The Roland Go:Mixer Pro-X is a palm-sized audio mixer and audio interface designed to work primarily with smartphones (iOS or Android), allowing you to get multiple channels of audio into your device for recording or livestreaming. It’s small, portable and flexible, and has minor improvements over the previous Go:Mixer Pro, but we’d like to have seen a mains-powered option so it could charge your device at the same time.
First Impressions / Setting up
In black instead of white as per the previous model, the Roland Go:Mixer Pro-X is a palm-sized audio mixer and audio interface offering considerable flexibility, with its controls spread out around all four sides plus on the top panel, and its various inputs and outputs spread around three of its sides.
It has a raised battery compartment at the back to provide phantom mic power, and a groove near the top with a rubber insert designed to hold your smartphone at an angle (even if in a case, as long as the case is slim). The supplied cables let you plug it directly into a smartphone (USB-C and Lightning) via its micro-USB socket, and there’s also a TRRS-to TRRS cable supplied for analogue attachment to smartphones.
While it does feel a bit cheap (it’s plasticky, the knobs are a bit “scratchy”), it is sturdy enough and we’ve used the previous model for the past year without any faults developing, so no reason to believe it won’t be reliable.
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It has five knobs on the top that control the mono/stereo 1/4″ jack inputs on the left of the unit, the XLR mic on the side of the unit, the 1/4″ mono guitar input on the right of the unit (it has a “pad” button, so could also be used for, say, a mono synth), the headphone/headset monitor volume via the 1/4″ TRRS socket on the front of the unit, and the overall volume.
There are two additional 1/8″ minijack line-ins on the front of the unit (that have no mixer controls), a loopback switch for feeding the computer’s output back into the mix (again, no separate volume control for this), a phantom power switch in case the main mic you have plugged in needs that, plus a battery on/off switch on the rear of the unit (it takes 4 AAAs, if you need that mic phantom power – otherwise power comes from your device).
Finally, it has two LEDs on the top panel: A green one to indicate power, and a red one for peak output (across all inputs – there are no individual peak LEDs).
To set up, as a DJ wishing to livestream for instance, you’d plug your phone in with the supplied cable and launch whatever app you’ll be using for livestreaming, plug your DJ controller in (I’d suggest using the 1/4″ sockets on the left-hand side, as you get a volume control for them), plug in a mic if using, and any other inputs (drum machine, synth etc – in this case, you’d possibly use the extra line inputs, and control their volume on the units themselves, as again, those line inputs have no volume controls of their own).
Roland says the idea with the built-in phone stand is that you can position the unit so the phone’s camera can give video to go alongside the audio, so you’d position the unit so the camera on your phone was pointing where you wanted it to, and hit “live”. And there you go: Pro sound, and a stand for your phone’s camera to give you stable video too.
Read this next: The Ultimate Guide To DJ Livestreaming
One nice thing about the unit is that because it has a headphones output, if your DJ controller only had one output, you could plug your monitor speakers into the headphones output, meaning it would be possible to feed your controller’s audio into the phone for livestreaming, and also use your speakers like normal, all from a single stereo output.
We’ve actually been using one of these for the past year in our studio here at Digital DJ Tips – or rather, we’ve been using the previous version, which is very similar. (See our review of the Roland Go:Mixer Pro.)
Honestly, very little has changed. Two extra inputs, one extra output, plus there is now an analogue in/out for a smartphone should you for some reason wish to use that. There’s also the attenuating “pad” button for the mono passive instrument input making it more versatile, and the headphones monitoring now also lets you feed a headset mic in to the unit.
The only real thing that’s missing from the previous version seems to be the centre cancel button (a specialised thing for karaoke DJs, to dial down the vocals in tracks a little).
Here in our studio, we use it to feed whatever DJ controller or audio devices we’re using for our tutorials or reviews into our livestreaming or recording software on a Mac, as an audio-only device – and it works great. We appreciate the flexibility of it, and the fact that there’s “headphones” feedback (we actually use that for our DJ monitors, as explained above).
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The sound quality is great as per the previous version, and for what we use it for, it’s perfect.
But that’s audio only. When you add in the idea that this can be used as an audio and video livestreaming solution, it starts to show its shortcomings.
Roland shows in its promo material someone DJing with this, with the camera pointing at them and their controller – but the person is literally sat cross-legged on the floor with the controller also on the floor, and the Go:Mixer Pro-X on the floor, too.
No DJ ever plays like that. So in truth you’d need to put this unit onto something to get it to “tripod height” – and it comes with absolutely no way to screw mount or fix it to a tripod. I’d love to have seen a tripod mount screw on the underside and maybe a firmer way to connect your smartphone. This would make its use as an audio/video device easier and safer.
That said, at least having a stand for your phone does make it all a bit neater if you’re just using it for audio.
You get a lot for your $130 or so here. Eleven inputs, three outputs, lots of gain controls, monitoring, computer loop back if you need it, multiple ways to hook up to smartphones, the ability to hook up to computers too. It’s definitely a Swiss Army knife-type device, and the portability is a plus point.
Read this next: 2 Ways To Get Great Sounding Audio On Your DJ Livestreams
The Micro USB socket is a disappointment, as it’s pretty old school tech and USB-C socket would have been better. Lack of a power supply option to charge your device when streaming is also a disappointment.
For DJs, ultimately the Go:Mixer Pro-X has probably got more than you need in a portable mixer/audio interface, with some things you’ll likely never use. In our mind, though, that’s a good thing! And certainly for DJ/producers, those extra inputs will come in very handy for drum machines, samplers and synths.
Similar to owning a small live mixer, owning a flexible portable mixer and audio interface like this is a wise choice for DJs who get involved in all sorts of gigs, online and offline. At a push, it could work for you in many situations, whether livestreaming or recording, whether using your phone or a computer to input to, and whether or not you’re “going live” with audio and video or just audio.
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If Roland added mains power, a tripod mount, and upgraded it to USB-C, it’d be even better.