M-Audio Axiom 61 or other 61-key controllers? [Archive] - Sax on the Web Forum

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ZephyrSax
01-03-2008, 03:12 AM
I'm looking into picking up a mid-size MIDI controller, but I don't really want to go any smaller or larger than 61-keys, or 5 octaves. The M-Audio Axiom 61 appears to be one of the best purchases in this category with a ton of buttons, knobs, sliders, and patches, but how does it really stack up? Any other recommendations in this category? Thanks :)

Smooth Sop Berator
01-03-2008, 07:27 AM
I have an Axiom 61. I've wasted many hours trying to figure out how to program the buttons, knobs, and sliders, and got nowhere. I might as well not have them, then there'd be less things to go wrong (and collect dust). Looks impressive, with the led screen and all, but I just cannot figure it out.
Other than that, it does have a decent feel to the keys.

ZephyrSax
01-03-2008, 04:03 PM
I have an Axiom 61. I've wasted many hours trying to figure out how to program the buttons, knobs, and sliders, and got nowhere. I might as well not have them, then there'd be less things to go wrong (and collect dust). Looks impressive, with the led screen and all, but I just cannot figure it out.
Other than that, it does have a decent feel to the keys.

Did you try Enigma on the M-Audio website? That looks like it would do the trick. :?

What softsynth are you trying to team it with?

xuanvu
01-03-2008, 06:53 PM
I've been using the Axiom on live gigs for about a year, rock solid, very light weight and done the job well... I don't know why the other poster wasted all his time programming the buttons/sliders? I don't have any problem programming them at all.

Kenny.

harmonizerNJ
01-03-2008, 07:47 PM
ZephyrSax, do you actually just want a MIDI controller, or do you want a keyboard which includes sound generation (synth) functions as well? Will you be using this for live gigging, or just for home studio activities only?

ZephyrSax
01-03-2008, 08:19 PM
Thanks for that question, harmonizerNJ...let me explain.

I already have a keyboard with sound generation, it's a basic Yamaha (PSR-293), but it's sufficient for all of my regular practising needs. I've gigged a few times on it, and it works fine for that, but it has very limited potential in anything other than your average piano solos or backgrounds, as its 500 voices are decent but surprisingly limited.

What I'm looking for is much more advanced sound generation/modification. Having explored softsynths, I'm really liking the Native Instruments line including Kore 2, Komplete 5, etc...FM8, Pro-53, Kontakt - all brilliant programs. But I'll be needing a MIDI controller to work with my laptop, hence the question.

Potentially my set-up would be for both live gigging and home studio use, so I need the flexibility in that sense.

It seems however that as many people said, softsynths + controllers are much cheaper and more flexible than hardware synths, and I'm not looking to break the $1000 mark in terms of my set-up.

How's that? Any thoughts?

harmonizerNJ
01-06-2008, 02:29 AM
If you are going to use your new setup for live gigging, and you plan to use a laptop and softsynth, just make sure that you will actually be comfortable with that. I believe that you do get better sounds for the money with a softsynth than with a "hard" synth (assuming that you already own a laptop). But the user interface of a laptop with softsynth is not simple enough for everyone's taste to use for live gigging. I believe a hard synth will stay up more reliably, and will be easier and quicker to restart if needed. How long does it take to reboot your laptop, and restart the softsynth application?

If you already own a softsynth, it might be a good idea to write up a set list, and try a dry run at home, of going through a set where you are alternating between sax, keyboard, and different patches on the keyboard. There is alot more on this topic at Keyboard Corner (http://forums.musicplayer.com/). Newbies there are admonished to use the search function, just as they are here.

I noticed this thread there today, which is titled "Soft Synths Live":
http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1865891/page/1/gonew/1#UNREAD

If you are satisfied with the keyboard action on your Yamaha, and it has a MIDI out port, then you could use it, and just buy a sound module. I bought a used Roland XV-5050 about 2.5 years ago for about $360 on eBay. The Roland XV-2020 is basically the same unit with less useful front panel controls. Roland has a newer generation model, the Sonicell, which is better and costs more but is still under $1000. Think about whether you want a really good B3 organ emulation, and if so, you might want to look at a Nord. The keyboard player in my band sometimes borrows a Nord sound module, and it has some killer sounds for B3 organ, clavinet, and Fender Rhodes Electric Piano. I'm sorry I don't know the model number of this Nord sound module.