With such a great pool of research and development available to the team at Numark with the shared ownership of so many other manufacturers by its parent company, it is any wonder that Numark has grown to be the behemoth that it is today in the DJ world. Yet, oddly enough, it’s often overlooked for some other brands that deliver so productively in the world of social media and marketing. It’s in the product line-up that Numark delivers its best work.
Setting the Numark high
As a company that’s come a long way over such a long time in the music business, Numark has been one to change and adapt to the needs of contemporary practitioners well before they even knew what their need were. Their innovations saw the first sampler in a DJ mixer and the early development of computer based mixing systems in the 90’s, well before it became the norm. So, it’s understandable that any new release form Numark is going to be met with excitement and intrigue as it will often open a number of doors to a whole new workflow and end result. Numark still embrace their roots with a selection of turntables, head shells and cartridges, DJ mixers and CD player available, but they are at the forefront of technology too with their iDJ app for iPad users. From the grooves in a vinyl record to the swipe of a fingertip across the screen of an iPad, Numark are supplying the goods.
Many fans of Numark’s digital DJ systems will already be aware of what is coming from these guys in the not too distant future. For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, there’s a new controller in town, well, almost. Many of you might blow this off as just another DJ controller, but this one is going to be worth stopping to take a look at. The NS7III is going to drop jaws when it becomes available. Not only is this set to be the mother of all controllers in its size, it’s shaping up to deliver on features too. A four-channel mixer section and three full colour screens that deliver deck and FX information on the outer two and library or waveform views from the central screen. What more, it looks like this screen panel can be retrofitted to the previous version of the NS7 so you can upgrade your workflow if you already own the older model. That’s pretty cool.
But, the real draw card for this controller is the motorized platters that give the two decks a very unique feel and control quite unlike anything else I have come across in the digital controller world before. Numark have gone all out with this and decided to take it way further than just supplying oversized jog wheels on the NS7III. Instead, they’ve added two high torque platters with slip-mats and 7 inch vinyl tops that give you the real feel of controlling a record under your fingertips. These platters then send MIDI information to the system to translate your every movement, no matter how subtle, and turn that into control data. They have even gone so far as to have a low torque control to allow the platters to feel more like certain turntables that many DJs would be used to, if they don’t want the grip of a high torque platter. This unit looks like it could finally bridge the gap between software and vinyl as far as control goes without the need of an actual turntable to be added to the setup. It’s now all built in to the one, albeit rather large, unit. The proof will be in the pudding though when we are able to get our fingertips onto these controllers and see just how they respond. But surely, with the high and low torque options to the platter speed, there’s going to be a setting that will feel pretty close to alright for most of us. Let’s face it; if you can’t be happy with what this unit offers, then you really should just stick to playing vinyl and not trying to control software anyway. I’ll be interested to see just how this one feels. It will take a lot to drag me away from my turntables, but I am always open to new ideas and Numark seem to be on the money with the NS7III.