But you also want the flexibility of programming high-quality effects right inside your DAW program…without bogging down your CPU or resorting to expensive processing cards. Have it all with the MX Just link your computer to the MX with a USB cable and control all automation and recall parameters exactly as you would with any software plug-in — while enjoying the sonic benefits only Lexicon hardware can provide. At its heart, the MX is everything you would expect from the company that invented digital reverberation. A generous LCD display and big comfy knobs you can get your hands around.
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The left-hand side of the panel features input-level controls for input pairs A and B, and these include similar four-LED metering to the MX The layout of the right-hand side of the panel also mimics the MX, featuring a two-digit, numbers-only display and a large rotary knob for program selection. The biggest difference is in the centre, which now features fewer dedicated controls but does include a clear four-line display for editing purposes.
As with most multi-effects processors, the functions of the various controls vary depending upon what options are shown on the display. A-D and D-A conversion operate at bit, and both 48kHz and Hardware As Software Of course, the great attraction of the MX — as with the MX — is the ability to integrate it into the software environment of your studio computer.
Installation of the drivers and the stand-alone and plug-in versions of MX-Edit proved very straightforward on my test PC system. As shown in the screenshot on the left, the software front-end is almost identical to that supplied with the MX, the only exception being in Dual Stereo mode, where Tabs are provided for toggling between the A and B processors. After this, the communication between SX and the MX worked a treat and the mass of audio cables aside using the MX via the plug-ins was straightforward.
When used as a plug-in, the MX-Edit software comes in four types, including the Surround configuration shown running here inside Cubase SX. Photo: Mike Cameron This initial problem I encountered is obviously something that has been around since the MX was introduced. As with the MX, the MX provides much of that Lexicon reverb magic plus some other top-notch effects for a very reasonable price.
I suspect that most users would predominantly employ the MX in Dual Stereo mode and, therefore, have two independent Lexicon multi-effects processors available for tracking and mixing duties, from a single rack unit.
Many of us are buying into the whole plug-in world, but dedicated hardware still has a tremendous amount to offer — and reverb is perhaps one of the key areas where many might feel hardware still has the edge. Almost anything processed by the MX sounds great OK — except for my singing! This would, of course, entail a very different design strategy, and as it stands the MX is equally at home in a studio or live context.
While those wanting the Lexicon sound on the tightest of budgets will perhaps find that the MX fits their needs, for the slightly more well-heeled the additional flexibility and surround capability provided by the MX are well worth the additional cost.
Pros Easy to use — with or without a computer. Extremely flexible processing options, including surround support. Most of the Lexicon magic at a competitive price.
Cons Not really any, aside from number of audio cables required. Summary The MX provides an excellent combination of flexibility, processing power and good price, with four-channel output providing surround support for those who need it.
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Reverb Options Clearly the Lexicon reverbs are stars of this particular show, with 16 variants on offer including some nice short plates, chambers, and room ambiences. Pitch-shifting is also catered for, along with reverse delay and de-essing, making this a real processing toolbox rather than a simple one-trick pony. You can also set whether programs load as soon as they are selected or whether changes wait until the knob is pressed. Digital or analogue input selection is another global setting, though both analogue and digital outputs are always active. New effects programs can be set up using the software via its graphical panel interface, and you can also create archives of all your user patches.
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