Feature-Rich and Affordable M-Audio Oxygen MKV Keyboard Controllers


Expanding on the long-standing success of its Oxygen keyboard controllers, M-Audio has released the updated and enhanced Oxygen MKV series, available in a compact 25-key model, a midsize 49-key version, and a larger 61-key variant. Perfect for producers and beatmakers on a budget, the Oxygen MKV keyboard controllers offer a potent combination of versatile hardware and creative software, including a MIDI editor, DAWs, and virtual instruments.

Compared to the previous generation of Oxygen keyboard controllers, the MKV line adds Smart Chord and Smart Scale technology, a built-in arpeggiator, Note Repeat, and a refreshed look. Aside from their differing number of keys (full-size, velocity-sensitive keys for all), these three USB-powered Oxygen MKV models are mostly the same. Their layouts are identical, down to the pitch and mod wheels, transport controls, eight backlit velocity-sensitive trigger pads, eight assignable knobs, and assignable faders (nine on the 49- and 61-key models, or one on the 25-key version).

The Smart controls on the MKV make producing music easier and faster. Thanks to Smart Chord, you can play full chords from a single note, while Smart Scale only allows the correct notes in a selected scale to be played. There are 15 scale variations, as well as a custom mode, so you can forget about hitting wrong notes and running out of fingers.

Designed to impart engaging rhythmic patterns to your music, the onboard arpeggiator can repeatedly trigger the notes you play according to a selected sequence, and it works in the keyboard’s BPM or locked to the tempo of your DAW session. Of course, it is quite customizable with Latch and Momentary operating modes and other parameters such as swing, gate, octave, and type.

Thanks to auto-mapping, the Oxygen MKV’s faders, knobs, transport buttons, record arm, solo, mute, and more are able to control the corresponding functions in most popular DAWs. Whether you use Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Studio One, Ableton Live, MPC Beats, Cubase, or others, the MKV will help you settle into a comfortable and smooth workflow.

The software package bundled with the Oxygen MKV series prominently features Ableton Live Lite and MPC Beats, the latter with five expansion packs. These DAWs can take you from sequencing and recording all the way to mixdown, and they’re compatible with the included Hybrid 3 synthesizer and Mini Grand piano virtual instruments from Air Music Technology. Additionally, you get 60 free lessons from Melodics and a 3-month Skoove membership to strengthen your playing skills and elevate your musical knowledge.

If you’re just putting together your first production station or you’ve pushed into pro-level territory, M-Audio’s Oxygen MKV keyboard controllers are equally capable and accessible. So, let us know in the Comments, below, which features most excite you.