So far I absolutely love this unit. Over the past 2 years or so, Gemini have seem to have turn a corner in the quality of there products. However, it's not a Pioneer. But it is a close facsimile. And I love that. People have been saying that Gemini has a lot of "balls" copying the Pioneer. I say good for Gemini. Besisdes who the hell cares who they copy from. I call that capitalism. And for $400 if you want a new media deck that plays cd's and takes a usb stick, and plays them well, then this is a great buy for the price. For this is a great upgrade from my obsolete Denon DNS-1000 which don't have usb, and has a tiny jog wheel. Now I read reviews criticizing the quality of the all plastic form of this unit. To those, I have a tip: if you don't throw this unit against a brick wall or drop it from a 2 story building, it should last for many years to come. Put it in a good case or coffin and you'll find that it should be durable enough for transport if you need to take it anywhere. Besides the mostly plastic form factor helps to keep the cost factor down. I hate CD's. There limited in there capacity, and they take up space, and cost more money then an mp3. You can put all your music from any year on a thumb nail device and have it instantly ditching those CD's. Its that simply. And that's one big reason why I bought this unit. You can also use an SD cards as well. Nice! And it's a midi controller as well though I haven't use it in midi mode yet. Nice! The jog wheel is huge. It measure almost 8 inch in diameter. It has a nice sturdy feel to it. Has a rubber lining with finger placement all around the outside of it. There's a torque adjustment as well. Now on the lightest setting, it might still feel heavy for those scratchers out there. So this unit might not work well for those with that talent. But if your a BPM mixer like me, then the jog wheel and this unit as a whole will feel just fine. And oh yeah; it's jog wheel looks exactly like one other jog wheel out there on the market right now. Right down to the LCD display in the middle. Nice! The touch sensitive screen is a nice feature but I don't find myself using it to actually browse for files. The screen can also display wave form. That's where the screen could be a little bit larger. But again, cost factor. The sound from this unit is incredible. Whether it's CD, USB, or SD, the sound is crisp and clear. The Gemini has a coaxial digital out which I use with my Denon DNX-900 mixer making the sound twice as loud then using the regular RCA's. This unit also works just fine with my Mixvibes Cross Pack and the time coded CD's which I originally bought for my old Denons. And there's a usb on the back for use with any DJ software. Now if I were opening a big club tomorrow, I'm probably stocking the DJ booth with either a pair of Pioneer CDJ's or Denon SC's and not a pair of Gemini CDJ-700's. The Pioneers and the Denons are the "Technics" of CD/Media decks without question. But if you need to equip your you small home studio, or maybe a small venue, small bar, do a small house party out in the Hamptons, put your 18 month old in DJ training, etc... or maybe you just want to make an upgrade without deleting your bank account, then this table top deck is plenty capable. People should stop making the comparison between the Pioneer and the Gemini. Although the Gemini closely resembles the CDJ-900, Pioneer CDJ's are high end products, with super high end prices. The Gemini is more like second class. But it works. And if it doesn't break down, all the better. And by the way, the Pioneers also break down and occasionally have bugs as well. They call the CDJ-700 a professional media controller. Again I'm not sure if I'm using this unit at a large venue but I wouldn't be afraid to try. Its very well put together and feels solid enough. Control layouts are conveniently placed and easy to use. Its puts out excellent sound, and has all the media options you would want to use. And for $400. It's a no-brainer. Just remember to update that firmware first thing before using...
The Rane TTM 56 is a performance mixer for Djs. And boy is it awesome. This is hands down the best mixer I have owned, and my absolute favorite. It features No Contact faders and level controls. The faders use magnets, making them impervious to any kind of smoke or moisture damage the way optical faders are. There used to be a video floating around of one of these faders in a cup of soda, and still functional. Seriously great equipment. Solidly built in every single way. The eq cuts PERFECTLY. If you want the bass cut, there is NO bass.
The CDJ 700 is a table top unit from Gemini and it is average at best. The quality of it was not as good as I though it should have been coming from Gemini. I understood that it was priced pretty low but coming from some of the other units that I have used from them in this price range it was a little disappointing. Using this player was very simple and there was no set up process. The manual may help you understand how to work with the navigation and small amount of features available but for the most part I was able to figure it out on my own so I know anyone else can. The jog wheel on it is 5 inches which is pretty big considering the whole size of this unit is not very big. They do claim that the job wheel has a “vinyl” feel too it which is not true at all. Any one that has used real vinyl will know this right away when they first get their hands on this unit. The screen that is on it is full color and it is a little bigger than 3 inches making it a good size to see what you need to see and still keep it portable. The contrast on the screen is very good though and it is easy to see in any lighting condition. You can use this player with a PC and a Mac and not worry about any issues. It supports MIDI and USB devices. It will play CD’s, CD-R’s, and CD’s with MP3 files on it, not CD-RW’s or DVD’s though. The CD-RW’s was a problem for me as a lot of my digital music on CD’s from around 2002 are on CD-RW disk. The output audio quality was surprisingly good though considering the price and the overall build of this unit. It gets pretty loud and the audio is very clean and precise. I recommend this to users that do not want to spend a lot of money, but still want to get good sound quality because goo sound quality matters just as much as anything else. But if you can afford to spend a little more money I do recommend going with a better unit from Gemini!
The Behringer NOx303 is a DJ mixer that can be racked if needed, but I preferred to use it as a table top unit. This mixer sits in solid castings and is built to last a long time. I love products from Behringer because they are affordable and made to last a long time. This mixer was simple to set up and all of the functions of it are pretty simple too. It connected to my PC quickly and I was able to access all of my music on my hard drive to mix with. It has a USB audio interface built into it, and I used it many times just for that purpose when recording my own vocals at home. The preamps built into it are very clean sounding and I used a Blue Bird Microphone with it and had amazing quality at home with no vocal booth or room acoustic treatments.
The Stanton SCS.1m can control any software, I used it with about 3 different programs and it never gave me any issues. You can use this as a mixer or as a control, or both! There are EQ controls right on it and every single option can be synced with your programs functions. The only issues that I ran into were when trying to save presets so that I didn’t have to re-MIDI everything up each time I wanted to turn on the device and use it.
The Allen & Heath Xone : 92 is a DJ mixer that cost almost 1500 USD but it is worth every single dollar. I knew from previous Allen & Heath units that this was going to be a great buy. After I purchased it (in 2008) I was very happy with my money that I spent on it. It was very simple to start using right away and the build of it is very solid. It was honestly one of the best built units I have ever worked with under 2 thousand dollars.
The Behringer DX2000USB mixer has 7 channels and it has very good audio outputs. This mixer is great for just about anything. It does not just have to be used for a DJ or club. It is also great to use for events and other similar activities. It has a built in USB interface, and 5 stereo inputs. This unit does have phantom power in case the user may need it. It also comes with some software like audacity which is already free anyways so it really does not make a difference. It also comes with podcasting software, but that is free too.
The CDJ 250 is not rackable, it is a table top CD player that is not very good. The jog wheel is pretty big though. It is a great starting point for a digital style DJ who wants to learn the ins and outs of mixing music digitally. There is a backlit display screen right on it that will show our songs and let you scroll through them easily and quickly. Beat matching is also pretty easy with this player. Setting it up takes no effort at all and anyone can have it up and running in a few minutes after opening the box. But right away you will notice how light it is and how much it feels like plastic. Being that it does only cost around 140 dollars you really cannot expect solid metal or aluminum casting though. This unit is compatible with audio CD’s and MP3 CDS but .wav files could cause many issues. Sometimes they play, sometimes they do not. Also CD Rewrite disk do not work well with this CD player either. I have use this a few times and never really liked it too much mainly because I am use to better sounding CD players and units. This is only for a new user who is just learning. I would never gig with it in anything other than a small house part for friends or family. I would never gig with it in a club or venue mainly because the audio output is not as powerful as it needs to be in order to be heard properly in larger systems and large spaces. This is ok for small stuff like at home or practicing. Also there are not really any one board effects, there is a brake mode to give stops like using real vinyl but besides that nothing else really stood out to me.
The DJM 700 K from Pioneer has effects built right into it like the phaser, flanger or crush effects and there are also 4 different patterns for sampling like the pitch up, pitch down, reverse and roll. I was very happy to use these effects because I was going to be upset with the price of this unit until I had the chance to use it live and work with the effects. I was even able to assign some of the buttons to my effects in my computer to trigger them live.
The Rane MP 2016a is a 6 channel mixer that has effects loops that can be switched and booth plus house outputs right on it. The mic preamp on this mixer is very good, nice an warm and it projects the sound cleanly. Each input on this mixer has a 6 position selector for a source.
The Vestax PMC-05 Pro IV is a 2 channel mixer that supports MIDI. This was my “road warrior” mixer for a while because it was built very tough. I didn’t have any case for it when I was using it a lot and it got banged around many times but it always kept working. Nothing ever happen to it aside from a few scratched on the exterior of it that didn’t affect the performance of it at all.
The Allen & Heath Xone: S2 is a DJ mixer that can be racked. It has 2 mono mic inputs and 4 stereo dual input channels. There are a total of 5 outputs on this mixer. The audio signals that will come out of this unit are very clean. I have used it in a many clubs and never had any issues with it. The price is pretty affordable considering all the features that it has.
The Denon DN-HS5500 is a turntable and controller that has a screen built into it with high quality functions. This unit is like having two separate decks. It has an independent dual deck function that has separate outputs for audio. Both decks can be controlled easily just by hitting a switch. This deck works great in Serato and Traktor (which are what I used it in), but it will work with just about any software application you want to use it with. The platter is very good, it is a high torque direct drive motor that will last a long time. If you are the type of DJ that really likes to perform then this is the right console for you and your set up. The audio outputs are clean and sound great as well as the headphone out, it is very loud making it easy to get your next song ready to mix in. Setting up this console did take a little more time, mainly because I was not familiar with all of the functions of it and I spent some time just messing around with it. The manual does come with it though I didn’t take much time to read through it. This controller supports MPC and WAV audio formats and can work with a Mac or a PC. This controller has a USB audio soundcard in it and an internal power supply. There are 5 built in effects (DSP), tail echo, flanger, and filters are some of them. There are three platter effects too, reverse, dump and brake. The display screen on this controller is almost 4 inches big and it is very easy to read making it perfect for a club setting. Other units that I have used that have similar functions as the Denon DN-HS5500 cost about 100 to 200 dollars more than it does so it is a huge bargain!
The Pioneer DVJ-1000 is a turntable console that has a high price tag on it. But it is well worth the money spent. I have used for about 6 sets so far and I love how easy it is to use and even more importantly it is reliable. Using this unit to create visuals to my set was a huge plus. You can use this to perform audio sets and mix in video effects with it as well. With most of the clubs that I was working in having monitor set up for visuals this unit was a must! Using video with your audio is something that you will need to practice with and a unit like this does not come cheap. I do no recommend getting this unless you are serious about permanently adding visuals. It cost way to much just to only have access to video monitors on limited occasions. It will take a lot of practice to work with both mixing audio and video with the DVJ 1000 and the manual will only take you so far. The build and make up of this unit is very solid. All of the materials are very solid and nothing at all is cheap. The video and audio output is very good, and at a high quality. The on screen display will show you track numbers and content on DVD’s as well as MP3’s or whatever source you are using to bring into it. The screen colors are not very bright and dynamic though and it is nothing like using a computer screen. The sound quality is something that I think cannot be replicated with this unit. No matter where you are pulling your audio from, if it is running through the DVJ-1000 you can guarantee a high quality output of audio. All of the knobs and buttons on this unit are made well and the platter has an excellent feel. It is by far the best feeling platter that I have ever used for a portable unit.
The Pioneer DDJ-S1 is a controller for Serato and basically on for Serato. I am not sure if it is “officially” compatible with other software’s but I didn’t have good experiences when using it with other software programs like Virtual DJ (and a few others). Also, at first this controller seemed to be price a little too high to me, but after I got my hands on it I could see why it was more expensive. The build of it is very good, it is not made out of cheap plastic materials and provides a great feel for the user. There are balanced XLR outputs and 2 XLR inputs and ¼ inch Phone to run it to PA equipment if needed. I was using this interface for a few months in 2011 and it never gave me any issues. When using this interface I did notice some small lagging issues via the microphone output when using it. It was a small delay when speaking and most of the time this was not really an issue because it did sound “cool”. But for some this could be a big issue. I have never used this for a major gig, mainly only smaller clubs and bars. This controller is for the Serato ITCH user and lover. If you are not sure about using Serato ITCH I would not recommend this controller. If you are already familiar with each and love working with it then this controller will suit you perfectly. I do not recommend this to the new user either because it is restricted to Serato, I encourage new users to try a few different programs until they fine one they are comfortable using. The controller is a professional controller though, but it was not for me because I do not use Serato that much anymore like I use to .
The Vestax Typhoon is a DJ controller that has a built in soundcard. It has somewhat of a different style of look with all of the knobs and sliders being red. Most people feel like that wouldn’t bet that big of an issue but to me it just didn’t look great. But the look didn’t affect the performance at all; this controller has all of the needed functions to run a set easily. Setting this controller up with any software was not difficult at all, though manual does not really cover setting it up in other software applications. It does come with Virtual DJ “limited edition” software. This software will work with audio and video mixing. I have used it in Serato before without any issues or concerns. There are 4 DJ effects on this unit and it would have been nice to have a few more. You can quickly access and add your filters with this unit by just pushing one button and then using your job wheel to change the parameters of your filter. Also, beat matching with this unit was very easy. Even if you are a “scratching” DJ you can easily scratch with this interface and it will be very clean. I really enjoyed throwing in effects to the mixes with this interface; it was very quick and easy to do. The audio output to the headphone jack was very good and loud making it easy to monitor the next track before playing it. Everything with this unit was simple to operate and worked well. The only issue I ran into was using it on a Windows computer. Sometimes it would have an unexpected crash, and an unexpected crash is never good! So I was too afraid to try to use this live in too many sets. After having this unit and using it for about 6 weeks, I experienced about 5 crashes. That was 5 crashed too many for me! I am not sure if it was a Windows compatibility problem or if it was a software issue with Virtual DJ.
The Vestax VCI-300 MKII is a controller that comes with ITCH from Serato. I really liked the feel of this controller and it felt like a really high end controller. It was not cheaply made and all of the buttons and knobs/sliders feel like some of the old vinyl mixers/platters that I use to use (the real expensive ones). There is a built in interface that outputs high quality audio. There is 1 stereo input, 2 stereo outputs and Mic input. Setting up the VCI-300 MKII was very simple and was no different than any other software/hardware set up that I have done before. Using this controller was very easy because it worked great with the software. It was easy to select and edit the audio files in the software library. There are controls right on the interface/mixer of this unit that let me easily navigate through my files in Serato’s ITCH. There is also an emergency thru switch that let me run musk through it directly from my iPod in case something went horribly wrong. Which any DJ that works via through a computer knows that sometimes things happen especially if you are on a Windows pc. So this function was a must have! All you have to do is go on the back of the unit and hit the switch then it will work right from the iPod or MP3 player. Everything with this unit is mad to last a long time and it really fit my style at the time. I am very satisfied with this unit and still use it sometimes. If I could go back again I would have no problem purchasing the VCI-300 MKII at full price!
The Denon DN-S1200 is a CD and USB medial player and DJ Controller. It is a lot smaller in size than I was expecting it to be, which was not a good thing to me because the “platter” that is on it is very smaller. I have rather big hands and little platters are difficult for me to work with sometimes. There is a 4 way BPM counter and 3 different platter effects on this unit. The platter effects are Reverse, Brake and Dump. The pitch slider was very easy to work with and had a nice motion to it on the DN S1200 too. Setting this interface/controller up was simple and the included manual has all information needed to get up and running quality. It was very simple to add music from different sources with this controller. For the price of this unit, you will get a high quality product from Denon and great support from them. This unit is great for a beginner or intermediate user looking for something to work with in a small setting or smaller gig. You can use an external USB keyboard and hook it up to this unit easily. The S1200 also supports CDR, CDRW, and CD Text disc. So basically any type of disk that I put into it worked just fine except for DVD storage disk, they just gave me a drive error. The four BPM functions are auto beat detection, manual BPM input, manual TAP and BPM read (from mp3 data, or WAV). The functions of this controller are great for this price range but with it being so small it really didn’t have a good “feel” for me to want to use it. I was not excited to start working on it for my gigs and that is how I knew that it was not for me. I used it for about 4 months before finding a different one. I would not purchase this again do to the platter being small and kind of “cheap”.
The Numark iDJ3 was a unit that I was very fond of at first site. It is small and very portable, and will work with an iPhone. There is an iPhone dock right in the middle of it and the main reason that I wanted this console was so I didn’t have to take my full system with me if I was just doing a smaller party or something. I loved the idea of not having to carry my Macbook for smaller gigs. I was very interested this device and the price made it a must have. But once I got home and started to work with it I noticed one major thing. It didn’t work with my iPhone 4! Then after contacting the store about it they said that it was made for iPhone 3 and earlier models and products. So it was a huge waste for me to have at the current moment. I did plug my iPhone 3 into it but the issue is that I don’t really use the older iPhone 3 at all anymore, and it is basically just a paper weight at home now.
The Denon DN-MC6000 is a high quality digital mixer and controller that comes ready to go and easy to set up right out of the box. This controller has just about any function on it that a DJ could as for in this price range. All of the buttons light up making it very easy to see in poor lighting conditions. This controller is a 4 channel standalone digital DJ mixer that has a built in MIDI interface and its own sound card. I have used many Denon controllers over the years and I am very pleased with the quality of them. They also seem to make sure they all have a solid build to them and are not made out of plastic. This unit comes with Virtual DJ LE software which is far from my favorite software but you can use it with just about any DJ software you may just have to do some tweaking of the functions within the program to get it to response correctly. There are vinyl pitch bend jog modes and even oversized cue and play buttons. This interface and controller will work with any Windows system fluidly (not sure about Windows 8 yet). If you want to use it with a Mac you can, just make sure you have a good processor. There are 45mm cross faders and XLR balanced and RCA unbalanced master outputs. This mixer was a great live performer for me because of the mic ducking function and built in echo effects for the microphones. I was able to set all of my functions up via the presets settings to be the way that I like to have them for each one of my shows. Being that at the time I was sharing this unit, this was a critical feature for me so I didn’t have to reset everything the way that I wanted it each time I wanted to use it.
The NS7FX is a motorized controller that will work with just about any DJ software but it comes with one of its own. I really did love the feel of this unit, it had rubber buttons and knobs and was built to last a long time. The price of it was a lot higher than I would have liked to spend but the quality reflected the price. This unit has 2 motorized high torque platters that have a very classic feel to them like real vinyl. You will not need a mouse or a keyboard with this controller as long as you are going to use ITCH software. ITCH software is the software that comes with it and it is perfectly set up to work with this software. Now using it in other software does bring about some issues when not wanting to use the mouse (or touchpad for laptop users). Setting this controller up with ITCH software was very simple and it was also very simple to use with Scratch Live. But if you used with any other software it could cause many problems if you want to keep the whole “mouse free” approach. The quality of this controller/interface is great. The audio signals are clean and sound amazing in almost any system. I recommend this unit to anyone who is into the old school vinyl stuff and wan to start to digitalize there set up. This could be the perfect transition to go to digital because it still has that vinyl feel and will let you leave all of those vinyl crates at home. Make sure you have a fast computer with this interface, you will need at least 2 GB but a fast processor is a must have if you run it on a Windows Computer. There are several driver issues reported when using it with a Windows 7 computer as well. But Numark is usually on top of their driver updates and fix any issues pretty quickly. I was using this unit back in 2011 and I am pretty sure they have fixed any driver issues by now.
The Vestax VCI is a 2 Channel DJ control that also has a digital mixer on it. This control has everything needed to be a gigging DJ for any style of venue. If you are a “true scratching” DJ than this console will fit you perfectly. It has two turntable style platters that feel great. Pretty much everything you could as for in a unit like this is available in the VCI 380. There are 2 x 8 banks of trigger pads that can be used as a slicer, looping functions, or even FX functions. I mainly only used the pads for FX triggers and maybe some hot cue’s, but for the most part FX functions so I could quickly and easily just throw FX sounds in on any mix at any time. The pads are touch sensitive as well, I was able to hold the pads down and that would let me modify the FX parameters easily. Setting up this unit was pretty simple and didn’t take much effort being that I am pretty seasoned in setting up DJ controllers and digital mixers. But even the “newbie” should not have any issues setting it up because the manual is well written and easy to read through. There are mic inputs that are balanced on this unit and RCA line inputs. The bit depth is 24 bit and there are AD/DA converters. You can use this unit on either a Mac or a PC but if you are on a PC you will need to at at least be running Windows 7, I have tried with previous versions of Windows and it didn’t work properly and had many driver issues. I am not sure if they have fixed this issue or not with a driver update. But on the actual box it even said that minimum requirements are Windows 7 on a PC. Also 2GB of RAM is needed as well. The Mac requirements are not bad. You just need to be running OS X 10.6 or higher.
The Hercules DJ Control Instinct is not only affordable but it has a very nice feel to it for it to be in this price range. There are two jog wheels that are pressure sensitive and there are mixer controls in the center of the set up with individual deck controls on the left side and on the right side for each individual platter. The stereo mini jack output is very loud so it can be heard over all of the other sounds during a performance. Setting this controller up is very simple. It is bus powered via USB so all I had to do was just plug it in. I never had any driver issues or anything with this controller and never heard of any driver updates for it. This controller is also very easy to take with you anywhere. I would not use it as my main controller or rely on it for major shows but it could work as a backup. It comes with software but you can also use it with which ever software you want to use it with if you are not a fan of the “DJUCEDTM” software that comes with it. Though it provides software is very easy to use and has some features that even a seasoned DJ can appreciate. Knowing what I know about this product now, I probably wouldn’t purchase it again if I could go back and do it all over because I never really got my money’s worth out of it and never used it as a main controller for my set up. So mainly it was a back up unit and never got tested on the big stage. I recommend someone to look into some of the beginner packages (DJ controller packages) from Numark and similar companies. They have some really good affordable units to learn with.
The Gemini FIRSTMIX is a USB controller that is great for a “first time” controller. It is great for learning and practicing with. But most users make the mistake of it feeling like a real turntable because of the two platters that are similar to vinyl. Really they are nothing like vinyl and have not feel of a real turntable at all. However, they do feel pretty good if you are not looking for that “real” vinyl feel. They are pretty durable even though they are made out of cheaper materials. This controller is very inexpensive and easy to set up and use. If someone is new to DJ equipment I would not recommend that they go out and get this controller because they will need to upgrade pretty soon. But if they do not have more than 80 bucks to spend and want to have a controller that comes with a software to start using right away than this is the way to go. Setting this up is very easy, it connects to your computer via USB connection and the driver for it is very stable. You can use it with either a PC or a Mac and it will be very stable with both systems. Now the software that comes with it is called MixVibes Cross LE, and it is nothing that I would say will allow the user to do everything and it surely does not have all of the great features that you get with other software programs but it has the basics like iTunes integration/browsing and auto beat looping. So for the new user this could be a great starting point. This controller is very light and portable, it is not made out of heavy materials and I didn’t expect it to last more than a few months of use if it even made it that far but it did just fine. There is just no way it could have worked for me after the early stages of my career because it didn’t have the features.
The Numark NDX 400 was in my set up from around the summer of 2011 up until the summer of 2012. It help up very good and never gave me any issues. The only issue that I would encounter with it is with the CD’s. They had to be pretty much flawless with no smudges or scratches on this. This is very difficult to do when you are working with so many disks and a lot of times they get smudges and finger prints on them. When this would happen it would cause major issues with the playability of the disk in the NDX 400. Setting this unit up was pretty simple, it only took a few minutes and the good thing about is that you do not even need the manual to learn how to work it because it is pretty self explanatory. This unit is not very heavy and does not have anything to really weigh it down to the table since it cannot be racked. This was not an issue for me but for some it could be because the whole thing could start to slide depending on the user and the table that it is sitting on. It was very easy to cue up the tracks and work with the playback modes and get my playlist in order with this unit. This unit will not even skip if it is bumped like a lot of other units that are in this same price range. The only issue is if the disk get a little dirty it could cause some major problems which is normal for most all CD players but it seemed to be magnified with this console from Numark. I ended up using my flash drive via USB connection with it most of the time just to avoid the whole CD issue that I had to deal with. The NDX 400 is a solid unit, but in this price range there are other units that will deliver a better quality.
The Gemini CDM-3250 is a dual CD console platter that can be racked. This mixing console is very powerful but still simple to use. It has two separate job wheels and is very mobile. With this console it is easy to have one track playing, search for another track and set up your cue points easily. Everything from beat matching to looping and changing the pitch is very easy to do with the CDM 3250.
The Numark IM1 is a two channel mixer that has a built on iPod Dock which is basically the only difference between this one and the original version of this mixer. The iPod Dock is a huge feature, not only can you play directly from your iPod but more importantly for me I could record directly to my iPod, I would record the whole mix for the night right on my iPod which was 180 GB then I would tell people in the club that I would give them the mix from that night to them and sometimes directly on the spot and they really enjoyed that. It was one of the things that really set me apart from other local DJ’s at the time when I was up and coming. I still do this to this day, but not with this mixer anymore.
The Numark C1 is a rackable 3 channel mixer and at this price, this would be my first choice of a rackable mixer if I was starting all over. It is very affordable and has all of the high end features any DJ can appreciate. This was more expensive when it first came out but it has been reduced to around 100 dollars in most popular stores. There are two switchable phone/line inputs and a mic input that lets you connect this mixer to pretty much any other piece of gear the DJ has in their set up.
The Stanton M .203 is a two channel mixer that cost just less than 100 dollars. Being that this unit cannot be racked caused a serious issue for me after traveling with it for a while. I like to be able to have my mixers racked every now and then. I didn’t understand why they didn’t make it rackable because at this price it would not have been any more trouble to do it than some of the similar Numark mixers that are in this price range like the M101 from Numark.
The M2 from Numark has a solid steel construction and has an even better price tag than a lot of other mixers. It has two channels and is the type of mixer that is perfect for the stage! I was using this mixer for about 5 months for some smaller gigs in small clubs just because I didn’t want to take out my main set up to these smaller gigs. The cross fader is great and made to take some serious punishment. There is also a 3 band EQ on this mixer that does a great job for on the spot EQ’ing and getting out those unwanted frequencies. This mixer is very easy to work with and I have not experienced a single bad thing with the M2.