Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 Review – Improved And At A Bargain Price

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. You want to make sure you get started in DJing in the best possible way. In this review, we have a look into one of the options available for beginner DJs.

Manual Beatmatching VS Sync

When selecting your first DJ controller you may be wondering which controller will make learning to mix easier.

The fundamentals of DJing is 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 the 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.

Learning to beatmatch can be challenging but is also rewarding. It will help you become more confident as a DJ and allow you to play on a wide variety of gear. 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.

Photo of headphones sitting on top of a DJ controller

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. This allows for the two tracks that are playing to have their tempo matched and for the beats to fall in line with each other. Many DJs despise the Sync function and see it as cheating but it’s not as black and white as that. You can discover more about the Sync button and the pros and cons of using it in our article here.

Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 Review

The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 aims to be the perfect entry-level controller. With some interesting features and an updated design, it is appealing. At an aggressively competitive price point, Numark has managed to elevate this controller to one of the best options in the market. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of what the Mixtrack Pro 3 offers a beginner DJ.

Pros

  • Built-In Soundcard
  • Long Pitch Faders
  • Convenient Touch Strips
  • Affordable Entry-Level Option

Cons

  • Awkward Looping Controls
  • Comes With Intro Software
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Features

At such an attractive price point it’s worth digging into the details to see what this Numark DJ controller has to offer.

The features of the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3.

The Mixtrack Pro 3 comes with Serato DJ Intro, 2 channels, medium-sized jogwheels, and long pitch faders.

Touch Strips

One of the key differences to other entry-level controllers is the addition of a touch strip for each channel. This is used for quick skimming through the loaded track. It is a lot quicker to do that using the touch strips compared to the jogwheels. They are also used as the wet/dry parameter for loaded FX. Some DJs prefer having a dedicated knob for that control but the touch strip does a serviceable job.

Included Software

Serato DJ Intro is included with the Mixtrack Pro 3. 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.

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.

Mixer Section

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 VU meters are linked to the master output so you won’t know the individual level of each channel. Additionally, there are no gain controls for each channel. However, there is a master gain knob. 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 channel faders feel nice and offer a good amount of resistance for fine adjustments. The crossfader is also loose enough for quick cuts.

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Jogwheels

While the chrome jogwheels stick out a bit compared to the rest of the controller they are capable. For those interested in scratching you’ll be able to get started with this controller. 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.

Performance Pads

There are 8 pads located underneath each jogwheel. The bottom 4 pads are used solely for hot cues that you have set. 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 top 4 pads are assigned to looping controls. Unfortunately, the looping controls feel awkward. Setting an auto loop works fine but then adjusting that loop is a combination of button presses which doesn’t feel intuitive. You can also set manual loop lengths if you prefer.

Beyond that, the pads don’t do much more besides a sampler mode. 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 about as bare-bones as it gets. They will get the job done for basic controls but don’t expect anything much beyond that.

FX

FX controls are located at the top of the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3. Three FX can be loaded at once which is ample for new DJs. Having to control the effects via the touch strip feels a little odd. Especially since you can only alter one effect at a time. Having said that you can at least add some effects to your sets. This is more than some controllers offer.

Keep in mind the FX options are limited by the software. If you want access to more FX you’ll need to upgrade to Serato DJ Pro.

Dimensions

Dimensions of the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 DJ controller.

The Mixtrack Pro 3 is a lightweight controller with a greater width than other controllers in the entry-level space.

Pitch Faders

This is one of the standout features of the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3. 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 3 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.

2 Channels Available

The Mixtrack Pro 3 comes with 2-channels as mixing options. More experienced DJs may see this as a drawback. For a beginner DJ, I see it as a benefit. When you begin learning to DJ you want to focus on the fundamentals and two channels is all you need. Master mixing from track A to track B and you’re well on your way to becoming an accomplished DJ.

Having 4 channels is a nice feature to expand your skills but it also needs to have a specific controller that is designed to handle 4 channels. I’m also not a fan of the hybrid style of having two EQ sections but offering 4 channels as it tends to be a confusing mess, especially for new DJs.

Build Quality

At this price point, there are certain build quality compromises that you need to be aware of. The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 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 Pro3 feels solid. It should last you a decent amount of time depending on how often you use it.

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 3 DJ controller has a much more professional look to it. Gone is the garish chrome and in its place is a nice matte black finish. While an improvement on the previous model it still looks a little on the toy side of controller designs.

Connection Options

I don’t expect many connection options when it comes to entry-level controllers and the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 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 is a nice touch allowing for both ¼ inch and ⅛ inch inputs. This makes it much easier to plug and play with a pair of good DJ headphones.

One key thing to note is the Numark Mixtrack 3 Pro has an in-built dedicated soundcard so you can directly connect it to your home studio monitors. 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.

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What Others Have To Say

As outlined in these Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 reviews, most people are very happy with it. When you consider what it’s designed for it ticks all the boxes. Easy to connect and get started in the world of DJing. Some durability issues have come up but it’s hard to expect an entry-level controller to take a serious long term beating without some wear and tear.

Text Reviews of Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 DJ Controller

Other Options

There are many alternatives to the Numark Mix Track Pro 3. Depending on what features you are looking for one of these other controllers may be a better option. You can also read up about these controllers in more detail in our Best DJ Controller For Beginners guide.

Roland DJ 202 Review

For those that are music producers looking at getting 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.
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>> FULL ROLAND DJ 202 REVIEW <<

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.
  • Mixer section feels a little cramped.
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>> FULL PIONEER DDJ 400 REVIEW <<

Pioneer DJ WeGo 4 Review

Portability coupled with iOS and Android device support makes the WeGo 4 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.
  • Doesn’t have a traditional layout making it more difficult to move onto the higher-end gear.
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Should You Buy?

The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 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.

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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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