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:::Axiom Pro vs. Novation SL MK II::: What do u think???

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Deppy
KVRist
 
35 posts since 14 Aug, 2009, from Bronx

Postby Deppy; Sun May 23, 2010 6:04 pm

I bought the Axiom Pro 61 and that is one of the worse mistakes I have made in buying gear. If you Own no other Daw than Protools it is not a good idea at all. Currently Maudio Claim it supports Protools,Cubase, Logic and live. There is no driver for the Thing. The is no hyper control for other Daws which works except Protools which is owned by the same company. Even so the people in the Maudio forum are complaining that the thing is not working as it should. I do not own protools. I use cubase. Sonar Stay clear you are not supported on axiom pro. I will proparble return this thing to no surprise to Maudio(Avid} because I am hearing a lot of returns. One more thing is quite a jock. The Tech Guy at Maudio keeps on posting the controller is plug and play if so why should anyone bother paying so much extra for hyperControl if you are not going to use it. I would be cheaper fo me to buy basic midi controller. Knowing what I know now I would have definately bought the Novation MK 11.

Ps I might cut and paste this to warn other fellow mates.
Life and music
CausticPuppy
KVRer
 
2 posts since 27 Jun, 2010

Postby CausticPuppy; Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:45 pm

Great thread... these were the exact two controllers I was looking at.

However, two things drove me away from the Axiom Pro: I tried one out in person (49-key version) and hated the way the keys felt. Hard to quantify, but they just didn't feel right. Other synths with semi-weighted keys felt much better... the key action was somewhat "unsure" and vague in the Axiom, that's the best way I can describe it. Unfortunately I was not able to try the SL MkII because there were none in stock at the store I went to.

The other reason is that I've previously gotten burned by M-Audio. A few years ago I bought an M-Audio Midisport USB interface, but M-Audio has since abandoned supporting that line of products. No drivers for anything beyond Windows XP, even though it was still a current product when Vista was introduced. Updates from M-Audio seemed to hint that Vista drivers would eventually come out but nothing ever happened. I had to go out and buy an E-Mu unit to replace it after upgrading my DAW to Windows 7 x64.

This does not give me confidence that M-Audio will stand behind their products at all in the long run. And since I use Sonar, the prospects of the Axiom working well with it are dim at best.

It's come time to replace my trusty Proteus MPS keyboard after almost 20 years of faithful service in my home studio; I'm going to replace it with the 61SL MkII.

BTW I can only hope that modern keyboards are built as well as my Proteus. I had the whole thing taken apart yesterday to try and fix a glitchy D-flat key (an unsuccessful venture) and the internals look like they're built to withstand falling out of a truck. Plus the keyboard still plays and feels like brand new. May the Novation last as long...
User avatar
4damind
KVRAF
 
3460 posts since 17 Aug, 2004, from Berlin, Germany

Postby 4damind; Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:13 am

No problem here. My Axiom Pro 61 works nice under Win7 64Bit and Cubase 5.5. 32Bit.

The only problem with M-Audio is the very bad driver support. The 64Bit driver for the Axiom Pro is available since some days and its working without problems. But is not officially released (its Beta) and people not looking in the beta forum will think "no driver, so it doesn't work".
The Hypercontrol component for 64Bit is (AFAIK) only released for Pro Tools. No support for 64Bit Cubase this days and the Hypercontrol installer is only with Cubase 4 support (so Cubase 5 users must manually move the component dll to the right place).

So... Yes, the host support is bad. It's a thing where interested users must dive deeper into the details of the supported host, OS etc.
Frank Arnold Musician & IT Freelancer

Visit me on:
Facebook | Soundcloud | 4damind.com
User avatar
zvenx
KVRAF
 
4181 posts since 16 Feb, 2005, from Kingston, Jamaica

Postby zvenx; Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:05 am

CausticPuppy wrote:


The other reason is that I've previously gotten burned by M-Audio. A few years ago I bought an M-Audio Midisport USB interface, but M-Audio has since abandoned supporting that line of products. No drivers for anything beyond Windows XP, even though it was still a current product when Vista was introduced. Updates from M-Audio seemed to hint that Vista drivers would eventually come out but nothing ever happened. I had to go out and buy an E-Mu unit to replace it after upgrading my DAW to Windows 7 x64.



hi, if you choose the anniversary edition of the 2x2 or 4x4 (hopefully it isn't the 8x8 you have) you get access to drivers for both 32 and 64 bit windows 7, and vista as well....
afaik the anniversary edition just changed cosmetically, so these may work for older non anniversary editions.

rsp

edit: I might be wrong. After reading the manual it says only the anniversary editions are class compliant, previous versions need the driver.....can't hurt to try I don't think.
rsp
CausticPuppy
KVRer
 
2 posts since 27 Jun, 2010

Postby CausticPuppy; Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:17 am

So... yesterday I received my 61SL MKII that I ordered in late June. It was backordered for a few weeks.

The box shows up and it's a little bit smushed in the middle. I thought OK, I'm sure it's nicely padded.

The unit looked OK at first when I took it out, and it turns right on and the Automap software recognized it right away. But as I looked at it sitting on the desk, something wasn't right. And something didn't feel right either-- because under high levels of pressure it seemed the entire keybed was giving way and flexing downward. Felt very very cheap!

But then I figured out what was wrong, the entire unit was bent. It bowed slightly upward in the middle, so that the center rubber feet weren't even touching the desk. It was damaged in shipping, like somebody tried to use the box as a bench! The top panel is also visibly warped, with a greater gap between the keys and top panel on the left side vs. the center and right.

However, I'm amazed that the thing even bent, because I never thought keyboards were supposed to be flexible. The bottom case is made out of plastic and flexes slightly, so even if the unit wasn't damaged, it would "give" slightly when playing using a regular keyboard stand. You pretty much would have to use a solid desk to ensure the keybed doesn't flex.

That's a shame, because the key action itself feels GREAT. Very high quality key action, spoiled by a flimsy flexible plastic case. However, once I get my replacement (which could be another MONTH after I send this one back to audiomidi) it should be fine since I use a large wooden desk instead of a keyboard stand.

So keep that in mind as you're shopping around-- the Novation SL is not very rigid and it will definitely flex slightly if you're playing with some velocity and pressure and using a keyboard stand. On a flat surface I expect it'll be fine (assuming it's straight to begin with).

Nonetheless I played around with it after complaining to AudiMidi, and aside from the warped case, everything else seems to be of very high quality. They sure don't make 'em like they used to though. My old Proteus MPS is a freaking tank with metal construction except for the top panels. No way is it ever going to bend in the middle.
fingerboxing
KVRer
 
4 posts since 21 Jul, 2010

Postby fingerboxing; Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:34 am

I've got a axiom pro and I have to say there are things I hate about it and things I love.

I use to hate the way the key felt until I talked to a professional piano player who said that even though the akai keys are better and can take a beating the axiom will help with the prevention of carpal tunnel as a result that it takes less pressure to push down the keys, allowing the hands to relax.

Don't know if he is right but I'm pretty sure if I bang hard I an break this things in half. I like the pads better than mpd pads, and really love the tools "hypercontrol"

The main problem that if your on win 7 64 your screwed and do not buy this product.

It works fine on live, but if your into cubase, reason, etc they still don't work.

They are still in beta drivers after what seems like forever.

Don't know about novation but all akai needs to do is step up with something like automap, fix the worst pads in the industry and they will own the market.

Cheers
chj
KVRian
 
1184 posts since 28 Apr, 2008

Postby chj; Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:53 am

CausticPuppy wrote:Great thread... these were the exact two controllers I was looking at.

However, two things drove me away from the Axiom Pro: I tried one out in person (49-key version) and hated the way the keys felt. Hard to quantify, but they just didn't feel right. Other synths with semi-weighted keys felt much better... the key action was somewhat "unsure" and vague in the Axiom, that's the best way I can describe it. Unfortunately I was not able to try the SL MkII because there were none in stock at the store I went to

I've been trying out controllers in stores lately as well, mainly to test out the key action. IMO Novation came out the clear winner in action and feel.
5Lives
KVRist
 
345 posts since 10 Nov, 2005, from Los Angeles

Postby 5Lives; Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:39 pm

I had a Novation Nocturn 49 and traded it out for an M-Audio Axiom Pro 49. MUCH prefer the Axiom. As a pianist, much prefer its keys to the Nocturn's synth keys. Also, the Hypercontrol integration is way more seamless to me than Automap. I've even retired my Alphatrack - even though the Axiom doesn't have motorized faders, I've been doing fine just using the faders it has.
mikestop
KVRer
 
1 post since 17 Jun, 2009

Postby mikestop; Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:15 am

There's a sustain pedal port and expression pedal port on the MkII... Does anyone know if I could stick two expression pedals on there and if it would work. This will be my first real MIDI controller and a sustain pedal seems kinda limited and I don't know if the electronics behind sustain pedals can read expression pedal input (or continuous change/range at all).

It would really be a help to know before I place my order. Thanks!
Signature blocked until 5 posts made
KBKB
KVRist
 
399 posts since 27 May, 2004, from UK

Postby KBKB; Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:14 am

Madness wrote:I owned the original Axiom....let me tell you I sold it within 4 weeks.

I tried and tried to understand the criptic manual, all I wanted to do was program my own Midi CC's and use the knobs to control efx...

Well it was terrible, chineese piece of turd, the complete craptacular package, rotary's were terrible, one notch did not equal 1 midi cc step and there was no easy to use Software for PC based setup. I tried to do it in the end and gave up.

So I downloaded the Novation SL editor, and decided very quickly Novation was the way to go....

So I sold my Axiom (lost $200) and purchased an SL, much better unit, knobs seem small at first but they are very accurate, same for the sliders, pads are OK, construction seems flimsy when you first see it but you quickly realise it is solid as, but I'll go a dedicated controller for pads.

Let me tell you, I have spilled a full pint of Beer on my SL, during a gig and the thing just kept on, I've been very happy with the life its had.

In the end the User Interface and LCD display is what makes the difference for immediate feedback and control of knobs.

Go an SL if you really need to dig into the beast...for casual jamming and controlling VST's I am sure the Axiom does the job but the Novation stuff rules.

I'll never by another piece of MAudio gear I really got burned by the Axiom, the ignorance of useability is what hit me most, it really was terrible to use and interface with the PC.


I liked the original review a lot

but i also liked the one above

...

As regards keyboard feel

Is the PRO version of the Axiom a lot better than the original version?
How does the mark 2 version compare to the Pro?
The reason i ask is a lot of these reviews don't like the Axiom, but they are a few months old and may reflect the earlier version of the product.

AXIOM looks cool, but I've always disliked the spongy creakiness of M- Audio oxygen.
KBKB
KVRist
 
399 posts since 27 May, 2004, from UK

Postby KBKB; Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:01 pm

the AXIOM is terrible

the keys felt ugly, and had an odd ruff cheap plastic feel. and looked awful up close. M-Audio suck for making rubbish like this. I bought an SL.

I'm not sure how they can defend the AXIOM in any way it was ropey, try it in a shop first, you will be disappointed :)
User avatar
4damind
KVRAF
 
3460 posts since 17 Aug, 2004, from Berlin, Germany

Postby 4damind; Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:13 am

The keys of the Axiom Pro are not bad. Better then some synth keyboards or workstations. The only thing: there is something wrong with the gel/pads used for this half-weighted keys. First time you hit a key after some minutes of not using, you feel a resistance and there is also a audible "click" while pressing a key. This is a known defect from the poor assembling in China also known as "sticky keys".

If people expect a high quality full weighted piano keyboard this is the wrong device! Its a controller keyboard with half-weighted keys and for most users it should be ok.

The big problem with the Axiom Pro is not the quality of the device its the not existing software support by M-Audio. There is no working Hypercontrol component library for Cubase 5 available, the Beta versions have the same bugs since month (under some circumstances a freezing of Cubase).
Frank Arnold Musician & IT Freelancer

Visit me on:
Facebook | Soundcloud | 4damind.com
leoc
KVRer
 
1 post since 18 Dec, 2010, from Barcelona

Postby leoc; Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:22 pm

Hi Max

I apreciate your analisys between this 2 controllers.
Now after 2 month I have the desition.
Im sorry for that guy that wrote this things about you, and your analisys.
I m thinking that he is working for M-audio hehehe


Bye
Saludos

Leo C.
Barcelona
Spain

:)
narz3000
Banned

Postby narz3000; Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:02 pm

Amazing. I have been loosing sleep trying to decide which one of these pieces to get.

I can't believe I didn't consult KVR first. After this thread though, I am sold.

It's the Novation SL MKII for me.

I can't wait to control Live, Automap my VSTs, and use the extra midi out to control my Neptune 2 and Mopho.

Thank you so much guys, for your in-depth analyses of these two fine Controllers!
thumky
KVRist
 
35 posts since 18 Aug, 2010

Postby thumky; Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:19 am

Great thread. People say when you touch a fader the value "automatically shows up on the screen" on the MK II, does that mean on the AutoMap software or on the LED screen?

I'm considering upgrading. I've had the first version for a few years. Frankly i've gone through alot of pain, but stuck it out b/c the keys feel amazing and i figured Novation would eventually fix all the bugs. I bought it to control Pro Tools and Arturia plugins. It was too clunky for controlling Pro Tools, but i just upgraded to AutoMap 3.7 and they have totally redone how it works.

Also with the Arturia plugins, Automap was unusable ( see previous posts about default names and bizarre mappings ). You have to go thru and make your own map, which defeats the purpose of AutoMap. You can do that with any controller. Where AutoMap shines is for effects plugins in a DAW like EQ or Distortion that don't have many parameters. But for a hardcore synth, i don't see the benefit ( actually alot of times it would make it worse b/c i'd lose the connection between the Automap software and the plugin for no logical reason )

But the fact is that the keys are amazing, the touchpad is great, and the new lit encoders sound good. I'm amazed they ditched the 2nd screen, i use that all the time. So I think i may wait for MK III.
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