The Reloop RMP-3 Alpha is Reloop's first true crossmedia player. Whether CD, MP3, memory stick or hard disk drive – it does not matter where the sound is coming from or how it is coded, the RMP-3 Alpha submits it to the DJ's control....DJ BLAZE of DJbooth.net takes em for a spin and supplies a full written review.
The Reloop RMP-3 is the newest digital media controller/CD Turntable developed by Reloop that has the ability to play from USB devices, CD’s, and can work as a MIDI controller for computer software. The RMP-3 boasts an accurate touch-sensitive jog wheel, on-board effects, looping functions, and hot cue pad control. This deck looks to be PACKED with lots of cool features that DJ’s desire and this review will determine whether it all comes together successfully, or does it fall flat in execution.
In the box:
-Reloop Database software CD
-Traktor Pro Demo CD
The Setup process for the Reloop RMP-3 was pretty simple. Just like any other deck, all a DJ has to do is plug the supplied RCA cable into the mixer’s channel that we want the track to play on. For the purposes of this review, I only used the RMP-3 for CD and USB drive playback. I did not use the Reloop RMP-3 with the Traktor Scratch Pro DEMO which is included with the device. I can assume that since this deck was developed with Traktor, that the performance with the software should be on-par with the playback performance when using the CD or USB drive playback options. In order to play CD’s all a user must do is throw a CD in the drive. For USB file playback, the user has to simply plug the USB device into the USB port located at the top left hand corner of the RMP-3 deck and select the songs. I recommend users install the Database Creating Reloop Software program (included) onto the computer so that it can index the drive, allowing the DJ to find the music quicker. The program took all of 90-seconds to install. After the USB Hard drive or USB flash drive is connected to the computer, then the user can drag and drop the music folders directly into the drive.
File Navigation – The on-board file navigation features are intuitive and easy to use. One of the unique things about the RMP-3 is that it gives users the option to navigate through files using the Advanced Track Search Feature to select the next track while the current one is still playing. In order to access tracks the user can use the track wheel to select the next or previous tracks. If the track wheel is pressed and turned at the same time, then the search skips 10 tracks at a time allowing for quicker song acquisition. The user can also use the Search Wheel which is a spring-loaded knob that will let the DJ search/skim through a particular track when activated. The further the wheel is turned; the faster the search will go. If the track is paused, then the search will be incremental. The folder search buttons can be used to navigate MP3-CD and USB device folders. There is also a Time Button in this section which can be pressed to change the LED information to elapsed track time, remaining track time, and remaining time of the entire CD. The Single/Continue button is in the file area and is used to change between Single track playback and continuous file playback. The reverse button allows for any track to be played backwards.
LED Screen – The LED screen found at the top of the Reloop RMP-3 was very helpful throughout playback, showing all of the important features and track information necessary to make mixing easier for the end user. The LED screen displays: Track/Folder/File/Album/Artist/Genre names, Time mode, Time, Play cursor, Anti-Shock Memory, Pitch, Key Lock indicator, BPM, Cue, Direction, Play/Pause, Play Mode, and Loop status.
Touch Sensitive Jog Wheel – Everyone knows that as a Scratch and Hip-Hop DJ, I am never really into platters that aren’t actively spinning like an analog deck. Every once in a while though, I will use a deck with a Touch Sensitive jog wheel (i.e. Pioneer decks) that can actually keep up with scratching movements while maintaining accurate sound reproduction and wheel positioning. Such is the case with the Reloop RMP-3. I am happy to say that this is one of the best jog wheels I have used to date. When the jog wheel is in its “normal” form, the manipulation of the wheel is used to speed up or slow down the track for mixing purposes. However, when the Scratch Effect button is pressed; then the DJ can now accurately scratch using the jog wheel. I was able to pull off all type of fast scribble scratches and tears without any issues at all. The sound remained true and the positioning of the actual jog wheel remained perfectly aligned with the track. Overall, the scratching reproduction found on the RMP-3 greatly exceeded my expectations and it all worked just as it was supposed to. The jog wheel itself is made of a rubbery like material, while the surface on top is very rough creating a great grip area for scratching and manipulation.
Effects – There are many effects included with the RMP-3 and most of them can be layered or chained together during playback right from the deck itself. The on-board effects included in the RMP-3 are: Scratch (vinyl mode), Skid, Filter, Phase, Hold, Echo, Flanger, Trans, and PAN. These effects can be automatically activated or manually engaged. When the effects are set we can use the Parameter Time Button to modulate the chosen effect or sample or we can use the Parameter Ratio Button to increase/decrease the effect intensity. There are a group of seven buttons that change the loop or sample ratios as it relates to the BPM of the track. These buttons are labeled as 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1/1, 2/1 and 4/1 and, when activated, will change how often the effect loop or effect is activated. There are many other ways to manipulate the effects with other on-board functions that I won’t get into right now because it would take me too long to explain (that’s what user manuals are for). But I will say that the Scratch (vinyl mode) Effect can be combined with any other effect to produce some cool new scratch sounds that opens the doors to many other creative possibilities.
Cues & Loops – There are Four Cue/Sample Bank buttons (1-4) that can be used as Hot Cue buttons, sample buttons, or loop save banks. In order to store a cue point, the user must press the “Save To” button and press the corresponding PAD at the time in the track that the cue is supposed to save. In order to save samples, the DJ must press the Sampler button and then press the corresponding PAD at the area in the track that needs to be recorded. The RMP-3 can save up to four; 5-second samples at a time, and they can be engaged during CD or File playback. The loop section of the mixer includes a Loop In button, Loop Out button, and Reloop button. Engaging the Loop in starts the loop and the loop out button completes the end of the loop. By pressing the Reloop button, the loop remains continuously activated. In order to save a loop that has been created, simply press the Memory button and one of the four Cue bank buttons that you want to save it on. The Bank P button is used to play a sequence of loops saved on one of the banks. The complete Sample/Loop/Cue functions of the deck were very easy to use once I got started with it all. I figured it out in about 15 minutes without reading the manual. Everything here worked as it should, and I had no issues creating samples, loops, and cue points whatsoever.
Pitch – The Pitch section of the RMP-3 worked just as good as any other professional deck on the market today. There are Pitch Bend buttons below the pitch slider. There is also a Pitch lock button which automatically returns the source track to its normal playback speed. The Pitch Key Lock button is used so that the DJ can change the speed of the song without changing the key of the sound. The Range of the Pitch slider can be adjusted to 4%, 8%, 16%, and 100%.
Overall, the Reloop RMP-3 device lives up to its “Professional Crossmedia Player” tagline as it accurately gives DJ’s many playback options such as CD’s, USB devices, and computer software. The Jog wheel worked very well, and I was impressed with the accuracy and sound during scratching. The construction is lightweight for people who travel, but at the same time, the finish of the device is very durable with a rubber-like coating on the exterior. This is one of the only devices out there that allows DJ’s the option of layering multiple effects right on-board. Another big plus for the RMP-3 is the fact that you can search through tracks while continuously playing another track. I didn’t have many issues with this machine… The only gripe that I have with the Reloop RMP-3 is somewhat subjective. Personally, I would rather have an actively spinning platter in place of a jog wheel because I feel spinning platters are best suited for hip-hop DJ’s and turntablists.
I highly recommend the Reloop RMP-3 to any DJ who needs the ability to play tracks from a variety of different sources. The RMP-3 will also work well for Mobile DJ’s who don’t want to break their back carrying around equipment. Although the RMP-3 can be used for scratching and Hip-hop mixing, there are other options out there that will work better for that application. The Reloop RMP-3 unit is at its BEST when used with the faster BPM genres that rely mostly on Beat-match (BPM) mixing for their transitions (i.e. House, Club, Trance, etc).
-Multiple Playback Support Options (USB, CD, MIDI)
-Excellent Touch-Sensitive Jog Wheel
-Lightweight but Durable finish/construction
-Can Search Tracks while Playing
-No Actively Spinning Platter