OBJECTIVE: Provide hands-on, tactile control for Reason’s instruments and global functions.
Publish date:

Use M-Audio’s 2nd Gen Axiom keyboard controllers as a control surface for Reason

OBJECTIVE: Provide hands-on, tactile control for Reason’s instruments and global functions.

BACKGROUND: 2nd Gen Axiom keyboards provide DirectLink support for Pro Tools, Cubase, Reason, Record, Garageband, Logic, and Ableton Live. DirectLink automatically maps keyboard faders, encoders, and buttons to program parameters, and shows assignments in its display. The following assumes the Axiom keyboard is connected via USB.

1 Go to and enter your specific keyboard and computer OS in the Drivers/Updates section. Drivers and software appear in the Results pane. Download and install the appropriate software.


2 Launch Reason, go to Edit > Preferences, select the “Keyboards and Control Surfaces” page, then click on “Auto-Detect keyboard.”


3 Your keyboard will show up as an attached surface. Make sure “Use with Reason” is checked, and “Standard” is selected for Master Keyboard Input, then close the window.


4 The Axiom’s controls will affect the selected Reason instrument track. Use the Track <> buttons to step through tracks; the Axiom display shows an abbreviation of the track’s associated device (in this picture, it’s SubTractor).


5 If a device like a mixer or effect doesn’t have an associated sequencer track, right-click within the device’s GUI, then select “Create Track for [device name].”


6 Appendix A in the downloadable manual gives a complete listing of parameter control assignments.



• Mac: DirectLink drivers are not yet available for 64-bit versions of Snow Leopard; Reason DirectLink is not yet supported with OS X 10.6.5.
• Step 1: While on this page, click on the Manuals tab and using a procedure similar to locating software updates, download the DirectLink for Reason manual.
• Steps 2, 3: Once you’ve assigned the Axiom keyboard in Reason, you won’t have to assign it again.
• Step 4: Step through the selected instrument’s presets with the Axiom’s Patch up/down buttons.