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Keith McMillen K-Mix - MIDI controllable AI/mixer
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Author Keith McMillen K-Mix - MIDI controllable AI/mixer
pownie
"I needed a very special mixer that did not exist - a fully programmable MIDI controlled ultra high quality portable mixer. To play live in a group without a sound-man, not having a mixer that could do all of this was heart breaking. K-Mix had to be capable of tying all of my needs together, from live inputs to USB interfaces, and operate as a fully programmable stage mixer."

www.keithmcmillen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/techspecs-kmix.pdf

www.keithmcmillen.com/products/k-mix

Fully programmable MIDI controlled.... Exciting if that means you can actually send CV to MIDI for controlling parameters, pan, volume, effects, etc.
Ashi
looks like a better version of the Roland try, not what I need but it's cool to see stuff like this coming up
sneak-thief
8 mono channels with all those fx and 3d-stereo field placement abilities would pair well with a modular.

With the 8 outputs, you could do some interesting live modular performances.

For uses with 4 stereo inputs, I don't find it quite as compelling.
Paranormal Patroler
I'd lose the 8 outputs and go for send/returns or more inputs. Does this have onboard EQ and Compression? The video shows it on Ableton but it would be useless if I had to use a computer with this.

If it does have on board fx/compression/eq it's my next purchase 100%. Still I really wish I could do something about the inputs (a couple of more would be nice).
kisielk
Did you even look at the spec sheet linked in the first post? Eq, compression, gate, reverb, and surround.
Paranormal Patroler
kisielk wrote:
Did you even look at the spec sheet linked in the first post? Eq, compression, gate, reverb, and surround.


Excuse me, I did download it and checked the video on the page but I keep getting distracted by ongoing posts about new things from NAMM. I can't express how much I want to find the perfect console for my live setup, so a part of me must be chickening out from checking the specs. Weird.
Umcorps
Paranormal Patroler wrote:

Excuse me, I did download it and checked the video on the page but I keep getting distracted by ongoing posts about new things from NAMM. I can't express how much I want to find the perfect console for my live setup, so a part of me must be chickening out from checking the specs. Weird.


Today is the day that my current live mixer (Soundcraft notepad) has decided to crap out on me and I've just wasted several hours work so I'm profoundly interested in this.

Agree about the need for a better balance of inputs to outputs. If you are going to have 3 aux sends (and I am very much in agreement with that) then you do need to have more dedicated returns. I guess one workaround would be to use something like THIS to bring the external boxes down to one pair. But that's not ideal and bumps up the cost of what is already not a cheap mixer.

I'm also a bit wary given the mixed experiences people have reported with the Qu-nexus keyboard. I'm not sure I want to be the earliest adopter.

But, put those things to one side and this looks pretty much like my ideal for a live mixer.
jarvis
It does look cool, I've been trying to find a live mixer as well.

I'm a bit wary of the McMillen stuff though, the pads on the devices I have tried always seem like they are either not sensitive enough or far too sensitive... I can never adjust my playing to them because it just doesn't feel natural. In the demo vid if you watch the user's fingers it looks like they're either applying a substantial amount of force to the fader surfaces when making an upward motion or their fingers deform easily at the first joint
z3r01
The K-Mix seems like a pretty good product.

However, I was helping the distributor here, test the QuNeo, and personally, I didn't quite like the feel of those touch pads/surfaces. Like what jarvis mentioned, it is too easy to tap something that you did not intend to, or when you tap it, and nothing happens.

Plus, I am more used to actual knobs, and faders, on a mixer.

I am on the look out for a new mixer (for live purposes), too, but I am a little skeptical how good this would fit for my purposes. I was looking at Soundcraft's recently announced Signature series, and it seems pretty decent. Only thing that is holding me back, is that it has 3 Auxes, but no returns. Pity.
Paranormal Patroler
Umcorps wrote:
Agree about the need for a better balance of inputs to outputs. If you are going to have 3 aux sends (and I am very much in agreement with that) then you do need to have more dedicated returns. I guess one workaround would be to use something like THIS to bring the external boxes down to one pair. But that's not ideal and bumps up the cost of what is already not a cheap mixer.

I'm also a bit wary given the mixed experiences people have reported with the Qu-nexus keyboard. I'm not sure I want to be the earliest adopter.

But, put those things to one side and this looks pretty much like my ideal for a live mixer.


I recently bought a used Mackie VLZ1202 which I just turned to 220V. It's excellent for my needs feature-wise, but I still have to purchase a shit-ton of external processors like compressors and gates to do all the weird stuff I'm thinking of. Also EQ's.

I would love to have 12 channels on the K-Mix. The balance of In/Out is a bit weird, innit? No Aux Returns but a fair pair of stereo Sends if you do Quad panning. Generally speaking a good workaround about Send/Returns are matrix mixers. I bought a 4X4 one which I'll turn into a 4X5 one.

My suggestion to Keith would be fairly simple. Turn channels 5-8 into stereo inputs.


Is the touch sensitivity of these things that bad? Really?




EDIT


Just emailed Keith McMillen Instruments with suggestions. Will report back.
Paranormal Patroler




Fuck yeah! SlayerBadger!

"Brand new faders that Keith just developed" and they look totally responsive on the video. Street price $499, I'm sooo getting this.
Paranormal Patroler


So it has a phones output as well, it's on the front side. It seems like the only thing this mixer lacks is enough inputs (and proper level indication!).
Matos
That does look rad. Hope you found your new instrument/ mixer! SlayerBadger!
Paranormal Patroler
Matos wrote:
That does look rad. Hope you found your new instrument/ mixer! SlayerBadger!


Thanks! I think I have. I mean, the money I would have to spend on Gates / EQ's /Compression, I might as well try this. The downside is I can't figure what to do about the 8 inputs, when I kinda want 12. If I could magically transform one of them output pairs into an input pair, that would be perfect. waah
rico loverde
very interested in these. i notice theres an expand usb looking thing on the back, i wonder if you can chain multiple together to create whatever size mixer you want....
kisielk
The expand on the back is for the KMI expander so you can have MIDI in without a PC.
rico loverde
kisielk wrote:
The expand on the back is for the KMI expander so you can have MIDI in without a PC.
ahh, that makes sense. i was really hoping you could chain together two mixers.
Paranormal Patroler
rico loverde wrote:
kisielk wrote:
The expand on the back is for the KMI expander so you can have MIDI in without a PC.
ahh, that makes sense. i was really hoping you could chain together two mixers.



It also has another USB, the one that connects to the computer. According to the info that does audio I/O so maybe it's not entirely impossible to chain them via that USB. I have already asked if that's an option, I'll post here if I ever get a reply.
kisielk
I'd be surprised. Usually USB peripherals operate in device mode and require a host, that's why there's the KMI expander which is a host. Only the more recent USB on-the-go lets you connect two peripherals together, but it's quite rarely used at this point.
Paranormal Patroler
kisielk wrote:
I'd be surprised. Usually USB peripherals operate in device mode and require a host, that's why there's the KMI expander which is a host. Only the more recent USB on-the-go lets you connect two peripherals together, but it's quite rarely used at this point.


Isn't that true as far as control messages are concerned? I mean since it states it's Audio I/O, it might as well receive audio channels. According to the diagram it adds USB post (or was it pre) to each audio channel. Personally I wouldn't mind paying a small sum to get an extra device that will act as a medium, if it meant I could connect two consoles and get a 16 input console.
kisielk
The USB pre/post switches look like it's to select what you send over the USB port to the host device. So for USB in pre/post you either send pre-mixer or post-mixer to the outputs, similarly for USB out you either send pre-mixer or post-mixer to the host device. Most likely application is so that you can have a different live mix while recording the raw tracks to your DAW for later editing (with pre), or recording the live mix to your daw (post), similarly for the other other way around.

I'm sure if they were chainable they would have made a bigger show of it because that would be a pretty unique feature amongst USB audio/midi interfaces in general.
Paranormal Patroler
kisielk wrote:
The USB pre/post switches look like it's to select what you send over the USB port to the host device. So for USB in pre/post you either send pre-mixer or post-mixer to the outputs, similarly for USB out you either send pre-mixer or post-mixer to the host device. Most likely application is so that you can have a different live mix while recording the raw tracks to your DAW for later editing (with pre), or recording the live mix to your daw (post), similarly for the other other way around.

I'm sure if they were chainable they would have made a bigger show of it because that would be a pretty unique feature amongst USB audio/midi interfaces in general.


As always, you have been most helpful. But I insist, based exactly on what you say above, if you set the first mixer to send USB-out post and the second mixer to receive USB-in post, wouldn't that give a 16 input/8 output mixer of sorts ? Granted, it would require a medium (host) to accomplish this. So maybe a small device? I admit I am not knowledgeable in regards to what can be done through USB ports.
kisielk
I'm not sure what that would achieve if it were possible... so you'd have the signals of the first mixer going to its 8 outputs and to USB as well, all fine and good. Then in the second mixer you set it to USB in-post and now you would have those 8 channels of output from the 1st mixer also feeding in to the 8 outs of the second? That wouldn't really be a chain, just a duplication of the audio.

If they were acutally chainable I'd expect to be able to mix down all 16 channels to just two stereo outs, and maybe save presets and share some controls.

To be fair it's not really clear what happens when you switch on USB in post because the signal flow diagram doesn't show a switch, mixer, or amplifier in the signal path there, the lines are just connected together. But I'm still pretty convinced if they were chainable in any useful fashion they would have mentioned it in the release.
Paranormal Patroler
What my suggestion introduces is the ability to make the setup have panning functionality that won't be mindboggling to figure out. Since the K-Mix is obviously aimed at people who are interested in doing more than your typical stereo panning (otherwise why bother with 7.1 ?), I would accept that the second mixer handles the panning functionality.

Ideally, the medium would remap the channels in a way that will make more sense for stereo: instead of having to patch a stereo signal's Left audio on mixer 1/input 1 and the Right audio on mixer 2/input 1, so that by panning the track 1 on mixer 2 you'll have the whole stereo piece move as a whole; I would assume remapping mixer 1/input 2 to mixer 2/input 1 would be a nice option.

Anyway, it's just an idea. Who knows? If the K-Mix does well enough they might make a larger version.
Paranormal Patroler
From Keith McMillen Instruments:

Quote:
I’ll give your feedback to the team— we currently have nothing like that in the pipeline, but there is potential something may emerge with enough demand.

We definitely wanted to make K-Mix chain able, but USB makes it pretty hard to do that. We will keep an open mind and listen to user feedback as we go.

One thing I’d like to address on the forum — the faders are very sensitive (nothing like QuNeo) and require almost no pressure to activate. They’re also textured, which makes them very easy to slide a finger on…
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