I pretty much like everything I have purchased from Radial Engineering, and their Firefly, JDI and J48 are all amongst the best DIs I have ever used. Overall, Radial Engineering builds an impressive collection of professional audio, and one of their stuff is cheap, as they use quality components and their boxes are built with workers earning first-world wages in Canada.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Jay from Radial at NAMM 2017, and he walked me through all of their new products, including splitter boxes, stereo attenuators, a backing track switcher, and all kinds of other cool stuff, but my favorite piece was the new Key-Largo keyboard mixer and DI. This is a useful product that is unlike anything else on the market, which puts Radial Engineering in a good position to sell a metric ton of these things.
Keyboard players often use more than one keyboard, which can get tricky when tying their sound into the mixing board. Some will source a small mixer and cobble things together with the end results that are not always great. Radial took this into account and developed the Key-Largo for this crowd, integrating a dedicated mixer with a DAC, an effects loop, and remote controls, all of this in a relatively small pedal format. Let’s look at what you will have to work with on this unit:
There are plenty of inputs and outputs to work with on the Key Largo. You have four inputs: three stereo ¼-inch jacks and a USB input, as well as stereo effect inputs. Outputs include balanced ¼ TRS stereo monitor jacks and a pair of XLR stereo outs. Also included are a MIDI IN/OUT, and a jack for a volume pedal.
The controls are simple, so that the user will not get bogged down when trying to use this unit live. Each of the four channels has a level control and an effect send knob. There is also and effects receive knob, and level controls for the monitor and main outs (each with a ground lift switch). The two footswitches control sustain and effects send / receive.
The functionality of the Radial Engineering Key-Largo goes beyond what you would get if you bought a small mixer to use with your synths. The USB connection lets you tap into audio files on your laptop and add them into the live keyboard mix. The mixer allows the addition of a stereo rackmount effect to the mix, with the footswitch turning on the effects loop, and the MIDI connectors allow pass-through data to other devices. And of course, it is cool that the keyboardist can set up his own output to the mains and monitors.
I think that Radial Engineering’s Key-Largo is a product that keyboardists will really dig, and it should sell itself, especially with its surprisingly low price of around $379.00. It goes on sale in February, 2017; for more details head on over to radialeng.com