Users of Allen & Heath’s Xone:DB2 mixer can enjoy a whole new host of effects options by installing the new Xone:DB2 firmware upgrade, which was announced this week at the NAMM Show 2013.
Version 2 of the firmware offers five new effects variants – Eco-MasifQ, Dly-MasifQ, Infrabass, Saturator and Bitbash 2. It is now possible to chain the X and Y effects engines, allowing audio processing by any combination of two different effects.
Adding an Allen & Heath K2 to your set-up would give you extra controls. Pic: Traktor Bible
Digital DJ Tips reader Perry writes: “I use Traktor Pro 2 to DJ with, alongside my Kontrol S2 controller and laptop, and while DJing I find it hard to easily vary the effects I can use. If I’m honest, the S2 just doesn’t give me enough options for controlling effects within Traktor.
“So I am writing to you today to asking if there are any external controller units that integrate with Traktor and allow for you to have more control over what you are doing?”
A four-channel mixer with great sound quality, wonderful effects, and flexible routing. But how does it all pan out in our workshop?
Allen & Heath’s Xone:DB2 is the smaller brother to the company’s flagship digital mixer, the Xone:DB4. While we haven’t reviewed the DB4 here, so I can’t give you a hands-on comparison, the DB2 looks and feels very much like it belongs to the same product line: It is well built but lightweight, and has the same focus on excellent mixer and FX functions.
Take on its own merits, the Xone:DB2 appears a versatile, modern mixer. There’s full Midi mapability (you can download a Traktor .tsi from the Allen & Heath website, for instance), a great sound card, excellent routing, and strong hardware effects. Let’s take a closer look and see if it might be about to claim a place at the heart of more than a few home digital DJ set-ups…
The XD2-53s now sport a screw-in detachable cable and a nifty new paint job.
Allen & Heath has recently updated its well regarded top-end DJ headphones, the XD-53s, with the new (and not altogether originally named) XD2-53s.
Apart from changing the colour (they’re now in a gun-metal finish), the company has also made the cable detachable, something most top DJ headphones tend to have nowadays. Let’s take a closer look and see how they perform.
The Allen & Heath Xone:K2. Our review finds out if it's the ultimate 'slimline' DJ controller.
In the sea of me-too twin jogwheeled DJ controllers, just occasionally someone does something different. When Allen & Heath showed the prototype Xone:K2 back at October 2011′s BPM show, the company did just that.
With many DJs seeing the benefits of slimline DJ controllers that fit easily in DJ booths (proven by the runaway success of the Traktor Kontrol X1 and the recent launch of the Traktor Kontrol F1), and Allen & Heath already established in this field with its bigger, heavier but essentially similar Xone:1D and Xone:2D controllers, the Xone:K2 seemed a logical updating of the concept. As we’ll see, though, it throws in a few innovative features of its own. Let’s take a closer look…
Allen & Heath Xone:K2 - at first glance it bears a striking resemblance to the Traktor X1, but it differs in a number of key ways.
Allen & Heath has announced a new DJ controller, the Xone:K2, which it will demonstrate for the first time at the BPM Show this weekend. The controller has the same slimline shape as the Traktor X1, but differs in a number of ways, including having four physical faders and a built in four-out sound card.
It has also been designed as a “universal” device to control any DJ software, having 52 hardware controls that can provide 171 Midi commands across three layers, with three-colour LEDs lighting buttons to indicate which layer is selected.
The Xone:DB2 - A smaller cousin to the Xone:DB4, but still an awesomely specified mixer. (Click to enlarge.)
Allen & Heath today announced its latest digital mixer, the Xone:DB2, which it will show at the BPM Show this weekend. A younger, more affordable cousin to the company’s flagship Xone:DB4, which was launched exactly a year ago, the four-channel Xone:DB2 can switch between four analogue, four USB or two digital sources.
It can be X:LINKed (Allen & Heath’s proprietary gear linking protocol) to one or two of the company’s Xone:K2 Midi DJ controllers – also announced today – to provide a modular hardware/software digital DJing set-up. The unit offers high-grade EQ and filters similar to the Xone:DB4, and there are two hardware effects units onboard, which can be configurable to any combination of channels.
The XD-40 headphones are branded to match Allen & Heath's range of DJ products.
With modern gear letting today’s DJs be considerably more mobile, DJ headphones like the Allen & Heath Xone XD-40 offer a more portable monitoring solution for the DJ on the move, being just that little bit smaller than full-sized DJ headphones (for instance, their bigger brother, the Xone XD-53 model).
Small enough to fold neatly away, but designed nonetheless to do the job in all types of venue, this style of pro DJ headphones thus has particular appeal for digital DJs. Let’s look at this model a little closer:
Find out what we think of the Allen & Heath Xone:DX 4-deck Serato ITCH mixer in this extended review.
There was lots of fuss made last week over the fact that Pioneer had eventually buckled in and entered the DJ controller market at the NAMM show, the thinking being that with such an established manufacturer backing controllers, controllerism may now begin to be taken seriously by the masses.
However, among those that know, controllerism came of age when Allen & Heath started to manufacture gear that would control DJ software. With the Xone:1D, Xone:2D and Xone:4D, they gave professional DJs their first real top-end digital DJ equipment. Now that the Xone:DX has joined the family as Allen & Heath’s most complete and fully featured DJ controller to date, we thought it was time to give it a full review.
A modern single-jogwheel digital DJ interface can output up to 4 independent decks straight into your mixer - a highly flexible set-up.
A couple of weeks ago we looked at single-jogwheel DJ Midi controllers. This week we’re going to look at single-jogwheel DJ interfaces. The wording can get confusing (as they’re quite often all referred to as controllers), but basically what we mean by this is DJ control devices with sound interfaces or sound cards built-in.
With these units, you plug them into your laptop to link them to the DJ software, and plug the output from the unit into your powered speakers, a club PA, or more than likely an audio mixer. In a way, these units are closest to the traditional single-deck CDJ players like the Pioneer CDJ-1000, only instead of CDs, they have a laptop providing the music source – and yopu get to control up to 4 decks.
Denon's DN-SC2000 is an innovative new addition to the market.
Modern DJ Midi controllers tend to be all-in-one units, with 2 “decks” and a mixer in the one box. But, of course, traditional DJ set-ups are separates – typically 2 decks for vinyl or CD, and a separate mixer. And while all-in-one units have revolutionised DJing, there’s still a demand for separate, modular digital DJ kit.
Single jogwheel DJ Midi controllers allow the laptop DJ to reintroduce elements of the traditional DJ set-up for whatever reason. Here we look at 6 single-jogwheel DJ midi controllers. (By the way, we’re calling them “single jogwheel” rather than “single deck” throughout this review for the sake of clarity, because many can actually control 2 or more decks for you.)
The Traktor Kontrol S4 is one of the most desirable DJ Midi controllers on the market today.
34 36 of the best DJ Midi controllers reviewed and rated
Most people get started in digital DJing out of curiosity. They tend to download a trial or limited version of one of the big software packages such as Traktor or Virtual DJ, loading some MP3s onto the screen, and having a go. Indeed, some never progress past this stage, happy to DJ with a keyboard and mouse or trackpad.
Not quite ready to ditch the decks? With a controller that lets you use your existing set-up too, like the Xone:DX that we use here at Digital DJ Tips, you don't have to.
Many of our readers are too young to have ever bought a record – fact. Many more have DJed in the past with vinyl and decks, but for whatever reason stopped, and got rid of all their stuff, only to get back into DJing thanks to the value and fun offered by modern kit.
Both of these groups tend to dive right in there as digital DJs, and once they’ve messed with DJ software on their laptops with the keyboard and trackpad for a while and got hooked, they proceed to buy a decent DJ controller. Job done.
Click the image for a full, high-resolution feast.
Just days ahead of its official launch at BPM in Birmingham, England, details of the Xone:DB4 mixer briefly hit the internet on the Allen & Heath website before being removed – but were there long enough for Digital DJ Tips to grab a sneak preview.
The 4-channel mixer is clearly the most advanced that Allen & Heath has ever produced, and differentiates itself through its innovative onboard handling of powerful effects across all 4 channels.
What will Pioneer have in their trunk at this year's BPM?
Digital DJ Tips has learned from an industry source that Pioneer is planning on launching not one but two new DJ controllers at the BPM Show in Birmingham, England over the weekend of 2-4 October 2010.
The source – a product developer at a consumer electronics company – claims that “many of our customers at PLASA were shown them”, and that they are a Serato ITCH / Bridge DJ controller, and another controller for Traktor.