Something New. Something You’ve Seen Before, Probably
As with all 61-keybed MIDI Keyboard Controller, everything should be done in the proper way.
We want seamless controls. We want good LED feedback.
We want expansiveness right…
M-Audio is a manufacturer well-known to deliver so much for the user who is performing or only recording material.
Is their latest Code 61 a top-notch product for the future of keyboarding?
Solid Design With Good Workflow
The Code Series by M-Audio intends to show off more of the manufacturer’s idea of a solid workflow while ensuring good playability and expansiveness.
It’s like Ableton, who wants to do DAW things differently for better or for worse.
M-Audio’s works have been great enough to introduce new workflow and project ideas that actually flow into a good singularity of music production and arrangement.
The M-Audio Code 61 has some smooth and semi-weighted key-bed that has aftertouch. This is the last note that registers and may head towards your vibrato or pitch.
It’s a sustain, to be frank.
Then you have some 16 velocity-sensitive pads for drum use, chords or basically sample control. All the while very similar to most keyboards of today.
It also has a touch pad that allows for X/Y axis control. I’ve found that this is quite useful if you’re using pitch and modulation and you need a swift move.
If you program it right, this keyboard may definitely work or you. Well, it involves the Mackie Control and the HUI.
Anyway, you also get four assignable zones for your split keyboard and you get a very good six-digit LED display.
Faders, Buttons, Knobs, The Pitch and Modulation Wheels on top of the 4×4 16 pad matrix were well-built and does not move around too much.
Pretty useful especially if you’re that “passionate keyboardist” we all know that you are.
A Software That can Handle and DAW without Much Trouble
According to M-Audio, almost every DAW can use the Code 61 without much trouble. To be honest, it does. Even if Cockos Reaper wasn’t in the least, I was able to get it to work with all the controls.
While there’s no visual or any type of interface that could have made this endeavor a bit easier, it was nothing a veteran MIDI controller user could handle.
M-Audio listed that it works with
- Ableton Live
- Apple GarageBand
- Apple Logic
- Pro Tools and…
- Steinberg Cubase
Possibly they do. But if it works with Reaper, and if you have the patience to map every single need you have with the keyboard, it’s no worry at all.
The usefulness of the Mackie Control and HUI really helps with the X/Y axis control because I get to places I need to go and patches I need to have quickly and without much trouble.
So What Else?
I’ve tried playing with the Code 61 in the studio and I have to admit it has some great tools for download.
I tried out the AIR Music Technology Loom and Hybrid 3. It was very easy to find a great sound and it offered lots of expansion for future samples and use.
Velocity pads had no squish factor and played everything perfectly depending on the velocity of my hit. Very sensitive too; a curse or grace for some keyboardists out there, I know.
If you’re a veteran keyboardist and you need a keyboard that’s sturdy, have a go at the Code 61 with its very affordable pricing.
But if you can spare more change out there, I’d suggest you go look for something that’s specialized. A 25-keybed from M-Audio’s latest offering is useful enough for me.
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