I guess we should have seen this one coming but M-Audio showed us their latest portable USB solution. Designed primarily for mobile or desktop use where size and/or weight are an issue, Ozone provides a complete personal mobile studio from input to output when combined with a computer running software like Propellerhead’s Reason or Ableton’s Live.
Like the Oxygen8 (see review), Ozone has a 25-note keyboard with full-sized keys—perfect for recording drum patterns, bass lines, chord pads and melodies. It also has the familiar pitch and modulation wheels, along with eight control knobs that can be assigned to any MIDI parameters in the user’s software and hardware rig. In addition to being a MIDI interface for USB computers, Ozone also incorporates the functionality of an audio interface—all via one USB cable.
Ozone’s 24-bit/96kHz audio section incorporates the same technology found in M-Audio’s popular USB audio interfaces such as the USB Duo, USB Quattro and USB Audiophile. Audio inputs include an XLR microphone input with built-in preamp and phantom power, a balanced 1/4” TRS input for guitar, bass and other instruments, and unbalanced 1/4” stereo aux inputs for stereo line level sound sources such as drum machines, synthesizers and CD players, and can be routed to the computer or directly to the Ozone’s audio outputs.
The unit also provides for zero-latency direct monitoring of inputs, making overdubs a breeze. Unbalanced 1/4” outputs route audio from the computer to an external mixer or directly to powered speakers. Ozone also provides a 1/4” TRS stereo headphone jack for personal monitoring during a session.
“We’re extremely excited about the release of Ozone,” says Adam Castillo, Marketing Director at M-Audio. “The Oxygen8 has already been highly successful for the MIDI side of the equation. Now, the Ozone combined with a laptop computer and software like Reason and Live truly embodies the dream of the self-contained personal mobile studio.”
Ozone is expected to ship in mid-February with an MSRP of $399.99.