Allen & Heath's newest modular MIDI controller called the Xone:K1 is essentially a Xone:K2 MIDI controller but without the built-in stereo soundcard interface and MIDI layering capabilities. The Xone:K1 is a universal MIDI controller that can be mapped/programmed to work with any DJ software and it has six push-button rotary encoder knobs, 12 knobs, four faders, and 30 three-color backlit performance buttons to take precise control over specific software functions. Check out our full Video review to see the features of this modular MIDI controller.
Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
The Xone:K1 is very lightweight and portable with a mixture of plastic, metal, and rubberized coatings that gives the controller a high-quality feel. The knobs are all bolted down to the steel top plate for added rigidity. The K1 is like a blank canvas where anyone who has a DJ software can use this to control any features or parameters they wish. The Xone:K1 would make an ideal companion for any DVS user who are using timecode decks, but need an additional amount of control over the software functions. There are mappings already available for Traktor Pro including a Remix Deck mapping as well as mappings for other popular DJ software like Mixvibes and Ableton. The Xone:K1 also has an X-Link RJ-45 connection along side the USB port to connect other X-Link mixers and/or controllers so that they share a single USB port for connectivity.
The Xone:K1 looks and feels almost identical to the Xone:K2 that was released a few short years ago. One of the main differences with the Xone:K1 and the Xone:K2 is that the K1 does not have the internal soundcard that the K2 possesses. The K1 also excludes the three-layers of mapping power that the K2 has. If a user requires that soundcard or more mappings per controller, then the K2 would be the better (and more expensive) choice.
Conclusion / Recommended For
In Conclusion, the Xone:K1 MIDI controller is a great tool for users to customize to their liking for their particular software and hardware setup. The Xone:K1 has good quality construction with a metal top plate and knobs that are bolted down for security. The styling of the K1 is also on par with other Allen & Heath products. The Xone:K1 has 56 different controls for users to map to their liking which makes the K1 one of the best modular controllers for customization. The Xone:K1 is also lightweight and compact making it easy to store or fit it into an existing setup without taking up too much real estate. On the downside, the Xone:K1 doesn't have multi-colored RBG Backlit performance buttons, which would make it easier for users to know what they are activating at a glance. Another minor gripe that I had with the K1 was that it has "push-style" mixing board faders instead of the "grab-style" DJ mixer style faders that most DJ's are used to performing with.
Other than those small niggles, the Allen & Heath Xone:K1 is a very formidable Modular DJ controller that is a great custom mappings for control over various types of software. I am going to recommend the Xone:K1 to any DJ who wishes they had more buttons, knobs, faders, and controls to manipulate the DJ, Production, or even lighting MIDI software of their choice...
- Good Quality Construction & Styling
- 56 different controls (Buttons, Knobs, Encoders, Faders)
- Great for Custom MIDI Mapping
- Lightweight & Compact for Modulation
- Performance Buttons Not Multi-Color RGB Backlit
- Faders are "Push-Style" not "Grab-Style"