So the lovely folks over at Dawson’s Music have sent me a Numark Mixtrack Pro. It’s an entry-level DJ controller for all of the beginners like myself out there. I’m going to talk about a lot of the features and explain as in depth as possible.
Design Of The Numark Mixtrack Pro
The hardware is really light, but really sturdy. You wouldn’t break it if you dropped it (from a reasonable height) but it is made from plastic, so it could easily crack. What you’d be doing with it for that to happen is beyond me though. The platters are made from a strange plastic, that is touch sensitive for easy scratching. The buttons are sturdy and click in quite hard. That’s really good so you don’t accidently hit a button. The buttons are LED lit in red, green or yellow. They look really nice and professional.
The turning pots are heavy, again that’s great because you don’t want to be knocking about EQ’s or volumes. The faders are smooth, but be careful on the cross fader because it can be a bit loose. There’s a microphone input and a headphone output for all of your cueing needs.
Right in the middle of the Mixtrack is a large turning pot that is used to select your song, this is so handy and I really didn’t expect it. Although it is in reverse to me, you get used to it really quickly. There’s two buttons next to the platters that have LOAD A / LOAD B. And when the song is selected, hit that button and it will load to the deck you want.
The decks are really cool, the tops are touch sensitive to help with scratching, but you can still nudge by pushing the plastic sides. When the song is playing you can push them into matching beats by spinning the deck, and when the song is paused you can shuffle through parts of the song at high speeds. Much better than I expected these, they work really well and for a MIDI controller are incredibly smart.
As well as nudging the decks, you can hit the pitch+ or pitch- buttons to completely fine tune the beat match. There’s also a pitch slider to keep the pitch bend continuous.
I was a bit gutted when I received the Mixtrack Pro, as the ones I’d done some research on before hand had hot cues and I thought they worked really well. However I got EQ kills that do also work great but I would have liked to have both… Nudge, nudge, Numark!
However, there’s Bass, Mid, Treble kills and they do exactly what they say on the tin.
Built in to Traktor are three effects. Reverb, Delay and Flanger. Not the best of effects but if you turn the reverb up full at the end of a song it’s really easy to mix another one in. The flanger is a bit cheesy but if you’re playing some awesome techno music it might just be useful to you.
Simply hit ‘In’ at the part you want the loop to start and ‘Out’ when you want it to end. It will then keep looping till you tell it to re-loop or you press ‘In’ again. Really easy to use and really effective. There’s something about this controller where you can tell it was specifically built for beginners. Perhaps that’s why I can actually use it!
To back up my point of being disappointed about not having hot cues, there are already some EQ pots on the Mixtrack. Why there are two types is beyond me but I’ll live. Again; Bass, Mid and Treble pots. They work nicer than the kills because it’s gradual and you can choose how much you want to kill. Obviously the EQ Kills just take all of a certain frequency away, but it’s just not needed if you ask me.
Deck A volume / Master / Deck B volume. Should be pretty straightforward. They’re nice and solid so no worries about knocking the volume up to a deafening level.
Very seamless. Quite loose but that can be taken either way. Most people will always have their hand on the cross fader so you don’t have to worry too much about knocking it. No delay if you switch between songs fast, it’s really quick.
Should have mentioned this earlier, hit this button if you want to scratch, it basically turns the touch sensitivity on. Unless the song is paused, in that case it will scratch regardless.
Sync, Cue, Play, Stutter
If you have two songs that are pretty much in time with each other but you can’t quite get it perfect then just hit the Sync button on the one that is slightly out of time and the Mixtrack will seamlessly bring it in time for you. It’s not a magic wand, it can’t make everything sound good but for giving you a little bit of help, I can’t see why some people have problems with it being used.
The cue button is super useful, hold it down to play from your last cue point. If the song is playing and cue is pressed once, it will jump to the last cue point and stay paused. If the song is paused and you press cue it will set a new cue point.
While I’m mentioning cue’s there’s two little buttons next to the decks, press the corresponding side’s cue button to be able to hear that track in your headphones.
Play/Pause is pretty obvious. There’s not much fancy you can do there.
If you want to jump back to the last cue point but want the music to start instantly then press stutter. It’s so simple.
Headphones and Microphones
Whilst trying to set my headphones up I had an absolute nightmare. I’m not sure if I was being really stupid, my MacBook didn’t like what I was telling it to do or Traktor was being naughty. Anyway I ended up having to make my own soundcard within my soundcard. Skip to the end of the review where I give a tutorial if you’re having the same problem not being able to get any sound out of the headphone port using the Numark Mixtrack Pro with Traktor 2 LE. However it does now work, and it does work rather well.
I haven’t personally used the microphone port, as I haven’t got any mics to test! Sorry about that! I can’t comment.
The Mixtrack came with Traktor 2 LE and Serato. Traktor 2 is the FULL Limited Edition (LE) version, not just a demo. That really surprised me, in a good way.
I decided to pick Traktor and I’m glad. It’s a really easy layout and you can see everything nice and clear. I wasn’t stuck with where things were and to be honest, you only really look at what songs your selecting and the waveforms of the songs. But here’s a screenshot for you.
I know, you’re wondering how to get one. It’s okay, who wouldn’t want one? It’s a fantastic piece of kit and you can pick one up from your local Dawson’s music store or you can order on-line. You’ll even get free delivery, anybody who lives in Wales and has to pay 5p for a carrier bag won’t pass up on that.
Coming in at under £160, this is a deal that cannot be missed.
I’m going to give the Numark Mixtrack Pro a 10/10. It’s an excellent entry level DJ controller and if you’ve ever wanted to have a go at ‘mashin’ da’ beats’ then you won’t find a cheaper or better way to do it. No questions to be asked, this is certainly a must have.
(Although if you do have any questions then just drop a line in the comment section below!)
I promised before I’d make a tutorial on how to set up a soundcard if you’re having any problems getting sound out of your headphones. Here it is:
Bare in mind I’m using a MacBook, so PC users I’m really sorry; Google is your only hope. At the time I was using Mac OSX Lion; now using Mountain Lion but should still work. Head up to Spotlight (the magnifying glass in the top right of your screen) and type in ‘Audio Midi Setup.’ Once you’ve opened the app with the little keyboard icon you’re going to want to click the ‘+’ in the bottom left and select ‘Create Aggregate Device.’ You should then see a list of three items, select ‘Built-In Output’ and ‘Mixtrack Pro.’ Leave the rest. Head over to Traktor and open your preferences. (cmd + ,) and go to Audio Setup. Select the ‘Audio Device’ as ‘Aggregate Device’ and then go down the left hand column to ‘Output Routing.’
The mixing mode should be ‘Internal.’ Now in ‘Output Monitor’ you want to select ‘L’ as ‘Device out 5’ and ‘R’ as ‘Device out 4.’
Output Master should be L = ‘Device out 0’ & R = ‘Device out 1’
Click okay, should be working, but you may have to unplug the Mixtrack, close down Traktor and reload and replug. Hope this works for you.
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