When it comes to budget models, there is one decisive winner and that is the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3. Even though it hardly competes with other DJ controllers and mixers on our top 5 list, it still does an excellent job for a beginner DJ or anybody else who wants to get into the DJ mixing world.
The Pro 3 is a successor to a line of not so successful models, where the Pro 1 lacked in the material and sound quality departments and the Pro 2 didn’t quite reach those desired levels as well.
As they say third time’s the charm which is apparent when taking a look at all the features and high-end quality of the last model of the Mixtrack Pro series.
Now, let’s dive deeper into its features and see what sets it apart from other controllers in this price range.
Product Overview And Features
Just to get it out of the way, let’s briefly discuss this price.
A few hundred dollars for such a controller will forever be appealing to anyone who is even slightly curious in the DJ business. If you want to try mixing tracks or playing with songs and their beats, this is perhaps your best entry choice. It is also ideal for learning as it brings a real DJ controller experience without costing you an arm and a leg.
This is why the Pro 3 earned so many awards for a budget controller and a beginner friendly model.
From the get-go the thing that makes the biggest impression to you is the looks of the model and the material quality all around it. The Pro 3 is a bit wider than the previous two versions but at the same time thinner, being slightly over 1 inch thick.
Still, this fits into the small controllers territory and is ideal for traveling with it since it also weighs 4.1 pounds. This makes it the lightest model on our list, or any controller top 5 list for that matter.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Pro 3:
The body is made from hardened plastic. Nowadays, many people underestimate plastic’s properties thinking of that old brittle 90s plastic which was as fragile as glass.
New technologies have allowed plastic to become stronger than metal in many aspects and in case your model falls on the ground probably nothing will happen to it, while metal (aluminum) will bend. Plastic also is far lighter making it good for transporting and moving around.
All the buttons on the Pro 3 are rubber and are super tactile but more on that later. The only metal part of this controller are the jog wheels. They are on par with more expensive models and are ideal for learning how to scratch.
Connectivity And Sound Quality
The 24-bit sound card built in this model makes the sound on par with all the premium models since they have the same audio interface. This ensures a crystal clear playback sound and also means that you won’t have to buy an external audio interface.
Playing this model is as easy as connecting its USB ports to the USB port of your laptop or PC. This plug-and-play feature makes it even more attractive for beginners.
There are also a set of phono (RCA) ports for amplifiers and speakers at the back. At the front you have a ¼ inch port and a ⅛ inch mini port for headphones. Some headphones have a bigger jack so it’s always great to have both options.
A noticeable improvement from the Pro 2 is that the pitch sliders are much bigger. There is almost a 4 inch travel on both of them. Most controllers have 2-3 inches of travel which means that Numark have outdone themselves in this aspect.
All this makes manual beatmatching a breeze since you can adjust far more accurately.
Now, let’s talk about the jog wheels. They are all-metal as we mentioned with a diameter of a little over 5 inches. There is a wheel button next to them which toggles between two modes. The first one will let the jogwheel behave like a regular one allowing you to stop tracks, play with the beat, etc.
Pro Tip: Using this mode will cause less lag (in fact no lag at all) in Serato DJ Pro.
The second mode allows for easier pitch bending. There are buttons on top of the wheel that can be pre-programmed to do the same things without touching the jogwheels.
There are eight pads on each of the two decks. The lower row will control your cue points which you’ve set, while the top row will control the loops and samples. There is a pad button next to them which adjusts the function of the pad of your choice.
To the right of these pads you have your standard buttons:
The “Shift” button is used to auto beat match your tracks. This is a great feature for beginners and most controllers have it. This button also triggers the secondary functions of those 4 buttons which is written beneath each button.
When browsing through Pro 3 photos something will surely catch your eyes – the touch strip above the jogwheel. This strip allows you to control the parameters of all your effects which you assign to the FX1,2,3 buttons below the touchstrip.
Pro Tip: If you hold the “Shift” button while skimming through the touchstrip, you will be able to browse through the song that you’re playing to find a specific point you want to jump to.
Let’s start with the crossfader here. For the price of this controller, this is the smoothest crossfader we’ve seen. It is loose and works great for mixing. Loose buttons are preferred by some professionals but some beginners might find them hard to use.
In those cases, a tighter button is better for a more accurate control. The upfaders are as smooth as the crossfader and as loose as it.
Above them there is a button which swaps the cueing to your headphones (if plugged in). If you press both buttons you will head both tracks.
On top of that, there is a 3-band equalizer which has a low and high pass filter for each channel. These filters come in handy during mixing as they filter out high and low frequencies in your tracks.
In the center of all this there is a “library browse” knob which allows you to browse for the next track. This is ideal for browsing for tracks without using your laptop’s pad or computer mouse.
Below that lies the master gain button which controls the volume of the speakers/headphones. That is also done with the help of the cue mix and cue gain buttons which control where you hear your music from (balance the speaker/headphone volume ratio).
On the bottom of the mixer there are VU meters for each channel which help you set the right levels of your mix. This is handy to have as it prevents audio clipping which can damage your gear.
The Software Part
Lastly, let’s say a few words for the software of this controller. As all Numark models, the Pro 3 is designed specifically to work well with Serato DJ software. It even comes as a bundle with this DJ program which is a great starting point for any beginner.
Serato isn’t the easiest program to learn but as soon as you get the hang of it, it will provide you every feature you need.