While shopping for a midi keyboard, M-Audio's Oxygen or Axiom models can blend in with the other keyboard models and deciding what is the best buy can quickly become difficult, especially for those with less experience. To be clear I'm not being paid for this article in any way, I am just very, very happy with the product. Anyway, what makes M-Audio a great place to look is that in addition to having competitive prices, their keyboards come with other essential tools for the creation of musical assets. Sound libraries and synthesizers are what allow a creator and their keyboard to assign sound to midi data, and M-Audio's Oxygen keyboard comes with both. With these tools, any midi keyboard can become something like a virtuosic violin, a jazzy saxophone, or a heavy synth bass. These tools are not just for efficiency, they are necessary for digital music creation, and they can also become very expensive.
With everything that came with my M-Audio keyboard, I got $200 dollars worth of sounds (in the sound library and synths) in addition to the fleshed out midi keyboard. This was extremely important to me since I was at the time desperately looking for an affordable way to utilize orchestral instruments in a project of mine.
*One point to be cautious about though is that there are some reviews on the web complaining that there are difficulties with using the included software on certain DAWs; I use Ableton Live (which the keyboard is optimized for) and experienced no difficulties, so I can't comment decisively on the validity of these claims.