We were lucky enough to see one of the first production units of the upcoming Numark NV at the 2014 DJ Expo in Atlantic City last week. So far, it seems like the NV’s onboard screens are a powerful addition that enables the DJ using them to completely ignore their laptop. Check out our video overview below, and then read some first impressions beyond that:
WHAT WE LIKED
The full-color index card-sized screens are truly utilitarian and not as gimmicky as some feared upon the initial announcement. They bring a CDJ-style heads up display to controllerist DJs, and it’s a welcome change from staring at a laptop. Navigation is limited to just a few basic screens that seem to mirror a lot of what you see on the Serato Remote iPad app. It was pretty impressive that there was very little lag in loading in track waveforms and effecting them in real time.
The addition of “premium” Numark features that we only saw on the NS7 II was also a big win from our perspective. Capacitive knobs on the EQs and FX are useful to quickly kill/enable any of those parameters, and the filter roll FX is plain fun. That being said, the filter roll is likely software-based, so here’s hoping that the feature becomes mappable for other Serato DJ controllers in the near future.
WHAT WASN’T SO HOT
We’re a bit concerned about build quality on the NV – while the faders and knobs are fairly solid (there’s even a replaceable crossfader) the overall feel of the chassis itself feels a bit too plastic and lightweight. It’s impressive how little this thing weighs (it felt lighter than a Kontrol S4 – official weights are not out yet), but that comes at the cost of feeling like the unit might be more easily damaged if not properly protected in a case.
Similarly, the half-size rubber buttons below each jogwheel were slightly too cramped, especially for DJs who might be considering coming over from a Pioneer controller.
Finally, we know that Numark and Serato have built a special relationship on this unit and that everything that is awesome about it is a direct result of that relationship, but the proprietary screens will absolutely rub some gear owners the wrong way. You can MIDI map almost every other control on the Numark NV’s surface, but there’s no using the screens with Emulator or other display softwares to get alternate visuals on the screens.
We’ll have a full review of the Numark NV coming upon release – stay tuned to DJTT!