Just when you thought Numark couldn't invent any more DJ controllers, it's done it again. This time it's MusikMesse at Frankfurt, with the little guy you see above -- the Mixtrack Edge. It's described as "ultra portable" and when you see how big it is -- roughly the size of an iPad -- we're inclined to agree with that. In fact, when you see the device cooped up in its protective case with the lid down, you'd be forgiven for thinking that's exactly what it was (a tablet). But, no... this is another attempt at forging a new DJ controller category. Numark's done small before (like the DJ2Go), but the Mixtrack Edge has a significant trick up its sleeve -- a built-in audio interface. This means no cable splitters, you instead plug headphones right in, and line your audio out to your speakers. Sound good? We went hands on to find out, so plug in after the break.
Numark Edge hands-on
Looks-wise, it's a bit of a mixed bag, and reminds us somewhat of the MPC Fly from sister firm Akai. The brushed metal-effect finish aims to give a quality appearance, but touch any of the controls and that soon evaporates. The buttons feel decent enough, but the faders and rotary controls will test the patience of anyone above even the most casual user. Those platters? Yeah, you can leave those scratching ambitions at the door -- but they do let you get hands involved in the mix. That said, these are the considerations of someone who probably shouldn't be buying one of these in the first place. The Mixtrack Edge is clearly aimed at house parties, small gatherings, absolute beginners or even mixing on the road. As such, it offers all the essentials you need to do just that (apart from controls for EQ, which might have been preferable over the included FX dials). There are even semi-advanced options such as loop and sample triggering (again, we argue some would prefer EQs). The Mixtrack Edge is fully USB-powered and also adheres to the MIDI standard, which makes it compliant with a whole host of software, and we'd suggest that likely includes core-MIDI iOS apps.
In our brief time with it, it's hard not to overlook the things that might seem minor now. One example being the faders. Clearly in an attempt to shrink the overall footprint, the controls have been designed to sit as flush with the main surface as possible. While this works for the aesthetic appeal, it makes quick and animated adjustments very difficult. Did we mention there are no EQ controls? Perhaps the choice of controls on offer are indicative of a new breed, more interested in a quick mashing together of sounds, rather than drawn out, musical mixing? All things said and done, we're sure Numark has created something that will please a very precise section of the (potential) DJ market. We'll just have to wait and see exactly how well it does, given that, as yet, Numark's keeping the volume down on price and availability.
MOBILE DJING GOES CUTTING-EDGE: NUMARK INTRODUCES
MIXTRACK EDGE, AN ULTRA-PORTABLE PROFESSIONAL DJ
Mixtrack Edge sports rugged Numark build quality, built-in audio, sleek aluminum
platters, and a design that is less than one inch thin.
Cumberland, R.I. (April 8, 2013) – From the beginning, Numark's Mixtrack Series has given
DJs the perfect mix of essential utility and professional capability. Mixtrack Edge brings the
same spirit, offering advanced technology in a sharp design built for DJs on the go. Numark
will unveil Mixtrack Edge at Musikmesse 2013 in Hall 5.1 at Booth B45 on April 10th in
Mixtrack Edge's slim low-profile design features an integrated cover to protect the control
surface and a full array of bright backlit controls surrounded by brushed aluminum, including
sync, hot cue, loop, and two effects controls on each channel. An audio interface is built in for headphone cueing and PA system output. Slim metal platters control pitch bend, pitch fade,
song selection, and cue mix.
"This is a controller for every DJ," said Chris Roman, Numark Product Manager. "Mixtrack
Edge incorporates capabilities and design elements that make it a perfect go-to controller for
cocktail hours, minimalist setups, or to keep with you all the time to work on or use for pre-gig
Mixtrack Edge is class-compliant with both Mac® and PC and operates via standard MIDI,
making it compatible with virtually any DJ software. It's also USB-powered, so no power
adapter is required.
Numark will display Mixtrack Edge, along with another addition to the Mixtrack Series,
Mixtrack Quad, a new four-channel controller that features a stunning array of colors on its
platters and pads, giving DJs a fully interactive control surface. Product images and
information can be found at inmusicbrands.com/musikmesse-2013