Akai’s new US$99.99 Midimix is built on a simple idea – so much so that you could easily miss it. But one button makes it much more useful than its nearest rivals.

First, the obvious: yes, it’s a MIDI controller with a mixer layout. So, there are eight line faders and a master fader, 3 knobs per channel (for EQ), and dedicated mute (switchable to solo) and record arm buttons, plus bank controls. That’s it – no extra functions, no confusing mappings.

And then there’s one very obvious but clever button: SEND ALL. Hit SEND ALL, and you fire off everything to the DAW in one button.

Some of you are slapping your foreheads already. If not, the basic notion is this: MIDI controllers with this sort of design by and large don’t send all their current knob and fader positions at once. So unless you have a motorized controller, that means you have to wiggle or move everything until the DAW works out where the physical controls are before the two are in sync.


Sure, there are fancier solutions (back to those motors – and Behringer’s latest motorized line is getting more expensive). But the Midimix looks absurdly compact and lightweight, and that’s a hundred dollars retail. Available in June.