We all saw the rows of sliders, LED bokeh, and sheer size of the module Noise Engineering teased up and down Instagram this August.
Many people correctly guessed it’s a mixer, but they didn’t guess it’s a 10-channel hybrid analog/digital mixer with full MIDI integration and preset capabilities *and* a 4HP CV expander amusingly named Expando Expandi.
Xer Mixa – 10-Channel Stereo Mixer
Xer Mixa is the biggest thing to hit the Eurorack mixing scene since WMD/AMMT’s announcement that the famed WMD Performance Mixer has a Mk2 under development.
NE is taking a different approach to in-rack mixing with the melding of digital functionality and the removal of main-panel CV ins. Xer Mixa clocks in at 32HP by itself, add on the 8HP from Expando Expandi and you get to the exact same 40HP size of a standard Performance Mixer. Still, not quite as large as the sold out 50HP Performance Mixer LE.
Xer Mixa is built to Noise Engineering’s usual high standards:
- fully analog signal path
- low noise
- low crosstalk
- pristine sound quality
- ultra-high headroom
Let’s look at the I/O:
- 8 main stereo inputs
- 2 auxiliary inputs w/ LED monitors (no fader control)
- MIDI A in/out
- 2 auxiliary stereo outs
- master stereo out
Beyond the main I/O you’ll get LED level indication on each channel, 10 channel select buttons (for menu interactions), and 10 clickless mutes. The menu itself can show output meters, pan visualization, etc. and has a straightforward interface for all settings. You can even control screen & LED brightness.
New functionality wise, we can’t thing of any other mixers with this sort of deep MIDI integration and preset recall. Advanced performers, or those with more MIDI-oriented studios, are going to have a field day with the Xer Mixa.
I’m sure it was a heated debate behind the scenes, but we’re a little surprised there’s no headphone out / monitoring capability. You can definitely use NE’s output module Sono Abitus, but it would be nice to get that functionality without dropping another ~$250.
Want a side of tautonym CV control with that 32HP mixer?
Say hello to the Expando Expandi: the 8-input, fully assignable CV expander for the Xer Mixa. Instead of chaining each jack to a specific function, say only volume or only pan control, the EE (yes, we’re abbreviating now) is setup in Xer’s menu under the Expander section.
Xer Mixa Manual
It’s not surprising, but the Noise Engineering team have put together one hell of a manual for the XM. Everything from the panel breakdown to workflow to bus configuration to Expando Expandi setup to aux effects to creative patching is covered.
One very interesting point, Xer Mixa can accept up to 2 expanders.
That means you can bump the XM ecosystem to 16 fully assignable CV inputs that can be routed to a maximum of 32 modulation destinations on the mixer. Nice, but it’ll set you back ~$340 on top of the price of the main module.
One thing to ponder, will there be new / different expanders down the road for Xer Mixa? Only time will tell.
Xer Mixa + Expando Expandi Pricing
Below are the three standard (and one total) pricing options for the Xer Mixa ecosystem:
- Xer Mixa: $999
- Expando Expandi: $169
- Xer Mixa Bundle (XM + EE): $1,051
- Xer Mixa + 2 Expando Expandis (max possible): $1,220
Modules begin shipping September 6th, right before Knobcon. Happy patching!
One Last Thing
We’d be remiss not to mention NE’s most recent blog post, perhaps it was some foreshadowing, on Getting Started with System Mixers.
This post covers the basics: what exactly is a mixer, what sizes they come in, understanding channels, and mixing/routing. Worth a read if you are new to mixing