The MIDI controller that you need
M-Audio is one of the best brand around when we are talking about MIDI controllers and recently they have come out with an interesting new model called CODE.
But let’s start with a quick overview of 61-keys model (there are also the 25-key and 49-key versions):
- 61-note, semi-weighted keybed with aftertouch and four assignable zones
- 16 fully assignable backlit drum pads
- XY pad
- USB Bus powered for portability and ease of use
- 5 Pin MIDI Input, and Output jacks allowing you to control your favorite synths
- Fully assignable controls for mod wheel, pitch wheel, pads, knobs, faders, buttons, and transport control including XY pad with Mackie Control and HUI modes
- Buttons are assignable to macro ASCII commands, letting you use your favorite DAW macros at the push of a single button
- Expression and Sustain pedal inputs
- 6 digit LED display
The keyboard feels great, somewhere between hammer action and synth action.
The blocked-end key design provides enough resistance for an accomplished player to be able to really dig in and get the most out of the patches he or she is using. They keybed features the velocity sensitive keys and aftertouch.
There are also 16 backlit drum pads. These are automapped to typical MIDI drum layouts, and they can be reassigned to any MIDI note number and stored in a preset.
The pads supply a satisfying tactile experience and just like the keys, are easy to get used to and play ex, the M-Audio Code 61 is a marvel of efficiency in MIDI controller design.
Somehow, M-Audio has manged to fit this much control into a small, lightweight and efficient keyboard controller footprint.
Faders and Knobs
The M-Audio Code 61 comes with 9 assignable faders, four individual and one master. you can use them for mixing tracks, live control of clips, or use the master for fade in and fade out. Below each fader is a track button that can be used to mute and solo individual tracks in your session.
These are also tremendously useful in live DJ applications.
The Code 61 additionally includes 8 encoder knobs that, like the faders, can be assigned to any continuous controller parameter.
Probably the most common application for knobs in a MIDI controller is for panning assignment, and that is typically where they are auto mapped, but these knobs can be edited to control other functions within your DAW, for example to pilot your VSTi parameters.
The XY Grid
Especially useful for controlling synthesizer patches and for inputting articulations such as vibrato and pitch bending into timbres that are emulating acoustic instruments.
Like all of the control features of the M-Audio Code 61, the XY grid can easily control parameters outside of their automaps. In fact, the X versus the Y can be independently programmed to attach to other parameters, or even parameters within separate sound sources.
Every major DAW is addressed in the automapping templates. Buy with confidence. If you have a super obscure DAW or you created one of your own or you are travelling to another planet where things are done differently, you can reassign these automaps to reflect the particularities of your DAW or the way you prefer your DAW to be set up. In the majority of cases, you’ll be able to plug it in and go.
M-Audio Code controllers each now come with a free copy of AIR’s Loom and Hybrid 3 virtual synthesizers.
Loom is an award-winning modular additive synthesizer plug-in with a shape-shifting Morph Pad that makes it easy to create rich, swirling, and captivating sounds. Loom takes a unique modular approach to additive synthesis, a synthesis technique that involves combining simple waveforms together to create complex sounds, by allowing anyone to select from and combine 30 editable modules. Create anything from wobbles, ethereal pads, ambient soundscapes, and much more. The programmable Morph Pad brings your Loom patches to life by morphing between user-defined variations of your patch, adding motion and momentum that continues to evolve.
Hybrid 3.0 is the next generation in synthesis. This high-definition virtual synthesizer combines the coveted warmth of analog synths with a full range of futuristic digital manipulation capabilities.
The result is the best of both worlds — a virtual instrument with a comprehensive set of precisely adjustable parameters that can sound like a synth you remember or something no one has ever heard before.
M-Audio Code in action!