As its name suggests, DJ Mixstation 4 Reloaded is a re-issue of eJay’s original DJ Mixstation at a fraction of the price but with all the features – and, it must be said, the drawbacks – that made it attractive and frustrating in equal measure the first time around.
Basically you get two virtual record decks, displayed side by side on screen. Scan your hard disk for music so it gets added to the Mediabase window, and from there you can drag and drop tracks up into the play window.
Once you’ve loaded a track, each deck has controls that allow you to play and pause it, use the pointer to scratch it, sample a short section and then loop that whenever you want. You can also set up to five cue points within the track to which you can jump to instantly at any time during playback.
In addition, you can apply up to three effects at a time (these include the usual reverb, echo and chorus but also some funky filters, resonance and phasing effects) and alter the tempo, pitch and key of a track. This is important, because it may help you match the next song you have cued up on the second deck – which, of course, has all the same controls.
You can switch between the two decks by dragging the cross fader left or right, and use the individual faders to create an automatic fade down of the track that’s currently playing and fade up the next track that’s cued up ready and waiting.
Fun, but confusing
At its most basic, you can use DJ Mixstation to create an evening of music that fades seamlessly between songs. Alternatively, you can cue and loop and scratch and cross-fade and beat-match your way through a proper DJ-style performance.
Set some time aside to explore the program, though, and be prepared for a few frustrating moments. There’s no Help (opening that menu just takes you to the eJay store – thanks, guys) and you’ll need to turn off the ‘helpful’ tooltips because unfortunately, they make it impossible to control the program. Similarly, it’s supposed to support iTunes playlists yet doesn’t explain how you load these and make them work.
- Great price; great fun.
- Confusing interface; no Help or tutorial.
DJ Mixstation 4 Reloaded is heaps of fun, but if eJay had extended a little more care in explaining how some of its more advanced features (such as beat-matching and using playlists) worked, it'd be a hell of a lot more fun.