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Home > Hardware Reviews > General Computing

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Hercules DJ Console

1. Introduction - Retail Package

Hercules DJ Console - Page 1

- Introduction

The music industry is one of the most profitable areas in the global economy. Music is something that most users love to listen to and of course dance to as well. The evolution of computers and PCs has given many end users the chance to practice their skills at creating and "manipulating" dance music. When visiting a night club or bar, we all like to have our favorite song played by the person responsible for that task, the disc jokey (aka DJ). But professional DJ equipement has always been rather costly, thus denying the average enthusiast the chance of playing, mixing and scratching their favorite mp3/cd tracks...until recently that is. The Hercules DJ Console promises to bring DJ mixing for PC users to another level.

- Features

Hercules describes the DJ console "...as an external portable DJ controller, multichannel USB audio and MIDI interface for desktop/laptop PCs. The product is aimed for amateur home DJs, MP3/digital music fans, Club DJs, FM/Internet radio DJs. Users can access tens of thousands of their favourite digital tracks and find any title in seconds with no need to lug around hundreds of CDs or LPs. DJ Console is also perfectly suited for use under low light conditions at parties thanks to at-a-glance LED mode indicators plus backlit and phosphorescent soft rubber keys.

Fun, easy mixing/scratching dual wheels

  • Mix, scratch and control digital music in real time, from MP3s, WMAs to CDs
  • Solid design with phosphorescent keys creating the perfect DJ atmosphere.
  • Tactile controls give much better control on DJ mixing than PC keyboard.
Take full control of your music with the DJ Console!
  • Scratch audio files and CDs
  • Adjust cue points to create great loops
  • Adjust BPM (Beats Per Minute) for smooth transitions between tracks
  • Speed up/slow down music.
Optimised DJ sound
  • Play one track for your audience while previewing another on your headphones to create seamless mixes
  • Add voice-overs by lowering the music volume with the click of a button, allowing you to talk to your "fans"

Ideal to use with all of the latest music and audio applications including: Cakewalk SONAR, SONAR 2, SONAR 3, Cakewalk Pro Audio, Guitar Tracks Pro, Home Studio, Steinberg Cubase VST, Cubase SX, Cubase SL, Cubase SE, Nuendo, Wavelab, Emagic Logic Audio, Adobe Audition, Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro, Cool Edit Pro 2, Sonic Foundry Sound Forge, Acid, Samplitude, GigaStudio, Propellerheads Reason, Ableton Live, Image Line FL Studio (Fruityloops) and other music software..."

- Package

We received the Hercules DJ Console European retail package. The package contains the DJ CONSOLE unit (size 200x235x65 mm), a detachable cover, non-slip footing and shoulder strap, USB and RCA cables, two CDs (installation software & 800 music samples) and a printed installation guide. The warranty on the unit is 2 years and the package is priced at around £169.00.

Professional users may be dissapointed that the DJ Console doesn't come in a standard 1U rack mount format, but as Hercules explains "...Hercules DJ Console is intended for the consumer market, not the professional market, and the majority of consumers do not have a 1U chassis on which to fix a DJ controller. Moreover, Hercules DJ Console is intended for mobile use (which is why it is USB powered), and the fact that DJ Console is only 23.5cm (9¼ inches) wide makes it much more portable than if it were in the 1U format (48cm/19 inches wide)..."

Hercules lists the PC and operating system recommendations as follows:

  • Desktop/laptop PC with Intel® Pentium II 400mHz (700mHz recommended), Athlon 500 MHz and higher or compatible
  • 128MB RAM
  • Windows 98SE, Me, 2000 & XP
  • USB port
  • Headphones or amplified speakers
  • CD or DVD-ROM drive
  • Microphone
  • Internet connection
  • 100MB hard disk space

It is advisable to visit the Hercules website and download the latest firmware and drivers, since Hercules updates them frequently. You should also take a look at the FAQ before proceeding with the installation and use of your console, where you will find many answers. Among them, is the DJ Console compatible with the MAC: "...We are currently studying the prospect of a DJ Console for Mac OS X, but it would not use the same hardware as the PC version..."

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