A few weeks ago the guys from Reloop dropped off a Terminal Mix 4 DJ Midi Controller for us to have a go at. We thought this to be the perfect project for our newest (part-time) team member Dave van Gorp. An enthusiastic gear lover (aren't we all?) with over 15 years of experience with all types of DJ gear and DJing. Read what he has to say about the Reloop Terminal Mix 4.
When I received the Reloop Terminal Mix 4 last week, I thought it would be another one of those Native Instruments Traktor controllers, But my colleague Marc told me this was a controller made for Serato (DJ Intro). We'll I have to admit that this made me happy. Serato remains in Europe a minor player, Traktor is the market leader of DJ software. However, Serato has a lot of trusty followers world wide.
The Reloop Terminal Mix 4 has a fully aluminum body which makes a bit heavy. For transport that's a slight disadvantage but it wound slight around during gigs, what I personally prefer. The buttons are all made of plastic with an exception of the 8 hot cue buttons (Cue, Play *Sync) they are made of rubber. The Jogwheels are made of aluminium with a Vinyl-Grip coating on them.
At the rear panel of the Terminal Mix 4 you will find only one input, this is an RCA which you can use for any line source but you can also find a switch next to it that will turn it into a phono input. For phono use you will find an earth connector on the back as well. There are two RCA outputs on the back of the unit, one is a booth out and one is a Master unbalanced output. There is a Balanced out on the unit which is a jack connection. On the front of the controller you will find a microphone and a headphone connection, for both you can adjust the tone.
Effects and Loop section
The Terminal Mix4 has two effect sections, one for channels A/C and the other for channels B/D (the channels are switchable). They each contain 4 pots with an on and off switch below them. You can adjust them individual with the software and do have a center click on them. The effects of the software, being DJ Intro that comes with the unit, sound great and pcik up nicely thanks to the great midi response of the unit. Underneath the effect buttons you will find the looping section, which have on the left a pot meter which you can press and turn, if you turn it you'll make the loop shorter or longer, by pressing it you can activate or deactivate the loop. Next to it you will find two push-buttons, with which you can set loops manually. If you look further down you'll see 8 hot cue banks, with these you can mark your hot cues en activate them by pressing each of the buttons.
The pitch fader is one of the most accurate on the market, with the accompanied software I had no problem at all to adjust tracks to the tempo of the other track manually by just using the pitch-fader. And that with a (max) 8% pitch adjustment per deck. It hasn't a center click and doesn't generate any noise.
What I like the most about the Terminal Mix 4 are the jogwheels. A DJ like me who shares the love for vinyl, knows that no joghwheel will ever get close to the feeling of the real stuff, ... vinyl! I worked with quite a lot of controllers, over the past years, but the jogwheels on this Terminal Mix 4 are without any doubt the best ones I have ever worked with!
They are super flat, made of aluminum en contain a rubber coating on top of them. They are absolutely soundless, and while scratching I couldn't tell them apart from real vinyl! Now I know by saying that I probably will raise questions guaranteed. But honest, just try them, the are top notch! Traktor can learn from this.
Underneath the jogwheels you will find 4 buttons, the Sync, Cue and Play buttons, These are highly responsive and gave me a controllerism feeling. Nice detail, when you stop or pause a track the deck will stop just like a (turntable) vinyl deck.
The mixer section of the Terminal Mix 4 contains of 4 channels, each channel has it's own gain, hi, mid and low which are completely kill (to 0dB) and sound very good with the DJ Intro software. There's also a filter per channel, if you turn it to the left, it becomes a lowpass filter, turn it to the right and it becomes a highpass filter, which both sound. The faders are pretty rough but they do have a nice curve to them. The only downside are the level meters; you only ge 2 of them for 4 channels. The crossfaders are highly responsive and fast. You just feel this controller is made for Serato, which is often used by scratch DJs. The curve of the crossfaders is adjustable at your own preference.
In the middle of the mixer you'll find the adjustment knobs for the master, booth and headphones. For the headphone you have 2 knobs, one for the volume and one which let you adjust your Cue to Master output.
Underneath you will see a big silver knob, with which you can scroll through your tracks and playlists. For each of the four channels there is a button that loads the selected track to the preferred deck.
I can be very clear at that, it's absolutely, very good! Both the master and the headphone have a loud and clear output, which can be used in any club environment. With Serato DJ and Traktor, the Reloop Terminal Mix 4 just sounds great.
The accompanied Serato DJ Intro works great. The software has all the basic functions you will need and is easy to work with. The thing that I found strange is the fact that DJ Intro is made for only two decks, where the Terminal Mix 4 is a four deck controller. With Traktor you can use all of the decks. It seems like Serato might come with an update of the Intro software or Itch, which would let you allow to use all of the decks and features. The controller is clearly made for Serato hence the text on the Terminal Mix 4 housing itself. I guess we will have to wait when or if this will happen.
The Reloop Terminal Mix 4 is one of the best controllers outthere. It's very solid, all the features are there and it has a great layout, the rubber knobs and jogwheel coating are nice, which makes it perfect for controllerists and scratch DJs. Also the extensive effects and hot cue section and super precise pitchfader makes this Terminal Mix 4 to a controller of the highest levels. Reloop has created a very high standard competitor for the Denon's and the NI Kontrol S4 with this unit, and if I am being honest; my personal preference would be the Terminal Mix 4!