The M-Audio Axiom 25 is a 25 key, semi weighted keyboard, with 8 pads, 8 knobs, a set of transports and a modulation and pitch bend wheel. The feel of this keyboard is AWESOME. I HIGHLY recommend the larger size models of this line for a keyboard, but I use this one as my small scale midi keyboard. It's my second favorite for the size, and it just feels great. The semi-weighted keys are awesome, and the drum pads are great. I have used this keyboard for a while and love it.
Instillation is simple as plugging it in and mapping it to Ableton Live. Everything works fine, but the knobs feel a little clunky and rough, but passable. I love the pads, they feel awesome, and the keys feel SO good under your fingers. I love the general feel of the whole thing and everything has the perfect amount of responsiveness. I love the way that they feel so much, that I bought a 64 key version that I use for pads, leads, and some piano stuff. I'm thinking about picking up another one for live performance. The modulation and pitch bend wheels also feel AWESOME. They are super responsive and smooth.
This is my 2nd favorite keyboard because of it's feel. The keys feel SO good, and the pads rock, though the knobs are nothing special. I use this as my secondary small scale keyboard, and the Roland A-300 Pro as my main. I do love this one though, but the A-300 has more knobs and sliders, and is 20 bucks cheaper and spans 4 octaves. What this lacks in controls it makes up for in the incredible feel and response. The newest version comes with one fader that I've messed with and feels pretty good, so pick one up if you want. I highly recommend this keyboard.
This is, um, red. Actually very red. Very, very red. Actually I think it's limited edition. It has 25 keys, eight trigger pads, eight rotary encoder knobs (the endless kind) and an LCD display.
I paid about $180 smackers for this unit at Music123.com. I was looking for a seperate USB Midi controller for my rig, and this hot little unit was the right price, looked good, and had the features I was looking for.
I like the look for starters. It really dresses up my rig. I also like the fact that the keys are semi-weighted which gives it a traditional feel, and the transport controls are all assignable. There are 20 memory locations as well.
There's not much to like. I'm not a big fan of the included Enigma software that can be used to manage your setups, but that's just my personal preference. I guess you can't win them all.
Seems pretty well built. It's a plastic housing, but it's solid. I mentioned the keys being weighted, and that helps to give it a solid feel while playing. All the knobs and rotary controls seem pretty well built like this thing could hold up to it's share of gigs.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased. For the price, I guess it's not really a steal. Probably pretty fairly priced actually, but I liked the look and features and wasn't really interested in saving 20 or 30 bucks either way. I'd prefer to get what I want and be happy with it.
The M Audio Axiom 25 is a great midi keyboard that will work with virtually any computer music software. I am pretty sure at their website they also have updates just in case that for some reason it doesn't work with your DAW or Sequencing program. You can connect using midi cords or usb. I used usb just because for my mobile set up it was a lot easier to use and just plug in.
Its actually really easy to get set up, just plug and play. You may need to update the drivers though but no need to worry they come with the Axiom when you purchase it. Or if you buy it used or lose the disk you can always do it from their website without any problems. M Audio is usually really good with handling their customers and they will do what they can to keep you up and running.
As far as the manual goes, I did have to use it several times because of all the menu options and buttons on the board. It was a little overwhelming to have all of those options on just a midi keyboard. Not to mention and midi keyboard with its own viewing screen. Now the screen isn't too big though its really small but it will do the job.
For the price, which is pretty high. But its worth the buy! There are a lot of midi keyboards on the market today and to me a lot of them basically have the same options but this one actually has a good weight to it. Its not built cheap. Even though its just a 25, they make them all the way up to 88. I have used the 88 before an it felt like I was going through progressions on a real piano. But the keys aren't too heavy so you can still get those quick synth and leads in. I am a happy M audio customer and will continue to be for years to come. I recommend this midi controller.
M-Audio Axiom 25 MIDI Controller Keyboard Features at a Glance:
25-key velocity-sensitive semi-weighted action keyboard with assignable aftertouch
8 MIDI-assignable trigger pads
8 MIDI-assignable rotary encoder knobs
6 transport buttons reassignable to other MIDI parameters
Assignable pitch bend and modulation wheels
Octave up/down; transpose up/down
Preset / program change / MIDI channel +/- buttons
Backlit LCD screen
Sustain and expression pedal jacks
Built-in USB MIDI interface including standard MIDI In and Out jacks
Powered via USB or optional power supply
I purchased this unit for a number of reasons. It's compact, high quality, has USB, encoders, beat pads, and good keys. I compose with Cubase as well as a few other programs and I needed a new compact controller for that use.
Out of the box, the unit is easy to use. Simply install the driver and go. Some softwares will require a bit of setup, but that has nothing much to do with the axiom itself. Most of the functions are ready to go. The factory settings have been well thought out and assigning pads and encoders is quick with most software. I really like using this unit with ableton live. It integrates quickly and effortlessly.
The manual does a good job of describing features. I really like the different velocity curves available on the axiom. You can choose from a variety of attack curves to match your playing style.
By far my favorite thing about this unit is the keys. They feel real. The weighting is much better than other controllers. It gives that real piano feeling that I need when I track. The pads on the other hand are just okay. Usually I set the velocity to flat because with a curve they are all over the place. Pretty annoying, but they work. The encoders feel sort of clicky in a way I'm not crazy about, but again, they work well. I don't use them much in the studio. They come in handy sometimes playing live. The menu is quite deep and requires a manual unless you REALLY know what you're doing. Don't try to program it on the fly. I doubt many users will need to do much programming though. It comes with most everything done for you. The abilities the axiom gives you are a great addition though for those of us who like to mess around.
If the keys didn't feel wonderful, this would be a so so value product. Fortunately, M-audio got this one right. The keys feel great, and for that I give it a high level of value. I can also say that the quality is great since I've banged it around for a while now and it hasn't hiccuped. Overall I'm very impressed. It's not perfect, but for the value it can't be beat.