Even beginner and intermediate-level DJs deserve quality gear, and Reloop, who has been introducing pieces in recent years that compete with Pioneer and Numark, has put out the Beatmix 4 for this purpose.
A performance-oriented four-channel pad controller specifically for Serato DJ Intro, the Beatmix 4 presents a layout and set of features ideal for the enthusiastic up-and-comer and casual DJs. What’s here – most of your basics within a solid, ergonomic design – is optimal for mobile and bedroom usage and integrates nearly seamlessly with Serato DJ Intro.
Just starting with the design, the plastic chassis is solid yet lightweight, with spacing between parts that’s similar to what you’ll find on more expensive units. When it comes to setting up the ensemble, plug-and-play functionality makes it all simple and easy to use, and you’ll have access to the standard group of Serato features.
Some compare it to the Numark Mixtrack Quad, but what you see is very close to the Reloop Beatmix 2, but with some major upgrades. Most of what’s here is standard for this type of starter-level, mid-priced equipment: a dedicated equalizer, gain dials, decent line faders, a smooth crossfader, 16 multi-colored drum pads, two sufficient FX units, and sensitive jog wheels with 14.4cm aluminum jog platters.
For the jog wheels, considered the highlight of the full setup, an authentic-feeling surface allows for exact beat matching, efficient searching within tracks, and vinyl-like responsiveness. Reloop added LED technology on the surface and border to clearly show the virtual needle position.
The rubber pads, too, are another asset, especially for the beginner starting to think creatively. These 3cm drum pads let you assign and trigger cue points and loops, select various loop lengths, and activate samples. For accurate performance, these feature a color-coded design for clear feedback regarding the status and mode selection.
Reloop also gave this controller the SP-6 sample bank with Serato sampler control. Although not as expansive as more advanced, higher-priced models, this functionality, with a dedicated sampler volume fader, is sufficient enough for starting and stopping samples through the pad selection. As well, split mode, one of the more efficient aspects, allows you to control four cue points and four samples simultaneously.
Along with these features, Reloop placed the mixer section in the middle; offers a three-band EQ and gain control for each channel; included Quick-slip for fast searching within a track; added a 14-bit pitch fader with pitch bend control buttons; and gave it a large transport section with stutter and sync controls. The controller further comes with an integrated audio interface equipped with all standard connections: two headphone connections (3.5mm and 6.3mm) for monitoring, one microphone input with a separate volume control, and an RCA output for connecting the unit to speakers.
Within the package, you’ll have access to high-quality studio FX from iZotope, which are easily altered with Serato. This controller comes with two separate FX units, each equipped with three rotaries and an endless encoder.
Most of what’s here is straightforward and convenient. Tap the shift button for second-layer control, efficiently go through your playlist with the mouse-less navigation system, and get MIDI functionality when the time comes. As well, as an asset for mobile DJs, the unit is USB bus-powered – no separate power supply is needed.
With all of these aspects, there are certainly some bonuses – especially for the beginner – and a few noticeable drawbacks. To start with the former, the controller itself integrates practically completely with Serato DJ Intro, offering the user four full channels of software – a step up from the Beatmix 2. Along these lines, the features give decent responsiveness: What’s here is strong, reliable, clear, and easy to control. DJs of all types, including scratch DJs, will find the LEDs are visible in a wide range of conditions, including in a dark club, and always let you know the mode for your pad selection. Too, the crossfader has a long latency, while the jog wheels are consistently accurate and have a natural, weighted feel about them.
But, the drawbacks for the Beatmix 4 are fairly obvious, making the controller a unit clearly for beginners. For one, a few of the features are lacking: the pitch controls run a bit shorter than average, it’s difficult to record sets, and the unit wasn’t designed with onboard meters.
The pads, particularly, have limitations. Although the design makes them easy to use, Reloop didn’t add manual loop, loop roll, or slicer functions – three must-haves for advanced and professional DJs.
Software integration, too, becomes hit-or-miss when you seek to upgrade to the full version of Serato DJ. While the controller aligns almost perfectly with Serato DJ Intro, reports mention a few significant gaps between the gear and software with an upgrade. Unless you plan to go up to a higher gear level, such as Reloop’s Terminal Mix 8, you’ll experience less of a headache here if you stick with Serato DJ Intro.
If you’ve been contending with a starter-level controller with a cheap design and limited features, Reloop’s Beatmix 4 is a major step up: The feel gets close to professional, you have nearly all the features you could need, and software integration doesn’t get in the way, so as long as you stick with Serato DJ Intro. Reloop is offering a full version of Serato DJ for a limited time with the Beatmix 4. As Reloop continues to aspire toward a higher place in the DJ gear market, the Beatmix 4 comes from the same intention: Quality equipment for an up-and-comer aiming for something eventually bigger and better.