NAMM 2013: Numark Orbit Wireless Handheld DJ Controller Unveiled

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 14 November, 2017

Numark Orbit
The Numark Orbit is a radical new controller that aims to liberate DJs from the booth and put them in among their crowds or up on stage.

Numark Orbit is “the world’s first wireless handheld DJ controller”, offering a two-axis accelerometer, four selectable banks of effects spread across its eight backlit pads, and a large central jogwheel switchable between four functions.

Announced today at the NAMM Show 2013, it is described as a “games controller on steroids”. The device can be handheld, clipped to the body, or plugged in via USB (which also charges it), and also performed on from a tabletop in a more conventional style. Read on for more, or jump straight to our world exclusive Numark Orbit DJ Controller Video Talkthrough. There’s no word on when it will be available, what software it will run, or what its price will be, but it’s certainly a bold step and something very different from everything else there.

While some previous controllers have shared certain aspects of this (the ill-fated Pacemaker pioneered the handheld aspect, and one of the Midi Fighters has a gyroscope in it, albeit constrained by needing to be wired in to your laptop), and the QuNeo Rogue does much the same thing with regards to the wireless aspect, it’s fair to say nothing else looks anything like this.

What we think

Lord knows digital DJs sometimes need something to stand them out from the crowd, and performing on a Numark Orbit would certainly be the opposite of standing rigidly behind a laptop, eyes locked to the waveforms. If Numark has got the latency of the wireless control down low enough, it could be something worth a closer look.

Exactly how the Numark Orbit should be used, and with what software, is what we’re aiming to find out when we meet it in the flesh at the NAMM Show 2013 this week, so keep an eye on our coverage of that for an update and further thoughts.

What do you think? Are they onto something here, or is this a bit of a gimmick? How would you envisage it being used, and what software do you think they’ll ship with it? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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