by Anand Harsh
Considering TheUntz.com staff is a bunch of nerdy writers and music critics, we felt it was best to bring in outside help when it came to breaking down the DJ Tech X10 Mixer, one of the prizes in The Untz Challenge 2. Jarrod Linne, better known as ghettotech DJ Shy Guy Says, stepped up to the plate. With a decade of performance under his belt, you have to defer to his expertise.
Overall, Shy Guy was impressed with the X10 and all of its bells and whistles. Primarily, Linne saw its durability within the price range as it's biggest positive. "This thing is sturdy," he said, "it would be perfect for DJs who have pricey home setups, but want something durable, affordable, and robust for the road."
For the most part, the X10 includes a lot of features which are becoming standard in your top-of-the-line, DJ-specific mixers. Shy Guy points to the Booth volume level, independent of the Master out level, as crucial to DJs who have monitors, but are also trying to cue in their headphones. The XLR mic input has on, off, and kill options, perfect for DJs who want to MC, or draw attention to their drops Skrillex-style...
"One of the best features of the X10 is definitely the independent CDJ line-ins," Linne remarks. "Because you have separate inputs for "phono" versus "CDJ," you don't have to worry about line levels--it's one less thing to think about."
On the front of the X10, you can see 4 knobs which control what we can call the "fade slope." Basically, you can control the envelope, or how quickly or slowly each channel will come in as you move the fader left and right. Having four knobs allows the DJ to precisely tune how much of each channel can be heard at each precise position of the fader. "This is crucial for scratch DJs who want to add the 'wika-wikas' without cutting into the beat."
As far as downsides go, the X10 has reasonably few. For more experienced DJs who are trying to beef up their live show and production abilities, they might feel limited by the fact that there are only two channels on the mixer. In today's DJing world where the ability to spin 4 turntables versus 2 is becoming easier, or mixing a set of CDJs with turntables might be an option, the need for more channels is an issue. Additionally, the lack of on-board effects might turn some DJs away, but realistically, in today's setups with more and more outboard gear, and synchronized laptop software, the need for on-board effects is minimal.
"It's really just those two drawbacks," Shy Guy says, "other than that, reatailing at $399--this really is a professional-quality mixer at a mid-range price."
If you've got a beef with Shy Guy Says (probably stemming from the fact that he lured your Bowser kart off the tracks in that haunted house level), come find him at Broad Ripple Music Fest's jam/eletronica showcase, taking place tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 15th) at The Moustrap in Indianapolis, alongside ill-esha, Loyal Divide, Eumatik, and others. Festivities get underway at 4pm, and tickets are only $5.
Shy Guy Says - Your Neighborhood Villain For Hire
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