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Numark Mixtrack 3 Review [2020] – The Best Cheap DJ Gear?

Numark Mixtrack 3 Review – Cheap Price With Big Features

Choosing the right budget DJ controller can be a challenge. In this detailed review, you’ll learn why we recommend the Numark Mixtrack 3 as the perfect choice.

With the growth of DJ culture the budget DJ controller market is very competitive. Let’s dive into what sets the Numark Mixtrack 3 apart from the rest.

Numark Mixtrack 3 Review

The Numark Mixtrack 3 is an aggressively priced budget controller. It packs in a lot of features considering how cheap it is. While the lack of a soundcard is disappointing it more than makes up for it with the spacious design and a great list of features.

Pros

  • Long Pitch Faders
  • Durable Jogwheels
  • Full EQ Section
  • Touchstrips
  • Affordable Price Point

Cons

  • Requires External Audio Interface
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Why Buy A Budget DJ Controller?

There are a staggering amount of options when it comes to DJ equipment. This can prove to be a challenge if you are not already familiar with what you need to get started.

With the explosion of interest in DJing these cheap controllers are a great entry point. A good budget controller will give you access to all the fundamental features you need to learn DJing. This is an area that Numark has paid extra attention to. For years they have offered affordable DJ controllers for new DJs.

This is where budget controllers shine. They do not contain all the features of more expensive equipment. What they do offer is the bare essentials to allow you to master the basic skills you need to DJ.

The low price point is a great way to try out DJing without investing too much money. If you find yourself enjoying DJing you can then look at a more advanced controller. You’ll also know by that time what type of features you need most. This saves you both time and money when selecting equipment.

Full DJ club gear

You don’t need an expensive set of DJ gear to get started DJing.

Features

While budget controllers don’t offer a massive amount of features there is still a lot to consider. Let’s dive into the details of what the Numark Mixtrack 3 offers.

Mixer Section

The central mixer section offers a full 3 band EQ. This allows you to control the Lows, Mids and Highs of the tracks you are playing. Not all budget controllers offer a 3 band EQ. When you are mixing tracks having control over the full range of sound frequencies allows you to more accurately adjust the mix. It also can prevent clashing frequencies or hitting the red.

A filter knob offers a high and low pass filter for extra control. There are no dedicated gain controls per channel but at this price point, I’m not surprised. You’ll need to use the channel faders to control volume per deck.

Numark Mixtrack 3 Mixer Section

Full 3 Band EQ and a Filter is not common for budget level controllers.

Speaking of faders they feel good considering this is a budget controller. The crossfader is okay but certainly not as nice as more premium controllers.

Beyond that, you have access to a master gain knob for volume control. The extra cue mix and cue gain knobs allow you to properly prepare your mix in your headphones. An essential feature.

A browse and load section complete the mixer section. You can navigate through your music library and directly load tracks to the decks at the press of a button.

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Software

Virtual DJ LE edition comes with the Numark Mixtrack 3. This is a robust piece of software that has a long history in the DJ game. While it is often overshadowed by long-standing favorites like Serato it is excellent software.

Keep in mind this version does come with some restrictions. The library management tools are not as comprehensive as the Pro version. Also, you’ll be unable to use the software if you plan to play professionally and get paid. For most new DJs this isn’t a concern but worth keeping in mind. At any stage, you can pay to upgrade to the full version of the software to unlock all the features.

For beginner DJs, the software is more than capable despite the small handful of restrictions.

Jogwheels

The Numark Mixtrack 3 offers 5-inch metal jogwheels. These jogwheels are also touch-capacitive so you can either stop a track or scratch. Nudging the edge of the jogwheels alters the pitch so you can make fine adjustments during your mix.

Numark Mixtrack 3 Jogwheels

The Numark Mixtrack 3 offers impressive jogwheels considering it’s a budget controller.

Offering metal jogwheels at this price is impressive. They feel great and are responsive. You’ll be able to learn the basics of scratching with this controller. For more aggressive scratching techniques you’ll need a more advanced controller.

Pitch Faders

One of the most outstanding features of the Mixtrack 3 is the pitch faders. These 100mm pitch faders are much longer than comparable budget controllers. These long pitch faders allow you to make finer adjustments to the pitch of the tracks you are playing.

Considering beatmatching by ear is one of the first skills DJs learn to master this offers an easier learning curve. You can also match the two tracks BPM with the Sync button.

Performance Pads

Each deck offers 16 performance pads that can activate various features. The primary controls are for hot cue placement and triggering. This allows you to set up to 4 cue points for parts of the tracks to mix from or as reference points.

The pads are also used for looping controls and to launch samples. Switching between the modes is easy with the pad mode button. It’s comfortable to use and feels natural when mixing.

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Dimensions

This controller is slimline and relatively compact. It is longer than other entry-level controllers. One of the benefits of this is that the mixer section and each deck is nice and spacious. Nothing feels cramped. It’s also very lightweight and easy to carry and transport.

Numark Mixtrack 3 Dimensions

The Numark Mixtrack 3 is a light controller with a slim profile.

FX Controls

The Numark Mixtrack 3 offers dedicated FX controls above each deck. Virtual DJ comes with a suite of excellent FX options you assign to the 3 buttons.

Once activated you can alter the wet/dry mix of the FX via the touch strip which also doubles as a track skim touch strip dependant on which mode you set. 

The Numark Mixtrack 3 offers you plenty of options to add more creativity to your sets with the FX functions.

Looping Controls

You can set manual loops by hitting the In and Out pad buttons on the corresponding section on a track. You can also set an auto loop which will give you an instant loop based on your auto loop settings in Virtual DJ. From there you can halve or double the loop.

Controlling loops can be a little fiddly. For example, to double the length of the loop you’ll need to hold the Shift button and then hit the pad. While not horrible it’s not as intuitive as loop controls on other more expensive controllers.

Connection Options

This is where things get exceptionally bare bones.

The only connection point on the Mixtrack 3 is USB. You’ll plug it directly into your laptop or PC to power the unit. Keep in mind due to the power requirements it will drain your laptop battery at a faster rate than normal.

USB cable plugged into a laptop

The Numark Mixtrack 3 is powered by USB and requires your laptop or PC to handle audio.

The Numark Mixtrack 3 doesn’t have a built-in soundcard. As a result, it needs to handle all audio via an external audio interface. In most cases, your laptop or PC will have a built-in soundcard. This will allow you to connect speakers to your laptop or PC to play audio. How good that audio sounds will depend on the quality of your soundcard.

You’ll also need to connect your headphones to your laptop or PC. While this type of setup is not ideal it is one of the reasons why the Mixtrack 3 is so affordable.

Build Quality & Design

My expectations for a controller at this price point are not high. Yet the Numark Mixtrack 3 offers a good level of build quality. The body is plastic. Something that is not uncommon in entry-level controllers. Luckily it doesn’t feel like cheap plastic.

The metal jogwheels are durable and robust as are the faders. I wouldn’t recommend aggressive scratching or crossfading. While it is robust prolonged use will take its toll.

One of the problems that I see in a lot of budget controllers is that they often look like a toy. The Mixtrack 3 offers an attractive and much more pro appearance than some other options.

Numark has struck the perfect balance between affordability and build quality.

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What Others Have To Say

After scouring the web to see what others thought I’m happy to report that the response to this controller is positive. The excellent price point and good feature set have planted it as a firm favorite for new DJs looking for a beginner controller. Though many warn to be prepared for the lack of sound card.

Numark Mixtrack 3 Reviews

Other Options

There are several alternatives to the Numark Mixtrack 3. Let’s check out these other options in more detail.

Pioneer DDJ 200

Pioneer is one of the most recognizable names in the business. The DDJ 200 is an affordable controller that has a greater emphasis on integration with DJ apps for your phone or tablet. If you don’t have a good laptop or PC this is a good alternative to the Mixtrack 3.

  • Tight integration with a range of compatible DJ apps.
  • Full 3 Band EQ and long pitch faders.
  • It doesn’t contain a built-in soundcard.
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Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3

If you have more to spend the Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3 is a great step up from the Numark. It includes excellent professional software and tight integration with Traktor’s mobile app. A high-quality onboard soundcard is another upgrade over the Numark.

  • Full version Traktor Pro 3 included. Traktor DJ 2 for iOS is also great software.
  • Integrated soundcard that delivers high-quality audio.
  • Not as affordable as the Numark Mixtrack 3.
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Numark Party Mix

If you want to stretch your budget even further Numark also offers the Party Mix controller. It comes with Serato Lite which opens up the door to one of the world’s most popular DJ software platforms. While lacking in a few key features it’s still a good option for new DJs.

  • Includes a built-in soundcard for easier plug and play capabilities.
  • Integrated light show feature that auto-syncs with your performance.
  • Limited EQ and very short pitch faders.
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Should You Buy?

If you’re on a budget the Numark Mixtrack 3 should be high on your list of options.

While a built-in soundcard would be ideal most modern laptops and PCs will have no trouble managing the output. The spacious layout with a more grown-up and professional design aesthetic adds to its appeal.

When you factor in the full EQ and long pitch faders it’s hard not to recommend this controller. Add to that the affordable price and you have a winner on your hands.

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Patryk Biernacki

Patryk Biernacki

For over 20 years I've been involved in the world of DJing. Now I want to share my experience so that DJing is more accessible for anyone with a passion for music.

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