What Is It?
The Numark NS6 is a compact MIDI controller, Audio Interface and Digital DJ Mixer designed in conjunction with the brains at Serato HQ. So whilst a fair section of the NS6 has been modeled on its “bigger” brother the now legendary NS7, Numark have taken a lot of DJ feedback related to that device to improve the overall experience on the NS6.
One of the best features on the NS6 are the dual touch sensitive metal 6” platters with an unprecedented 3600 ticks of resolution per revolution allowing much more fine control when scratching, cueing and pitch bending with a red ring marker around each platter so as to be able to monitor your relative scratch position if you prefer watching the platter than the monitor. With all that extra resolution data the 214 pieces of MIDI info on the NS6 had to consequently be upgraded to 14-bit which also improves all the communication between the NS6’s hardware and the custom Serato software package.
Which leads us to another of the new major adaptations the NS6 benefits from and that is a native four deck setup and layout courtesy of a custom version of Serato specifically adapted for the NS6. This translates to super quick setup times and less potential performance problems. The custom version includes some real clever additions to the software one of which is a dual effects section to really brighten up your performance and allow a much more layered approach to your mixing that can also be routed to your analog kit as well.
The strip search bar sounds as fun as its name implies and lets you drag your finger along the bar to move your track along its timeline, but when you combine this with another new innovative feature in skip, you can now jump to any point in the song without missing a beat! Now if you’re worried about staying in bar you could rather make use of the forward thinking loop and cue sections to really let looping and shifting loops on the fly become a much easier process. 5 hot-cue buttons below each platter really let you be creative with the way you wish to jump around your cue points and loops can be divided, multiplied, shifted, stuttered and edited each with their own set of buttons for those varied functions. All of this amazing looping and cueing wizardry is assisted by beat gridding in the software to really tighten track loops that would otherwise be extremely tricky to lock down.
There are specialized crate browsing and loading functions to ensure that all you need to do on your computer is look at the screen. With all this amazing software functionality one does tend to forget that the NS6 is also a fully kitted 24-bit audio mixer as well, with four channels of inputs, two of which are switchable phono inputs for decks and four for CDJ’s or line inputs that can run independent of a computer. This does mean that the NS6 will need more power than conventional USB’s can offer so you will need to plug the NS6 into a power source. Audio output is sent through a set of balanced XLR connections for pro output quality and additional RCA outputs are available for master output and another set for booth. Mini and Jack headphones ports are also available if you forgot your headphone adaptor at home.
Who Should Own One?
First off, anyone that owns or owned an NS7 and complained about its weight. Which at 20 + kilos, means that if it was being carted around in a flightcase you had to hand it over the baggage handlers at the airport. The NS6 however tips the scales at a very lean 6.4 kg which is also a lot lighter than some of the competitors’ products.
The NS6 should be considered very carefully amongst all the top end MIDI/Audio and Mixer controllers on offer out there, not just for the amazing functionality but also for Numark’s build quality.
A definite front runner for the best DJ controller combo out at the moment. The build quality is great and the custom 4 deck Serato software with all its extra built in functions for looping and cueing really set the NS6 apart from its overweight brother the NS7. Just take a look at YouTube for videos of the NS6 at work and you are sure to be astounded. Overlook the NS6 at your own peril.
Price: R 12,000-00
Supplier: Viva Afrika
Written By : Dave Skinz