Roland AIRA MX-1

Live performance mission control brings software and hardware together
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Breakthroughs like the AIRA MX-1 exemplify why we stopped categorizing our Editor’s Choice Award winners several years ago. Today’s innovative products often combine several categories or create their own. As a case in point, the MX-1 bends the boundaries between mixer, sequencer, effects module, MIDI controller, and instrument.

It starts as the command center for up to four other AIRA units whose audio, MIDI, etc. syncs through the MX-1’s AIRA Link USB inputs. It also has analog and digital audio inputs and two PC inputs for syncing and processing DJ software or a DAW just like the other channels. This includes basic mixing, a dedicated filter, “beat effects” (which use a step sequencer to control sidechain, filter, and slicer), multi-effects, and shuffle.

It also offers modes for treating the MX-1 as a full MIDI control surface or as a mixer for 18 DAW tracks. And it has special control over Ableton Live for clip launching, recording, and mixing. Savable combi presets and a Mastering chain of processors on the output are just a couple more features that make the MX-1 a unique creation that you should experience to fully appreciate.