Take a look behind the sound board at most small-to-medium size concert venues lately and you'll probably find the sound guy is playing the pre- and post-show tunes from an iPod jacked into the mixer -- a trend Alesis is hoping to capitalize on with its new iMultiMix 9R rack mixer with built-in iPod dock. While we've seen a lot of mixer / iPod dock combinations
in the past
, this is the first we've seen targeted at the pro market, and it shows in the lack of chintzy features
-- in fact, apart from the iPod dock, you're looking at a pretty standard seven-channel rack mixer: five mic preamps with phantom power, two line inputs (one switchable from the iPod dock to the external input), three band EQ with bandpass controls, and an effects loop. Interestingly, the unit also features a composite video output, which presumably will allow videos to be played right from connected video iPods. Expect these to start shipping later this year for around $299.