M-Audio Oxygen MK2

M-Audio updated Oxygen for 2014, these new portable MIDI keyboards feature more controls, improved layout and bundled synth software.

2016 Update: The newer Mark 4 version has been featured in Gearank's guide to The Best 25 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.

M-Audio Oxygen

It appears that M-Audio has made the new Oxygen MK2 line more electronic-music friendly, the most obvious addition being a new set of trigger pads. These new pads are positioned to be prominent and accessible just above the keys. The knobs are also thinner and taller for quicker access.

The redesigned Oxygen series is available in three models, the Oxygen 25, Oxygen 29 and Oxygen 61. Each one has the same centerpiece, a velocity-sensitive keybed.

Each Oxygen MIDI keyboard now comes with 8 velocity-sensitive trigger pads. They are user assignable and can be used for triggering samples and percussion sounds, for launching audio clips, and many more. Each pad also features illuminated feedback, adding to the controller's modern appeal.

For real-time adjustments of parameters and mixing, all Oxygen models carry eight assignable knobs. The knobs are noticeably thinner and taller, which makes them easier to grip and adjust during performance or while working in the studio.

The smaller Oxygen 25 features an assignable master fader while the Oxygen 49 and 61 provide nine total faders for expanded MIDI manipulation. Each keyboard in the series carries over the LCD screen and transport controls from their predecessors, allowing for convenient operation of digital audio software. A 6.3mm (¼-inch) sustain input jack is built in for expressive performances.

M-Audio bundled each of Oxygen series MIDI keyboard with a software package for music creation, first of which is Ableton Live Lite – a music creation software designed to allow users to develop songs with extensive MIDI and audio processing tools. It also comes with Twist, an spectral-morphing software synthesizer from SONiVOX, that creates swirling sonic textures.

Oxygen Series Highlights:
  • 25, 49 or 61 full-size, synth-action velocity-sensitive keys
  • 8 velocity-sensitive trigger pads for beat production, clip launching & more
  • 8 assignable knobs for mixing and tweaking plugins
  • 9 assignable faders (Oxygen 49, Oxygen 61)
  • Transport controls let you operate your DAW without reaching for the mouse
  • Auto-maps to popular DAWs: Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase
  • LCD screen provides instant parameter feedback
  • USB powered; a single cable provides power and MIDI connectivity
  • Works with Apple's iPad Camera Connection Kit (sold separately) for use with iOS devices
  • Includes Ableton Live Lite for immediate and powerful music creation
  • Includes SONiVOX Twist spectral morphing synthesizer

M-Audio product manager JC Sutherland comments, "We wanted to give musicians and producers more tools, more control, and thus more capability. The Oxygen series features the most in-demand hardware and software for making compelling music without restrictions."

The new M-Audio Oxygen 25, Oxygen 49, and Oxygen 61 are expected to have a $99, $149, and $199 retail price, respectively. For more information, you can head over to M-Audio.

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