The Allen and Heath Xone K2 is a performance controller and soundcard, designed for the DJ who would prefer to perfectly sync up the hardware they use with their own specific performance style. However, there’s so much going on under the hood that we thought you’d be better off seeing and hearing exactly what this compact yet powerful DJing ally is capable of, and so below you’ll find A&H’s demonstration overview.
As you’ll see, for what is a small and lightweight chassis the K2 is capable of a huge amount of control – the numerous infinite encoders, faders and buttons can be mapped across three separate layers, adding up to an astonishing 171 MIDI commands in total. There’s back lighting behind the controls too, so even in dark live performances you’ll be able to see exactly what’s going on with a quick glance and which layer you have selected.
Making maps with K2
Mapping is definitely the key selling point here – while Allen & Heath provide preset maps on the K2 for suggested setups, you’re encouraged to create your own. Over time you’ll doubtless have fine-tuned your own performance style, and would prefer or expect to have certain commands to hand without even thinking about it. Whether you’re assigning those commands to faders or push-in encoders, you can construct a truly unique set up, and with the layering function you could have different DJ control layouts for different types of performance or music, too.
The soundcard is another important addition – a four-channel (two stereo) model designed for high-quality audio. The K2 will work equally well with headphones, PA/Mix and external mixer setups alike, and in terms of software, thanks to universal MIDI you can hook this little guy up to Serato, Ableton, Traktor Pro, Virtual DJ, PCDJ, Mixvibes and so on.
The video will give you an idea of quite how fast and fluid a system the Xone K2 setup is, so take a look (note how even the case doubles up as a stand to bring the unit up to mixer-height!). If you’re in the market for serious control but need the addition of a new soundcard too, this is a particularly unique option which fulfills several important criteria at once. Enjoy the show!