Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 - Our Review
- Ultra Portable two deck DJ Controller
- Serato DJ Intro (Included) for Mac and PC
- 5 inch metal jog wheels
- 16 multi function back lit pads
- On-Board Audio Interface
- Two physical decks outfitted with a crossfader, dedicated browsing controls, individual filter controls, touch capacitive jog wheels and independent transport controls
Our Overall Rating
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line
Numark is a brand that many DJs will be pretty familiar with. They are well-regarded for producing DJ tech that is easy to use, fairly comprehensive, and which should appeal to an entry-level market. Some experts may refer to the Mixtrack Pro 3 as a ‘budget’ controller of sorts, however, that isn’t to be used as a dirty word. If anything, it’s a mixer and controller which is likely to appeal to most DJs, at least for the fact that everything you need is right here. The difference, of course, lies in whether or not it puts everything together in a way that’s appealing and easy to use.
Boasting 16 performance pads, three outputs and an on-board library search function, it’s a controller which is likely to appeal to plenty of DJs who are just getting started at home. You’ll also have access to a good DAW in the form of Serato’s Intro program, which tends to be fairly common across most controller packages even nowadays.
But how exactly does this well-trodden piece of DJ gear work in practice? Is it just as reliable on the road as it is at home? There’s only one way we’re ever going to find out.
Numark’s Mixtrack Pro 3 is, let’s face it, an entry-level DJ controller. There are touches here and there which will, however, appeal to professional mixers. For one thing, it is one of the easiest controllers to adapt to and to work with. Therefore, if you are likely to find modern DJ controller tech needlessly complex, it’s worth taking a closer look here.
However, there are a few key elements which we note do let the side down a little. For example, a sheer lack of inputs and outputs seriously limit what you can and can’t do with the controller. It’s also more than a little limited in terms of channels and other features, though for anyone just getting started with mixing, the dials and sliders should be easy to work your way around. We dare say it’s probably a good system to use as a leg-up into a better, more professional Numark controller if you are going to take to the road any time soon. Take it from us – what’s here is great, but is it going to be enough for you?
Numark’s Mixtrack Pro series is inarguably some of the most popular controller tech the world has ever seen. That’s hardly surprising. This range is impressively easy to adapt to, and what’s more, it’s pretty easy on the eye. The Pro 3, from the off, provides you with everything you need in a simple DJ controller. That’s why it’s so preferred by DJs who are likely to be just starting out. It has a very out-of-the-box appeal to it, which means it really shouldn’t take you that long to hit the ground running.
That’s likely to appeal to pros as much as it is going to appeal to beginners, however, and for that reason, it’s worth looking deeper into. You’ll find early on that you can power the controller via USB, which gives it universal appeal, and the design appears to take notes from some of Numark’s more classic hardware over the years.
The look of the controller might shake some professional DJs a little. It is apparently very simple on the surface. That’s because Numark tends to lead with the essentials – an approach that serves the brand well. It’s easy enough for you to spot all the sliders and dials you are likely to use, and it lights up nicely enough for you to never lose track of what you’re doing.
The Pro 3 learns a lot from previous models, and while you may expect this controller to be a little flimsy or even cheaply-made at first glance, don’t let those impressions fool you. You’re going to need to need to give this controller a fair knock or two to do any real damage. Numark’s quality of manufacturing has always been worth relying on.
However, some experts, and by connection some users, find that the look and feel of the system is a little ‘shallow’. We beg to differ – particularly as this controller offers a solid aesthetic, and actually has a fair amount of depth behind it. Don’t let appearances hold you back. It might look like a beginner’s controller, but there are many different functions which make it one for plenty of budding DJs to consider.
The quality in the design means that the features you expect from your controller are easy to find and are never a trouble to manage. Therefore, while you can expect a more professional look and finish from higher-end controllers, there’s nothing to say you can’t get great sounds out of this system.
Ease Of Use
As mentioned, the sheer look of the Pro 3 is going to appeal to entry-level DJs. Performance pads aren’t to everyone’s liking, however, and the simple UI is likely going to appeal to many people and repel others. The controller works well with Serato, which is provided as standard, though some DJs may find the DAW to be a little oversold.
You only have access to two channels here, but this may well be enough for most people to get started with. You have a simple three band EQ, too, meaning that tweaking and refining your sound to begin with shouldn’t be too much of a chore. Fading is easy enough thanks to on-board controls as well as those virtual dials and sliders on the Serato suite.
It’s easy enough for you to browse the various functions and features on-board here. What’s more, everything is well-lit, and the jog wheel system is nice and easy to scratch with. It might not be the best of its kind if you want to try more advanced moves and tricks, but for the absolute basics, you should be more than golden.
Therefore, we’d highly recommend the Pro 3 as a great entry-level DJ controller. However, there are other controllers out there which will likely appeal to a more professional audience.
Function And Features
The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 comes replete with all the features you’d expect from a solid, reliable DJ controller. While there may only be two channels and a simple three band EQ, you do still have access to a variety of performance pads to help change things up a little. There’s a basic LED display, and its frequency range is actually pretty reliable, going all the way up to 20 kHz.
You should be able to control elements such as the tempo and the filters fairly precisely. However, where the controller does fall down a little is in the lack of input support. You can plug a mic into the system, but beyond that, you will likely be left wanting.
At the very least, users can hit the ground running with Serato Intro, which for most people is likely to be their first taste of a DAW tailored to a specific controller or mixer. However, you do also have access to the Prime Loops Remix Tool Kit, which means if you want to start getting even more creative in your mixing, you can.
It should be fairly easy for you to apply and toggle effects. What’s more, the control factor here is pretty dynamic, which might surprise some people.
There are a handful of elements which are sadly missing, however, such as dry and wet effect controls beyond the dynamic strip, and few inputs and outputs. Certainly, there are more flexible and more diverse controllers on the market.
On the whole, the Pro 3 performs very well. You’d generally not expect less from Numark, a solid manufacturer who works hard to produce a huge variety of DJ tech. This system just so happens to be one of their more entry-level options. On the whole, however, the sound quality and frequency range you can expect are likely to give you crisp, clear sound that’s easy to manage via your laptop or PC.
We would, of course, love there to be more functionality in terms of devices that you can plug in and out. Without this kind of diversity, the Pro 3 is likely to be outstripped by much of the competition, perhaps even Numark’s own models.
Then again, the Pro 3 seems to appeal to people who look for great performance, and not necessarily all the tweaks and features that a lot of fancier, more complex controllers fall into. Therefore, we’re pretty sure the Pro 3 will find its audience.
In terms of performance, mainly down to the lack of inputs and outputs, the Pro 3 is likely to work best at home rather than on stage. For that reason, it’s a good system to test performance on before upgrading to something a little more adaptable. Of course, sound engineering and hardware performance are likely to be huge factors in what you eventually purchase. There’s nothing distinctly ‘off’ about the sound quality here. It performs well.