Numark Mixtrack Quad Review
The Numark Mixtrack Quad is the 4-deck version of the newly released (and reviewed) Mixtrack Pro II Digital DJ controller. The Mixtrack Quad comes bundled with Virtual DJ LE and the user gets two additional decks/channels to mix with, multi-colored LED’s on the performance pads/jog wheels, and even better construction for added durability. Check out the full review to see just how the Mixtrack Quad stacks up.
Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
The Numark Mixtrack Quad is the brand new four-deck/four-channel entry-level digital DJ controller produced by Numark DJ Division that comes bundled with Virtual DJ LE which controls all four decks straight out of the box. This controller is based on the original Numark Mixtrack Pro II which we reviewed a few short months ago. The construction and overall layout of the Mixtrack Quad and Mixtrack Pro II are nearly identical with the Mixtrack Quad controlling four digital decks within the Virtual DJ LE software, while the Mixtrack Pro II controls two digital decks within Serato DJ Intro software. Coming in at the low price-point of only $399, the Numark Mixtrack Quad has a sleek appearance, thin but accurate jog wheels, and the very popular multi-color backlit 16-pad setup to control the main DJ functions.
Like the Numark Mixtrack Pro II, the Mixtrack Quad has a very compact and mostly plastic build-quality throughout. Despite the plastic construction, the Mixtrack Quad still feels sturdy all around and I have no doubts that it hold up through normal use. I would be careful during transport and make sure there is a bag or case protecting it when it’s not sitting on a desk or table. The Mixtrack Quad is a bit longer than the Mixtrack Pro II to fit the additional mixing controls for the additional channels but it still maintains an overall compact size which makes finding a bag or case rather easy.
Mostly all of the buttons on the Mixtrack Quad illuminate bright amber or red color to let the user know what is active at a glance. The transport buttons (Sync, Play-Pause, Stutter, and Cue) are all hard plastic while the 16 rubber performance pads are now multi-color backlit so the user can easily tell which mode the pads are currently in. The Numark Mixtrack Quad is buss powered and therefore must be connected to a computer at all times in order to run the unit with the software. All of the button illumination and lights are still very bright with only USB power, but the volume of the headphone output was a bit lower than I would have liked in the DJ booth monitoring scenario. The RCA main outputs, however, were adequate enough for live performance situations even though its all USB powered.
The Mixtrack Quad is also a MIDI-mappable DJ controller that can work with almost any DJ software out on the market today. For this review, we only tested the unit with the supplied Virtual DJ LE software package that comes with the controller, as this is what most users will end up using when they purchase the unit. The smaller two-deck version, the Mixtrack Pro II, comes bundled with Serato DJ Intro which works perfectly for two-decks of control, but Numark decided to bundle the Mixtrack Quad with Virtual DJ LE in order to take advantage of all four decks of mixing control right out of the box. Personally, I liked the overall feel and layout of the Serato DJ Intro software a bit better than the VDJ LE software and for some reason everything just felt more fluid with Serato DJ Intro. If users of the VDJ LE Mixtrack Quad want more control and a fuller DJ software experience, then DJ’s can upgrade to the full VDJ software for only an extra fee which will give DJ’s more cue points, more sample banks, more effects, and much more in terms of software control. At the time of writing this review, Numark has just released the Traktor Pro 2 and VDJ Pro mapping files which are now available on the Numark website. For any DJ that wants to use the Mixtrack Quad with another DJ software, then the mapping will have to be created from scratch.
The setup of the Controller is very, very easy. Inside the box, there is only a USB cable and a VDJ LE software CD that can be loaded into the computer to setup both the software and the hardware. After the software setup process, it’s all just simple plug and play. You don’t have to load any drivers onto a Windows Machine as it will automatically load once you plug in the controller. Users don’t have to fiddle with any extra options or preferences either… It just works as soon as you plug it in and setup the VDJ LE file. Simply plug in your speakers through the supplied RCA outputs, plug in a headphone and microphone into the side panel of the unit and you’re ready to play your digital audio files through the software and the Mixtrack Quad. There is only a single RCA output on the back of the Quad to output your set to speakers. There are no additional outputs besides the headphone jacks located on the right side of the unit. There is a quarter-inch microphone input also located on the right side of the unit with its own dedicated volume control knob as well.
The Mixtrack Quad has most of the main features and functions that a DJ would want for mixing and beatmatching. All of the knobs (EQ’s, Effects, etc.) have a plasticy feel to them but they allow for adequate adjustments that always line up with the software. The EQ knobs towards the middle of the unit are cramped together which makes them a bit hard to adjust quickly, but this layout kept the overall size of the controller to a minimum for easy transport and storage. The three-band EQ knobs are FULL-KILL when completely turned down and they sound good overall. In the middle of the entire unit, there is an oversized Browse knob and a Load A and Load B button for file navigation and for loading new tracks onto the decks. The Master Volume knob, Cue Gain knob, and Cue/Mix controls for headphone monitoring are found in the middle of the Numark Mixtrack Quad along with the four headphone CUE buttons that are used to pre-listen to decks A, B, C, and D before mixing live.
The Crossfader feels like it is of average quality but really good for mixing and fading. The crossfader has a loose feel but it has a rather long cut-in distance which isn’t ideal for scratch DJ’s but after a bit of time, I was able to pull off a modest amount of scratching from a fader-perspective... On a side note, I could not find the option to adjust the crossfader curve within the VDJ LE software, but it was automatically set to a normal Mix-mode which fades the music consistently from right to left. The Line faders have much more resistance to them and they are good enough for nice and accurate mixing. There are no VU Line Level Meters or Gain knobs on the unit to make sure your music is at the correct levels. The only indicator you get as to the level of your track is through an on-screen indicator in VDJ LE that lets you know when the mix is at the limit. It would have been nice to have either full LED meters for the four decks or a Gain knob to get the levels just right, but VDJ LE does an adequate job of getting most of the levels even from the start.
The eight rubberized performance pads found above each jog wheel are great for performances. These pads feel exactly the same as the pads on the Mixtrack Pro II, but the major difference/upgrade is that these pads are multi-color backlit so the user knows what “Mode” they are in at a glance. These pads feel great and have nice tactile feedback which makes DJ’s want to perform with them. The top four pads are used for effects and autoloop lengths while the bottom four pads are used for the main playback and extra functions that DJ’s use during sets.
The different modes that the bottom four pads can be in are Loop, Sample, and Cue. In order to cycle through the different modes of the bottom pads, the user must press and hold the shift key while pressing the appropriate pad to activate the particular mode. When in Loop Mode, the first two pads are Loop In and Loop Out, while the third pad is a reloop button and the fourth pad is used to grow or shrink the loop count. The top four pads will also act as autoloops when pressed along with the shift key. The first pad is 1-bar autoloop, second is 2-bar autoloop, third is 4-bar autoloop and the fourth is a 16-bar autoloop.
When in Sample Mode, the four bottom pads correspond to the four sample decks within Virtual DJ LE that allow the DJ to trigger samples on the fly. When in Cue Mode, the bottom four pads are now HotCue triggers that can be set by pressing the button when the track is at the correct position and deleting them by holding the fourth pad and pressing the corresponding HotCue pad. The top four pads are used to activate and de-activate the three effects per deck. Simply press the pad to start the effect and press it again to turn it off. There are also parameter knobs above each of these pads to control the wet/dry of the effect that is currently applied. You are allowed to apply three pad effects at one time.
The Jog wheels on the Numark Mixtrack Quad are good overall and seem to be just as good as the original jog Wheels found on the Mixtrack Pro II in terms of one-to-one operation. Overall, the jog wheels are very thin and only stick out about an inch from the top of the controller itself. They don’t really shake or wobble and they react well to the touch. The top is touch-sensitive plastic surface with a ribbed feel while the silver sides are used for nudging and slowing down the music for beatmatching. The Jog wheel performance for scratching is fairly decent for normal scratching techniques, but when doing super-quick movements with the jog wheel, I noticed that the software didn’t always keep up. The Jog wheels can be in either Scratch Mode or Mixing mode depending on the style of play that is favored. You can toggle between the two modes by pressing the Scratch button next to each Jog Wheel. The Jog wheels now have a Multi-color LED light ring around the outsides in order to tell the DJ which deck is currently active. The user can set the RGB color of each of the four deck’s jog wheels so it’s easy to distinguish between the different decks of control. The Tempo sliders work nicely for beatmatching and they have a good amount of tension to them and a center-click and LED indicator to let you know when you are at absolute zero. The tempo sliders are a bit on the small side, but they are accurate and you will get used to it with time.
There is also a brand new Bonus "Slip-Mode" type function on the Numark Mixtrack Quad. When the Scratch and Shift buttons are engaged simultaneously, the Mixtrack Quad goes into Slip Mode. In this mode, DJ's can use hot cues, loops, and even scratch the track that's playing without interrupting the actual play-time of the track underneath. Many new DJ controllers and DJ software are now adding this feature such as FLUX mode in Traktor and Slip-Mode on Pioneer CDJ's and controllers.
Conclusion / Recommended For
In Conclusion, The Numark Mixtrack Quad is a sleek, compact, and lightweight four-deck DJ controller with adequate build quality and lots of easy-to-use features right out of the box. The Numark Mixtrack Quad was very easy to setup which makes this a great candidate for the beginner or entry level users. The Mixtrack Quad comes bundled with a four-deck version of Virtual DJ LE and is fully MIDI mappable to any DJ software the user wishes to configure. The Numark Mixtrack Quad also has these cool and fun to use 16 Multi-Color backlit Rubber Performance Pads that control Samples, Cues, Effects, and Loops.
On the downside, there are no Gain knobs or Line Level LED Meters to show a DJ exactly where the volume of each track is while mixing live. It would have been nice to see one or the other in practice here, but VDJ LE does a decent job of getting the levels right within the software. The Numark Mixtrack Quad also has a limited number of inputs/outputs and an all-plastic construction which much be protected during transport to avoid any serious damage.
Overall, the Numark Mixtrack Quad is a welcomed addition to the Mixtrack Lineup that provides users with an inexpensive setup that can control all four Digital DJ decks right out of the box. There are some great updates to the previous Numark Mixtrack Pro II, with the addition of the multi-color 16-performance pads and multi-color Jog wheel LED’s to help the user see what features are active. We are going to recommend the Numark Mixtrack Quad Digital DJ controller to any new or beginner DJ’s who wants a sleek and compact unit to control four-decks through DJ software with everything needed to start DJing right inside the box.
Pros & Cons
- Inexpensive Four Decks/Four Channels of Control Directly Out of the Box
- Very Compact/Lightweight and Sleek Build
- Comes bundled w/Virtual DJ LE & Is Fully MIDI-Mappable
- Nice Multi-Color Backlit 16-Rubber Performance Pads for Sample, Cue, Effects & Loops
- No Gain Knobs or Level Meters
- Limited Inputs/Outputs