Sonic LAB: M-Audio Axiom Pro vs Novation SL MKII

Rob Jones puts them on his test bench      29/05/09

No flash plug

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14:39 mins

Take two just released, cutting edge, MIDI keyboard controllers - the M-Audio Axiom Pro 49 (49 keys) with its HyperControl bi-directional MIDI communication, and also the Novation SL MKII 25 (25 keys) featuring AutoMap, Novation's third generation MIDI mapping system. Rob tests each of these in Logic, ProTools, Cubase and Ableton's Live to give us an in depth appraisal of the two systems. Both the Novation and the M-audio are available in 25, 49 and 61 key models, though the 25 key model of the Axiom Pro does not have the additional 9 faders due to size limitations, which perhaps gives it the least value for money. There is also a keyboard-less version called the ZeRO SL MKII which also has no X/Y pad or joystick. Both also come with bundled software: Axiom Pro:
Ableton Live 7 Lite
M-Audio's Enigma Editor Software SL MKII
Ableton Live 7 Lite
502MB of Mike the drummer drum loops - live drum loops
Novation Bass-station synth virtual instrument
Loopmasters Samples library consisting of 1GB of royalty free samples Both feature additional MIDI In and Out ports for external gear connection. But the SL MKII has in addition a Thru port, plus a second MIDI Out for more connectivity. Pricing and Availability
M-Audio Axiom Pro 49 $599.95/£389
Novation SL MK II 25 $499.95/£329.99 Other Options
Axiom Pro 25 $499.95/£299 Axiom Pro 61 $699.95/ £479
SL MK II 49 $599.99/£399.99 SL MK II 61$699.99/£499.99 Note: All the above prices are list price. Street prices will be significantly lower.

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