by Anand Harsh
Once again, TheUntz.com reached out to its inimitable product tester and ghettotech specialist Shy Guy Says when it came time to test drive the DJ Tech U2 Worskation MKii, one of the prizes in our recent Untz Challenge 2. The workstation is desigend as an all-around production tool for artists to use in the studio and on stage.
Breaking down the U2 Workstation was a bit of a challenge, at first, for Jarrod Linne. There's just so much going on with the device. Basically, its meant to streamline the capabilities of analog turntables with the built-in effects of a high-range mixer and do it all in a digital environment.
"With the wheel-controlled effects, you're given a lot of control and power, and the built-in sound card is dynamite--the output just sounds amazing," Linne says.
While you can only use RCA stereo outputs, which might be a problem for DJs who like to go direct in either live or in the studio with XLR, the really cool function of the U2 Worksation is the the USB out.
"The Workstation is small and portable, so I could foresee someone throwing together a mix on a plane ride, recording out to their laptop, and playing that set that very night."
What allows this ease of mixing and portability, of course, is the USB inputs, but this is also where things get a little tricky. The U2 has two USB inputs; however, you can use one USB source to feed both channels. Here is the rub: the external devices need to be 250MB or less, and they need to be powered. Furthermore, if you use one USB source to feed both channels, there is a tendency for the tracks to "glitch" undesirably as they try to pull from the same source folder. Also, with a single, small folder viewing window, it can be cumbersome to locate the tracks you desire unless your folders are very neatly organized.
The USB issues aside, the Workstation is a very powerful unit. "The pitch bend tool is great, the crossfaders and knobs are really responsive, and the Auto BPM function makes beat-matching a snap," Linne remarks, "the U2 is really fun to play with, and could be a great starter kit for a DJ just starting out and trying to produce on the side."
If you've got questions for our shy product tester, your best bet would be to catch him tonight in Indianpolis as part of Solstice III, presented by our friends at Indymojo.com. It's a 21+ event at The Vogue in the beautiful Broad Ripple neighborhood, and features L.A. dubstep prodigy Cyberoptics and headliners Future Rock, the party-startin' live electro trio.
Shy Guy Says - Upon Our Return To Earth
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