The Numark Mixdeck is taken a step further with the Mixdeck Quad. Already a solid device, the standard Mixdeck, which Crossfadr reviewed in September 2011, is an all-inclusive DJing system that takes all audio media into consideration. As a two-channel mixer with 2 CDJ decks, an iPod dock, two RCA inputs, and a USB soundcard, the Mixdeck is a template and springboard for Numark’s Mixdeck Quad.
So, what differentiates the Mixdeck Quad from the standard Mixdeck? First off, the Mixdeck Quad is even more audio-inclusive, able to play tracks from CDs, MP3s, a USB drive, or iPad. A four-channel digital and analog MIDI mixer is a step up, providing the DJ with full control of iPad and CD software. Simultaneously, he or she can mix from a CD, thumb drive, mic, or another external source.
The iPad has been growing in usage as a DJing device over the past two years, but not all DJing hardware or software brands consider it. Numark does with the Mixdeck Quad. Taking into account the hundreds, if not thousands, of pro and amateur DJing software programs out there, Numark designed the Mixdeck Quad to support the iPad and all relevant apps. The device integrates particularly well with the Algoriddim Djay app.
Although iPad compatibility is certainly a plus, what about standard DJing functions? The Mixdeck Quad handles well and even improves beat and pitch matching through automatic analysis, manual BPM entry, and Key Lock features. Essentially, the DJ can use the Mixdeck Quad to meet his or her needs: if automatic analysis is employed, the device displays the BPM on screen; if the DJ prefers to take it old-school and rely on his or her instincts better, the Tap tempo button is a manual function for this traditional approach. As far as pitch changing is concerned, the pitch fader allows the DJ to alter the BPM by plus or minus 6, 12, 25, or 100 percent for greater-scale transformations. Pitch-bend buttons assist with quick or individual adjustments.
The Mixer provides high-quality standard features. Each input channel is designed with its own gain and three-band EQ/rotary kills, two sets of stereo switchable phono/line inputs for external devices are added, and a replaceable and switchable crossfader can be customized to the DJ’s needs. Along with the ability to control audio from outside devices, be it a turntable or MP3 player, the Mixdeck Quad is equipped with features for real-time mixing – meaning, access and deployment occur in nearly no time at all. Specifically, the device allows loops and samples to readily be accessed and offers hot cues and Numark’s own Bleep/Reverse feature, which is particularly helpful for staying in rhythm as you cut up or reverse a track.
Added to these standard features is Crossplay technology, which opens up the option of playing USB tracks or samples from either port or deck. USB tracks, essentially, can be used like all other music: mix and match or play multiple USB tracks at once.
Beyond what the Mixdeck Quad can do, effects are expanded. With the Crossplay technology comes a beat-synched DSP with chop, echo, filter, flanger, pan, and phaser effects, all adjustable and controlled by wet-dry fader controls.
As far as operation and use is concerned, the Mixdeck Quad is compact enough for mobile DJs and comfortable and straightforward. It offers slot-loading drives with touch-sensitive illuminated platters; a ¼-inch mic input; a complete cueing section with dual 1/8- and ¼-inch headphone outputs; two backlit displays at an optimal size; and a versatile output section with a balanced XLR, unbalanced RCA stereo main outputs, booth and record RCA outputs, and direct outputs from each deck for timecode control interfaces. Essentially, with these features, the DJ starts just as soon as he touches the platter – no annoying or uncertain delay – and he can send a mix to different locations or systems, such as recording to an iPod.