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Richie Hawtin + Allen & Heath Working On A DJ Mixer Together?

Details are sparse so far, but Richie Hawtin announced at an exclusive NAMM 2016 event that he has partnered up with manufacturer Allen & Heath and been working on a top-secret project that’s set to début in the “near future.” Read on for the sparse details and to learn what we know so far.

Editor’s Note: DJTT’s founder, Ean Golden, knows more about this project, but has kept it secret from the DJTT staff. We don’t know anything more than what’s written in this article! 

Richie Hawtin + Allen & Heath

Richie has been a long-time user of Allen & Heath’s Xone:92 DJ mixer, so when we found out this evening that the two icons of the industry have been working together on a top-secret project, it was no surprise. According to Richie’s own posts, he’s been collaborating with the brains behind A&H’s Xone mixer series, Andy Rigby-Jones (he’s the design manager and creator of the Xone line) for the last two years:

“Play Differently”

Richie Hawtin Allen & Heath teaser photo

Tonight Richie made the official announcement of the existence of this project, and so far there’s nothing released about what the project actually is, aside from a website, playdifferently.com. The site is incredibly sparse aside from the above photo, which shows a few knobs on a glossy surface of a controller or mixer of some kind. Since Richie has been working with Andy at Allen & Heath, odds are pretty good that there’s some Xone mixer magic as a part of the project, but details remain to be seen.

The site also notes:

“The ethos of Play Differently is to create products that will magnify the individuality and expand the creativity of today’s generation of electronic music artists, producers and DJs . We hope to encourage and inspire creatives to PLAY Differently.”

UPDATE: One Theory, The Xone:93C

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We were just alerted on Twitter to this fascinating thread of gear investigators over on Hipasonic’s forums where people have been tracking the appearance of Richie / Allen & Heath’s new mixer in various photos from clubs and his own Instagram. They’re calling it the Xone:93C, but that’s not a confirmed name – nor is this necessairly the product that is going to be launched, although it sure looks like the same knobs as in the preview above.

Second Edit: A few more pictures found:

We’ll be pestering the Allen & Heath booth at NAMM this week and hoping to get a glimpse of this new project in action. You can see all the NAMM 2016 articles here, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram for up-to-the-minute updates and unique insights. 

  • orge

    Spotted some updates over on the Hispanic thread, most interesting pics are below but there is also a brief video on Chris Liebing’s Facebook:
    http://www.hispasonic.com/foros/play-differently-richie-hawtin/481930/pagina25
    https://www.facebook.com/chrisliebingofficial/videos/10154135187820489/

    From the pics, it appears to be a six channel mixer with dedicated LPF/HPF filters per channel, plus a sweepable cut/boost. Most noticeably, there may not be eq in the sense we see on traditional DJ mixers. I can see how this would be a more streamlined workflow for “loopist” dh’s?

    Alternatively, Hawtin always used the filters too much and has now built the ultimate weapon of irritation! 😛

    Exhibit A

    As expected, there are 2 AUX sends/returns and I’d be surprised if there aren’t dedicated filters on the returns too, although the sections at the sides are the only bit that we haven’t had a clear-ish picture of.

    It also seems like there are 2 independent cue channels – a bonus for collaborative live/dj performances?

    Further details to leak after a boilerroom debut this week.
    https://boilerroom.tv/session/playdifferently-richie-hawtin-friends/

    J

  • Sighting! Monday, 3/14/16. At Sound nightclub, Los Angeles. First time hearing Ean play too! He tore it up perfectly.

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  • Chris
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  • Maxime Leduc

    An other cool picture

  • frankle

    Hawtin might be using it to mix with but you can clearly see his RME Fireface UFX under his laptop and analogue cables going into the mixer.

    As a person who has owned a 92 since first release, it is still one of my favorite mixers to play on and combined with the RME it sounds amazing (Ive used a Fireface 802 with mine). And as a person who has had experience with the DB2 through the USB2/3 changeover, I’m going to find it hard to trust in their product as an easier solution for plug and play ability.

    Hopefully they’ve either teamed up with a better soundcard manufacturer or are doing it all in house now because although the guys I was dealing with regarding the DB2 drivers really did care, I’m not sure they were supported further up the chain.

  • EveryDay

    Look at all of those additional knobs at the top – I’m hoping this mixer has individual FX send & returns for each channel.

  • Boris Coppucoppola

    It’s a new xone 4d 😉

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  • Darrin

    a 6 channel mixer w/o crossfader? looks like those line faders come down to the bottom of the mixer. maybe a mixer that’s geared towards djing with software and hardware – as in some channels used by Traktor and then a TR-8 and a volca sample synced – all connected through the same mixer?

  • deejae snafu

    looking at the pics… if you still need a laptop, other modular controls, and an ableton push….

    how much different can this really be?

  • Stephen Nawlins

    Well, do we all use Beats by Der because Guetta wears them during gigs??? NO
    Will we use a Mixer only because Hawtin sells his Name for it??? NO as well.
    Specially since A&H has delocalised their production to China it is just gonna be a cheap “Made in China” product, Quality was way better as Long as they produced in GB Sorry!!!

  • I liked Allen & Heath design and build quality more back when their products were constructed of metal and had sharp corners (e.g. Xone:92 and Xone:D1). Their “black plastic and round corners” trend of recent years is ugly and doesn’t convey the same impression of quality.

  • Vanholsaet Chris
  • mikefunk

    As a long time Xone DB2 user I have message to A&H – Fuck you A&H! You piece of shit company selling mixers that does not work and are made in China. Providing ZERO support or drivers for 3 years and pretending your DB series is not garbage.

    • Vanholsaet Chris

      I’ve got some problems with my DB2 and I’ve contacted A&H support. They’re very friendly and are going to repair this mixer at their cost. (Mixer is out of warranty).
      Ok the built quality of the older mixers is better but the DB serie isn’t so bad…

      • mikefunk

        Mac’s compatibility problems are not possible to solve due to design flaw in their mixers so this cannot be fixed. And still is China made with doubtful quality. I have problems with buttons on mine just after a year of using.

    • Jan Andre

      They released an update to the Xone DB2 i desember 2015…. less than 1 month ago..?!
      DB2 works perfectly with Serato-DVS on Mac, Traktor is also plug n play for use with controller (not with DVS).

  • You did notice that there are other pictures in http://playdifferently.org/images/ folder? It seems to have more than four channels (six are visible in the picture).

    • Jake Bergeson

      Give this man a trophy!!!

    • Maxime Leduc

      Oh nice

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  • Thanks Ean ;-). I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with? A DB4 replacement that is more Xone 92 with a built in sound card than what the wonky DB4 is. I’m sure it is most likely something else that fits Richie Hawtins style of workflow. Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Maurício Lopes

    Sake Midi Controller…