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  • #46






    Quote Originally Posted by aidanpoulter
    View Post

    I'm also intrigued by enigma but it remains one to me after reading manuals for it and axiom and searching for videos to show me how. Much of this may be cos I'm a midi noobie, for which I beg your indulgence, but I am still searching for explanations for such noobs as me so I can get into those cool features you are starting to explain.




    Make sure you are using the older (LCD to the right) Axiom if you're using Enigma. The newer Axioms are not compatible with Enigma. Also, I can't recommend a specific product to you, but the most accurate resource for info concerning MIDI is:



    http://www.midi.org/









    Quote Originally Posted by aidanpoulter
    View Post

    BTW I'm using mac book pro and imac with ableton lite 8 through USB. Don't have a clue what the driver thing could achieve for me either. Cheers.




    As a Mac user, you don't need a driver for the Axiom series. All of the benefits Windows users get from using a driver are already included in OSX via "Core MIDI".



    Regards,



    Patrick Aurelio

    Testing Supervisor: Keyboards and MIDI

    Avid

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    • #47






      Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
      View Post

      Sorry Patrick, I just assumed from the user name that "Paul" was in there somewhere. You can call me Greg Anderson




      No Worries. It's great to be on a forum with people interested in this project I've been involved in since it was just circuit boards on plywood. Great to be interacting with you as well. It motivated me to FINALLY buy a copy of "Electronics Projects for Musicians".



      Cheers,



      Patrick

      Comment


      • #48






        Quote Originally Posted by paurelio
        View Post

        Unfortunately preset numbers cannot be typed data entry style.




        I hope that's a capability you might add in the future. I guess for now, I could probably get it by adding an M-Audio Evolution UC-33e, I think its number pad permits that, but it seems like a kind of logistically awkward and largely redundant addition!



        The other thing I'd like to see is a Pro with more keys, at least 73. Having 4 zones is such a strong benefit, it would be nice to be able to get a model with extra keys to make even better use of it. (I like 73 key layouts that go C to C and 76 key layouts that go A to C.)

        Comment


        • #49
          Patrick,



          Thanks for the reply. I'm anticipating the purchase of the Pro Tools 9 cross-grade. Will I have any compatibility problems or set-up issues with the Axiom or Axiom Pro?

          Comment


          • #50






            Quote Originally Posted by paurelio
            View Post

            The Axiom Pro has a completely different keybed than previous or current Axioms.




            Are either the Axiom or Axiom pro keyboard actions the same as either the ProKeys 88sx or the Sono 88?



            Also, I posted this question elsewhere, but this might be the better place... I noticed that the Keystation 88ES and the ProKeys 88sx look identical except that the latter has some internal sounds... but what makes the 88es (without the sounds) 5 pounds heavier than the 88sx (22 pounds vs 17 pounds)? Are the keyboard actions different, or is it something else? thanks...



            EDIT: I just read somewhere that the Sono is 24 pounds, so I guess the 88ES is a lighter soundless Sono rather than a heavier soundless 88sx!

            Comment


            • #51
              Thanks for the cool review.



              I'm sorry to revert to such a basic, noob question but would the Axiom or Axiom G2 hold up to gigging? I would primarily be using it for that. I currently own a Korg M50-61 which I love but is not sturdy enough to depend on fo regular gigging. This means I will be changing things in my rig around a bit and will need a controller that will be able to hang.

              Comment


              • #52
                Well my AES videos are done, and it's good to be back Thanks Patrick for fielding all these questions!



                As to gigging, it is plastic, but seems pretty high-impact. You would of course need a suitable way to support it, and a durable carrying case; I'd be more concerned about damaging it getting to or from the gig than at the gig itself, unless you protected it well in transit.



                Given all that, I'll have to guess about reliability as I haven't abused it yet...but it strikes me as being on the same level as some of the older keyboards I gigged with in the past, like the Ensoniq EPS-12. I think as long as you're reasonably careful you shouldn't have any problems, but if you're a "pounder," or people at the gig pass out from too many beers and land on your keyboard, you'll probably wish you had something metal.
                Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                • #53






                  Quote Originally Posted by aidanpoulter
                  View Post

                  Much of this may be cos I'm a midi noobie, for which I beg your indulgence, but I am still searching for explanations for such noobs as me so I can get into those cool features you are starting to explain.




                  You might find this article helpful. It's just the basics, and perhaps too short, but it may help get you started.



                  I would recommend NOT being shy about asking questions. Fact is, MIDI is over 25 years old but how it's applied has changed over this time. People starting out now are at a bit of a disadvantage, because MIDI is more integrated into gear these days, and it takes a little more digging to find out what's going on.



                  Bottom line is that there are a lot of people who have questions about various basic aspects of MIDI, and this is as good a place to answer them as any Different pro reviews take different paths, and some of them end up being more "educational" than "opinionated." So far the Axiom 49 has been very straightforward as a piece of gear, so it may be that the value of this review is more about how apply a keyboard controller like the Axiom 49 than a description/evaluation of the various features - although of course, that will remain a part of this process.
                  Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                  • #54





                    The Axiom Pro has a completely different keybed than previous or current Axioms. It has a much higher dynamic range, and many types of players were consulted to create the most responsive and useful velocity curves utilizing that extra range.



                    Patrick, what do you mean by "higher dynamic range". Isn't velocity 0-127? How can one controller transmit a wider dynamic range over another?

                    thanks

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      I don't want to speak for Patrick, but I think he means more resolution to the dynamic range. One thing I've found with the Axiom 49 is that the velocity response seems quite predictable - if I hit a key with what I think is the same velocity, the keyboard reads it as the same velocity.
                      Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                      • #56
                        Thanks, Anderton and Patrick; I'm reading this review with real interest.



                        I have (yet) another non-standard perspective :-) I'm a 'classical' (orchestral, strings, woodwind, chamber music etc) composer; I currently have a Keystation 61-es. I work exclusively in Logic Pro 9… don't need synth etc.



                        Would either Axiom 61 be suitable for classical music? If so, which - 2nd generation, or Pro?



                        Would I notice a big difference in feel, Expression and Aftertouch between the Axiom and my 61-es?



                        Thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          By dynamic range, I'm referring to the actual signal range the physical keybed sends before it gets translated to MIDI. The result is a more effective use of the existing 128 steps.



                          As far as comparing the feel to other keyboards, resistance and response are calibrated on a per project basis, so direct comparison to the Keystation or Sono Series would not apply.



                          As far as the weight difference, the earlier keyboard designs have a separate chassis for the keybed, whereas the newer keyboards have a lighter "unibody" design.



                          Specific to the feel and "predictability" of the current Axiom, the Product Manager for Axiom (who's name IS Paul) has been through the rigors of the British education system as a classically trained pianist. I was in a random conversation with him the other day, and he told me how he had worked very hard on the velocity response and is particularly proud of the project for that very reason.

                          Comment


                          • #58






                            Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
                            View Post

                            If they supported Sonar with their DirectLink technology, that would be a big help for Sonar fans.






                            Wow I'm really glad I found this review! I was literally just about to click the purchase button at Musician's Friend for an Axiom 61 MKII. Now that I know they don't support Sonar I'll have to find another solution. It's a shame, they had a good price. Probably just as well since I've been seeing such negative post about their support.
                            "Admittedly, it is difficult to reason people out of positions they didn't use reason to attain." - Craig AndertonProgrammer's Logic: " If I can tell you why it doesn't work it's OK that it doesn't work." - meTech Support Logic: " If I can't tell you why it doesn't work it's not our fault." - me

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                            • #59
                              Well...hold on a second. Just because there isn’t DirectLink doesn’t mean the Axiom keyboards won’t work with Sonar, it simply means they won’t communicate in as painless a way as possible “out of the box.” The Axiom doesn’t support Studio One Pro either – and that’s a DAW that hasn’t been around as long as Sonar – so let’s see just how easy, or difficult, it is to control Studio One Pro with the Axiom 49.



                              Why Studio One Pro instead of Sonar? Simple - I’ve been doing a pro review on Studio One Pro for some time, and wanted to test out its instrument automation using an external controller. It’s good about mapping controls from external MIDI devices, but other DAWs have equivalent functionality, even if in some cases not implemented as elegantly. So, Studio One Pro is representative of how this process would work with any DAW, including Sonar. (Incidentally, I just downloaded Pro Tools 9, so it seems like that would be the ideal software to use when testing DirectLink.)



                              Let’s start off with a simple task – using Axiom 49’s encoders to vary crucial soft synth parameters. I'll do a bass line with Studio One Pro’s Presence virtual instrument, and in this case, want to vary three parameters: Filter cutoff, amplitude envelope decay, and distortion FX, using the Axiom 49’s rotary encoders. I may want to vary these while playing or tweak the controls later to add automation, but that’s a Studo One Pro issue, not Axiom 49 (FYI, Studio One Pro handles either option equally well).



                              Whether you need to program the rotary encoders, or can use them "out of the box," depends. Like most DAWs and virtual instruments, Studio One Pro's parameters have a "learn" function so you can simply tell a parameter to respond to whatever controller you want to throw at it. This is unlike the "bad old days," when you would more likely have had to figure out what controller a parameter responded to, then program that value into the device sending the controller messages.



                              However, remember that the Axiom 49 encoders are “endless” encoders, so if you’re expecting to use the stop point of a conventional control as a reference for making precise moves, that’s not going to happen – you’d be better off using the faders, although of course, you might want to use them for something else (like volume for multiple tracks). So, can you do fine adjustments with the rotary encoders?



                              I ran into this situation when wanting to control the amplitude envelope decay. If I turned the knob too far counter-clockwise, the decay became too short and the sound disappeared. On the other hand if I turned the knob too far clockwise, the decay became overly-long, and it was difficult to return it to a short decay setting with precision.



                              But, being able to program minimum and maximum encoder values solved the problem neatly. This involves the same kind of programming moves described previously on programming the pads, and yes, it can be tedious – but this does become second-nature after a while, and you can always save a patch with your desired settings. In a nutshell, the control’s Data 2 parameter sets the minimum value, and the Data 3 parameter sets the maximum value. By setting this window for the exact range I wanted, not only was I able to create the kind of control changes I wanted, but they were spread over a entire control range, making for a sort of “high-resolution adjustment” effect.



                              I didn’t need to do any programming of the filter and fx parameters because the full encoder range worked well with them.
                              Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                              • #60
                                I want to address MV's post before continuing, as it really isn't M-Audio's place to respond and turn this into a tech support thread, either for a specific instance or for policies.



                                As MV says, the products are good, but he had problems with support. Fair enough. And I have to give him props for being upfront and saying that the unit wasn't packed, and hit the floor during a hard stop. However, if you look at most warranties (even though MV's was out of warranty), there's always an "out" for products that endured abuse, neglect, etc. One could argue that if you're going to carry around a piece of electronic gear, you should have a case for it, or at least pad it in something. A sudden shock to a anything electronic can be fatal; you don't need a long fall, just a hard one (I doubt, for example, that a laptop would have survived what you described, either). Couple that with the instrument being out of warranty, and at least legally, M-Audio really didn't have an obligation to replace the keyboard.



                                The policies of companies vary considerably. Back in the heyday of Alesis, their documentation said "90-day warranty" but in reality, if you sent something in, they'd fix it even if it was years later, just for the sake of giving a customer the best possible experience. When I asked an Alesis representative why they put 90 days if they honored products essentially forever, he replied that it was to give them an out if the product had obviously been damaged, dropped, or whatever. But if something came in and looked like it had been cared for, they made good on it. As you might expect, this generated a lot of goodwill.



                                Nowadays, few companies can afford to provide that level of service. As most people are aware, the cost-cutting in this industry is brutal, from manufacturer all the way up the supply chain. People need to realize that the tradeoff for getting a really low price on a product is you're often on your own for support. Again, matters used to be different; you didn't have big music stores, but "mom and pop" stores that operated using a different set of rules. More than likely if you brought in a keyboard, someone would open it up during lunch break, take a look, and see if maybe a ribbon connector had become unseated. If it had, the connector would be re-seated, the unit buttoned up, and you'd be on your way - probably without charge, if you were a regular customer. Then again, you were probably paying 2-3 times as much for strings as you would now...



                                A lot of companies don't even fix things any more. Doesn't work? Not under warranty? Tough - throw it out and buy a new one. Ever try to get an out-of-warranty iPhone fixed?



                                I don't want to sound like an apologist for M-Audio. But, I do feel an obligation to point out the reality of the world we live in these days. Fortunately, I've never had an M-Audio piece of gear die on me, so I have no idea what their tech support is like. Then again, I've never dropped any of their gear, either!



                                I'm sorry you had a negative experience, and your advice to check with users about experience with a company's support is definitely valid. Harmony Central's user reviews are great in this respect, as most reviews include comments about support. Then again, if all the comments say "don't know, it always worked," that tells you something right there too.



                                In any event, I can only cover what I've experienced, and what I'm experiencing is the product itself.
                                Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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