Having fought my way through draconian security at the NAMM show, I was confronted with a wall of tech on the Numark stand, but it was what was on the during the build that captured my imagination. It seems that the Numark and Akai DNA have been thrown together to make a MPC/DJ hybrid technology. The (wait for it) MPC DJ is a test piece - in no way a real product, and Numakai/Akaimark are floating this trial balloon to gauge the opinion of the public, to see if it should be make real.
Basically, it's the chassis and decks of a Numark NS7 with a reworked mixer section that sees the increasingly trendy 4x4 pad layout with 4 low profile mixer channels. It's an obvious nod towards the developing sample based workflows that have appeared in the recent times. When I say nod, I mean taking the fusing of DJ and producer to pretty much the extreme.
Numark could easily have just made a cool render, but there's nothing quite like having an honest to goodness lump of non working prototype hardware. It gives you a real perspective on the workflow, logistics and aesthetics that a VR clip can't. Unfortunately 99.9% of you won't actually get to see it in the flesh.
But Numark would still love to hear your thoughts. Is it an ugly mashup of disparate technologies, or the perfect union of playing and making music? They're watching and waiting for your opinions - make them count.
1) Make it a 4 deck controller instead of 2 decks with the layer buttons found on the NS6 !!! (For those that want it)
2) No Serato Intro !!! Make it a Serato Itch Controller alongside the MPC DJ software
3) Make it fully compatible with Alogriddim Djay/Virtual DJ/PCDJ/Traktor/Torq/Mixvibes/Mixxx/Ableton/Ultramixer/DJDecks/Deckadance and others not mentioned !!!
4) [Hi res midi AND (a must have) HID protocol] with everything midi-mappable (include mapping software to assist in mapping with 3rd party software) to avoid it becoming difficult to map like the Akai APC controllers … Novation Launchpad did the right thing
5) Replace the channel faders with the ones similar to the ones like on the NS7FX or the NS6 (adjust according to size)
6) Allow time code to pass-thru via mixer like on the N4
7) Enhanced strip search with track position indicator like on the NS6
8) The beat grid control like on the NS6
9) Not sure if the FX is on the unit or not but make sure it is there
10) Make sure the price is right !!!
Much respect to the guys at digitaldjtips.com for the good ideas ... you would have to read to find out the suggestions from its posters
P.S.: Forgot to mention one important thing… I hope this doesn’t become the Numark X7 mixer that never was released; this unit should be compatible with the Akai MPC Renaissance/Studio/Fly software
and hopefully if it has the HID protocol to able to work with Serato Scratch Live ... Don't forget about iTunes compatibility and VJ software ArkaosVJ
"But Numark would still love to hear your thoughts. Is it an ugly mashup of disparate technologies, or the perfect union of playing and making music? They're watching and waiting for your opinions - make them count."
#1) The chassis is weird in that the decks don't flush out with the mixer section. Should be the same dimension all the way across edge. #2) Change the fader caps to paddles AND offer a rotary version. #3) Get rid of the fake 45 adapters. It's just silly. #4) Don't make mistake a lot of others are by not including separate booth outputs/control.
As usual, Numark's innovation doesn't fail to make an impression. If public opinion is what they're after, I would say MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!
Why not include other 2 decks, controls for effects (both onboard analog and digital software), somo more pads for more samples, maybe make it 8x8=64 REAL MPC pads, also why not include some speakers, maybe team up with KRK I heard they make good monitors, include 2 of them facing the DJ/PRODUCER and 2 of them facing the crowd. You can place the speakers under the controller i guess, but please make them INTEGRATED. Also an INTEGRATED laptop would be cool, why not team up with Apple?
my 2 cents
It sounded like they're writing their own MPC software for this.
If so, they should have it do video from the beginning. There is no definitive video DJ app yet, so they could own the market. Playing video drums on the MPC pads would be so unreal.
A to B mixing complemented by live performance sample shots, sampling and sequencing is a lot to be dealing with, so there is really little need to make this a four deck controller just to massage the perceived need for such a controller when in reality most dj's who think they need four decks haven't even mastered two.
So for me this should be a 2.1 channel scenario with clear 2 channel clutter free battle ethic complemented by what an MPC could bring to the party. Having MPC features like live sampling, finger drumming and sequencing in between decks is a pretty tasty dream. Here's just a few things I'd want to be able to do on a controller like this Post fade sampling to allow user to build turntablist compositions live. live sequencing and finger drumming with the ability to copy from MPC area to either decks. And of course a foot pedal input to enable those features while hands busy. Now I know there will be millions of peeps wanting this thing to be crammed with controls, but in reality 2 V7 featured decks, 2 channel battle mixer and a MPC with performance orientated controls is more than enough to be getting on with. Moving platters and MPC equals hip hop dj/performer, so the layout and workflow of this controller should lean towards the clutter free battle style workflow to allow the user speedy hassle free access to all controls rather than the typical overcrowded top of the range controller. Most times little really is more!!
I think the NS7 is badass...but just too damn massive to be practical. As awesome as this combination MPC/DJ Turntable could be, the software would have to be exquisite: live sampling of mp3's/wav files, the ability to manipulate my music live and on the fly....
I dont know. Seems like too much sugar for a dime. And it would cost $2K or more. There's a reason it hasn't been done yet. But we can always dream, can't we????.....
The pad area takes up WAY too much space.
Not a bad concept of including pads, but they need to be somewhere else. Maybe extend the front (DJ side) across the whole width and have them lined up there.
Spreading the pads would make the whole thing have less MPC feel, and having an 8x8 grid of pads... no. lol
This should definitely be a 2.1 setup, with the channel faders out of the way of where your wrists would sit.. maybe line faders on either side of the 4x4 grid?
Looks good. Would be interesting to play with it.
Numark ist still thinking about what NI already did...
First of all:
I love how Numark tries to do some all new and innovative stuff! PERIOD! But(!): I can't see the point in this unit. If they want to corporate an MPC (or MPD) in an all-in-one unit they should do passive platters like on the NS6. 16+ drum pads and spinning platters will be too much to use. With the great platters made by Numark/Vestax/Pioneer we know that you don't need any spinning if you want to make some responsive ones. On the software side of things they should incorporate one of the two leaders in this business being Serato or Native Instruments. Why Serato? Video mixing seems to be the recent future of DJing. With Serato Video on SL & ITCH they will cover the main market for on-the-fly platter controlled VJing at their fingertips. Another thing is and will be The Bridge. It's not the biggest thing everybody hoped for but a) people need to get used to this kind of mash-up with DJ and producing software and b) it just started and if Serato & Ableton put some more effort in this it will definitely rule the future of DJing. The only flaw of The Bridge is that it came too early - but it will be king as time goes on. Why Traktor? We all have seen the newest teaser and what they've done with their sampler is like... well: The basics of The Bridge with platter control on one hand but the just too basic integration of the "Ableton-less Bridge" on the other. We will see this feature develop and become more important in the future. In conclusion there will be a market for professional all-in-one DJ+Producer units in the future and Numark does the right thing with some research in this area. They really should not release the MPCDJ but should continue to test and research for this kind of equipment. We will see the time for this kind of weird gear. We just don't know when this will be.
They already have their own bridge, thanks to retronyms, very exciting times ahead for miPcaDjing
The reality is that these units are too big and too heavy to be practical. The reason why people use the APCs, DVS systems and the like is because they are light and you can stuff it into a bag. This would be a lot of money to drop on a home-only system, with no real way to carry it to-and-from gigs and level a space in the booth for.
Features, build and design looks great though. I just can't see it being something Numark/Akai can shift numbers and justify developing in the real world.
yet another allin1
though it does look great, I still would have loved to see that X7 mixer they had to be made. But... Again with another extremely large controller for at home use.
Why not integrating pads in a mixer or in a deck or in a pad controller (!) but the complete solution is too much, specific and maybe still not enough. I am not yet a pad user but if a PC is needed on top of all that (as for many solutions) I just say NO. It would be so great to just have a unit with a 7" screen for track/sample selection, USB port, a "needle search" (CDJ2000) or "touchstrip" (Twitch), a few control buttons, then a V7 jog in product A and MPC pads in product B. Digital Dj's should just have to carry a usb stick or one unit to plug in a mixer.
I'll save my opinion for when I can lay my hands on it and see how they integrate the MPC portion. If done right, it will be a big seller. Seeing as how it's just prototype at this juncture the best thing we can offer is suggestions.
As far as the size and weight, I spent the better part of my DJ career hauling heavy ass shit throughout the 80's and 90's, so the NS7 and this unit is very portable lightweight to me in comparison.
I have had some time to mess around with with the v7's and the NS7 & nsfx over the past few years...Some improvements I would suggest of the hybrid mpc version and the older units that I have come across would be a more rugged usb connector on the back. knobs should be more rugged.....on the hybrid model some midi knobs would be great due to itch video coming out in march 2012.. Locked bpm effects, more effects choices, sampler and video effects on the hardware controller..potential for firewire, 3.0 usb or thunderbolt connections that can be used..An ability to replace the 45 vinyl with real 45's as current 45's are just slightly to thin to place on the spindle assembly all by itself...