Roland AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer Jam Session

This video is an official promo for the new Roland MX-1 mixer, but we’re featuring it as a Sunday Synth Jam because the video captures an interesting jam, centered on the idea that MX-1 was designed to be a performance-oriented mixer.

In the video, KiNK is streaming sustained sounds from Ableton Live directly to the MX-1. (At the beginning of his jam, he previews each of the sounds.)

KiNK uses the per-channel Beat FX to transforrm the sustained loops into a bassline, rhythmic pads and more, then incorporates the TR-8 in sync.

Technical details:

The TR-8 is connected with a single cable via AIRA Link, and the MX-1 is controlling transport and master tempo of the entire setup.

Using the MX-1’s “External Mode” KiNK is applying Ableton Live’s internal FX processing to the TR-8 hardware.

30 thoughts on “Roland AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer Jam Session

  1. “Live” push play DJs can do a few symbolic things now in addition to filter sweeps and hitting mute to say “raise your motherfucking hands” now. Sweet.

  2. wow…this guy does not rock at all. where the hell is the talent? dude is just pushing buttons. anyone with half a brain can do that…

    1. Yup, just like those talentless MPC button-pushers JDilla and Flying Lotus. I’m sure history won’t remember them as groundbreaking musicians :givemeabreak:

  3. lol the hate. You’re all pretty clueless of this guys amazing discography. I agree this video isn’t the best example of his talent but believe me he’s a legend. Pretty sure 90% of all you gear-enthusiasts are failed musicians, your pointless hate reeks of jealousy.

    1. legend? did you just make that up? legend in what regard? if you’re saying he can stand next derrick may, carl craig and jeff mills, i think you need to wake up. there have been plenty plenty of successors in techno..not sure if that’s what he’s aiming for, but it looks like it to me. i just can’t understand how you can call him a legend. you need to back that shit up. from his performances, i don’t see much. music is meant to convey an idea and send that out to those who listen. i heard no idea here, just random knob and fader twiddling.

      1. Again, it’s very obvious from your rant that you are not familiar with his work. You just see this video and get mad at the lack of skill or ideas being shown here. Like I said before this video doesn’t justify his talent. He is actually one of the few guys in the techno scene using loads of hardware without any computer influence and has his own original and refreshing ways of using his gear live. He’s actually known for that, the raw talent of creating original ideas on the fly. Your comment is void and clueless, sorry.

        please listen to this genius track:

        I expect an apology lol

  4. disclaimer: not knocking the guy performing but…

    it seems that there is a lot of electronic music that is just cool sounds and dramatic changes…does anyone else feel this too? i mean, depeche mode and erasure for example was/is electronic music and it has a soul, a structure, something i could whistle to if i wanted

    now we have had an ever-increasing accessibility of music making items that the masses can grab and start making beats and put together something…but the craftsmanship of actual SONG creation is absent

    maybe that’s what separates the masses from the actual “musicians”…i put quotations around musicians because i don’t want to equate musician with insturment player as a key component needed to create a song

    Kebu, that dude who did that “Radioactivity” cover, the dude who did that stellar NI Maschine/Kontrol all-in-one-take demo recently…those are some examples of the goods in a flood of button pushing

    1. you are right …. i see it more from the perspective regarding DJing …. i remember the days those peoples behind a pair of technics completly going crazy moving the crowd …. but nowadays … even the “stars” from the past look like some lame ducks behind there high-tech equipment …. take a closer look or better listen to this mixes ….. boring as hell

    2. And it’s largely because most of these “producers” may well be able to mix, engineer, arrange and produce competently, but they rarely can compose interesting melodies. Hence “Minimal Techno”.

  5. I’m REALLY pleased that someone has re-imagined the mixer as an instrument.

    i’m just REALLY disappointed that they imagine we all want to make 4/4 dance music or whatever.

    and this demo video is seriously mediocre, nothing interesting to listen to at all. conservatives musical ideas for the braindead. ooh look at all the buttons. ooh, lights and stuff. ooh things happening in time, oooh sync, ooh kickdrums again, oooooooh.

    1. I’ll see this the mixer reimagined as an instrument when they put out a good dub demo using it 🙂

      Just saying… dub has been using mixers as instruments for about 40 years so….

      1. Agreed, JZ.

        But marketing folks always throw hyperbole at the targeted consumers, & want them to think that their gear is always the “first” in some way, using “world class” components, etc. It’s like Roland thinks they invented the wheel here.

        Producers in JA were using the mixing board as an instrument; on a shoestring budget, no less, and sometimes in less than hospitable working situations (gangsters leaning on studios for $$, etc.), but they still managed to do it, and do it RIGHT.

        Great thread on Gearslutz about reggae gear and technique:

        PS, Synthopia, your edit function is maddening to use.

  6. I dont understand all the hating posts here 🙁
    Think about what samples, synths and tracks you load in this Maschine is your choice.
    I think he showed us only a cool technique with sustained sounds…

    1. So you’re telling me that choosing what prerecorded sounds and samples to play is an art or makes you a musician? In that case your modern day blogger is an artist / musician too.

      It’s worse than spinal tap. The SNL skit is dead on.

      1. Back in my day, choosing what sounds to use and when to use them were called ‘orchestration’ and ‘arrangement’.

        Maybe your point is that you don’t like this type of music? Or just ‘Get off my lawn’?

        1. Choosing or curating sounds is the same as orchestration? Really?

          Nice to have the ole get off my lawn standby. I love a lot of modern electronic musicians. The whole get off my lawn argument by default shows peoples need to be on the bandwagon. It’s new and not grandpa, so it must be good no matter what!

  7. Composition further decends into a repeating one bar phrase. The technology is interesting but one bar over and over with changing effects? Boring. Roland must have a lot of folks monitoring posts because whenever someone has a negative comment about Roland, the thumbs down side really cranks up.

  8. The text on that video doesn’t stay up long enough to comfortably read it, especially since it’s moving. And that janky big box flash before most of the little text pop ups looks like amateur work. The visuals and sounds in this video are aimed at a young, twitchy market, which is a shame since this could be a pretty great little mixer for a lot of people.

  9. Give it some time, no one thought highly of the tb303, tr808 and tr909 , until some very creative people got hold of them

    1. …and their digital copies 30 years after will also be revolutionary?
      nice logic there.
      roland was lucky with those boxes but never really understood its market and target group.
      korg on the other hand gets the zeitgeist and milks the hell out of it. electribe was a disappointment but the analog stuff is brilliant.

      1. No, I mean that someone just may find a way to make it a hot sounding device, then watch.
        Just look at the Casio VL-1 and Yamaha DX-100, both cheesy yet for some reason they are hot resell items

  10. WOW a product that SALES the idea of fashion, easy, automatic, no cables, and full of lights and in hands of a hero of a very young crowd. Roland experts of marketing for the masses.

    P.D: I don’t know who KiNK is and I don’t like the demo we did in these MX-1 video… is that makes me a “bad-taste-old-traditional” musician??

  11. All the nit picking, vehement hatred, and bad attitudes would be funny …if I didn’t have to share the planet with those same people. I mean, for goodness sakes, we’re talking about a cheap product aimed and young people who don’t have a lot of spare money, but still have the desire to create music. Who gives a damn if their music sucks or not – at least their doing something somewhat creative, and probably having a lot of fun doing it.

    I think a lot of you guys are way to defensive of what you deem “proper” gear, and “real” music, and I’m positive you’ve forgotten the simple joy of buying you first bits of kit and just having fun with it. Your snooty eletist attitudes are reflections of your inability to accomodate other people who have less, or know less than you (claim to know). Besides, those young button pushing DJ kids may make crap music, but their also probably getting lots of hot young poon. Now who sucks?!

  12. Although this performance was maybe not ubercool, I think this mixer has a great potential to become a winner! It fills the gap between djig and playing live. And there is nothing like it on the market today, so the talent that makes use of it in any meaningfull way still has to emmerge. I imagine the way it can integrate in my setup, and i think it will be great fun! It will take the place of my beloved Xone:92 mixer, which is also a very creative mixer, but i expect the MX1 to fit a bit more snug in my setup. I like to crossover between djig and (live) production, and I think it will shine!
    Its just too easy to base an opinion based on one or two clips on the www. I agree the clips do not show very cool music, but i think there will be plenty after some time.

  13. i guess this is a cool product afterall it might not be an actual musical “instrument” although the performance aspects are clearly in line with the demands of the public either from a Dj or event perspective. I am sure many useful combinations will be made between this and synths. Typically product demos are really shite although this guy managed to make a credible impression I am sure other musicians will find a very creative place for it in their setup (I don’t work for Roland 😮 )

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