For years, I’ve stood in envy of those veteran mixologists and even successful newcomers lucky enough to have the privilege of owning their very own mixer from Pioneer’s esteemed DJM product line. As four channels become more and more of a necessity, the older, more affordable units become less viable, and the prospect of owning one myself has been growing increasingly distant. What ever am I to do?
Enter the Behringer DDM4000.
A fully-featured 4-channel mixer, the DDM4000 sits at a full 10 inches wide, showing off an array of buttons, knobs, and faders that will make your head spin (if you want it to). A full metal casing, bright LED readouts, and a dazzlingly professional array of audio jacks on the rear panel immediately make it clear that this mixer is a force to be reckoned with, and the 32-bit digital audio housed within, along with top-quality audio effects, make sure this unit not only lives up to, but exceeds all expectations.
After first opening this mixer and hooking everything up, I spent four whole hours just being blown away by the breadth of possibilities the DDM4000 allows. The number of controls packed into the mixer’s face is still simply mindblowing to me – it truly seems like everything is customizable. The crossfader curve shape can be changed, the fader can be assigned to any combination of channels, it can be activated or deactivated, and you can even set completely independent EQ kills from within the fader to help you mix between songs without having to mess with the EQ section itself.
If that’s the level of control allowed within just one tiny fraction of the mixer’s available space, you can just imagine how much more control possibilities lie within this mighty beast. And with the ability to save user presets for every setting you could ever want to mess with, you can be sure your favorite configuration won’t have to be reworked every time you power it on. Another really cool feature of the DDM4000 is that it has full MIDI capabilities. Not only can all the buttons, knobs, and faders be mapped to an endless array of functions in your favorite software, but the DDM4000 can also send MIDI clock data to synchronize with computer programs and other hardware like drum machines and synthesizers.
My favorite thing about the DDM4000, however, is not what you can do with the mixer itself, but what you can do with the audio flowing through the mixer. The greatest example of this is found smack in the middle of everything: the dual effect controller. The DDM4000, unlike many other mixers, offers two entirely independent FX units which can be assigned separately to the master mix or to any single channel. What really wowed me were the grade-A sounds of the filter (which is super customizable), as well as the really great sound quality found in all the other effects, including flanger, phaser, delay, reverb, echo, bitcrusher, pitch changer, and pan effects. I probably spent around an hour squealing with glee at all the fun things I could do with different effect combinations.
Another really cool audio enhancement is the “Ultramizer” function, which delivers powerful dynamic range compression that makes your music feel really loud and fat without even raising the volume (unless, of course, you want it to – it’s all customizable, remember?). The DDM4000 also has a pretty sweet variable-length sampling section to capture and replay audio on the fly from the mix, from a channel, or even from your microphone.
Because there is so much to say about the DDM4000, it’s the best I can do to provide only a brief overview of my favorite things about this incredibly powerfully unit. If I were to have written a stream-of-consciousness review detailing everything I experienced just in my first few hours of playing with the DDM4000’s various functions, it would probably be around as long as a Hemingway novel. The amount of things that can be done to tailor this mixer exactly to your aesthetic needs is truly impressive, and you need only look for a while at the mixer’s face to see that.
I’m well aware that Behringer isn’t exactly known as the Cadillac of the musical hardware industry, but that’s precisely why this unit brings me so much joy – not only is it perhaps the best standalone mixing unit I’ve ever played with (I’m strongly reconsidering my desire for a Pioneer), but it’s also so darn cheap! And despite the low price point, $399.99 USD, what you get with the DDM4000 is a super powerful, super high-quality mixer that can easily compete with industry-standard mixers two or three times its price. And for me, that’s what makes the Behringer DDM4000 an absolute must-buy.