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CORTEX DMIX-600 DIGITAL MUSIC CONTROL STATION

CORTEX DMIX-600 DIGITAL MUSIC CONTROL STATION

  • Product Description
  • Product Video
  • Product Accessories
  • Warranty

Seamlessly integrating the power of Cortex's patent pending USB compatible technology with a mixer section and an iPod Dock, the Cortex DMIX-600 iPod DJ Controller is the first-ever compact, easy to carry, all-in-one mixing solution for the Digital DJ, each weighing a mere 12 lbs.

Cortex DMIX-600 iPod DJ Controller Features
iPod Dock Capability
Full CBR and VBR MP3 Compatibility with the following features-iTunes Playlist Compatibility,
Library Cataloging, On-the-fly Playlist Creation and Editing, Full Search, Song Info, File Explorer Mode, Cue Point Management, Storage Device Selection
USB Link for storage device sharing
Storage Device Selection with External CD Drive Option
Keyboard Connection for search and navigation
Dual Touch Sensitive Jog Wheel with Jog Mode Select
Dual 80 character text-only dot matrix displays for playback information
Instant Start and Cue with preview
Dual "Hot Cues"
Three Effects (Filter, Flanger, Reverb) plus Scratch
Single/continuous play modes
Shuffle mode for unattended playback
Dual Mode Jog Wheel for search or pitch bend
Pitch bend via Jog wheel or buttons
Pitch control with range of +/- 24%

Cortex DMIX-600 iPod DJ Controller Controller Section

  • Full CBR & VBR MP3 Compatibility
  • Support for various hard drive & flash-based music players, such as Apple iPodand External CD/DVD Rom Drives
  • Due to Apple limitations, the iPod iTouch, iPhone & Mac formatted Classics are not compatible with Cortex products.
  • Intelligent music database management
  • Master tempo for locking pitch while adjusting speed
  • Dedicated Seamless loop buttons with adjustable in and out points
  • Multiple search options including file explorer & BPM search
  • Playlist creation with iPodPlaylist Compatibility
  • Dual 4 line 80-charcter LCD displays for playback information, parameter adjustments & Waveform display
  • USB Keyboard connection for search and navigation
  • Touch sensitive Jog Wheels with Jog Mode Select
  • Three Effects (Filter, Flanger, Reverb) plus Scratch
  • Auto Cue & 2 dedicated & adjustable "Hot Cues"
  • User-configurable setup menu
  • One touch Song & ID3 tag info button
  • Single/continuous play modes
  • Shuffle mode for unattended playback
  • Two time display modes
  • Pitch control fader & bend button with range of +/- 24%
  • Performance protection eliminates accidental shutdown
  • Rugged but slim tabletop design with steel frame construction tough enough for any application
  • English, Spanish & French Language support
Cortex DMIX-600 iPod DJ Controller Mixer Section
  • Dual mode iPodDock
  • Due to Apple limitations, the iPod iTouch, iPhone & Mac formatted Classics are not compatible with Cortex products.
  • 3 Band EQ with Gain Control
  • Blue "Fluid" diffused VU Meters with Master Cue select
  • Cue Fader & adjustable Cue volume
  • 1/4 headphone output
  • 2 1/4 microphone inputs one with 2 band EQ
  • Balanced XLR Master Output
  • 45mm SuperSmooth Crossfader with selectable Crossfader curve
  • Auxiliary Inputs for Phono or Line devices
  • RCA outputs for Master, Booth and Record

REVIEW FROM DJZONE:
Let me start off by disclosing that I have been a beta tester for Cortex for over a year now since they released the HDC1000 and I have tried hard to be very honest with my thoughts about the units noting not only their features but also their shortcomings....and that I am not an official dj equipment reviewer...just a working dj.

The latest Cortex device that will hit the shelves in the Spring is the all-in-one digital player the Dmix600. It's similar to the Dmix300 but with some added features...

The unit measures approx 19" x 11" x 2 ½". It weighs about 12 lbs and my first impression after unpacking it is that is built like a tank. Just like the other Cortex unit's the whole thing seems to be made out of metal and the fancy shmancy black sparkly finish on top is present. All of the knobs, switches and wheels feel very solid and none of them have a "cheap" feel to them at all.

What does the unit do?

Just in case anyone has been buried under a rock the last year and doesn‘t know what these digital controllers can do, the Cortex Dmix600 will allow you to play CBR and VBR mp3 files off either an external hard drive, an iPod or any other usb device. You can actually mix using only one source which is pretty incredible once you stop and think about it. In addition, the Dmix600 has an iPod dock on the top which will be quite handy. Included are two little iPod "adapters" (which are merely nothing more than plastic spacers) to help tighten up that space depending on what kind of iPod you have. They are labeled iPod mini (30G) and iPod nano (30G). I found the smaller "iPod mini" spacer worked best with my new Classic 80G iPod. The dock is convenient as I always seem to be scrambling for those white iPod cords but the fear that I always have is that some cornhole is going to walk up and yank my iPod out of the dock and be lost in the crowd before I even know what happened. I don't know if any manufacturers of dj equipment that make stuff with iPod docks have ever done this but I wish they could design some type of locking mechanism that would prevent this. I"m just a worry wart.....

Back/Connections

On the back of the unit you will find numerous outputs. RCA outs for Master, Booth and Record and Master Balanced XLR outputs. Inputs consist of one 1/4" microphone input, and two additional RCA inputs for either line in (cd player, tape deck, etc) and/or phono. There is also one usb input to attach your ext. hd or usb hub and also another usb connection where you can hook up your laptop and essentially make changes while your iPod is docked in the Cortex unit.

Front/Connections

On the front (not the top where the exciting stuff is!) is another 1/4" microphone input (total of 2 microphone inputs) with microphone on/off switch and microphone low/high eq, the main power switch, and the headphone input with a left/right fader and a "cue efx" button. The front microphone volume will control volume for both this input and the one on the back that I mentioned above. The headphone/fader control allows you to fade back and forth from both sides which will aid in beat mixing. You are not able to adjust the volume in each separate side though...just fade back and forth between them. I still am confused about the cue efx button as I thought it would be a way for me to listen to efx on a song while in cue but I have noticed that I can still hear the effect on the song whether this button is engaged or not.

Top/Main Panel/Player

Ok, let's get to the good stuff!

Those familiar with the Cortex units will recognize the two blue screens...one on each side for each player. I was a little disappointed that they are the size of the screens found on the 1000 and not the 3000. On each side/player you will also find: navigation buttons/arrows, pitch sliders and buttons, Master tempo, key, jog mode button, play, cue and loop buttons. Also included are the ever present info, play screen, search and shift buttons that are on all the Cortex units. Next to the navigation arrows are the hot cue buttons.

Top/Main Panel/Mixer

In the middle lies the mixer...starting from the top there are knobs and switches that sit next to each player. They include msd/ph/ln toggle switches, gain, and high/mid/low eq knobs. Between this layout you will find a master and booth volume, a time and single button, three efx buttons which are filter, flanger and reverb, a switch to assign those efx to either ch1, cp or master (which will include your mic!) and a dry/wet knob and parameter control for the efx. Below that you will find a typical mixer l/r channel sliders, a VU meter which can read out either Master or cue/pgm and a left/right fader. A slick switch will allow you to change your fader curve from quick fade/start to one that is more gradual.

Testing...testing...

For my testing I used Mackie 450 speakers and a Gemini two channel cordless microphone system. I also used my Western Digital Ext HD and my 80 music gig iPod. The Dmix600 software version that I used as of this review was version 1.2.3.

Those of you not familiar...you have to create a database on your devices (ext hd, ipod, etc) in order for these units to do their magic and with Cortex you can either do it on your PC - which is preferred because it is much faster - or the unit itself. Not knowing if the current PC database software would be compatible with this update, I allowed the unit to create the databases on both of my msd devices which it did just fine. When in doubt...let the unit do it is what I always say!

Since I have been working with these units for quite a while, I knew what to expect when everything was up and running. All of the search features are there including search by artist, song, genre, album, bpm, string search (which can also be done faster with a keyboard....just start typing!) play list and file browser. They all worked properly and efficiently. One difference in the Dmix is when you are needing to search quickly through the alphabet (A, B, C...etc) as opposed to the other Cortex units where you engage 'shift key + arrow", you use 'shift key + wheel." I quickly scrolled through the 7k + songs I had using this feature. Master tempo, pitch, key adjust...all work exactly as they are expected. For the remainder of this review I"ll concentrate on some of the things that might be different then what's found on other Cortex units or things that are brand new.

As I mentioned on the top of the unit are the loop buttons which consists of "in", "out" and "R/Loop." Setting the in and out points, exiting, returning and deleting the loop are all a breeze however editing the loop is difficult at this point. The manual instructs you to use the jog wheel and it does indeed edit the in/out points but how I did it, I don't know! Since the song time displayed on the screen is also changing, it's very difficult to make the edit accurately....it's merely guess work right now but the beauty of Cortex is that they listen to what their djs want and make the updates accordingly. It could be something that I"m failing to grasp entirely and if so, I will certainly post a correction.

On the other hand, setting hot cues is a piece of cake. Merely push the "memo" button and hit either "cue 1" or "cue 2" at the appropriate time to set a hot cue. You can save two hot cues per song.

The efx features which include filter, flanger, reverb and scratch are simple to engage and all sound terrific with the push of a button. You have the option to assign the efx to either side or even master output. Use the dry/wet knob and parameter slider to fine tune the effect. For scratch (no button required) to work you need to turn your touch wheel "on" in the settings and you"re set. I"m not a scratch expert but it sounds great to me and you can even hold down the touchpad and release it for the song to continue as you would vinyl. The pads are grooved like a record and the size is perfect for me to navigate.

The Dmix600 has an option to add a cd player (flip the appropriate switches) which I did. It worked great and I was even able to engage the efx with the cd player. The problem that arises when considering doing this is the logistics of it all. The Dmix and other units like it are not made to be rack mounted...that kind of defeats the whole purpose....so what kind of cd player are you supposed to drag along? I just plugged in my home cd player but a neat FUTURE addition to the Dmix units would be to have a cd player built in for those moments when a client brings up a cd and needs a song played. (this unit would be perfect for a club dj that wants to drag his own equipment along with him but still integrate it in to a club system, i.e. like the on site cd player!)

I was a bit disappointed that there weren't XLR microphone inputs or separate microphone volume controls when I first pulled the unit out of it's box but after hooking up my dual cordless microphone I"m not as concerned now. I was able to plug one channel in the front and the other in the back and although the mixer didn't have separate volume controls I did on my base unit so I can still make adjustments if necessary.

This leads us to the mixer itself....I will remind you that I am NOT an audiophile nor have I even had a chance to use the unit at an actual music gig but after cranking the system up and playing with the high, mid and low eq knobs I am very satisfied. I was able to emit a thundering bass from my Mackies (ok...thundering might be exaggerating but it sounded good!) after bringing up the lows and the board sounded good. My mics sounded nice, clear and not an overly large amount of noise came from the mixer that you normally see on low or mid range mixers.

Overall thoughts...

The Dmix600 will be the perfect solution for many djs that are considering making the switch into the digital world and are looking to also lighten their load. This is a unit that is more then "perfect for wedding ceremonies" as I"m sure many are viewing it right now. The thought of being able to take just this unit out with me and leave my whole heavy rack/box at home excites me to no end and my back is already thanking me. Of course if I need to be able to control lights or have a cd player then I"ll need to lug my main rack (which has my Cortex 3000 in it) but this could very easily become my main unit in a heartbeat. Solid construction, rock solid performance (while testing, I had no crashes, glitches, etc and I tested for hours) and amazing features make the Dmix600 a serious contender.

While I"m writing this...I thought of a solution for a backup plan that does not include cd players. As the back of the Dmix has two inputs, I could plug in an iPod (or two...) in the line in and play, search, pause, etc using the iPod controls themselves. Not perfect but good to know in case the mp3/hard drive part of the unit crashes for some reason.

Also, on some dj equipment websites, one of the features they are touting about this unit is the ability to make play lists on the fly similar to the Cortex 3000. As of the time I"m writing this, this feature is not available but I hope it is something that Cortex will add in the near future. This would be HUGE!

Cons

  • Smaller screen that is found on the HDC 1000
  • As of this update, editing loops is difficult
  • Not huge, but no balanced XLR microphone inputs

Pros

  • Pro construction is felt on every inch of the unit....knobs, sliders, wheels, etc.
  • Same reliability that is found on other Cortex units.
  • iPod dock! I love it!
  • Mixer sounds clean
  • Efx are excellent and very easy to engage
  • It's small, lightweight and it's a Cortex!

 

CORTEX CONTROLLER COMPARISON CHART
Cortex HDC-500
Cortex HDC-1000
Cortex Dmix300
Cortex HDC-3000
Audio mixer  No  No Yes  No
iPod Docing Station No No Yes No
Quantiy of file that can be played Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Playlist Utility - onboard  No No Yes Yes
USB Keyboard Not Included Not Included Not Included Not Included
Keyboard Shortcuts for instant search fields Yes Yes Yes Yes
Seamless looping with stutter-start function ? ? ? ?
Seamless looping Yes Yes Yes Yes
Beatkeeper track comparison No No ? ?
Multitasking - search, browse and prepare
while playing on both decks without restriction
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Profiles (visual fast track) ? ? ? ?
Fader start No No No No
Preloaded demo music No No No No
Automatic beat tracking ? No No No
Tap Function No No No ?
Stutter Style Cue Point setting Yes Yes No Yes
File Browser (file name and structure)
when searching for when ID3 tags might not be accurate
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Front and Rear USB ports Yes Yes Rear only Yes
Pitch Bend via wheel Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scratching Yes Yes Yes Yes
Instant Start Yes Yes Yes Yes
Memory function for preset modes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Key Lock No No No Yes
Plug and Play Instant Drive Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Software Upgradale via USB flash Yes Yes Yes Yes
Drive included No No No No
Onboard playlist creation while playing without limitation No No No Yes
Playlist Support including M3U (itunes) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intelligent Profie searching, skips to break points ? ? ? ?
Software Cortex Database Manger (PC/Mac) Cortex Database Manger (PC/Mac) Cortex Database Manger (PC/Mac) Cortex Database Manger (PC/Mac)
USB ports 2 2 1 5
Number od drives supported with powered hub 4 4 4
Seamless Looping 1 1 1 4
Hot Starts No No No 4
Pitch Control + - 4, 8, 12, 24% + - 4, 8, 12, 24% + - 4, 8, 12, 24% + - 4, 8, 12, 24%
Supported File Formats MP3 (CBR and VBR), WAV MP3 (CBR and VBR), WAV MP3 (CBR and VBR), WAV MP3 (CBR and VBR), WAV
Screen - Size/Type 4 line x 80 character LCD 4 line x 80 character LCD 4 line x 80 character LCD 5" LCD ??
Searchable Fields Songs, Artists, Genres, Albums, BPM Songs, Artists, Genres, Albums, BPM Songs, Artists, Genres, Albums, BPM Songs, Artists, Genres, Albums, BPM
Browse by Year No No No
Play Modes Single, Continuous Single, Continuous Single, Continuous Single, Continuous
Drive Modes FAT 16, FAT32, NTFS**,
and HFS+ (Mac & iPod)
FAT 16, FAT32, NTFS**,
and HFS+ (Mac & iPod)
FAT 16, FAT32, NTFS**,
and HFS+ (Mac & iPod)
FAT 16, FAT32, NTFS**,
and HFS+ (Mac & iPod)
 
* Non-DRM files only
** NTFS read only functionality

SHIPPING INFO: 24 x 6 16 - 17 LBS

CORTEX

Cortex warrants its products to be free from defects for 2 years from the date of purchase.

FOR SUPPORT WITH YOUR PRODUCT CONTACT:
Cortex: 732-346-0061