Best DJ Products of NAMM 2011- The NAMMIES

Now that the dust has settled from last week’s breakneck NAMM coverage, it’s time to reflect on what we learned and delve a little deeper into the gear. In last Friday’s first NAMM post we put together a master list of new DJ products; however, we have now whittled the list down to showcase the new technology that shows real promise, offers great value, or is very innovative. Continue reading on for my personal take on the best new DJ products from NAMM 2011 and the first annual “NAMMies”,  a tongue in cheek award for new and interesting DJ gear.


XONE DB4 (MOST LIKELY TO PRODUCE GEAR LUST)


“The Dogs Bullox” seemed like a rather confident product description, but quite frankly- it was not too far off the mark. Andy and the boys at Allen & Heath really outdid themselves with this product, creating what has to be the most feature packed and bad ass mixer we have seen in a while. While the Rane 68 beats them on one really critical feature (Dual USB ports and sound cards) the Xone wins out in the gear envy department.  If you happen to have several thousand dollars to spend on a top of the line mixer this is one of two models you should absolutely consider. We smell a head to head battle between the two titans of digital mixers brewing in our office!

 

Price: $2899
Release Date: Available now in the US


STOKYO’S SOUND WAVE (MOST FUN)


Stokyo is a small outfit from Japan spearheaded by Charles Ono (Vestax) and Yukihiro. They distribute boutique DJ products (like our Midi-Fighter) into Japan and also make a few products of their own (like the wildly popular Shibuya breaks records). This year Yuki brought in a little DJ instrument, built to play basslines and synth leads without a computer. It was super DIY and very much an experimental prototype but still possibly the most fun we had at NAMM.

 

Price: $NA
Release Date: NA

Our friends at SoundCloud recorded the instrument with their new “Record App“:
Sound Wave at NAMM on Sunday morning by lenberg


DJ TECH X10 (BEST VALUE)


From the DJ Tech (not to be confused with this site) outfit behind the in-famous “DJ Mouse”, there comes a good little mixer that packs a lot of value and features into a small foot print. Alessio Foti, the new techincal director of DJ Tech, stopped me on the floor and told us that DJ Tech is, “very sorry for the bad words that were previously exchanged on this site and they really want to take the company into a new, more serious direction by producing more professional products”. We applaud that decision and wish them the best success.

Price: $349
Available: March-ish


IZOTOPE STUTTER EDIT (BEST SOFTWARE)


If you can afford to shell out several hundred dollars for a plug in, you can quickly find yourself with an arsenal of perfect stutter edits waiting at your fingertips. iZotope’s first foray into the digital dj land takes a simple beat repeat and morphs it into a sonic pallete of swirls, pitch bends, and sweeps. Similar to the “Finger” from NI, iZotope’s Stutter Edit offers a bevy of one touch pre-sets mapped across a keyboard. The only thing we don’t like about this idea is that it’s hard to remember which key does what. In that regard, the Midi-Fighter (with its color-coded arcade buttons) may be the perfect compliment to this software plugin. Nonetheless, given its instant beat mayhem capacity and easy to play interface, we think that the iZotope Stutter Edit was the best looking new software at NAMM this year.

 

Price: $149
Release Date: Available now


Read our full coverage on the Stutter Edit software here.


RELOOP JOCKEY III (BEST NEW CONTROLLER)


Reloop has really been getting their act together in the controller department and has quietly been putting out better controllers each year. With their newest device (the Jockey 3), Reloop has produced a really solid two deck controller that will give the new VCI-100 MkII some quality competition. The Reloop Jockey 1 and 2 each had certain qualities both aesthetically and functionally that made them less than desirable controllers; however, the newer Jockey 3 not only looks significantly better but also has a smart layout with all the basic functions that you are going to want in a two deck controller.

We spoke with Mixware, Reloop’s brand new US distributor and got the scoop on this new controller interface. The Jockey 3 will be priced at $699 and will ship with Traktor LE at the end of March 2011. One notable feature besides the built in sound card is the fact that each channel is switchable to analog inputs so you can blend in CD, MP3 or turntable sources with your digital audio. We will be posting an extensive review and in-depth look at this unit in the next few months so stay tuned for more info!

 

Price: $699
Release Date: Available March


RANE SL4 (BEST NEW AUDIO INTERFACE)


The Rane SL4 takes all the great features of the new Rane 68 mixer and condenses them into a smaller and significantly more portable package. With signal monitoring, four channels of stereo audio, and the support of two computers at once (dual USB jacks) look for this to become the new installation standard for clubs around the world. The $899 price will scare off a lot of new DJs; but for those that absolutely must have the best possible sound card for Serato Scratch Live, this is certainly the best you can buy.

Price: $899
Release Date: April

 

 


BEST MOMENT AT NAMM – RICHIE HAWTIN INTERVIEW

It seems that every year we experience a cool moment where we bump into an artist and an interesting conversation ensues. Last year we had a great conversation with Z-Trip, but this time around it was a chance encounter with Mr. Hawtin. After chopping it up for a bit we heard about the DVS anniversary and said, hey- let’s get this on camera! Coincidentally we also discovered that Richie had just ordered a new, all white Midi-Fighter, just  a few days before.

  • Thanks for sharing with us. thanks for the post.

  • Gbrown44

    Ean how is the voting in the “Best of” categories at NAMM done (if you know)?

    I’m sure that Reloop does not have wobbly platters, it couldn’t have and won Best In the new controller category…

  • Dilla

    If Richie says “you know” 1 more time Im gunna lose it!!

  • AENSLAED

    “Your little button device!!” AHahaHAhaHAhaHAaH!!!!

  • Keen to try Numark’s NS4

    Still waiting on MIDI turntables made specifically for scratching/turtablists.

    • dj black hat

      Numark ns7?…

  • I can’t wait until April to get the SL4. Way more affordable than the other option.

  • This sounds like the best thing on the market now. Very nice! I’m going to have to save my pennies for the $900 but it’s on my hit list of purchases now.

  • jfd6812

    RE: the Reloop controller. I saw an earlier version w/out the soundcard that came with arcade-style buttons. I wonder why they dropped the buttons? perhaps too expensive.

  • zeba

    Nothing about the Traktor Kontrol S4 ??? its a shame
    i think S4 is no contest the best new software made with lots of new function that no other dvs software have been offered before ! Nothing about new Traktor Scratch Pro & NI new Audio dvs sound cardproduct on NAMM 2011 ??? why ? i thought taht NAMM show brand new products !

    • roy

      NI wasn’t present on Namm show, so It’s clear to me.

      I like the Jockey 3 !

  • Rockson

    Reloop Jockey 3????????? DJTT Vestax Arcade controller replacement maybe??????…..

    • Wil

      No way! the Reloop looks like a toy.
      Nothing beats a VCI-100 SE Arcade in that price range.
      See in the video how wobbly the jogwheels are, it is even worse than on the AA VMS4

      • Dj Windz One

        Watch their video. . .metal housing (a la VCi-100)
        The wobbly platters? it wasn’t even hooked up to view performance ability, There are a few VCi’s that I’ve seen from other DJ’s I know of that have that same issue, but is still going strong

  • Jake

    The DB4 looks like the coolest mixer ever made, but the Reloop honestly looks sub par. Their whole angle is 4 deck control, and yet there’s only 2 eqs, 2 upfaders, 2 cue buttons, etc. The 3rd and 4th decks will no doubt be unusable in a practical sense. I’m wondering what exactly makes this a 4 deck controller. It looks to me like Reloop already had this unit designed as a 2ch update to the Jockey 2, then slapped a deck switch button on it when they saw that 4ch was the new craze.

  • DjRo

    Spend money on a new Maschine or wait for the Reloop Jockey?!! Don’t know what to dooo!!!! Love mixing but I want to channel my energies to producing now. I have no controllers and need to get started! Probably going to post this question in the forum soon haha. Thanks for all the coverage Ean!

  • Agidj

    Any hope about Reloop 3 CONTROLLER edition? I love my Audio4 and I DON’T want all-in-one package!
    (Arrrgh!)

  • DJ Zapp

    No mention of the NS6 or Torq 2.0 in the article… =(
    -Torq 2.0 in my opinion “shows real promise and offers great value ($49 upgrade on Torq 2.0)”

    For those of us that come from Final Scratch and the flying saucer days the Hawtin interview is cool… Thanks for that one Ean.

  • Like Sonny
  • serkan

    Interesting list and I really enjoyed the Hawtin interview. But to see the Jockey3 as the best controller really surprised me. I think it’s a huuuge fail to put 2 faders in a 4 deck controller. The 2 platter makes sense because of the space of those controllers but only 2 faders?
    I think Numark really won big time at this years NAMM. But not only there. I think the NS6 could be the gear of the year… even though 2011 just have started. But Numark did everything right that was possible and I wish them a very succesful sells of that great piece!

    • OldManVinyl

      I agree. Even though nobody has demo’d it yet. The NS6 has caught my eye and I think its the best new controller coming out in 2011.

  • ScottVega

    DAMN! i just bought a digital jockey 2 controller about two weeks ago!
    hope there’s gonna be a controller edition as well!

  • FUFR

    a fader between the knobs @ the Reloop.

    who autorised that?

    • I didn’t. It’s probably JimJim’s fault? 😉

      • Wil

        Yeah that must be his idea 😛

  • Dj Windz One

    The Re-Loop Jockey looks really good. . . really impressed. Curious on how the jogs feel/play. . .could there be an arcade mod for this in the near future? (hint, hint! wink, wink!)

    SL-4. . .really cant wait for that piece. . .4 deck controls (finally) and 2 Laptop connectivity (FINALLY). . .

    The interview made my day actually. . .I get a LOT of flack from other DJ’s about controllers (I’m using Dicers and a Nano Knotrol on SSL). But then their minds change when I do something they have never really done in their sets (Drumming in the next track). I still base it on using an MPC during my set, but staying with what I can do with what I got. . . .

    Great gear and article. . .No wonder I call myself a “controllerist” nowadays. . .

  • nothing about the elektron octactrack ? it’s the first serious challenger with ableton for this kind of djing (half live half djing)

  • davendiva

    Can’t wait for jockey 3, combine it with my Jockey 2 controller edt for non-shift 4 deck mayhem.

  • tito

    I think other nammie should be given to Ean for “most unintended advertise” in Torq 2.0. I agree on Ean comments, i downloaded the trial and besides the interface issue (Crowded, hard to read) is very buggy when you load something in the sampler, all the times dropuots and the cross fader effects sound kind of cheap. In the other hand, great as VST host, weird on the waveforms, and if avid is behind it i do not doubt they will be a serious contender against serato and traktor.

  • Dabrus

    It’s “Reloop”, not “Re-loop”. It’s spelled without a dash. Other than that, Reloop Jockey 3 is a great product;)

  • ToOntown

    Awesome write-up. God I wish my career allowed me to go to Namm every year!! So jealous of you guys 🙂

    wondering if anyone happened to hear about the airPad wireless Midi controller from Starrlabs (I think). I have not been able to locate it on the Starrlabs site but it looks like a really solid-looking controller and has a bunch of features.

    here’s the only [prototype-looking] photo i can find of it, but other blogs are reporting that it was at Namm —> http://createdigitalmusic.com/files/2011/01/airpad_hv3.jpg

    also, i think it’s sweet that Richie Hawtin bought a midifighter. all white is such a badass look and i wish that’s what i would have gotten lol 🙂

    cool to hear about the DJ Tech guy. the comments section on that DJ mouse article are hysterical. can you imagine if all companies did that?

    comment: starbucks is the blood from the devil.
    starbucks: NUH UH! SHUTUP! YOUR FACE IS THE BLOOD FROM THE DEVIL!!1!!

  • I absolutely love the Reloop Jockey 3. This is exactly what I’ve been waiting to see. Do you think DJ TT will stock this? I think it’s a good Traktor controller and is worth carrying instead of the disappointing VCI-100 MKII.

    I’ll be looking forward to the review and video.

    • Yes Ive had the Jockey 2 and its been a great workhorse, so I am with you as well.

      • How is the Jockey 2? Is it good for scratching? I second guessed it and got the Mixtack, which I am happy with but no interface.

  • Tomii

    man! Been waiting for this post. Scratchworx has been posting new gear every day with great reviews. I was thinking that techtools is just holding off to throw out some really good info and products that we haven’t seen………. nope. Lets go techtools! Show us the real stuff!
    I know u guys are busy. this post just seemed like u threw together some old posts in with some new probably will like stuff. Not at all what I am used too…..

  • Emiyanez

    Hi,

    I really like the new Jockey 3 but I think that Reloop should produce a cheaper non-stand alone mixer version to be really competitive. This unit will cost more or less the same than the Vestax VCI-100 MK2 and will be only slightly cheaper than the Denon DN-MC6000… A exclusively MIDI controller version should be significantly cheaper (around $450…) and kill the market! A really big deal!

  • Jiggle Stick

    Numark’s NS6 looks perfect for me. I want to try Serato Itch with Ableton in “The Bridge” later this year. Plus, I really don’t want to heft around 2 ~40lb Stanton ST150’s. I also like how it can also be used with Traktor as well.

    The most exciting announcements for me this year will have to be Traktor’s new software update, and Maschine’s ability to host VST plugins, I can’t wait to use Komplete 7 with Maschine.

    Who knows what else will pop up later this year either from NI or everyone else!

    • StrangeMatter

      Sounds good, but you can already host Maschine and Komplete in Kore to use alongside eachother.

  • Protokol

    Great Questions!
    I like the ‘will there be a new industry standard’ topic. I totally agree with Richie and hope that there won’t be a new standard and instead we see greater diversity in ways of performing/producing.
    Can’t wait to see him at FutureMusic Festival in Brisbane in a couple weeks! YEW!!!

  • The DJ Tech mixer looks like a really good bit of kit to have knocking around for all kinds of uses – it ticks lots of boxes (flexibility, innovation, size, probably price too).

    • I wonder if DJ Tech could give Behringer a run in the affordable but very functional department?

  • Konsidering getting the Stutter Edit for Ableton Live!

    Will throw it in my newest mix once it’s kompleted!

    For now y’all enjoi this one ;p

    http://soundcloud.com/djinstinkt/instinkts-f-ck-2010-tech-house-mixtape

    Instinkt’s F*ck 2010 Tech House Mixtape by instinkt

  • Yello

    Reloop 3 looked pretty good….will be hanging out for the full review

  • D@VE!

    DB4 FTW !!!

  • George

    DANG! thats DB4 is a beasssttt! and its worth more than the car i drive haha But thanks for all the good coverage this year, but did you guys say you were going to be showing off some of your custom midi fighters??? i would like to see some more of that 🙂

  • Like most people here, I am waiting on the NI Traktor announcement,

    but what happened between DJ Tech and DJ TT?

    What bads words were passed?

  • DJ Urkel Dee

    I agree with JesC

  • Djdannys

    Good post ean, I’m waiting on traktor upgrade.

  • $899 for a serato interface! holy crap!!!
    i’ll take the S4 please. oh wait. already did.

    • meh

      good on you mr mobile dj

  • Da Pavinator

    I was just wondering where I would be able to get those Traktor laptop key overlays, and just wondering if they come for different laptops (and not just MacBooks)

    Other then that, I am re considering buying an S4 after looking at the Re-Loop controller.

    One real good thing about S4, is the S4’s own Traktor version, and some real bad@$$ness in it.

    But I like the way the Re-Loop is 699$, just how much I bought my VCI SE for.

    • s4 is only $899 with a built in audio interface. i think its worth the money comparing other similar products.

  • AJSA

    was waiting for more.. nothing really big but the SL4 which I like but I don’t think I be doing 4 decks.. this days.. but who knows… still waiting on a cheap midi mixer.. that can control serato or any other software.. too much money for a ttm57 or vestax… also waiting for midi turntables love the new ns6 which I’m leaning more towards.. but at the moment.. holding back.. haha. but have that itch.. for getting it.. hahaha.. I was waiting to see turntables with midi control… good stuff though thanks Ean n everybody on djtechtools for the coverage.. I still say Rane should make one..

  • djerikt

    thanks for the awesome NAMM coverage.

    still holding my breath for NI announcement…

    one that could have been included, I feel that the Alesis studio dock for ipad, is a real innovative product. who knows where the future will take the ipad, but this is the first real step in the right direction. many people have said that they’re waiting for quality audio output, and this is the first contender. maybe not four channels yet, but i’ll be bringing my ipad to guitarcenter the day these come out.

    • Zac Kyoti

      Definitely. A very nice product and a step in the right direction as far as tablets + performance. I don’t own an iPad, but I’d at least recommend you check the Alesis dock out if you use one to play live.

  • JesC

    Nice List. i agree with the list, good gear at namm, but nothing really wowed me

  • theory28

    the jockey 3 is 4 decks not 2.

    but im looking forward to that one!

    • Gbrown44

      I think i’m going that route too. I would get the Denon, but the crowdness and smaller jog wheels is not doing it for me. S4 (playing with it in the store) felt semi-cheap to me (at least the wheels did), and the new DDj-t1 seems way overpriced to me…