Roland GO:MIXER review: Easy to use audio mixer for smartphones

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews
Roland GO

With the GO:MIXER you get a clean, professional sound that will automatically sync to your video.

TA-ratings-90The Roland GO:MIXER audio mixer makes recording synced video and sound as easy as pie.  Its simple plug and play setup will have you recording videos with high-quality sound in no time.  Its small size will free you to record your videos wherever you want.  If you are looking for an easy to use audio mixer for your social media videos, then read on for the full review of the Roland GO:MIXER.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • 8 inputs
  • 2 outputs
  • Power supply – USB bus power 40mA draw
  • Size – 95mm x 95mm x 28mm
  • Weight 100g

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

  • 1-GO:MIXER
  • 1-iOS connection cable
  • 1-Android connection cable

DESIGN

There is nothing spectacular about the design of the Roland GO:MIXER.  Its a simple white box with four black knobs on the top.  The way it feels in hand is reminiscent of an old Coleco electronic football game we had in the early 80’s, a bit cheap and plastic feeling.  Along the four sides of the unit, there are four instrument inputs, two device inputs, a mic input, and a USB input.  There are also two lights, one for power and the other for peak volume.

Roland GO

Overview of the GO:MIXER

EASE OF USE

The Roland GO:MIXER may not be much to look at, but its looks aren’t the reason to own one.  It was built to be an easy to use portable sound mixer for your smartphone, and this is where it excels.  What is a sound mixer you ask?  I’m no professional, but I’ll try and explain what the GO:MIXER does.  The GO:MIXER lets you record sound from multiple sources directly into your smartphone’s video app.  You can have a mic, a guitar, and a keyboard all getting recorded simultaneously with your video.

Sure your phone already has an external mic you could use, but the genius here is that the sound is being recorded directly into the video. External mics on phones these days are good, but if you’re trying to produce the best quality videos possible, they just don’t cut it.  With the GO:MIXER you get a clean, professional sound that will automatically sync to your video.  On top of that, you can also control the volume of each of the inputs.  If you need more volume on the vocals and less on the keyboards, it’s as easy as twisting the volume control knobs.

Setting up the GO:MIXER was very easy.  First make sure to turn the volume knobs all the way left, in the off position.  Next, connect the instruments and/or mics you want to use and also your monitor.  Finally connect the supplied USB cable for either your iOS or your Android device, first to the GO:MIXER and then to your device.  That’s it, now turn up the volume buttons, open your device’s video app and start recording.  The only problem I had in using the GO:MIXER was that a few times it just refused to do anything.  The fix was easy, turn the volumes all the way down, unplug everything and then plug it all back in.  That got things up and running every time.

I made a short video of me playing The Beatles “Blackbird” on my guitar.  Be warned, I am not a musician.  I own a guitar that I play for fun now and again and I dusted it off just to show how good the sound is that the GO:MIXER can capture.

Another good aspect of the GO:MIXER is that your device powers it.  There are no batteries to worry about, and no charging the unit before you can use it.  This frees you up to take the GO:MIXER wherever you want to shoot video.  As far as the monitor, I used a Bluetooth speaker that I had lying about.  As long as the speaker has a 3.5mm input, you can use it as your monitor.  The one I used runs on battery power, so I was able to take it outside without having to worry about plugging it into power.

SOUND

The sound that the Roland GO:MIXER allows you to capture is really amazing.  It’s just the pure sound of the instrument that you have plugged in.  One note on instrument sound, if you’re using a small speaker, make sure you do a tone test of your instrument in the video before you start your final recording.  The small portable speakers don’t really allow you to hear what your instrument truly will sound like in the video.  I noticed the first time I made a video that my guitar sounded way too thin, but because of the small speaker I was using, I couldn’t tell.  I did a few video tests and played with the tone until I got the sound to my liking.

If you plug a mic in, the sound quality is reliant upon the mic you are using.  Don’t expect a $10 mic from the mega-mart to sound as good as a high-end Sennheiser or Shure mic.  Also, when using a mic, you may have some ambient sounds in the mix if you are outside of a controlled environment.

PRICE/VALUE

The Roland GO:MIXER has a price of $99USD.  Considering all that you can do with this little device, I think that is well worth it.

WRAP UP

The Roland GO:MIXER can be used for many things.  You can use it to record music videos or just vocals if you are doing an interview or making a webcast.  It would be great for practicing or recording your musical ideas onto video.  I’m sure there are many other uses people will think of as well.  All around I think the GO:MIXER would be a great addition for anyone that makes videos, regardless of what the videos are for.  The fact that it is extremely portable and easy to use only adds to the reasons why I think the GO:MIXER is a great product.

WE WERE SENT A SAMPLE OF THE ROLAND GO:MIXER FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS REVIEW.

Roland GO:MIXER

$99 USD
Roland GO:MIXER
9

Design

8/10

    Ease of use

    8/10

      Sound

      10/10

        Price/Value

        10/10

          Nailed it

          • Records sound straight to video
          • Set up is very easy
          • No batteries or charging
          • Portable

          Needs work

          • Occasional problems getting unit to work
          • Plastic feels a bit cheap
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