LINK: Humpter • PRICE: €1049/£899 (Humpter Pro), €899/£749 (Pro 60 Plus)
Ah, DJ furniture. A topic about as exciting as watching tumbleweed roll across the plain, accompanied by a reverberating slow clap. Most of us are perfectly happy with our DIY IKEA hacks – those Expedit (or Kallax) based desks seem to do the job just fine. The majority of consoles designed with the DJ in mind aren’t very impressive either, and rarely justify the asking price. Imagine my surprise when I ran into Humpter last year – a small Polish company with a rather peculiar name, but designs that immediately got my attention.
So… what’s with that weird name anyway? “Humpter – really”? I hear you asking yourself. Well, the origin of the name is their very first DJ console – a simple table with a distinctive indentation in an otherwise rectangular tabletop, making it look like a camel’s back. Hump-ter… get it?
While still available, that original desk is honestly not something worth writing about. I mean, come on – it’s a freaking table. Their new flagship console, however, deserves a closer look. Enter the Humpter Pro – probably the sexiest piece of DJ furniture I’ve ever seen, and one that justifies some video work in my new studio space.
THE WRITTEN PART
Now for the things I haven’t said, or didn’t explain fully, in the above video. While the console’s frame and panels are made from aluminium, the reinforced tabletops are actually made of steel. I’ve shown you the Pro model with all the included accessories, but the people at Humpter have a lot of new ideas coming.
The laptop holder is a really smart design, with retracting sides that hold your laptop (or tablet) securely in place – but they’re also working on monitor stands as well as extra shelves, which can all be attached to several spots along the frame. There’s an optional standard VESA monitor mount, which can easily hold 55″ up to 75″ LED screens, replacing the console’s front-facing panel. The company also happily provides entirely custom solutions, such as LED lighting installs.
The console is shipped with padded carrying bags which offer enough protection for transporting it by car. When you fly or ship the console, however – both of which I’ve done – you’re going to need proper flight cases for protection (the complete console requires two of them), and those aren’t cheap: estimate about as much as a Humpter Pro with the Pro 60 Plus add-on for a custom production, since Humpter does not offer their own flight cases as of yet. Hopefully that situation will improve in the future, but a flight case big enough to hold anything this size will always be an expensive build.
In the interest of transparency, I need to mention that being one of the earliest prototype users, I’ve been one of Humpter’s guinea pigs, exchanging ideas and (to a minimal extent) helping the product become what it is today. I did come along a little too late to fix the name situation though.
However, credit for all the engineering smarts and problem-solving definitely goes to Humpter; I had nothing to do with that, and they’ve done a remarkable job. I’ll give you an example: the building I live in is old, and as such, the floor in here is far from perfectly level. When I first received the prototype a year ago, it was a bit tough to set it up, given the width and weight distribution. Having received my feedback, they apparently re-worked the whole thing, allowing for a slight amount of flexibility without sacrificing stability once the console has “set” in place. I couldn’t even explain to you how exactly they did it, but the difference to the finished retail model is very noticeable – the timelapse shots in the video should give you an idea of how easy it is to set up.
LET’S LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
Despite the aluminium frame, the Humpter Pro console weighs in at 30kg – this is because of the heavily reinforced tabletops, which are the only element made of steel; after all, you don’t want those bending under strain. According to spec, it is capable of supporting 70kg of weight – so feel free to put all your gear on top, but maybe don’t jump on and dance on it. It’s not a Bütec – but it’s also way sexier than a Bütec. Then there’s the Pro 60 Plus side parts – they weigh 21kg together and each of them can carry 70kg, so with the combined console you’re pretty much looking at a small tank. It kind of looks like one, too.
The price tag definitely places this particular console in the premium range – however, if you consider the amount of customization that’s included (custom colour selection and logo placement), the price is more than justified, especially when you look at the competition. It’s something I see in clubs, at trade shows and on festival stages rather than home booths – also with mobile DJs who want their stuff to look neat & professional. That being said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy this for home use. I have – and for the first time in basically forever, I’ve got enough space to set all my gear up and work comfortably, all the while looking utterly badass when I decide to shoot a video for once.
For those who don’t feel like dishing out on the flagship model, I’ve received a (rendered) sneak peek at Humpter’s new “budget” console, which still looks killer but will be significantly cheaper, and even quicker to set up: pictured above is the Humpter Basic. Not sure if we’ll review that separately, as it’s just a simplified version of the Pro model – but it does look promising, especially in context of what else the market has to offer… and at what price.
Finally, take a look at the gallery below – like all other pictures in this review, those are obviously all renders, because some of these parts won’t be available until mid-December. The video, however, should be plenty to get a good look at the real thing.
The music in this video was made using the NI Maschine expansion “Hexagon Highway”.