In today’s world of music, a good DJ is the secret to a great party. Every good DJ is proficient in mixing tracks to perfection, but there is no denying that the right equipment is equally important.
Whether you are a professional or a beginner, you must already know how crucial a DJ controller is. Their specialized software allows DJs to mix jams. In this article, we will sum up the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 reviews and help you understand everything else you should know before buying a DJ controller.
The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 strives successfully to be the perfect controller for beginners. It is quite appealing with an updated design and a bunch of interesting features. Now let’s dive into the controller’s review below.
Features To Look Out For Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
The Numark DJ controller’s price naturally piques anyone’s curiosity about the features it has to offer.
1. Mixer Section
The mixer section offers 3 band EQ for each of the two channels. It also has a high and low pass filter knob which is not a feature present in many entry-level controllers. This helps assist with the transitions.
You will not know each channel’s individual level as the VU meters are connected to the master output. Moreover, there are no gain controls present for each channel but it has a master gain knob. Expert DJs advise accessing the individual gain controls to improve your levels and transitions further. However, beginners can make use of the in-built sound limiting available with the software.
It also comes with a browse knob and a dedicated lot of buttons for skimming through and quickly loading your music library. Cue Gain and Cue Mix knobs allow you to arrange and prepare your mixes properly.
The channel faders offer decent resistance to make finer adjustments and have a nice feel overall. Quick cuts can be carried out easily with the crossfader, which is loose enough for the purpose.
The Mixtrack Pro 3 comes with the Serato DJ Intro, which allows you to get started instantly. However, the disadvantage here is that you have to spend extra on an upgrade if you want to access all the features. So even if the base price is appropriate for entry-level users to keep the costs down, this might be an expense down the lane.
The Intro Software is good enough to get started but is devoid of one crucial feature- the software doesn’t help you to record your mixes. For new DJs, this is very helpful in the learning process. By listening to your mixes, again and again, you are spotting and rectifying your mistakes the next time. Additionally, there is nothing better than enjoying a perfect mix created on your own.
3. Jog Wheels
As compared to the rest of the controller, the chrome jog wheels are large enough to stick out a little. So those who are interested in scratching can get started with this controller. They can also be used for pitch bending or to quickly skim through a track. They might not be as refined as the higher-priced controllers but offer everything you need.
4. Pitch Faders
Because of their compact size, entry-level controllers tend to be plagued by pitch faders that are as short as 60mm in length. However, the pitch faders in the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 are one of its standout features. It offers 100mm long pitch faders.
Beatmatching is one of the first skills a DJ needs. Long pitch faders ease this initial, rather steep learning curve. Making fine adjustments to the tracks’ tempo is much easier when you have longer pitch faders.
5. Performance Pads
Each jog wheel has 8 pads located underneath it. The 4 pads on the bottom are used only for the hot cues set by you. They are situated on the smaller side in contrast to other controllers with a decent feel to them. You can jump between cue points pretty easily. The pads on the top are used for looping controls. Sadly, the looping controls don’t feel very natural and smooth. Auto loops can be set easily, but it doesn’t feel very intuitive when you press a combination of buttons to adjust the loop. If you want, there is an option to set manual loop lengths.
Apart from this, there isn’t a lot more the pads do besides a sampler mode. Some other entry-level controllers have much more detailed pad functions. However, the pads in them could be replaced by standard buttons without making much difference in the functionality.
It doesn’t have any Slicer or Beat Jump functions and is very basic in the functions available. You can get the basic job done with the primary controls and not much beyond that.
6. Connection Options
There are not many connection options available in any entry-level controller, and so is the case in the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3. There is one RCA output option present. Beyond that, you get a mic input with an exclusive gain knob. There are two headphone jacks that offer both ¼ inch and ⅛ inch input options. This way, you can easily plug and play with your choice of DJ headphones.
An important thing to note is the Mixtrack Pro 3 comes with an in-built exclusive soundcard. It enables you to connect it directly to your home studio monitors. This way, you won’t need your PC or laptop sound card to run the sound. It also means that you get a loud headphone output, which helps you mix in a loud environment.
The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 has the FX controls situated on the top. You can load up to three FX at once, which is quite enough for new DJs. The touch strips are responsible for controlling the effects but feel a little weird. Nonetheless, some effects can be added to your sets, which is a feature that not many controllers offer.
It would help if you kept in mind that there are limited FX options on the software. You will need to upgrade to Serato DJ Pro if you want access to more FX.
8. Touch Strips
One of the major differences between the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 and other entry-level controllers is the presence of a touch strip for each channel. These are helpful to skim through the loaded track quickly. It is a much faster way to do the same thing using touch strips in contrast to the jog wheels. They also double up as the wet/dry parameter for loaded FX. Though the touch strips are good enough, some DJs like to have a dedicated knob for that control.
The size of the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 is approximately the same as other entry-level controllers. However, there are some differences. It is much wider than most controllers giving it a more spacious feel. Similarly, it is quite slimline at just 30mm. Combined with the less than 2 kg of weight, it makes for a very portable controller.
10. Build Quality and Design
At such an affordable price, there is no doubt you will have to compromise on some build quality. Though not a cheap or flimsy material, the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 is fundamentally made of the standard entry-level controller plastic. Fortunately, plastic doesn’t make the entry-level controllers cheap fragile pieces. Even the Mixtrack Pro 3 has a solid feel. It will last you a fair amount of time but based on how frequently you use it.
The footprint, too, is a bit larger than other entry-level controllers. The wide frame helps in spacing the components out well. The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 looks much more professional than its previous versions. It doesn’t have the garish chrome, which is now replaced by a nice matte black finish. However, it still looks slightly similar to the toy-like controllers.
Manual Beatmatching vs. Sync
Knowing how to facilitate a seamless transition between two tracks is one of the fundamentals of DJing. You can achieve this by matching the beats before mixing a track to another. Using channel faders, crossfaders, and EQ, you can get that smooth transition. Though there are many styles and nuances involved in mixing, the core is matching the beats.
You should check the length of the pitch fader before buying your first controller. They affect the track’s tempo which further helps in matching the BPM (Beats Per Minute) of two tracks. Longer pitch faders make the process of making tiny adjustments to the BPM much easier for accurate beatmatching.
A lot of the modern controllers feature a Beat Sync feature too. It analyzes the track uploaded on your DJ software and produces a waveform showing all the beats and the tempo. Then the two tracks can be loaded on separate channels and aligned with the hit of a button.
To sum it up, here is an overview of the good aspects and improvements required in the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3.
- Simple layout ideal for beginners
- Light but robust, excellent for DJs on the move
- Crisp and clear audio
- Built-in Soundcard
- Convenient Touch Strips
- Super responsive jog wheels, scratch capable
- Long Pitch Faders
- Priced under $200, perfect for new and aspiring DJs
- Comes with intro software, will need to upgrade to the full version
- Touch strips have limited functions, can’t be used to browse library
- Awkward Looping Controls
After looking at Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 reviews, let’s go through some fundamentals you must keep in mind before buying a DJ controller.
Modular Rigs vs. All-In-One DJ Controllers
Usually, when investing in a DJ controller, you have to choose between two major types of DJ controllers- modular rigs and All-in-one DJ controllers.
Modular DJ Rigs
These controllers feature distinct sound sources like turntables, media/CD players, and maybe a sound card to enable you to operate the gear using DJ software. Though most DJs nowadays use all-in-one controllers, which are very convenient, many DJs still choose a modular design.
It lets you learn the basics before getting your hands on more complex software and hardware to build beats. A straightforward setup that is ideal for starters includes a mixer, CD/media player, and turntables.
All-In-One DJ Controllers
As the name suggests, All-In-One controllers have media players, computer/iOS interfaces, mixing sections all fit in a single unit. They also have sliders, buttons, and physical knobs that ease the controls for the software and apps on your smartphones, tablets, or computers.
Though most apps and software can be operated using your keyboard’s laptop, once you use the physical controls, there’s no turning back. The knobs and buttons let you perform faster and smoother.
Why Use All-In-One DJ Controllers?
These controllers work well with any DJ software you want. They are designed to be very comfortable and convenient while setting up and then operating. A lot of controllers allow you to perform in “standalone” mode where you don’t have to connect to a computer or mobile device.
This way, mobile DJs who cater to requests using CDs or USB flash drives can easily switch between an analog music collection and laptop-based performances. This standalone mode is also a savior if your laptop or tablet crashes during the party.
Though the controller helps you manipulate the app, it’s the software that does the magic. The software has revolutionized DJing over the years by performing all the functions you need to manipulate the music files. Apart from storing music in the library of your computer, you also get the software’s virtual support needed while mixing tracks.
A lot of DJs start off with the software that comes with the original controller purchase. However, that is usually a trial version, which will need to be upgraded later. It is important to get the full version afterward if you want the best results.
Every DJ has their own style and if yours involves cool looks and you have a sufficient budget, go for it. The visual aesthetics of your controller can also impact how confident you feel while giving your best performance. However, make sure the controller is easy to use at the same time.
Keep in mind that the vibe you create as a performer also determines your worth, along with the playlist and genre of music you play. The best in the game are recognized by their unique visual styles.
Therefore, if you have a good budget, do not hesitate to invest in a DJ controller that looks good along with producing good sound. Make good use of any opportunity you get where a good combination of function and form.
A DJ controller is a complex electronic device. So you can’t just plug it into any equipment and expect it to work. Not every model is compatible with every DJ software and operating system. Make sure the device is compatible with your laptop before buying it. Connectivity options can be studied by inspecting the specs.
Your computer’s operating system and memory can limit the DJ controller you buy. You should also consider what software you will be using, especially if you are going for a new controller but want to continue using the same program.
Before you purchase a DJ controller, consider the range of features it offers. Along with the visual appearance, it is also important to pay attention to the list of features. The number of buttons doesn’t really matter. What actually matters is how well and what variety of jobs they get done. It is crucial to consider how many channels the controller has.
Do not forget to check if you can operate all of them independently. Any good DJ knows the importance of tempo, gain, pitch, and control over the pitch to create seamless mixes. All of these audio qualities are really important in mixing two separate audio tracks.
Conclusion: To Buy or Not?
The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 caters to the beginner DJs with all the features needed to start off with. The long pitch faders and the low price point make it a great option for learning. It can serve quite well as your first controller, especially if you are aiming to get Numark’s higher-end gears down the track.
- The adjustment curve of the pitch sliders is a bit funky.
- A bit expensive for beginners
Alternatives To The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
There are a bunch of alternatives to the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3. According to the kind of features you are looking for, you can choose one of the following controllers.
1. Roland DJ 202
Roland DJ 202 is a good choice for those of you who are music producers getting into DJing. Or if you are someone who wants to approach DJing from a more production centric mindset, this can be the one for you. It has an in-built drum machine and offers options to connect extra Roland devices. The major features it has are:
- Midi support for other Roland production gear
- Built-in drum machine
- Has a slightly hollow or flimsy feel
2. Pioneer DDJ 400
If you do not want to spend more money on a software upgrade, the Pioneer DDJ 400 is a good choice for you. It has the full-featured Rekordbox software included without any extra hidden charges to pay up later. The key features are it has are:
- The layout is very professional in line with Pioneer’s high-end gear
- The pitch faders are long for easier manual beatmatching
- The mixer section feels slightly cramped
3. Pioneer DDJ WeGo 4
This controller supports Android and iOS, and offers portability to make it one of the most suited devices to use on the go. Apart from the odd placement of the buttons and functions, this compact alternative is good for any DJ who takes the party along with them. It has the features:
- Android and iOS support for DJing on the go
- Portable and compact design
- The layout is not traditional
FAQs on Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 Reviews
Q1. Why Choose Your DJ Controller Carefully?
Here are some good reasons why you should put some effort into the best DJ controller for you.
The products on the higher end offer better functionality which allows you to get the most out of the features you pay for. Mixing jams revolves around controlling, tempo, pitch, gain, and other audio qualities. All these won’t be possible without a controller designed well for the task.
b. Better Results
Whether you are just a beginner or an experienced DJ, the most suitable DJ controller for you will help you produce better results.
It goes without saying that investing in a DJ controller with a good warranty is worth it. If something goes wrong with the device, you can rest assured that your purchase is secured. It is also equally worth investing in a company that pays attention to prompt customer service.