Akai Professional gear is showing up in all shapes and sizes this year, and one shape that I’m particularly keen with is one of the small, square-shaped ones known as MIDIMix. It’s a small, and simple MIDI mixer. But, will it serve the needs of most? Let’s find out!
It’s nice to see the portable mixer line expand with Akai’s new edition. The MIDIMix, is a small, plain, and surprisingly handy, little mixer, that I recently had the pleasure to get to spend some time with. As I was bed-ridden for part of my time with it, and I still had quite a bit of work to do, the MIDIMix was actually kind of a savior, truth be known.
For starters, it’s extremely sturdy. I love the slightly submerged faders, and pots. I found myself constantly thanking Akai for the pot and fader design and shape, as I’ve had mini-mixers like these lose fader tops, and pots, and even buttons, pulling devices in and out of my backpack, and just through the rigors of travel, in general.
I’m also quite keen on the pots movement. They are silky and smooth, and don't feel plastic and crappy.
Additionally, the rubbery, back-lit LED buttons, while not recessed, are cleverly hidden in between the fader and pots. The Pots slightly longer shape can act as a buffer, when the unit may be jostled, during travel.
I’m also quite keen on the pots movement. They are silky and smooth, and don't feel plastic and crappy. These things are on there tight, but with love. Nice work, Akai!
In my pillow fortress of musical splendor, and production, I found MIDIMix to be a constant asset. The Ableton remote script for the MIDIMix, sadly wasn’t easy to track down. Apparently, Ableton had removed the MIDIMix script with Live 9.2.1, but included it with the previous version, 9.2. The script is now back in version 9.2.2 so make sure to update to the latest version of Live before using the MIDIMix. Aside from that, the MIDIMix, once scripted, works quite nicely. I was happy to see the bank buttons, functionality that I greatly appreciated, when using my old Euphonix Artist Series consoles.
Granted, the faders don’t fly with the press of each bank button, to match the on screen pot and fader positions, as there are no built-in fader motors. But, Akai did get a nice piece of polish in with the Send All button. Initially, I thought it was kind of gimmicky that there was a button just to send fader positions over to Ableton, from the physical knob placements of the MIDIMix. However, I quickly found myself using this features as a quick way of not only zeroing current mixes, but also as a means of just returning settings back to original placements from the night before, and as a cool way of experimenting.
If you need something to tame your mixes and... require a sturdy, small, mixing desk, you will have to work hard to find one better!
Mute buttons on the MIDIMix are mapped to the Track Activator buttons of Ableton, and can also be used as Solo buttons, when holding down the singular SOLO Button, on the MIDIMix, itself. Also, pots are mapped to the first two sends and returns of each Ableton track, giving you some of the control over your effects. And, of course, if you need more pots for your sends, you can always remap!
The MIDIMix is a fun, affordable, little mixing console that is as reliable as it is sturdy. It gives you 9 physical faders, 24 pots and 20 buttons, and all of them are going to stand the test of your every day life, quite well... as long as you’re not a deep sea diver! MIDIMix is not water proof! But, it is fun and extremely reliable. If you’re needing something to tame your mixes, and gain order in strange environments that require a sturdy, small, mixing desk, you will have to work hard to find one better! Well, as long as you have the remote script.
Price: $149 USD
Pros: Solid mixer, with solid design and a nice gimmick, in SEND ALL, that really does come in handy.
Cons: This is entirely aimed at Ableton, it seems. No Reason Remote file, and little documentation on other DAWs yet.