Teenage Engineering, the company behind ultra-stylish synthesizer, speakerand PC case, has launched a new audio gadget: it’s called the TX-6, and it’s a tiny (in size, not in price) field mixer that’s absolutely decked out in knobs. Not only does the TX-6 allow sound from six stereo inputs to be mixed and output to a computer, speakers or both in true teenage engineering fashion, the TX-6 can also act as a base Synthesizer, drum sequencerand USB-C audio interface.
However, we need to talk about these buttons first. By default, they act as controls for a three-band equalizer, allowing you to tweak the high, mid, and low for each input. But look at Teenage Engineering Guide shows the myriad other things you can do with them, from controlling compressor settings to adjusting pan or note length. Whatever you use them for, you will style; The buttons are colorful and have a knurled top, which should help you grip what’s otherwise about the size of a large cotton swab.
If you can tear your eyes away from the buttons, the rest of the controls are also absolutely new. They have fader sliders (which are arguably more important than the knobs because they actually let you Mix), a variety of buttons and a combo button/knob for navigating menus – be still my heart. There are also LED volume meters with adjustable brightness.
In terms of I/O, the TX-6 has those six audio jacks for input (Apple never could) and three output jacks; two are 3.5mm for Aux and Cue Out, and the main output is 6.35mm or a quarter inch. It also has a built-in rechargeable battery that Teenage Engineering says can last for around eight hours, and it charges via the USB-C port, which also handles the TX-6’s connection to your device. This can be a computer or an iPhone/iPad if you have the appropriate cable or adapter. Again, all of this, plus those delicious buttons, is wrapped up in something that has an absolutely tiny package.
BTW yes I can hear all the UK giggles I am once again about my love for buttons. No need to comment, my sides still hurt when you read all the jokes in the last article. But come on, just look at her.
Of course, I don’t want to sleep on the other parts of this design – it has a CNC aluminum frame, an adorable little screen to show you menus, and a faux leather back. To me it looks a bit like an old-school Sony device, but one step up.
Hey, actually Teenage Engineering says the buttons are customizable. I’m sure there is something Parameters you can use to control that goes until 11…
Speaking of exceeding the cap, let’s talk about the price. The TX-6 retails for — breathe deeply — $1,199. That’s for the actual device itself, along with a 3.5mm adapter for the main output and a USB-C cable. Additional cables, like a 3.5mm to RCA or dual TS adapter, cost a reasonable $10 or $15.
While that price is almost unbelievable, I struggled to think of other devices like the TX-6. The $150 Yamaha MG06X is compact, but it would be hard to name it small, and in my opinion it certainly doesn’t look that cool. The $350 Zoom H6 can be configured to have the same number of inputs, but it’s significantly bulkier and doesn’t have nearly as many features as the TX-6. And while you could use it as a mixer, it’s definitely more of a field recorder. That Mackie MCaster Live is even cheaper at $230 and appears to be a similar size, but has no battery and only four inputs (although one of those is XLR, which might come in handy if you want to hook up a mic).
While it’s in a league of its own, it may or may not justify its price, the TX-6’s price will likely turn many wannabe DJs or casual musicians like me away – although it does count a “DJ mode” among its many additional features. But if I’m being completely honest with myself, I’d probably spend an embarrassing amount of money to play with it for a day just so I could feel those cute, cute buttons (again, I really shouldn’t just be posting this during the UK wakes up).
The TX-6 is available on Teenage Engineering website.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/21/23036369/teenage-engineering-tx-6-mixer-portable-knobs Teenage Engineering’s latest audio device invites you to turn its knobs