Our good friends over at Gemini DJ sent us the First CNTRL-7 Digital DJ Controller review unit for this exclusive full Video Review and Demonstration. This compact controller packs a huge punch with serious features like the sample banks, effects, loops, and hot cues. The CNTRL-7 can also be used as a standalone mixer with dedicated inputs and a bunch of outputs. Check out the review video inside to see how the Gemini units stacks up against the competition.
Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
The Gemini CNTRL-7 is the newest Gemini USB MIDI controller that sports a nice compact and lightweight design which also provides the user with the option to use the CNTRL-7 as a standalone mixer.
The Gemini CNTRL-7 also has a separate set of Booth and Master RCA outputs and volume controls with a fully Balanced XLR output as well. The Jog Wheels are solid and have decent (simple-scratching) resolution. The CNTRL-7 also has a decent Crossfader which is the Alpha-type that is also found on other popular pieces of DJ equipment today. The crossfader also has an external curve control knob. The CNTRL-7 is also loaded with features that new-age DJ’s need such as Loops, Hot Cues, effects, and a unique Sample Bank section.
On the downside, the Gemini CNTRL-7 is not meant for rigorous scratching just as with any other MIDI controller. The Jog wheels will not be able to pick up very fast movements, so they are mostly used for baby-scratches, light juggling, and getting the BPM’s lined up just right. The crossfader also will not pick up very fast crab-like movements, but will do fine for easier scratching. The other Minor gripe that I have with the unit is that the internal soundcard cannot be used for DVS playback on the external decks (The S4 is still the only controller that can do this).
Conclusion / Recommended For
In Conclusion, the Gemini CNTRL-7 USB MIDI Controller is a great compact controller that has lots of additional DJ features that would usually be found on the more expensive controllers on the market today. DJ’s will get a real Bang for their buck with the CNTRL-7. We recommend the Gemini CNTRL-7 for DJ’s on a budget, or DJ’s who need an additional compact setup that is portable enough to take with you on the go. Beginner DJ’s will also like this setup since it has everything you need to start DJ-ing and provides you with additional outputs and inputs for room to grow in the future.
- Very Compact and Lightweight Design
- Can work as a standalone (2-channel) mixer, as a MIDI device, or with a combination of both
- Booth and Master outputs with Balanced XLR
- Nice Touch-Sensitive Jog Wheels (no shakes or wobbles)
- Alpha Style Crossfader with external Curve adjustment
- Good Feature Set (Loops, Hot Cues, Sample Banks, Effects)
- Not Suited for Serious Scratching (Mapping to jog wheels and Fader are not suited for serious/rigorous scratching)
- Cannot use internal soundcard for external timecode decks (must have separate soundcard device)