KMI teams up with hip-hop producer Dan the Automator for custom K-MIX mixer

Keith McMillen Instruments (KMI) has teamed up with acclaimed hip-hop producer Dan the Automator to create a custom K-MIX next-generation audio interface and programmable mixer.

The new mixer has been designed specifically for the comeback of Dr. Octagon — a persona created and used by Kool Keith — on stage and on record for the first time in over two decades.

Launched to widespread critical acclaim back in January 2016 as an audio interface, digital mixer, and control surface, KMI’s innovative K-MIX proved perfect for a customisation collaboration central to acclaimed hip-hop producer Dan the Automator’s involvement in bringing back Dr. Octagon on stage.

Speaking of records, Dr. Octagonecologyst, the 1996 debut solo album from Kool Keith under his Dr. Octagon persona represented Dan the Automator’s first long-playing production credit.

Coming together on stage for the first time with Dr. Octagon’s original lineup of Kool Keith, DJ QBert, and their producer proved technically challenging for Dan the Automator. The producer turned to KMI to create a customised K-MIX in close collaboration with DJ Hard Rich, lead developer at Dan the Automator’s The Glue Factory studio/workshop and Thud Rumble.

“We made a custom multitrack mixer using a K-MIX and a 10-point multi-touch screen with a Mac mini’s guts stripped out and mounted inside of it. It runs Logic Pro. For Dan’s setup for the Octagon shows it’s only eight tracks, but we’ve tested it for his solo DJ set, some of which goes up to 32 tracks for just one song that he’s mixing into the next, and Logic could handle all that,” explained DJ Hard Rich.

“The K-MIX was flawless — really handy for the Octagon shows, because we multi-ed the K-MIX out using the sub-mixes in hardware and ran a separate mix for the in-ear monitors, the monitor wedges, and the stage all off the same unit. It was great!”

Dan the Automator added: “The reason we brought back the Octagon project was because we felt like doing it. Although we have been in touch over the years many times, these were the first shows that Dr. Octagon had ever done, but it took a little while because I was on tour with another band called Deltron 3030 and also had a couple of other things going, and Keith had a few things going, so we just got to a point where we could get ready and practice to do it.”

K-MIX carries an MSRP of $579 and is available to purchase from any authorised Keith McMillen Instruments dealer or directly from the Keith McMillen Instruments shop.


About Laura Barnes 427 Articles
Founder/Publisher of UK musical instrument industry publication MI Focus.