REVIEWED: Reloop Mixon 8 Pro
If you’re looking for a new DJ controller, you have an almost bewildering number of models from a range of manufacturers with a wide variety of sizes, price points and features. Your dilemma is choosing one which ticks as many boxes as possible. Whilst your controller needs may be different to other DJs, the Reloop Mixon 8 Pro should deliver most – if not all – of what you need, and do it in style.
Taking the controller out the box, the first thing I noticed was its weight and sturdy build, both signalling top quality and Reloop’s use of metal parts. There’s nothing worse than flimsy faders, rattly play and cue buttons, or spongy control pads. Also in the box was the all-essential power lead and adaptor, instruction manual, and (unusually) a decent USB cable.
The layout of the deck is logical and only a degree of intuition is needed to work out where everything is. It’s surprising and a bit quirky to see a mirrored deck layout for a professional controller, but this has become common practice for many controllers.
The rear panel section catches the eye immediately and it’s apparent this is a very well-connected controller. Starting from left to right, there is not one, not even two, but three output options: XLR, 6.3mm jack and RCA. All four channels have phono inputs, of which channels 1 and 2 have the additional earth pole should you wish to connect media players and/or turntables. There are two USB connection ports for changing between laptops. You also get a USB C/iOS port to connect an iPad, for which there is even an integrated slot – nice touch! The power button, PSU input and a microphone port (XLR/TRS) round off the back panel. These connection options make the Mixon 8 Pro extremely versatile.
Powering on the unit results in a short burst of activity as the controller boots up. The decks are in a mirror layout configuration, which may be different to what some DJs are used to, but the brain quickly adjusts. The cue and play buttons feel sturdy and have responsive action, whilst they are, thankfully, brightly backlit. Switching to decks 3 and 4 could not be easier with well-placed buttons positioned near the jog wheel – handy for the multi-deck mixing DJ or busy wedding DJ in need of multiple tracks cued.
The jog wheels are a good size and feel very responsive – Reloop hasn’t given us the ability to adjust the feel but the selected setting is good to work with overall. The height of the jog wheels seems an improvement on other models within Reloop’s range and allows for better-controlled pitch bending. The in-jog displays are a very welcome addition and crammed with information like USB and deck assignment, time, pitch, BPM, and a virtual play head offering a clear, bright and easy to read display.
Nestled around the jog wheels, the performance mode section of eight pads controls the hot cue, loop roll, saved loop, and sampler, with access to a second layer by pressing the shift button for pitch play, saved flip, slicer, and scratch bank. These were a lot of fun to play with and can add creative and imaginative flair to a set.
Above the cue is the sync, two-parameter buttons (which control the parameter functions dependent on the active mode – shift param 1 controls the second level of parameter functions), pitch in/out/select and auto loop switch, pitch range and key sync buttons – all capped by a decent 100mm tempo slider with a light-up zero position indicator. The detail is really impressive.
Meanwhile, above the jog wheel is the FX section with three FX control pots and the on/off button. These are complemented by the FX paddles found on the mixer board and allow for an FX to be dropped momentarily by pressing down on the spring-loaded paddle, or clicked upwards for the FX to stay held on the selected deck. This is an industry first: the four sturdy onboard FX paddles allow instant tactile control of all the effects, providing added value in shaping your DJ set.
Moving to the mixer section, mobile DJs will love having four channels, giving you greater flexibility to add turntables, CDJs or an external player. The master volume, cue and sampler volume control pots run down the middle of the mixer and are nicely set out and labelled. Sitting at the bottom is a browse encoder which navigates through your music libraries and a press of the encoder confirms selection. Pressing ‘shift’ and turning the browse encoder activates fast browsing and quick search facility. Pressing ‘shift’ and pressing the encoder toggles between waveform and library view. It’s great to see an innovative approach to how controls and switches are used.
Below this is the main volume VU meter, which is a good length, and the crossfader, which is sturdy and not too tight or loose. There are four channels on the mixer position in the customary 3, 1, 2, 4 configuration, with a load button for each channel atop a multi-switch selector.
On channels 1 and 2, the selector switches between USB A/B, phono and line, whilst channels 3 and 4 have the addition of switching the channels to mic 1 on channel 3 and mic 2 on channel 4 (the input for mic 2 is on the front panel via a 6.3mm jack socket). Below this are high, mid and low control pots and beside the gain control is a short VU meter. The PFL cue button is small but it does have a bright backlight to indicate which channel you are listening to – press shift and the PFL cue in time to the music to determine the track’s BPM.
Ultimately the Mixon 8 Pro will be connected to your laptop – and it works very well – but just remember to install an ASIO driver. The controller really has the feel of being developed from the ground up, with clever use of tech to create the smoothest connectivity and software integration possible, right out the box. Thanks to the plug ’n’ play technology, and a choice of Serato DJ Pro or Algoriddim djay Pro AI, you can easily unlock immediate DJing with up to four decks simultaneously. This multi-platform approach gives you the flexibility to perform with different software, devices, and platforms for PC, MacOS, iPadOS, or iOS. The industry-leading software includes exclusive performance modes, such as Scratch Bank support for Serato (to instantly access scratch tools) and Neural Mix™ AI technology for djay Pro AI (to isolate vocals, drums, and instruments in real time). The Mixon 8 Pro also includes extensive controls for the pad as well as EQ mode, and by using the switch on the controller you can instantly turn the EQ knobs into dedicated Neural Mix™ controls.
Looking at the technical side of the unit, it offers an XLR master output, 6.3mm jack booth output (TRS), RCA master output, two RCA inputs (phono/line), two RCA inputs (line), one combo-mic input (XLR/jack (TRS)), and one mic input 6.3mm jack (TRS). There’s also one USB-B, one USB-C/USB-B, and headphones (6.3mm/3.5mm jack). All this in a unit that weighs 5.7kg and measures a reasonable 657 x 68 x 391mm. It’s also worth noting that the docking station measures 320 x 9mm, so even a 12.9” pad will fit perfectly.
The Reloop Mixon 8 Pro is fun to use whilst delivering a powerful tool for most DJ situations. It’s fair to say its most practical use will be within the mobile DJ market, but whilst testing out the controller in a bar setting, I found its size and aesthetics gave the impression of a more substantial DJ controller – it looked great behind the booth!
I also love the affordable price point, especially given the number of features available. I’ve listed a few that stand out, but do drop into a local DJ store and try out the Mixon 8 Pro – it may just be the next controller you are looking for.
The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 123, Pages 84-86.