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This is a budget midi keyboard for people to input their midi data into music production software. This is a simple matter of plugging the keyboard via a midi cable into your audio interface or sound card and finding the device in your DAW (digital audio workstation).
The construction is plastic with 25 keys but an octave switch allowing you to select your pitch range. While this isn't big enough to play like a proper keyboard it is big enough to input melodies and chords an idea at a time, or for triggering samples off.
Also included are rotary knobs which are programmable to control any midi parameter which is assignable in your software. This could be a resonance on a synth patch, a reverb time or a sweep speed etc. There is also a transport panel which when linked to your DAW control play, stop, FF, RW and loop.
Preferences can be saved in memory banks for fast recall of plug in settings or synth controls. The keyboard is bundled with a cut down version of Ableton live which is still really good. This keyboard can be bought from £50-100 making it the perfect combo for Pro-tools or Ableton.
The oxygen 8 is a midi controller device to be used with music production software.What you have is a midi keyboard used for playing your own melodies on instead of having to draw notes in to make a melody or rift.
You get 8 midi assignable knobs which you use to control all the parameters in your hardware or software.It is extremley small compared to other midi keyboards and some people dislike this fact as there is not enough keys.However its size is its advantage , it gives you the ability to use it on the go.Wheter your taking it to a friends house or using it for a live performance it is light and easy to carry.
MIDI Data from variable controllers:
MIDI Control Number
Program, Bank LSB, Bank MSB
GM/GM2/XG SysEx Messages
MIDI Data from buttons/switches: - Note On
Note On/Off toggle
MIDI CC On/Off toggle
Program, Bank LSB, Bank MSB presets
MIDI Machine Control functions
GM/GM2/XG SysEx messages
Pentium 3 - 800 MHz or higher (CPU may be higher for laptops)
256 MB RAM
DirectX 9.0b or higher
Windows XP (SP2 Home or Professional Edition only, Windows 98, Me, NT, or 2000 not supported)
Macintosh G3 800/G4 733 MHz or higher (CPU may be higher for laptops)
OS X 10.2.8 w/ 256 MB RAM
OS X 10.3.4 or greater w/ 512 MB RAM
Native USB port required; G3/G4 accelerator cards not supported
It is aimed at the entry end of music production and once it is set up it is very easy to use and learn.Setting it up however is a different matter it is a pain in the arse,you have to follow the instructions to a tee otherwise you will get confused.I had to install the device drivers 3 times before i got the right settings.It does not give you much in the way of a manual either unless mine was missing from the box.It is a great product but id recommend that you are computer literate at least otherwise you could struggle with it.
The software that you are recommended to use (which is not included) is pretty useless and there is not much in the way of support.If you are going to use it is recommend you got to this website for some tutorials http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/M-Audio_Enigma/.
The price you can pick it up for about £50 from most music production websites brand new.
The main features of the controller seem to be compatible with all the different types of software i tried.
The main downs ide is the lack of help and support,which i found quite frustrating.
overall once you get it setup it is a pretty clever peice of kit,i would however not recommend it to novices,and be prepared to fiddle around with it to get the best sounds.
The M-Audio Oxygen 8 is a must have midi controller especially if you are new to the world of home recording.
With 25 keys and octave switch buttons the keyboard control is certainly present, however there are also 8 rotary knobs which can be assigned to control any required parameter capable of receiving midi messages.
The midi cc number which each rotary knob transmits can be altered by downloading the free software 'Enigma' available from the website of M-Audio.
The picture displayed here is actually of the older 'Oxygen 8'. This has now been developed into their most recent version 'Oxygen 8 V2' and includes the features which make it an ideal all in one USB midi controller.
This version includes a fully programmable transport panel with stop, play and record functions as well as RW, FF and loop buttons.
There are also ten memory locations present meaning you can store multiple sets of parameters to easily flick between separate plug-ins that are receiving midi messages.
Free Ableton Lite software is also included making the Oxygen 8 V2 a great all-in-one, entry-level, midi controller surface.
I believe this is one keyboard that should find its way into any studio situation.
It has only 2 octaves, which means it doesnt take up much space on the table. Its is a very neat and tidy product which is very simple to use also.
Although it is only small in size, obviously piano peices can not be played on this keyboard, however if that is needed then a bigger version can be purchased. However personally I have both, using this 2 octave majority of the time.
To setup with the computer, its pretty much one cable from the keyboard to the pc. Most computers simply pick it up and after maybe installing a basic update, its ready to use within seconds.
It has semi keys making it delightful to play and feel good to the fingers. There are 8 assignable knobs which are very easy to set up with most softwares. The knobs are firm so stay in position well and feel well made.
There is also a transport bar making it easy for hands on working. Also included are the basic modulation and pitch bend wheel which also built very well within the keyboard.
While being basic in size, this keyboard is perfect for any sample or slightly tweaking. The knobs come in very handy if wanted to use filters or changing volumes. I highly reccommend this keyboard to anyone in the music industry with computer based music.
The M-Audio Oxygen 8 is a MIDI controller Keyboard. The range is 2 octaves (25 keys). As the Oxygen isn't stricly a keyboard but more of a MIDI controller, it has no onboard sounds, and it has a bunch of buttons and knobs that can be assigned to control a range of MIDI parameters.
This is a cheap keyboard, retailing around £50, and not surprisingly the keys feel cheap. They are on springs, and there is no aftertouch. However, they get the job done, and you can't expect anything better in this prince range.
-MIDI In (Normal MIDI port)
-C17 Sustain Pedal input
-Optional 12V DC input. Mains adapter is not included, and the unit will under normal circumstances run on USB power.
-MIDI Out over usb cable (included)
The keyboard connects directly to your computer over USB. This is also how MIDI signals are sent from the keyboard to the computer, so no MIDI interface is needed for using this unit. Driver files are needed for operation. These are included on a CD, but can also be downloaded from M-Audio's web site. There are drivers for both PC and MAC available.
The M-Audio Oxygen 8 has 8 turnable knobs that can be assigned to anything, so in your Digital Audio Workstation, you could make the movement of a knob control an LFO filter on a software synth, or a low pass filter, or even the volume of an audio track. The keyboard also has transport controls: Play, Stop, Record, Fast Forward, Rewind and Loop/Repeat. I am personally a user of Cakewalk Sonar. All I need to do is choose the Oxygen controller preset that comes with Sonar, and the buttons will automatically respond as intended.
I have a bigger keyboard in my other home, which is not portable. I got the Oxygen because because I missed having a keyboard to play in this home. I deliberately got a tiny keyboard, as I have limited space, and I was assuming the keyboard would be small enough to easily be brought on the move. I was surprised by how bulky the item is, considering how few keys there are.The unit is 3.5" tall and 15.5" wide. In terms of weight it is also not particularly light. You can fit it in a backpack, but you will not have room for much more in there. So apart from not being as small and light as I was expecting, the Oxygen 8 really fits the bill for my needs. I do miss a wider range (more keys), and it feels limiting not to have the aftertouch that I am used to from my other keyboard. I think the Oxygen is probably fine for electronic music, but if you want to play proper piano pieces with both hands, you will run out of keys. All things considered, though, this is a £50 keyboard that has all the functions you need to take advanced control of your sounds. 2 octaves, a Pitch bend wheel, a Modulation wheel, Octave transpose button, 8 assignable knobs and transport controls. For this price you can't expect any better.
I've had the keyboard for a couple of years already, and I got mine second hand, and I've had no problems with it. However, I do miss having more keys available, so depending on the sort of music you create you might want to consider getting a bigger one. I simply got it because I needed something small and I wanted keys to play on, but I think I might have been better off getting a bigger one and just dealing with it taking up more space. This is because I like to play over many octaves simultanoeusly.
First off, this is a great little keyboard which should be a staple in EVERY studio, but the only thing I ask you to consider is how big you need your keyboard.
I initally bought this keyboard thinking that I'd only need 2 octaves but after EXTENSIVE use, I feel I should have gone for a much larger one - so i suggest you look into it.
The feature set of this keyboard is outstanding for the price including an LCD screen, transport section (loop, rewind, fast forward, play etc.), programmeable pots, octave selection, velocity sensitivity keys, modulation wheel and pitch wheel - ALL for just over £50?
Not only does it have all these features, but it feels VERY sturdy and takes travelling extremely well. I would suggest getting this keyboard for travelling only, for anything more studio based, get a bigger one - maybe even an Oxygen 61.
Whatever size you decided to buy, make sure it's an M-Audio Oxygen, it can't be beaten on build quality and features for the price.
If you own any kind of music software that would vastly benefit from a MIDI controller to input those notes and turn those knobs, this is perhaps the product for you if you've yet to invest in one. I can't recommend it more if you need a portable solution and don't require many keys and knobs.
M-Audio's Oxygen8 is one of the first and still most popular mobile MIDI controllers out there. It's part Kenton Control Freak (a box that featured an array of knobs) and part 25 note keyboard (with a range that can be extended or reduced up to 5 octaves by simple button presses).
The light plastic, silver bodied device can comfortably sit on your lap (making it a viable alternative to Creative's Prodikeys range), be tucked under your arm or seated on a small stand making it one of the most attractive minimalist keyboard products available, and for stage use.
Due to not being a full sized keyboard this is of less value to pianists than those who indulge in the creation of bass lines or simply within-octave riffage. While one hand's tapping away at the keys I can simultaneously twiddle those knobs to affect the sound in real time. Standard pitch/mod wheels also feature here.
Installation is an easy affair but as with anything it's worth a glance at the instructions before you dive in. Once installed, the device should appear as a MIDI device option ready for use and tweaking in your software of choice.
Do note however that the drivers only make themselves visible when the unit's plugged in and turned on; therefore you'll have to do this before you start your program so it can be recognised. Tedious it may be but the Oxygen8 isn't really designed to be kept attached to your machine all the time. It's not on mine anyway. When disconnecting you must follow the safe remove procedure.
Do remember too that this is a controller unit, therefore it features no sounds of it's own, but it's fortunately compatible with both PC and Mac and features USB and MIDI connectivity. When you plug in via USB there's no need to install (6 AA) batteries or run from an adaptor (sold separately). Win98 SE and Mac OS 9.2.2 are required at minimum. MIDI connectivity is standard one in and one out, enough for a single user's chain as it includes a 16 channel interface and proves that you can control hardware sound modules just as much as software ones.
I use the Oxygen8 primarily with a software studio program called Orion and it serves the job well, nothing more nothing less. I can play riffs into pattern allocations rather than clicking them in, complete with humanity such as velocity and timing etc. And the properties of virtual instruments etc. can be assigned to any of the 8 knobs (which is where the 8 in the product name comes from) for real-feel control. With low latency ASIO drivers on compatible soundcards you should barely notice delay of any sort between what you do and what is heard. Though older cards using MME and DirectX are still catered for (not worth it though, upgrade to an ASIO card).
Via the Data Slider and MIDI/Select button you can gain access to other useful interface functions; of most benefit to traditional sequencer/VST users. A 3 digit red LED display also features.
The current Oxygen8 software bundle features a lite version of Ableton Live 4 an award winning program that is more an instrument itself than just a composition capturing/production tool. When I purchased the unit I got a cut down version of the popular Reason; a soft-synth studio of same vein as Orion, Storm and FL Studio which I think is the core partner for the Oxygen8.
You can also purchase a number of add-ons, one being a sustain pedal that plugs into the Oxygen8's back. Carry cases are another optional add on.
Without meaning to, I've dropped my unit a few times not drastically and despite general wear and tear of usage (I've had it for around 2yrs now) it's tough and reliable. I'm not sure how the unit is built, but not having it's own set of sounds eliminates problematic damage occurring. I've yet to experience erratic behaviour of any sort.
If more keys and knobs are needed there are higher models in the M-Audio range. If however you are a laptop musician, have limited needs, budget and space constraints, then Oxygen8 is the perfect MIDI controller for you. It's also probably one of the most simplest ways to break into MIDI usage.