Could the new Numark Mixstream Pro Go be the Swiss Army Knife of all-in-one DJ controllers? Let’s investigate.
Swiss Army knives are known around the world for their versatility. They feature all manner of handy tools. They’ve become so famous that the very term has been used to describe almost anything that is versatile and immensely capable in a number of different situations. Could the new Numark Mixstream Pro Go be the Swiss Army Knife of all-in-one DJ controllers? Let’s investigate.
The Basics: The Mixstream Pro Go ($839 MSRP) is a battery-powered 2-channel, all-in-one DJ controller with quite a few tricks up its sleeve. It is a revised version of Numark’s Mixstream all-in-one unit that was released a few years ago. The major change is the inclusion of a rechargeable battery for added portability.
Carried over from the original Mixstream are a big 7-inch touchscreen at the center and the two built-in speakers at the front of the unit. The speakers sound pretty good and get decently loud, but I probably wouldn’t use them for anything more than a small intimate gathering with a couple of friends.
The main focus of these speakers seems to be for DJs to hear themselves mix, as opposed to using them to fill a room with sound – this becomes especially apparent considering they’re at the front of the unit and face the DJ directly. In situations where there are external speakers, I could envision the built-in speakers being used as booth monitors, given their level is controlled separately from the main master output.
Layout & Feel: Hardware-wise, the Mixstream Pro Go feels a lot like other Numark controllers, including the Mixtrack and NS4FX. There are two identical deck sections with a 2-channel mixer in the middle. Each deck section has a 6-inch, touch-sensitive jogwheel, which feels good and has a buttery-smooth feel. Below the jogwheels are four performance pads, which can trigger hot cues, pre-saved loops, auto loops, and loop rolls.
Next to the pads are the pitch faders. They are quite small, but feature a click on center. I can forgive Numark for making them small, given everything that had to fit on the unit. Above the left jogwheel are the headphone controls, and above the right jogwheel are controls for the main output and the front speakers.
Also on each deck section are combo high/low-pass filter knobs. I’m used to seeing filter knobs located just below the EQ controls, so having them above the jogwheels did take some adjustment at first. After a few practice sessions, however, using them became pretty easy. I was also worried I would accidentally press the touch screen while using the filter knobs, but I never found that to be a problem.
The 2-channel mixer section lives in the center, just below the main touchscreen. The upfaders and crossfader are not the greatest ever fitted to a controller, but I certainly have no complaints. The crossfader curve can be adjusted within the settings menu via the screen. The EQ knobs have a nice, rubberized feel to them and are adjacent to the faders.
Also making an appearance on the mixer section are paddle-triggered effects, and I’m glad to see them here. Pulling the spring-loaded paddle down temporarily activates an effect, and pushing it upward locks the effect until the paddle is moved again. There are four effects in the center: echo, flanger, delay, and phaser. The intensity and timing of any selected effect are both controlled on the screen.
On the front of the unit, there are two sizes of headphone jacks (1/8-inch and ¼-inch) and a ¼-inch TRS connection for a microphone. A level knob for the microphone is also on the front. On the back, there are master outputs on both XLR and RCA outputs. External media sources can be plugged in via two USB ports or an SD card slot on the back panel.
Software & Connections: Tracks can be pre-prepared using the free-to-download Engine DJ software. This software is shared with Denon DJ hardware, such as the Prime series players. There’s also a USB Type-B port, which can allow users to connect the device to a computer. The Mixstream Pro Go currently supports Serato DJ Lite and can work with Serato DJ with a paid upgrade.
Lastly, on the back, there’s a connection for the included power/charging cable and the on-off button. In my testing, I found the on-off button to be a little bit overly-sensitive. Thankfully, screen prompts are used to prevent users from accidentally turning the unit on or off. For instance, you have to hold your finger on the center of the screen for a few seconds to turn the unit on and you can’t turn the device off without confirming on the screen.
The Screens: Now, let’s talk about these screens. Anyone who’s used the previous-generation Mixstream or Denon DJ’s Prime Go will feel immediately at home, given the shared operating system. That being said, I found the screens to be super easy-to-learn and navigate with just a little bit of practice.
The main view shows vertical waveforms for each channel with a center section devoted to track browsing. Tracks can be loaded from physical drives connected to the device or streamed via wi-fi from several streaming sources (Beatport, Beatsource, Tidal, and Amazon Music – a subscription is needed) or directly from a DJ’s own Dropbox account. The screen also allows DJs to tweak a ton of different playback parameters, including pitch range, quantization, whether you can load a new track on a deck that already has a track playing, and whether you want slip mode (called smart scratch) automatically turned on.
The screen also facilitates control of Engine Lighting. Namely, the unit can wirelessly connect to Philips Hue or Nanoleaf smart-lighting products and control compatible lighting hardware directly from the screens. Engine Lighting even unlocks control of DMX-based lighting and effects directly from the touch screen as well, with on-screen controls for color, position, and effects.
Conclusions: At just over $800, the Mixstream Pro Go is a very compelling all-in-one DJ solution. I could see this device being used by DJs who have to play for gatherings of family and friends. There’s the big advantage of not having to bring a laptop (or even speakers in some cases). I should mention also that Numark’s press photos feature the controller being used on a beach.
Mobile DJs also might want to consider using the Mixstream Pro Go as an all-in-one device for gigs. There are a few similar all-in-one controllers out there on the market, such as Pioneer DJ’s XDJ-RR and Denon DJ’s Prime Go. The Prime Go also shares the ability to run on battery power, but lacks the speakers seen on the Mixstream Pro Go.
After spending a good chunk of time with the Mixstream Pro Go, I can say I’m a fan. Now, I just need to find some friends who’ll invite me to a beach with it! Thumbs up.