Numark has a long history of providing excellent controller options for the budget-minded beginner DJ. In this review, we check out the latest version of the popular Party Mix controller, the very cheap Party Mix II.
Numark Party Mix II
The Numark Party Mix II is an aggressively priced entry-level controller. Despite the low price, it does punch above its weight making it one of the best cheap DJ controllers on the market.
While I don’t expect much from a controller in this price range there is still plenty to dissect. Let’s check out the Party Mix II in more detail.
The main mixer section of the Numark Party Mix II is basic but capable. It features 2 channels with dedicated faders. There is also a crossfader that allows you to move from one channel to the other.
Each channel offers a 2 band EQ. You can control the Bass and the Treble. Most basic mixing techniques involve manipulating these frequencies so it’s enough to get started. I would have like to see access to the Mid frequencies but it is a budget controller after all.
A 2-Band EQ will allow you to adjust Bass and Treble frequencies.
There is also Gain control for each channel so you can manipulate the volume of each output. A Master Gain knob is also available so you can control the volume output of your mix.
A browse knob and loading buttons allow you to search through your music library and load songs onto the respective deck.
A new feature to the Party Mix II is the addition of a filter knob for each channel. This Low/High pass filter is a quick way to add some FX to the channel. It is also a handy tool for executing mixes.
There is one major change to compared to the original Party Mix. There is no Cue/Mix control. This means you’ll be unable to just mix in your headphones. It is a small but noticeable change that may be a dealbreaker for new DJs that don’t want to play music via speakers.
The Numark Party Mix II is compatible with Serato. You can download a copy of Serato DJ Lite and get started mixing straight away. Serato is one of the most popular DJ mixing software platforms. An excellent piece of software that’s a great introduction to the world of digital DJing.
Integration with Soundcloud and Tidal will give you access to streaming a large number of tracks. Great if you don’t have an existing music collection.
There is also a range of free tutorials you can follow to get familiar with the software. As a new DJ, this makes it easier to get over that initial learning curve.
At any stage, you can then upgrade to Serato DJ Pro to unlock all the extra features. The most important feature you’ll unlock is the ability to record your mixes.
The jogwheels on the Numark Party Mix II are not the best but a big improvement over the original party Mix. They are small but now offer touch-capacitive control. This brings them in line with most other entry-level controllers.
The jogwheels are a big improvement over the original Party Mix.
Nudging the sides will move the track so you can adjust your mix and get beats matched up. Applying pressure to the top of the jogwheels will stop the track and allows you to execute scratch routines. While a big improvement it is still hard to execute detailed scratch routines due to the size of the platters. They are not useless but certainly a challenge to work with.
As is often the case with small budget controllers the pitch faders are very small. Pitch faders adjust the tempo (speed) of the track you are playing.
You use them to match the BPM (Beats Per Minute) so your two songs are in time with each other. Making these adjustments with small pitch faders is challenging and makes beatmatching by ear harder.
There is a Sync function available to automatically match your BPMs if you find yourself having a hard time matching the beats.
For a cheap controller, the pad modes are surprisingly generous.
For a budget controller, the Party Mix II offers some decent pad modes.
You’ll have access to set and recall 4 cue points. Loop functions are also available to set 1,2,4 and 8 beat loops. The next function gives you access to basic FX plus a sampler section to trigger one-time samples that you have set in your software.
The Numark Party Mix II is the definition of portable. You can fit it in a backpack and take it around to a friend’s house. At just 21. lbs (0.95kg) it’s also lightweight.
The Party Mix is a compact and portable controller.
There are few FX controls on the Numark Party Mix II but the ones that are there are fun to use. You’ll get access to 4 FX. The FX will alter the audio and are great to use for breakdowns and transitions.
Flanger and Phaser are among the most popular FX that DJs use. As a new DJ, it’s good to be able to have a play with these to add some variety to your mix and transitions.
With basic loop controls, you’ll be able to get more creative with your mixes. Via the performance pads, you can set 1,2,4 and 8 beat loops. These loops allow you to extend sections of a track giving you more time to perform your transition. They can also be fun to use to layer vocals or other sound elements on top of the main track that is playing.
Once again nothing amazing but great for new DJs to get familiar with this DJ technique.
The Numark Party Mix II connects to your PC or laptop via USB. The unit is also USB-powered. One notable change is that the Party Mix II includes a removable cable. The previous version had the cable always connected to the controller.
There are also some other changes to be aware of. Connection points are don’t the left side panel as opposed to the front panel. There is a 1/8 inch headphone jack along with a Master 1/8 inch connection. You use this to connect the Party Mix II to your speakers. The previous Party Mix offered an RCA connection.
Build Quality & Design
You can’t expect much from a budget option. The Numark Party Mix II is a plastic controller. The knobs and faders are decent and will get the job done but I wouldn’t expect them to last a long time. Perfectly fine to get your feet wet into the world of DJing before you look at upgrading to more advanced gear as your skills progress.
The Numark Party Mix II offers a cleaner and more refined design than the original Party Mix.
Aesthetically it’s a budget controller that does look a bit like a toy. But it is a big improvement over the previous version. It looks more professional and feels more robust.
If appearances are important to you you’ll need to spend more on a more professional-looking controller. If you don’t mind and just want to get started as cheaply as possible it’s easy to overlook appearance. Remember that the quality of your mixing is more important than how the controller looks.
The Numark Party Mix II offers a unique feature compared to other budget controllers. On the back panel, you’ll find 3 integrated lights. There is a red, blue and green light.
Built-in lights are a unique feature of the Numark Party Mix II.
You can switch the lights on and off via a button on the right side of the controller. These lights will flash in time with the music you are playing. A great feature to add some atmosphere when you are performing a mix.
The updated version of the popular Numark Party Mix has gathered positive reviews thanks to its lightweight and compact design, along with the affordable price point. Another common highlight is how DJing is more accessible thanks to this budget controller. But veteran DJs do point out the shortcomings and stripped-back feature set.
The Hobby DJ
Not everyone has a desire to tour the globe and be a superstar DJ. A growing and thriving community of hobby DJs is out there. Some may want to share mixes among friends or perform at small parties. Others just want to interact with the music they love on a deeper level at home.
You don’t need complicated and expensive equipment to learn the basics of DJing.
Buying affordably priced DJ gear gives you a taste of what the hobby is like. If you find yourself engrossed and your skills expanding you’ll likely want to move onto the more advanced gear. But, if you’re not sure if you’ll like DJing there is no point in spending hundreds of dollars on a premium controller.
With so many great budget options available there has never been a better time to try your hand at DJing.
There are several other budget controller options available. While not as cheap as the Numark Party Mix II you do get a big step up in terms of features. If you have a little more to spend the following controllers are worth considering.
Numark Mixtrack Pro FX Review
The Mixtrack Pro FX is another entry-level controller from Numark. This larger unit gives you access to more features and a more comfortable work surface. But, it is more expensive.
- Full 3-Band EQ for more precise control.
- Long pitch faders for easier beatmatching.
- Fun to use FX functions.
Numark Mixtrack Pro FX
Pioneer DDJ 200 Review
Pioneer is a name synonymous with the DJ world. Often you’ll find their gear at clubs and festivals. The DDJ 200 offers new DJs an entry point into the Pioneer ecosystem.
- Compatible with a range of DJ apps so you can mix using your phone or tablet.
- Full 3-Band EQ for accurate control over frequencies.
- Compact and lightweight.
Pioneer DDJ 200
Pioneer DDJ-FLX4 Review
If you want a more feature-rich controller the DDJ-FLX4 from Pioneer is a perfect choice. Expansive features in a professional and modern package.
- A fantastic layout that resembles Pioneer’s pro range of gear.
- Superb range of FX features that allow you to add variety to your DJ sets.
- A lot more expensive than the Numark Party Mix II.
Should You Buy?
The Numark Party Mix II is a great budget controller. If you’re interested in trying out DJing and don’t want to spend too much it’s a decent choice. But, if you end up loving DJing as much as I do you’ll quickly outgrow it and be looking for a new controller.
It does have a limited set of features but at this price, it still packs a lot of value in. Compared to some of the so-called “DJ controllers” I’ve seen advertised this piece of gear gives new DJs enough tools to learn the fundamentals. The small improvements and changes over the original Party Mix are also welcome upgrades.
An excellent budget entry point into the world of digital DJing.
Numark Party Mix