M-Audio Axiom 25 Review | Ross P.
Before you get to the point where you’re convinced all compact MIDI controller keyboards are equal, let me introduce you to the M-Audio Axiom 25 – the bad-assed godson of all controller keyboards.
Let’s start with some of the awesomeness that is M-Audio Axiom 25. It has highly responsive, velocity-sensitive assignable pads and piano-like, semi-weighted keys that transmit after-touch so you can feel it (as musicians are prone to feeling things). The DirectLink mode provides access to common DAW functions like transport, pan, mixer and virtual instrument parameters. The M-Audio Axiom 25 offers a very nicely intuitive design and hassle-free setup. It has a backlit LCD angled design which makes the board easy to see whether in your home studio or on a dark stage. Its hard core, sturdy construction helps keep this 5-lb, compact board safe for travel. No worries about damaging the Axion 25 in transport if you toss it in a backpack and go.
5 reasons I love the M-Audio Axiom 25
1) Responsive pads and keys – Well, there are few things more anticlimactic that sitting down at a keyboard and having those keys bounce back to you as quickly as you can pull your finger up from the plastic. Part of the experience of playing the piano is the sensory feedback you get when you play. Axiom 25 feeds into that vibe. The keys are weighted just enough so that I felt a little push-back as I played and the pads are extremely responsive, which minimizes the need for me to bang on them while triggering sounds, effects and sequences. It allows for a wider range of expression for songwriters and producers.
2) DirectLink – Having access to common digital audio workstation functions is one thing. The Axiom 25 basically streamlines your session. You can take control of the entire session (i.e. your studio software) using the controller. It works well with ProTools , Logic, Cubase, Live and Reason and provides users the ability to navigate software using the transport controls. The board comes bundled with some pretty cool software including Ableton Live Lite 4 and Enigma.
3) Intuitive Design – When inspiration hits, I don’t want to waste time sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor reading a manual or staring at a screen for long stretches of time skimming PDFs. We’re almost talking plug and play here. Very simple stuff.
4) Backlit and Angled – For the Axiom 25, physical navigation is as intuitive and inviting as its digital navigation. The top of the board is equipped with large, responsive pads, an angled LCD screen for easy visibility, 360-degree rotary controllers, rubberized pitch wheels (good for when you’re sweat-drenched and really laying into that Chick Corea-styled solo at the next summer festival), a great selection of pre-set templates and fully programmable pads.
5) Construction & Portability– Axiom 25’s solid body and durable construction lends users the freedom to trot about creating music wherever inspiration may hit. The unit is small enough to fit into a backpack, is powered via USB directly from your computer and is only about 5 pounds, so it’s a light load.
All in all, the M-Audio Axiom 25 is a very cool piece of equipment, and you can get your own for around $220.