The Primo is a two-channel controller for Serato DJ Pro and is Mixars’ first attempt at a controller. It has all the features DJs have come to expect from a mid-range controller plus a couple of features that you usually find on controllers that cost almost double its price like long-throw pitch faders and large jogwheels. The Primo stands out in a crowded market with its combination of build quality, features, and price and is definitely worth a look.
First Impressions / Setting up
The Mixars Primo is a mid-range two-channel controller built for Serato DJ Pro that presents an interesting value. The Primo follows the Mixars formula of providing well-built hardware at a value price. Even though it is a mid-range controller, coming in at US$499 it is one of the lower-cost mid-range controllers on the market.
The build of the controller is mostly aluminium. While there are some plastic parts, the important sections of the controller that have controls or inputs and outputs are metal. The Primo feels solid like it could take a beating and will last you a long time.
The Primo has a full array of inputs and outputs. You get XRL, 1/4 inch, and RCA outputs and two phono/line switchable RCA inputs, one microphone input, and one RCA auxillary input. The phono/line switchable inputs allow for the controller to be used as an external mixer. The Primo is also DVS compatible if you purchase the proper plugin for Serato DJ Pro. This makes the Primo flexible and allows it to grow with you as you grow your skills as a DJ.
As far as the feature set the Primo follows the Serato DJ Pro controller standard, which is a great thing. The Primo includes features like two effects banks, three-band full kill EQ per channel, eight performance pads per deck, eight pad modes, and BPM and key sync. If this is not your first Serato DJ Pro controller you will feel very comfortable playing on the Primo. Or if this is your first controller, you will feel comfortable playing on a wide variety of different controllers because of the similar layout across Serato DJ Pro controllers.
Even though it follows the Serato DJ Pro layout, it does have some differences that I think make it better than many of the other controllers available at this price point.
Jogwheels & pitch faders
The most noticeable is larger than average capacitive jogwheels and long-throw pitch faders. I especially appreciate the long-throw pitch faders on a controller in this price range. Having pitch faders that are more in line with the size of the faders found on CDJs makes it much easier to manually beatmix.
The jogwheels also feature an LED ring that provides visual feedback. It allows you to see the position of the playhead on the jogwheel, much like you would get on a CDJ. This is a nice touch because it allows a DJ to take their eyes off the laptop a bit more and focus on the hardware or the crowd. It is pretty accurate and responsive with Serato DJ Pro and gives better visual feedback than many other mid-range controllers.
Another feature that is not common for mid-range controllers that can be found on the Primo is the four channel effects. Much like the color effects found on higher-end Pioneer DJ mixers and controllers. The Primo channel effects include filter, noise, crush, and echo and they all function similarly to how the Pioneer color effects work. Select one of the effects, then turn the knob either left or right to engage the effect. Then to turn the effect off either return the knob to the center or hit the channel effects button again.
Mixars has built itself on making hardware that over-delivers on features without costing an arm and a leg. The Primo is a fantastic first entry in the controller world. It is hard to find a controller of the Primo’s size and price that can match the features it has. For a DJ like myself who likes to beatmix manually the larger jogwheels and long throw pitch faders makes me reach for the Primo instead of other mid-range controllers.