Nowadays, it’s rare to see a 4 channel DJ mixer with effects, straight analog. Most are DJ Midi Controllers and are generally way too expensive for the budget minded DJ. But the Gemini PS-828EFX is about to change the rules.
The Gemini PS-828EFX is a 12.5 inch rack mountable DJ mixer that looks as great as it feels. Everything is where it’s supposed to be, on top and in the back. So let’s get to it and start with the features.
On top, you have a Channel Input Selector where you can switch, depending on the channel, between turntables, CDJ’s, Line or Mic. You also have a VU Meter on each channel to monitor the decibel levels, as well as a Master VU Meter to monitor Master or Cue decibel levels. The VU Meters are a nice feature to have so you know whether you’re running in the red and when to make proper volume level adjustments.
Right below the Channel Input Selector, you have your Channel Gain and 3-band EQ, followed by your EFX Assign button (which we’ll get to later), and your Channel Volume Fader. The Channel Volume Fader feels really smooth and comes in handy for those tight dance music DJ sets. The EQ section doesn’t have kill switches, but that’s fine with me. I’m a professional and can get around a mixer without EQ kill switches, not to mention, EQ kill switches are overrated anyway. So get over it.
The Crossfader section is equipped with Crossfader (of course), X-Fader Curve, and Crossfader Assignment buttons. Allowing you to switch between either channels 1 and 2, or channels 3 and 4, depending on the position of the fader assignment push button. The X-Fader Curve has two curves, gradual (position right) for those smooth transitions between tracks and quick (position left) which is probably for the battle style DJs.
In the Master section you have your Channel & Master VU Meters which can monitor Cue or Master decibel levels. You can control that function by using the Cue Master Switch directly under the Master VU Meters. And below that you have your Master Volume knob.
You also have your standard Mic section which includes Mic Volume, 2-band EQ, and talk over switch. Next follows the Cue section, equipped with the standard features you’d expect. The Cue Assign Selector, however, should be buttons and not the somewhat clunky knob you get instead. And the EFX section seems like an afterthought. You have a flanger, transformer, and filter, but no delay. The EFX parameter is controlled by a jog wheel, which feels really good, but not much in the way of parameter control settings.
On the back, the outputs and inputs are plentiful. You have RCA and Balanced XLR master outputs and record RCA outputs, two phono and 5 line RCA inputs, along with a grounding screw and Mic input. We all know exactly what all those in’s and out’s mean…lots of gear to play with.
Kill the EFX section totally – or remove the transformer EFX and hold button – and add a Delay and 2 parameter knobs. I would even go as far as making the EFX section totally digital, like most 4-channel, professional grade DJ mixers.
This mixer is big enough to add Cue assign buttons. The clunky knob is just killing me. When you’re in the zone, you don’t want to muck around with a clunky knob.
Add USB to this baby, too. Yeah, I know you have the PS-626USB model, but that’s a 3-channel DJ mixer. What if I want to control 4-decks using my favorite DJ software? USB would make this a formidable player in a crowded field of 4-channel DJ mixers. And while you’re at it, add a soundcard.
All the basics are pretty well covered with the Gemini PS-828EFX . It’s built well, very sturdy, feels really good and is budget friendly at $359.95 USD. Gemini states that this mixer is iPod friendly, which means they provide a 1/8 to RCA adaptor. Gemini has always been in the mix with DJ mixers for every budget, but with just a couple of tweaks, this could be a superstar DJ mixer.