Line 6 KB37 or M-Audio Axiom 49?

Any experienced peeps around here?

I play electric guitar with our praise band at church. I use a POD XT Live direct to the PA for guitar sounds and while I prefer my good ol’ toob amp, the XT is good for this use. We use in-ear monitors. I want to be able to add synth pads, strings and such to our music while also using a keyboard of some type to start/stop the “XXXXX” transport for playing loops.

Both units mentioned above seem like they would fit the bill. The plus for the Line 6 is I could use it for the audio interface for my laptop AND a controller keyboard. The plus for the Axiom is an extra octave, more controls, percussion pads and “gee-whiz” things but I would have to use my Tascam US-122L for an audio interface. (The built-in laptop audio SUUUXXX!)

If any of you good peeps with experience using either of (or both) products, I would REALLY appreciate a comment or two or twenty…

Thanks in advance!


the line6 has those lovely FROG EYE meters - but it is rather expensive for what it is - the M audio should be, well M audio, cant say a bad thing against them - BUT watch out for transpoet controls - there are two types - one type sends out systemX codes the other sands out NOTE ON, (Mackie baby Hui codes) - check on the R forum to see what R accepts - N accepts NOTE ON type codes only and is not much good for Roland and top end Begringer gear which send out sysX codes -

also how is R for playing through a VSTi live - if you are thinking of using a standalone instrument like NI B4 organ watch out for the license conditions - NI do not allow public performances without their permission - in fact you dont even own the tones the B4 generates they are loaned to you for a one off fee - they also forbid any form of use in a video without you paying mega bucks for their permission - so dont get caught playing the B4 on UTube !!! -

although you may laugh, the big Casio units are very reliable snd play great, far better keyboard action than most have
- also if R crashs (i hear that you only have to wisper “LIVE” in its proximinity and it will die of shame instantly) you can continue playing through the Casio,s own audio out - i presume you will be using a laptop to host R ? if so beware if you have one that starts with D - why you may well ask ? well when they get hot the fan controller mash,s up the kernal timing and will cause horendous dropouts -

ARGHHH - the Casio may have MIDI in / out but they may be cable only and not USB and laptops dont have MIDI IN / OUT ports - unless you can use the JOYSTICK (game controller) port with a convertor lead with MIDI IN / OUT connectors attached -

Dr J

Thanks for the tips Doc.

Licensing won’t be an issue as I don’t intend to go as far as buying VSTi’s for my limited KB skills. My primary role is geetar wanker. I’ll use some freebie VSTi’s for strings, bleeps and poots… simple stuff. I have the trusty Roland Virtual Sound Canvas DXi that works wonderfully in R as well. Low, that is LOW latency with that thing… 2ms LOW with my EMU. (Note to self: Try it with the Tascam/laptop combo…)

R crash? Hasn’t happened yet. I’ve had it (with this laptop) sit an play MIDI loops through VST’i’s for hours and not had a single crash, burp or fart. Of course, I didn’t have a controller connected. If that breaks it, I’d be surprised but you never know…

If I was gonna go “whole hog” with this idea, I’d look into Ableton Live. I hear Live has some really awesome features for live gig use.

Casio does indeed make a nice unit. The more I read and think about this, I’m thinking the Axiom or similar is the ticket. The KB37 gets mixed reviews. The primary downer being somewhat flimsy construction and lousy key action. Action is a subjective thing so I’ll lay fingers on one before deciding. I also need to investigate Edirol MIDI controllers before deciding… choices… choices…


made change to above please read again -

have an Edirol PCR M1 - STOPS OUTPUTTING MIDI ON CHANNEL ONE WHEN IT FEELS LIKE IT - CONTROLLER POTS CROSS FEED THEIR OUTPUTS AT TIMES - MAYBE NOT RELIABLE ENOUGH FOR YOUR NEEDS - some PCs laptops keep the USB supply ON when the unit is off but still connected to the mains - others dont, you will need to fit the Edirol with batteries or buy the additional PSU if the USB supply is not permanently on the computer may not not see the Edirol - without batteries or the horrendous wallwart plugged in the Edirol just will not start - it happens when the three way power switch at the back gets in the wrong position Windows just wont see it -

personally although my Casio may not be a NORD it gets the job done just as well -

Dr J

just struck me - the BIG PROBLEM using any VSTI in a live performance is changing the presets - most need the mouse to be used - the only alternative that you can use live without this problem is to get a CHEAP hardware synth - look on Ebay - actually you cant go wrong with a STAGE PIANO - it will fit in with any type of music, needs no computer and can be plugged straight into any guitar amp that has a line input -

Dr j

Thanks for the heads-up on the Edirol…

There are guys on the ‘R’ forum using it to host VSTi’s live. I think they have figured the preset thing out although some VSTi’s don’t support their solution. I’m hoping some of 'em chime in over there.

I actually envision using it like this;

We have our songlist mapped out ahead of time right? Usually it’s four songs. I have two options;

ONE: I have one project set up with all the loops and VSTi sounds I need on whatever tracks it takes. I map the track mutes to pushbuttons on the controller. I just mute/un-mute as needed.

TWO: Load four instances of Reaper with the correct setups. Unlike some other software, Reaper actually DOES release the ASIO driver when another app has focus. With it’s small memory footprint and the 2GB on my laptop, that might work.

I like option ONE best even though it requires a bit more prep work. With R’s track templates though, I can load four tracks with macros pretty darn quick.

Just gotta decide on a KB.


make 1 long track for the audio that contains the 4 songs you are going to play - insert VSTi in a MIDI track and set to play live - use transport controls to stop start playback - put a BLIP at the start of each audio track to indicate that he song is about to play -

you may be able to insert program changes in the MIDI tracks Piano roll (but no notes) so the presets for the VSTi change automatically for each song as the timelime passes over them so no need to mess with anything during the set -

Dr J

Being Waaaay over due for a new toy - I think I might go with this one.

New toy. Especially 'cause it allows you to “Channel your inner songwriter”. 'Bout time they gave the writer a channel.

That’s pretty cool Poppa W. I want a few more programmable controls though, so I’m still leaning toward the Axiom series…


That keyboard looks pretty good Poppa, my ? is will it do the songwriting for ya, cause mine sucks!

I need a keyboard/midi controller capable of using with the E-Mu card. But I’m clueless on such matters, just started to program midi drum tracks and such, big big learning curve here! Anyone wanna take a vacation and come to the house to teach/learn me? Bring a Louisville Slugger with ya, I’m a hard headed ol’ fart!

Bein’ hard headed my own se’f - I’d mostly use it as a performance tool. Seeing as how I’m one that theorizes that the level of ‘performance’ has suffered from the advent of all the midi and sampling technology.
I’d rather play a part 20 times and get it where I like it than program it once and have it just lay there. But that’s just me.

Just bought the KB 37 at Sweetwater, D.

Hopefully you and Dr. Wabbit will have enough patience to hep me.

I’m educated way below my intelligence so I orta learn sumpin’…