The Reloop RMX-90 DVS is a four-channel Serato DJ and Serato DVS-compatible mixer. It offers the closest “one-box solution” for new Serato users yet to come to market, and is a solid choice despite some cosmetic shortcomings.
First Impressions / Setting up
No point beating around the bush: It looks like any four-channel mixer out there – and let’s face it, they practically all look the same nowadays. You’ve got mic channel up the far left, four channels in the middle with filters per channel and the channel selector above the three-band EQ, and the main effects unit up the far right, with a display at the top of it to give you BPM and other salient info.
Of course that’s not a bad thing: Most luxury cars look the same inside too (y’know, entertainment system middle of dash, auto transmission by your right hand, media and car controls on buttons on the steering wheel…) and that’s for a reason: It means that even new-to-the-mixer users will know where everything is straight away.
Maybe more importantly, the build quality appears to be right up there with the big boys too (we’re talking Pioneer DJ, Allen & Heath, Denon DJ of course): Solid metal, and weighing in at a beefy 7kg. Stylistically we felt it wasn’t quite as nicely presented as those brands, appearing a little bit more garish and less sophisticated to our eyes, but that’s going to be a personal thing at the end of the day.
A few notable features that caught our eye on setting up: We liked the kill / classic EQ switch on the mixer next to the crossfader for adjusting EQ behaviour; we also liked the option to adjust unit BPM by holding the beats half / double button down and turning the “time” encoder on the FX unit; and having the aux RCA sockets on the top by the combi mic input is convenient.
We also like the addition of a three-way USB hub on the back of the unit. Overall, we thought the mix of features, build quality and familiarity worked and we were keen to get the unit set up and give it a go…
We set it up exactly as intended, with Serato DVS running on our laptop and two turntables, using the supplied control vinyl. As you’d expect, the unit felt instantly familiar and it took us a good half hour to remember we were meant to be writing a review, not just messing around with our music files and a pair of turntables for the first time in a few weeks (it’s generally controllers and media players around these parts for us – vinyl makes a nice change).
When we had pulled ourselves back into work mode, we thought we’d better take a look at the effects…
Firstly, the filters. It’s nice to see per-channel filters, but unlike say the new Pioneer DJ DJM-750Mk2 (which is sure to get Serato Club Kit compatibility soon enough and thus become a direct competitor for this unit) these per-channel knobs are just filters – you don’t get any other effects to play with. That said, the filters did sound great, and as you’ll find out soon enough, they come with an Allen & Heath-style resonance control too, albeit hidden in the Utility menu. But more about that in a bit.
So let’s take a look at the main effects engine. Here the news is also good – a choice of twelve pretty high-quality effects (switchable to all channels, crossfader left, crossfader right, mic and master out) and with the expected LFO locked to unit BPM, beats adjustment controls, and a nice display that shows you the BPMs of both the master output and the cue channel, the channel the effect is assigned to, and wording to describe the selected effect and any effect parameter.
One thing we weren’t initially aware of was that when connected to Serato DJ, the track BPM information is sent over Midi to the RMX-90. This gives you more accurate control of the beat FX. It is worth pointing out that not all Serato DJ compatible mixers have this function.
The delay, echo and reverb effects sounded excellent, and we liked the reverse loop particularly too. We found the Noise effect a bit overpowering, and the Bit Crusher is only going to have limited appeal, but enjoyed the Tape Delay for a more organic take on a digital delay. The Gate was hit and miss, but that’s Gate effects in general for us. Overall, while nothing new or particularly special, lovers of effects will find enough here that with a bit of practice they can get on with.
The mixer shines in the choice of options you have “under the hood” to customise it. You can lock on mono mode for mono PAs (otherwise there’s a switch for mono / stereo on the top panel); there’s a limiter; there’s the aforementioned filter response adjustment; and a lovely feature is being able to adjust cue mode to allow either one or multiple PFL sources to be selected at the same time.
We also liked the inclusion of a talkover “duck” adjust, adjustable EQ crossover frequencies, and the choice of having the mix channel route through master and booth, or just master (to avoid any feedback issue); a permanent mic bass cut for the same outcome can also be selected here.
Inputs, outputs, and sound quality
The 24-bit eight-in, eight-out sound card sounded loud and punchy, and you get four full line/phono RCA sets. There’s only one mic input which is switchable with the single aux in, and another limitation is no effect send/return. Outputs are comprehensive, with both master out and booth out, and a fixed-level record out too.
Overall, then, while offering a solid set of inputs and outputs, it isn’t as comprehensive as mixers like the Pioneer DJM-900Nexus, or indeed the DJM-750Mk2 (forthcoming at the time of this writing).
Taken as a piece of hardware, the Reloop RMX-90 DVS is a solid mixer from Reloop. Any pro DJ would be instantly at home on it, the effects are broadly OK, and the feature set is competitive at the price. Having Serato control vinyl and plug ‘n play with both Serato DVS and Serato DJ is obviously a money-saver for the DJ who isn’t already in the Serato ecosystem, but in truth for a small extra outlay, you can add Serato compatibility to most mixers of this level nowadays through buying Serato DJ, adding on the Club Kit extension, and snagging a couple of control vinyl records.
The finish wasn’t quite the best (as we said earlier, we weren’t hugely keen on the style, we spotted a few areas where the paint wasn’t perfect, and there was also a little finishing blemish on the main FX on/off button moulding that irked) but these were the only things that let down an otherwise excellent build quality.
So is it a good buy? If you don’t own Serato, want a modern mixer to pair with an existing pair of decks, and are on a budget, then yes. For under US$1,000, it’s all you need and you’ll be more than happy with the sound quality and features. An alternative at the same price for a newcomer might be Allen & Heath’s Xone 43C, especially if effects aren’t important to you; with the US$200 you save on that model you could set yourself up with most of the stuff you’ll need to buy from Serato to get to the same functionality.
If you do have Serato and especially if you already own the Club Kit add-on for the software, Pioneer DJ’s DJM-850 is still a fine choice (albeit now an old mixer), and keep an eye on its new DJM-750Mk2; that mixer is not Club Kit compatible yet, but we expect it to be soon and it looks to be a great buy (we haven’t reviewed it yet).
The competition is tough at this level in the DJ mixer market: The Reloop RMX-90 DVS, though, offers the closest “one-box solution” for new Serato users yet to come to market, and for that reason, ought to find its place among the bigger names.