Cross contains a full set of midi mappings for the U-Mix Control Pro meaning that once this software is installed, all that's left for you to do is plug the unit it via your USB and away you go. I have reviewed previous versions of the software before so I wont spend too much time on it, all I can say is they've improved the interface, it's lighter and easier to see than before, the beat counters are more accurate and the layout has been greatly improved.
The U-Mix is simple to understand, it's a basic two-deck mixer layout with Cross Fader, Channel Fader, EQ, and Loop and FX sections
all present and correct. The Faders feel good and the latency is excellent, it's very quick, and choppy fader movements and cuts are handled well, although for scratch Dj's it may not be fast enough to handle extreme speed.
The EQ section is a 3-way EQ with Bass, Mid, and Treble knobs, which also double as kill buttons to cut out the relevant frequency. Just push the knob down and it cuts, another push and it's back in. The EQ frequencies are well tuned and I found it very usable in both a subtle and extreme way, blending tracks was very easy using the mid range and bass. A good sounding EQ is the heart of a DJ mixer for me.
The FX were a little disappointing, there is a choice of 3, Flanger( Which I hate ), Delay, and High Pass Filter. The main disappointment is that all the parameters of each effect are fixed, and even though it says you have 2 types of delay, they sound the same to me. Now maybe I just couldn't find how to edit them, Ok maybe, but I read the manual carefully and looked everywhere, so if there is a way to edit it the FX, it needs to be clearer. Having said that, the FX that were there are usable and clean, they are passable, just nothing special.
The Loop functions are great, really intuitive and easily set up, I really enjoyed using them and since for this review I mainly used the U-Mix in Synch mode the loops were really tight and fun to play with. Setting up cue points is a cinch too, you have 3 assignable buttons toy use to set up cue points, press a button to set, and Shift-Press the button to unset ( the Shift Key is in the centre of the mixer) really cool if you are a scratch DJ or you just want to drop samples over tracks, I know this function exists in all other digital systems but it's SO much easier when you have a completely set up controller to work it with.
After a bit of fiddling around I worked out the playlist and library functions, analyzed my tracks and set about having a mix, I did a 2 hour mix in the end which will be up on Soundcloud soon ( it's waiting to be aired on a radio show first ) and I have to say I really enjoyed doing it. The Synch is so tight and I like the way that it can be reset in real time by hitting the synch button, the jog wheels were easy to use and once I had set up my playlist I found it really easy to mix, maybe too easy because at times there was nothing to do!
The U-Mix is also designed as a scratch audio interface , meaning that you have inputs for turntables and outputs to an external mixer so you can bypass the unit and use it with your decks. Cool, but to be honest, the power of the unit is really when you use it as it is, I think using it with turntable could be a little pointless, unless you don't have a DJ mixer and you are looking for one, in which case this could be what you are after.
There is an iPad app for the U-mix too, which is an exact replica of the interface but for your iPad, wicked!
To sum up, I found the interface and the software worked great together and although it's not going to knock your socks off for most DJ's it could be a very useful home DJ or semi-pro/mobile Dj tool, definitely proof that there is life outside of Traktor and the big software companies.
Price £250 approx from all good online stores.
If you want to see me farting around with this thing in real time , and doing a short mix please check out the video review
no I'm not Q-Bert so you won't see any blurred hands and F-R-E-S-H scratching techniques but maybe what you do see will help inform you about this thing.