The Numark NS7 is one of the most highly regarded MIDI controllers ever made. It is definitely not for everyone, but the people who love it absolutely adore it (…raises both hands… Ed). While it was never anything I would have ever wanted to bring to a gig, its highly accurate motorized platters and a really clean design were definitely something to behold. But that was many years ago, and now there’s a new Serato, and a huge demand for an updated Numark NS7 II.
And boy did they take out all the stops. It is the only controller on the market for Serato DJ with 5 modes for the pads: Hotcues, Autoloop/Roll, Manual Loop, Slicer and Sampler. And, with all of those, there are 5 static Hotcue buttons, so you can have slicer and hotcues available at the same time, which alone can lead to some really awesome combinations. The LEDs are all bright, and the RGB colors are gorgeous.
The added bonus, though, is the inclusion of some capacitive sensors on the knobs. According to the information we read the Filter, EQ and Gains have a capacitive sensor at the top of the top, and only the top, that you can use in place of a button (we were told that the FX knobs may have this as well). The best example use case would be for kills. Instead of pressing an extra button, or the knob itself, just tap the top of the knob. This will not be tied to the whole knob, only to the sensor at the top. I can’t speak for any sort of accuracy or sensitivity, of course, but it is a concern.
The motors on the jog wheels felt great, and, all around, it felt like a very good controller. The Numark NS7 II is, of course, HUGE, and will probably weigh… a lot. And, it’s also going to have a lot riding on Serato DJ and the advanced implementation. Oddly, a Serato developer grabbed us and we chatted about some cool things we’d like to see, like how to implement PadFX, FX Doubling with those capacitive sensors, and other nifty ideas. So who knows, maybe DJWORX will get some of our fingerprints into it.
Some words from Mark Settle aka NS7 Fanboy
The NS7 is without any hesitation my favourite controller. It’s not for everyone, but it suits my old school vinyl based sensibilities but gives me the generous scoop of all the cool things that digital DJing brings. For me, it brought the fun back into DJing like no other unit has.
And the sequel to the original looks set to make me even happier still. I’m not necessarily that fussed about 4 channels, although as a central hub for the worxlab studio, they could come in handy. But the combination of motorised platters plus all the cool stuff that Serato DJ brings makes me very happy indeed.
Cannot wait to get this in the studio, although I imagine the consequences to productivity will be about the same as when NI’s Maschine came for 24 hours.