Teenage Engineering’s next big idea is a tiny, multi-function audio-mixer interface. It’s beautiful and – perhaps unusably small. These teenagers are never afraid of controversy.
So here’s the idea: the TX-6 kind of does everything you could want. It’s a desktop and mobile audio interface (with wireless), it’s got multi-effects, there’s a synthesizer and sequencer, and it functions as a mixer (and a DJ mixer if you like it). put on your side).
It’s brilliant. That’s wonderful.
It’s so small that I don’t know if it’s actually usable. (I don’t have a test unit yet. I’ll see if I can get my hands on it – even a few moments would probably be enough.)
It’s also expensive – you knew a feat of engineering like this was going to cost you, and of course, it’s a luxury buy at 1199 EUR.
Keeping the profile small pocket-sized is in itself appealing – it means you can have a mixer/audio interface/synth wherever you go, literally fitting in your pocket like an iPhone does. But mixing requires easy access to faders and assignable buttons; here it looks like you would practically need tweezers. And I wonder if the price might have been lower if they had been even bigger, because the custom mechanical engineering here would seem to account for the cost.
Anyway, if you find a way to run the commands, the feature list is amazing. Most of us seeing this at first glance would have assumed we were looking primarily at a blender. But the digital engine inside does so much more. It’s almost like buying a blender and an audio interface and a portable effects unit and a synth/workstation à la TE’s OP-Z. (For anyone who missed the display on the OP-Z and wished for something like the OP-1, now you have one again, though… yes, it’s also tiny, of course.)
Wow, the features:
- Aux out, main out and cue out (for DJing)… the main output being the single full-size 6.35mm (1/4″) jack
- DJ mode which allows you to work with the device on its side with a crossfader (this is perhaps the most usable aspect of this device, to be honest, because the crossfader looks smart!)
- 12 audio inputs (into 6 sockets), with specially designed thin cables (3.5mm mini-plugs, but obviously with shrunken housings as normal cables would not fit)
- USB-C connectivity
- 32 bit, 48 kHz operation (which is overkill, but “overengineered” is sort of the concept here) – seems like it’s 12 inputs, 4 outputs so it’s also multichannel
- 8 built-in send effects – reverb, chorus, delay, freeze, tape, filter, distortion
- All custom components (yeah, no kidding) and an aluminum case
- Battery powered (they promise 8 hours, plus there is a sleep mode)
- Bluetooth wireless operation with MFi compatibility for iOS
- Tempo synchronization
- Customizable control layout
…and how about compression per track and effects loop?
Honestly, if I only saw those specs, I’d want the thing right away – it’s not that easy to find even a 12×4 audio interface, and they tend to be huge, not to mention add multi -effects, simultaneous mixing with hardware controls and a synth.
This simultaneous multi-channel audio interface mixing function is a big deal. If you bought all of these components separately, you could end up with spaghetti of cable and a ton of stuff to carry around.
I’m just afraid we’re in Jony Ive Apple territory where we go from “incredibly awesome” to just plain “crazy”. (I could reel off some Apple products that did this, but I’ll be nice.)
But I’m curious. I expect people to have been too quick to dismiss something, and it’s great that this thing is borderline – or even way beyond that. I just have to see if it’s usable, especially since some people have different sized hands.
And… apologies to our friends in Stockholm, but it’s definitely mandatory here:
All that said – the most convenient device we’ve reviewed, at a fraction of the price, is absolutely the excellent bluebox. This device opts for touch controls, but it still does mixing and multi-effects.
It also includes the one feature that I think the Teenage Engineering option lacks the most – recording. For me, that might be more important than price or size. But let’s take a look.
Read Andreas Roman’s excellent Bluebox review, which as always includes some of his music: