Gig on the go with Roland’s awesome iPhone mixer

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The new Roland Go Mixer Pro
The new Roland Go Mixer Pro
Photo: Roland

Remember the Roland Go Mixer? The little pocket-size audio mixer that hooks up to your iPhone via its Lightning port, and lets you record a whole band at once? I do, although God knows I’ve tried to forget it. What looked like a promising product turned out to be missing basic functionality. Now, though, Roland has introduced the Go Mixer Pro, and it looks like it fixes everything from the original Go, and more.

Roland Go Mixer Pro

Connet it to almost anything.
Connect it to almost anything.
Photo: Roland

The Go Mixer Pro is still aimed at the home YouTube video maker, and is designed to let you hook up all your musical instruments, or several microphones, and record them onto a video while shooting. Like its predecessor, it’s more of a live mixer than a digital in/out interface for your iPhone or iPad. With that in mind, here is the list of hookups:

Ins and outs

  • Mono instrument 1/4 inch jack
  • 2x line-in mini jacks
  • Guitar/Bass jack with Hi-Z
  • Combo XLR/jack input for microphones, with phantom power
  • Mini mic jack (for lapel mics, etc.)
  • USB
  • Stereo minijack output

The unit also comes with a Lightning to USB cable so you can hook the box up to your iPhone. Power comes either from the iPhone, or from a 4xAAA batteries. The battery is required if you want to power a connected microphone.

On top of the box are knobs to adjust the levels of all the inputs, and the monitor output.

So what’s fixed?

AAA, that's better.
AAA, that’s better.
Photo: Roland

The best change compared to the original Go is that the unit now works as a proper audio interface. The old one (which is still available), would route all the connected instruments and mics to the iPhone for recording, but there was no way to listen to what was happening on the iPhone itself. That meant that you couldn’t send your clean guitar signal to an amp simulator app, and then have the resulting output routed to your headphones. The Go Mixer Pro fixes this. If you press the Loopback button, you get to hear the full mix through your headphones, via the iOS output.

The perfect all-in-one gadget?

Roland disn't fail to provide the obligatory "musician in the park" publicity shot.
Roland didn’t fail to provide the obligatory “musician in the park” publicity shot.
Photo: Roland

With just a few tweaks, and the addition of a proper input for a mic, the Go Mixer Pro might have become the ultimate portable gadget for musicians. Not only can you now use it as an audio interface, but it still works as a nice analog mixer for recording your band’s practice sessions, or even laying down raw and dirty demos.

It’s not cheap, however. $170 will be way too much if the cheap, plasticky body of the original hasn’t also been upgraded, but if it meets your needs precisely, then this could be the perfect way for mobile musicians to save weight and space.