Numark Mixdeck Quad Review
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American Musical Supply is the
Official Pro Audio Retailer of DJBooth
Numark Mixdeck Quad Staff Review
Numark Mixdeck Quad Review Video & Summary:
The Numark Mixdeck Quad is a new DJ station that can do many different things all at the same time. The Mixdeck Quad is like having two full-featured Numark NDX-900 multi-media players attached to a Numark mixer all neatly integrated into one versatile unit that can also double as a DJ controller when connected to a computer or an iPad.
The overall impressions of the Numark Mixdeck Quad are generally good. The unit is made up of mostly plastic and all of the faders, knobs, and jog wheels have a little give to them but nothing that would hinder the unit during actual use. The Mixdeck Quad feels like the same quality of the Numark N4 and everything has a vrey logical layout for a four-channel and four-deck setup. The unit as a whole is rather big and it won’t fit inside of any laptop bags, but the plastic weight does end up saving a few pounds for easy transport. The Mixdeck Quad comes bundled with Serato DJ Intro that can turn the Mixdeck Quad into a two-deck DJ controller when connected to a computer. The setup of the system is rather easy when using it for stand-alone playback without a computer since all you have to do is plug in the power cord, speakers, and insert the USB drive or CD into the CD slots and you’re ready to play. If you want to use it as a DJ controller, then the Mixdeck Quad must be connected to a computer via the supplied USB cable and the Serato DJ Intro software must be installed on the computer. Then simply switch the Decks over to MIDI/USB mode and those channels will work with Serato DJ Intro.
The Mixdeck Quad has two separate decks built right into the workstation that are located on the left and right sides of the mixing portion of the unit. Each of these full-featured decks has its very own dedicated set of RCA outputs that can be connected to another mixer or any other device for playback. The decks can essentially be used independently of the mixing portion of the Mixdeck Quad if a DJ wishes to do so. Each Deck has a CD slot that can play MP3 or Music CD’s and a USB slot for music file playback. Each deck has an easy-to-read LED screen with the track information, Loop, Hot Cue, Samples, effects, and the navigation options all clearly visible. These screens also show track playback information when using the unit in MIDI mode on Serato DJ Intro. There is an oversized Track knob and back button for file navigation. Each deck has very tight Jog Wheel integration with the CD playback, USB drive playback, and with the Serato DJ Intro Software. Each time we used the jog wheels, they just felt right! They were high resolution and they were always a perfect one-to-one operation with virtually no latency issues at all. These are great jog wheels for scratching or any other style of playback. The touch-sensitive jog wheels also have a separate start and stop time adjustment knob that correspond to the Play and Pause button. It’s worth pointing out that the Play and Pause buttons are separate on each deck and it took me lots of time to get used to this as most other controllers/players have the play and pause button combined. Each deck has a Reverse/BLEEP knob that allows the DJ to play the track back in Reverse or in the BLEEP effect (which lets the DJ alter the playback of the track when activated but returns to its normal position track time when released). Each deck has (6) Beat-synced DSP effects with wet-dry fader (chop, echo, filter, flanger, pan, phaser), 2 Loops, 3 Sample banks, and three Hot Cues. The Pitch sliders are very long and they can be switched between ranges 100%, 25%, 12%, and 6%. There are Pitch Bend buttons as well and it was generally good at riding the pitch for accurate mixing. Both Decks can share and access the same USB drive music for simultaneous playback. Another worthy note for any potential buyers or users is that each deck cannot be layered to handle multiple assignments simultaneously meaning that if you are using the left side deck for Serato DJ Intro, then you can’t start using the same left side deck’s CD slot in the background without stopping playback.
The mixing portion of the Numark Mixdeck Quad is very similar to what is found on the Numark N4 that we reviewed a few weeks ago. The Mixdeck Quad has a nice crossfader that was pretty adequate for scratching as well as mixing both in Serato DJ Intro and while using CD/USB playback. The Channel faders have slightly more resistance to them than the crossfader and they feel like they will get the job done. There is a curve control switch on the front as well as another switch for crossfader reverse control. Also on the front of the unit is the Microphone 1 quarter-inch Input with Gain and EQ controls along with the MINI and quarter-inch Headphone Outputs. The Microphone 2 quarter-inch/XLR combo Input is located at the top center of the unit. The Mixdeck Quad only has Master Level UV meters on the mixing console which means that the user doesn’t really have a way to know the level of the music in each individual channel when looking at the workstation. Each Channel has its own Cue Button, Crossfader assign toggle switch (to change the side of the crossfader that the channel resides on), a 3-Band traditional EQ (without Full-Kill), Gain knobs, and an input switch. The input switch at the top of each channel is used to change each of the four channels into either an on-board deck, a mixer input deck, or a MIDI USB (Virtual Serato DJ Intro) Deck. Channel one can be selected to work as Deck1, MIC2, or MIDI. Channel two can be selected to work as Deck1, AUX1 (input on the back), or MIDI. Channel three can be selected to work as Deck2, AUX2 (input on the back), or MIDI. Channel four can be selected to work as Deck2, AUX3 (iOS device), or MIDI.
Please note that the Numark Mixdeck Quad can only be used with all four channels/decks when there are two external decks plugged into the device. You cannot use a hybrid of two Virtual Decks and two on-board decks simultaneously as the decks themselves have no way of being layered. They are either one type of deck or the other at a particular time. In order to switch a Deck back and forth from MIDI mode to USB/CD mode, the user must press the source button which essentially stops all previous playback. The Numark Mixdeck Quad is a MIDI controller and can be mapped to Traktor or VDJ, but I decided to test the unit only with what was supplied (I did not see Traktor or VDJ mapping file on the Numark website at the time of writing this review).
There are lots of ways to connect the Mixdeck Quad to the outside world. In the output category, there are Balanced XLR outputs, RCA outputs, Booth RCA output, and Record RCA output. There are separate knobs to control the volume of the Booth and Master levels on the top-front of the unit. There are two AUX/PHONO inputs (Aux1 and Aux2) and each Deck has its very own RCA output meaning that you can use the Decks independently of the actual Mixdeck Quad Mixing console. There is also a second Microphone input in the top-middle of the unit which can be controlled by the EQ’s and controls of Channel 1 when the source is set appropriately. There is a USB connection on the back for computer/MIDI playback. There is also a dedicated AUX 3 or iOS Audio connection to connect to iOS devices. Any iPod or iPhone can connect to this device for audio file playback, but if you have an iPad you can actually dive a bit further into the MIDI control of this device. I did not test this feature during this review.
In Conclusion, the Numark Mixdeck Quad is a really full-featured machine. The device is capable of so many different playback options while the mixer OR the decks can be used as stand-alone devices as well. Users can playback CD’s, USB device audio files, MIDI computer playback with Serato DJ Intro, and the iPad can also work in conjunction with the Mixdeck Quad. The Jog wheels have high resolution in any playback mode and there are lots of inputs and outputs to play with. To top it all off each individual deck has a full feature set which consists of effects, hot cues, samples, two loops, reverse, and Bleep. There were only two minor gripes that I could find with the unit. The first is that the Mixdeck Quad is made of mostly plastic and it makes the unit feel more directed at beginner to intermediate user levels. The other gripe is that there are only Master level UV meters to show the level of the overall mix. There is no way to see the individual levels of each line when in use. Other than these minor issues, the Mixdeck Quad is a pretty solid performer. I recommend the unit to DJ’s who need the option of playing CD’s and USB drives while also being able to plug in additional decks or a computer for MIDI playback. This is also recommended for Mobile DJ’s who play many different types of formats for all types of occasions.
-Versatile Playback Options! (Stand-alone Mixer, Stand-alone Decks, CD’s, USB Drives, MIDI, iPad/iPod)
-Tight Hi-Res Jog Wheel Integration with CD, USB, & MIDI Serato Intro playback
-Nice Input/Output options (IOS, XLR, RCA Master, RCA Booth, RCA Rec, Deck 1/Deck 2 outputs & 2 inputs
-Full Feature-Set: On-Board Effects, Hot Cues, Samples, Loop controls, Reverse, Bleep
-Beginner/Intermediate Level Build Quality (Mostly Plastic Construction)
-No Individual Line Level Meters Master Level Meters Only
Numark Mixdeck Quad Features
Perform with CD, MP3, USB, software, and iPad.
A POWERFUL SEQUEL
Get people moving on the dance floor — Mixdeck Quad is a complete DJ system with a four-channel mixer that will put you in complete control at any gig. Based upon the popular Mixdeck controller, the Mixdeck Quad kicks it up a notch by adding support for core MIDI on the iPad, opening the world of apps like Algoriddim’s djay to your DJ rig. In addition we added a fully functional four-channel digital/analog MIDI mixer, allowing total control of both the iPad and DJ software while mixing from CD, thumb drives, mics, or external sources.
Mixdeck Quad comes complete with Serato DJ Intro software and is pre-mapped for Traktor Pro 2 and VirtualDJ Pro, so from the moment you open the box and connect to your computer, you're spinning tracks digitally. In addition, you can play from virtually any kind of media with Mixdeck Quad including CDs, MP3 CDs, USB flash drives and of course, the iPad. BPM analyzation and Tap Tempo ensure that you never miss a beat. With Mixdeck Quad you can control your favorite MIDI software, with no timecode needed, using a simple USB connection.
With Mixdeck Quad you can play USB content from either port on either deck. This innovative Crossplay technology frees you up to use your USB tracks like all your other music: mix and match, play tracks simultaneously and keep the room's energy peaked.
On top of playing all kinds of music media, each one of Mixdeck Quad’s decks enables you to add flavor to your performances with integrated, beat-synced DSP effects that include chop, echo, filter, flanger, pan, and phaser. Each is completely adjustable and a dedicated wet-dry fader controls them all.
Mixdeck Quad contains a set of beat and pitch tools that will help you with beat matching and harmonic mixing. Start playing a track and Mixdeck Quad automatically analyzes its BPM (tempo), and displays it on screen. There’s also a Tap tempo button for manual BPM entry. You can alter the track’s BPM by ±6, 12, 25, and 100% using the pitch fader. For each of those ranges, you can also engage Key Lock, which holds the pitch (key) of the track while you independently manipulate its BPM. There’s also a set of pitch-bend buttons on each track for quick tweaks.
Mixdeck Quad has a full-featured four-channel mixer built right in. Each input channel has its own gain and three-band EQ/rotary kills (+12dB/ -INF). The mixer channels control the audio from Mixdeck Quad’s onboard players, incoming audio from your computer, or external sources such as turntables, MP3s players and more. Mixdeck Quad has two sets of stereo, switchable phono/line inputs for external sources. Mixdeck Quad’s replacable crossfader has switchable slope and reverse so you can customize its performance based on your preferences.
REAL TIME REMIXING
Mixdeck Quad gives you a complete range of remixing tools for on-the-fly creativity, including seamless looping on a set of easy-to-understand controls, sampling, and easily accessible hot cues. Numark’s familiar Bleep/Reverse gives you the ability to keep time moving forward while you cut or reverse the track.
You can play tracks from discs in single-track, continuous, and programmable playback modes for flexible performance. Fader Start enables Mixdeck Quad to start playing the track you have cued up when you move the crossfader for effortless transitions. You can also use Fader Start with compatible CD players connected to Mixdeck Quad’s inputs.
There is so much you can do with Mixdeck Quad because we jammed it full of world-class features like DSP effects with wet-dry fader, chop, echo, filter, flanger, pan and phaser. It also has smooth, fast, slot-loading drives with large, touch-sensitive illuminated platters so that the moment your fingers touch the platter, you know your performance is on. You can work the room thanks to Mixdeck Quad’s 1/4-inch mic input with its own gain and ±15dB high and low EQ. There’s also a complete cueing section with dual 1/8 and 1/4-inch headphone outputs, dedicated cue gain, and mini-crossfader control. You'll also never miss what's happening with Mixdeck Quad thanks to its two large, backlit displays.
Mixdeck Quad has a flexible output section too. Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA stereo main outputs along with Booth and Record RCA outs allow for sending your mix to different locations and systems, including recording to your iPod. There’s also a direct stereo output from each deck for use with timecode control interfaces including Serato Scratch Live software or external effects processors.
Mixdeck Quad gives you the ability to perform, mix, remix, and record with virtually any popular music media. Whether you play parties, clubs, events, or in a group, Mixdeck Quad also gives you the freedom to DJ from nearly any source all in one unit, with the flexibility to add on and expand as much as you like.
iPod is a trademark of Apple Inc. registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Complete system with CD, MP3 and USB decks, four-channel mixer, and computer audio and MIDI interface
MIDI integration of decks and the mixer for controlling both computer software and iPad apps
Works seamlessly with Algoriddim’s djay for iPad app, winner of the 2011 Apple Design Award
DJ parties of all sizes with your compatible iPad, iPod or iPhone
Serato DJ Intro software included
Built-in professional USB audio interface with balanced XLR outputs
Crossplay Technology: mix USB flash drive content from either port on either deck
Four-channel mixer with EQ/rotary kills, replaceable crossfader, and MIDI control
Two large, backlit displays for BPM, CD/MP3 text tags, and folder navigation
Beat-synced DSP effects with wet-dry fader: chop, echo, filter, flanger, pan, phaser
Key Lock holds pitch while you independently manipulate its BPM
Seamless looping, sampling, and easily accessible hot cues
Automatic BPM analyzer and Tap Tempo for manual BPM entry
Slide BPM ±6, 12, 25, and 100% or bend with pitch buttons
Inputs: Two mic (XLR and 1/4"), Four aux (RCA stereo pairs), 30-pin iPad connector, computer (USB, stereo)
Stereo Outputs: Main (balanced XLR & RCA), Booth (RCA), Record (RCA), Deck 1 (RCA), Deck 2 (RCA), Cue (1/8” & 1/4”)
iPad Core MIDI and audio support
Also works with djay, VirtualDJ Pro and Traktor Pro (each sold separately)
Laptop Computer Stand
30-pin iPad Connector Cable
Two Mic (XLR and 1/4")
Four AUX (RCA stereo pairs)
Computer (USB, stereo)
Outputs (all stereo)
Main (balanced XLR & RCA)
Deck 1 (RCA)
Deck 2 (RCA)
Cue (1/8” & 1/4”)
Best Price for the Numark Mixdeck Quad
American Musical Supply is the
Official Pro Audio Retailer of DJBooth
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