Numark V7 DJ Controller
The ever-evolving landscape of DJ hardware seems to be experiencing something of a surge, with companies like Denon and NI releasing new flagship DJ controllers. Now Numark has its own digital turntable solution at the ready: The V7 (MSRP: $499), itself a successor to last year's NS-7. Combining the physicality of vinyl with the utility of digital formats, Numark has produced a very solid entry. Essentially, the V7 is like a streamlined version of Serato Scratch, thanks to the metal casing, the impressively high torque, and the incorporation of real vinyl "records" and slipmats on the platter. You can either use one or two units, paired with a mixer. On its own, a single V7 can control both "turntables" virtually, whereas two decks mimic a traditional set-up. The rubberized buttons and knobs are backlit, and control all the essentials: pitch, transport commands, loop points, FX, and music-library navigation. The control is precise and intuitive, and the included Serato ITCH software works flawlessly (once you import or "prepare" all of your music files for it). Not having to worry about needle skips is definitely nice, but it does result in a slight lack of physical control. To compensate, like the NS-7 before it, the V7 uses Strip Search—essentially a touchstrip at the top of the unit that lets you scroll through songs. It's a smart concept and is generally well executed, but navigating files seems a bit haphazard. Still, Numark has produced what is easily one of the finest digital turntables to date, and for those unconcerned with size and weight, it will be tough to beat.