The Mixtrack Platinum is one of the leading DJ controllers from Numark. It comes loaded with all of the same features that you’ll find on other popular models by this manufacturer, but it also includes a built-in soundcard and allows the user to directly connect to speakers, mics, headphones, and other essential external DJing equipment.
The controller’s jog wheel is one of the most popular features, thanks mainly to its loose feel and the built-in display that will help users to keep an eye on their set. The controller’s lightweight design is another reason to give this model a second look and one that will be a huge advantage for the mobile DJ.
Overview and Features
Numark is known for their larger than life DJ controllers, some of which weigh more than thirty or forty pounds. So, when I found a lightweight model produced by this manufacturer, I was eager to learn if it had what it takes to compete with the higher priced, heavier models. I was pleasantly surprised to learn, that good things really do come in small packages.
Over the years, Numark has released some of the best-selling DJ controllers on the market. Many now come loaded with more than one massive display screen, which can keep the DJ clued in on the progress and quality of a set, but the addition of said components can also add too much weight to a controller, making them more difficult to transport.
The Mixtrack Platinum weighs in at just a few pounds, however, it doesn’t come with a fancy large color display, which may be a drawback for some users, and a pro for others. The included display is located in the jog wheel section and adds plenty of value to the controller, without adding too much weight to the design.
This is a four-channel DJ controller that comes complete with a two-channel mixer. This model offers more bang for your buck thanks to the free extras and the addition of mixing capabilities, which really make this model stand out compared to other DJ controllers in this price range.
For improved sound compared to the past controllers produced by Numark, the Mixtrack Platinum comes with top of the line audio circuitry and is also compatible with Macs, which means there’s no need for extra drivers. Keep in mind that drivers will still be required for Windows users.
All of the included controls are top of the line, especially the crossfader which has a beautifully loose feel to it. It’s also worth mentioning that the user can switch the motor off if they want to use the jog wheel mode. However, when switching to this mode you’ll lose the ability to scratch when you DJ.
Additionally, the controller’s cooling fans can be pretty loud, however, you won’t notice the sound of the fans in a loud club environment.
Overall, this controller is a good fit for any DJ who wants that spinning platter and vinyl feel to crossover to the DJ controller realm. In terms of versatility, this controller offers the best control over the Serato software.
This is marketed as a value bundle because it comes with some great extras for the beginner or the DJ on a budget. Inside this package, you’ll find a built-in soundcard, DJ headphones, a label a cable kit for ultimate organization, a breakout cable, and a stereo interconnect cable.
This controller comes with a total of sixteen Akai Pro Performance pads from MPC production range, which will provide the user with total control over slicer, sampler, loops, hot cues, and more. This model also comes with total control features that provide a new way to control effects and EQ on the fly.
The controller has a two-channel dedicated standalone mixer, complete with four Serato capable RCA inputs, and a couple of mic inputs that can be used without the need of a laptop.
Serato DJ Software
This model comes with Serato DJ, one of the leading DJing software programs on the market. However, the controller doesn’t support or integrate any other type of DJing software programs, so this may be a drawback if you prefer to use another type of popular program.
When you’re checking out the software, you’ll notice that the controls are available as dedicated hardware, which makes it feel as though you’re really working a mixing desk and not only using a DJ controller. Each of the controls is illuminated and displays the status.
The pads also have a nice subtle glow along the edges, in addition to fully illuminated pads. While some users may be disappointed with the choice of color, you’ll find that the red backlighting helps to keep you more focused on the controls because your eyes will be more drawn to the flashing indicator lights.
The backlighting also makes it much easier to work the controller in low light settings such as clubs.
Most of the controls on this model will have two functions that you can work using the shift key. This can be helpful in terms of cutting down on the number of buttons you have to deal with, working to keep the setup more streamlined, while making it easier for you to learn your way around the controller.
The controller’s jog wheels come complete with built-in screens, which provide the type of visual feedback that most beginners need. The jog wheels are nice and loose and offer the type of tactile feel that will make you feel nostalgic about your old turntable setup.
The built-in LCD screens display plenty of important information including the remaining play time for each track, beats per minute, and which deck is in use. There are also a couple of LED rings, one of which will indicate the time remaining for a track, while the other will indicate needle position.
The display really isn’t anything fancy, but it will help the beginner to closely monitor their set, which is a must in a club environment.
While the included pitch fader isn’t full size, it still feels pretty smooth. The ability to see the beats per minute on the jog also helps quite a bit. The combination of the jog wheel and the display, as well as the long throw pitch fader, are some of the best features you’ll find on this controller, and many DJs will agree.
This controller allows you to activate three effects at the same time. Using the backlit touch strip you can also easily and quickly adjust the intensity of the effect. However, there have been some complaints that the touch strip wasn’t very responsive and requires more pressure in order to react quickly. Aside from that, the effects setup works well.
Setting Up Your Controller
Once you’ve installed the included DJ software and plug in the DJ’s power cord, you’re ready to go. You can then take your time in terms of choosing music and effects, and focus on organizing your library for easier access when you’re playing a set.
Loading tracks is pretty simple and can be done by using the library scroll knob. The knob will switch to the library screen when you touch it. You can also access the DJ software from here as well as the tracks, which helps to streamline the process.
While you can’t search for a specific song using the displays, you can have them sorted by BPM, album, key, artist, and name.
When a track is loaded to a deck, the waveform will load onto the appropriate screen, and you’ll get a view of various info. However, most DJs love the view button, which displays the individual waveforms on the right and left screens. When you load another track on the other deck you’ll have parallel waveforms.
Considered a fantastic performing and looking controller, now you can enjoy spinning a set with the help of an intuitive setup that works well in a club environment when backlighting is essential.
The controller’s design, compared to past controllers produced by Numark, remains mostly the same. Basically, you’ll get a large, versatile controller that’s perfect for Serato DJ software. The controller’s included extras and organized layout are what make this model really shine.
The jog wheels are another popular feature and one that most DJs can’t live without, especially if they enjoy scratching and often play top dance hits or hip hop.
Is this a Controller or a Mixer?
This is a controller with mixing features, so basically, you can perform all of the same tasks that you can with a dedicated mixer. Buying a controller with these features can save you some serious cash, and it also allows you to switch up your style of DJing.
Do You Have to Use a PC with this Controller?
Yes. If you want a model that offers more functionality as a standalone controller, I recommend the Denon DJ MCX8000 DJ Controller, which is available at a comparable price.
Is This Controller Portable?
It’s definitely portable, weighing in at just a few pounds, however, it has a somewhat bulky long design. But you’ll find that transporting it is much easier than some of the larger models produced by this manufacturer.
Ultimately, the durable, solid construction, including the fact that most parts are made out of a thick plastic or metal, shows me that this is one DJ controller that’s designed to last.