Rane MP 4 Mixer
Now you see it, now you don’t: Can’t complain about the MP4′s mobility
Somehow, as modern technology increases, the objects harboring the most modern technology tends to decrease. Phones are becoming sleeker, as are mountable televisions and even our already mobile laptops. It’s almost as if the smaller the product, the larger the technological advances. These days, everyone likes their stuff to be sleek: from the design, all the way down to the polishing. Sleek is in.
DJs like the same thing; not solely because they get a kick out of aesthetics, but also because they need portability for their fast paced lifestyles. So I’ve got another sleek design a few DJs may want to add to their package: Rane’s MP 4 mixer (for more Rane posts, click here and scroll down). It’s so tiny, you can hardly see it unless you’re up close, as it’s a slender single space rack mounted mixer. So there’s no way portability is going to be an issue. After reviewing this product, I’ve conceded that it may very well become a mobile DJs best friend. On top of that, it allows DJs the opportunity to play digital music right off their computer while using analog inputs.
The MP 4 is bundled with Serato Scratch Live, and the hardware/software integration is amazing. One of the best parts about it is Serato Scratch won’t keep DJs tied down to their station. Why is that? This software has an auto-sequence feature that lets the music play without you. If you don’t need to constantly mix and finds tracks, then you don’t always need to be behind the mixer. Essentially, Serato does the work you know you don’t need to do. Naturally, less work equals more time for fun, like socializing.
MP 4 Key features:
• Play one or two stereo 24-bit 48 kHz USB audio channels
• Record one stereo 24-bit 48 kHz audio channel
• A-bus, B-bus, Master Mix or Mic USB Record source selection
• Built-in USB ground isolation
• High performance VCA Active Crossfader
• Compact & Mobile single rackspace (1U) design
• Cue USB or Analog sources with a high-quality headphone amplifier
• Separate EQ and meter on each bus
• Two selectable phono/line stereo analog inputs
• Auxiliary output with level control
• XLR and ¼" TRS Main outputs
• Internal universal switching power supply
The features are great, and aesthetically, the Rane MP 4 didn’t go wrong. After all, you’re not seeing much of anything but functions. Since the functions are sturdy and the mixer feels unbreakable in a strong grip, Rane did a good job designing this tiny two channel mixer.
Bundled with Serato, the MP 4 = no vinyl and CD manipulation
You can see the functions are basic and simple, much like the design. It has two line and phono inputs and one USB input for PC’s. Rounding off the "input" family is of course the 1/4 mic input. Then for the outputs, DJs have an auxillary output, XLR and TRS connections. Simple as that. It gets simpler when you know the Rane MP 4 is a plug and play instrument for most operation systems (Windows, PC). So really, you’ll have absolutely no problem in that department. These are entirely simple functions, but it gets the job done. Isn’t that all that matters?
For this DJ products review, I decided my only problem with the Rane MP 4 was the price. Retailing at $900 seems a little steep to me, and the street price, at $600, sure ain’t much better. Of course we all know the MP 4 offers flexibility, easy-to-use crossfaders on the outside and built in dual sound cards rocking within. But $600? Rane should knock off $100, and it’d be solid. But then again, that might be my cheapass doppleganger talking.
All in all, if you’re a DJ who likes your technology sleek and modern, basic and simple, flexible and durable–the MP 4 is for you. If you like your gear big and powerful…well, at least you get the ladder when you buy Rane’s MP 4.
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