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This section is especially for the (DUB) Reggae producers, computer based or not. Find tips and tricks, sample and software downloads, stuff about Propellerhead Reason as it relates to the production of DUB music, and much more.  For reviews of free downloadable software and sounds, go to the Download page at Studio Dubroom. This website has no links to illegal products.

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DUBROOM STUDIO UPGRADES REVIEWED
The time wherein (external) hardware was quite expensive, out of reach for many, is over. Where the Dubroom has shown that it is possible to create (DUB) Reggae Music using just a computer for decades, the year 2021 marked the next step as the Dubroom Studio had some serious and major hardware upgrades all of which will be reviewed  by Messian Dread in this series.
THE AKAI MIDIMIX
DUBROOM HARDWARE REVIEW
WWW, July 2021 - With 9 faders, 24 rotary knobs and buttons, here's the Akai Professional Midimix: in total 69 different, completely assignable options to control your DAW on a deeper level than just with a mouse. A review of an affordable DAW controller that will please the producer of Dub.

For mixing Dub, it's quite an improvement when instead of having to use your mouse you can move sliders, turn knobs and press buttons. Mixes will become more intuitive, they are and therefore sound much more lively, resulting in a much more pleasant result for the listener. And, after all, that's what you want as a Dub Producer. More vibes, better!

So, what you need is a "DAW Controller". Connect the thing to your computer by using an empty USB port and operate the console (plus other devices) in your DAW. Over here in the Dubroom, the choice was made for the Akai Professional Midimix as the best value for price.

A search at Thomann's revealed how most DAW controllers have an enormous amount of (assignable) buttons, but very little (if any) sliders and knobs. You need sliders and knobs to turn channels on and off and add effects through the auxiliaries to make Dub from your multitracks way more than knobs. The first that came up was the Akai Pro Midimix. The next one that is comparable is about double in price, and that's the Novation Launch Control MK2. It has some more features and fancy flashlights, but not worth the double price. Both devices also ship with a license for an version of Ableton Lite, by the way...

Back in the days, there was a term called "Plug and Play". It meant that when you put hardware in your PC, it should work. In reality, many used the term "Plug and Pray" because some serious tweaking was necessary for the devices to work, in many if not most cases. The same for this device. Although it is claimed that the thing is "Ableton ready", we did not check that over here. To get the thing working in Reason took a while as well as the Midimix Editor software that can be downloaded from the Akai website. (LINK) But hey, tweaking is a must in the studio as well.

After all, creating your own set up is a big part of your own sound!

Now, let's take a look at the Midimix

Check It Out!The Midimix has 8 channel strips, each one having a fader, three knobs, a mute/solo button and a rec arm button as well as a master fader (see picture). The fun part is that this is basically a normal console setup suggestion because every knob is assignable, and you're not restricted to the suggestion.

And why should you?

For example: what use is there in assigning a fader to your master fader where you can also assign it to a channel when you can use the fader as controller for standard your Dub echo (explained to the fullness here) as well? At least that was done over here. 

Also, the Mute/Solo buttons. Press "mute" and you have one function, press "solo+mute" and you have another. You can use the buttons to temporarily open op an aux out at a set level, for example. You can even assign Midi notes instead of Control messages to these buttons and use them to trigger certain notes on a drum computer.

The knobs, as well. Sure, it is very nice to be able to control three auxiliaries but do you really need that on the bass channel, for example? You can use some knobs to control an effect, too. For example, the speed of an echo/delay.

Three unassignable knobs as well: "Bank Left" and "Bank Right" which did not have any effect in Reason as fr s we could tell, and a rather handy "send all" when you've made your setting and want to send it all in one time. Kind of a panic button, but not really.

The rotary knobs have a reasonable distance. Tweaking on the buttons does not necessarily lead to incidental moving of neighboring knobs. The faders also have a pleasant resistance, enabling subtlety.

We couldn't get the lights working. As shown in the picture, there are red and blue lights but for for some reason they don't work in Reason 11. They'll probably work in Ableton, though.

All in all, a very good value for price. We paid 88 Euros for a device that is really a great step forward from using just a mouse. It's well worth your consideration when you want to mix some Dub music. Eight channels are very decent, and given the fact that the Midimix has three rotary knobs per channel which is rare since most DAW controllers only have buttons and an occasional rotary knob, a great choice. 

Because you want to turn buttons more than press them in a live Dub mixing session.

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