The anticipation surrounding the NS6 has been high. The hype has impacted even on the look and feel of skratchworx, with Numark buying a serious amount of ad space to promote a product that they obviously have a lot riding on. But have they pulled it off despite being late to the 4 channel party?
Indeed they have. Many wanted a 4 deck NS7, and for the most part that’s what Numark have delivered plus effects and a full on analogue mixer being built in. You have to remember that the 4 channel market is already established and based upon people NOT using turntables or indeed even requiring any kind of wheel at all. Thus including a jog wheel is the best compromise, and it allows for a smaller size, radically reduced weight and subsequent competitive pricing.
What you get is generous scoops of the important bits of key markets, all neatly squeezed into a solid beast of a controller. It’s interesting to see this market develop without an established blueprint. Each manufacturer is doing their own thing and putting their own twist on what they feel the market needs.
But there are compromises on some of the finer points of each target market. The lack of channel meters is proving to be a deal breaker for many who are used to them. The slightly under specced fader setup and lack of motorised platter won’t endear the NS6 to turntablists either. But these are niggles more than faults – some of which could be fixed with software and firmware revisions.
What Numark have delivered with the NS6 is a unit that takes the key ingredients of a diverse range of genres and ticks the vast majority of potential buyer’s boxes with a big fat marker pen. 4 oh so trendy channels, a dollop of effects, advanced looping and hot cues, a full analogue mixer and various flavours of software support. Given that all of these 4 channel units are quite new, it’s a tough call as to which is best (something I know you all want me to state), especially as they’re all a little different. But I do find myself really liking the NS6 because of the true plug and play nature, wide software support on day one and stellar build quality. The build alone raises the NS6 above the usual toy criticism admirably. And having glimpsed the future with ITCH v2, the potential for further greatness is just around the corner.
Well done Numark – the NS6 was worth waiting for.
In a sea of plastic controllers, the NS6 stands out as a tank. Large and comparitively heavy, but there’s nothing toylike about this at all.
Everything sounds good these days. But the NS6 impresses me with its high resolution platter that offers vinyl-like drags. And the audio is near impossible to distort thanks to the built-in limiter.
Features and Implementation
It’s analogue and digital, and works with all major DJ software out of the box. And everything works really well. Can’t knock that at all.
Value For Money
The NS6 sits happily in the same price bracket as its peers, but arguably does more and has a superior build. So I’d say value is high.
The Bottom Line
The Numark NS6 has something for everyone – a real jack of all trades yet master of many that does everything well and has a lot to set itself apart from its competitors. This could be the ideal bridge between analogue and digital needs.
The NS6 does lend itself well to studio shots, so here are some for your viewing pleasure.