Not Just For Traktor
Having shown that the 4MidiLoop is aimed fairly and squarely at Traktor users, this doesn’t mean that other software need be ignored. Being a MIDI controller, you can configure it to work with just about any MIDI software that has MIDI learn. And I expect that once enough of these units make it out into the real world, then direct support will be built in for true plug and play operation.
It’s also worth pointing out that the shift button isn’t used that often, so a lot of extra functionality is waiting to be MIDI mapped to suit your needs. And in addition to this, if the new Kontrol S4 functionality is rolled into future versions of Traktor, the 4MidiLoop may well be lacking a few functions, so expect some more shift mapping to appear.
I threw Ableton Live and Virtual DJ this review unit and had the basics configured within minutes. Keep visiting the 4Midiloop website as well as software specific support forums for files in due course.
The Bottom Line – the price that is
When word first hit of the 4MidiLoop, there was a universal “want one” cry – until they read the price. €1300 is a seriously hefty price tag – you’ve got to really REALLY want, if not need one if you’re prepared to drop this kind of cash on what is nothing more than a dumb controller. Granted, it’s a controller on a scale never seen before, and coming in a highly flexible mixer or standalone configuration, and a full 4 channels too.
But when all is said and done, no matter how pant wettingly awesome a product is, it more often than not comes down to price. And to be frank, I think it’s too expensive. Generally speaking, I see a 1K ceiling for any controller. We must bear in mind that it has no sound card, and that’s something that people have to buy on top of the controller. But even though I would have a hard time justifying such a purchase, having used one I probably would dig deep to find the cash.
When approaching a review for a MIDI controller, it would normally be a standalone test – plug into laptop and play. But because of its schizophrenic nature, I found myself using this more as a mixer than a controller. And in this respect, I’d have to say that it’s the best mixer for Traktor on the market. The Korg Zero4 works better with effects because you can send effects through it, but you’ll still need to find a way to manage the hot cues and loops.
Yes I know it’s not a mixer per se, but it certainly feels like one. Having everything at hand in one place feels so much better than plugging in a chain of add on MIDI accessories, which frees up USB ports and makes you focus in one place instead of having to reach across your gear to where the other boxes are. And of course, the functions are entirely up to you.
As a standalone controller however, the 4MidiLoop will be more a matter of personal preference. Having 4 complete decks at your disposal is amazing. Granted it takes some getting used to, but once you do, Traktor stops being a complex beast of a program and instead becomes the engine driving the hardware. You’ll spend less time glancing at the laptop screen and more time getting busy with the music.
But when all is said and done, the bottom line with the 4MidiLoop is indeed the bottom line. Given the total Traktor focus of the unit, and just how well it tames the power but also embraces the flexibility of controllerism and DVS use, there’s a lot going for it. The quality is certainly there too, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if your wallet is quite deep enough to covet the 4MidiLoop, especially as you still have to buy software and an audio interface to drive it.
Solid high precision Aluminium and full of Pro X Fades – yes, build quality is high.
Not relevant – that’s entirely down to the audio interface you choose.
Features and Implementation
Having mapped just about every function to a hardware button, it’s almost a 1:1 style mapping. But you can change it whatever you like.
Value For Money
It’s very expensive but is high quality, totally harnesses Traktor and can be used as a standalone controller or pseudo mixer. It entirely depends on if you’re prepared tp break the 1K barrier or not
The Bottom Line
For Traktor Scratch Pro users, it’s hard to imagine a better mixer. And there’s a hell of lot to offer controllerists as well. But everyone will need to save hard to afford one.
Mainly shots from the worxlab, but a few very quickly staged studio shots.