Back at the NAMM Show 2013, Gemini first showed a prototype of a new controller it was working on, then called the Gemini GMX Pro. Having taken on-board early reactions to that model, the company has gone back to the drawing board to make improvements, and come back with not one but two controllers – the GMX, and the GMX Drive. Aimed at USB/flash drive DJs, but capable of Midi control of DJ software too, these budget DJ devices are differentiated from the NAMM prototype mainly by the addition of a set of (almost obligatory nowadays) performance pads, eight for each jogwheel. This would bring some of the possibilities of this type of button-pushing DJing to a new user group.
The GMX Drive is a surprise, though. This unit addition adds two CD decks as well, which sit neatly underneath each jogwheel looking to all intents and purposes like jumbo feet to the unit, and meaning overall it retains a compact and slim profile despite their presence. Meanwhile, the non-CD version is appreciably slimmer than the NAMM prototype, at around three inches in height. We didn’t get any chance at all to test the units (they were having firmware updates as we saw them, and haven’t even been officially announced yet), but we noticed their single-colour LED readouts manage to pack in rudimentary waveforms, alongside the usual track and timing info.
These are only prototypes and have been hand-built as a proof of concept, but they are definitely currently cheap feeling especially in the jogwheel area. It will be interesting to see how well Gemini manages to tidy up the overall appearance and quality of them between now and the final production versions. On paper, they’d be good value (prices are quoted at €349 and €499) – as long as Gemini can make them feel better built than the prototypes we saw. As prototypes are nearly always tatty around the edges (the Numark Mixtrack Edge prototype we also saw today was the same), it is hopefully an improvement that will be made.
Would you be interested in a controller you can use with USB drives, CDs and your laptop, all for under €500? Let us know your thoughts below.