Review & Video: Numark Mixtrack Quad DJ Controller

Review Summary:

Well made, good value DJ controller that stakes a claim to being the cheapest four-channel model on the market. Bundled Virtual DJ LE is mapped well to it, although the effect are poor. Unless you're hell-bent on four channel DJing, we still think the Mixtrack Pro 2 is the better bet out of the two.

Mixtrack Quad
  • Mixtrack Quad
  • Rating: 3
  • From: Numark
  • Price: £210
  • Reviewed by:
  • On September 4, 2013
  • Last modified:August 19, 2014
Numark Mixtrack Quad

The Numark Mixtrack Quad is a slightly larger take on the Mixtrack Pro 2, with as you might expect, four channels of software control.

Review: Numark Mixtrack Quad DJ Controller

A four-channel DJ controller for this price? It’s certainly the selling point of the Numark Mixtrack Quad, which does indeed have four physical channels for true four-deck software mixing. It also had 16 colour-coded control pads, and nice jogwheels inherited from the Mixtrack Pro 2 (which it is basically the four channel version of). But without Serato DJ Intro in the box and thus the Serato upgrade path, as provided with the Mixtrack Pro 2 (this comes with Virtual DJ LE, due to the latter supporting four decks which the “Intro” version of Serato doesn’t), does it add up to value for money? Let’s find out…

First impressions and setting up

Numark has got this consumer DJ controller thing right. Sure, the Numark Mixtrack Quad is basically a plastic box, but it’s slimmer, better finished and more pleasing to the eye than the original Mixtrack Pro, which it and the Mixtrack Pro 2 are natural successors to – and that didn’t do too badly! The jogwheels feel really good, and being relatively compact, the controller also feels sure and stable. Basically, it’s well built for the cash.

The knobs for the four channels are necessarily close together and so feel cramped, but the performance pads have plenty of space to breathe. The unit’s budget credentials show in its inputs and outputs, with just a microphone input, and a single set of RCA outputs for master out, plus headphones. At least with the latter there’s 1/8″ and 1/4″ options, but actually on controllers at this end of the market, I would like to see 1/8″ jack master outputs too (after all, many people will be using this with powered computer speakers, and that’s what such speakers tend to want to plug into).

Getting it working is really easy. It’s class complaint so no drivers, just install Virtual DJ LE from the CD (there should also be a download option too in this day and age) and plug it in. No audio configuration at all; everything just works. Top marks there. Add your speakers and headphones (and microphone if you want – the mic thru has a volume control too) and you’re ready to go.

Numark-Mixtrack-Quad-top

The jogs are good and the performance pads are well spaced, but the tempo controls are short, and the 12 EQ knobs are cramped.

In use

The version of Virtual DJ LE supplied has four decks, and the colour coding between the software and hardware is excellent. Each deck has a clear colour, and when you switch (using the “layer” buttons) between each pair of two decks on the left and right of the screen/controller, the colour coding on the controller changes to show you the deck you’re controlling. It’s intuitive, and it works smoothly. I miss “gain” controls (pre-fader volumes, for the uninitiated), although Virtual DJ does have its own input gains that it sets automatically, and you can always adjust these on the screen if you wish.

Most of the rest of the stuff you’d expect on a DJ controller is there, and there are even filter controls (the far right of the four FX knobs at the top of each deck takes care of that), although weirdly these don’t seem to turn the filter knobs on the software screen. They sound average – as do all the effects in Virtual DJ, which are as limited as they are disappointing. This is the same for all current versions of the LE software, and indeed the “pro” software if you don’t plug in external FX.

Most of the creative “action” happens around the eight pads. They’re not “drum pads” as the box proclaims, in that you can’t use all eight for finger drumming or anything like that. They’re just big buttons. The top ones control looping, the bottom four are switchable between manual (although still beat-tied) looping, cues and sampler triggers. There is no sample volume control on the controller; you have to do that on the screen.

One nice addition is a Slip mode, which lets you large it up on the cues, scratching and so on, and when you finish, it returns to where it would have been in the track had you not done so. It’s big with Serato and Traktor right now, so good to see it implemented here too. The jogwheel performance is as good as any Virtual DJ controller; it is tight and responsive, and although forward spins are unconvincing, backspins are good. Sound quality is perfectly acceptable for this price point and I certainly wouldn’t let it stop mew playing small gigs on it.

Numark Mixtrack Quad

So four decks with Virtual DJ LE, or two with Serato DJ Intro? That’s basically the decision you’ll have to make if you’re comparing these two controllers.

Conclusion

If Numark set out to bring the cheapest true four-channel software DJ controller to the market, I am pretty sure it’s succeeded here. The Numark Mixtrack Quad is fun to use, has some nice innovations, and it’s clear the right kind of thinking and decision-making has happened between the hardware and software engineers to make it intuitive and fun to use.

Downsides? As mentioned above, the pads are trendy right now but they’re just another way of controlling functions that could be on normal buttons, and also I didn’t like the lack of gain controls.

But for many I suspect the biggest disappointment here will be that it is tied to Virtual DJ – or rather, you can’t use it with Serato too, like most of the rest of Numark’s controllers. This is presumably because Serato DJ Intro won’t work with four decks, which Virtual DJ LE in this instance will. It means you can’t try all software out on this, like you can on the Mixtrack Pro/2. Despite that, you’re getting a decent entry-level DJ controller that is good enough to learn the basics of DJing on and that should last you until you’ve get that first couple of years under your belt and you’re ready to make your next move. If four decks is important to you, definitely take a look – it’s great value.

Product Summary

Review Summary:

Well made, good value DJ controller that stakes a claim to being the cheapest four-channel model on the market. Bundled Virtual DJ LE is mapped well to it, although the effect are poor. Unless you're hell-bent on four channel DJing, we still think the Mixtrack Pro 2 is the better bet out of the two.

Mixtrack Quad
  • Mixtrack Quad
  • Rating: 3
  • From: Numark
  • Price: £210
  • Reviewed by:
  • On September 4, 2013
  • Last modified:August 19, 2014

Video Review

Do you own the Mixtrack Quad? Does it tempt you? Please share your thoughts on this DJ controller in the comments below.

Comments

  1. I may be wrong but didn’t the numark N4 come with serato DJ intro?

  2. I recently bought a Mixtrack Quad and I’m very happy with the hardware (for the price), but I was immediately disappointed with Virtual DJ. There’s a known problem with sample playback volume through the headphones (it comes out at maximum volume and there’s nothing you can do about it):

    http://www.virtualdj.com/forums/159600/Hardware_Technical_Support/Mixtrack_Pro_sample_playback_volume.html

    I ended up paying for Traktor Pro, which is IMHO superior to Virtual DJ in most ways that matter to me. Someone has provided a decent Mixtrack Quad mapping for Traktor which I have tested and works very well:

    http://www.traktorbible.com/freaks/mappingview.aspx?id=654

    This is the best compromise for proper 4 track support, although the Traktor licence will cost you some more cash. :-)

  3. Thomas Benson says:

    Hey Phil/dj tips,
    So, I have been DJing for a couple months now, and I am wanting to learn to beat match manually. However, because I am using a Numark Mixtrack, the pitch faders are small. It makes it really difficult to learn to beatmatch. Is it possible to learn? Also, I’m dealing with some money problems, and I want to start using cdjs. What is a good, cheap setup to use?

  4. I am a huge fan of visual track position on the controller.
    It makes the light around the jogwheel have purpose. IF this controller featured it, it would attract my attention, until then….viva la 380

  5. Thomas Benson says:

    Thanks for the help Phil! Any tips/setting recommended for learning beatmatching in Traktor?

  6. Hi Guys!
    I’m from Italy!
    I’ve bought a Mixtrack Quad about 1 month ago and I’m very happy!
    Here in Italy no one buy Numark so I can’t get any feedback…
    I’ve already spent my 20 days on Virtual DJ and now I’m trying with Traktor but I’ve got a problem: I can’t have cueing on my headphone!
    I choose Mixtrack Quad as driver audio and I put Mixtrack quad Left and right as master channel but when I go on output monitor I can’t choose nothing…
    anyone can help me?
    Thanks

  7. Hi Ian!
    Thanks for helping me! Unfortunatly I can’t choose any other mixtrack quad channel except for 1 and 2!
    Today I’ve solve this problem using asio driver … If anyone’s got my problem just have to choose asio driver and then you will see 4 new output called USB speaker!
    Matt

  8. i looks like a heavenly deal, a quad channel controller at this price, too bad only virtual dj is included.
    still think a vci400 with software included is a great deal for someone that needs the 4 channels.

  9. Hello,
    I have question about the system requirements for this controller to work well with traktor.
    I have on my laptop Core duo 2x2ghz 3GB ram.
    Is on this mapping(on traktor) pads also works well?

    Thanks for help!

  10. am considering on getting one though I still hold my disappointment of the unit not being able to work with serato; it’s sad but at least I can use it with tracktor pro which is way better than vdj

  11. I think this is a great unit for its price. not many controller can be four channeled at that price range .

  12. I’m a beginner interested in 4-deck mixing and have a low budget so this caught my eye. I only have an iPad though, no laptop or anything, can this be used solely with an iPad?

  13. hi im having a problem queing my headphones to traker and mixtrack quad. it plays through my headphones when i havnt even pressed the headphone button and also it plays through the speakers aswell as the headphones iv been struggling for weeks could someone help me ? thankyou

  14. Looks like a nice piece of hardware eq looks to cramped

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