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Numark Mixtrack Pro review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £149
inc VAT

Fantastic jog wheels and great software, but hot-cue, loop and effects sections could be better organised


The Mixtrack Pro’s 6in touch-sensitive jog wheels are gloriously large and a welcome relief from the minute jogs normally seen on budget controllers. The jogs are very responsive when used with Serato DJ Intro and this, coupled with their large size, makes them great for scratching and beatjuggling. Their large size also makes them effective for speeding up or slowing down a track when mixing, and it feels as if you’re mixing on a decent CDJ rather than a budget controller. It’s worth noting that you can’t use the jogs to control the speed of a track when the jog’s set to Scratch mode.

Should you want to beatmatch manually, each deck section has a 45mm pitch fader and a set of pitch bend buttons. The pitch bend buttons let you speed up or slow down tracks to keep them synced, and are incredibly handy because you can keep the jogs in Scratch mode permanently and just use the pitch bend buttons to mix.

Underneath each jog wheel is a set of transport and cue controls. They’re large and visible, and are backlit when active, but they do have a slightly cheap feel. The set also includes a Sync button, which asks your DJing software to match the tempos of two tracks for you so you don’t have to do it yourself.

Numark Mixtrack Pro

One of the great advantages of digital DJing is the ability to chop up a track and change its running order, and important tools for doing this are hot-cues, loops and effects. The Mixtrack Pro has hot-cue, loop and effects controls on each deck, but we’re not happy with their implementation.

The effects controls consist of three high knobs and a single button, whereas the hot-cue and loop controls are each comprised of four buttons. For some bizarre reason, Numark has placed hot-cue buttons above the effects controls, impeding access to them. It would’ve made much more sense to have the effects controls at the top of the controller, followed by the loop controls and then the hot-cue buttons. It’s much better to have the hot-cue buttons close to the jog wheel so that they can be reached easily when you’re scratching and mixing.

Perhaps the biggest problem is the incomplete mapping of controls to the bundled software. The Mixtrack Pro is a general-purpose controller and isn’t designed around a specific software application. This provides a great deal of flexibility, but it also means some buttons are either redundant in some applications or work in ways you wouldn’t expect. As an example, the loop buttons have two levels of control in Traktor but not in Serato DJ Intro. Bizarrely, the second level of control in Traktor lets you increase or decrease the size of a loop, but the loop activation button only creates a 1-bar loop. This means you have to trigger a 1-bar loop and then change the size within it, which is okay if you want to create a 1-bar loop or larger, but isn’t so good if you want to create a 2-beat or smaller loop.

Numark Mixtrack Pro

Sadly, the only global controls are a rotary controller and three buttons for loading tracks from your software’s track browser. The track selection controls work well, and we could select and load tracks without having to touch the keyboard. We would’ve welcomed more controls so that we could map them to Traktor Scratch Pro 2’s Quantise and Snap functions, or Virtual DJ’s video mixer, but we understand that’s a big ask for an entry-level controller.

Traktor LE2 and Serato DJ Intro might be ‘light’ versions of more fully featured software, but they’re high quality applications that provide all the functions you need to get started. It’s much better to have fewer functions and rock-solid performance than have flaky software with many functions. Plus, you can upgrade Traktor LE 2 and Serato DJ Intro to the full versions of their respective software when you want to move on and use more advanced. As an example, the full versions of both applications let you map the Mixtrack Pro’s controls however you want, to suit your needs and workflow.

The Mixtrack Pro isn’t a perfect controller, but it is a great entry-level controller for those looking to start DJing. Its application-agnostic design makes it a flexible platform that you can use with many software systems, but it also means it lacks the polished performance of controllers designed for a specific application. The incomplete mappings for Serato DJ Intro and Traktor Pro are examples of this. Even so, its large jog wheels and the high quality of its bundled software make it a bargain system.

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Price £149
Rating ***

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