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Review: Akai Pro MIDImix
G.W. Childs IV on Tue, September 8th 5 comments
Small, compact, solid and as far from expensive as you can get. The new Akai Pro MIDImix promises to be a worthy mixer for Ableton Live producers and G. W. Childs investigates how it fares.

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!

Desk-volution

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.

Akai Pro MIDImix

Akai Pro MIDImix.

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!

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Functionality

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. 

Close up of the faders and rotary encoders of the Akai Pro MIDImix

Close up of the faders and rotary encoders of the Akai Pro MIDImix

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! 

Conclusion

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.

Web: http://www.akaipro.com/product/midimix 

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Comments (5)

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  • Jay Asher
    Can I assume that if all I really want is for the faders to send cc 11 this will work fine with Logic Pro X?
    • 4 years ago
    • By: Jay Asher
    Reply
  • Nyhypeu
    Hey Jay, Just assigned it to various parameters in Logic Pro X with no difficulty. You should have no problems! :)
    • 4 years ago
    • By: Nyhypeu
    Reply
  • Jay Asher
    Thanks G Dub, I am on this.
    • 4 years ago
    • By: Jay Asher
    Reply
  • Wozolye
    I have yet to see a review that really makes sense of the Send All button.What you have mentioned in this review doesn't really make much logical sense either: -"zeroing current mixes" How ?! Like, by the time you have set all your controls to default/zero on the hardware to send it by the button, you already have zeroed your mix because each time you moved a knob/fader the software has followed so no need to send it anymore! - "returning settings back to original placements from the night before" - How would that work in reality ? So you would have memorized all the settings on the hardware, then dial them all in on the hardware, then fire up the computer and then send them ? Or is this to describe a scenario where you had decen settings but from a point on didn't use the hardware anymore at all but only the mouse and then later want to revert back to the hardwarw settings ? I don't understand.. - "a cool way of experimenting" Yeah, maybe, except you might experience some sudden and very loud volume jumps that might or might not blow your speakers.. Honestly, all above scenarios don't sound very realistic at all, to be honest they even sound a bit like you just made them up to make some sense of that button ;) I mean, even Akai themselves haven't managed to come up with a real life example where that button could really be helpful.I think it's rather a gimmick they included in order to have *something* to differentiate this product from others no matter how much sense it makes.. Not saying this is a bad product; in fact i think it can be pretty awesome when combined with that Isotonik script that really enhances it's capabilities: http://isotonikstudios.com/sigabort/akai-midimix-xl/ That way, you'd have almost the capabilities of a Launch Control XL for roughly half the price :)
    • 4 years ago
    • By: Wozolye
    Reply
  • Decent at Best
    Would you happen to know if the controls are assignable to parameters in Maschine?
    • 4 years ago
    • By: Decent at Best
    Reply
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