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Hercules DJ Control MP3 E2
- Ultra-portable USB DJ controller is powered by your PC or laptop, with no power supply needed
- Mix tunes from your favorite MP3/WMA files and Audio CDs; record and share your mix with friends
- Two separate decks, each with vinyl-style jog wheel, pitch/effects controls, volume fader, and three-band EQ
- Automation features include cue point detection, auto-synchronization, automatic looping
- Add Flanger, Beatgrid, FlippinDouble, and Backspin effects; along with Baby, Tear, Forward/Backward, and "Pass-Pass" scratch effects
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The Hercules DJ Control MP3 e2 lets you mix two tracks with a single controller. This ultra-mobile, USB-powered controller hooks right up to your PC or laptop, with no power supply needed. It features a crossfader and two separate decks, each with a vinyl-style jog wheel, playback speed and effects, volume fader, and three-band EQ. Combined with the included VIRTUAL DJ 3 DJC Edition software, it's the perfect way for beginners or casual DJs to advance their chops.
A USB-powered controller/software combo for the casual or beginning DJ. Click to enlarge.
Includes VIRTUAL DJ 3 DJC Edition software. Click to enlarge.
Cover included for easy transportation.
Two Decks, Two Tracks
Mix two music tracks with the DJ Control MP3 e2's controls. It's simple--select the desired tracks through the software using the mixer's browsing buttons (no mouse is required). From there you've got two jog wheels to navigate within tracks, along with EQ for tweaking your sound, pitch control for beat matching, headphone monitoring on/off (for prepping the next track and setting cue points), and a crossfader to cut back and forth between tracks.
Simplied DJing operations
The MP3 e2 boasts several user-friendly automations for the beginners out there (or those who appreciate a little ease of use). Cue points (e.g., where you'd like a track to begin) are suggested by the DJ software in audio file analysis, or you can enter them manually. In addition, you can synchronize two tracks with the push of a button if you can't get it lined up manually using the pitch control.
You also get an automatic looping feature, with the software detecting the beat and automatically looping on the 1-, 2-, or 4-count.
Make Your Mark
Along with the EQ section, you can make your mark on the music with on-board effects and scratch controls. The effect plug-ins include Flanger, Beatgrid, FlippinDouble, and Backspin. Scratch effects include the Baby Scratch (a quick forward scratch/backward scratch combo), Tear Scratch (forward scratch, quick backward scratch, slow backward scratch), Forward-only and Backward-only scratches, and "Pass-Pass" techniques (playing the same track on both decks with various scratch/fade/etc. effects).
MP3s, WMAs, and CDs
The MP3 e2 will play back your digital MP3/WMA files, but it also handles a CD in your PC/laptop's disc drive. Simply load the CD-Audio track in your playlist on a DJ Control MP3 e2 deck, as if it were an audio file, and you can mix it immediately.
The Ultra-Mobile DJ
The DJ Control MP3 e2 is perfect for mobile use, with an included cover for easy transportation. Throw your computer, the DJ Control MP3 e2, a pair of speakers, and some headphones in a bag and hit the party.
Save Your Mix
Hit the record button in Virtual DJ and you'll have a copy of your mix to share with friends.
What's in the Box
DJ Control MP3 e2 Controller and Cover, Software Installation CD (PC/Mac), USB Cable, User's Manual
Top Customer Reviews
Well forget all that, you can use this little unit for ALL DJ gigs. Arguably it is marketed as being designed for entry level/enthusiast use while other models like the MKII or RMX are touted as being more suited for professional use.
With the exception of built in Headphone/Mic/Input/Output jacks, they are all the same (and the software that comes with it is a little less feature rich, but for $50.00 you can upgrade to Virtual DJ Pro).
How do you cure the above? it's simple.
- a $1.99 USB Audio Sound Card - for monitoring while the main output goes out the main laptop sound card and the soundcard has a Mic input as well so you can use it or the mic input on the laptop
- a 1/8 to Stereo RCA output from the Laptop to your Amp/Speakers
That's it, you're good to go. This thing runs and doesn't complain, freeze, lockup, nada, just great all around unit and best of all it is compact, comes with a nice cover and can be carried in a laptop bag just a little bigger than a netbook.
Finally, the price..I remember spending twice this amount when regular cd players were first introduced, so this is nothing to even think about, if you want an MP3 controller and you don't want to break the bank to acquire one, then this is for you.
I don't work for nor am I in anyway affiliated with the manufacturer.
== Pros ==
* High-quality faders. Volume faders are solid and don't budge unless you intended them to. Crossfader moves freely, which would've been perfect for scratching if it weren't for one fatal flaw (more on that later).
* Nice, intuitive layout. Everything is where you would expect it to be, and does (mostly) what you'd expect it to. That alone is the most important thing, and Hercules delivers.
* Working 64-bit drivers for Windows 7 were actually on the bundled CD (yeah, they were out-of-date, but that's besides the point)! This has got to be the first piece of PC hardware I've ever owned that actually had working drivers on the CD. I applaud Hercules for doing what everybody else should've been doing to begin with!
== Cons ==
* Jog wheels use the same kind of that optical shutter tracking that the scroll wheel on your mouse uses. Therefore, while it's fairly accurate, it's not going to feel as good as an actual turntable or high-quality Denon/Pioneer/etc. unit. Turning down the jog sensitivity from within Virtual DJ helps with accuracy.
* Approximately after two weeks of ownership, the Pitch knob for Deck B simply stopped functioning. Thank God for Amazon's great exchange policy!
* Speaking of the Pitch knobs: the knob moves in clicks (0.5% steps if you set the pitch range to ±25%, 1% steps with it at ±50%, etc.), which is fine for changing the tempo, but makes perfect beat-matching almost impossible. This is fine since VDJ does the beat-matching for you, but if you plan on using other software, keep this in mind.
* The unit itself is downright sexy from a few feet away, but get up close and you'll see that it's ALL plastic. It looks like something I'd expect to see bundled with a Guitar Hero/Rock Band sequel. I'm always very careful with the unit because it looks like a single four-foot drop would kill it. For the price I was expecting this anyway.
* The EQ knobs for mid-range "jump" when near the the lower part of the knob (nearing the "-" part), which means I can't make my own breakdowns. I think part of the reason was because my unit was defective to begin with (broken pitch knob), so we'll see if my replacement unit doesn't have the same issue.
== Other Thoughts ==
* When in scratch mode, there is about a quarter second gap in the audio when you let go of the jog wheel. However, this appears to be a limitation of the VDJ software, and not a problem with the controller itself, so I can't dock it there (this is the "one fatal flaw" I was talking about earlier).
* Not enough buttons! Thankfully this was easily fixed by remapping some less-than-useful buttons to more functional things. Pitch bend becomes key change, REW/FF are now Hot Cue 2&3, Automix turns into the Hamster switch, etc. Unfortunately I mapped things in a way that I can no longer pick songs without a mouse, but it works for me so whatever. Note that if you use the bundled software then you're stuck with the default mappings.
* The lights on it are orange, not red like in the picture. Also unlike the picture, they only light up when the button is active, not all at once.
* Using my sound card's own ASIO drivers I was able to get latency down to 8ms, even with CPU-eating features enabled, such as Advanced Master Tempo (highly recommended that you enable this option & using the highest complexity/spatialization settings your PC can handle, otherwise music will sound "robotic" when you adjust the BPM). You should try to avoid using latency higher than 20ms for accurate mixing/scratching.
== My Specs ==
* Core 2 Duo @ 3.6GHz
* 4GB DDR2 RAM
* 1GB ATI HD 5770
* ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Sound card
* Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
Having a low-spec machine is ok, but expect it to take at least 10-20 seconds for a song to "load" when you drag it onto a deck (on my PC it takes about 3 seconds). For highest sound-quality (which my PC can't even do) and the smoothest experience, I would suggest a fairly modern CPU. Think Core i5/i7.
== Conclusion ==
I've only been DJing for six months now as a hobby and the occasional family party, and for the price this product has everything I need. Recommended for casual and bedroom DJs, but full-time pros will want to look for something more solid.
Bottom line is that I love my MP3 e2 to death for what it is, however, if I had the extra $100, I probably would've gone with the Hercules DJ Console Steel instead. It looks a lot less fragile.
-Compact and portable, smaller than a 14 inch laptop (May also be a con, more on this at the end)
-Less than $130 (Unit, with software included plus USB sound card for headphones monitoring)and you are ready to DJ (assuming you have laptop, music and speakers).
-Fast response, not noticeable delay between pressing play and the start of the music.
-Intuitive software, bpm counters and graphical display of music that will make it easy for beginners (like me) to start beat-matching.
-Backlit buttons is a nice feature.
-The included software is Virtual DJ DJC Edition. Unless you upgrade to the Pro version for an extra $250 there are going to be some limitations of what you can do with the software, the most important in my opinion:
-The software does not open if the unit is not connected. Big issue if you want to prepare music with your laptop without carrying the controller with you at all times.
-No skin customization (the default one is fugly)
-No keyboard shortcuts, makes browsing slow.
-Scratching, it does what a budget unit should do, but do not expect the plastic faders to survive heavy duty treatment. You would not be looking at this unit if you were interested in scratching anyway.
-knobs for pitch control instead of sliders, not a major issue for me since the unit has pitch bend buttons and the jog wheel can be used to adjust the tempo (when not in scratching mode).
-Due to small size is relatively easy to unintentionally press buttons.
For an entry level unit that is very easy on the budget, this controller is GREAT. Combined with the right skills, and the right sound system, the audience will not know the difference between this mp3 controller and a more professional set up.