Hands-On Review:Beatnik Mixman DM2


Mixman DM2


As the digital music revolution is moving on, the toys are just getting cooler. Mixman's popular Mixman Studio and StudioPro programs are now essentially available in gear format in the form of the new Mixman DM2. This product is a joint venture between Beatnik Inc., a leading developer of enhanced digital audio content, and Apzu Inc., a Mattel-owned company. The DM2 is sure to become a staple tool of the digital DJ - beginner or pro - due to its insanely affordable price and wicked features.


Connects To Your PC

At first glance the DM2 looks like the basic dual-disc CD mixers that are everywhere these days but, no my friends, this is much more. Along with the Mixman's already widely acknowledged mixing capabilities, the DM2 has a USB port to connect directly to your PC, so along with the custom Mixman studio that is included, you can manipulate up to 16 tracks in real time through your computer. The DM2 has two scratchable CD decks, with the familiar rubber outer belts, which allow for nice control and easy manipulation. The coolest part about the decks, and the feature which sets the DM2 apart from other dual disc CD mixers, is that each deck also controls a sampler, which can hold up to eight samples each. And as if that's not enough, each sample can be played individually or combined with others. There are also 20 real-time effects built into the DM2 with which to tweak your output.


Comes With Its Own Starter Samples

Along with the hardware, you get 30 licensed songs, each broken into 16 separate tracks, so you can get started making music right away. More tracks can be attained at the homepage www.mixman.com, and of course you can capture and use your own samples as well. Everything about the unit is pretty self-explanatory, so anybody new to this kind of technology shouldn't be turned off to the tool. Mixing on the DM2 is also very easy, as Mixman's patented auto beat matching is built in, and the crossfader and transformer switches function just like on a regular DJ mixer. Also the W.A.R.P. (Wideband Audio Real-time Processing) joystick that controls the effects is quite fun and easy to use, for those that want to experiment with their sounds.


Songwriting Made Easy

Putting together songs on the DM2 is very simple after a little fiddling around, although you may run across a few minor inconveniences, such as finding where some of the controls are in the software. Also, the machine doesn't support MIDI, which some digital musicians may find annoying, but that's certainly something that can be worked around. If you've previously used the Mixman Studio program, you will already be used to the format, and if not, you can get comfortable with it quickly. And when you're done with your song, your DM2 files can be exported to mixed .wav files at CD quality, so they can be burned, or sent through a digital multitracker to be mixed down later.


At $120, the DM2 is a wonderful tool for any aspiring digital DJ, and can surely find a place in any pro's setup as well. Visit the DM2 site at www.my-dm2.com for more info or to order.


- Andrew Brearley