It’s no secret that the original Mixtrack models allowed digital DJs on a budget to get into the game. Now that the Numark Mixtrack Pro 2 has hit the shelves, it’s time to find out if the folks at Numark have made any significant changes to entice DJs to upgrade.
Many DJs, myself included, were hoping the latest Mixtrack would look like what one expects a DJ controller in 2013 to look like. The Mixtrack Pro didn’t have the slender and sleek feel common to digital controllers. The software to hardware compatibility issues left a lot to be desires and now that DJing has changed even more since the Numark Mixtrack first hit the scene, let’s see what changes they’ve made.
You can’t really talk about any type of DJ hardware without talking about how it looks and feels. The Mixtrack Pro 2 looks good. The unit is smaller than the original Mixtrack Pro and it has a metallic casing and a brushed black surface that lends a more expensive look, even if it is still a plastic budget-friendly controller. The unit sits on four rubber feet so you don’t have to worry about it getting away from you in less than stellar DJ booths.
Although the knobs and fader caps provide a constant reminder that this is budget hardware, the rubber performance pads are backlit and the jogwheels are visually satisfying and completely sturdy. The layout of the Mixtrack Pro 2 is similar to the original with 3 upfaders for each deck and a master volume control in the center of the unit.
When you get the Numark Mixtrack Pro 2 and open the box you’ll wonder if your software was stolen. It wasn’t. Simply go online and download the Serato DJ Intro and install it and you’re ready to get started. I applaud both Numark and Serato for streamlining the software upload and installation. It’s one less thing new DJs have to worry about, when there is still much to get used to in terms of learning the actual unit.
If you’re expecting high-performing professional grade DJ software…this isn’t it. This software is perfect for beginner DJs who are still learning the basics of DJing, but if you feel you need the full version of Serato it is available for upgrade for a cost of $129.
The latest craze for DJ equipment is performance pads and while this version of the Numark Mixtrack Pro has them, they are nearly as impressive as those found on more expensive units. The performance pads are pretty basic and don’t come in varied colors or velocity sensitivity or multiple controls. They look like what you’d expect if you’ve seen performance pads on other controllers, but don’t expect more than your basic performance pad.
One of the things I was most impressed about is that the effects panel won’t overwhelm new DJs with too many choices that can take away from a performance. You get what you need—phaser effects, echo, filters—without anything else to confuse you as you learn how to DJ. The effects sound good, can enhance a performance and are simple enough that a new DJ won’t feel overwhelmed with simply learning to use their DJ equipment.
Eventually all DJs will learn how to loop and the Numark Mixtrack Pro 2 provides a simple setting for new DJs to learn. You can do automatic or manual looping on this unit, which can be done using the pad buttons on the lower half of the device.
The Mixtrack Pro 2 also provides just enough in terms of cues and samples to get a new DJ started on more advanced techniques. You get limited cues—two or four per track depending on whether you choose to use temporary cues as well—so you can practice without going overboard. You can also load samples using the bottom four pads so you can learn how to effectively add samples to your sets.
Keep in mind these features are very basic, but provide a simple environment for learning how to DJ.
Is It Worth It?
So…there is a lot that you can say negative about the Numark Mixtrack Pro 2. But if you’re looking for that, look elsewhere because I think this controller does exactly what the target audience needs it to do. It has excellent audio quality, the device is sturdy and well-built for its budget-friendly price and most important of all it is EASY TO USE.
The software works well with the hardware and the folks at Numark have made significant changes to make this device more relevant to its audience. You’ll need to learn how to control the features because the same buttons are used for a variety of functions, but this is essential no matter what type of controller you get.
With a price of $164, it’s more than a steal to get your DJ career off the ground.
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