Novation Launchkey 61 vs M Audio Oxygen 61 – Which MIDI Keyboard is ideal for beginners?

In creation of the beats of new age music, MIDI controller key boards are the go-to organs for most music producers. Connecting these devices to a pre-mapped Digital Audio Workstation gives you new ways to control and tweak your musical notes automatically.

Novation and M Audio are among the top ten manufacturers of quality keyboard controllers. Here is a short summary of how they differ in terms of performance and feature quality.

Keyboard
61 Full Keys with Synthesized action and velocity
61 keys with synthesized action
Controls
1 pitch-bend wheel

1 modulation wheel

16 sensitive pads
8 encoders

9 slides

1 pitch-bend wheel

1 modulation wheel

8 pads
8 encoders

9 slides

Performance Function
Octave Shift and Transpose
Transport controls
Compatibility
Mac, Apple and Windows
Mac and Windows
Power
USB Bus-Power
USB Bus-Power
Display
LED
LCD
Weight
11.2 lbs
9.55 lbs

Novation Launchkey 61

This USB controller keyboard has pre-mapped controls for regular DAWs. To launch samples, loops and others, this controller features 16 trigger pads that are RGB backlit and velocity-sensitive. The system Launchkey is powered by USB and can connect only to Apple products and PCs.

Enriching the whole set up, this keyboard controller also features eight knobs, modulation wheel, nine sliders, a pitch wheel and a dedicated transport control. Well-known DAWs like Reason, Logic, Ableton Live, Pro Tools and FL Studio also featured Novation’s trademark templates that are pre-mapped.

This controller comes with a software fitted with a 4GB Loopmasters Ableton live Lite library that boasts of one shot, royalty loops for free, simpler instruments and Novation’s Bass and V-stations that are analog synths.

Novation’s Launch key and Launch pad apps are downloadable for free and they will help you produce better music with the launch key.

To connect directly to the Launchkey with your Apple device, you will need a Camera Connection Kit which you must buy separately.

What’s really cool about this package is that it comes with free and immediate access to the Addictive Keys virtual instrument once you have registered your controller keyboard. For every license you get a new instrument. There are four types available and you can choose from any of them. These are; Modern Upright, Mark One, Studio Grand and Electric Grand.

The 4GB Loopmasters library provides a vast range of instrumentation of both acoustic and electronic types while combining all genres of music like techno, blues, jazz, house and Hip Hop. This sample library is part of every Novation item and always has royalty-free loops and one-shots. It’s a great tool for music creators.

With Sound Collective, Novation offers to send its registered users a free software or creative tool every two months. These customers are also eligible for special effects and synthesizers whenever they’re available.

Novation also installed Melodics which is a training or lesson that will help you make the most use of your Midi controller Keyboard even if you are just a beginner.

Pros

  • High quality color-lit pads and synth action keys
  • Ableton Live compatible
  • USB connected

Cons

  • Extra care for longer durability

 

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The Oxygen 61 IV from M-Audio 

Has sixty-one full-size velocity-sensitive keys and has a couple of software that is great for immediate music production. This controller has great control over all musical operations and will not require any extra equipment to toggle between recording, adding effects and editing.

Some eight velocity-sensitive pads are part of this organ and they facilitate for finger drumming and sampling. There are also eight knobs present that are effective in tweaking instruments and added effects. The master output is controlled and mixed with the help of nine faders fitted in with transport controls and arrow directional buttons that will help you manipulate the footage in terms of playing, stopping, pausing, recording etc.

This controller is automatically compatible with many common DAWs like Cubase, Ableton Live, Logic and Pro Tools and has their controlled mapped to DAW parameters. The mapping presets are customizable and built in to easily adapt to and integrate with virtual instruments and special effects plug-ins.

There are bundled virtual instruments of the SONiVOX Twist make that are controlled by the factory presets. A workstation that is multitimbral, features four active sound parts per patch through installations like the Ableton Live Lite and Xpand!2.

Pros

  • Light-weight build and package
  • Control surface with auto-mapped DAW
  • Great pitch positioning

Cons

  • Lacks MIDI jack
  • Confusion positioning of the faders and knobs.

 

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Performance

Launchkey 61 provides classic feedback due to its keyboard sensitivity. Though the keys and pads are light in build, it may take some extra pressure to push them to action. The provided software, Ableton Live Lite, works perfectly with no need for mapping.

If you pick on a different software, say Cubase, you will need to map to reconfigure the system’s compatibility. Though the interface is a bit crowded, it only takes a while to get the hang of it and they work brilliantly. It’s a great organ for all skill-level artists.

With the M Audio, the controls in drum plugin or with toggling effects is made effectively possible by use of the drum pads that now light up to touch. These drum pads are also used as rewind and forward buttons to toggle between patches found in programs. The sound quality with this keyboard is best suited for studio jobs than live performances.

Design

Both controller keyboards have a total of 61 velocity-sensitive keys. While the Launchkey has 16 RGB backlit drum or trigger pads, the M Audio only has eight of these pads used in clip launching, beat production among others.

Both MIDI controllers are fitted with eight assignable knobs for manipulating virtual instruments and plug-ins and nine assignable faders for easy mixing. Launchkey offers 6 transport controls dedicated to mouse-free control of the DAW interface.

In terms of compatibility, these two MIDI controller keyboards have been pre-mapped to common Digital Audio Workstations like Cubase, Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Logic, and more. While M Audio features an LCD screen for quick operational feedback, the Launchkey has a 7-segment, 3-character LED display.

The two organs are USB-powered, have automatic support, and a USB-MIDI connectivity.

Verdict

While both MIDI controllers offer some similar features, the difference in operation and outputs cannot be denied. The Launchkey 61 is a perfect organ for beginners as it is fully functional and highly engaging with a good price range.

Peter Smith

Welcome to MusicGearAdvisor! 4 years ago I rediscovered my passion for making music and began building my own home studio. As I have gone through my journey I realized that I am just as passionate about the equipment as I am about the music. I started MusicGearAdvisor as a way for me to share my learnings with others so you can get started making music that you dream of.

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