As soon as we arrived at Plasa, we hot-footed it to the Numark/Alesis stand to see the new Akai MPC2500, but while we were there, a rather interesting unit caught our eye - a Numark turntable... with a built-in Hard Drive(!)
The HDX looks similar to the company's previous CDX model in that it sports a vinyl 'interface' to manipulate sounds strictly within the digital domain, but wheras the former used sounds from a built-in CD drive, the HDX goes one further and has a removeable Hard Drive on-board to store data - neat idea.
We were lucky to find Numark Product Development Manager Christopher Roman who gave us an in-depth look at this new product - and the development work behind the scenes. Checkout the video.
We also persuaded him to give us the skinny on the recent iDj iPod mixer, and the HDCD1 - the rack-mountable, dual CD player with built-in hard drive first seen at Summer NAMM.
Here's the Official word on the HDX:-
"Numark, the number 1 choice of DJs everywhere, is proud to announce the HDX, a tabletop HD/CD/MP3 player with an ultra-high torque, motorized 12-inch platter that holds a vinyl record for the ultimate in vinyl scratch feel. Styled after Numark's highly successful CDX player, the new HDX is the most advanced DJ media player available. Incorporating an onboard hard drive accessible via USB 2.0 and an 8x CD reader, the HDX is the perfect tool for professional and aspiring performing DJs, mobile DJs, as well as club installers.
The new HDX sports a 40 GB hard drive supporting MP3, WMA, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC media formatsâ€”ensuring the broadest file compatibility. With support for these compressed media formats, DJs can now dramatically reduce the volume/weight of the music library they transportâ€”making their work easier. Adding further convenience, the HDX features an onboard GracenoteÂ® CDDB (CD database) to automatically recognize and tag audio CDs. The unit's enhanced search capabilities facilitate easy file location by artist, album, genre, track, plus BPM. The HDX includes support for PS2 connectivityâ€”enabling string searches and navigation through the menus via a QWERTY keyboard. And with high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity providing full access to the hard drive for both Mac and PC, updating content has never been easier.
When it comes to real scratch feel, nothing beats vinylâ€”and in this area, the HDX is best in class. Featuring an ultra-high torque motorized 12-inch platter that holds a real user-replaceable vinyl record, the HDX interface is as good as it gets. The new HDX features an industry maximum 4.7 kgfcm torque direct drive motor, aluminum platter, dual "battle-style" controls, and forward/reverse toggle. Additionally, this exceptional player incorporates a superior Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD), slot-load CD transport mechanism, CDR compatibility, and extensive DSP functionality.
With its ability to rip CDs directly to the hard drive for playback and storage, the HDX makes it easy to build one's onboard music library. The HDX also records live via its analog inputs and encodes the input signal directly to the hard drive. Further, the HDX offers an S/PDIF digital output. For even greater versatility, the HDX provides a proprietary link connector for connecting two HDXs togetherâ€”facilitating access to content via either unitâ€™s hard drive or CD reader.
Additional HDX features include several modes for scratching and looping, including auto beat matching and smart looping via Numark's proprietary Beatkeeperâ„¢ technology. Onboard beat-synched digital effects include sonar, slide, filter, echo, plus chopâ€”and effects can be manipulated via a separate control wheel interface. The HDX also offers a pitch slider programmable up to Â±100% pitch control, as well as a high quality, 100% key lock.
Numark CEO Jack O'Donnell commented on the new HDX, "With support for a wide variety of media formats, the highest torque direct drive motor available, a full size platter, and TTX turntable styling and control, the new HDX provides today's DJ with the ultimate in scratch vinyl feel while offering the benefits of random access only a hard drive can provideâ€”eliminating any need for compromise."
Numark's new HDX HD/CD/MP3 player is an exciting new tool for todayâ€™s demanding DJ. The HDX will be available Q3 of 2005.