Roland MX-1 Update Brings Support For Non-Aira USB Devices

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Roland has updated the Aira MX-1 Mix Performer mixer, adding support for the company’s USB keyboards.

Here’s what’s new in MX-1 Ver.1.03:

Functionality Improvements:

  • Non-AIRA products can be used at the USB HOST connector.
    Usable products are as follows.

    • JD-XA
    • JD-Xi
    • JUNO-Gi
    • JUPITER-50
    • JUPITER-80
    • FA-06
    • FA-08
  • The “MIDI Clock Master” setting after execution of a factory reset has been changed from “Auto” to “Int.”

The following bug was fixed.

  • Input via the DIGITAL IN connector became monaural.

The update is a free download from the Roland site.

via Sonic State

13 thoughts on “Roland MX-1 Update Brings Support For Non-Aira USB Devices

  1. Got a bit excited there, but then found it was a bit of a misleading title.

    Corrected title: “Roland MX-1 Update Adds Support For Certain Roland USB Devices”

    Summary is the MX-1 has 8 unbalanced analog audio input channels, including the stereo aux return, and it has 4 USB A host ports that can be connected to other AIRA devices as well as some select non-AIRA but Roland branded devices as well. These use some a proprietary Roland USB audio protocol. The update does not not support in general instruments that support class compliant USB audio, despite the title’s phrasing suggesting this might be so.

    In summary, it’s a good improvement, but it’s not the killer improvement that would make this usable in general as an 18 channel mixer with instruments of your choosing. One can still connect up to 3 stereo instruments through the analog connections, but in general this device is intended to encourage you to choose Roland for subsequent gear acquisitions, to be compatible with your mixer.

    1. Have you had any fun with it? Mixing on the fly? Any upside to this thing? We are a live looping band and this has some interesting capabilities…on paper at least!

      1. understand this, the use of those USB channels from not just ableton for bounced audio, for which they are great because you are muting and volume fading the actual audio of the host, not doing that with a USB control, due to the complex nature of getting fader style midi control to work, and the price point of things like PUSH controller and OHM, by livid, BUT when you want to use actual virtual instruments in ableton, in a LIVE setting, for sequencer or keyboard playing for a more live musical playability, then getting volume and effects control within a midi unit and while hosting those is a problem both in CPU drag resulting in low performance, especially in polyphonic VSTi’s like the Prophet and the Arp. Then finding the right controller for both those duties? but when I have three to five ARTURIA standalone VST’s SOOO easily routable to the Mx-1?? now I’m having more fun and more unique range of fully live alternatives…you could easily run an instance of maschine along with that… and so those USB are gold for that kind of fun. maybe not as brute strength on effects and other qualities of an allen and heath mixer, but in terms of simplicity of routing and price point it is a good solution. the ableton surface control has been also a really neat thing to have, it does work once the upgrade to 9.2.3 was installed, and that makes it an added bonus for producing the set studio side.

  2. This is the second time a major Japanese manufacturer has attempted to bring a performance-oriented mixer for electronic artists to market.

    The first one was the Korg Zero 8, which was an incredible product, but horribly unreliable and unstable. It didn’t have the clocked sequencer effects that this Roland has, but it did have three independent touchscreen-based Kaoss-esque beat-synced fx processors on board, plus two external sends. It also had way more analog i/o than the Roland.

    Now, this new MX-1 is aimed at many of the same people who would have used the Zero8, but its i/o is an absolute travesty. Sure it does some cool tricks, but its lack of connectivity makes it little more than a toy for pro players who want to use a little (non-Roland) gear.

    Right now my own live mixing is accomplished using a Mackie 1402VLZ4, a MOTU 828mkII, an 8-channel TRS snake, a KP4+ (running on the Mackie’s ALT 3/4 buss), an analog delay pedal. I need this setup so that I can mix stems from my laptop with live/sequenced external instruments, and still enjoy the ability to drop some beat-synced effects. This is a pretty cool rig but it takes an eternity to set up and sound check. I would easily drop $1500-$2000 for a single product that can give me the flexibility I have now in one single box.

  3. It’s really funny when a company adds features to a product and people feel the need to complain that it doesn’t make toast or do the banking, etc etc.
    Maybe they should take away features with new revisions so the early adopters have something collectable.
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I tend to agree but I think in this case, folks are commenting on their initial excitement about the possibility of using the MX-1 with their non-Roland USB devices based on the text in the article’s title and the subsequent let down when they read the details.

  4. This is a legit complaint. The features look really appealing and I almost pulled the trigger again this morning on buying it. Especially when I saw this post in my initial search today. I happen to have one piece of theirs that would work with the USB ports but it would nag me after awhile that I can’t use them for much anything else. Plus a few of the company videos offhandedly mention that non Aira gear can be hooked up. No specific mention that it meant non Roland.

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