M-Audio Code 61 is the flagship model in the brand’s Code series of accessible keyboard controllers. The Code 61 sits above the 25 and 49 models and showcases; you guessed it, 61 keys. M-Audio claim that the Code 61 combines all of the performance and production power you need to get the most from your music software and MIDI set-up.
It is a great feeling when your keyboard feels like an extension of yourself, almost like a notebook where you can scribble down your thoughts and feelings.
A keyboard should not be an obstacle to your creative process; rather, it should operate as a natural extension to your thoughts and ensure that you can communicate your musical ideas with clarity and with immediacy.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Code 61 to see if it lives up to this high standard.
First, let’s examine the key bed. After all, it is the key bed that is your musical canvas so you want to make sure that it is user-friendly and enhances your creative experience. It is refreshing to see that the Code 61 showcases a key bed that is a pleasure to use, due to its clarity and sensitivity.
The keys have been enhanced with the capability to be both velocity and pressure sensitive. This feature offers you maximum expressivity to really throw yourself into your creations.
The Code 61 further enables your creativity by providing extensive assignable controllers. Everything you will need to make a serious music creation is essentially here thanks to numerous banks of faders, pads, buttons, silky smooth pitch bend and a modulation wheel on top of the unit.
In a departure from earlier M-Audio controllers, the Code 61 features an X/Y touchpad which provides added and direct interaction with effects and instrument plug-in parameters across an X/Y axis.
In a super-handy feature, the keyboard can be divided into four assignable zones that really maximises the flexibility of the model. For example, you can let loose four different instruments in their own designated zone, or you can overlap zones and trigger two instruments simultaneously.
This feature adds to the artistic flexibility of the model and frees you to make music exactly as you want.
The Code 61 is super-portable which is ideal for on-the-go DJs who often need to work wherever and whenever. The Code 61, like its sister models, is USB-powered and supports USB-MIDI connectivity, making this model convenient as well as high-functioning.
User Friendly Design
The model is designed to be as easy to use as possible, so that newcomers, as well as established DJs, can pick it up and start playing.
Thanks to 16 assignable RBG backlit velocity sensitive drum pads, you can see at a quick glance what function any particular pad is linked to. This means that you can get on with the business of playing rather than being distracted by the interface.
All knobs and buttons are colour coded to indicate what mode they are in while a LED screen offers informative feedback. These handy features might not be revolutionary but they greatly contribute to the user experience of the model, which is especially useful for those new to the keyboard controller.
The Code 61 and the Code family as a whole offer exactly what you need from an accessibly priced MIDI keyboard controller.
The main draw of the Code 61 has to be its super-simple layout and interface that really allows you to delve straight into creating without being overwhelmed by the number of features on offer. The flexibility of this model makes it a great option for newcomers and seasoned DJs alike.