Allen & Heath has announced a new DJ controller, the Xone:K2, which it will demonstrate for the first time at the BPM Show this weekend. The controller has the same slimline shape as the Traktor X1, but differs in a number of ways, including having four physical faders and a built in four-out sound card.
It has also been designed as a “universal” device to control any DJ software, having 52 hardware controls that can provide 171 Midi commands across three layers, with three-colour LEDs lighting buttons to indicate which layer is selected.
While the unit comes with sample mappings, Allen & Heath envisages it as being adapted by DJs to suit their own style and workflow, promising “quick and simple” mapping, which will allow the device to control any Midi software.
Two units can be linked together to provide a greater degree of control using Allen & Heath’s X:LINK protocol, and Allen & Heath also offers the possibility of X:LINKing two of these to one of its digital mixers (the Xone:DB4 or newly announced Xone:DB2), which would give a 100% digital system that would have truly mouthwatering potential.
Each unit comes with a carry case, which doubles up as a stand, to raise it up to the height of any standard club mixer. As long as you don’t need a crossfader, you could feasibly mix four decks with just this one unit, and plug into one channel of a mixer – or straight into a PA.
Alternatively, you could use an external mixer to control two independent decks with each Xone:K2, by plugging both the headphone and the RCA outputs into separate channels. On first glance, an extra set of RCAs on the back would have been preferable to having to use the headphone socket in this way. We’ll bring you a full review as soon as we’ve had a chance to properly test one of the units.
What do you think? Have you been waiting for an X1-style controller with a built-in sound card? Can you see yourself slotting one of these into your workflow? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.