Buttons on a Budget – Numark Mixtrack Review
Numark, known for their reasonably priced and feature-rich DJ equipment, released the Mixtrack around mid-2010. The Mixtrack, apart from being budget friendly, packs a plethora of features in a compact chassis with controls and layouts that are recognizable by a DJ of any capacity. Weighing in at only 4.15 lbs its super convenient to grab along with your laptop and transport straight to your gig.
- Solid, plastic construction and mappings available for Traktor and VDJ7.
- Robust and efficient jog wheels.
- USB powered.
- Well spaced layout.
- Everything on the surface sends out MIDI control.
- Backlit buttons on most controls.
- The buttons are slightly uncomfortable because they’re rigid and have a firm press and release.
- Not equipped with a built in sound card.
- No tension control on the jog wheels.
- faders can be easily bent if a lot of pressure is applied.
A NO-HASSLE BUDGET CONTROLLER
You’ll be right at home with this easy to use and fully outfitted controller from Numark. It’s almost too easy to transport to your gigs and back. The unit also comes with ready to use versions of Traktor or Virtual DJ, so there’s no hassle setting up or purchasing software to get started. The lack of an internal audio interface is a letdown, but All in all, this is a really cost effective controller.
The Mixtrack was released as an entry level DJing console but it possesses the potential for an even greater use. It might not have all the bells and whistles of a super controller (like The Traktor S4), but it is actually more practical than a Vestax VCI-300. For those that require a sound card, Numark released the Mixtrack Pro ($229.99 MSRP) which is the same controller with a basic internal sound card. There’s also another version that’s totally compatible with your iPod, called the iDJ3.
Even though the buttons on the unit are plastic they can withstand a beating. One downside is that they don’t have that soft squishy feeling like some high-grade controllers and can feel fairly stiff at times. The crossfader is relatively smooth and can be used for scratching although it might not be as long as you might like it to be.
The line faders have a smooth resistance but can get bent easily. The quality is on par with the price point, but don’t expect to take this thing on the road for extended periods.
One area of strength is in the touch sensitive jog wheels, which are large and fairly responsive. For such a in-expensive product, you do get a lot of surface area to play with.
One benefit of the plastic buttons is the visual feedback you get from the backlighting, which is strong and clear. I should also mention that it is powered straight from your computer’s USB bus, so there’s no need for any external power supply.
The control surface has cue gain and cue mix knobs so you can hear what you need to. There’s a set of 3 band EQ kill buttons on both sides of unit. Key lock and cue (headphone) buttons are placed at ideal locations. Manual and Auto Loop buttons are a good addition to the beneficial controls. The ‘Scratch’ button toggles between using the jog wheels like a vinyl or a pitch bend tool (like beatmatching when the record is already playing). Then you have all the basic transport controls like Play/Pause, Stutter, Cue and Sync.
The Mixtrack is a fully MIDI-compliant controller. Therefore, you’re not restricted to using Traktor or Virtual DJ and can use any other software that supports MIDI mapping. It works seamlessly with Traktor and VDJ straight out of the box as they both provide built in templates that match the controls. There’s no need to even install drivers on a PC or Mac.
- Price: $129
- Communication: MIDI over USB (doesn’t require power supply) / Mac and Windows
- Available: Now!
- Ships with: Virtual DJ LE (America & Canada), Traktor LE (Europe & Asia Pacific)
THE BOTTOM LINE
With the two years that I’ve had my Mixtrack, I have to say, this unit has brought me further into the world of DJing and hasn’t let me down even once. If you’re looking for a cheap, entry-level controller, this very well might be the unit for you.