Review: Numark DJiO
As annoyed as I am about the explosion of “people who think they are DJ’s”, one of the nice things that has emerged from this is the availability of new technology. Like cruise missile advancement during the Cold War, DJ technology, especially digital, has grown by leaps and bounds in a very short time period.
Having shunned the digital DJ world in favour of my beloved CD collection, I have been happy to sit on the sidelines with my dual disc player, popping out school dances and weddings. The digital stuff showed promise, but the entry price was prohibitive: at the minimum, a shiny new laptop was required, plus some heavy software investment.
Well, returning to school this year placed the burden of picking up a laptop on me, so I took the plunge into the digital DJ realm as well. All sorts of great products exist, but what about for that mobile DJ? Sure you can go into the super-advanced world of virtual vinyl or CD’s, which map your existing platters to a computer format, but I don’t have a thousand bucks to drop.
Enter the DJiO from Numark.
This unassuming little box can be had for about $120 CDN new (or $90US used on the Numark website). A straight USB connection, it requires a small driver package to be installed and it’s ready to go with your favourite ASIO based DJ software (which is pretty much all of them). It features two outputs (both RCA), a mic input (outputs through one of the channels) and a headphone jack. Headphone and mic are 1/4″ standard jacks. The unit can be powered through USB or independently through a wall plug (purchased seperately).
It’s quite flexible as well. It will operate as a USB sound card through your computer outside of your DJ software (Windows or Mac, Vista too!) if you want to interface with an external amp at home, for example. The outputs can be assigned: one deck per channel, for external mixers; one master, one booth, for software mixers; or one master, one recording. Headphones work well with in-program cueing, but unfortunately don’t seem to work outside an ASIO driven program. The mic input has a gain built in to the box.
The drivers give you the option of selecting your sample rate, if you care about freeing up some system resources.
The verdict? Well, for the price, you can’t beat it, especially if you already own a mixer. Those new USB mixers are flashy, but for the price of one of those, you can grab this box and an even BETTER analogue mixer, with the same results. The box is portable: you can take it out of your rig, and use it around the house. The mixers aren’t. Even compared to other units (and there are several), it is by far the best package for the money, especially since most of the other brands don’t offer dual outputs, much less assignable ones.
Now, can anyone help me transfer 700 CDs to digital?