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Gee, how did women make music before this awful makeup kit-shaped audio interface?

Gee, how did women make music before this awful makeup kit-shaped audio interface?

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Image: MidiPlus

Taiwanese audio gear company MidiPlus has announced a new product called Mirror that is incomparably sexist. It’s an audio interface that’s designed to look like an eyeshadow palette, including a light-up mirror. The website says it’s “specially designed for females,” since women can only be tricked into using gear when being tantalized by pretty, shiny objects. We’re like crows, really.

People have been pinging me about this product since last night, and to be frank, I’m writing about it partially so I stop getting pinged. An audio interface designed like an eyeshadow kit is practically parody. It reminds me of when Spinnin’ Records got in trouble in 2013 for tweeting a CDJ that looks like a stove, saying, “Thanks @PioneerDJ for finally developing a CD-J suitable for women.” It’s been five years, and we’ve gone from tasteless jokes about sexist audio equipment to companies actually producing sexist audio equipment. This is Onion-level stuff right here.

this ain’t it, chief

The Mirror is actually a pretty basic audio interface with some odd labeling. It’s a 24-bit, 192kHz audio box with preamp and phantom power, two headphone outs (an eighth-inch and a quarter-inch), an eighth-inch input (labeled with a phone icon), a quarter-inch input, and a mic in. It’s all packaged in a case that mimics an eyeshadow palette, and each color pot is a volume dial for an input or output.

The website’s copy only gets worse the longer you read it. “Gently open the cover,” it says. “The moment of launching the mirror light. Twirl the eyeshadow shaped knobs. Glance at the equalizer LED.”

There is already a gender divide in music tech, and the last thing we need are companies endorsing boring stereotypes in their products because someone in a marketing room decided they know more about what women want than women themselves. The only highlights (pun intended) to this awfulness are the women music producers who are having a laugh on Twitter at the expense of this ridiculous thing. The Verge has reached out to MidiPlus for comment and will update if we hear back.

I could make jokes all day long about how this will go great with my lady Doritos or how it was a real missed opportunity to call it an AudioInHerFace instead of the Mirror audio interface. But the actual joke — the not funny one — is that this product is real in the first place.