seamless setup and variety of features. I think it’s a good investment for all the features it gives you.

Looking at other competing products like the Alesis V149 and Akai Professional MPK 249 in terms of price tag, you can see that the price for this product is quite decent. If you are buying your first MIDI controller, I would recommend it for you, because it has features to get you started.

Whether you are a Mac or a Windows users, you can get it working without much configuration. However, if this is your second, third, or fourth MIDI controller, then you know you are getting a deal with this since other models can be more expensive.

Although there are other MIDI controllers out there that costs less than the M-Audio Oxygen, there are many features on it that makes it worth every penny spent on it.

Beginner or Pro-friendly

In terms of budget and features, it is good for a beginner. As far as I’m concerned, this MIDI controller is suitable for both the beginner and the experienced music creator. For a beginner, a solid MIDI controller is one of the most important equipment that can jumpstart your career. And the M-Audio Oxygen 49 does not disappoint in this department.

This is a MIDI controller that hits the mark for everything you need as a beginner. The drum pad is tight and sensitive while the keys feel comfortable and balanced. The MIDI controller also integrates smoothly with your digital audio workstation.

Even if you don’t know how to play piano or this is your first time buying a MIDI controller, you shouldn’t have any problem with playing and making music.

Dimensions and Weight

It weighs just over 6 pounds. The M-Audio Oxygen has a balance keyboard that is also firm, and designed for the musician on the go. It measures 9.6 x 32 x 3.7 inches, so that it can be used solely in your studio or be a constant travel partner.

One thing I like about this keyboard is that it doesn’t have unnecessary features. This makes it easier to use it if you are a beginner and makes the pro workflow smooth.

Connection

You can power this MIDI controller by USB connection to your computer and it is very easy to setup. It doesn’t require any power cord so you don’t have to incur extra charges to your energy expenses.

Accessories and Box Content

It comes with a decently crafted headphones and a stand – which is very sturdy and durable. The keyboard itself is well built so that it can stay with you for a long time. The package also includes Ableton Live Lite and Spectral Morphing Synthesizer.

Keyboard Feel

If you are looking for a MIDI controller with a good layout, you will like this one. The drum pads are high quality and the modulation wheel is snappy, as you would expect from a controller of this caliber. The keyboard is also light and sleek, which is a positive if you intend to travel frequently with your MIDI controller.

The keys are full and they produce nice sounds while you are playing them. You may not be able to use it with a piano or any piece of equipment that requires dynamic controls because of the flawed velocity. Even if you are a professional music and can control your hands quite well, you may still find that the whole of the keys are not very good for that purpose.

Number of Keys

There are 49 keys on this MIDI controller. When you are playing with this unit, you may discover that the keys make some sort of clicky sound; however, some bounce to them makes them sound better. The keys on the keyboard are well arranged and they feel nice and firm during usage. The keys also have virtual weight to them.

The harder you press on the keys, the more varied the accents will come out. This can give you a lot of different and nice sound bites that you wouldn’t be able to produce on your own or when using a piano.

DAW Compatibility

It runs smoothly on the Mac Logic Pro 10.1. However, it should work smoothly with lower versions of Logic Tools. Most users who have used this MIDI controller on Pro Tools stated that it worked seamlessly, even without any configuration.

It should also work well with any Windows DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) so you shouldn’t have any problem if you are using a PC. I also discovered during my research, that it works great with Studio One Artist, FL Studio, Ableton, Logic, and Sonar and if you have other controllers on board, you shouldn’t have any problem.

Before you can map your buttons on this device or hook it up with your DAW, you must download drivers for it – which is available on the M-Audio website. The process is straightforward. Even if this is your first time, you should be able to complete this with ease – unless of course you encountered an unexpected error.

You may have to register your unit – if you don’t already have an account with M-Audio – before the software will be available for download.

Consumer Reviews and Ratings

One of the important steps you must take when buy a piece of equipment is to read other consumer reviews about the product you want to buy. If you look at Amazon Reviews for this product, you can see a lot of people recounting their experience with the product.

While researching, I discovered that majority of users are satisfied with the M-Audio Oxygen because it does exactly what it is meant to do and does it well. It is well received among users and there is generally a positive tone from many of the reviews.

Pricing and Where to Buy

You can buy this product directly from the Website here. However, if you are looking for discount or the best deal on this product, you should buy it from Amazon here. If you are fortunate, you will also score free shipping during your purchase. I have included a link to Amazon where you can buy this product.

Wrapping Up

If you are looking for a MIDI controller that is suitable for regular MIDI work, look no further. It has assignable knobs and faders that make it easy to use with most of the popular digital audio workstations. As a mid-level MIDI controller, the M-Audio Oxygen 49 is ideal for the musician on the go and an owner of a small studio.

>>Check Price and Reviews of Oxygen 49 MKIV on Amazon<<

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