Back at the 2013 Winter Music Conference, the theme of versatility over the purity of vinyl pervaded throughout various gear workshops. Based on events from Stanton’s parent company Gibson Audio and Pioneer, the question regarding gear these days isn’t so much “Does it seem authentic, like playing vinyl?” but rather “How to be the best DJ, regardless of whether you use a CDJ, turntable, or controller?” The Stanton CMP.800, nominated for Best CD Player at the 27th annual International Dance Music Awards, essentially lets you do the latter for a reasonable price.
Versatility with any medium, aside from vinyl, puts the CMP.800 above other products like it. The Multi-Format Playback function starts with standard audio CDs and MP3 CDs and, with Stanton expanding upon these standard capabilities, goes to external MP3s stored on external thumb drives.
For convenience, two CMP.800s can be attached together while using a single USB device through a ChainLink feature, while, regardless of media used, the Media Wallet gives the DJ the opportunity to organize a setlist before the gig.
With whichever device you choose, the CMP.800 offers excellent features for Hot Cues and loops functions. DJs have the option to store up to four hot cues per song, while the device’s internal memory allows for 2048 cue points per CD. USB Mass Storage Devices, meanwhile, can hold unlimited cues and loops.
Beyond this convenience that’s actually more of a necessity these days, anti-shock features, buffer memory, slot loading, and automatic and manual beat counting enhance the Playback function. DJs further can take advantage of instant cue points, single and continuous play modes, and start and break vinyl emulation speeds.
Media aside, the CMP.800 offers all the features a DJ could want for efficiently doing a high-quality set on the spot. Full MIDI control is one of these: From the CMP.800, DJs have control of Traktor, Mixvibes, and other applications, with switchable A/B decks and nearly all buttons and knobs fully assignable.
The jog wheel, as well, provides excellent control. An illuminated, high-resolution, touch-sensitive design offers a position indicator for efficient track searching and scanning, easily showing cue points and speed. Just through this feature, the DJ has total control of pitch bending, loops, searching, effects, and samples’ pitch and volume. LED modes, as well, cover Normal CDJ, Scratch, and Touch Rewind for all types of tracks and DJing.
The CMP.800 further offers DJs an excellent selection of loops, effects, and sampler functions. With six different lengths that are adjusted during playback, loops may be controlled manually or automatically, with the Auto Beatloop that goes by the track’s BPM.
The 3 Beat-Synchable DSP Effects and 4-Bank Sampler, we found, match what a DJ’s looking for in easy to use and control creativity. The former offers high-quality ECHO, FLANGER, and FILTER effects, all from Stanton’s M.207 mixer; two control parameters, time and depth, come with each effect. The 4-Bank Sampler, meanwhile, allows the DJ to store up to four five-second samplers per track – with both able to be played simultaneously.
While Stanton’s CMP.800 might not be the peak of all DJ gear, it offers all features a modern DJ needs – all responsive and allowing for creativity – at a price that outmatches its quality and versatility.