Large, bulky DJ equipment gets in the way, and these days, it’s not even necessary. Manufacturers profess their latest mixer or controller is now the smallest and the lightest, but all of the old features – and then some – remain intact. This can be said for the Numark N4 4-Deck DJ Controller With Mixer. Designed to work with or without a computer, this controller and mixer combination brings together crucial setup components in a portable package.

The N4 is a complete DJ controller, including everything a professional needs for MIDI software control: touch-sensitive platters, four decks of software controls with loops and effects controls, and a built-in USB audio interface. A comprehensive mixer selection with EQ and gain controls additionally caters to the modern-day VJ and comes with Serato Intro Software and VirtualDJ LE. The device is additionally compatible with Traktor, VirtualDJ Pro, UltraMixer, djay, and PCDJ, although none of these programs come with the N4.

Although operating on its own or with a computer is certainly an asset, Numark takes this type of functionality to a whole new level. Not only can the N4 work with a computer, but it provides virtual control of any external source, including turntables, CD players, and MP3 players. Changing between software and hardware and combining the two is an additional possibility: the N4 can switch from four software-only decks to a combination of two software and two external decks.

Also in regards to outside sources, the N4 can be controlled external devices, such as turntables and CD players, with time-coded discs. The result, if such a combination is used, is a four-platter controller.

Along with these versatile, unique aspects, the N4 is equipped with all standard controller and mixing features a DJ requires: a pitch fader with key lock control, looping controls, effects and sampling controls, and 14-bit high-resolution MIDI for quick and straightforward control and response. Faders, buttons, and knobs all provide enough resistance.

Aside from basic music features, the N4 was built with VJs who know their way around a proper mixing desk. This aspect is crucial, as the N4 is designed, first, for DJs looking to incorporate video into their sets and, second, for VJs who truly know how to operate a controller and mixer. VJs simply looking to add sounds to a montage of videos will find the device too advanced. Specifically for video, the N4 provides four video fade selectors that offer mixing capabilities when operating in conjunction with VirtualDJ software.

Also with the performer and producer in mind are plug and play qualities, such as the ability to do USB recording of all digital and analog devices and balanced XLR outputs that connect with practically all sound systems. A full performance can be recorded and saved onto a computer.

Essentially, the N4 is ideal for practically any DJ, be it one who primarily plays live or spends equal time in the studio. The compact design is great for getting to gigs, while the hybrid features eliminate a large setup.