Reloop’s been aspiring to a more prominent position within the DJ gear market, and this piece of equipment clearly displays those intentions. What you see is everything a software DJ could want and need in a controller, available at a decent price.
On a very general level, the Terminal Mix 8 stands out with a solid, medium-sized design. A metal case, with a gunmetal faceplate, comes with four rubber feet, two low-profile jog wheels, an industry-standard layout, a large search knob, rubberized transport controls, a four-knob FX section, a gain three-band EQ, omni filter knobs, a deck load, cue buttons, channel faders, twin 10-band VU meters, and a whole new dimension of features available through the shift button. And, as Reloop continues to work with Serato DJ in creating their gear, the Terminal Mix 8 effortlessly integrates with Serato DJ. As a result, the full combination presents an intuitive and responsive experience for advanced and professional-level DJs.
Reloop claims to have developed the Terminal Mix 8 to meet the needs of professional club DJs desiring more creative effects manipulation and greater controllerist options. In response, the DJ familiar with Reloop’s line will find the typical array of Terminal Mix features with an expanded performance section including touch-sensitive, multi-colored drum pads.
The pad performance section, with an ergonomic, logical layout, is the highlight here. At a glance, what you have are 16 touch-sensitive RGB drum pads designed to trigger cue points, loops, samples, and the slicer effect. As is the case with its other devices, Reloop designed these to be color-coded for the purpose of providing visual feedback. You’ll easily be able to identify the status and selection, and for additional convenience, Reloop equipped the Terminal Mix 8 with DUAL mode, a function in which two modes can be simultaneously used at once. For instance, assign the top row to one function and the bottom row to another during your performance.
Reloop, too, allowed for greater creative possibilities with this new model. First, there are the Slice and Loop modes. If it’s mashups you’re into, activating the Slice button divides a track into eight clear parts, which are then assigned to the drum pads. The lighted pads indicate the corresponding loops and will play your sounds when pressed. As a complement, Loop mode allows you to store and trigger up to eight loops of varying length; as a note, the length is determined in real time by the controller’s specific loop size encoder for auto loops and loop roll effects, and you can additionally adjust the beat number.
Of course, these features aren’t all you have for creative possibilities. Reloop outfit this controller with extensive iZotope effects, available through three rotary knobs, an endless encoder, and four buttons to control the full range. As well, the SP-6 sampler lets you store and trigger up to eight cue points per track; all sample banks can be accessed and triggered.
The shift layer, too, opens up a new dimension to the controller. If you’re using the FX layer, shift introduces new variable effects and functions: shift and play take you to sensor mode, while shift and deck access the range mode. Shift with the jog wheel lets you navigate through the track. In total, this aspect introduces you to slip mode, scrub, fader start, the tempo range, key lock, and sensor, and can take you back to start.
Along with these bonuses, Reloop added a versatile audio interface to the rear panel. Depending upon your preferred performance spot, you’ll be able to hook up the Terminal Mix 8 to a PA, club, or home system to perfectly adjust the volume on each track. As well, the mic connection with a 1-band EQ and auxiliary switch with a flexible routing switch give you the option of including external sound sources.
While the creative aspects are a big plus, what sets the Terminal Mix 8 apart from its predecessors is the professional feel. The design’s small enough to be transported, and within it, you get large, sturdy filter knobs, ideal for smooth filter sweeps, fades, and strong cuts. The faders, too, aren’t bad, with an adjustable crossfader curve and assign buttons on the front.
Similar to other Reloop devices, the jog wheel remains a standout, with a 15.5cm diameter, anti-skid vinyl-like surface, and high-resolution, 100mm pitch faders built for beat-matching and playback.
However, while the Terminal Mix 8 has much going for it, from the quality sound to the design, the biggest drawback is the SP-6 sample bank. No device fully integrates this feature with Serato DJ, and although grabbing samples from the decks and using them is a straightforward procedure, complications arise when you’re assigning, choosing, and organizing them. As well, keep in mind that, as you do gigs away from home, the device doesn’t run on USB power alone.
All in all, the Terminal Mix 8 is a solid controller for a software DJ. Everything you need is pretty much right at your fingertips, software integration doesn’t get in the way, and you can devote your time and energy to what matters most – creativity.