Gear Review: Numark Omni – USB DJ Control surface for Traktor
July 18, 2010 § Leave a comment
Color me impressed. I received this control surface as a last-minute solution from a friend (thanks, Greg!) while traveling for Sexy Hair products a few weeks back. This little box delivered much more than I anticipated from a $350 piece of hardware. While the sound is not amazing it’s adequate for a trade show like I was performing at. What was very impressive was the soundcard, control surface integration and use-ability of this device to create a fun and technically proper performance.
I had originally intended a vinyl and CD set.. but after looking into airline fees for extra weight (OUCH!) It became apparent that a couple laptops would be a much better choice. I started looking into many options for a dj control surface and the Numark Omni came highly recommended for an all-in-one soultion. I received the Omni from a friend in the mail with no discs or information. I already own Traktor so I downloaded a couple of drivers for the Omni and had the controller working within about 10 minutes. Numark provides a handy mapping file for Traktor and I found the Omni to work very intuitively right away.
The Omni provides two sets of outputs (RCA) as well as a microphone input and headphone jack on the front. Headphone volume and all mixing can be achieved though the Omni. You can also browse tracks and folders via the knob and button centered in the middle of the device. Load Track button are positioned on either side of this knob to easily get the next track on deck. There is also control for Traktor’s numerous effects.. and you can customize all of the controls to your liking.
Now the biggest question I had about this device: Can you mix on it? I am an avid fan of 1200s and a house/techno dj.. so my interests are in locking beats and working grooves. I was impressed to find that you can actually mix pretty well on it! The pitch control isn’t entirely accurate.. and sometimes the BPM count is off. But if you use your ears and the pitch buttons you can get pretty damn close. I had house tracks riding for 4-5 minutes, swapping basslines. It’s nowhere as tight as CDJ1000s or 1200s. But in a pinch I was impressed with what I could do.
The only downside to this device is the sound quality. It’s impressive for what it is.. but the sound isn’t entirely accurate and at higher volumes you can hear the cheapness of the circuits. But for a house party, trade show, wedding or event that doesn’t require pro-end sound.. this works nicely and fits in my briefcase. On a scale of 1-10 I’d give this device a 7.5. It’s solid as hell and can hold up to abuse. The faders are a bit on the cheap side and bent in my suitcase on the plane (but still work now.) The audio is adequate for smaller functions and parties, I would not use this device on a larger soundsystem or club. Impressive integration with Traktor. This device is helping to (cheaply) bridge the gap between worlds.