When Pioneer’s DDJ-SX came out, there was a collective WOOT from the DJ world as we universally declared undying love for it and pronounced it to be the one controller to rule them all. But you just knew that Numark would be hot on their heels with their version of the same thing. I think most suspected that the NS6 would get the upgrade love, but no – it’s my very favourite NS7 that gets all the new Serato DJ action. And looking at the hi res image, the DDJ-SX just lost the one true controller moniker.
Please pour over this piece of PR wordplay:
NUMARK ONCE AGAIN DEMOLISHES THE BOUNDARIES OF DJING WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF NS7 II
Incorporating exclusive technology from Akai Professional, NS7 II offers DJs the most responsive control surface ever created with virtually every inch filled with advanced touch-sensitive controls.
Cumberland, R.I. (January 24, 2013) – Numark, the world’s leading manufacturer of DJ technology, announces NS7 II, a dramatically enhanced and updated version of the industry’s most advanced and best-selling motorized DJ controller, NS7. NS7 II features four channels, 16 backlit RGB velocity-sensitive MPC® pads from Akai Professional, expanded effects controls—including a full array of capacitive touch-activated knobs and filters—and the most comprehensive integration for Serato DJ available. Numark will exhibit and demo NS7 II for the first time at Booth 6700 at the 2013 NAMM show, January 24-27 in Anaheim, California.
For more than 20 years, Numark has set the pace in the world of digital DJing, empowering DJs with cutting-edge technology that has continually advanced the art form. In 2007, Numark and Serato® released NS7, a controller that blends different eras of DJing so completely it makes them virtually indistinguishable from each other. Since then, the powerful experience offered by NS7 has defined the top tier of DJ performance, setting the standard by which all other controllers are judged.
Now, with NS7 II, Numark is pushing the modern DJ’s performance capability even further, incorporating iconic technology from Akai Professional, the world leader in music production technology and creator of the legendary MPC. NS7 II’s 16 MPC pads can be instantly assigned to control five dynamic performance features in Serato DJ: Cues, Loop, Roll, Sampler, and Slicer. In addition, each pad features RGB illumination, allowing for a virtually endless amount of color variations assignable via MIDI. Vinyl platter control has never felt more familiar with its high- and low-torque motorized platters with real slip mats and real vinyl sitting on 3,600 ticks of resolution. NS7 II’s four-channel mixer works with or without a computer and includes a full array of external device inputs. Capacitive touch-activated filter, gain, EQ, and effects knobs are other features incorporated from Akai Professional, which turn the knobs themselves into control surfaces. DJs can use them for instant-on parameter control, blending effects, and instant frequency kills. “NS7 II is an interactive playground,” said Chris Roman, Numark Product Manager. “It’s built to squeeze every ounce of capability out of Serato DJ and push your creative limits. It’s born to perform and to empower DJs with maximum live-performance creative capability.”
NS7 II will be unveiled at Booth 6700 at the 2013 NAMM show on January 24th.
Now, lets bullet point the cool things:
- 4 channels with individual meters
Serato units often miss meters, so it’s nice to see them on this. I’m keen to see how 4 channels are handled in detail on this.
- RGB velocity MPC pads
The biggie, and the obvious element that makes this a direct comparison to the Pioneer DDJ-SX. We’ll have to see if proper MPC pads make a real difference.
- Capacitive touch knobs
This is unexpected but very welcome. So apart from being regular knobs, you’ll be able to trigger other mappable parameters, like momentary kills on EQ. Much will depend on what’s available to map inside Serato DJ of course, and if indeed those controls are classed as secondary controller features.
- Dedicated filter knobs per channel
A standard feature on higher end controllers now, but these are capacitive too.
- Roll, sampler and slicer features
A pretty standard feature on ITCH and Serato DJ units these days. But a really solid reason to upgrade from the NS7 too, unless you just wanted to map secondary controllers for such things.
- External mixer features
Another nice feature, but perhaps less important considering the motorised platters. But you could in theory drop pair of V7s with side of it and attempt a real 4 deck setup. Serato did make noises about the interoperability of units.
…which make this a very solid no brainer upgrade for the original NS7. If like me you fell in love with the first one, I’d personally find it really hard to not throw money at Numark for this. But I would do that knowing that it most probably is the ultimate controller for Serato DJ. I simply cannot see an all-in-one with more controls than this. Yes, you could get silly and add more sample controls, but then it would start to become unusable, hence Serato allowing mapping of secondary controllers.
Judging by what I’ve seen at the show, I suspect it’ll be a little while before we see the NS7 II hit the streets, and the price is unknown too. It will cost more than the DDJ-SX, because it’s a solid great lump of metal with motors inside. But I do hope it stays in the realms of the original.
And before anyone asks, I don’t know if it’ll run with Traktor, but I certainly wouldn’t expect it to, nor am I expecting a 7Trak either. If you want this, make the assumption that like the original NS7, it’s not going to work with Traktor. That however is my personal opinion, rather than official comment.
I want it. I never owned an NS7, but now I have the space, it’s a given that the NS7 II will become a fixture in the worxlab. Or maybe the home office – not too sure yet. Obviously, you can expect lots of pictures and ideally video from NAMM over the coming days.