The explosion of interest in DJing over the last decade has seen a surge in entry-level options. Numark offers a range of beginner controllers. The Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX is one of the more premium options yet it’s still very affordable.
Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX
The Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX offers beginners all the basic tools needed to learn DJing on a Serato DJ controller. With a solid set of features, it’s a contender for one of the best entry-level controllers currently available.
With an impressive set of features at an attractive price, there is a lot to cover. Let’s dive into the details.
The central mixer section of the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX has evolved from the previous model.
This 2 channel controller offers a 3 band EQ for each channel. A dedicated Level knob is also available for altering the volume of each channel. A cue to headphones button sits next to each volume fader for accurate preparation. The crossfader feels okay but certainly not as premium as more expensive controllers.
The Mixtrack Platinum FX has a basic mixer section but has enough features for new DJs.
The center section includes the all-new FX controls along with dedicated paddles as seen on various turntablist style mixers. Below this section, you’ll find Cue Mix and Cue Gain knobs for preparing your mixes. VU meters are also present for each channel to keep an eye on your volume levels so you don’t redline your mix.
Finally, a browse knob allows you to select tracks from your music library and then load them onto either deck.
This is an entry-level controller so I wasn’t expecting much more. All the needed functions are here and well laid out.
One of the common problems with intro controllers is software. To keep costs down the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX offers Serato DJ Lite. Don’t get me wrong the software is capable and reliable. Serato has an extensive reputation as one of the premier DJ software platforms. There is also a large selection of compatible controllers so if you do upgrade in the future you won’t need to learn the ins and outs of the software again.
The issue is the limitations that the intro edition has. You’ll be unable to record and listen back to your mixes. This is the biggest missing feature and one many new DJs may not be aware of. When you are learning DJing one of the best ways to improve is to listen back to your mixes. You’re able to see where things went right and where they didn’t. The other main feature that you’ll miss out on is 4 channel mixing.
To unlock these features you’ll need to upgrade the software which is an added expense. Not a dealbreaker by any means but something to keep in mind.
One of the most appealing aspects of the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX is the inclusion of LCD screens on the jogwheels. These displays sit in the middle of the 6-inch jogwheels. The displays are high resolution and bright.
Jogwheel screens at this price point give the Platinum FX an edge over the competition.
The display will show you both track time remaining or elapsed depending on your preference. Other vital information is also available like BPM, pitch adjustment, and keylock. While not as fully featured as screens on more expensive controllers they are still great. Easy to read and providing exactly the type of information you need at a glance. The only downfall seems to be the track position which seems to lag behind what is shown within the Serato.
I’m a big fan of keeping your attention on your controller as much as possible and these screens go a long way in achieving that.
The jogwheels themselves are also decent and you’ll be able to scratch using them. To the side of each jogwheel, you’ll also find dedicated buttons to switch to decks 3 and 4. Great if you want to explore 4 channel mixing.
The Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX offers long pitch faders. This instantly places it above some other beginner options. Due to the compact size of entry-level controllers they often have short pitch faders. This can make beatmatching by ear more challenging.
Lots of respect for Numark making the concerted effort to give new DJs long pitch faders. Above the pitch faders, you’ll also have access to Pitch Bend buttons for momentary adjustments. There is also auto-sync functionality available with a dedicated button above the Cue and Play buttons. This will match your beats automatically.
The performance pads on the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX are okay. Each deck offers 8 pads. You’ll be able to set 4 Hot Cues with the top row of pads. To gain access to Hot Cues 5-8 you’ll need to upgrade your software to Serato DJ Pro.
The top 4 buttons give you access to more pad functions. This is an improvement over the previous model where you can to wrangle through some difficult Shift button combinations to access other pad functions.
The available modes include Auto Loop, Fader Cuts, and Sampler. Dedicated looping controls are also present next to the Performance Pads.
A decent set of features but also nothing amazing. If you only need the core functions the Mixtrack Platinum FX is great. But if you want a larger selection of performance pad features I’d suggest looking at other controllers.
The Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX offers a small footprint. This makes it easy to set up at home without demanding too much space.
The Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX is a compact and lightweight controller.
The unit is also lightweight making it easy to take to a friend’s place or parties.
The Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX gives you new flexibility to play with FX that is inspired by professional turntablist mixers. Instead of controls at the top of the controller, you have access to 6 dedicated FX via buttons on the mixer.
The new FX section sits in a central location on the mixer for quick access.
The range of FX covers some of the most commonly used FX. This FX can be activated momentarily by pressing down on the paddles or permanently on when pressed upwards. This is a familiar and fun setup to use but it does limit the amount and how much control you have over your FX. If you are more interested in Hip-Hop and the turntablist side of DJing this is a good setup to learn on. However, if you lean towards EDM and want to eventually use the club-style gear you’ll have a harder time migrating to that gear if you’ve learned on this controller.
A dedicated High/Low pass Filter knob for each channel adds further creative control.
If you want to add FX to your sets the Mixtrack Platinum FX gives you tactile control. Fun to use and well-positioned.
Looping controls are another improvement over the previous model. Dedicated loop controls with half and double buttons make setting and managing your loop a lot easier. You can also manage auto loops with the pad modes in preset increments based on software settings.
Looping can be a critical part of your DJ workflow. The implementation of the loop functions is a solid improvement and shows that Numark wants to give DJs the tools they encounter on more expensive gear.
As with most beginner controllers, there is a small number of connection options.
Limited connection options are common among entry-level controllers.
For master output, you’ll have to settle for an unbalanced RCA connection. This may restrict the types of speakers you can connect to. Or it could involve having to buy adapters for your speakers. Luckily the in-built soundcard is great and the output is clear.
Numark has given DJs the choice of headphone connection. Both ¼ and ⅛ inch options are available. With so much variety in headphones, I’m always happy to see both available.
Beyond that, you’ll also have access to a ¼ inch microphone input with dedicated volume control.
Build Quality & Design
Entry-level controllers need to cut costs somewhere and usually, it’s in components. While the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX is plastic it doesn’t feel flimsy. The added weight from the jogwheel screens does give the unit a bit more heft and stability. Knobs and faders are good but as expected not to the level of more premium controllers.
The Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX does an excellent job of balancing quality with price.
The design of the Numark Platinum FX is an improvement from the previous model but not without some niggling issues. I love the spacious layout and have grown accustomed to the Numark color palette but it still looks a bit like a toy.
The Play/Cue buttons in particular don’t have a smooth click feel to them, you really need to depress them a decent amount which is a small gripe but something that instantly stood out to me.
The screen displays do add a more professional feel. It’s not as garish as some other controller but also not super slick. Keep in mind everyone is different and this is just a personal opinion. At the end of the day, looks are not important.
What Others Have To Say
The Mixtrack Platinum FX is a popular entry-level controller with a well-thought-out approach that provides great value for money. But it does lack some of the features that other controllers offer.
Substance Over Style
DJing hasn’t always been about crazy antics in front of thousands of people at massive festivals. For the longest time, the DJ would play at the back of the club. It was more about the music. With the rise in popularity of the EDM scene, we have now seen an explosion of celebrity DJs.
DJs are now front and center at both clubs and festivals.
This has spilled over into the casual crowd. Thankfully most DJs hold to the mantra that it’s all about the music. But you may come across a few “DJ snobs”. These DJs may look down on the gear you use or even the genre you play.
Don’t let these people get to you. Focus on the music and your skills. It doesn’t matter if you have a budget entry-level controller or the flashiest set of gear. What truly matters is the music and your ability to craft amazing sets that get a dancefloor moving. Or at the very least put a smile on your face.
There is a vast array of controllers available. With a variety of features and price points. Here are some alternatives to the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX for you to consider.
Denon Prime 2 Review
If you like the idea of screens but want to take it to the next level the Denon Prime 2 is a great choice. It is packed with features but is a lot more expensive than the Mixtrack Platinum FX.
- Large central screen featuring waveforms and more.
- Proffesional set of connection options for full flexibility.
- Big jump up in price.
Denon Prime 2
Pioneer DDJ REV1 Review
Another excellent beginner controller is the Pioneer DDJ REV1. This Serato controller features a layout and design that is targeted at new DJs that want to get into scratching.
- Extensive performance pad options for more creativity.
- A battle-style layout that mimics a turntable setup.
- It has short pitch faders making beatmatching more challenging.
Numark Mixtrack Pro FX Review
If you want to stretch your budget the Numark Mixtrack Pro FX should be on your list. It still offers all the core features you need but at a much cheaper price.
- Long pitch faders and spacious layout.
- Budget-priced alternative leaving you more money for speakers or headphones.
- No jogwheel screens like the Mixtrack Platinum FX.
Numark Mixtrack Pro FX
Should You Buy?
The Mixtrack Platinum FX is an excellent offering from Numark. It manages to combine all the basic elements new DJs need while also offering screens. The very affordable price is great for DJs on a budget.
Plus it gives new DJs a controller that can help them spend more time engaged with their gear and less time looking at a laptop. If you are looking to buy an entry-level controller the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX is worth adding to your shortlist.
Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX