Mixman DM2 Digital Music Mixer

The Good Great substitute for far more expensive equipment; easy to use; includes prefilled samples but also lets you use your own.

The Bad Master volume control is hard to find; not MIDI compatible.

The Bottom Line The only device of its kind, the DM2 is a godsend for digital DJ beginners, but it could also be used by pros who are looking for an inexpensive addition to their setup.

Editors' Rating
8.0 Overall

Review

Mixman DM2 Digital Music Mixer

Attention all fledgling DJs: Read the next 600 words very carefully--they might just change your life. Being a vinyl DJ has traditionally required a high level of skill combined with a massive record collection for mining those obscure beats and samples. The new, scratchable, dual-CD decks make DJing a little cheaper, since you can use CD-Rs burned with free MP3s, but that's still a fairly costly option. And if you want to use effects and a sampler, you'll be laying out an even more prodigious sum. We like the DM2 because it combines two scratchable decks, a sampler, a cross-fader, and an effects box into one unit for an absurdly low price. Best of all, it's much easier to use than any other DJ tools.Attention all fledgling DJs: Read the next 600 words very carefully--they might just change your life. Being a vinyl DJ has traditionally required a high level of skill combined with a massive record collection for mining those obscure beats and samples. The new, scratchable, dual-CD decks make DJing a little cheaper, since you can use CD-Rs burned with free MP3s, but that's still a fairly costly option. And if you want to use effects and a sampler, you'll be laying out an even more prodigious sum. We like the DM2 because it combines two scratchable decks, a sampler, a cross-fader, and an effects box into one unit for an absurdly low price. Best of all, it's much easier to use than any other DJ tools.

A peripheral to beat the band
How did Mixman cram so much into the DM2? By taking advantage of the most powerful music tool in the history of the world: the PC. The DM2 functions like a keyboard or a mouse. There are hardly any electronics within the console itself, just movable parts that send a signal over a USB cable to your computer, where the processing, sound storage, and audio playback occur. The console itself houses two round decks, which control eight samples apiece and are bordered by two rubberized belts for scratching, as well as a few other DJ tools. Essentially, the DM2 is a hardware version of the Mixman Studio software. Trying to DJ with a mouse on a screen is like DJing underwater with one finger, so the DM2 is a welcome change that turns your computer into a lean, mean, electronic music machine.

In order to provide users with isolated tracks from songs, Mixman made licensing deals with artists of varying degrees of fame. When you buy the DM2, you get 30 songs, each split into 16 different tracks (one for each sample button on the console). You can DJ with any of the samples from those songs by pressing the Sample buttons. You can easily scratch any sample or set it to repeat. It takes just minutes to learn how to cross-fade between the sample decks, solo samples, or combinations of samples, and to apply any of the 27 effects to the overall mix.

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