A single K-Mix already offers a hefty amount of I/O for an audio interface — 8 inputs and 10 outputs (including the stereo headphone output), but you can expand that even further by combining multiple K-Mix into a single aggregate device.
Want 16 inputs and 20 outputs? Get two K-Mix.
MORE? Get MORE!
In this article I’ll detail the process of setting up an aggregate device with two K-Mix. I’m running Mac OS X Yosemite version 10.10.5. It’s possible the setup may be slightly different on older versions of OS X, but the core concepts remain the same.
- The first part of the process is hooking up your K-Mix to your computer and powering them up.
Connect the Audio USB port on K-Mix #1 to an available USB port on your computer using a micro-USB cable. I recommend using the cable that shipped with your K-Mix as it was created to ensure it meets the specs required for proper K-Mix operation. Sadly, not all USB cables are created equal.
- Power up K-Mix #1 by pressing its power button.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 for K-Mix #2 (and any others if you’re using more than two).
NOTE: If you’re using more K-Mix than there are available USB ports, please use a powered USB hub; an unpowered hub will not be able to provide enough power to your K-Mix.
Setting Up The Aggregate Device
The next step is to create and set up the aggregate device.
- Open the Audio MIDI Setup application located in your Utilities folder (/Applications/Utilities). A quick way to get to the Utilities folder is to open a Finder window, open the Go menu up top, and select Utilities.
- Once Audio MIDI Setup is open, click the Add (+) button on the bottom-left corner in the Audio Devices window and select “Create Aggregate Device”.
- A new aggregate device appears in the list of audio devices on the left side of the window. By default it is given the very original name of “Aggregate Device”. You can rename the device by double-clicking it; I’ve named mine “K-Mix 2x”.
- Make sure the aggregate device is currently selected on the left side of the window. If it isn’t, click it.
- Add your K-Mix to the aggregate device by checking the “Use” checkbox for each K-Mix. The order in which you check the boxes determines the order of inputs and outputs. The first checked K-Mix corresponds to inputs 1–8 and outputs 1–10, the second checked K-Mix corresponds to inputs 9–16 and outputs 11–20, etc.
- Check the Drift Correction checkbox for any K-Mix that are not the designated master clock; this is to ensure all devices in the aggregate device will remain in sync and do not drift apart from one another. There is an image of a clock next to the current master clock device on the left side of the window. There is an image of a sine wave next to any device with Drift Correction enabled.
NOTE: The effect will be negligible, but feel free to change which K-Mix is the designated master clock by right-clicking a K-Mix on the left side of the window and select “Use this subdevice as the master clock”; the selected K-Mix will be the new master clock source. If you do this don’t forget to enable Drift Correction for the K-Mix that was previously the master clock and disable it for the new master clock!
- You’re done! Your aggregate device is now ready to be put to use.
Using the Aggregate Device
I’ll be using Ableton Live 9.5 for this, but the aggregate device can be used with any software that allows selecting an audio device for input/output.
- Open Ableton Live.
- Open Live’s Preferences window and select the Audio tab.
- Select “K-Mix 2x” (or whatever your aggregate device is named) in both the Audio Input Device and Audio Output Device dropdown menus.
- Make sure all of your inputs and outputs are enabled by clicking the Input Config and Output Config buttons and checking all of the input and output channels you want to use.
- Now you can access your aggregate device’s inputs and outputs in your Live set!