M-Audio is showcasing a lot of products at this year’s NAMM show – interfaces, MIDI controllers and newly reintroduced microphones.
M-Audio has added three new Axiom AIR models to their Axiom USB/MIDI keyboard and pad controller lineup: the Axiom AIR 61 (pictured above), Axiom AIR 49, and Axiom AIR 25. As you can imagine, these were created together with AIR and joins the previously released and compact Axiom AIR Mini 32.
They all ship with both Pro Tools Express and AIR Ignite, the latter which more or less was made for M-Audio keyboards.
I don’t know about the quality of today’s M-Audio keyboards. In the past (years ago) I didn’t like them, but they might very well be better now. Please chime in if you have any insight.
The pads, buttons, and rotary encoder knobs feature three banks of controller assignments; the current bank is indicated by tri-color illumination. All controller assignments can be freely made from the front panel and easily identified using the dedicated Identify button. The unique Pad Learn function makes it easy to assign instrument sounds to pads. Best yet, each Axiom AIR model features M-Audio’s HyperControl to automatically map the controllers to popular recording software and virtual instrument titles.
The AIR models are of course fairly similar to each other but M-Audio had different users in mind when they designed them.
Axiom AIR 25
Ideal for the modern beat-making musician, the Axiom AIR 25 offers a generous 16 pads and 25 synth-action keys—with aftertouch. Assignable controls include 8 rotary encoder knobs and 1 long-throw 70mm fader.
Axiom AIR 49
Balancing size and features to satisfy a broad range of players and composers, the Axiom AIR 49 features 12 pads and 49 synth-action keys—with aftertouch. Assignable controls include 8 rotary encoder knobs, 9 buttons, and 9 long-throw 70mm faders.
Axiom AIR 61
Providing the accomplished keyboardist with an inspiring playing experience, the Axiom Air 61 delivers 61 TruTouch, semi-weighted keys with aftertouch. Assignable controls include 8 rotary encoder knobs, 9 buttons, and 9 long-throw 70mm faders.
M-Audio has also announced a new M-Track Series of USB audio/MIDI interfaces. M-Audio will offer three distinct models, perhaps to battle it out against Apogee. Details are as follows.
This entry-level model offers two-channel operation. Each channel provides both XLR and 1/4″ inputs. Phantom power (48V) and guitar-level switching are provided. Professional audio converters and discrete preamp design deliver up to 24-bit, 48 kHz digital audio for use with virtually any software. 4-segment LED metering and multiple status lights provide real-time visual feedback. A single USB cable provides both power and data, making setup a snap. Intuitive controls include individual gain knobs, a convenient zero-latency mix knob, plus a headphone output with its own level knob. MIDI in and out jacks are provided, in addition to the balanced main 1/4″ outputs. Ignite by AIR music creation software and Ableton Live Lite 8 complete this powerful package.
At home in the more advanced digital studio, the step-up M-Track Plus is built on the M-Track’s foundation, with the addition of coaxial S/PDIF digital input and output jacks on the back panel and a robust metal casing. M-Track Plus comes equipped with Ignite by AIR music creation software plus Avid Pro Tools Express, complete with the iLok USB key—a $49.99 value.
The flagship of the family, M-Track Quad offers up to four simultaneous audio inputs. As with the entire M-Track family, the M-Track Quad features four individual mic inputs with selectable 48V phantom power, 1/4″ line inputs with guitar-level switching, and per- channel audio inserts. A second set of outputs operates independent of the monitor level control, providing extra versatility. The four-channel M-Track Quad includes an AC power supply plus three USB outputs, allowing it to function as a powered USB hub. M- Track Quad also comes equipped with Ignite by AIR music creation software plus Avid Pro Tools Express, complete with the iLok USB key—a $49.99 value.
Last but not least, M-Audio has reintroduced three of their microphones – Sputnik, Nova and Pulsar II. I have particular experience with M-Audio microphones, but please share yours if you have any!