Review & Video: Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 Serato DJ Controller

Review Summary:

This is the best Mixtrack Pro yet. It's the most "grown up" looking design to date for this model, being nicely spaced out, and feels very natural in use, especially with those lovely long pitch controls. For basic DJing, it does the job fine.

Mixtrack Pro 3
  • Mixtrack Pro 3
  • Rating: 4
  • From: Numark
  • Price: US$299
  • Reviewed by:
  • On May 19, 2015
  • Last modified:September 30, 2015
Numark Mixtrack Pro 3

The Mixtrack Pro 3 is Numark's latest all-in-one controller in the popular Mixtrack series. Is it a significant jump from previous models? We find out in this review.

Full Mixtrack Pro 3 Review

My, how far the Mixtrack Pro controller has come. Always a successful model at the lower end of the market, right since the original clunky Mixtrack Pro and then the slimmed-down, sleek Mixtrack Pro 2, the new Mixtrack Pro 3 sports a thorough update for 2015, with a sleeker, shallower and wider shape, and some trickle-down features from Numark's more expensive controllers.

First impressions and setting up

Standout features on first encountering the device are long-throw pitch controls, touchstrips for scrubbing through tracks and other purposes, per-channel filters, and a return to more practical, deeper jogwheels than the rather shallow ones on the Mixtrack Pro 2 (my least favourite feature of that controller). There are even VU meters, albeit only for the master output, not per-channel.

Of course, a budget controller is going to be, well, budget, and so we have less expensive and limited function "performance pads" (against controllers like the Numark NV), lower quality faders and knobs (including a crossfader that appears to be removable for just a second until you realise it's got a groove around it for decorative purposes only) and strictly two-deck control over the bundled free version of Serato DJ, Serato DJ Intro (if you want the full version, that's going to cost you extra).

Overall, though on first impressions the device offers a simple, well spaced out and reasonably generously equipped control surface for basic two-channel DJing with Serato, and set-up is also simple as is the case with all Serato controllers; download the software and install (there's a licence card in the box), plug in and you're ready to go.

In use

Jogwheels and other controls

A sleeker profile, long-throw pitch controls, and chunkier jogwheels make this the best Mixtrack Pro yet.

Now, basic DJing involves playing one tune, then another, and hopefully enjoying the process of blending them together creatively - and frankly, the Mixtrack Pro 3 is an excellent tool to help you with that. The jogwheels are nice, they respond well with the bundled Serato DJ Intro software (which is very easy to use), the cue and play/pause buttons work great, and - while built to a budget - the faders and knobs are fine. Indeed, the long-throw pitch controls are great (especially when set against the much shorter faders of some of the competition, which appear toy-like in comparison; for manual beatmatching, this gives the Mixtrack Pro 3 a definite advantage).

The effects section is designed to control three single effects per side, and the simplicity is nice, although one extra knob for wet/dry would have been better than shoehorning this function into the touchstrip alongside the scrubbing function. That said, having a touchstrip at all is a good thing in such a controller, but I'd have liked to have seen its primary use to be to scrub through tracks, with the FX use secondary.

The pads are of what I call the "pseudo-pad" variety, in that they don't actually offer the full range of features that pads on controllers higher up manufacturers' ranges offer with Serato (loop roll, slicer, etc). Instead, these are actually best thought of as more conventional buttons, just laid out on backlit rubber pads in the familiar 4x2 shape. So the top four control manual looping (a nice addition), auto looping and sampler, the required function being selected by touching a "pad mode" and one of the pads first. Meanwhile, the bottom four control cues.

Serato DJ Intro

The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 comes with a copy of Serato DJ Intro, and you can upgrade to the full version of Serato DJ if you want all the features the software has to offer.

By and large they work fine, except that the auto loop function would have been better served by the more traditional single encoder knob that is usually apportioned to this function; halving or doubling the length of an auto loop is cumbersome to say the least the way it's been programmed here.

Input and output wise, you get a simple mic channel (1/4" TRS) with a volume, which is routed to the master output (ie not through software), and a twin RCA master out, plus a headphones socket (or two actually - one 1/4" and one 1/8"). This all is standard fare for controllers at this price point.

Otherwise, there are the expected headphone volume and cue mix controls, a master gain, a large library select encoder, and thoughtfully, pitch bend controls (a la CDJs). A pair of master VU meters at least give you some idea as to your output, and with no gain knobs (not really necessary at this price point, due to Serato's built-in autogain and no mixer-routed analogue inputs), they suffice.

Conclusion

This is the best Mixtrack Pro yet. It's the most "grown up" looking design to date for this model, being nicely spaced out, and feels very natural in use, especially with those lovely long pitch controls. It works well with the supplied software (remember, the supplied software is Serato DJ Intro, so you'll need to pay roughly $100 for an upgrade to the full version of Serato DJ if you want the extra features). For basic DJing, it does the job fine.

Under-featured FX sections and cumbersome auto looping aside, it's a good choice for a first controller for two-deck control of Serato DJ, and has all you need to learn; it certainly benefits from looking pretty similar to the Numark NV, which is a much more expensive and pro-featured controller. While also available in a "Mixtrack 3" version minus the built-in audio interface, this is the one to go for. For the price, it's a steal.

Review Summary:

This is the best Mixtrack Pro yet. It's the most "grown up" looking design to date for this model, being nicely spaced out, and feels very natural in use, especially with those lovely long pitch controls. For basic DJing, it does the job fine.

Mixtrack Pro 3

  • Mixtrack Pro 3
  • Rating: 4
  • From: Numark
  • Price: US$299
  • Reviewed by:
  • On May 19, 2015
  • Last modified:September 30, 2015

Video talkthrough

What do you think of the new Mixtrack Pro 3? Do you like how the Mixtrack Pro series is evolving to become a more mature-looking controller? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. I tried The Mixtrack Pro II and in this price range, I prefer Hercules DJ Control RMX 2, especially if you want to bring it outside (friends, bars, holidays...).

    It's the most compact, and has a metal case.
    It has 2 output (typically, one master [XLR] and one booth [RCA]) and 2 line-in/phono input (for MP3 players' friends for instance).
    Pad function selection is easier too.

    I think large jogwheels are a waste of place on this type of controller. And those of the Mixtrack Pro II are too sensible, when I touched them a little, music stopped (but I didn't configure it, I replace the DJ for an hour).

  2. Andrew Harris says:

    I'd be interested to know how this bad boy works with Traktor?

    • Will work fine, I guess the jogwheels will bit a tiny bit "spongy" (as with practically all non-NI Traktor mapped controllers)

      • Rahul Kumarr says:

        please give me the knowledge .. I want to know that whether mixtrack pro 3 is better or mixtrack 3? And sir why serato is better than mixtrack pro 3?? Can mixtrack 3 run on serato?? And sir i have one more query that in india mixtrack pro 3 or mixtrack 3 is not available yet.. So can i buy mixtrack pro 2 instead/? Or i should wait for some months until mmixtrack pro 3 or mixtrack 3 is available here in India??

        • The Pro version has a built in sound card, and is the one you should get. The unit is designed to work with Serato. The Mixtrack Pro 2 is a good alternative, not a massive amount has changed.

  3. Rahul Kumarr says:

    Sir, Can i use it in medium crowded trance loving parties? Or it will fade out there??? What functions or controlls it should have but it's not given ??

  4. Drew Ratliff says:

    I have a soundcard question. I recently DJed a wedding using the mixtrack 2. When loading new tracks onto the decks on Virtual DJ there was a crackle in the audio that was playing. I am wondering if that because the mixtrack 2 does not have a built in sound card, did the crackle static sound come from the laptops RAM or computing slowing to load tracks? and Does having a built in soundcard on the controller; does that prevent computing interference?

  5. Craig Oid says:

    So, given the choice for starting out would you buy the numark mixtrack pro 3 or the denon MC2000. I seemed to have whittled the field down to these two. any help appreciated.

  6. Tanishq Chawla says:

    I want to buy one controller which one is better Numark mix track pro 3 or Hercules jog vision please suggest geniunely I want to buy for my son I have also brought him numark orbit midi

  7. Tanishq Chawla says:

    hey i want you u to make a video for controller working on windows 10 as I see everyone is using macbook

  8. Krishna Jesus says:

    Hey was wondering would recommend the pro 3z for a venue like opening for someone or just playing a live event ? honest answer would be great

    • Sure, it's a good controller for basic DJing - it depends on the venue/event as some clubs might not want you to bring your own gear (as they have something already in place), or it could just be a matter of setting it up and finding space for your controller. Beyond that, it would work well, especially for more informal environments or mobile events :)

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