A pair of DJ mixer images cropped up this morning. One’s of a four-channel Kontrol Z4, and the other is a Casio/Serato branded Vestax-style mixer, the XW-SM1. They’re both very well-done Photoshop creations. But if they had been announced this week at the NAMM show, we suspect they might have completely dominated the news cycle.
In many ways, this year’s NAMM show was very quiet. The days of every company in the DJ world launching a ton of products in one week seem to be over. Companies missing from the convention floor included Rane, Numark, Denon/Akai (they had a private room upstairs) and Native Instruments (as always). Other companies like Pioneer DJ, Allen & Heath, and Roland had new products, but nothing in the DJ space.
As a result of a quieter NAMM, DJs on social media are fiending for new gear. This is the result:
Casio XW-SM1 Mixer
- Product: XW-SM1 mixer
- Manufacturer: Not Casio
- Price: Probably very expensive.
- Availability: Only in your dreams.
If the design of this mixer looks familiar, it’s because it is heavily influenced by the VCI-400 DJ controller. It’s the mixer section of that unit, but only two channels instead of four, and with 10 pad buttons on either side of the face.
Is it real? No.
While Casio has in the past released a product previously made by Vestax (the XW-J1 is just a re-branded Vestax Spin controller), they’re not in the business of making outboard DJ mixers. At the Casio booth at NAMM this year are a ton of new keyboards – and that’s about it. No DJ products here!
Traktor Kontrol Z4 Mixer
- Product: Traktor Kontrol Z4
- Manufacturer: (Should have been) Native Instruments
- Availability: Two years ago, ideally.
Many people have taken a pass at designing a Kontrol Z4 mixer, but this one is a pretty unique concept. It’s a two channel mixer with a built-in screen and 8 additional upfaders for Stems control. Instead of the Z4 being a four-deck mixer, it’s a Z2 designed for 2017’s Traktor DJs.
Is it real? No.
In fact, we’re uncertain when we’ll see a new DJ product for Traktor from Native Instruments. There’s nothing in the immediate pipeline that we know about – which is probably a result of the company focusing on Maschine (having just launched the Maschine Jam at the end of 2016).
Designed Photoshopped In Brazil
Sadly, neither of these units were announced this week because they’re not real. But the man behind the designs deserves a shoutout: Fábio of NextSoundBrazil, a Brazilian store and reseller of DJ gear. The Kontrol Z4 was originally designed in December of 2015, while the XW-SM1 seems to be a more recent creation.[h/t to Mojaxx for being one of the first to spot the Casio mixer and share it on Facebook this morning]
Wondering what DJ gear did launch at NAMM 2017?
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- Who? Matias
- Years experience: DJing since 2005 and producing since 2008
- Why he’s helpful: Matias has used nearly every DJ software out there, has helped create tons of DJTT’s best mappings with over 25k downloads, is a DJTT product expert, teacher, and can answer pretty much any gear question you can think of. Think of him as the super helpful guy behind the counter at a record store with lots of great suggestions. He’s an amazing resource.
- Who? Charlie
- Years experience: 11 years DJing and Producing
- Why he’s helpful: Charlie played Ultra Music Festival in 2011 and was FOH engineer and system tech for the festival for 4 years. When anything went wrong, Charlie could fix it. He’s worked with most of the electronic artists that came through Miami and he’s especially knowledgeable about Serato, Ableton Live, and gear/controller questions. Charlie can help find the perfect setup for you as an individual based on your unique goals.
Introducing the Pioneer DJM3000 & CDJ3000VINYL. (Concept Design by Theo B)
Click this image to see all the functions. Dedicated FX across all 4 channels or route all 4 FX engines to 1 channel, thats 4 FXs on 1 channel, all with complete control. And if that’s not enough you now have 12 colour FXs too!
Native Instruments “DJ Division” might as well throw in the towel smh….I’ve moved to Serato DJ and couldn’t be happier!
x 2. The stability in Serato Dj is much better. Now if
Serato Dj had the remix decks just like Traktor, then it would be perfect!
SQDJ 2000 (CDJ & Sequencer all in one)
>>> sorry for the bad photoshop edit, but the idea is clear.
Would love that product to be released. Just to hear the potential uproar from all the “OMG PIONEER KILLED REAL DJING” guys.
I have been using Traktor for most of my dj days …10 years now…why the hell do we never hear any news from native instruments….only stems, and maschine packs ….and fake mock up mixers like this one…what are their plans for new controllers bc I am very tempted to buy pioneer gear and use Serato…what are your opinions and djtt’s?
Well there are rumors…
i feel Ni should create a mk 2 version of the z2 and z1 along with a new z4! but keep with the z2 based layout which is fantastic and add the displays at the top…. also look into creating a line of turntables which would open up a whole new market for them to build from while working with the turntable fenatics that you already have sponsered. stems is great idea but is still very young and has alot of development to be made before it moves out of the tech/ house side of things on another note leave the individual stem faders off the z mixers incorporate them into the eq instead…. since its just an exaggeration of the eq’s just my opinion.
Don’t you guys have an IN with NI? I know they won’t say what they are working on, but i’m sure you have some input with them? I think the Z2 is a great mixer, but a Z4 has been on the wish lists since the Z2 was launched. The D2 is nice but insanely huge. Even a Z1 mk2 with 4 channels would be awesome.
We do! But don’t hold your breath, they’ve been focused a lot on Maschine – from my POV, at the expense of Traktor.
Actually that is a brilliant design by Nextsound Brazil. I am surprised that more DJ companies don’t allow mixer design submissions where users can vote on a final product. The design by Nextsound is near perfect and just needs so fine tuning. So since Native Instruments is going more Maschine based (according to your “IN with NI”), Pioneer should jump on this design which covers both the turntablists with a compact mixer and House DJs with STEMS support. Presenting the Pioneer DJM-T9 (Traktor ready mixer)!!! #PioneerDJ
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I got to admit, when I saw these mixers I got excited.
… especially at the return of Vestax.
The Z4 concept is awful.. Lovely idea but it would be terrible in execution.. One of the reasons the Z2 has needed little improvement is because it’s already laid out well for what it was designed to do. Be a scratch mixer.. This is too cramped and doesn’t appear very user friendly. and why the hell have the gains been hidden away?
I agree @Ezmyrelda:disqus , the “Z4” concept in this article is very cluttered. It looks more like a Z2 MK2 concept that would probably be much cleaner with just one Stem Deck (scratch DJ’s don’t really need more than that). But as you said, the current Z2 model works great for what it is. It would make more sense for someone wanting all the functionality in this concept to buy a Z2 & D2 to complete their setup.
On a side note… NI is way overdue for a “Z4” 4-channel mixer with USB audio interface that has one filter per channel and a 4-port USB hub. Not much else is necessary to keep the cost around $800.
I somewhat agree with you but I’m not sure in what way there really needs to be a 4 channel Z2. I think what would be really appreciated is an updated Z2 with two fully routable send/returns and two sound cards. I am in full agreement with the 4 port USB hub though… Provided it is an active hub. I’ve had to purchase two hubs so far to connect my F1, X1, Twister, and Launchpad.. not to mention I have CD decks that are rarely plugged in because they are worthless unless used for MIDI control.
The z4 type concept is interesting. I guess depends on what type of dj you are and your workflow.
Both of those Photoshops are the stuff of dreams. Especially the Z4, its near perfect for me
Whatever happens. We need mixer with screen, full DSP, 10 band master EQ, Compression, and whatever else sound engineers use, distilled to simple functions. With advanced FX display. Not all people have fancy equipment for room acoustics. And mixers should allow at least some basics. XOne DB Spatial Xover is good step towards that direction. Additionally I would like to see complete internal parameters settings (via PC) to be done. EQ curves, fader curves, sonic characteristics, volumes, routing, fucking xfader off. All saved to a preset. Few presets available. We need computers in god damn mixers to allow us to dig into details when we need to. We need A&H follow Pioneer and Denon with mixer layouts. Using bifunctional filters under each channel (not one weird global filter). We need much higher FX quality such as S&H DB series. We need basically to implement functionality form studio consoles in to club mixers. Mosnt of that can be done with any cheap laptop and Ableton live and some master plugins. It should be within mixer.
Plus usb to Apps like Pioneer did is the future. Denon ethernet data hub is good idea also.
And two usb (dual soundcard) should be a mandatory thing form 2017.
My 2 cents…
You just described a DDM4000..!! Other than separate filters on each channel and USB soundcard.. shame they just not built for club use.
This looks more like nuclear launch control panel than a mixer. It’s nice to have a button for every features, but small button within small space is a never a good idea for a fast paced-live performance. There’s a reason why encoder, touch strip and touch screen exist.
I think dedicated buttons for each effect is better than scrolling back and forth with an encoder which is why I prefer the djm2000 to the 900
Why could I not have waited for the Z4? It will be a beauty!!!
You’ll have to keep waiting for a while 😉
Better start saving because am feeling a 4 channel mixer on it way