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electronic MUSICIAN

Ask, January 2012

January 1, 2012

M-Audio''s Axiom keyboards don''t include built-in sounds, but that lowers the cost and allows concentrating on the controller aspects.

M-Audio''s Axiom keyboards don''t include built-in sounds, but that lowers the cost and allows concentrating on the controller aspects.

I am a singer/songwriter/guitarist, and although I am not very accomplished on keyboards, I thought that with MIDI, it would be possible to add keyboard parts in my computer DAW. Without much budget I bought the M-Audio Axiom keyboard, but it has no sounds! I found out it''s not supposed to, and now I think I made the wrong decision. What would it cost to get sounds installed in the Axiom?
Adelmo Rodriguez
Buenos Aires, Argentina
VIA EMAIL

Actually, you made a good decision. The Axiom is a fine controller keyboard that can send MIDI signals to hardware tone modules or virtual instruments inside your computer, and because it doesn''t include onboard sounds, the price is more affordable.

You didn''t mention which DAW you have, but most include at least some virtual instruments, and you can play them with the Axiom. There are also many excellent free virtual instruments, like Independence Free, which even includes a 2.5GB library, and Kontakt 5 Player, with a companion free download of 50 instruments.

If you''re not happy with your DAW, consider Mixcraft Pro Studio 5—it''s $150 as a download, and comes with eight virtual instruments and 22 effects. vstplanet.com and kvraudio.com are also useful resources for finding free and shareware instruments.

What''s more, your Axiom''s faders and knobs can help during mixdown by providing a control surface for fader levels and other parameters. You''ll need to learn about MIDI controllers and assignments, but it''s not that difficult—check out the Introduction to MIDI tutorial.
—The Editors

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