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Hercules DJ Console MK2
- This DJ Console Mk2 also features a shoulder strap for easy transportation
- Has a cover, allowing you to transport it without any danger of damaging the top face
- Mk2 features multiple connectors on the front and back faces
- Two types of connectors are available for connecting speakers: RCA and minijack
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Having become one of the world leaders in the domain of 3D graphics cards, Hercules has developed and exploited its fields of expertise in a variety of fast-growing market segments over the years. Hercules currently offers a complete range of webcams, speaker systems, digital DJing devices, WiFi solutions, iPod/iTunes accessories and sound cards. Hercules launches compelling products which have been fastidiously researched in terms of performance and produced with quality in mind. With this in mind, Hercules introduces the Hercules DJ Control MK2PC, 2 Deck controller - Mix 2 tracks with 1 controller! Mobile - light and smaller than a laptop. USB powered, No Power Supply needed. Includes a protective cover for transport, 2 jog wheels to navigate within tracks, speed playback up/down or apply effects, 1 cross fader + 2 volume faders, and 3 level equalizations per deck. Virtual DJ 3DJC Edition Included! 2 Year Warranty! Min configuration: (PC) 1GHz CPU or higher 512MB RAM or more Windows XP/Vista 32-bit/64-bit Sound card + stereo speakers (Mac) 1.2GHz G4/G5 or 1.5GHz Intel Core Duo CPU 512MB RAM or more Mac OS 10.4 or higher.
Top Customer Reviews
Long story short, you can scratch your mp3s and this makes the system for me. It might not be pro quality but then again you are spending 250 bucks and you aren't buying all that vinyl. Almost on the financial perspective along I would pretty much give it the 5 stars.
Okay, I have been futzing with it for like 1 month now. It freakin rocks. I just did my NYE party with it and everyone was entertained. Just showing this system to certain people gets a jaw dropping effect, "You can do what?!!?" is the common reaction.
You can loop sounds, set up to 5 cue points per track, and it does a pretty good job guesstimating the BPMs for you. The guesstimation is pretty good because it gives you more felxibility. Instead of just always remembering the same sons that match you see all the songs plus or minus. This is really helpful in fleshing out "mental database". (I have like 5k songs so it is easy to get lost.)
The one gripe so far is the BPM estimator engine has a tendency to hang on certain songs. This in turn jams up the whole process and forces you to shut the computer down without saving the info. IE, you are at song 495 of 500 when it hiccups. You lose all previous estimation of the 495. This is a software problem that should not dissuade you from the buying the product.
Final thoughts: This thing is wicked awesome.
PS I am running XP with P4 1.1G with 384 RAM using USB1. Virtual DJ, the included software, runs well on it. I wouldn't go any lower, performance would definitely be impacted. More RAM might solve the problem.
PPS Upgraded to a p4 1.4G with 1.2G using USB2. More RAM solved the problem, the program doesn't bog at all anymore. I think the RAM is more important than the USB2. Currently have all songs on an external HD, USB2, and it runs well.
Now, before I review this thing in earnest, there's ONE BIG caveat all customers must know. The MK2 DOES NOT WORK WITH WINDOWS VISTA UNLESS YOU USE A SPECIFIC VERSION OF THE VIRTUAL DJ SOFTWARE. Unfortunately, it doesn't work in Vista with any other DJ software, and none of the "pro" versions of VDJ. It only works with the downloadable Vista version of VDJ 3.4. Otherwise, you won't get headphone preview.
That might sound like a big thing if you use Vista, but really...it isn't. The version of VDJ that works with the controller is very good and has all of the core features the Pro version has, for the most part, even the interface if you really want to use it.
Now that that's out of the way, the unit itself:
You can see the controls and everything in the pics, so that's pretty much self-explanatory. The main downsides of the unit are that the pitch is a knob instead of a slider (it takes more effort to alter pitch this way, unless you screw with the MIDI sensitivity), there is no "gain" knob on the unit itself, and there is no master volume control on the unit. In other words, you cannot control the master volume of the mix being send out from the unit itself, only by using the channel volumes.
Even with those flaws, it's still a very solid and well designed mixer for being so compact and small. It IS true that you have to be a little careful when using it so as not to bump the wheels (at first I thought the unit was malfunctioning during playback, but it was just me nudging the wheels), but you get used to it very quickly.
The headphone port allows you to preview Deck A or B, or listen to the mix as it's going out, or split each channel by volume into each ear, pretty standard mixer stuff.
The buttons on the top part of the mixer allow you to control the looping ability, effects, and cue points all in one place by using a button to alternate what you're doing. Once you read the manual and practice, you'll get the hang of the buttons, which are actually quite usefully implemented, especially for looping.
The joystick in the middle allows you to use the music browser OR emulate as a mouse and control your desktop. To be honest, I don't think anyone will use this since using a small mouse or trackball is 500 times faster and more intuitive. But, if you want a mouse emulator on your mixer, you've got one.
The jog wheels manipulate the tracks record-style, but I honestly can't comment on how good they are for scratching. I don't play rap or hip-hop or anything that involves scratching, so I can't speak for how useful the scratching is. To me, personally, it didn't seem exact or precise enough to live up to the demands of a scratcher/turntablist, and certainly not the mixing controls. But, that's just my opinion.
You can manually mix tracks by just using the on-screen waveform displays and trying to match up beats and sync BPMs, which is actually pretty damn precise. Or, alternately you can use the auto-sync ability which saves you a lot of effort and, for me at least, seems to work 95% of the time with absolute accuracy..even when you start/stop a track many times. The software included is basically identical to most other version of Virtual DJ, only the interface is different and not as easy to manipulate with a mouse since they probably figure you'll be using the controller, which is understandable. But all the on-board effects, samples, and recording are handled the same way. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to integrate iTunes playlists which kinda sucks, but it's not a big enough deal to knock down the software too much.
The buttons do have some lights and they do glow a little bit, but there's now way you could actually use the unit in dark conditions like that, so if you DO have plans to bring this into some dark club or something, bring a small, clip-on booklight or something to see the knobs and the top controls.
The whole thing runs solely on USB power which is awesome since it means less cables and crap to carry around, although you CAN externally power it if you want a little more oomph in the amplification department. (you have the get the plug yourself, though) It comes with a 1/4th headphone adapter for the main jack, one set of 1/8th-to-stereo-RCA cables, a carrying strap for the mixer, and cool little plastic cover that attaches to the back of the mixer to give some height and angle while you're using it, than goes onto the front when you're not using it to protect all the dials and such.
The back of the unit actually has 4 sets of outs depending on how you want to use it (the main set of outs is how you have to send out to master speakers) and then two additional inputs if you want to use the console like a plain mixer and mix from other sources outside the computer.
For all the good things about this powerful little unit, the few flaws in the interface really aren't a huge deal at all. It really brings DJing within an affordable range and unlike some packages, doesn't come with crappy software or underpowered stuff just so it can say "for beginners." This is a very solid laptop mixer, no question.
Right now, the biggest issue is, as I said, that it only works in Windows Vista with the special Vista version of VDJ 3.4. If you use XP, it should work in any version, basic or Pro, of VDJ and also work with numerous other DJ programs if you don't want to use the included VDJ.
As I don't use timecoded, external vinyl, I can't review the ASIO drivers and how that works with it, but it does support it.
ADDENDUM: I actually just discovered it is possible to use the Mk2 in Windows Vista with other version of VDJ higher than 3.4. If you set your soundcard in whatever version of VDJ you're using to "4.1", set the soundcard output to the Hercules console, then leave the audio settings at (1/2 Front Channels, 3/4 Rear Channels/Headphone) you can use the headphone slot properly. The software will also still record normally. However, this is only a workaround and may have extreme effects on how you mix video (if you do).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this product to use at clubs that had their own equipment since I could plug this basic mixer into theirs and allowed my to use my...Read more
good value for money - one of the better portable equipment in the market