Upgrading Axiom 49's keybed?

...and how to do so...
37 posts since 6 Nov, 2009

Post Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:45 pm

Hello. I started using Axiom 49 again not long ago (was there for years, it just didnt appeal to me in the past), and using it with piano, rhodes or similar sounds, i've noticed, that it has a really lousy keybed. Black and white keys have different velocity reading when striking keys equally. One key (G0) is louder than the rest. Keys just doesn't feel right to me. Any idea how to hack a keybed? Like adding foam layer, etc. I'm comfortable with taking it apart, as I've replaced faders already (I've broken every fking fader within first year of its ownership!). I've hated this keyboard for quite a while, but now starting to appreciate it again, esp complete programmabilty, which is now becoming rare with todays controllers (beatstep/nanokontrol/nocturne etc.)

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74 posts since 9 Apr, 2015 from Sweden

Post Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:27 am

A bit of a late reply but it may help you anyway: You say you're unhappy with the velocity readings. Well, consumer level synth-action keyboards from M-Audio are built using dirt-cheap components. I have tried that brand for various things in the past and have always been disgusted with the quality, containing things like no-name Chinese components, etc, instead of proper quality brands. Their stuff is not built to last. I am not surprised that you've got problems and I would honestly ditch that garbage and never look back at that brand. I doubt that you can replace the sensors, since their integrated firmware is tuned for their current sensors.

So on to my advice: If you want a big step-up for an acceptable price, buy a Novation ReMOTE SL Mk II. It has loads of faders and buttons for programmability, which you said you wanted. But most importantly: It has a decent-quality FATAR keybed. Not the best that FATAR makes, but very good for the money. The keys feel solid and there's only super little rattle, and they read velocity very well. They also have a nice resistance (a bit harder than synth-action). Try it in a music shop and see if you like it. I think you will. I also recommend that you buy a 61-key model if you've got the room, since 49 keys is extremely limited for most music. Getting more keys would be another reason for you to upgrade!

Or, if you want to go all the way, I truly recommend buying a Virus TI 2 Keyboard. You'd be getting a freaking fantastic synth engine, with a keyboard that feels like a dream to use. 61 keys, of course. It's buttery smooth and solid and doesn't rattle, has excellent resistance, perfect velocity tracking, etc. It also has a "REMOTE MODE" where it lets you set the tons of buttons/knobs on the front panel to send various MIDI CC's, so that you can use it as a plugin controller. This is especially useful if you simply set it to a generic control template and then use your DAW's "MIDI Learn" function, so that you never have to switch templates on the virus.

The Virus TI is my favorite softsynth. So why not smash two birds with one stone? A synth that you will use all the time, and a super-quality keyboard that you can use for the rest of your life.
Love. :tu:

37 posts since 6 Nov, 2009

Post Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:40 pm

Contact strips went WAY OFF over the years. I've found the source for replacement and will replace them.
I hate my board. But it is my first 'axe'. I don't afraid to kick it, it gone thru rough touring. I routinely open it... I know how its built... I guess it is love after all <3

1854 posts since 21 Feb, 2004 from somewhere! anywhere!

Post Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:20 pm

Just chiming in to say I have a similar relationship with my Axiom 49 - but in my case, the keybed is the only thing I like about it. I've never had the velocity issues you mentioned above but I'm not capable of any subtlety of playing anyway. Everything else about it - pads, rotaries, etc I hated and ripped out or disconnected. The area above the keys is more useful to me as a space to put other stuff and the casing itself is pretty robust so it 'earns it keep'. My old Yamaha controller from the early 90's continues to function flawlessly so that's my go to for doing any proper work.

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