M-Audio Oxygen 49 4 MIDI Controller Keyboard

Editor rating

4.3/5 on Sep 21, 2015

User's rating

41 reviews

PROS

  • Several streamlined controls
  • Instantly control popular DAWs and plug-ins
  • Easy computer connection
  • Factory presets
  • Innovative Ignite software
  • High value

CONS

  • Limited velocity
  • Size
  • Synth keys

VERDICT

The Oxygen 49 4 MIDI keyboard controller offers a well-organized setup with many controllers for both performers and producers to customize to their liking. As it is made by M-Audio, a leading name in the MIDI controller field, the quality is high, and the innovation is awesome. While velocity is limited, many users can overlook that feature in favor of the other benefits.

Features:

  • 49 synth keys
  • 8 velocity-sensitive pads
  • 8 encoders/pots
  • 9 faders
  • Dedicated transport control
  • Pitch bend and mod wheels
  • Sustain pedal output x 1

Several Streamlined Controls

When you're in the midst of an audio session, you want everything easily within reach and simple to use. That's why you'll think that the Oxygen 49 is a keeper. There's no reaching for the mouse anymore!

The setup is ideal for fast alterations of the eight knobs and nine sliders. You can stay in the flow of mixing, without having to be interrupted by toggling between QWERTY keyboard and MIDI controller. Plus, the layout of the controllers is divided into sections so you can find the right control element in no time.

Instantly Control Popular DAWs and Plug-ins

Take advantage of the DirectLink mode. It automatically maps the controls of this keyboard to common DAW parameters. This feature enables you to tweak quickly the editors and mixers, as well as transport windows. You get instant access to the most popular DAWs, including Ableton Live, Logic, Cubase, and Pro Tools. Connecting your software with your MIDI controller is simple!

Easy Computer Connection

You won't have any issues connecting your Oxygen 49 4 to your iOS. Just use Apple's Camera Connection Kit to connect any iOS device to your keyboard. From there you can record multiple tracks and access virtual instrument apps.

The keyboard controller is USB-powered and it has USB-MIDI connectivity as well as plug-and-play functionality, for quick setup right out of the box.

Factory Presets

Virtual instruments come preset in the keyboard controller for you. This feature saves you setup time, and you get access to the most sought-after instruments. Manipulate them how you want with the eight assignable knobs. You can adjust the musical elements too with eight velocity-sensitive trigger pads for beat production and using the included SONiVOX Twist spectral morphing synthesizer.

Innovative Ignite Software

The keyboard controller comes with a range of music software to enhance your creativity, including Ignite from AIR music. This software is a great tool as you write, record, and produce music with your MIDI controller. Ignite comes with over 275 instruments. All sounds load quickly, include keyboards, drums, guitars, synths, and woodwinds. Also, the software has features to optimize your creativity, including the Chord Player, which generates a chord pattern with just one key.

High Value

Currently at $169, the M-Audio Oxygen 49 4 MIDI offers great value to its players. It comes with 49 velocity-sensitive keys, dedicated buttons for quickly switching between MIDI channels and presets, has a quality frame, and interfacing with this device is a breeze. Add in the eight pads, eight encoders/pots, nine faders, and dedicated transport control, not to mention the bundled software, and you're looking good, you music pro!

Limited Velocity

Surprisingly, there are only three velocity settings to this 49-key MIDI keyboard. The limitation is that you may find it difficult to get the velocity curve just as you want it to be. Now and then you will hear in your recording a note that sounds a bit higher than the few notes before it.

Size

The size of the gear may not fit with your lifestyle either. Perhaps you want to take it with you but it won't fit into your backpack. If you are on the go, then you may want to look for a more compact model than this one, which measures 32" wide and 9.6" deep.

Synth Keys

Are you used to playing a real piano? If so, then you will notice that synth keys are much lighter than what you are used to playing on a piano. If you want weighted keys, then you will have to keep searching for the best MIDI keyboard for your needs.