The Reloop BeatMix is the newest and most affordable Digital DJ controller in the Reloop DJ equipment lineup which is now here in the United States for DJ's to purchase and enjoy courtesy of Mixware.net. The Reloop BeatMix has oversized jog wheels, nice faders, and a good two-deck version of Virtual DJ LE all coming in at an excellent price-point for beginner and entry-level DJ's. Check out our full written and HD-Video reviews inside.
Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
The Reloop BeatMix Digital DJ controller is a new entry-level and compact MIDI controller that comes bundled with a two-deck version of Virtual DJ LE and comes in at a great price that won’t break the bank. The Reloop BeatMix is made up of an almost completely plastic chassis. There is a bit of metal (aluminum) on the top of the jog wheels, but that’s all there is here. The plastic construction on the Reloop BeatMix is a bit thin and “creaky” and I suspect that anyone who owns a BeatMix needs to be careful when in transport. The knobs also have a plastic post instead of metal, but this was done in both cases to keep the cost down for the end user. I don’t suppose this will be a serious issue, but it’s worth a mention in case you decide to travel with the BeatMix unprotected.
The BeatMix can easily fit into a backpack or larger style laptop bag but it’s a bit bigger than the DDJ-WeGO or the MC2000 we recently reviewed. All of the buttons on the BeatMix illuminate to let the user know what features are active at a glance. The brightness of the buttons is adequate but it could be a bit dim in direct sunlight or in heavy light conditions. All of the buttons are hard plastic with an audible click when pressed. The BeatMix does not come with a power supply as it is fully USB-Powered and must be connected to a computer in order to power the unit. The Reloop BeatMix is a fully MIDI-mappable DJ controller that can work with almost any DJ software out on the market today. For this review, I am only going to test the BeatMix based solely on the Virtual DJ LE software that comes bundled with the controller. Just as with other VDJ LE controllers, the BeatMix is almost exactly mirrored by the graphical user interface of Virtual DJ LE making this controller and software setup very intuitive and easy to use.
The setup of the BeatMix was a breeze with the user only having to use the supplied CD to install the Driver (on a Windows Machine) and Software for the controller while plugging in the USB connection to the computer. You must also connect your speakers through the supplied RCA Master Output (which is on the rear of the unit) and you’re ready to play your digital audio files through the Virtual DJ LE. Around the back there is also an additional RCA Record/Booth Output (which is a set volume), the USB connection, and two jog wheel sensitivity knobs to adjust each jog wheels touch-sensitivity individually. There is ¼-inch headphone output and a ¼-inch microphone input with volume knob on the front of the BeatMix. It would have been nice to have a 1/8th-inch option for the headphones, but again, this was most likely done to keep costs down.
The BeatMix has lots of on-board controls for many features that DJ’s have grown to love. All of the knobs (EQ’s, Gain, Headphone, & Master Volume) are really fat and oversized with a hard plastic feel that gives you a good contact that is easy to finely adjust. The crossfader is not user-replaceable, but it feels like the same fader found on the Terminal Mix 2 and 4 which Reloop released earlier this year. The crossfader mapping with VDJ wasn’t really tight enough to pull off any quick scratching but they were good enough to do basic baby scratches and cueing.
The Line faders have a little bit more resistance to them and they work generally well for mixing purposes and for getting the volume level right. There are no LED Meters or indicators located on the actual unit, so the user must look at the computer screen in order to see where the levels are in the mix before adjusting the Gain and volume controls. Above the linefaders are the transport controls. There is a big oversized push-style silver knob for flipping through the library and an A or B button which allows the user to load the track to the decks. All of these controls have additional navigation purposes when the shift button is pressed. Above the navigation section is the traditional 3-Band EQ and gain knobs. The Master volume, headphone volume and CUE/MASTER fader knobs are all located in the middle.
The Jog wheels on the BeatMix feel like very similar to the jog wheels found on the Reloop Terminal Mix 2 and 4 which is definitely a good thing. They have a nice weight to them and when you spin them backwards, they hold the speed for a full 3 spins before they stop. The jog wheels feel sturdy and they don’t shake or wobble and they have a nice metal touch-sensitive top. The sensitivity can be adjusted with the knobs found on the rear panel. The jogs are solid on top with a harder plastic feel to the sides for nudging and slowing down the music for beat-matching. The jog wheel performance for scratching is decent, but not as good as the TM2 or TM4. You won’t be able to catch every single jog wheel detailed movement when pulling off complex scratches, but they’ll work well for basic cue style scratching and backcueing.
Below the jog wheels are the buttons for Cue, Play/Pause, Cue-Play, and Sync. There is also three hot cue buttons for each deck and the shift button to allow for layering of the button controls. On the outer sides of the BeatMix are the illuminated Pitch Bend buttons and the pitch sliders at the top. They are really sensitive and they do a great job for beatmatching. There is no center click in the pitch sliders, but there is a small LED that lights when the track is at zero. Next up are the controls for the Loops, Samples, and Effects. There are four total sample banks that are shared between all decks in Virtual DJ LE. In order to play the samples, the DJ can use the knob to select the sample and then press the sample-on button underneath the knob to turn it on. These samples can be looped or one-shot when pressed depending on the software setting. The same knob and button is also used to select the effects and turn them on as well. The two kobs next to these will work as Sampler volume, FX Parameter 1, FX Parameter 2, and a HP/LP Filter depending on when you are pressing the shift key.
There are manual and auto Loop controls on the BeatMix. There are separate Loop In and Loop Out buttons that also double as an autoloop button and Beat Mash. The loop size and position can be changed using the last knobs which are closest to the gain knobs.
Conclusion / Recommended For
In Conclusion, Reloop BeatMix is a good addition to the Reloop “Mix” family and it achieves the goal of coming in at a good pricepoint but still offering competitive features in an accessible package. The BeatMix is a compact and lightweight controller which is an excellent option beginner DJ’s or for DJ’s on a budget who want a simple setup and complete package. The BeatMix is a two-deck controller that comes bundled with Virtual DJ LE with tight integration and easy to understand on-screen layout. The BeatMix has a nice Jog wheel feel and there are easy to use Transport, Hot Cues, Sample, Effects, and Loop controls all on-board. On the downside, the BeatMix does not have any LED meters to show the user the mix levels at a glance. The BeatMix has a pretty thin plastic construction and the jog wheels/crossfader have a bit of latency so serious scratching is out of the question. At the end of the day, there had to be some sacrifices to keep the costs down while still offering a product that is a worthy contender in the cost-effective DJ controller realm. You can find a BeatMix for as low as $250 at the time of writing this review which makes it cheaper than the other recently released compact DJ controllers. The official retail price is $279.99 but seek and ye shall find. We are going to recommend the Reloop BeatMix Digital DJ controller to any new or entry-level to intermediate-level DJ’s who want to get a good feel for the DJ-game without a big cash investment.
- Very Compact/Lightweight for Easy to transport
- Great Price & Features for Beginner to Intermediate Users
- Comes bundled w/Virtual DJ LE & Is Fully MIDI-Mappable
- Nice aluminum-top Jog Wheel feel
- On-board controls for Transport, Hot Cue, Sampler, effects, & Loops
- No LED Line/Master-Level Meters On-board
- Thin Plastic Construction
- No Additional AUX Input