KMI K-Mix BLUE An ‘Audio Swiss Army Knife’

Keith McMillen Instruments has introduced the K- Mix BLUE, an 8 in x 10 out digital mixer, USB audio interface and touch sensitive MIDI controller.

The K-Mix BLUE is an updated version of the original K-Mix, introduced at the 2015 NAMM Show. The BLUE edition features upgraded preamps, an updated tactile control surface and a new ABS-Polycarbonate finish.

The K-Mix has a unique design with no moving parts, so it doesn’t have faders that get could scratchy over time, and it can be thrown into a backpack for mobile mixing without worry about damage to control knobs.

“With K-Mix BLUE, we’ve upgraded the classic K-Mix tactile experience and aesthetic”, said KMI President Eric Bateman.  “The finish feels great and will stand the test of time, the preamps are clean even when powered from a laptop, and with full Ableton 11 support, K-Mix is hands down the most versatile audio Swiss army knife out there.”

Features:

  • Programmable Digital Mixer
    • High Pass Filter, Three band EQ, Gate, and Compressor on Every Channel
    • On-Board Reverb with Dedicated Send/Return Bus
    • Flexible Routing to four Stereo Output Buses and USB
    • Headphone Monitoring of Channels, Busses, or a Dedicated Mix
    • Quad, 5.1, 7.1 and Octo Surround Mixer with Bass Management
    • Onboard Preset Storage
    • No Computer Required
  • Audio Interface
    • 8-in/10-out Audio
    • USB Bus Powered
    • Low Noise Pre Preamps
    • “High-End” AKM Converters
    • 32-bit Floating Point Signal Path
  • Control Surface
    • Precision Rotaries and Faders
    • User Assignable MIDI Controls in Three Banks
    • Supports Ableton Live versions 9-11
    • Mackie HUI Control (requires K-Mix Editor software)
    • Light Weight and Portable
    • Durable ABS-Polycarbonate enclosure
    • Rugged Construction, No Moving Parts

Pricing and Availability

The K-Mix BLUE is available now for $599 USD.

39 thoughts on “KMI K-Mix BLUE An ‘Audio Swiss Army Knife’

    1. Hello Leslie, Eric from KMI here. We hear you and others in this thread commenting about the USB port, but I hope you will hear me out.

      We use micro-usb ports on most of our products, and we have a warranty repair center here in Berkeley, CA where we service and repair all of our products. Believe it or not, the most common USB failure we get is with the standard USB 2.0 B-type connector in our SoftStep and 12 Step products. We rarely if ever have to replace USB ports on K-Mix, and we have sold many thousands since released in 2015.

      The real problem with Micro-USB is that because it is most often used with cell phones for charging, there are a lot of cheap and unreliable USB cables out there, many of which only have power connections and do not carry data. For this reason, we include a high quality USB Micro cable with the K-Mix.

      USB-C is on our roadmap, but was not an option this time around.

    2. Hello Leslie, Eric from KMI here. We hear you and others in this thread commenting about the USB port, but I hope you will hear me out.

      We use micro-usb ports on most of our products, and we have a warranty repair center here in Berkeley, CA where we service and repair all of our products. Believe it or not, the most common USB failure we get is with the standard USB 2.0 B-type connector in our SoftStep and 12 Step products. We rarely if ever have to replace Micro or Mini USB ports on K-Mix, and we have sold many thousands since released in 2015.

      The real problem with Micro-USB is that because it is most often used with cell phones for charging, there are a lot of cheap and unreliable USB cables out there, many of which only have power connections and do not carry data, or they have a bargain bin USB connector that will fail over time. For this reason, we include a high quality USB Micro cable with the K-Mix.

      USB-C is on our roadmap, but was not an option this time around.

      Cheers,

      Eric Bateman
      KMI

    3. My K-Mix proved to have an incredibly unreliable surface after a few years of ownership. It became tacky to the touch, and I thought something might have gotten onto it, so I scratched at it with my fingernail and the surface seemed to be scratching off. All over, wherever that rubberized surface was, it was tacky and coming off. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I took an alcohol wipe to see if I could clean off the sticky goop and it worked… but also took off the paint below the rubberized surface. Horrible mess that has no aftermarket value because of this crappy surface.

      1. Hello Rogan,

        I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the older black version of K-Mix. Our new Blue enclosure is made from ABS-Polycarbonate and does not have the rubber surface, it was designed to be easily cleaned and very durable for many many years.

        Please send us a support ticket through our website, ask for me by name, and we will take care of you.

        Cheers,

        Eric Bateman
        KMI

  1. Micro USB = Instant nope.
    Hardware manufacturers who put this devil socket on a device headed for stages are crazy . No performance is safe when relying on micro USB

  2. Huh???The usb is fine… I’ve done LOTS of performances and touring with the original velcroed to my pedalboard with no issues ever. No moving parts, wonderful preamps, flexible routing. Very low power draw. Tiny. The KMix is brilliant.

    1. It is a great device, but I have to agree that Micro USB is painful and USB-C is much more reliable. I had connection issues when moving the K-Mix around during sessions.

  3. Lot of standalone features but does it do multitrack recording when connected to the computer?

    Also many design choices seem to be love it or hate it and nothing in between.

    Ps.: joining the “mini micro USB sucks” chorus.

    1. Yes of course, you can record up to 8 tracks simultaneously with your DAW and K-Mix. It just acts like a regular audio interface when connected to a computer.

  4. I dunno, I still quite like the original. It suits my purposes perfectly and has been rock solid thus far. Don’t think I need the upgrade, though,

  5. I’m pretty sure those are the same old pictures of K-MIX and they just added an extremely unflattering blue tint with Photoshop…

  6. Had one, sold it. KMI if you’re reading along: The pad strips is what I actually hated about this product.

    Replace all pads with LED encoders. More accurate and reduces total size about 50% smaller!
    It compromises nothing on usability. And yes USB C of course.

    If you guys did that I’ll buy one again. Probably two. 🙂

    1. +1
      +unreliable with some macs ( nasty distortion..apple fault they said)
      and in the end not really better than an ordinary cheap mixer
      also sold my qunexus, great for some people I suppose , but like kmix …too nerdy for me )

      1. I sill use their Qunexus, but to get the reliable connection using the dreaded micro usb connector, I need to use a pair of rubber bands to get the reliable (kind of) connection.
        What a joke…

        1. Hi Leslie,

          I’m sorry you’re having issues with your QuNexus. We’ve been hard at work on something new and exciting for QuNexus, and I have to tell you I’ve been working with dozens of them in my office and haven’t had any issues with the USB port, and I’ve been plugging and unplugging them repeatedly.

          Maybe there’s something wrong with your specific unit? If you want to create a support ticket through our site, put my name in the subject field and I’ll make sure we get you sorted.

          Cheers,

          Eric Bateman
          KMI

      2. > nasty distortion..apple fault they said

        One issue here is that KMI’s USBs, like most instrument manufacturers, aren’t isolated. You can’t use standard USB that’s grounded on both sides for pro audio, though many try. Have to break the ground loop. Not a problem for just a USB controller but once you have chassis grounded nonisolated USB connections in parallel with chassis grounded audio cables you start to run into trouble. Another problem though is that iMacs in particular have screens that give off more EM energy than you’d expect and the USB cable acts somehow as an antennae that feeds things back into a shared ground plane. I seriously doubt KMI shares analog and digital ground planes on their boards but if you observe this symptom then maybe they do. One telling symptom here is crackling noise when there are screen changes or even moving the mouse.

      3. Hi Donald,

        I know this sounds like I’m passing the buck, but there really was a MacOS update a while back that caused some distortion issues with certain USB chipsets. Thankfully Apple patched it, and it’s no longer an issue.

        I use my K-Mix all the time, and we haven’t received a support request about this issue in over a year. Still, if you’re having issues please create a support ticket through our site, put my name in the subject field, and I’ll make sure we do everything we can to resolve your issue.

        Cheers,

        Eric Bateman
        KMI

    2. Hi Champ,

      Silicone touch strips aren’t for everyone. It sounds like you’d love a Behringer x-touch mini, not a mixer but you could control a digital mixer (including K-Mix) with it.

      Cheers,

      Eric Bateman
      KMI

  7. Since the case seems to be identical, I hope KMI will offer owners of the first version a swap or sell them the case individually. My first generation K-Mix still works fine, but the finish of the case has disintegrated into a sticky mess.

    1. The solution for the sticky mess is to use alcohol and a rag. A bit of elbow grease and the goo comes off. The result is a simple clean plastic that’s good to the touch. I did this on my quneo. For some reason my qunexus hasn’t gummed up much yet. But when it does…

      1. Tried this today on the side panel and it seems to work. Not exactly sure what the silicone-like parts are made of though, so I rather not bring them in contact with alcohol. I guess I will have to take the whole thing apart to clean up the sticky rubber.

        1. Wish I’d known help was coming. I literally threw away my qunexus as it became to grotesque and sticky to even touch, and that hurt since it was a genuinely useful tool in my studio. My 2 Quneos are getting mighty sticky now. Thankfully the softsteps don’t seem to have this problem.

        2. Thanks Eric, I’m good. It’s clean and fine. I wonder why the queneo gummed up and the qunexus didn’t – its actually the older of the two. The one diff might be that i keep it out and use it more! The queneo sat in a drawer. Thanks for the offer.

    1. Hello Hans,

      The new ABS Polycarbonate finish does not have the old soft touch coating, it’s a smooth and durable plastic similar to what you will find with other synths and controllers.

      If you or anyone else has a KMI product that has issues with the soft touch coating, please create a support ticket through our website and we will take care of you.

      Cheers,

      Eric Bateman
      KMI

    1. Hello Robotboot,

      Part of the redesign in the preamps was to address ground loop and noise issues. We think you will be pleasantly surprised with what we have done.

      Cheers,

      Eric Bateman
      KMI

  8. Micro USB. In 2021. Micro usb peaked 5 years ago, what designer put this in? Everybody loves the convenience of a single cord that is reliable and can do everything aka usb-c.

    My poor QuNexus sits collecting dust cos the micro usb input is fucked from bring too fragile and having solid use
    Always the same story. Look at all these comments regarding the poor choice of micro usb. KMI have always been innovative. Let’s not go this route again and use modern inputs.

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