Search for a tiny mixer

One thing a PDA device can’t (currently) do is to mix multiple input signals. I found one possible candidate for a portable mixing solution, the Samson Mixpad 4 which, from what I can gather, is almost exactly what I’m after. But of course they’re not being made any more.

So, if you know of any really small battery powered mixers, please let me know.

Another iPod Mixer: Alesis iMultiMix 8 USB

Well the “iPod as a studio” space seems to be hotting up with the announcement of a new product by Alesis, the iMultiMix 8 USB, an 8 channel USB mixer with iPod integration.

Bigger than the TuneStudio from Belkin, but with what is clearly a much wider feature set. Here’s the details on the Alesis site so far.

PROFESSIONAL 8–CHANNEL USB MIXER WITH iPod® RECORDING

The iMultiMix 8 USB is a sturdy, compact all-in-one tabletop mixer and recorder that features 100 studio grade 28–bit digital effects, a built–in limiter to avoid distorted recordings and an integrated iPod® dock with control wheel transport controls for fast, easy direct–to–iPod® recording.

As an important addition to the Alesis line of highly acclaimed mixers, the iMultiMix 8 USB is the first to feature integrated iPod® control and recording capability. The iMultiMix 8 USB represents the first mixer to fuse together professional quality mixing, 3 band per channel EQ, guitar/line inputs, built-in FX and iPod® recording in a single, intuitive package.

Once recordings are completed simply transfer using iTunes to move your recordings to a computer with Mac OSX or WindowsXP without need for a special driver or complicated set–up. All channels are recorded down to CD Quality stereo 44.1 or 48kHz either via USB or to iPod®. Record to computer, to iPod®, or to both, simultaneously.

  • Integrated iPod recording
  • 48V phantom power
  • Four high-gain mic/line preamps (XLR and 1⁄4” balanced)
  • Built-in limiter to avoid distorted recordings
  • 16-Bit / 44.1kHz and 48kHz recording to computer via USB
  • Two guitar mic/line inputs
  • Aux sends and returns
  • 100 on-board, 28-bit digital effects – Reverb, Chorus, Flange, Delay
  • Three band per channel EQ with high/low shelving and mid band pass/reject
  • Steinberg Cubase LE recording software included

From the looks of those features it is going to appeal to a slightly different audience than the TuneStudio from Belkin, but in many ways that depends on the initial price.

The good news is that there is some competition in the market and that can only be good for prices and innovation.

I’d like to see something more portable myself, I think that there is space for something that uses the iPod in this way, but retains the essentially handheld nature of the device. Also, something that does something with it on a more software focused basis would be really interesting.

Who will enter the iPod studio space next, and with what new innovation? I can’t believe that no one else is going to play…

New TuneStudio pictures




More pictures of the iPod mixer.

TuneStudio: Some thoughts and information


I found this information at CDM, which (in my opinion) is an excellent site for up to date info. CDM were at MacWorld and got to see the TuneStudio first hand. Theire post on it is well worth a read.

I think that the development of the TuneStudio is an interesting development for the iPod. Does this make the iPod a reasonable platform for music recording?

As I understand it the TuneStudio creates a single wav file sitting on the iPod, which is not great for post production work.

But I was thinking. If the TuneStudio was able to create a wav file for each track and then stick those in the iPod, they could be exported to GarageBand or another DAW and then you could do whatever you wanted with them.

Possible? I don’t know?

iPod becomes a 4-track…


This looks interesting. I love the idea of hardware add-ons for devices like iPods that take them completely outside the realm of what they were made for. This is a great idea.

If this comes out I am going to have to seriously re-evaluate my needs for an iPod.

Here’s what iLounge say about it:

Belkin has introduced the TuneStudio, a four-channel audio mixer that allows users to create digital recordings directly to a fifth-generation iPod. The mixer accepts up to four different instruments or audio sources, and records the audio to the iPod in 16-bit, 44kHz stereo quality for instant playback; each source has a 3-band equalizer, pan and level controls, and the system offers microphone gain and makeup gain features attenuated to the iPod’s recording needs. According to the company, it can also serve as an external USB sound card for PCs or Macs, allowing PC source audio input and output to a PC from any of its inputs, as well as streaming audio over a USB connection.

“TuneStudio is compact, portable, and tough enough to withstand life in a rehearsal room or in a garage,” says Belkin. “Bands can easily attach instruments and microphones to TuneStudio and record jam sessions directly onto an iPod. Podcasters can also use this device to record their shows either in a studio or on location.” Belkin said the TuneStudio is expected to be released this summer, priced at $180.

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