Numark gets Engine OS with the Mixstream Pro
Numark X Engine. How it started and how it's going.
Numark have just released a new controller, the Mixstream Pro standalone DJ console. This is an all-in-one machine that does more than any DJ controller to date.
Before we go in to the details of what this controller does, let's look in to the background of where Numark have been and how this product came about.
Numark is a historic DJ brand, in fact it’s one of the longest standing brands for the last 40 years. From making mixers and turntables in the 90’s as well as early twin CD players, to grasping the digital market in the early 2000’s. The company was never afraid to innovate and try out new concepts. Some the ground breaking products include an iPod mixer, motorised deck with a built in hard drive and the first twin motorised DJ controller. At some point, most DJ’s have probably owned or used a Numark product.
For the last 20 years, Numark have been developing DJ controllers for the beginners to the pros. Throughout that time, Numark started to buy up other DJ brands and music production ones too.
All of these are under one umbrella now called inMusic brands, including Numark, Akai Professional, Denon DJ, Stanton, Rane and SoundSwitch amongst many others.
What does this all have to do with this latest controller? Well, with every brand acquired the pool of staff, research, intellectual property all increase. Each brand has developed new and groundbreaking products over the last few years and many have shared the technology with other brands in the family. However, this is the first time the sharing is more direct and is joining the brands together.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you will know that Denon DJ have been bringing out standalone players as well as single media players which effectively have on-board computers to process and analyse music. The operating system these ran off was called Engine. Up until last week, Engine was exclusively a Denon DJ OS, when it was re-branded and set up as its own entity, Engine DJ. Read more about the Engine OS 2.0 update here.
The Mixstream Pro is a Numark controller, similar to the Mixtrack Pro FX, with a built in Engine OS like the Denon DJ Prime players. It also has built in speakers, which have been taken from their Akai Pro MPC Live workstation.
With nothing more than some power and an internet connection you can DJ wherever you like. You don’t even need to have music with you thanks to the built in streaming connectivity to popular services Tidal, Beatport Link, Beatsource Link and SoundCloud GO. If you prefer your own collection you can stream from your personal Dropbox account which can be synced to your computer with the Engine DJ app.
As with all standalone players, you can connect a USB device or SD card loaded with songs and play them straight away. If they haven’t been analysed in Engine DJ before or exported from a different program, you can still read your cues, loops and playlists and play as usual.
The screen is a 7inch, multi touch display with the ability to swipe, scroll, pinch and type on as you would from most touchscreen devices these days. Mixstream Pro has multiple settings to customise your user experience as well as showing or hiding functions you may or may not want to use.
You also get the more advance features Engine OS provides too, like Ableton Link to synchronise hardware or software with your DJ mix and Engine Lighting. This lighting control option is developed by SoundSwitch and can be used in basic or advance mode. Basic gives you control over Philips Hue lighting attached to the same wifi network or simple “loops” for DMX lighting connected via a SoundSwitch interface. Advance mode requires your tracks to have been analysed by SoundSwitch software (requires a subscription) and exported via Engine DJ. This will allow you to control and perform comprehensive light shows without the need for a computer or dedicated lighting controller.
As for the control side of it, the Mixstream Pro has all the essentials a DJ needs. Large, capacitive jog wheels, 4 performance pads for hot cues and loops, 2 channel mixer with 4 FX and dedicated filters as well as paddles to switch them on and off.
The best part is the price, Numark are known for bringing out decent products at reasonable prices, at £499, they have not disappointed. To have a true standalone DJ console at half the price of the next closest product is remarkable.
But this article is more about what might be next. Numark is a staple name in the DJ industry, like Ford or Toyota are to cars. Now that the inMusic family has this large pool of resources, it’s likely we could see Engine OS appear on other brands.
The first that comes to mind (and has been mentioned on social groups) is RANE, then there’s Stanton which has made media players and controllers in the past. However Numark will probably be the main brand to carry the Engine badge after Denon DJ.
The Mixstream Pro will no doubt put the Numark name in front of a new generation of DJs and using the Engine DJ eco system which will then give them an upgrade path to the other brands using the same system.