Roland Aira MX-1 An 18-Channel Performance Mixer
The new Roland Aira MX-1 is the final piece of the puzzle in the Aira range of gear released at the beginning of last year by the technology company although I suspect there will be more in the future too. It bodes well for the range and suggests that they have had some real success with their emulated analog series of outboard gear.
If you are running an Aira setup such as the TR-8, VT-3, TB-3 and System-1, the new Roland Aira MX-1 is a must have central hub which links everything perfectly in sync and such gives you a centralised control point from which to manage your devices.
The Roland Aira MX-1 makes no sound itself. It is what Roland call an ‘optimised performance mixing instrument’ designed specifically but not solely for use with the Aira series. It has 6 analog inputs on the back which means it serves as a digital mixer for any line-ins (all your other outboard gear) and also boasts fully CC assignable knobs and sliders so will serve as a control surface for any DAW, too.
The company has been quite careful not to bill the the Roland Aira MX-1 as an Aira-only piece of gear, stressing its use as a digital mixer and control surface quite strongly in their press info.
The ideal Aira match
It can’t be ignored though that the Roland Aira MX-1 is a no-brainer addition for owners of the rest of the Aira series. There are 4 dedicated USB connections just for Aira gear – this will carry the sync and control info to the MX-1 from the connected Aira gear as well as audio, FX etc. Whilst the MX-1 is not a sequencer it does carry all the note info supplied by the Aira gear (or DAW if you’re using as a control surface).
The on-board FX section looks like a real winner. Not only does it include the trademark Scatter effect introduced with the Aira series – that’s one centralised Scatter – just think of the performance possibilities – the Roland Aira MX-1 effects include DJ-style filters which can be programmed via the 16-step sequencer (looks like the TR sequencer) which will run alongside the musical patterns being played elsewhere.
Again, think about this for a minute. While your sequences are playing you can add new rhythmic effects via the MX-1 sequencer and one assumes, control these separately per channel. These sequenced effects are also not reserved for just your Aira gear. Any other outboard gear connected can also be channeled via the effects!
Digital Mixer, control surface and Aira control hub
With its built-in audio interface and multiple channels, the Roland Aira MX-1 is an obvious choice as the perfect partner in an Aira setup. But it will also connect all your other outboard gear and act as the ideal control surface for your DAW too.
- 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
Find your more about the availibility of the Roland Aira MX-1 in South Africa as well as all Roland gear