Hercules RMX2 & DJuced 40 Degrees Review
If you are familiar with the Hercules line of DJ controllers you may notice some familiar things about the RMX2. At first glance it looks very similar to the Hercules 4MX with the same design and shape of that popular 4 channel controller. The release of the DJ Control Air earlier this year garnered enough attention that Hercules decided to integrate the four pads from that controller onto the RMX2. So what you essentially have is a hybrid controller merging the designs of two popular controllers in their line into one controller that has all the features and functionality of a pro DJ controller but at a fraction of the price. This is the sort of thing we come to expect from Hercules which has been a consistent player in the market for low cost and fully functional DJ controllers.
The Hercules RMX2 has been rumored to be shipping with the brand new Virtual DJ 8 software. While the internet is loaded with beta shots, sneak peeks, and first looks at the new version of VDJ, we have yet to know when an exact release date will be. Since the Hercules RMX2 is out now, it will be shipping with Virtual DJ 7 LE but VDJ will provide an upgrade to 8 upon release. With the relase of VDJ 8 still up in the air, we will be waiting with bated breath for its integration into the DJ market. The RMX2 also comes with DJuced 40 Degrees DJ software. While the company who made the DJuced software licensed it to Hercules and has not been named, Hercules has branded it as their flagship software and packaged it with many of their latest controller releases.
The DJuced 40 Degrees software has some considerable improvements made to it with the best imporvements being the overall look of the GUI. The black background looks as nice as it is functional with the ability to see your knob and fader positions. The large platter circles that dominated the original DJuced software have been diminished to make way for a much larger browse section. With that said there does seem to be a lot of unused real estate within the GUI because of the inclusion of centered and arguably inappropriately placed platters. We would have also liked to see the waveform section be a little larger or at least the ability to customize the size of different sections of the controller/software integration. While this was a limitation, it doesn’t take away from the fact that DJuced 40 degrees is a full version software that ships with a relatively inexpensive controller.
The great thing about DJuced and the advantage it has over a software like VDJ is its ease of use and ability to get setup with the Hercules line of DJ controllers. When we connected the RMX2 to VDJ 7 LE we ran into a brick wall because of the inability to MIDI map manually with the LE software. When we connected to DJuced 40 Degrees, the software immediately recognized the RMX2 and we were ready to go. While VDJ is usually pretty good about supplying mappings for their controllers, the only thing we have gotten from VDJ as of this date has been screen cap teasers of the proprietary RMX2 VDJ skin. A mapping is certainly on the way but if you need to get this controller up and running with a software as of the date of this post, DJuced 40 Degrees will be your go to software. This shouldn’t dismay you as DJuced is very functional but slightly lacking in options when it comes to samples, loops, and effects. For a free full version of a software, it is certainly worth using and can get the job done for nearly any DJ.
There is not too terribly much to say about the RMX2 that hasn’t been said about many of the Hercules controllers. Its got a solid metal build, all of the connectivity you would need for a live gig and to connect external audio sources, CDJ’s, turntables, etc., rubberized buttons and knobs, plastic line level faders and crossfader, and a combination of plastic and rubber jog wheels. As mentioned previously the real stand out feature is the integration of 4 velocity sensitive pads. These are great for doing velocity style effects controls but felt a little difficult to control the velocity when it came to triggering samples.
Hercules saves a lot of space on this controller by making selections for controls of effects, cues, samples, and loops as mode selections. These functions cannot be controlled simultaneously other than having a function on either mode selection side working in conjunction within your mix. The jog wheels have the same look and feel of other Hercules controllers and communicated well with the software. They allow for scratching techniques into your routine but will always have the limitations that all DJ controller jog wheels do of simply not being turntables. The inclusion of kill buttons for the EQ controls was a nice touch and something Hercules has been consistent about incorporating into their controller layouts in a market that rarely sees this function.
We spent more time discussing the hardware in the video we shot discussing an overview of the features of the Hercules RMX2. The final verdict for the Hercules RMx2 is that it is a solid controller with a price tag that will make many timid beginners and working mobile DJ’s feel very confident when spending money on a DJ controller. It doesn’t have all of the features of some of its higher priced contemporaries, but that shouldn’t deter you from checking out this controller for yourself. Especially if you are looking for an affordable DJ controller to get started or throw in your bag for gigs on the fly.
What do you think of the Hercules RMX2? Will you use it with VDJ or DJuced 40 degrees? Post a comment and let us know what you think or post a question if you need more information on the Hercules RMX2.
To purchase the Hercules RMX2 click here.
The Hercules RMX 2 is a 2 channel DJ controller that comes with Virtual DJ LE and DJuced 40 Degrees DJ software.
The Hercules RMX 2 comes in a brushed metal chassis and the construction is very solid. All of the faders, knobs, and buttons are rubberized except for the crossfader which is hard plastic. A set of rubber feet will keep the controller raised about ½ off of any surface. The jog wheels are made of a sturdy plastic and have an ergonomically designed rubber ring around the outside to help you get a good grip.
The jog wheels are pressure sensitive and next to each jog there’s a small LED light which cuts off when pressure is applied. They can also function as a pitch adjustment or be used for scratching when Vinyl Mode is engaged. You also have your standard pitch adjustment which can be controlled with the pitch fader or by using the plus and minus pitch bend buttons.
Your transport section is fairly standard with your sync, cue, and play buttons. In the mixer section, you have line level faders with LED feedback for monitoring levels of a particular track. The browse section has arrows which allow you to scroll through and select tracks. Load A and B buttons are used to load for the corresponding decks. All of the usual suspects are in the EQ section. You have your gain, treble, medium, and your bass. All of which have their own kill buttons.
There are four velocity sensitive pads on both decks which control your loops, effects, samples, and cue points. You can can engage the loop with the pads and immediately select either a 2, a 4, or an 8 bar loop. You can also make your own manual loop adjustments using the knob at the top.
In the effects section you can control a total of 6 effects individually or simultaneously. To engage an effect, simply put in in effect and then use the pads to select your corresponding effect. Use the knob to control the wet/dry level of each effect, and when shift is held down, you can control the parameters of each effect. To turn the effect off just tap the corresponding pad. What Pad 4 allows for is an engagement of all of the effects at once and it’s velocity sensitive.
The sample mode allows you to play samples with the pads. For now we have a kick, hi hat, snare, and ride cymbal. All you have to do is select the mode and you have a kick, snare, hi hat, and ride cymbal. Cue mode allows you to make up to 4 cue points within a particular track. Now to delete those cue points, hold down shift and select the corresponding cue.
On the face of the controller there’s a combination XLR/1/4 inch jack in the left corner for connecting a microphone. Theres also a volume control knob beside it. In the right corner there’s a ¼ inch headphone jack that also has a knob for volume control. There’s also another 1/4in headphone jack on the front of the controller.
On the back of the controller, there’s a series of RCA inputs if you want to connect external audio sources to the controller. Two buttons on the face of the controller allow you to enable inputs 1 and 2 or inputs 3 and 4. There’s also a ground wire connection and a button to switch from line to phono if you plan on using a turntables with a ground wire. The RMX 2 has a pair of balanced XLR outputs as well as a booth out, another RCA output, a USB port, and a power connector. The RMX 2 is not USB powered because it’s designed to be a standalone mixer as well as a controller. Hercules added a sturdy metal hook on the back of the controller which can be used to secure your wires.
The RMX 2 retails at around $300, and is a solid DJ controller for the beginner or the mobile DJ looking for an alternative to a larger, cumbersome setup.
To learn more about the Hercules RMX2 or to post a comment on the video, visit the UniqueSquared.com blog listed in the description below. Thanks for watching UniqueSquared.com