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Way more than a typical Midi controller, the Xone:2D is finally on sale.

At first glance, the Xone:2D might look like a chip off the mighty Xone:3D block, but it adds some clever audio soundcard functions, which make it an ideal partner for Traktor and Ableton Live.

The USB2 soundcard boasts nine stereo channels of audio playback. This is split between four channels going from the mixer to the computer, and five channels of streaming audio back into the Xone:2D.

Digital connectors are also provided through Optical and S/PDIF, and the 2D can have its output routed to a main mixer in a club, such as the Xone:92, to expand its capabilities.

The built-in BPM detector can take its reading from any of the input sources or users can tap it in via the Tap Tempo button. The BPM is converted into a Midi Clock signal, which can be used to synchronise software, such as Ableton Live, to the rest of the mix.

The sequencer can then be controlled with the dedicated Start/Stop button, and the little joystick below it can be used to nudge the beat forward or back until the music is locked in perfectly.

Although it may look a bit like a four-channel DJ mixer, it doesn't fit this role in the conventional sense, but it does offer interesting alternatives to straight-up analogue mixing.

The Xone:2D is perfect for 'in the box' mixing with a laptop. Software such as Ableton Live and Traktor can both use the live audio inputs as their sources, while all the Midi controls on the 2D can be used as a virtual mixer right down to the crossfader in the corner.

It's a small niggle, but the crossfader is not ideally positioned. The headphone jack dangling above it might be prone to accidental knocking in hurried moments.

As it goes, the Xone:2D could slide in nicely alongside any DJ set-up to expand its capabilities into the digital age, without disrupting the current set-up, and has the ideal footprint and height to fit in flush with other mixers.

It's also an interesting choice for standalone Midi mixing, with a high quality build and a well stocked soundcard. Check out our full review in next issue.




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