The Gemini GMX Pro DJ Controller was announced today ahead of this year’s NAMM Show, promising a mix of portability and versatility for digital DJs.
A compact controller, it differentiates itself by having the ability to work from a single USB drive of music, but also with DJ software (such as the supplied Virtual DJ LE). The Gemini GMX Pro has mechanical-style jogs, which appear to be similar in function to those of the Traktor Kontrol S2 and Traktor Kontrol S4. They’re 14-bit, so in theory ought to give a high level of control.
There are two small displays for track information, timings and waveforms, although at this stage it’s not clear how much of that information the displays will show when the GMX Pro is being used with DJ software. I’¡d guess they’ll have cracked at least some of it with Virtual DJ LE. The unit offers basic cues, loops and (presumably) effects control over software, and has a two-channel mixer. It is not clear whether there is any scope to add external inputs or whether there is any “emergency thru” for a backup music source.
As well as Virtual DJ LE, there is also software called “VCASE” in the box, which is we’re guessing Gemini’s take on a USB music management tool.
While Gemini’s speakers are very good, and its standalone CDJs have their fans, it’s fair to say its DJ controllers to date have had a somewhat mixed reception. At least the GMX Pro breaks from the mould a little by preferring mechanical jogs over touch-sensitive, having nice long-throw pitch controls, and including a USB option too.
The layout looks a little strange on a controller of this size (they’ve plumped for the “two identical players” paradigm, which means the pitch control of the right-hand player is in the middle of the unit).
While its controllerism features won’t win anyone over (four rudimentary hot cues on small buttons, plus basic loop, and – as mentioned above – we’re presuming at least some kind of FX control), it seems suited to the digital-sometime-mobile DJ who doesn’t always want to have to take a computer with him to him gigs.
Whether it succeeds in that role will depend on the build quality, how well it performs, and how good the VCASE software is – and of course, the price. We don’t have the answers to any of these questions right now, but we’ll make sure we get a hands-on look at the NAMM Show later this week and report back to you once we have.
Do you like the look of this “hybrid” USB/software controller? Is it different enough to stand out from the crowd? Please share your thoughts in the comments.