German company Reloop recently launched a new set of MIDI controllers called the Terminal Mix in both two-channel and four-channel varieties. The two are essentially identical apart from the number of channels, but the slightly smaller form factor makes for a compact all-in-one controller that certainly does not skimp on quality or functionality.
Almost every one of Reloop’s DJ products is built with exceptional quality and durability, and the Terminal Mix 2 is no exception. The metal feels strong and the plastic feels rugged, giving a sense of invincibility to the controller, as well as a feeling of luxury. However, despite the wonderful and strong feel of the crossfader and channel volume knobs, I found the tempo faders to be particularly weak and flimsy-looking – a strange exception, but nothing that severely detracts from the controller’s overall look and feel. While I miss the mindblowing rotary encoders found on the Contour and Jockey 3 controllers, there are plenty of lights and just-as-grippy knobs (including filters!) to keep me happy on the Terminal Mix 2.
The controller works exceptionally with just about any MIDI-mappable DJ software, though no one software seems to be able to capture every single one of the features packed into the hardware and firmware of the Terminal Mix 2. Serato perhaps works best with this controller, and that’s not surprising considering that many of the buttons on the controller’s face correspond to uniquely Serato-based parameters, such as the beat multiplier. Nevertheless, users will feel right at home using Traktor or the bundled Virtual DJ with the Terminal Mix 2, as the unit has a fairly standard layout, composed of jog wheels, transport buttons, loop and cue controls, EQ/mixing, and effect control.
Despite the two-channel designation, the Terminal Mix 2 actually has the MIDI capability to support up to four channels, just without EQ and volume control. The Terminal Mix 2 allows you to control two track decks and two sample decks or two sets of track decks, one at a time. In fact, the only real difference between the Terminal Mix 4 and the Terminal Mix 2 is the number of faders and EQ controls – the number of soundcard inputs (one stereo pair of RCA) and outputs (two stereo pairs of RCA and one stereo pair of ¼” TRS jacks) is the same, and the number of auxiliary controls is the same.
The Terminal Mix series, unlike many other controllers on the market and from Reloop specifically, offers tight integration with Serato software while also allowing high levels of compatibility with Traktor and Virtual DJ. This wide integration is a relatively new development, in contrast with Serato-based controllers which were designed solely to be used with Itch or Traktor-based controllers which worked only tangentially with Serato Scratch. While it’s hard to top the award-winning Reloop Jockey 3, the Terminal Mix does a great job continuing the spirit of the Jockey while allowing for an unprecedented level of variety in compatibility.