A mixer (re)built to travel

[Toby Cole] likes to mix tunes whenever he gets a chance. But the size of his DJ equipment made it a real bother to lug around with him. He does own a Behringer portable mixer but without cross faders it’s not really all that usable, and most of the other offerings don’t get good reviews. He ended up replacing the enclosure of a proper mixer in order to make it light and small. The growing availability of affordable laser-cut parts made this project possible.

Build Brighton, [Toby's] local Hackerspace, has a laser cutter. So he knew that if he could figure out a smaller case design it would be a snap to get his parts made. He cracked open the heavy metal case on the KMX 100 mixer and found it had a ton of extra room inside. He designed all of the plates using a digital calipers to properly space the holes and text labels. These designs were combined with BoxMaker to produce the files the laser cutter needed. The first prototype was cut from cardboard, with the finished product cut from 3mm plywood.

Comments

  1. Vic says:

    I checked the original mixer, and its pretty much the same size…wheres the advantage of fitting it in roughly the same enclosure? Nice wooden box anyway, but still…

  2. tubfun says:

    It’s actually longer, but a bit shallower. The main thing is it weighs less than half as much as it did in the metal case, so I can chuck it in my laptop bag without the fear that the strap will snap sending all my kit tumbling to the floor! :)
    T

  3. M4CGYV3R says:

    This is an excellent story about wood burning/cutting with a laser cutter, except:

    As a DJ of over 12 years, I wouldn’t piss on either Behringer or KAM mixers if they were on fire. They are steaming heaps of fecal matter that rarely function right and sound like ass.

    If you feel like stepping into the world of real DJ gear, I recommend the PMC-06pro from Vestax as a compact 2-channel mixer: http://www.vestax.com/v/products/detail.php?cate_id=133 If it’s good enough for the DMC competitions, it’s good enough for you.

    • tubfun says:

      A friend of mine was literally throwing the mixer out, I know KAM mixers are pretty guff.
      This is the prototype, just to prove that it’s doable, I’ll probably make one with nicer innards soon ;)

  4. xFred says:

    Mixing…..from an laptop…using the built in soundcard?

    And a mixer….with no balanced outputs?

    Eh….it’s surely better then the Behringer. If you wanted a small compact mixer you would have been better off with the Mackie 402-vlz3. Two actual mic inputs and two stereo inputs (one being the Tape).

    Mackie u.420D would be better choice but it’s discontinued.

    Nice case but I can’t see the advantage. If your already bringing along a laptop then you should have a suitable audio interface (the audio line out is garbage) and they already make much nicer two channel mixers – some with USB built in.

    • tubfun says:

      Compared to most other laptops I’ve heard, the unibody macbooks have pretty nice DACs, still not balanced out, but good enough unless you’re playing on a really nice rig.

  5. Bogdan says:

    Wait…. don’t they used metal case on those things for … you know… sheilding purposes?

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