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Xer Mixa beta update: quad, hex, clocked mutes and more

Last Thursday, we released a beta firmware update to our system mixer, Xer Mixa. It includes a number of new features, some bug fixes, and new ways to use it in a performance. Today, we’ll go over all of the details and give some background on the new features. 

If you’d like to update your Xer Mixa to the beta firmware, you can do it from the Customer Portal. All you’ll need is a micro USB cable that is suitable for data transfer. The installation process only takes a few minutes and can be completed with the Firmware Wizard at the top left.

Quad? Quad! 

Is a pair of speakers just not enough for you? You’re in luck, because now you can use four!

When we released Xer Mixa, we got several requests to allow it to work with a quad setup. We realized this was something we could do, and it sounded like fun, though none of us had a dedicated quad setup so we knew testing would be…interesting. So we dusted off a variety of speakers and got to work.

If you’re into quad, you can now have voltage-controlled quadraphonic panning. To configure it, from the main meter screen, hit Config then navigate to the Audio menu. You’ll see a new option at the top called Panning, with options for Stereo (normal two-output operation), Quad (this), or Hex (next section). 

The quad meter screen on Xer Mixa

Quad mode uses the B output pair as rear left and right speaker outs instead of as an aux send. This leaves the A output pair free for aux send duties, or as a cue output. 

When a channel is selected, the pan encoder moves the input left to right, and the B encoder moves the sound forward or backwards. The A encoder still controls how much a channel is sent to the A output pair for use as an aux send. 

Hex: surround to the max 

Is four speakers just not enough for you? Well, you came to the right place, because with this setting you can use SIX. Hexaphonic: it’s a word, I promise. 

After we finished quad, we thought hey, we still have those two extra outputs…I wonder what would happen if… And so we dusted off yet more speakers.

Xer Mixa's hex meter screen

The M outs are front left and right, the B outs are middle left and right, and the A outs are rear left and right. You want surround sound? This is the mode for you! 

Hex mode functions a bit differently from quad: when a track is selected, the Pan encoder rotates the sound around all six speakers, and the B encoder adjusts the width of the sound (how much it spreads into all speakers). Since all six outputs are used for speakers, there’s no aux send or cue in this mode. 

Clock muting 

We are excited to implement another user suggestion: you can now synchronize mute state changes to a MIDI or analog clock! 

To enable MIDI clocking, head to the MIDI menu (main Config > MIDI) and set Clk Mute to something other than “off”. I like using 4/4 so that mute states change every measure. Plug a MIDI clock source to the MIDI In jack, and while the clock is running mute changes will happen on the selected division. When the MIDI clock is stopped, the mutes respond instantaneously. 

To enable analog clocking, simply add an Expando Expandi routing that has a channel destination set to “clk”. This will turn the selected EE input into a trigger in, and any queued mute changes will change state on the next trigger input. 

Quality of life updates

Along with the major functionality adds we outlined above, we also made some smaller tweaks, too. 

You can now change the channel configuration of multiple channels at once. Hold down a channel button, tap a few others, release the first channel button, then press config. Need to change the pan laws of channels 1 through 8? Now it’s easier than ever! 

We also added a bunch of new screensaver options in the Visual menu, if you need some pizazz when your mixer hasn’t been adjusted in a while. 

Of course, there were also a few minor bug fixes and tweaks, as there always are in a firmware update. 

What’s next? 

We’re still actively working on firmware improvements to Xer Mixa, and we love hearing your feedback. If you have an idea, find a bug in our beta, or have suggestions for how we could make this beta firmware better, we’d love to hear from you!

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