Review: Keith McMillen K-Mix Audio Interface, Digital Mixer, and Control Surface

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So what is the K-Mix

kmixtopThis device is really multiple devices in one. It can be an 8 input/10 output audio interface, it can be a USB control surface for your favorite DAW or software, it can be a MIDI controller for your external gear, oh yeah…it can also be a standalone digital mixer!

The K-Mix is a compact, rugged, portable unit that can really be the center of your setup.

On top of all of that, there are built in DSP effects and you can save and recall presets of complex routing setups as needed.

Maybe we should just call it “McMillen’s Box of Goodies? Seems right to me!

Quick Specs

  • functions: USB audio interface, digital mixer, control surface, +48V or +12V phantom power,
  • audio: 24bit, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 2 Micro Pre Preamps
  • connectivity: 2 x XLR/TRS, 6 TRS inputs, 8 TRS outputs, Micro USB, Mini USB, 1 3.5mm headphone out
  • control: 9 touch faders, 4 touch rotary,  9 channel buttons, 17 function buttons, 4 bank buttons
  • processing: compressor, reverb, gate, eq, surround mixing
  • product page: https://www.keithmcmillen.com/products/k-mix/
  • purchase: http://www.zzounds.com/a–1786589/item–KMIKMIX

How does it sound?

Reel to Reel Tape RecorderI like the sound of this little box, I mainly use it as a mixer for my external synths but it sounds fine. I dig the fact that it has some fx built in, so I can quickly add compression, eq, and a little reverb when I want, which with the proper settings, I can even use that as a delay of sorts.

One of the main attractions of this mixer are the “Micro Pre” preamps, and I can say they do sound good. They provide a nice solid gain and drive my dynamic mics with no problem, I’m sure they do well on condenser mics too, though I personally didn’t test with any myself.

There’s not a bunch of coloration going on here, what you put in is what you get out, with plenty of gain to handle whatever type of input you decide to throw at it.

Overall the sound is clean and low noise, unless of course you’re cranking the preamp and compressor all the way up…which is to be expected.

So what’s the bottom line?

I dig this little unit, I wasn’t sure I would like the touch faders as I usually prefer an actual fader, but these things work great.

I love the size of the mixer and the build quality is super rugged…having lost a few pieces of gear to the dreaded drop or cable snag, I can definitely appreciate the durability of the K-Mix.

4subsOverall, I give the K-Mix 4 out of 5 subs, it’s a super versatile device that can provide the tools you need from the studio to the stage, all in one unit. 

I will say I was a little disappointed that the K-Mix editor is only for Mac, that pretty much discouraged me from trying it as a control surface, though all of the buttons and faders send MIDI which makes it easy to setup, I felt a little jealous that I couldn’t open up that sexy editor to adjust MIDI or even audio routing and fx settings.

However, I would imagine if enough people ask they’d produce one in the future, and you can still use it as a MIDI control surface without the editor…honestly my main reason for wanted to test it was as a standalone mixer, but I can definitely see how this little unit would be desirable as a control surface as well.

I initially didn’t know what I would think about it, there were no screens on it, no dedicated mute/solo buttons, and no actual faders, but since I’ve had it in use, I can definitely say that while I would enjoy having dedicated mute and solo buttons, that’s not a deal breaker.

It could use a little more labeling, specifically for the shift functions of the rotary knobs for the different fx, but even that is something I can work with. The functionality of this device in such a small package definitely makes it something to consider.

Go on over and check it out: https://www.keithmcmillen.com/products/k-mix/

Let me know what you think or if you’ve used one yourself.

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