The gradual rise of computer DJing raises questions about just what gear a DJ would want. Mixers were, after all, designed for working with a couple of decks, not a computer that itself can mix. Allen & Heath’s solution has been to cross-breed its popular DJ mixers with MIDI control and computer audio interface functions.

If the pricey, large Allen & Heath Xone:3D mixer/controller was more than you needed, it now has a svelter sibling in the form of the Xone:2D. Like the Xone:3D, the Zone:2D integrates a computer audio interface and MIDI controller for DJ software. Unlike the Xone:3D, the 2D is smaller, has fewer controls, and evidently no mixing functions. The tradeoffs result in a much smaller, more affordable unit. The aim seems to be integrating your computer with existing mixers rather than being an all-in-one solution as with the 3D, though it might work well in compact computer setups, as well.

And, of course, since it has MIDI the Xone:2D becomes a candidate for VJ gigs, as well.

Basic specs:

  1. Audio interface with two configurations: 3×2 stereo inputs from a computer, 1 stereo return, or 2 stereo ins and 2 returns
  2. Digital I/O (both optical and coax)
  3. BPM counter with LED, with tempo driven by audio tempo detection, tap tempo, or MIDI clock “nudge”
  4. USB, 5-pin MIDI connectors
  5. 5 faders, 8 center-detent pots, 19 push buttons (4 illuminated), 5 rotary encoders with push-to-switch, multi-function jog

Pricing/availability unknown. Looks interesting, but I’d rather enjoy seeing Allen & Heath build a controller-only model for laptop DJs and electronic musicians. Informal reader poll for the CDM DJs: do you fancy this sort of mixer/controller and audio/controller integration, or do you prefer to keep them independent?

XONE Series (Nothing on the 2D yet, evidently)

  • typodaemon

    I'd rather pick out the audio interface that I like and match it with a controller that I like. I'm more confident in the gear I'm getting when I pick it out myself than just buying a bundled kit. Not to knock Xone, if anyone wants to send me one πŸ˜‰

    Keeping them seperate always leaves options for changing the control interface entirely and cutting the cost of an included audio interface. Modularity is a good thing πŸ˜€

    By the way, has anyone seen Xone's midi clock nudge functionality in any bit of software or other piece of gear?

  • Oli

    my lowepro bag is whisperin' to me that this shiny new "compact" DJ midi/audio mixr looks thick as a brick with half the functionality of a bcr2000 and Saffire LE, probably twice the price too (i'm guessing close to a grand). this is more in the right direction, but can any of you really commit to the mixer setup/workflow that these new dj devices seem to try and nail? hell, i use at least six channels and am not willing to give up automatable LED knobs or, god forbid, pack around any extra gear…. though maybe that new uber light Korg trigger pad thingy… A&H makes some solid and beautiful old skool gear, but maybe lets hold out for multi-touch leamur esque touch screen tech to mature over the next year and half (maybe more) whatev, be well guys. peas out (signed, hummus brothers, serious, i have button that says this!)

  • From what I gather, Xone 2D is intended for users of existing Xone analog mixers who want MIDI control, BPM and audio interface. The 2D can be screwed onto existing mixers (Xone 62, 92, etc…) hence the size and thickness.

    As for the question, I'm always interested in an all-in-one solution if it's done properly (like the 3D was, bar the crappy BPM detection).

  • nonstatic

    i have no idea who would want one of these, especially at typical A&H prices. i hope they enjoy selling all 4 of them.

  • Sorry, I should have said compact relative to the Xone:3D, which is huge. Of course, for a computer controller you don't want this kind of bulk, which is why that Vestax VCI-100 looks so nice. My other question is the plastic jog wheel: they feel awfully loose, and I was never clear on what they're supposed to be for. (On the 3D, I think the Live template assigns them to scene select.)

    I will say, the rest of the gear on the 3D does feel as expensive as it is. And if you really needed a mixer, interface, and control surface in that case, it doesn't look as expensive. But yes, I suspect this isn't for most others here.

  • as someone who has a Xone:3D, I'm really looking forward to this. Right now I lug the 3D around to gigs. I'd rather have this and use the standard mixer found at the clubs (which are usually Xone:92). Having to set up is a problem with the 3D because it is larger (but still a 19" mixer and it is relatively light compared to a Pioneer DJM-800 which weighs a ton).

    I think this is going to be a standard piece of gear for clubs who have Xones already installed but don't like the 3Ds output options. The 92 is still a better DJ mixer for audio, but with this right by its side, the combo is really, really great IMO.

    Was at NAMM and picked one up. Light and relatively easy to pack IMO.


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