REVIEW: Numark V7 Motorized Turntable Controller

Image Courtesy of Numark

Written by:  Chris Racine

Moving forward in the digital world of DJing could not be possible without companies like Numark who consistently strive to push the envelope. Without a doubt, the Numark V7 is going to be a hit with DJs all over the world…

 

What is it?

The Numark V7 is a high-speed MIDI controller used in conjunction with Serato Itch. It has a motorized platter with a real vinyl record for the look and feel of a traditional turntable; it has its own built-in sound card, with 2 pairs of RCA outputs that will allow 1 V7 to control both decks. When using two V7s together, this feature is a perfect set-up for seamless transitions. There are loop controls for ‘on the fly’ loop adjustments, time control, and a touch strip that gives you instant access to any part of the song- like dropping the needle at any point on the record.

 

numark-v7-angleLayout – First Look and Feel

The look is stylish yet practical. The 7″ platter and the strip search are the first things you will notice when seeing the V7 in action; it is the closest feeling to working with real vinyl any DJ could ask for. All of the buttons are very sturdy and comfortable to the touch; this controller will give any single deck controllers on the market a good run for their money.

Testing – Getting Started

One of the best attributes of the V7 is the ease of the set-up. I was blown away by how quickly I was up and running after taking it out of the box; I was mixing within 15 minutes of the UPS delivery guy leaving my house. After installing the software there was nothing to map; every button worked perfectly. All I had to do to get started was hook up the audio cables to my mixer, and plug in the USB cable.

 

Great Hardware Paired With Great Software

The Numark V7 is paired with Serato Itch to provide an amazing interface between DJs and their music. Serato Itch is a user-friendly version of Serato Scratch Live that will fully interact with every aspect of the V7 controller. Serato’s Itch program works flawlessly with the controller and is both intuitive and user-friendly… In addition to the bells and whistles of some of the best DJ CD players on the market, there are controls for navigating files and folders; you won’t even have to touch the keyboard on your laptop.

Numark takes it to another level with the addition of whats called “Strip Search.” This is a long strip at the top of the platter that allows you to cue ahead anywhere in the entire song, instantly. Lets say you don’t need a long intro- you can forward into the song instantly and set up your cue point. The autoloop control is cool as well; this allows you to set in advance how many beats you want to loop. For those who would rather do it themselves, you can simply touch a button and you’re in manual mode as well. And for DJs who prefer two controllers, the deck select button allows you to link another V7.

Critiques

numark-v7-backMy major critique would be the fact that the V7 has very little support when using Cue (Numark’s own brand of software). For several weeks I tried getting Cue to map the V7 using mappers and updates; unfortunately, it never happened for me. I’m told by Numark that “The V7 is basically 1/2 of an NS7; and to pair the two together, you will need to use the included ethernet cable.” The cable is a bit short should you be using a 19″ club mixer, but any standard RJ universal ethernet cable will do; they are inexpensive, and available in many lengths. I’ve found that the ethernet cable feature is nice because it allows for the sound card to stay on 1 deck; this allows me to change decks and DJs in the middle of a set without having to mess with audio cables.

 

Conclusion

Numark’s second release of a program-specific MIDI controller has only minor flaws if you plan to use it specifically for DJing. The controller is easy to use, and the audio quality from its own built-in sound card is superb. The V7 would look great in any DJ booth, and it would be my choice as the perfect controller except for the fact that I also use video in my sets. Now, if Numark could make a controller like the V7 for its own software, I would be all over it.

Bullet points:

What is it: A high-speed MIDI controller specifically designed for use with Serato Itch Software

Who is it for: DJs with laptop capability

How long does it take to set up: 10-15 minutes

What is required for its use: a PC or MAC

Difficulty level: Almost nonexistent for any type of DJ, unfortunately, if you’re a VJ using “Cue,” you’re out of luck; support for Cue is nonexistent.

Posted June 2010.

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