After a ton of research I decided on the Numark NUVJ. It was the cheapest combination of software and hardware controller that looked really promising. Clip triggering with 18 buttons, effects dials, scratch wheels, crossfaders and pitch control all with integrated software that seemed to do all I wanted. Awesome! I went down to my local guitar center (haggled them down to 249 + tax). Went home hooked it up, got started and promptly returned it two days later. Much to the delight of the friendly and helpful staff at guitar center. And now the why:
Compact unit. Sturdy build, seems like it could take some knocks. Software works with PC/MAC – simple interface that matches the hardware perfectly. Easy install on software and clips – more clips if you register (not worth it, at least the ones I got) Dead simple to operate. Plug and play. Quick, does what it says it will on the box – and nothing more. At all. Ever.
Software looks dated. Not always a problem, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. But this seems like software from 2006 because that’s when it was made…update nah, who needs it? No more effects for video in the last two years from what I can tell – so they aren’t going all out there…On the website output resolution is described as “unlimited, whatever your graphics card can output”. But they suggest 640×480. Hmm…that’s kinda low. I called up Numark. A technical support rep told me on the phone, “You MUST run this on a Macbook Pro not a Macbook, if you want to have NO problems, the graphics card on the Macbook just won’t cut it. – oh and stick to 640×480″ Ok, so basically the marketing materials are total BS. Not surprising, but disappointing. I kept it and played around with it until I discovered that it doesn’t play nice with audio files by themselves – I’d have to convert to Quicktime movie files and even then not so hot.
Not more than two layers. Meaning no blending of more than two clips doing anything together at once. You have Channel 1 and Channel 2 and a mixer between them. This seemed more and more like my old tyme RCA video switcher but instead of using VCRs I was using a fancy looking interface and software to basically play, pause, rewind. Less and less appealing. Especially after seeing what all the other software based more advanced VJ programs can do.
I took it back. I am well aware of what talented people can do simple things, but basically this is a really cool looking two channel video mixer. I’ll give you that it has dazzling effects properties and great hardware integration for the money but it is something that I outgrew in about 2 hours…You probably will too.
Save your bones for the software based VJ programs out there…but which one?
Still interested in the NUVJ? Informational links below:
Numark – Product Page
Create Digital Music – Review and Midi Discussion
NUVJ Crash Course – Via VJKUNGFU.tv
NUVJ Crossfader Triggering – Via VJKUNGFU.tv
Next time on How to VJ: Software: Mac only.