Roland AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer
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The Roland AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer is breaking new ground. Something that AIRA seems to be pretty good at doing.
I genuinely can't think of a mixer that I would descibe as sexy... until now. The MX-1 looks kind of like a TR-8 at first glance but look closely and you'll see that it's actually designed to be the lynchpin of your whole digital music creation: connect up other AIRA gear, synths, computers, beat machines, even instruments and then mix, blend, effect, manipulate and create out of this world sounds.
During your live set it's your battlefield command centre from which you manipulate all your other gear into playing nicely together for the greater good. While in the studio it becomes your operating table: slicing and dicing using the 16 step FX sequencer, Beat Fx and Master FX, quick mutes and a whole loads of other cool ways to filter, cut up and otherwise sex up your synths, beat machines and just about anything else you want to mix!
If you want to get particularly creative you can use the MX-1 to control your DAW and pass audio back and forth. I can imagine that'd be particularly fun with Ableton, but creative producers may find it's a great way of thinking out of the box when tracking and mixing traditional audio in Pro Tools or Logic too!
Here's what Roland say about the AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer
The MX-1 Mix Performer brings together your synths, drum machines, loops, DAW tracks, and more into a single performance-optimized mixing instrument. Combining elements of a mixer, control surface, audio interface, and step-based effector, the MX-1 is designed to be the nerve center of your electronic music rig. It's a mixer you can play - and so much more.
- 18 channel performance mixer with step-sequenced FX, transport, and tempo control
- Three kinds of step-sequenced Beat FX (Filter, Side Chain, Slicer) with TR-style buttons
- Six kinds of Master FX (48 variations) with large performance control knob
- Beat FX and Master FX can be applied to any or all inputs; Beat FX are per channel
- Combi mode rhythmically alternates the Master FX using the step-sequencer
- Four AIRA Link USB ports support audio, MIDI, sync, and bus power (on Port 3) for AIRA gear
- Mix mode provides six analog, one digital (stereo), four AIRA (stereo) , and two PC channels through mixer and FX
- External mode provides 18 channels from DAW through mixer and FX (all inputs direct to DAW)
- Control Surface mode for full DAW control via MIDI
- DJ-style cue monitoring, quick mutes, and six fader curves per channel
- Per-channel Tone/Filter knob with ten kinds of EQs, filters, and isolators
- Transport and tempo control with fine, shuffle, and tap-tempo functions
- Instantly save and recall complete setups including all FX configurations
Mix it up…
With six analog inputs, four AIRA Link USB ports, digital I/O, send and return jacks, and the ability to stream 18 channels to and from your DAW, the MX-1 brings together a wide range of musical sources and puts them directly under your fingertips. But this is no ordinary mixer.
The smooth, solid faders each have six different volume curves available. Every channel has an adjustable Tone/Filter knob with ten types of filters, EQs, and isolators. Mutes are placed for quick access, working with the LED-lit faders to clearly show their status, even in dark environments.
The DJ-style headphone cue monitoring lets you smoothly mix in any source whenever you're ready, or drop in tracks right on the beat. Separate headphone and master volume knobs along with smooth and bright metering keep levels firmly in check. And everything, including all the FX configurations and settings, can be saved and recalled for instant access.
Dramatic. Rhythmic. Get the desired effect.
There's no question that effects play a huge role in creating a unique vibe and defining your sound. And the MX-1 integrates effects in exciting new ways. Not only do the MX-1's effects sound great, they're designed for ready manipulation and rhythmic sensibility, thanks to the MX-1's tempo awareness and the TR-style step interface.
In addition to an aux send for feeding external effects, each channel has its own Beat FX including Filter, Side Chain, and Slicer. These are applied using sixteen TR-style step sequencer buttons like those found on famous Roland drum machines. This lets you independently filter, duck, and slice each channel, creating cool rhythmic variations, polyrhythms, and all manner of intricate grooves. Beat FX can be instantly switched on and off per channel with dedicated, illuminated buttons.
Six kinds of Master FX, each with lots of variations, add spice and drama to any or all channels. And the large control knob gives them supreme playability. The Master FX can even be step-sequenced in various combinations, creating stunning movement and glitchy interludes that must be heard to be fully appreciated.
Loves computers. But enjoys its alone time.
Computers already play a big role in production, and they increasingly play a role in performance. But they don't always integrate so well with other live instruments, and require their own audio interface and controller. The MX-1 addresses these problems through its ability to operate in any one of three different modes.
In Control Surface mode, the MX-1 can sync to your computer and act as a high-quality MIDI controller for your DAW. Cool. But it gets way more interesting…
In Mixer mode, the MX-1 can mix all connected sources, including analog and digital inputs, AIRA gear, and your computer's output. While there's a dedicated channel for a stereo output from your computer, you can also send computer audio to USB channels 1 thru 4 if no device is connected to the AIRA Link USB ports. Very cool.
In External mode, the MX-1 can send all its inputs directly to your DAW, acting as a high-quality audio interface. At the same time, it can mix 18 channels back from your DAW, putting them on the MX-1's faders. This lets you utilize the recording, clip triggering, effects, and mixing functions of your DAW along with the MX-1's cue monitoring, sync, and performance-optimized mixing and effects capabilities. It's mind-bending stuff. Just take a moment to imagine the possibilities.
While the MX-1 obviously makes working with a computer way more fun, it's just as happy on its own. So whether it's full hands-on control of your DAW or completely out-of-the-box production and performance, the MX-1 is right at home.
Get connected. Link in and sync up.
The MX-1 is so much fun to play that you're bound to want to plug all kinds of things into it. Four individual 1/4-inch jacks support just about any kind of instrument, and the stereo 1/8-inch jack is perfect for smartphones, tablets, and various gadgets.
There are also four AIRA Link USB ports that make connecting your AIRA gear literally plug and play. With fully automatic detection, AIRA Link USB ports transmit audio, MIDI, and sync over a single USB cable. One of the ports can even provide bus power for a compatible AIRA device like the TB-3 Touch Bassline or VT-3 Voice Transformer. AIRA Link reduces cable clutter and makes setup fast and simple.
The MX-1 is also fully time aware and gives you hands-on control of start, stop, tempo, and timing. Sync an array of musical devices over MIDI or AIRA Link. Control everything with the brightly lit TR-style start/stop button and large tempo knob with fine adjustment, shuffle control, and tap function.
The mixer. Reimagined as an instrument.
While the MX-1 is sturdily built, highly flexible, and extremely capable, all this mixing and effect control would be nothing if it were confusing or cumbersome to use. But the way mixing and effects are so cleverly and thoughtfully implemented in the MX-1, everything is fast, immediate, and intuitive. Most of all, it's musical, and designed to be played. Like all AIRA gear, there are no confusing menus or layered functions to slow you down.
- PC Connectivity
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