We’ve seen quite a few new microphone and interface options for smartphones over the past few years. Most of those have been limited to one microphone or audio input. Roland recently upped the ante by introducing this mobile audio mixer, which has five inputs and is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Let’s check it out.

Inputs and Control

What makes the Roland GO:MIXER enticing is not just its five inputs. It also provides separate control for the audio level of the Instrument, Guitar/Bass, and Mic inputs and the Master/Monitor output. (The input level of the two Line In channels is fixed, so it’ll need to be controlled from the output of the device you’re connecting to the GO:MIXER.) The knobs were great for making quick level tweaks to the mic and instrument channels during a performance without having to close the camera app and open another app in order to fix the mix. Keep in mind, however, that the final output is a stereo mix. So you’ll want to get the levels balanced to your liking before you start recording.

The GO:MIXER comes with Lightning and Micro-USB cables to provide compatibility for iOS and Android devices. The interface is powered by the phone or tablet being used to record, so there’s no need for batteries or an AC adapter. The inputs include one for a quarter-inch mic cable, one for a quarter-inch high-impedance instrument cable (guitar or bass), two quarter-inch inputs for a stereo instrument (keyboard, synth, drum machines, etc.), and two stereo line-level inputs for music players (laptop, cellphone, tablet, etc.).

In Use

We used the GO:MIXER in two different configurations. The first setup involved running multiple drum mics through an audio interface connected to a computer, and then connecting the headphone output of the computer to one of the line-level inputs on the GO:MIXER. This setup allowed us to process the drum mics within a DAW first, and then send the mixed audio to the GO:MIXER to be recorded at the same time as a video.

The second setup involved running multiple drum mics to a mixing board, and then sending the outputs from the mixer to the Instrument inputs of the device. This gave us the ability to balance, EQ, and pan the mics on the mixing board. With both setups, we still had additional inputs on the GO:MIXER for other instruments or play-along devices. (You can check out video demos of these below.)

In Conclusion

We loved the ease of use and tactile control of the Roland GO:MIXER. It was a great tool for capturing a full-band mix during rehearsals or for producing final audio/video performances for social media. The GO:MIXER was also a powerful practice tool, as I was able to quickly and easily record myself playing along with backing tracks and then review the footage to discover various things that I could improve on. Roland did a fantastic job of developing this highly functional, affordable, and portable recording device. List price is $109.

Example 1

Drum mics to audio interface/computer. Reverb added. Headphone jack to GO:MIXER.

Example 2

Drum mics to audio interface/computer. Reverb added. Headphone jack to GO:MIXER.

Example 3

FB Live event recorded and mixed live through Roland GO:MIXER. Drum Mics to audio interface/computer. Dialog mic to mixer for phantom power, and then 1/4″ out to GO:MIXER.