Native Instruments Audio 4 DJ Sterling VA

The Audio 4 DJ may be precisely what you have been looking to prep the DJ rig for thefuture. It’s tiny, built like a tank, and beautifully designed.You can rely on it for touring.

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Native Instruments Audio 4 DJ

Fortunately, NI announced their Audio 4DJ just in the nick of time. My buddy JasonJenkins currently uses its big brother, the Audio 8 DJ, with his Traktor Pro setup, and swears by it. So, with elevated expectations I fired up the Audio 4 DJ and took itto a few gigs.

First off, the thing is tiny. In my gig bag, it takes up a fraction of the space of my old interface. More importantly, it’s extremely roadworthy. Metal construction, a single knob for volume, and a recessed display add up to ruggedness that some competing units sorely lack. This box inspires confidence.

Setup is a snap, as NI’s years of software experience makes the install processa breeze. What’s more, the included discal so boasts the Kore Player with a demo sound pack and Traktor 3 LE software, so new users have a few goodies to get them up and spinning quickly.

I rely on Ableton Live for my work and as I expected, the Audio 4 DJ was recognized and configured in a few mouse clicks. Most crucially, at gigs it performed like a champ.Like some lap toppers, I mix within my software,using only two inputs of the club’s mixing console and relying on Live’s interface for cueing tracks. Obviously, NI knows this is a popular approach, as outputs 3 and 4, which are what you’d use for your “preview” mix,are duplicated at the headphone out.

At home, I used the Audio 4 DJ for recording my Dave Smith Mopho and Korg Kaossilator synths, and was pleasantly surprised at the overall audio quality.The converters sounded clean and crisp.DJs who spin vinyl will appreciate that plugging in a pair of turntables is covered,thanks to the built-in phono preamps and ground connector.

All in all, the Audio 4 DJ is precisely what I was looking to prep my DJ rig for the future. It’s tiny, built like a tank, and beautifully designed. I bought the review unit and now rely on it for touring.

PROS

Super compact. Rugged construction.24-bit/96kHz converters. Includes phono preamps. Rock solid drivers.USB bus-powered. Headphone jack with dedicated volume knob is on the front where it belongs.

CONS

No on board signal metering. RCA connectors are great for DJs but would require 1/4" adaptors for most keyboard-and band-oriented setups.

INFO

$249 list/approx. $200 street,native-instruments.com

NEED TO KNOW

What is it? USB2.0 audio interface with four inputs and four outputs.
Who’s it for? Given that it has RCA connectors only, it’s optimized for DJs,as these connectors are what you’ll find on turntables and DJ mixers. It could also work for a small desktop studio, though.
What does the Audio 8 DJ have that this doesn’t? Four more each o fRCA ins and outs, an XLR mic input,and MIDI I/O.
Is it worth it? For a basic, get-it-done interface for DJs with laptops, it’s the best value going.

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