Tag: Numark

What Type of DJ Mixer Should You Use?

Recently I’ve been able to have the awesome opportunity to work and learn about a lot of DJ equipment that we have available at Sonic Electronix. Throughout this time period I have definitely learned a thing or two about how certain levels of DJs should pick out the equipment they work with depending on the skill level they are currently at. When looking at mixers, you have to first consider what kind of DJ you would like to be, what kind of music you would like to play, and most importantly how far you see yourself going with it. There are tons of DJ mixers to choose from and at times it may be confusing to understand what exactly the right choice is for you.

Numark M101

Numark M101

As a DJ, you need to decide how many channels you want to mix. For most DJs starting out or even with a few years of experience, a two-channel mixer that has phono inputs, line inputs, and microphone inputs like the Numark M101 should be suffice. But once again, depending on the level you want to eventually become as a DJ should be highly considered when purchasing any mixer or equipment of the sort.

Things you also want to consider when look at mixers are for a high quality crossfader that can withstand lengthy usage. The crossfader is a sliding control on the mixing board that permits the DJ to transfer the audio output from one source to another, hence the term “mixing.”  Ideal crossfaders should be able to operate for a long time without losing their sound clarity. You can tell when a crossfader starts to not work so well because it will begin break up the sound when mixing.

Another important factor to look at are for the mixers line switches and EQ controls. The line switch of each channel on the mixer should be reliable and replaceable. You will want the switches to be 8-way adjustable, meaning that you will be able to move the switch in a way that is easy for you to control at your preference. The EQ controls on a mixer provide the DJ filtering of differing frequencies. When picking an EQ control, you want to make sure the controls are comfortable and compatible with the style you intend to mix as a DJ. There are two options to choose from, either an EQ knob or an EQ slider.

Last but not least, you also want to take a look at cue control. Cue control basically allows a DJ to listen to something they intend to mix into their music through their headphones before they actually mix it in, while playing something else through the sound system. As a DJ, you definitely make sure that the controls allow you to listen to your new mix in your headphones before it is displayed to the master output. There are many factors for this, but mainly good cue controls will get rid of any type of sound delay that is initiated by the distance between the speakers and yourself.


Follow Your DJing Dreams With Numark’s iDJ Live

Numark iDJ Live (Box)

The holidays are almost over folks, and if you have any aspiring DJs in your midst, you should definitely consider putting a last minute call to Santa and his elves for the Numark iDJ Live! As stated in the product’s description, the controller is perfect for music lovers who have never tried DJing before. With its streamlined interface, the iDJ Live is designed for beginners and pros on the go and is very much plug-and-play. All you need is an iPad, iPod touch or iPhone (be sure to check the compatibility chart on the product page), the Algoriddim Djay app and you’re all set. Of course, you can always hook the unit up to larger speakers for a better experience, too.

Sounds great! But what would I need for that?

The iDJ Live comes with a dual mono 1/8″ (3.5 mm) headphone/speaker splitter cable, so all you would need is a male-to-male 3.5 mm cable like this: Aux cable
…and some sweet speakers like these:
(You’d be very wise to get a speaker system with a subwoofer.)
Limitless Creations x643

and you’re ready to rock!

About the unit

The iDJ Live comes with dual bass, treble and volume controls, sync and cue buttons to keep your mix tight and two large platters that can be used to either “scratch,” or search through tracks to set cue points. It also comes with a Browse knob that scrolls through your music library the way you’re used to doing with your “i” devices already, so there’s no need to learn a confusing new interface. You can even record your mixes or set Automix mode to let the iDJ Live and the Djay app mix your favorite playlist(s) automatically.

The iDJ Live includes a handy iPad stand as well, enabling you to keep an eye on your screen without having to bend over the controller or having to rig up a shaky DIY stand of your own. Also, as the iDJ Live unit does draw power from the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, it would be in your best interest to save some battery life by turning off 3/4G and/or Wi-Fi, turn off location services like GPS, and adjusting your display brightness. If you’re worried whether or not it’ll get to your house in time for Christmas, if you happen to live in the greater Los Angeles area, you can swing by and pick it up from Sonic Electronix’s will call area up here in Valencia.

That about wraps it up, so on behalf of the team at Sonic Electronix, I’d like to wish you all very happy holidays!


Club DJ Set Ups Simplified

Classic Battle Set up

These set ups are what may come to the mind of most people when they think of a DJ.    As Beck said “I need two turntables and a microphone.”  Since the introduction of the crossfader DJ’s have been spinning vinyl records to compose dance mixes.   Traditionally found in the roots of early hip-hop performances DJ would play continues loops of dance breaks from popular music genres and blending them together to create totally new mixes. The turntables are often rotaded 90 degrees from the standard turntable in order to consaladate space and help with smoother transitions.

A traditional “battle” set up consists of two turntables usually techniques 1200 series and a 10 inch mixer equipped with a cross fader.    The mixer often incorporated a microphone preamp for an MC to rap over.      DJ turntables are classified by the configuration of their drive motor.   Direct drive turntables have a motor mounted directly under the platter and as a result generate more torque, this is a desired feature for DJs to ensure optimum performance.

The less expensive option for turntables is the belt driven variety where the motor is mounted off to the side and connects to the platter via a rubber belt and pulley system.   Belt driven turntables are considered an entry-level DJ setup and are great for practicing your skills until you invest into a more pro system.

The down side to traditionally spinning vinyl is the impracticality of lugging around crates full of LPs, although despite the inconvenience there is a sect of DJs that swear by the analog craft liken to a photographer who still shoots to film.

In recent years CD players such as the Pioneer CDJ2000 are being used in place of the turn tables but in very similar battle mixer setups but by incorperating the digital source units many more features can be explored.

Controller Based Set ups

Today  Club DJs are more often operating computer based set ups.    The main advantage to this set up is not lugging around your record collection to venues but instead using a Laptop with an external hard drive with virtually every song in audio history a mouse click away.     This gives todays DJ the power to set up an entire show using play lists and preprogrammed cues enabling the performer to seamlessly transition, beat match, and incorporate many other sources into the mix.

The minimum set up consist of a controller,  software, and a computer.    The mixer and turntable functionality are replaced with digital rotary and fader encoders that send MIDI Machine Control (MMC) signals to the software on a computer via USB.

For performance purposes the set up will require an audio interface.   On higher end controllers such as the Numark NS6  the sound card is built into unit itself can be used as a stand alone mixer.

Some of the more entry level controllers may require an external audio interface such as the DJio.    The interface will serve as the computers sound card and all AD and DA conversions of the digital audio will be handled by the interface.    Unfortunately this can lead to some advanced signal routing for the entry level DJ so there is a bit of a learning curve involved with working in the digital realm.


For the real OG DJs out there who still swear by their turn tables but require the easy set up and convenience of a digitally controlled system Serato is the perfect solution.   The system consists of a standard battle pack DJ set up with the addition of a proprietary computer interface as well as two very special vinyl records.

The included records are printed with a timecode very similar to SMPTE time code that has been used in audio production for film and TV for years.    The time coded disks are played like any standard record into the interface,  then the code is interpreted by the software and is used to control the playback of digital music.   All physical manipulation of the turntables and vinyl is synced and reproduced in real-time by the software with virtually zero latency making Serato systems the prefered choice for many of the world’s top DJs.


Whats New with the Numark NS6

Numark NS6

At a glance you may notice the Numark NS6 is a sexy compact Serato controller with all metal construction and sharp gun metal black finish and chrome platters but beneath the durable finish lies the unique components that make the NS6 one of the most advanced controllers of all time.

The Numark NS6 is designed to work with a new 4 deck version of Serato ITCH. You are able to control 4 separate decks in Serato, but that’s not all. The NS6 also functions as a stand alone 4 channel DJ mixer with 4 independent phono amps in the back for stand alone cd players or turn tables. You may also notice a new crossfader design in the cp pro slimline crossfader designed specifically for controllers to be durable enough for blistering fast mixing, yet ultra-responsive.

Numark NS6Keeping with the standard set by the Numark NS7 the Virtual Needle Drop application is improved with a new Strip Search function that features an LED indication of needle position on your tracks. In combination with the mouseless navigation controls, the user can keep his or her eyes on the controller rather than navigating a laptop screen allowing for flawless execution of your mix.

The Numark NS6 features a new Skip control allowing you to fast forward tracks to the beat and tempo of your mix adding a whole other level of control and convenience for beat matching on the fly. Dual FX engines in the NS6 can be assigned to any of the 4 decks in Serato with 12 track warping effects including Delay, Crusher, LPF, HPF, Braker, Phaser, Reverb and More. All effects can be assigned effortlessly with the flick of a wrist.

The platters feature the same mechanism as the Numark NS7 allowing for 3600 ticks of resolution per rotation for ultra precise control. Unlike most controllers that operate on a forced depression mechanism the NS6’s platters are touch sensitive giving you an unreal level of precise control. The combination of the Numark NS6, Serato ITCH, and You will blurs the lines between man and machine.


Akai Pro APC 40

Total Control for Your Show!

Akai Pro APC40

The Akai APC 40 is the most advanced Ableton controller ever produced. Since the introduction of this unit in 2009 it has revolutionized the production and live performance of digital music all over the world.

Esthetically this unit is sleek and sexy with a tapered profile that suggests if this unit had wings it would be a fighter jet. What makes the Akai APC 40 so special is the 8 x 5 session cue grid section featuring 40 multicolor backlit trigger pads, which at first glance, make this unit look as if it’s designed to operate the space shuttle. APC 40 In actuality the layout of the triggers and encoders are quite simple yet elegant. All of the trigger pads, rotary encoders, and faders on the APC 40 are mapped out for optimum control of Ableton Live, although each and every encoder on the unit can be reassigned to personalize your performance capabilities in the Ableton software.
In the mixer section of the APC 40 you’ll notice nine programmable faders, eight of which are used to automate eight tracks simultaneously and the ninth assigned to a master fader. You’ll also notice an array of arming triggers for record and writing automation as well as solo and cue.
In the track control and master section you’ll notice there is an LED ring around all of the rotary encoders giving you a precise indication and a visual cue of the encoders’ position in Ableton Live. Chauvet Cirrus The master or device control section also features virtually every global function necessary to operate Ableton Live, including: full transport controls, a crossfader, clip/track toggle, detail view, quantization, MIDI overlap, as well as device and metronome on/off. Just above the device control section you’ll notice a D-pad with four directional arrows along with a shift key. In combination with the pre-mapped encoders these will enable you to navigate through Ableton Live without ever touching your mouse once.
If you are a performer of digital music of any kind and you use Ableton Live YOU NEED THIS CONTROLLER! The Numark APC 40 streamlines, simplifies, and maximizes all of your capabilities with the Ableton Live software.