AES Update: M-Audio Debuts ProjectMix I/O

M-Audio Project MixM-Audio has announced the ProjectMix I/O combination motorized control surface and multi-channel audio interface.

ProjectMix I/O is designed to simplify system configuration and streamline production by integrating everything needed to give project studios many of the workflow advantages of pro studios.

Connecting via a simple FireWire (IEEE 1394) connection, this new device brings the integration of total tactile control, 18 x 14 audio I/O and professional preamps to all of the industry’s major software applications. The unit boots into dedicated modes for Pro Tools, Ableton Live 5, Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase and SONAR (support for some software provided after product launch via free downloadable firmware upgrade). In addition to supporting the aforementioned DAWs, ProjectMix I/O allows users to record directly into industry-standard Pro Tools sessions in Pro Tools M-Powered.

Each of the ProjectMix I/O control surface’s eight channel strips and master strip feature a moving fader for hands-on mixing and seamless automation. The moving faders are touch-sensitive to galvanic skin current, providing for fluid operation and the elimination of motor burnout prevalent in older technologies. The ProjectMix I/O control surface’s faders also have true 10-bit resolution for smoother control compared to 7-bit components on other similarly priced systems that can cause zipper noises and sloppy automation.

The ProjectMix I/O control surface’s eight channel strips can map to all the channels in a larger project by simply pressing the bank +/- and channel +/- controls. In addition to a touch-sensitive motorized fader, each channel strip features buttons for record enable, mute, solo, and select. Each strip has an endless rotary encoder knob, the function of which is assigned by one of 15 dedicated buttons for EQ, aux send and more. Related information is displayed in the LCD display directly above the encoders. The encoders and LCD display double to control assigned plug-in parameters as well.

Dedicated transport controls also makes doing sessions with ProjectMix I/O a breeze. Users get illuminated controls for record, play, stop, fast forward, and rewind, plus a jog/scrub wheel and locate buttons for easy project navigation. There are also sets of keys for in/out points, zoom, region nudge, looping and more designed to optimize session efficiency.

ProjectMix I/O integrates just about every kind of I/O that might be needed for a session–and at the same price as many control surfaces lacking audio altogether. Eight analog input channels all feature high-quality preamps with individual mic/line switches and 1/4″ TRS balanced and XLR inputs. Phantom power is provided for up to eight condenser mics. Input 1 also features a front-panel instrument input for easy direct connection of a guitar or bass during a session. ADAT Lightpipe I/O brings the simultaneous input total to 16, allowing users to expand their system with devices like M-Audio’s award-winning Octane eight-channel preamp. S/PDIF accommodates other standard digital connectivity, and word clock synchronizes ProjectMix I/O with other digital devices.

ProjectMix I/O also serves as a 1 x 1 MIDI interface, allowing the connected computer to communicate with MIDI hardware. The ProjectMix I/O ships with M-Audio’s ProjectMix Control software application for Mac and Windows. This application allows users to assign special MIDI commands to the control surface faders, encoders and buttons for control of outboard sound modules, effects processors or virtual instruments in the computer. This MIDI mode, which is separate from the DAW control mode, can be accessed at any time with the press of a button.

The ProjectMix I/O control surface’s monitoring options include two 1?4″ headphone outputs with separate volume controls for working with a partner, as well as two stereo output pairs for routing to monitors, processors and mixdown devices. There’s also an A/B headphone source-monitoring switch for DJ-style cueing.

ProjectMix I/O is compatible with Mac and PC computers. In addition to supporting Mackie Control, Logic Control and HUI protocols, the unit is compatible with WDM, ASIO 2, Core Audio and GSIF 2.

ProjectMix I/O is expected to ship in October with an MSRP of $1,249.95.

More information is available at the M-Audio site.

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