Roland AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer

18-channel Performance Mixer with Step-sequencer, FX, Transport Controls, Tempo Control, and 4 AIRA Link USB Ports
Roland AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer image 1
Roland AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer image 1

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Roland AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer
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A Mixer That's Meant to Be Played

Roland created the AIRA line to expand your performance beyond anything you've experienced before, and the new MX-1 Mix Performer performance mixer follows that same philosophy to the letter. You'll have unheard-of control of your synths, drum machines, computer-based audio tracks — virtually anything you use to make music — in a single unit specifically designed as an instrument to enhance your performance experience. Like all AIRA gear, all of the controls live on the MX-1's surface, with absolutely no need to dive through confusing menus or deal with layered controls to access functions or effects.

Analog and Digital Input Flexibility

The MX-1's input section alone is noteworthy, providing you the flexibility you need to make music any way you like. By combining six analog channels with digital I/O and a MIDI interface that are all mixed and managed via the MX-1's intuitive workflow, this powerful instrument helps you attain the next level of your music-making potential. Since you can use elements from your analog synth collection alongside your DAW and other computer-based instruments, adding the MX-1 to your rig means your creative possibilities are truly limitless. Even if you keep it all digital and use only your DAW and other virtual instruments to make your music, the MX-1's unique combination of interface, performance tool, and mixer makes it an essential for any gigging electronic musician.

  • 1/4" inputs for connecting synths, drum machines, and more
  • 1/8" stereo input for audio from iPad, phones, or computer
  • Digital inputs include USB and digital coaxial
  • MIDI in and out for using gear with 5-pin MIDI connections

Dedicated AIRA Link USB Ports

If you have already discovered how much adding the element of AIRA means to your music, the MX-1 is about to become your best friend. Roland added four dedicated AIRA Link USB ports to the input section, giving you automatically enabled 2-way control of any AIRA instrument. With a single USB cable, you can control audio, MIDI, and sync coming from and going to your TB-3 bass synth, TR-8 rhythm machine, System-1 synth, and VT-3 voice transformer, all from the MX-1. And port 3 can even supply bus power for one of your AIRA synths, leaving you with one less cable to worry about. When you aren't using them for your AIRA gear, the ports support audio, MIDI, and sync to other USB-enabled devices.

  • AIRA Link USB ports give you automatic 2-way control
  • Port 3 supplies convenient bus power to AIRA gear
  • Ports also support any combination of USB-enabled gear

The Mixer You Need

Most electronic musicians have to settle for the creative limitations of a standard DJ mixer. Others have to use interfaces alongside analog mixers, foot pedals, and other gear, just to get the basic functions of the MX-1. But with such a diverse I/O section, the MX-1 puts the music-making power of all your analog and digital sources into one incredible instrument. At its core, the MX-1 is a mixer — each input is routed to its own clearly labeled channel strip complete with function buttons and a fader. Each channel also features a choice of six definable volume curves, conveniently placed channel mute buttons, and a tone/filter knob.

Super-bright LEDs light your way even in the darkest of clubs, letting you visually monitor everything from master output level to channel status. Thanks to DJ-style cue monitoring, you can audition individual channels before mixing them into your song, putting the power to create the perfect mix right at your fingertips. The MX-1 gives you capabilities so far beyond what any other mixer on the market can offer. If you are an electronic musician, this is the mixer you need.

  • Standard mixer-like workflow
  • Bright easy-to-see LEDs
  • Compact design is superbly transportable

MX-1 as an Instrument

It's obvious that the MX-1's mixing capabilities make it a great and powerful addition to any electronic music rig, but don't forget — the MX-1 is a mixer that's meant to be played, so Roland didn't stop at just mixing. It becomes an instrument in and of itself by offering you creative control over your sound with newly designed beat and master effects that are easy to manipulate on the fly. Each channel has its own Beat FX that include variable filters, sidechain, and slicer. Simply select the channel's Beat FX button and use the step sequencer for adding rhythmic drama to your music.

The Master FX function applies six different kinds of effects and their variations to any or all of your channels. Using the step sequencer, time, and combi functions, and the large performance knob to adjust the parameters of your selected effects, you have tons of flexibility to get just the sound you want.

The MX-1 does something no other mixer can by controlling the tempo of all your sources from one piece of gear. Set it up by hand using the master tempo knob, match the beat of the band using the tap tempo button, or let the MX-1 do the work for you by automatically sensing the tempo being played from one of your sources. Best of all, your effects, your sequences, your tempo — even your whole mix — can be saved to a scene for instant recall any time you need it.

Set up your show at home for an easy gig, or bring a stellar performance home with you for recording later. With all this sound-shaping power onboard, you may wonder what to do with the gear you've already made a part of your music. Don't worry; your favorite outboard effects won't be gathering dust — Roland included an aux send and return, so you can incorporate your old familiars into your new workflow.

  • Step sequencer with TR-style buttons for easy playability
  • Master tempo control keeps everything in time
  • Save your effects settings and more for easy instant recall

Roland MX-1 Mix Performer Features:

  • 18-channel performance mixer with step-sequenced channel and master effects
  • Per-channel Beat FX including filter, sidechain, and slicer
  • 6 channel-assignable Master FX with large performance control knob
  • Multiple variations on each beat and master effect give you tons of tonal options
  • 16 miniaturized TR-style buttons create a step sequencer that's familiar and playable
  • Tempo with fine, shuffle, and tap-tempo functions controls all of your synced gear
  • Master FX Combi mode alternates effects in tempo using the step sequencer
  • AIRA Link support for automatic 2-way control with one cable
  • Port 3 supplies bus power when you plug in a piece of AIRA gear
  • All USB ports support audio, MIDI, and sync functions for all enabled devices
  • 6 variable fader curves on each channel give you precise control of your mix
  • Mix mode provides standalone mixer control and effects for all inputs and outputs
  • External mode gives you plenty to mix with up to 18 channels of DAW audio
  • Acts as a MIDI control surface with transport controls to navigate your DAW easily
  • Mixer conveniences you're familiar with including DJ-style cue monitoring, easy-to-access mute buttons, and smooth faders
  • Tone/Filter knob on each channel with 10 kinds of EQs, filters, and isolators for detailed sound shaping
  • Scene Memory gives you instant save and recall power for entire mixes including tempo and effects
  • Designed for live performance with super-bright LEDs and easy, familiar workflow

Additional Media

AIRA MX-1 Audio Signal Flow Diagram
AIRA MX-1 External Mixing Mode Instructions
AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer User Manual
AIRA MX-1 Supplementary Manual
Live Mixer Buying Guide
Roland MX-1 Mix Performer
Roland AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer Demo by Sweetwater Sound

Tech Specs

Type Performance mixer and interface
Sequencer 18 channel mixer with step-sequenced FX, transport and tempo control
Analog Inputs 4 x 1/4" TS, 1 x 1/8" TRS (stereo in), 2 x RCA (stereo aux return)
Analog Outputs 2 x 1/4" TS, 1 x 1/4" (headphones), 2 x RCA (stereo aux send)
Digital Inputs 1 x Coax (S/PDIF)
Digital Outputs 1 x Coax (S/PDIF)
Sampling Yes
Number of Effects 64
Effects Types 8 x Delay, 8 x Filter, 8 x Scatter, 8 x Flanger, 8 x Bit Crush, 8 x Roll
USB 4 x Type A (AIRA instruments, USB enabled devices), 1 x Type B (Function)
Depth 10.44"
Width 15.75"
Height 2.56"
Weight 4 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number MX-1

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
Write your review


Just great


I've had this for many months now, in that time I have used it has a live mixer for theater, using the main outs, headphone out, and auxiliary outs to create a 6-channel sound effects mixer (all sound effects panned fully left or right and sent to 6 separate speaker arrays for three-dimensional sound reproduction). I've also used it for a live electronic music set, using the TR8, TB3, KORG ESX-1, KARMA, Mininova, and a Mac running Ableton Live, all piped through the mixer and sent to the mains. I have also used it to record new songs, as well as remixing old songs through Reason and Live. This is the only mixer that I know of that can adapt to all of these different work demands, and still be totally portable. Suffice to say, it has become central to just about everything that I do with audio production. No joke, take 4+ looping samples, whatever they are, and you can find ways to turn those four looping samples into a complete song with mixing, muting, beat FX, master FX, filters, delays, scatters, and rolls. Again, I know of no other mixer that offers this kind of creative utility. The ability to apply groove-based effects live to streaming audio, such as a mic'd trumpet, flute, guitar, or vocal performances, as well as receiving audio for a DAW and effecting that, saves many countless hours of "editing in post". This takes live performance, track recording, and track editing to another level.

Typical Roland High Quality Product

Another home run in the Aira line, in my opinion. Really is designed and functions as an instrument to be played, not just set and left alone. works seamlessly with my other Aira products and straightforward to integrate into my home studio setup. 5 stars again, Roland!
Music background: Retired gigging musician, now passing the torch to my kids

Great Little Machine

Very Versatile. Lots of ways to hook up the various inputs that are quite useful. Easy to control and understand. I use Logic Pro X as my DAW and it interfaces quite nicely and makes recording various inputs very simple. I plug my Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 directly into the Digital Input which vastly increases its abilities and functions of the mixer and sequencer. You can easily mix in output from your computer or IPad to add in the mix of mics, instruments and sounds. It is so much simpler to sit down and record a track now with as many inputs as you need or want. Love it and it has been a great addition to my little home studio. My only complaint is that one of the USB in ports should be useful with non AIRA or Roland equipment.
Music background: Music Lover

Roland AIRA MX-1 Mix Performer

A great piece of equipment. Does require some work in getting to learn how how to operate it.
See also: Mixers Digital, Roland, Roland DJ Effects, Roland Digital Mixers