And who had the biggest booth?
The largest exhibitor of discjockey gear at NAMM was Numark who unveiled more than twenty new products. Everything from turntables that record vinyl to flash cards and iPod recording systems to visuals software and three new lines of DJ mixers, the Numark booth was full of new DJ gear to explore.
Underneath a glass case was the NS-7, a specialized DJ workstation created to work exclusively with Serato Itch software. After a little bit of prodding, I was allowed to touch and feel the motorized platters that facilitate a highly accurate control of the music. It really does feel like vinyl and when you snap on a 7" record, there is a high level of authenticity there. The solid feel and multitude of assignable knobs and faders will make this the ultimate controller for fans of Serato products.
For fans of MixMeister software, the MixMeister Control maps directly to the software. While most DJ controllers only allow two tracks to be mixed at a time, the horizontal focused design allows 4 tracks to be mixed simultaneously. Built-in VST audio effects are controlled with user-assignable knobs across the top. Although the unit is a bit large for travel, it does have a digital audio workstation feel that is missing from other controllers on the market.
For the hybrid category, Numark unveiled the DDS80 which they bill as the "world's only future-proof CD player." How do you future-proof a CD player? The DDS80 adds an 80GB hard drive that is both removable and upgradable along with three USB ports that can accept thumb drives, iPods, mp3 players, or additional hard drives. Combine with a Qwerty key and Crate music management software... and Numark has created the next step up from their much-loved IDJ2 iPod DJ line. Installed in a club setup, this would allow the DJ to bring in just a thumb drive of their music to DJ with for their entire night - no laptop needed. For even more flexibility, the new HDMIX system adds a professional mixer to the DDS80 with three additional line and two phono inputs to the controls. This setup could allow the DJ to mix from thumb drive to CD to vinyl at iPod and back and forth at the same time.