From time to time there’s always a new product that still surprises us. It stands out as NOT following the current ‘standard’. The 4MidiLoop stands out of the crowd and is definitely not your standard DJ controller like the S4 Kontrol or the DN-MC6000. We already knew the little Faderfox controllers, and it’s save to say the 4MidiLoop is based on this Faderfox technology.
The 4MidiLoop is a Traktor software controller. Yes, you can use other DJ software with ti as well, as it sends out regular MIDI signals, but to me this controller breathes out Traktor. In terms of appearance it’s one the nicest controllers I have used. At first the size of the press buttons and the faders appear to be on the small side, but in practice that wasn’t the case at all.
The housing is built of aluminium and the press, rotary buttons and the faders are nade out of plastic. Several rotary buttons have a double fucntion, but more on that later on. At the back of the controller the expected connection and the USB output connection.
Well, to get this out of the way first, the price! The price of the 4MidiLoop is 1399 Euros. Not so cheap, but looking at the fact that you get a controller that is built with high quality Swiss precision it puts the price in perspective. However, I would have expect to get an built-in audio interface for that price, but … you don’t. So for this price you get just a controller.
Like I mentioned before this controller is made for Traktor software. You get four faders and one crossfader. Each channel has all the fucntions you get with the software. Each function has a seperate puch or rotary button which works perfect. Even though the buttons look small, all the functions/buttons were easy to reach and usable. The controller has 9mm faders, which many DJs including myself, find rather small. Personally I like BIG faders. The feel of this faders is very flexible which I expect from a crossfader, but not in a volume fader. The faders are Pro X faders, all five of them! This shows they didn’t cut on component costs, which reflects in the price. Next to the faders there lots of buttons, which I won’t discuss seperately but be asssured that every button has a seperate function.
There is an extensive EQ section with an extra rotary button for the filter. There are not three but four EQ buttons. You can set the effexts per channel with four FX buttons. Below the fx buttons you have a rotary button for the pitch control, which works like a pitchfader, not much to say then straight forward function.
A big part of the strength of the Traktor software, I think, are the ‘hot cues’ and the loop fucntion. For each channel there’s a button to set and call all the hot cues. These push buttons have a double function. Together with (holding) the red shift button you can also delete the cues. Looping is achieved with one press button and moving/cueing your loop is done with a rotary button.
I’ve talked already a bit about the effects. Like I mentioned there are four effects per channel. At the top of the mixer section you can set your effects, all three effect slots. With rotary knobs you can operate these effects.
Of course the standard transport buttons aren’t missing. Next to Cue, Play and Stutter you’ll get the ‘oh so important’ sync buttons. Next to these sync buttons you have your Phase meter. Five LEDs show you exactly if your track is in phase.
In the end it all evolves around the mixing of tracks, and that works pretty good as well with just one press on a button. You can call up a tracklist with a push button and scroll through the list with a rotary button. For each channel there’s a load button which loads the selected track into a deck. There is also a monitor button for pre-listening the selected track with the monitor function within Traktor.
The 4MidiLoop‘s size is good. It is as wide as a SL-1200 is long. However it is not very high. Without some kind of elevation the controller falls deep between your turntables/media players. This just shouts for an accessory like a transport bag or case like the one NI has for the X1. So you can elevate the controller and make it level with your turntables/players.
OK, let’s make some conclusions then. This is an awesome DJ Controller (for Traktor). It is robust and solid. All the buttons and faders feel good and solid as well. All the features and functions are logically placed. So if you control Traktor with this controller you can almost work blindfolded with it. And again, the buttons look small at first, but the lay out and the room in between them were fine. The faders worked smooth and flexible, but are maybe a bit short (just maybe).
Is it worth the money I hear you say? Doubted at first, I can now say yes it is. I still think it is a lot of money for a controller (without an audio interface). I had to think of the Xone 4D, yes it’s 200 euros more, but you get an audio interface, jogwheels and it is usable as a DJ mixer as well. But looking at the use and built quality and general experience I had with the 4MidiLoop… yes it is worth it. The price is justifiable.
Fellow Gearjunkie Mark Dobrinic said, after using it: “… the 4MidiLoop looks … TECHNO!” And yes, it does! It is a beautifull controller for the freaks and DJs who have some money to spend!
Marc van den Hurk
Special thanks to 4MidiLoop for giving us the opportunity to have this much fun!