Details have leaked out about a prototype Numark DJ mixer that can
mix two iPods. I know what you're thinking: Wow, what a scoop! Where
are the lawyers? Is it a fake?

In fact, in a gesture of spectacularly poor industrial secrecy, it
seems Numark showed off an early prototype at the Musikmesse show in
Frankfurt. (see the discussion
at skratchworx that was the source of the 'rumor'; via engadget) Later in the show, head honchos asked that visitors not
take photos
, but not earlier in the show; hence we have a couple of
images from German hip hop site WebBeatz.

  • Prototype rendering shows some fascinating features, at least in concept, like integrated iPod controls and scratchpad, and a gorgeous design
  • Photo of the shown prototype shows the Pods would connect via the dock connector, but the prototype looks to be visual only / non-working

So, what's the mixer itself? It's not clear: it's an early prototype. In one of the photos of the actual prototype, the iPods aren't even plugged in.
Conceptually, though, the idea is interesting, and aside from allowing
basic DJ mixing and crossfading, a buffer could grab audio from the
audio for brief scratching. Apparently pitch control is possible, too,
though limited, and it's not clear how they might fix iPod cueing; in
other words, all the normal limitations of the iPod for DJing apply.
Don't expect this to ship any time soon.

We'll continue to follow this story, including a check-in by CDM's resident DJ, DJ Eldorado.

In the meantime, people continue partying with their iPods, special mixer or no — more Playlist parties in London and Philly are slated for this month.

UPDATE:
Bored by iPod DJing?
Check out the opposite end of the spectrum:
Numark's sick new 5-channel digital/analog/sampler hybrid, the
monstrous 5000FX.
Rather use a computer? The new Xone:3D, integrating mixer, control surface with scratching, and audio, might be more up your alley. (More up mine!)
And check out some ideas about how you might use this prototype, if built



New to CDM? We regularly cover everything in digital music making from DJing to far-out interactive technology. Related stories include:

  • Guest

    as long as it doesn't replace regualar mixers in clubs i won't mind.hopefully you could hook up turntables and or/cd mixers.

    oh the thought of harshly unprofessional encoded MP3's from around the world mostly illegally downloaded and blasted loudly by some wanna be nerd dj downloader. OH THE HUMANITY.

    receipe for respect:save the vinyl, look for gems, buy from record stores and support your local artists.

    easy as that.

    keep it real

  • Guest

    UNDERground 4 ever

  • admin

    I'm with you . . . so why not load up your iTune with Creative Commons material, or unground labels like Magnatune, or ripped CDs from your record store, or CDBaby artists on iTunes? I expect the godawful DJs could probably make do with the CD turntable (and have), so I wouldn't blame this as-yet-prototype gear.

    Peter

  • Guest

    Grandmaster Flash — will you please stand up!

    Seriously, the idea of DJ as an art is on it's way to the dogs….

  • admin

    You know, a lot of musicians are unhappy about not being able to get gigs because clubs would rather hire a crappy DJ on a CD turntable, to say "DJ as an art is on its way out" is, well, a little late!

    Instead, I see everything merging. DJs are increasingly adding their own instrumental lines and vocals and even remixing live on computer. Musicians are starting to use DJ tools, remixing themselves live as they play, taking advantage of handy DJ mixers and crossfaders to add electronic elements. If you take advantage of the tools out there — even an iPod DJ mixer — you can raise the level of the art. And absolutely, the likes of Grandmaster Flash would be disappointed by lame DJs, but they didn't just bemoan the state of the art: they created their own.

  • Guest

    Technically, that wont work for ****. Where in the ipod do you get control of track speed or accurate queueing? Why not just put a firwire port on a mixer and let the library reside on any firewire device? And who wants to buy two fecking ipods? That's the dumbest prototype I've seen in a while. Not that I expect much from Numark, everything they make sucks ass.

  • Guest

    This will never fly unless Apple provides support in the iPod firmware for cueing and pitch control. I suppose Numark could hack new firmware, but they would be facing a mother of a lawsuit from Apple.

    One possible solution would be to not use the iPod for playback at all, but rather treat the iPods as external drives. There might be DRM issues involved though. Would copying a song into the volitile memory of another device for playback constitute a DRM violation? Numark would have to work very closely with Apple on the DRM stuff.

    Despite all vinyl loving naysayers, I'd like to see it happen (if it is done correctly). Sure, some crappy DJs will love it, but if it is done right some good DJs will use it too.

  • Guest

    Some DJs may certainly use iPods with poorly encoded low quality MP3s, but heck today some DJs are doing that already with MP3 downloads that they then burn to standard audio CDs.

    iPods allow for ALE (lossless) encoding as well as AIFs and WAVs that could actually be better quality than CD (assuming a superior source).

    With responsible use, the quality could be at least as good as CDs, without risks of skips or errors while at the same time making finding specific tracks a split-second task.

    Using 60GB iPods and lossless encoding, this device could provide the equivalent of about 370 CDs.

    Of course that's with today's iPods and encoding technology…and assuming only 2 iPods.

    It's a *start*.

    Apple should work with Numark or produce their own device.

  • Guest

    Pitch control can be handled via an audio buffer (as could queuing), this is already done on those turntables that offer "key corrected" pitch modes.

  • Guest

    If the idea is to go digital, then why not just go with removable drives or better still, high capacity memory cards? Throw a handful of memory cards in your shirt pocket, slide two or more into the mixer and there you go…

  • admin

    Good point, but: memory cards lack capacity. And both memory cards and removable storage lack the intuitive iPod interface — or ANY interface, for that matter.

    And the appeal here I think is mixing your portable player that you can listen to on the go with what you DJ with. And that's getting people into DJing who have never done it before, as the Playlist parties and APT parties show. And that's cool — after trying their hand at it themselves, people will dig the hard-core, skilled DJs even more. It's great that people are getting involved in it.

    Really, if this doesn't suit you, computers is the way to go. I've got some new interfaces on that route that you may love — stay tuned.

    But hey, this is just a prototype — and whomever it was at Numark who thought to haul it down to the show floor was brilliant. Look at the interest (and great feedback) it's getting. Hopefully Apple, Numark, and others will keep working on these concepts and come up with something that integrates really well.

  • Guest

    :zzz

  • admin

    CDM, providing a quality sleep aid for over 5 months. (TM)

    ;)

    Wait until you see tomorrow's story: a special DJ mixer, just for the Creative Labs Zen MP3 player!

  • Guest

    So if you have a player and your buddy has a player, then grab this, share, have a party. That's cool. But from a DJ point of view, the evolution from 2 turntables, a mixer, and numerous crates of records to a system that's portable and digital is here.

  • Guest

    its wierd that Numark jumps into this game first. Why not Vestax? or Technics, or even Stanton? (Final scratch supports ipods no?)

    i wouldnt use a regular numark mixer in a club… why would i use this…

  • Guest

    Although I dont have an iPOD nor do I plan on getting one anytime soon I think the Newmark iPOD mixer is awesome. Lets give Newmark credit where credit is due for at least thinking of the idea.

  • Guest

    Why two iPODS? Are they trying to tell me that one can't push past 2x 192kbit/s? Get a laptop with Traktor FS and an 4out sound card, plug your iPod into the firewire port and tell Traktor to import the playlist from iTunes. And quick jerking me off with half-baked bedroom DJ toys.

    -TSC.

  • Guest

    This is a joke………… :x

  • Guest

    If you look at the computer rendering of the iPod mixer you'll see that it has ION (www.ionaudio.com) logo stamped on it too, which means that Numark is considering selling this unit at consumer retailers as they do with their ION brand. This could be the ultimate moneymaker for them thanks to the product's consumer appeal qualities.ION Audio

  • Guest

    MAc should just make a "professional" series of the Ipod. With "I-DJ" software….

    These would hit the usual professional digital retailers and I would bet that the existing Ipod users would
    love a simple I-POD OS update to upgrade to the "I-dj" software. "for a price"….

    I would buy another Ipod and
    buy the software…
    :-)

  • admin

    What a wonderfully passionate group of comment writers we're getting!

    But yes, I WILL delete your comments if the obscenity level is such that I start to feel ill. Come on, folks, there's 500 other stories on this site. If you can't take this little non-existent prototype iPod DJ mixer, go read something else. You don't even have to leave this site. Search for "MIDI sock puppet." It'll make you feel better. Really.

  • Guest

    It's just another way for apple to rip-off wanna be dj's. DJing is from the heart, you have to know your music, old and new. I see a lot of kids buy turntables, then sell them for cd decks, then samplers and all kinds of fancy equipment but still can't rock a party… Then they decide they wanna set tile for a living so they sel all that crap they bought for less than half of what they paid for it. I STILL have my OG 1200 MKII's form 20 years ago and I promise you I will make you look silly with my scratched up, fallin' apart analog turntables!

    nuff

  • niall

    …but as lifestyle and tool commodification continues to the point that anyone with a credit card can pursue these newly accessible hobbies {we've seen this in DJ and producer culture}, you'll find your audience is increasingly a gaggle of dilettantes who just want to be entertained, and few will notice, much less care about, your skills and sense of craft.

    javascript:ac_smilie(':sigh')

  • admin

    Wait a minute, just because people can purchase a guitar, does that mean people will just want to listen to sappy singer songwriter folk?

    Oh.

    Really, guys, with lousy DJs and lousy clubs having been around for years and years, why are we blaming hardware that hasn't shipped yet as a NEW problem?

    Peter

  • Guest

    Peter is right! It´s about creativity, not about tools. I´ve seen kids making beautiful art with a ballpoint or magic marker. I know 'artists' who can’t seem to get anything right with costly oil paints on canvas. Grandmaster Flash was criticized by musicians for just playing their records. It was outraging! Now all of the sudden he is an artist and I-pod users aren’t? I saw Carl Craig using vinyl, cd´s AND an I-pod in one set. So do I. Those are just tools, media, carriers. I like this new Numark tool…

  • Guest

    If Numark is actually able to bring this product to market, Apple will change the firmware (i.e. Real).

    As far as I'm concerned the person using an iPod for "DJing" should be called a PJ. And for now, the "P" stand for pathetic to me (not pod)!

    Hacks who "spin" with their pods are as much a DJ as the loser on the radio.

    Bringing digital media (not CDs) into one's set will become more common. The iPod is NOT going to be part of it. Using programs (Live, Reason and even GarageBand) will be the next level.

    Kill the PJ!!!

  • Guest
  • Guest

    i think this is gone be a hit in all the clubs but as i see it DJ music is from the heart and as long as the DJ can make the feet moveing that's about it

    Cool cat :grin

  • Guest

    This is dumbing down the art of being a DJ. People are gonna buy this and say 'hey I'm a DJ because I can fade one song out and another in'. I know some cats who have been DJing since the 80's and are still mastering their skills. People are gonna get this and think being a DJ is easy, I don't know what those guys from the 80's are talking about.

    To me, this is an insult to the art of DJing

  • Guest

    This is dumbing down the art of being a DJ. People are gonna buy this and say ‘hey I’m a DJ because I can fade one song out and another in’. I know some cats who have been DJing since the 80′s and are still mastering their skills. People are gonna get this and think being a DJ is easy, I don’t know what those guys from the 80′s are talking about.

    To me, this is an insult to the art of DJing

  • Guest

    imo: djing with anything other than a pair of 1200s and a stack of vinyl is kinda like havine sex with a condom – it just don't feel the same.

  • Guest

    This is great!!! about a month ago i was looking fr something htat could hook up my two ipods….all you people seyiing its stupid annd stuff are right when your ta;lking about mixing and djing in clubs. they eed a lot of work before itll be really g0od. but i wanted 1 jus to mess around with mself and not do0 n e thing with the music i make. it wold be perfect for that.

  • Guest

    Are you speaking English? Clearly you are the target audience for this woefully lacking and gimmicky product. It is completely pointless without control of the pitch. You can download freeware that will mix straight off your hard drive and even has crude pitch faders on each channel… and that was published in 2000! Come on Numark, give us some credit. Why don't you go the whole way and make a Barbie special edition with matching pink iPods and "dj style" headphones, sold separately of course.

  • DJ CHROME

    i RECENTLY BOUGHT THIS MIXER AND ITS A BIG DIFRENCE FROM CD MIXING…..NO DOUBT IT WILL NEVER BE CLOSE TO A VINYL DJ BUT ITS SO MUCH EASY THEN LOOKING FOR CD OR LOOKING LIKE A COMPUTER GEEK WITH A LAPTOP. AND THE BEST THING IS YOU GOT SO MUCH MUSIC IN THE PALM OF YOUR HANDS AS TO A CRAP LOAD A CDS IN CASES!

  • http://www.manilagenesis.com DJ V

    The iDj isn't really the best when it comes to professional mixing, or vinyls, or other dj equipment, BUT, it's really good and handy for smaller events, on-the-spot mixing, and smaller parties. Believe me, it's saved my ass alot of times, and yes, no need to carry cd's and your laptop. If you have the money, why not, but if you thing you don't need it, forget it.

  • http://yok dj orhan

    selamlar ulan türkçr konuşun a.q lan ne bu dallamalar anlayamıyom a.q yaaa:)))

  • dj sick

    waaa o mostr!

  • Cory K Mudd

    i would like somemore info please

    Thanks Cory

  • Steven c

    ok, I went to a show that let me use one of these things. It must be the biggest waste of money. you cant scratch or really anything like a real dj turntable setup. it really only has volume controle. Do not be fooled by the looks. Just wait till a better one comes out. Trust me, it wont take long

  • Steven c

    O and i forgot! THOSE DANG GREY ROUND THINGS ON IT, DONT DO SHIT!!!! NOTHING AT ALL. WTF

  • John Christopher (mi

    The reality is; it's great in theory and probably going to be another cool tool but it's NOT there yet. Nurmark, keep working on it, you'll get there! Without pitch control, instant start, instant cueing etc. there isn't a way to manipulate tracks.

    It reminds me when CDs first hit the scene. How could you mix them when they didn't start when you hit play or without pitch control. You need to be able to manipulate the wave file front to back, grab any beat and start on it instantly and then bend the file with pitch and key control.

    Take a look at the features that the Pioneer and or Dennon mixers and CD players are loaded with and also what the turntables offer and use those as guidlines. Find some teenage street DJs or go to some DJ battles and get in those kids head and they'll tell you what you need to do…

    Peace!!!

  • Augusto

    HOLA CHE, QUISIERA SABER COMO HAGO PARA COMPRAR ESTA MAQUINA INFERNAL!!!!!!! ESTA BUENISIMA! SALUDOS DESDE ARGENTINA!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://none. guest new to mixing

    i think it's an interesting way to get amateurs into the basics of mixing. although i won't be surprised when they realize the restrictions that come with the iPod station and move onto bigger and better things like vinyl.

    i don't think it's ruining the art of djing, i believe it's just making it more accesible.

  • Ludini

    I’ve turntable battled with records from 1994-98 and done the weddings with Cds, moved into the Lap-Top phase of Traktor, even Serato including a $2000 Macbook Pro. To be completely honest with everyone here, I have not made my money back for all of my Dj investments. The way I look at it, anything ART has to evolve and whether you like it or not the IDJ2 is set to come out in November for about $600 USD. Yes I will buy it and try it. If it works, I’m selling everything else! Im over the back aches. Play Smarter, Not Harder!

  • Ludini

    Para ->AUGOSTO. Van a venden el aparto mui pronto. visita samash.com y busca la palabra IDJ2. Suerte!

  • http://www.collegedj.net Stephen Chukumba

    I first heard about the Numark piece a while ago. We use it on my site http://www.collegedj.net.

  • john

    There have been computerized DJ setups for at least a decade. I saw one around ten years ago, at a club, and it didn't even have Windows on it. Text interface.

    The huge flaw in this setup is that you have to synchronize the songs on the two drives, so that you don't end up in the situation where a song is on one iPod, but missing from the other…. meaning you can't add it to the mix when you want. Meaning, in some ways, this is WORSE than CDs or turntables.

    The right way to do this is to use the pods as drives, and download the songs to the console, which would contain a computer that could mix the two tracks. You would not need to do realtime beat matching — what you'd do is "move forward in time" to the end of the first track, and set up the mix into the second track.

    You should also be able to design patterns on the fly by scratching out the beats, and having the computer figure out the looping by locking on the beats (or manually locking on them). Then, you'd save the beats as temporary tracks, or something like that.

    The whole "two channel" idea is pretty lame too. You should be able to layer sounds upon sounds. Preprogram a track to loop, fade in or out, and beat juggle on top of that.

    The last trick would be to retrofit two turntables as input devices. Spin them up, so they match the speed of the song. They could let you scratch. They could also be used as record players.

  • http://x tripping niche

    From the level and intensity of replies to this numark Ipod mixer post, there seems to be a lot of supposed amazing dj's out there with even more inflated egos. you know if you were any good a DJ, you wouldnt worry about this novelty fisher price item that is the Numark twin ipod mixer. you would laugh at it and the people who are going to go out and buy it and think they are a dj cause they can fade between 2 songs. This product is a gimmick that has its place in a impromptu house party, not in a club! its for fun. so dont worry about it taking away your weekly DJ slot down at the youth club, its just a bit of fun! you are obviously so good at what you do already, you shouldnt worry about the digital age decomposing your vinyl. just keep creative and embrace the chaos.

    Ru- who loves minimal house and anything with a beat.

  • Armin van Buuren

    Yo,

    Calling out to all ipod djs, respect your local ipod store and buy one of these units. I have mixed the last 12 ASOT's with this little unit and 3 ipods, a pair of griffin headfones, and an itrip and i highly reccomend it.

    Represent.

    Armin van.

  • j_sol

    This little construction is something differend in my ears…i work at least 5 years with many of external mixers.THIS IS A FUCKEN HI SYSTEM.

  • paintballuh

    hmm, im sure i saw something similar, or the same, device on pimp my ride…

  • andrew dass

    pls send me more about numark ipod dj mixer

  • Joaco

    …..