Everyone loves a DJ. Especially one of those too cool for skool DJs who wears sunglasses at night. But the downside of being a deck spinner is that you have to lug your records around from club to club. Total grind.
Swedish company Tonium has come up with an alternative: the Pacemaker. This handheld device allows you to store, play and mix a bunch of tracks by holding down buttons and wiggling your finger over a trackpad. The notion of turning up to a house party equipped with only the Pacemaker and plugging in for a night of dance-floor madness is enough to impress, but sweeteners come in the form of the editing software and an online community where you can share the mixes you've made.
The Pacemaker's utilitarian looks and hefty size make it a different beast to your average superslick MP3 player, but its no-fuss sturdiness suits the nomadic life of your average club-hopping DJ. Two equal-sized circles — one a display, the other a touchpad — take up the bulk of the Pacemaker. A touch-sensitive horizontal cross-fader cuts across the middle, with two track selector buttons above it and four multi-purpose keys at the edges.
On the left side is the slider switch that's the key to the Pacemaker's many functions. The touch pad responds differently according to whether you hold the switch up or down — for example, keeping it pushed up allows you to control audio effects, while moving it down gives access to the headphone volume.
Snuggled into a recessed section at the top of the device are a power button, USB port and a very nifty Kill All button, which will get you out of trouble if you've applied too many effects and can no longer recognise the track that's playing. On the bottom of the Pacemaker is a neat line of three ports: sockets for power, line-out, and headphones.
The Pacemaker's packaging is terribly endearing. The unit and its accessories are nestled into neat black boxes, each of which is fluoro inside. Sayings like "Listen to your mother" and "Plan for many pleasures ahead" are inscribed on the tabs of each box. It's all a bit left-field, but sets Tonium apart as a fun and irreverent company.