January 20, 2012

Numark 4TRAK – First Look at NAMM

The quest to dominate the S4 continues. Numark have answered with the 4TRAK. Boasting solid metal construction and tag lines like “built like a tank,” they might just be on the right track. More noteworthy from my standpoint is the 12 knob “FX Command Console.”  This feature is pretty cool, not just because it equals copious effects controls for the tweak freaks, but because the effects controls are on an angled surface. While it might not be game changing, it is a boon to those who need some other identifier to prevent them from grabbing the wrong knob at the wrong time. It also looks pretty cool.

It has some pretty killer features and is definitely  a rival for the S4 on that front. 3600 ticks of resolution per rotation on the jog wheels isn’t anything to sniff at either. Integration with Traktor is, expectedly, tight. The 4TRAK also has buttons for the sample decks. Four inputs, a mixer that can operate without a laptop and a built in 24 bit audio interface definitely make this another Traktor controller to watch. The $1099 price point is possibly a deal breaker for some, but then again, so are some of the features this one offers.

My personal opinion? I think this is a robust DJ controller that can certainly give the S4 a run for its money. The aesthetics of the thing are solid and it feels good. A well designed product that can take a beating is worth a little extra expense. I certainly am not going to get into if I think one is better or not, just because I think this is largely a matter of personal preference, but I definitely think the 4TRAK is a noteworthy DJ controller in a sea of DJ controllers. On the other hand, the S4 has the good fortune of being NI’s own flagship for the software they make. This is an old point, but certainly valid when comparing any product competing with it on that level.

Numark 4Trak at NAMM 2012 UniqueSquared

What I like most about this controller is that it is catering to user demands and taking some risks raising the price for the sake of build quality. That’s a pretty big deal in my mind. That said, I’ll let you make your own decision on the matter, but will leave you with the spec run down:

  • Four Decks of software with included TRAKTOR 2 4TRAK Edition software
  • 12 knob FX KOMMAND CONSOLE for complete control over effects and filters
  • Built in four channel DJ mixer that works with or without a computer
  • Four line inputs, two turntable inputs and two microphone inputs
  • Touch-sensitive illuminated platters with 3600 ticks of resoution per rotation
  • Built in 24 bit audio interface with balanced XLR outputs
  • Solid metal construction
  • Maps seamlessly with TRAKTOR PRO 2 including sample triggers