Towards the end of 2010, Numark released a simple DJ controller that allowed beginners to get to grips with two decks of computer based DJing with cue points and loops, one that also featured the added bonus of a built in soundcard. According to Numark, the Mixtrack Pro is the world’s most popular DJ controller. For nearly two and a half years, the Mixtrack Pro has been at the top of the pile for beginner Dhes taking their first steps into the world of mixing, but in that time the idea of what DJing is has evolved somewhat and importantly for a DJ controller, the world of software has changed a fair bit too.
The original Mixtrack Pro combined ease of use with practicality, and featured Serato’s DJ Intro software pre-mapped and ready to go at a price that made it a hit with those new to digital DJing world. However, in that time several other DJ controllers have emerged with improved features, and as a result Numark have seen fit to revisit their Mixtrack Pro DJ controller and give it a few added benefits over its predecessor. The Mixtrack Pro II doesn’t try and reinvent the wheel so much as incorporate the must have new features of a DJ controller whilst leaving the original formula in tact as much as possible, a move that Numark is presumably hoping will help to solidify the ‘most popular’ status for another couple of years.
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- 16 backlit rubber drum pads with Loop Mode, Sample Mode, and Hot Cue Mode
- Touch-activated illuminated platters for precise scratching and control
- Complete mixer section with a crossfader, 3-band EQ, and music library navigation controls
- 16 dedicated effects controls to add and manipulate flanger, phaser, echo, and more
- Built-in audio system for headphone cueing, microphone input, and PA system output
- Pitch and Sync controls for seamless and easy mixing
- Serato DJ Intro software included
- Standard MIDI for use with most popular DJ software
- Class-compliant with both Mac and PC; no driver required
- USB-powered; no power adapter required
- 1/8″ and 1/4″ headphone outputs
||USB bus power
||16 backlit rubber pads, 16 knobs, 1 encoder, 2 touch sensitive jog wheels (with dual zones), 5 faders, 1 crossfader
||Stereo RCA, 1 1/4″ headphone, 1 1/8″ headphone
||1 1/4″ mic input (with level gain)
||26.5cms x 46.5cms x 5 cms
||Serato DJ Intro & most popular DJ software
||MIDI (over USB)
Straight out of the box, the Mixtrack Pro II looks more impressive than the original. The new slimmer look Mixtrack Pro II features two large jog wheels, heavy duty play/pause, sync, cue and stutter buttons, browse and load controls, as well as three band EQ with program faders on each side and a crossfader. The EQ knobs are very close together, the pitch faders are just a little close to the pads, and the tri-fader design is too much of a squeeze for me – it seems odd that the master fader isn’t a knob to leave the two channel faders a little more room to breathe.
The Mixtrack Pro II has a mostly plastic build quality, but it feels very sturdy and would likely hold up well for anyone who takes good care of their gear. The knobs, faders, platters, and buttons all have the same hard plastic feel from the first generation Numark Mixtrack Pro, but the faceplate sports a pretty smart faux brushed metal look. Visually this brings things into line with Numark’s higher level controllers – the NS6 (for example) and makes a very good first impression. It’s skinnier too; It’s a smaller size in every direction, and if anything I think that’s a bad thing; whilst it’s good for a controller that’s aimed at home use to be able to be packed away easily, things are maybe just a little bit too cramped up. The controller is very compact and portable, making it easy to take on the road.
The Jog wheels on the Numark Mixtrack Pro II are pretty good overall and seem to be just as good as the original jog Wheels found on the first Mixtrack Pro in terms of one-to-one operation. The top is a touch-sensitive plastic surface while the silver sides are used for nudging and slowing the music for beatmatching. Although they have a much lower profile than before, they are also a touch smaller, and have a slightly light, cheap, plastic feel to them. However, their functionality is impressive; they’re touch sensitive and feature dual zone control, allowing you to perform stops by manipulating the top of the platter whilst using the sides to control the pitch without having to switch modes.
Although it has all the same features of the original machine, the biggest difference at first glance, is the addition of 16 pads (eight each side). The pads are also well made, being reminiscent of the high quality versions found on the MPC Renaissance or the Akai MAX49 keyboard controller. The eight rubber performance pads above each jog wheel are awesome. They’re very responsive, so performing with them is nice. They do a great job of showing when something is active or inactive with their bright illumination. This helps in a variety of ways but mostly its nice for keeping your eyes off the laptop when you’re in the mix. The top four pads are used for effects and autoloops while the bottom four pads are used for loops, samples, and cues. The Mixtrack Pro II features “out of the box” mapping to Serato’s DJ Intro software, which is where the pads come into their own, allowing you to use the sample slot functionality of Serato’s DJ Intro software.
The original Mixtrack Pro may have had two main outputs, but unfortunately there is only one RCA output on the back of the Mixtrack Pro II unit. On the right side you’ll find two headphone outputs and a microphone input. On the side of the unit headphone output is offered via 3.5mm and 1/4” jacks, and there’s a 1/4” dynamic mic input next to it.
The Numark Mixtrack Pro II is still a MIDI controller, even if it is designed to plug and play with Serato DJ/Intro. To get Serato DJ Intro, all you have to do is download it for free from the Serato website. There is no registration needed and Serato DJ Intro has everything you need to get started. And if you already own Virtual DJ Pro or Traktor Pro and don’t want to use Serato, then you’re in luck. You can download mappings for both Virtual DJ and Traktor on the Numark website, and the basics are all set out in exactly the same way as you’d expect them to be with the basic functionality in Serato DJ Intro copied more or less exactly. This should put to rest any questions about what software the Numark Mixtrack Pro 2 is compatible with.
This’s a review video of Numark Mixtrack Pro II
I definitely like Numark Mixtrack Pro II more than the first Mixtrack Pro, and even though the market’s a lot more crowded with budget DJ controllers than it was when Mixtrack Pro first appeared. Most of the time, in music hardware and software, you get what you pay for. In Conclusion, The Numark Mixtrack Pro II is a very compact and lightweight controller with newly updated and sleek build quality and lots of easy-to-use features right out of the box. The price of Numark Mixtrack Pro II around $249.95