Selecting a DJ controller for the first time can be overwhelming. When I got into DJing the options were quite limited. Nowadays there is a wide range of choices available. In this review, we have a look into one of the options available for beginner DJs.
Numark Mixtrack Pro FX
The Numark Mixtrack Pro FX aims to be the perfect entry-level controller. With some interesting features and an updated design, it is appealing. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of what the Mixtrack Pro FX offers a beginner DJ.
At such an attractive price point it’s worth digging into the details to see what this Numark DJ controller has to offer.
The mixer section is well featured offering 3 band EQ for each of the two channels. Also included is a high and low pass filter knob. This is a nice feature that isn’t always present on entry-level controllers. It’s a good way to assist with transitions.
The Numark Mixtrack Pro FX offers a basic but functional central mixer section.
The VU meters are linked to each channel. Additionally, there are gain controls for each channel. As an experienced DJ, I like having access to individual gain controls to further refine my transitions and levels. But, as a beginner, you can rely on the in-built sound limiting that comes with the software.
There is a browse knob as well as dedicated load buttons for quick skimming and loading of your music library. Cue Mix and Cue Gain knobs are also there to allow you to properly cue and prepare your mixes.
The other major feature is the new dedicated FX section. This features FX load buttons and paddles for activation. Wet/Dry and Beat control is also present for further control over FX.
The channel faders feel nice and offer a good amount of resistance for fine adjustments. The crossfader is also loose enough for quick cuts.
Serato DJ Lite is included with the Mixtrack Pro FX. This does allow you to get started quickly. But, the feature set is stripped back. If you want access to all the features you will need to spend extra to upgrade the software.
I understand the need to keep costs down at the entry-level price point. But, it is another expense down the track so keep this in mind. Other entry-level controllers do come with full version software.
The Intro software is fine to get started but is missing one crucial feature. You won’t be able to record your mixes using the software.
When you first start DJing listening back to your mixes is one of the best ways to help you learn from your mistakes and improve. Plus, there is nothing better than enjoying your mixes after you are finished on the decks.
The metal jogwheels are capable and feel good to use. For those interested in scratching you’ll be able to get started with this controller.
The Numark Mixtrack Pro FX offers large jogwheels that are comfortable to scratch with.
They are not as refined as more expensive controllers but they still offer everything you need. The jogwheels can also be used for quick skimming through a track or for pitch-bending.
This is one of the standout features of the Numark Mixtrack Pro FX. Entry-level controllers tend to be plagued by short pitch faders. The compact nature of these controllers results in cuts in some areas. Usually, they are just 60mm long. The Numark Pro FX offers 100mm pitch faders.
One of the first skills you need to master is beatmatching. Having long pitch faders makes this initial steep learning curve much easier. You can make fine adjustments to the tempo of the tracks easily with the longer pitch faders.
There are 8 pads located underneath each jogwheel. They are on the smaller side compared to other controllers but have a decent feel to them. Jumping between cue points is easy and natural enough.
The 8 performance pads are not RGB and sport the classic Numark red color.
Beyond Hot Cues you’ll also have access to a few other functions including Auto Loop, Fader Cuts, and Sampler. Other controllers in the entry-level space offer much more detailed pad functions. These pads could have easily been standard buttons and it wouldn’t have functioned any differently. There are no Slicer or Beat Jump functions. It’s fairly bare-bones but still an improvement from the previous model. They will get the job done for basic controls but don’t expect anything much beyond that.
There is also a dedicated loop section. This is a massive improvement over the previous clunky and awkward looping controls. It is now very easy to set an auto loop and halve or double that loop.
Overall this is a good step forward in functionality across the Numark entry-level range. While not as advanced as some other options there is still a decent amount of functionality here. Especially at this price point.
I don’t expect many connection options when it comes to entry-level controllers and the Numark Mixtrack Pro FX is no different. A single RCA output option is available. Beyond that, there is a mic input with a dedicated gain knob. Two headphone jack options are a nice touch allowing for both ¼ inch and ⅛ inch inputs.
The choice of both 1/4 Inch and 1/8 Inch headphones is a nice addition to the Mixtrack Pro FX.
One key thing to note is the Numark Mixtrack Pro FX has an in-built dedicated soundcard so you can directly connect it to your speakers. This means you don’t need to run the sound through your laptop or PC soundcard. This also means that the headphone output is nice and loud. If you plan on mixing in a loud environment it’s good to have that loudness up your sleeve.
The FX controls have had a major rework on the Numark Mixtrack Pro FX. Gone are the dedicated FX controls above each jogwheel and in its place you have 6 FX buttons and FX paddles. The 6 FX are solid and represent the most common FX you’ll likely use.
The paddles allow for momentary activation of FX when pushed downward and persistent activation when pushed upwards. Further Wet/Dry knob and Beat knob allow for fine-tuning the FX output.
The FX are fun to use and keep you focused on the central mixer much like professional battle mixers. If you have ambitions of moving to turntables these are a good introduction.
EDM DJs will have a harder time if they move to professional club gear since FX control is handled much differently on pro mixers.
Overall I think this is a good change for the entry-level market and offers a point of difference to other controllers. The simple implementation encourages experimentation.
The Numark Mixtrack Pro FX is roughly the same size as other entry-level controllers. But, there are a few key differences.
The Numark Mixtrack Pro FX is a lightweight controller that is easy to transport.
The controller is a lot wider than most. But, this does give it a more spacious feel. Likewise, it is very slimline at just 30mm. When you combine this with it weighing in at just 2.4kg you have a very portable controller on your hands.
Build Quality & Design
At this price point, there are certain build quality compromises that you need to be aware of. The Numark Mixtrack Pro FX is primarily plastic. Not cheap flimsy plastic but still plastic. It’s pretty much the standard for entry-level controllers.
Luckily that doesn’t mean that entry-level controllers are fragile pieces of garbage. The Mixtrack Pro FX feels solid. It should last you a decent amount of time depending on how often you use it and how well you treat it.
The Numark Mixtrack Pro FX has all the basic features you need to start DJing.
It also has a slightly larger footprint than other entry-level controllers. It’s more narrow but opts for a longer width. This helps in spacing out the components well. Compared to the previous version of this controller the Numark Mixtrack Pro FX DJ controller has a much more professional look to it. However, I still don’t like the Play and Cue buttons both in color and feel.
What Others Have To Say
Most people are very happy with the Numark Mixtrack Pro FX. When you consider what it’s designed for it ticks all the boxes. Easy to connect and get started in the world of DJing.
Manual Beatmatching VS Sync
The fundamentals of DJing are to facilitate the smooth transition from one track to another. To achieve this you need to match the beats and then mix the two tracks. Using EQ, channel faders, and crossfader you can achieve a seamless transition between tracks. While there is a lot of nuances and styles that go into mixing the matching of beats is the core.
When buying your first controller it’s worth checking to see how long the pitch fader is. The pitch fader affects the tempo of the track and is what you’ll use to match the BPM (Beats Per Minute) of two tracks. A longer pitch fader makes it easier to make smaller adjustments to the BPM for more accurate beatmatching.
Learning to beatmatch by ear using headphones is a fundamental DJ skill.
Most modern controllers also feature a Beat Sync function. When you load your music into DJ software it will analyze the track and produce a waveform showing where the beats are as well as the tempo. You can then load two tracks on separate channels and with the hit of a button, they will be aligned.
There are many alternatives to the Numark Mix Track Pro FX. Depending on what features you are looking for one of these other controllers may be a better option.
Roland DJ 202 Review
For those that are music producers looking to get into DJing the Roland DJ 202 is a good choice. Likewise, if you are a DJ looking for more production-minded DJ sets. It offers an in-built drum machine and options for connecting extra Roland devices.
- Built-in drum machine for on-the-fly beat creation.
- Midi support for other Roland production gear.
- Feels a little flimsy and hollow.
Roland DJ 202
Pioneer DDJ 400 Review
If the idea of having to pay extra to upgrade software is turning you off the Pioneer DDJ 400 is a good alternative. With full-featured Rekordbox software included there are no extra hidden charges to deal with.
- A professional layout that mirrors Pioneer’s higher-end gear.
- Long pitch faders for easy manual beatmatching.
- The mixer section feels a little cramped.
Pioneer DDJ 400
Reloop Buddy Review
Portability coupled with iOS and Android device support makes the Reloop Buddy more suited to the on-the-go DJ that wants to take the party with them. Despite the odd button and function placement, it is a more compact alternative.
- iOS and Android support for DJing on the go.
- Compact and portable design.
- Only offers a 2-band EQ. No way to control mid frequencies.
Should You Buy?
The Numark Mixtrack Pro FX is an interesting choice for the beginner DJ. It has all the features you need to get started. While missing some extra features that could just be the seasoned veteran in me talking. The low price point and the long pitch faders make it great for learning. For a first controller, it’s a great choice especially if you have eyes on moving onto Numark’s more high-end gear down the track.
Numark Mixtrack Pro FX