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AES News: M-Audio ProjectMix I/O

M-Audio released the ProjectMix I/O combination motorized control surface and multichannel audio interface. ProjectMix I/O is designed to simplify system configuration and streamline production by integrating everything needed to give project studios many of the workflow advantages of pro studios.

Connecting via a simple FireWire (IEEE 1394) connection, the device brings the integration of total tactile control, 18 x 14 audio I/O and professional preamps to all of the industry’s major software applications. The unit boots into dedicated modes for Pro Tools, Ableton Live 5, Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase and SONAR. In addition to supporting the aforementioned DAWs, ProjectMix I/O is reportedly the only universal integrated control surface that allows users to record directly into industry-standard Pro Tools sessions in Pro Tools M-Powered.

Each of the ProjectMix I/O control surface’s eight channel strips and master strip feature a moving fader for hands-on mixing and seamless automation. The moving faders are touch-sensitive to galvanic skin current, providing for fluid operation and the elimination of motor burnout prevalent in older technologies. The ProjectMix I/O control surface’s faders also have true 10-bit resolution, compared to 7-bit components on other systems.

In addition to a touch-sensitive motorized fader, each channel strip features buttons for record enable, mute, solo and select. Each strip has an endless rotary encoder knob, the function of which is assigned by one of 15 dedicated buttons for EQ, aux send and more. Related information is displayed in the LCD display directly above the encoders. The encoders and LCD display double to control assigned plug-in parameters as well.

Eight analog input channels all feature high-quality preamps with individual mic/line switches and ¼-inch TRS balanced and XLR inputs. Phantom power is provided for up to eight condenser mics. Input 1 also features a front-panel instrument input for direct connection of a guitar or bass during a session. ADAT Lightpipe I/O brings the simultaneous input total to 16, allowing users to expand their system. S/PDIF accommodates other standard digital connectivity, and word clock synchronizes ProjectMix I/O with other digital devices.

ProjectMix I/O also serves as a 1 x 1 MIDI interface, allowing the connected computer to communicate with MIDI hardware. The ProjectMix I/O ships with M-Audio’s ProjectMix Control software application for Mac and Windows. This application allows users to assign special MIDI commands to the control surface faders, encoders and buttons for control of outboard sound modules, effects processors or virtual instruments in the computer. This MIDI mode, which is separate from the DAW control mode, can be accessed at any time with the press of a button.

ProjectMix I/O is compatible with Mac and PC computers. In addition to supporting Mackie Control, Logic Control and HUI protocols, the unit is compatible with WDM, ASIO 2, Core Audio and GSIF 2.

ProjectMix I/O is expected to ship this month with an MSRP of $1,249.95.

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