One of the key advantages of the world wide web lies in its name. You can pop an idea out there, and get a feel for the what the viewing masses think about it. Gemini have clearly been using this method to formulate a strategy, and listening carefully to NAMM feedback has brought forth a 2 channel version of their well-recieved G4V controller, as well as going back to the drawing board with their GMX all in one unit.
The G4V on show was a little more polished that at NAMM, looking closer to production with better buttons and a different jog wheel, but still much the same. It has however spawned a 2 channel Gemini G2V sibling, which bar losing 2 channels appears to be exactly the same.
Of most interest for me was the GMX. First seen at NAMM, the unit at Musikmesse was entirely different. Gemini carefully monitored the feedback about it being too big, pitch sliders on the wrong side and general aesthetics being a tad lacking. So they basically started over, and came back with reimagined unit that seems to address many of the user comments, and is much better for it.
What Gemini has also done is produced a GMX Drive version, that essentially has a pair of DVD drives bolted underneath. Yes, I said DVD, so you’ll be able to compile some pretty extensive sets to single disks and travel that little bit lighter.
Price wise, it’s early days as these units are decidedly prototypes, so prices are vague, but the regular GMX should hit the 350 euro mark, and the drive version should come in under the magical 500 euro mark.
What I did get from Gemini was a strong sense of taking stock of their position in the market. Their heritage is strong, but in recent years they’ve lost their way a little. Right now, it feels like they’re having a long hard look at their range and direction. I’ve glimpsed their future, and it’s much more coherent and focussed. I think they realise that they’ll never be Rane or Pioneer, but there is a definite market (and it’s huge too) that the big boys don’t really operate in, where Gemini can be successful.
Like Vestax, I have a soft spot for Gemini, if only for historical reasons. Just before writing this, I was juggling on a retro Jazzy Jeff edition Gemini mixer, with wooden sides, real meters and little else. The heritage is there — I hope they can build upon it and continue to bring DJ gear to the market that people can love.