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)