Hercules’s new DJ Console is a unique 24-bit/96KHz multi-channel external sound card with DJ controls that interact with virtual DJ software for mixing MP3 and WMA digital music plus CDs in real-time. It is powered by USB (2.0 or 1.1).
The top surface of the device has a standard crossfader in addition to a thumb stick for mouse emulation or effects control. Each symmetrically laid-out side (for the two track channels being mixed) features a volume/pitch slider, spinning jog wheel with finger grips for scratching, track position and speed adjustment, three bass/medium/treble equaliser knobs and a re-assignable volume knob. There are also soft rubber buttons (either backlit or glow in the dark) to control the likes of pitch bend, track selection, play/pause, cue, loop and effects selection.
An audience can hear one track while you audition another using the 6.35mm stereo headphone output located on the front panel with its own volume control.
The front panel also has left/right RCA inputs and a 6.35mm microphone (plus volume control) that works with a talk-over button and clipping monitor. The back panel has six mono RCA outputs (5.1-channel audio for DVDs, etc.), three 3.5mm stereo outputs (front, centre/LFE, rear), coaxial and optical input and outputs (for digital audio), and single MIDI-in and -outs. General MIDI and ASIO 2.0 are supported.
The device was simple to install (plug and play with no need to remove existing sound cards) and is bundled with DJ and music production software plus a utility for controlling other audio applications.
The DJ console comes with a shoulder strap and protective cover that doubles as an inclined base. It’s quite addictive and incredibly easy to use, serving as a great introduction to the mechanics of mixing.
In brief: Hercules DJ Console
A unique external USB sound card with DJ controls that interact with bundled software for easily mixing digital music files.
Price: $499 (1-year warranty)
Distributor: Sound & Music
Phone: (03) 9555 8081
URL: www.sound-music.com; www.hercules.com