MAudio’s controllers are pretty popular these days – and for a good reason. The brand likes to do things right and deliver products which are compatible, efficient and reasonably priced. Because of that, M-Audio’s Oxygen 49 MKIV has become known as one of the most capable MIDI keyboard controllers on the market. It’s worth taking a closer look…
In recent years, MAudio’s Oxygen 49 MKIV has proven to be one of the most popular choices for a MIDI keyboard controller. There are many reasons for this, although it all spans from the design. MAudio has done a great job in producing a well-organized controller, by arranging all four main control clusters in a way that reduces the size of the product, while remaining intuitive to use.
It features a rock-solid chassis that feels incredibly robust, but doesn’t prove too heavy. The quality of the buttons, switches and knobs is also fairly good for the price. Finally, the Oxygen 49 MKIV looks rather good, with a simple but powerful black and orange color scheme. It’s not particularly groundbreaking, but it feels as if some serious thought has gone into the design phase.
When it comes to features, things are pretty standard. For the main cluster you are looking at 49 full-sized, velocity-sensitive keys, paired with eight trigger pads which are also velocity sensitive. The aux controls include nine fully-assignable faders and eight assignable knobs, with both pitch and mod wheels as well.
As for connectivity, the level of integration with numerous DAWs is impressive to say the least. A set of fully functional transport buttons attest to this as well. It doesn’t take much snooping around to realize that other brands might offer a bit more in terms of controls. However, you’ll rarely find one that offers this kind of versatility all while delivering borderline flawless performance and integration.
It also comes with a very good software suite, including Ableton Live Lite and Eleven Lite. The bottom line is that MAudio’s Oxygen 49 MKIV gives you all the features you need for a relatively small price.
There are two reasons why the Oxygen 49 MKIV is considered to be among the best. The first is that it is a reliable and consistent performer. Every control feels precise, accurate and inspires confidence. It is no acoustic piano, but those velocity-sensitive synth-style keys are by far some of the best in this class, while being full size gives you plenty of space to work with.
The second reason is compatibility. MAudio wanted to make sure that the Oxygen 49 MKIV operates as intended with just about every major DAW out there. That means no need for painful syncing of devices – just plug it in and you are good to go.
MAudio’s Oxygen 49 MKIV may not be the flashiest controller out there, nor one that has too many bells and whistles. Yet, it brings something much more valuable to the table: consistency. If you are looking for a reliable piece of kit – with a good build, ease of use and solid controls – then this is a great choice.