Numark V7 Controller Review
The Numark V7 is a completely digital Media controller (MIDI) interface that allows DJ’s to scratch, mix, loop, effect, sample, and play any music file straight from the user’s desktop or laptop computer. The Numark V7 platform is loosely based on their successful Numark NS7 system, sharing the same actively spinning 7-inch platter and overall construction and design cues.
Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
The Numark V7 is a completely digital Media controller (MIDI) interface that allows DJ’s to scratch, mix, loop, effect, sample, and play any music file straight from the user’s desktop or laptop computer. The Numark V7 platform is loosely based on their successful Numark NS7 system, sharing the same actively spinning 7-inch platter and overall construction and design cues. Since they have very similar features, I would recommend taking a look at the NS7 review we completed in 2009 found here! The main difference between the two units is that the user can now have separate decks and choose any mixer they would like to use with these media controllers.
Straight out of the box, the Numark V7 is a stunning piece of equipment. The black brushed aluminum-look to the face of the unit and silver metal outline will sit nicely on any DJ table or studio setting. I know I like to say that lots of equipment I review is sturdy and rugged, but these units are seriously built TOUGH! They are very heavy and they feel almost bullet-proof with an all metal housing construction. These are probably the most rugged set of Media controller or CD decks I have ever used. The nice glossy black finish on the front panel of the unit makes for the perfect backdrop to the silver Numark Logo. The design is very nice and the layout is perfect. All of the buttons, knobs, and sliders have a sturdy-rubbery type of feel to them which keeps with the overall “super-duty” construction theme of the Numark V7 controller. All of the buttons illuminate to let you know what is selected or being used at the time. When pressed they have a nice audible click so that you can be certain of the selection which is chosen.
strong>Inside the box
• V7 motorized turntable software controller
• Turntable platter system
• 7-inch vinyl record
• 7-inch slipmat
• Spindle wrench
• Spindle screw
• (2) Stereo audio cables (RCA)
• Link cable
• USB cable
• Power cable
• Software CD
• Quick start guide
The Setup process for the Numark V7’s was seriously easy. When you take the unit out of the box, you must first use the slipmat, vinyl record, platter and spindle screw to assemble the platter system. This took me all but two minutes to setup. Then I had to plug in the power cables and the Link cable (RJ45) which is used to link the two decks together so that they use only one USB interface to the computer instead of two. So then, the user must set one Deck to A and the other to B and also identify the deck location (right or left) by using the selector switch found on the rear of the unit (The Deck A and Deck B switch can also be used to switch between two separate decks found on each unit so the user can essentially use one deck as two by flipping the switch to control the other side.) Then, the Deck that is being used as the MASTER interface (actually plugged into the computer) must have the MASTER Button light illuminated.
In our configuration, we have two V7’s so we will set one deck to Deck A/LEFT (MASTER), while the second deck is set to Deck B/RIGHT. Then, attach the RCA cables to the MASTER V7 Deck A going to the Line 1 on the mixer and Deck B going to the Line 2 on the mixer. The mixer I am using for this testing is my trusty Korg KM-202. All that is left now is to plug in the one USB cable from the first MASTER deck and into the computer. Then you throw in the Numark Serato Itch software CD and install the program…That’s it! I didn’t have to do any tweaks to parameters/settings within the software. This is the first time I used a media controller where all I had to do for setup was plug-and-play. So far; I am still impressed.
Platter – The platter on the Numark V7’s is identical to the 7-inch platter found on the Numark NS7 unit. The motor is very high torque and the slip-mat makes the vinyl controller on top very nice for scratching. I am happy to report that there is absolutely ZERO lag when using the Numark V7 with the Serato Itch Software. It’s like the perfect marriage between hardware and software. I was able to use my finger on the platter as a “brake” to slow down the track to get my mixes spot on as well. The Platter is switchable between 33RPM and 45RPM for the speed that feels more comfortable for the user. The tension and torque is also fully customizable. Even though I am able to pull off all of my scratches rather seamlessly, the one gripe that have with the platter is that it is slightly too small for me personally and it took some time getting used to. I think even an extra two or three inches added to the platter would have made the platter interface more enjoyable and sometimes even easier to scratch, juggle, and manipulate a mix. The vinyl interface on top of the platter is about 6.75 inches and when you take out the middle spindle area and record label, it only leaves you with about 3 inches or so of scratch-able finger space.
The platter controls include separate start time and stop time knobs to control how quick or how slow the platter starts and stops. There is a motor off button that will completely disable platter control when illuminated. This is not to be confused with the Technics Motor off function where, when activated, the platter is now free for manipulation. If you want to do that on the V7’s then you must simply press the play/pause button to stop the track, and now the platter is completely free to manipulate as chosen. Last but not least, I had a lot of fun using the Reverse/Bleep lever. When the lever is set to the middle; the track and platter plays as normal. When the lever is in the reverse position; the platter and track will start to play in reverse. When the bleep position is selected, the track will continue to hold its forward timing and the platter will remain spinning forward, but the track itself will play in reverse as long as the bleep is engaged. The bleep function is almost like when a DJ on a radio station needs to bleep out the curses of a track.
The Pitch Section – The pitch control slider is made up of a hard and sturdy plastic and is very smooth with a nice amount of resistance to it. There is no center “click” area for the dead center zero but there is a blue indicator which illuminates when 0% pitch is achieved. The ranges are 8, 16, and 50 percent and can be changed by pressing the range button on the unit or within the Itch software. There is a master tempo button which illuminates when activated allowing the tempo to be changed without interfering with the key. Pitch Bend buttons are also included to achieve the best mix. There is a huge SYNC button which is located right next to the CUE and PLAY buttons under the platter that, when activated, will sync the BPM’s of both decks. When Shift + SYNC are pressed, the Itch software will try to align the beat. If it doesn’t line up the first time, if it is continually pressed, eventually it will become aligned.
Loop Control Section – The Loop section (found in the upper left hand corner) is pretty self-explanatory. Just like any other Loop function found on other devices, you simply set the loop in and loop out using the buttons and you can either automatically loop (using the extensive BPM analyzer for loop marking) or manually loop the selection. There is a 1/2X and 2X buttons that allow the loop time to be cut in half or doubled. The loop points can also be edited using the Left and right Loop shift buttons. There is also a master On/Off button to completely engage or eliminate Loop control during a set.
Navigation Section – The File navigation section of the Numark V7 is used to control the Itch Software right on the deck instead of the computer. So you can scroll through the files or crates (playlists) using the big selector knob found on the upper right of the unit. The knob can be pressed to select a track. When the track is highlighted on the screen, you can load the track into either deck using either deck for navigation. For example, when I am using DECK A, I can select the track using the navigation and load it onto either V7 using the LOAD A (for the first deck track) or the LOAD B (for the second deck track) buttons. The file navigation feature on the V7 was very easy to use and I didn’t have any issues loading any of my tracks into both V7’s using the same source files. Every time I selected a track to play, there was basically no load delay time and no issues with playback. It works exactly as it is supposed to.
There is a small Strip Search touch sensitive bar located above the platter. This serves as a fast forward or rewind search function that allows the DJ to touch this surface backwards or forwards to search through the track for a particular point. There is a corresponding LED strip below the Search Strip that corresponds to the current track position.
FX Section – The FX section of the mixer is used to control the Itch powered effects. There is an FX select knob in the lower right area of the deck that will scroll through the on-screen FX types which include: ECHO, Delay, Flanger, Phaser, Reverb, High pass filter, Low pass filter, Tremolo, Repeater, Reverser, Crusher and Braker. When the appropriate effect is found, simply press the knob to select the effect.
The FX section is turned on and off by the use of the FX ON/OFF button and you can control how much of the effect (wet/dry level) is engaged using the FX Mix slider (up to increase level and down to decrease the level). There is an FX parameter knob which controls the timing (BPM) of the effect from 1/16th beat to 8 Full beats. Only one effect can be selected at a time, but the DJ can select the order of the next effect by using the Itch software visual display. It allows the user to see which effect is the “next in line” to be applied to the mix.
Hot Cue Section – The Hot Cue section of the Numark V7 is located directly under the platter and includes the DELETE button and five separate buttons which can be set to five different points in a particular file/track. The cues are set by simply pressing one of the hot cue buttons (1-5) when the track is located at the cue point you wish assign. They can also be set using the Itch software waveform data display and recalled at a later time by pressing the illuminated corresponding hot cue button. The Delete button is pressed in combination with the CUE point that you want to eliminate. Everything here is pretty self-explanatory and the Cue functions worked perfectly every time they were engaged.
Conclusion / Recommended For
I am walking away from this review of the Numark V7 thoroughly IMPRESSED! From the very beginning, the setup was easy as pie. Every feature on the unit has a purpose and a place. The layout is intuitive and the look/finish of the whole package is simply stunning. The ultra-rugged construction allows these decks to be suitable for mobile and club DJ’s alike. The platter response is excellent, also making it a great companion for scratching and other turntable trickery.
However, everything is not perfect in the world of the Numark V7. The first issue with the V7 is the price. Even though they are competitively priced compared to other units out there that have similar features, they currently retail for about $799.99 plus shipping and/or tax. Another issue I had with these units was the small platter size. There is only about 2.5 inches of usable (scratch-able) vinyl controller space to do all of your manipulations with. If they simply added an extra two or three inches; then it would have been perfect. I assume that over time I could get used to having a smaller platter but after using them for 40+ days, I am still longing for the extra “scratch space”. The final issue that I had with the Numark V7 was the fact that it can only be used in conjunction with a computer/software interface. Some users won’t find any issue with this at all, but it would’ve been nice if they included a Mass Storage USB port so that I could play files directly from any USB device (ie. IPOD, flash drive, external HD) OR they could have added a CD drive just in case something goes wrong with the computer. Other than that, it is pretty hard to find faults with the Numark V7.
I would definitely recommend the Numark V7 system to any DJ who can afford them! They are also HIGHLY recommended for DJ’s who exclusively use a software/computer system for most or all of their DJ needs.
Pros & Cons
- Super-Duty; All-metal construction
- Extremely Easy setup (software was configured perfectly from the start)
- Near Flawless operation (no hiccups, pauses, or delays)
- Two decks in one operation
- Seamless Platter response time (great for scratching and turntable trickery)
- Serato Itch software included is a PERFECT Fit for the Numark V7 (there are lots more software features and options that are not covered in this review; see the Serato website for more information)
- Small Platter (and an even smaller “scratching area”)
- High Price (But still competitively priced for the features)
- CPU/Software controlled ONLY (No CD slot/USB storage slot/vinyl playback)
Features & Specs
* High-resolution turntable software controller
* Direct-drive, motorized turntable platter with high and low-torque settings
* Includes Serato ITCH software, compatible with Serato Scratch LIVE libraries
* Works with all DJ mixers for custom system configuration
* Extensive loop, cue, and track-access controls
* Strip Search virtual needle-drop control
* Complete effects controls for audio manipulation
* Premium, rugged, all-metal construction with high-end knobs and buttons
* V7 motorized turntable software controller
* Turntable platter system
* 7-inch vinyl record
* 7-inch slipmat
* Spindle wrench
* Spindle screw
* (2) Stereo audio cables (RCA)
* Link cable
* USB cable
* Power cable
* Software CD
* Quick start guide
* Audio Outputs: Deck 1 (Stereo RCAs L/R) Deck 2 (Stereo RCAs L/R) 44.1 kHz
* Bit Depth: 24-bit
* Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz
* Dimensions: 12.6" x 14.5" x 4.4"
* Weight: 16.4 lbs.
Mac Minimum System Requirements:
* Mac OS 10.5 or higher (including Snow Leopard)
* 32-bit - Intel processor, 1.8GHz Core Duo; 1GB RAM
* 64-bit - Intel processor, 2.4GHz Core Duo; 4GB RAM
* 2GB RAM
* 1024 x 768 screen resolution
* Available USB 2.0 port
* Available Hard disk space for music
Windows Minimum System Requirements:
* 32-bit Windows 7, Vista, or XP
* 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo processor; 2MB L2 cache; 2GB RAM
* 1024 x 768 screen resolution
* Available USB 2.0 port
* Available Hard disk space for music
Note: Beta drivers are now available for the NS7 which offer unofficial support for 64-bit versions of Windows 7. We recommend a minimum 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor; 3MB L2 cache; 4GB RAM for 64-bit operation.
Best Price for the Numark V7 Controller