Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review: Numark NS6

For mobile- or bedroom DJs that are using Itch and want a professional interface this is one of the best controllers on the market. The Pioneer DDJ-S1 is good but it can’t beat Numark’s build quality. The VCI-300 is much more portable but lacks the features and professional sound card. If you are looking for a Traktor interface, this is probably not the ideal choice as it lacks essential Traktor-focused controls, however it excels at matching the Itch interface and workflow.

For DJs that opt to beat match manually, the NUMARK NS6 provides ample controls for fine detail tuning. The extra-long pitch faders (100mm) match that of a turntable and offers silky smooth, center click-free action meaning you can easily ride out a mix manually and not miss a beat. While they are not motorized, the large jog wheels provide good resistance and a solid feel for scratching. With Serato’s Itch, their responsiveness is excellent.

For DJs that are using a controller as the centerpiece of a live rig, the NS6 offers some great mixing features normally reserved for higher end mixers including:
Fader start.
Cross fader curve.
Cross fader assign.
Headphone split cuing.
Dual mic inputs.
XLR balanced inputs.


The overall appearance of the unit is quite professional with metal chassis and a matte metal top finish. While the buttons are not exactly “high performance” they do the job well, providing ample lighting and clear feedback when pressed. The faders and knobs are of a good quality and also on par with higher-end mixers in the $500 range.


There is no question that the build quality of the Ns6 is stronger than the S4 and for that reason you might be considering using the ns6 controller as a stand alone midi controller with Traktor pro. The NS6 supports midi mode and comes with a factory mapping containing most of the labelled functions on the controller surface. For basic controls everything works reasonably well, however the only problem is that in midi-mode, the jog wheel resolution just can’t compare to the native HID connection itch has with the Numark unit directly.

The strip search function has been brought over from the NS7 and works really well for replacing needle drop functionality in the digital realm. Jog wheels are excellent for precise nudging but fail to provide quick access through the track. For that critical DJ utility, a touch strip is quite effective. For scratching the jog wheels work quiet well and are tied to Itch in a very tight way. Here is a quick scratch demo.


You will be hard-pressed to find a better Itch controller unless true backpack portability is a requirement. In MIDI mode and when connected to Traktor, the controller starts to fall down technically, but with Itch we had a seamless plug-and-play experience. It’s hard to imagine finding room in a DJ booth for this controller, but if you are doing mobile gigs I think it finds the perfect balance of “serious” size with DJ-friendly portability. If you are a home-focused DJ, this would also make a good interface with its ability to incorporate analogue and digital sources. We have been unable to find many faults with the hardware itself, proving that Numark has really stepped up their DJ manufacturing game in the last three years.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Goal Zero Finally Made a Solar Panel I Want to Own

Most solar chargers are either gimmicks that would struggle to juice up a lemon, or giant packs you need a car to haul around. Goal Zero’s new GOAL ZERO NOMAD 13 looks like it might tick the holy grail of small, cheap, and useful.
Goal Zero is best known for providing solar power for outdoor photographers, van dwellers, and serious Everest expeditions. It’s a company with a ton of credibility making robust gear for real-world use. So, when it makes a solar panel that can actually charge smartphones in a reasonable time while still being portable, it’s worth listening.
I say “actually charge” because I’ve owned a bunch of cheap solar chargers before, and they all sucked. If a solar panel can’t produce enough consistent power to charge a phone, it’s going to take all day to get any battery charge, and the weak charge will also damage your device’s battery in the long term.
The Nomad 7 Plus promises consistent 7 watt, 1.4 amp charging, thanks to a power regulator that helps smooth out the inconsistencies that come when you’re charging with a nuclear fusion reaction 100 million miles away. There’s no built-in battery, so you either need to charge your device directly, or pump that power into a separate USB battery pack.
The physical design also looks good: it’s about the same size and weight as a paperback book, and comes with a weatherproof design and magnetic kickstand, so you can get the optimal angle to the sun. 
Benchmark Capital, one of Uber’s largest investors, is trying to explain its legal feud with former CEO Travis Kalanick to the ride-sharing company’s employees. Benchmark sued Kalanick for fraud last week, adding another controversy to the company’s already disastrous summer.
In an open letter to Uber employees, Benchmark slammed Kalanick’s leadership of the company and said that he was purposely hindering the board’s search for a replacement CEO. The firm also criticized Uber’s slow response to the a report compiled by Eric Holder and Tammy Albarrán on harassment within Uber, and the stagnant search for a chief financial officer that has dragged on for more than two years.

“It has appeared at times as if the search was being manipulated to deter candidates and create a power vacuum in which Travis could return,” the unsigned letter reads.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Why it’s Time to Update Your Staff Meeting Platform

When it comes to managing staff meetings, there are a tremendous number of things that could go wrong. However, when you take the right type of planning and consideration into account from the beginning, you can accomplish lot more than you would ever have hoped. After all, that’s the entire point about having meetings in the first place. Just keep the following ideas in mind regarding having a new virtual meeting platform, and you might just be able to get your organization moving ahead much quicker than you would have otherwise thought.

Too Much Time, Not Enough Results

According to Forbes, there are more than enough reasons why many people dislike meetings in the first place. Much of the reason is that individuals view meetings as the only time to work on their specific tasks and goals and then they wind up wasting more time on the meetings while separating those meetings out from their daily business tasks. However, if you are able to combine the two and have online video conferencing as a real option then you can absolutely accomplish the items on your list but not have a psychological perception that improving and conferencing are separate from your daily activities.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

There’s Nothing Little about These Small Business Pitfalls

If you’re running a small business, you might think that the problems you’re going to face are also shrunk in size. This isn’t necessarily true though. A small business could face the same major disasters as a large corporation. For instance, a small company could be hit with a lawsuit, see the reputation get damaged, or experienced a tech failure. Don’t forget that even small businesses are reliant on tech these days. Due to this, it’s important to be aware of these problems and learn how to handle them if you’re running a small company.

System Error

It’s always scary when that particular message pops up on your computer screen, particularly if the system won’t respond. You have to reboot, and there’s no way of knowing if everything will still be working once you do. It’s entirely possible that your hard drive has been wiped. That error could even have been the result of a hacker attacking your network. If you think it’s just big businesses that are exposed to the danger of hacking, you’re mistaken. This year there was a massive hack against websites online. Both big and small businesses were affected. The issue here is that a small business might not be able to afford additional levels of security. They might also struggle to get systems back up and running if they do crash. So, what’s the answer? We suggest you invest in a 24/7 IT support service. For a smaller charge, you have unlimited support if there is a tech issue.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Relationships Matter: Why Collaboration Is Good for Your Business’ Online Presence

Building a website and launching an internet marketing campaign can help attract more viewers – potential customers – than you can imagine. Once you gain enough traction and have a steady stream of visitors, it is time to take your internet marketing efforts to the next level.

Doing everything yourself and not depending on other parties is great, but there are times when collaborating with others is great for business. In this economy, the relationships you build and maintain matter. There are three ways collaborating can help boost your brand or business’s online presence.

High Authority Backlinks from Top Sites

While SEO and content marketing can attract a lot of traffic, the best way to build credibility and establish your brand online is by getting a lot of coverage from other sites. Link building has been one of the best ways to do off-site SEO and it is now more useful than ever.

Don’t just make an attempt to get as many backlinks as possible. Relevance and quality are more valuable than quantity. This is why you need to build and maintain good relationships with other site owners and key social media users.