DJ Equipment Review: Numark NV for Serato DJ Controller

Is the Numark NV just another pretty face?


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It seems as though every other day my inbox is filled with press releases and adverts touting the best new piece of DJ equipment to hit the shelves. They swear it will change the face of DJing and rarely is that the case. Needless to say I’ve become pretty cynical about the claims made by the manufacturers of DJ equipment. However that doesn’t stop me from reading through all the specs and occasionally stopping by the nearest electronics shop to try them out.

When I got word that Numark was releasing the NV with a few outrageous features, I admit that my curiosity was piqued. So let’s dig in and see if it is as awesome as it seems.

NV At A Glance

The NV is Numark’s latest four-channel DJ controller for Serato. From the outset it may seem like there is just one glaring difference between the NV and the NS7—the full color screens—but everything has been tweaked a bit to accommodate them.

This is the quintessential mid-range DJ controller, providing a unique mix of the cheap and not-so-cheap controllers from Numark. The body itself is wide but shallow, the performance pads and jogwheels are smaller than we’ve become accustomed to, but hey the screens have to go somewhere, right? The screens have been slightly angled for visibility and the filter knobs and crossfader have not been sacrificed in size or effectiveness to fit them.

It should be noted that the Numark NV is a software-only; you won’t find any plugins for record decks or CDJs

The Screens

The one thing everyone wants to know about this DJ controller is ‘are the screens worth it?’ The screens are full-0n color, bright and wide, but most of all the resolution is as good as any computer screen. Don’t expect those special human-eye resolution screens, but you won’t have to squint to see what’s going on. The screens come with 5 buttons on each side—it is not a touchscreen!—letting you decide which deck to control, key lock, tempo slider, loading, folder navigation and even an option to view your laptop from the screens.

Setting up is easy as you will be walked through each step, plus you can always read the instructions or my guess is view a tutorial online. The only problem I have with the screen is that it is kind of…flimsy. It’s slightly bendy but if you don’t forget it’s not a touchscreen I can’t imagine it being a problem, I just hoped for more protection for this big new feature.

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The Controller

Even though the Numark NV isn’t the top of the line DJ controller it is quite fantastic. The small performance pads are full RGB, velocity sensitive and superb quality. You’ll get the advanced Serato functions plus the unit itself comes with a full version of the Serato software so you don’t have to purchase it. Then there are the other goodies you’ll get like Toolroom Records samples and loops, plus eight cues for each channel, loop rolls, samplers and manual loops.

You’ll get everything you’re used to as a Serato user plus a bit more just to keep you happy.

I especially enjoyed the split cueing just because you never know what you’ll have access to once you’re inside the DJ booth. Besides I think if you’ve spent the time learning to do things like cue in your headphones, you’ll want to do it on occasion just in case the time comes when you need to.

Wallet Damage

This is the part of any equipment review I hate because no matter what I say about cost some new DJ will blast me for saying $699 is a steal while experienced ones will say that is the price of a low-end DJ controller. So what I will say is that for what you get, the cost is on par.

The features you get on this digital controller is right up there with the best on the market and when you throw in the color screens that will likely become the norm on all high and mid-range controllers, you can see why the price is what it is. But I will say that the lack of analog functions is also why it isn’t over $1000.

So…

When you look at DJ controllers you have to take the good with the bad and figure out what you can and cannot live without. There are a few things you might not like such as the miniscule VU meters, inability to see the key and the lack of analog functions. But that’s why you aren’t paying top dollar for this machine.

The really appealing aspect of the Numark NV is that you can keep your laptop out of view and use the screens provided on the machine to do your job. Since Numark is just now trying this out they do still have a few kinks to work out but nothing too major.

The color screens is a big draw, but make no mistake, Numark NV is a good DJ controller with or without them. With them though…DJ controllers have just gotten a lot cooler.

I hope I helped you choose your next DJ controller. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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