The hardy however light-weight Oxygen sequence from M-Audio is reinvigorated within the new MKV sequence, the fifth incarnation of the favored controller. The Oxygen MKV 61, reviewed right here, is the biggest within the MKV (mark 5) vary. The subsequent mannequin down, the 49-key model, is equivalent in all however octaves, whereas the 25-key mannequin forgoes eight of the 9 faders. There are some beauty adjustments from the MK IV predecessor, from the pad backlight color to the rotary knob fashion, however the mild but strong construct stays, as does a lot of the structure and the three-character LED show. The principle updates are in DAW integration and new operations: Good Chord/Scale and Arpeggiator.
The I/O is minimal with simply USB 2.0 and maintain pedal sockets. As soon as plugged in, the MKV 61 reveals up as three USB MIDI gadgets. The primary is for traditional MIDI, i.e. the keys, pads, mod/pitch wheels and controllers. Second is the DAW part, which incorporates the transport controls and the controllers when the keyboard is switched to DAW mode, which requires urgent the DAW/Preset button. The third machine listed is the Editor, which integrates with the preset editor software program permitting you to alter controller assignments, handle/archive presets and alter international settings.
As a set of keys, faders, knobs and pads, the playability of the Oxygen 61 is prime. The sunshine, non-weighted plastic keys might not be the primary selection for an beautiful piano expertise. Nonetheless, they produce a reliably delicate response for what they’re, and there are a number of sensitivity ranges to select from relying on the appliance. Taking part in percussive devices, from drums to synth stabs and clavinets, is the place this type of keybed come into its personal, versus weighted varieties, and the Oxygen 61 serves these enjoying wants properly.
The eight backlit pads can take a correct finger-drum pummelling however nonetheless react to a comparatively mild contact for fills, rolls and chord builds. The faders and knobs steadiness smoothness with sufficient resistance to permit correct parameter setting. Although the faders are justifiably short-throw, they’re nonetheless equally helpful for controlling DAW mixer faders and synth parameters. The LED show at all times reveals the worth being despatched, so monitoring your place is simple. That is additionally useful for darker efficiency areas because the place of the black faders on the black keyboard could also be laborious to establish.
With a press of the DAW button, the 9 faders, their buttons and the eight knobs develop into pre-mapped controls, alongside the transport panel, which runs in both mode. There are 5 DAW protocol units based mostly across the Mackie, Mackie/HUI programs and MIDI-based ones for Ableton, MPC Beats and Purpose. Briefly, there’s loads of performance for many functions. The keyboard comes bundled with Ableton Reside Lite and MPC Beats, so this helps make a whole package deal. There are additionally preset mappings for the bundled Hybrid 3 and Mini Grand instrument plug-ins by AIR Music, making this extra engaging from the outset.
The eight faders work as channel faders, with left/proper cursor buttons banking up and down eight channels at a time. You’ll be able to configure the buttons under to run as channel choice, solo, mute or document arm for his or her related tracks by way of one other button. This ninth fader is assigned to the output/combine bus channel, nevertheless that is decided throughout the DAW. For the Mackie-based programs, the knobs perform as pan controls; in MIDI CC-based DAW presets, they will management ship ranges, too. That is a powerful vary of management performance with out having to get elbow deep in controller assignments. Notably, the controllers work easily with none jumps or glitching.
Arps and Notice Repeat
The cluster of buttons across the LED show unlock a number of options, two of that are rhythmically associated: the arpeggiator and Notice Repeat. The previous is a mode of its personal, together with Good Chord and Good Scale. With beneficiant use of the Shift button, virtually two octaves of keys develop into controls for arpeggiator parameters: time division, gate time, swing, octave vary and notice order. You’ll be able to clock the arpeggiator externally by way of the USB MIDI, similar to from a DAW MIDI clock, or internally utilizing the Tempo/Sync button, which could be tapped or programmed. There may be additionally a latched arpeggiation mode to free your arms for extra advanced chord alternatives. You will get extra choices in a DAW or synth, however all of the necessities are right here, and it makes the Oxygen 61 MKV a stable selection for programming and efficiency.
Notice Repeat applies to the pads and is available in latched and momentary flavours, with the latter permitting rolls or repeats when the Notice Repeat button is held down. This has huge potential for pattern triggering and beat making with time divisions working from ¼-notes to triplet 32nds.
Chords and scales
The Good Chord and Good Scale modes provide time-saving choices for programming and efficiency. They share some Shift button-based parameters similar to base key and scale (main, minor and customized), with Good Chord supplying eight voicing choices as properly. Good Chord is superb for cooking up in-scale progressions with out having to be a proficient keyboard participant. Nonetheless, as with the Good Scale, some musical information will assist you to perceive why the identical chord (or notice) is sounding in D main when F or F# is pressed. It is a helpful perform for studying as a lot as it’s for programming and composition.
The entire package deal?
The MKV model of the M-Audio Oxygen 61 matches lots right into a small and low-cost package deal, from the performance to the bundled software program. The arpeggiator, pad notice repeat, and chord/scale features add helpful instruments that deliver the Oxygen updated. It’s a improbable deal for these making their early steps in music manufacturing and people just a little additional alongside in want of a price range controller that received’t go away them brief on choices.
- 61-key, 5-octave vary with pitch and mod wheels
- 9 faders with assignable perform buttons (MIDI CC or DAW)
- 8 rotary knobs (MIDI CC or DAW)
- 8 velocity-sensitive pads (multi-function)
- Transport controls (Play, Cease, Rec & Loop)
- Constructed-in arpeggiator
- Good chord and scale features
- DAW management presets for Mackie, Mackie/HUI and MIDI messages (Ableton, MPC Beats and Purpose)
- Weight: 2.5kg / 5.4lbs
- Dimensions: 10.4” x 19.3” x 3.3” / 264.1 x 490.2 x 83.3 mm