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Next - Nextbeat
Next - Nextbeat
Posted by Gizmo on April 2, 2009 :



Just before WMC, graphics giants Wacom made us scratch our heads a little with their Nextbeat DJ console thingy. Firstly, what the hell do Wacom have to do with DJing? And secondly, who do they think they are trying something wildly new? Well that's what the digital age is about - bending the rules a little or just outright breaking them. And that's what Nextbeat is/are all about - originality.

If you recall, I mentioned in the original story that the Nextbeat box was a little Pioneeresque. Well it seems that there's a good reason for that as 2 key players in the project have both worked at Pioneer for a serious length of time - and it shows. When I asked why Wacom decided to get into the DJ scene, the response was "why not?". Can't flaw logic like that really.

So without detailed information, here's what I can glean. This is a self contained unit (with a lid) with built in sound card, and music is stored on Compact Flash cards. Given the cheapness of portable HDs right now however, CF seems like an odd choice. The LCD screen gives you full access to your library as well as other info about what's playing. The left hand side of the unit is given over to playing functions such as loops and samples. The removable spaceship like part is essentially the mixer, with EQs, pitch faders and effects all controlled here. The wireless handheld unit will work up to 20 meters away from the base unit as well, meaning the DJ can get right into the heart of their audience if they wish. Sadly, this is without headphones so if you want to change tracks, it's back to the DJ booth for you.

The real stringer right now is the price - a projected 1600. Ouch. I know that there are some silly numbers thrown around in these recession heavy times, but I would urge Nextbeat to reconsider that price level. My gut feeling is that the novelty of the wireless "mixer" will not sway enough people to part with that kind of cash.

I do however like the Nextbeat unit. I get the whole performance element of it, and generally like the way it's put together. It's due in September so I do hope they can do something with the price before then.

wacom dj nextbeat dj console
wacom dj nextbeat dj console
wacom dj nextbeat dj console
wacom dj nextbeat dj console
wacom dj nextbeat dj console
wacom dj nextbeat dj console


NOTE: No further comments are being accepted.
19 comments to this story

{subject}
On April 2, 2009, qfour20 said this:
WOW. That's an awfully neat little doodad there. I'm not really sure what could be done about getting the price down, though. I'm certain that they could maybe take the fit and finish down a bit to shave a few bucks and maybe leave off the wireless, but I think that not capture enough of the original idea to be worth it for these guys. Definitely something to keep an eye on, though.

-q

{subject}
On April 2, 2009, KLH said this:
This unit is about two years ahead of its time.

The problem (IMHO) is that turntablist scratching is the seen THE indicator of quality - meaning if a Turntablist can scratch and juggle on a product like a TT/Mixer, then the product is viewed as a GREAT product. If he/she can't, then it's a toy.

Until something replaces The Turntablism Indicator, this product (again IMHO) unfortunately won't get traction in the marketplace.

It's a shame too. Visionaries should be embraced as they usually make the world a better place.

{subject}
On April 2, 2009, DJMarshy said this:
I'm gonna say the choice to use CF cards is probably due to their ruggedness. It's much easier to destroy a hard drive with a careless drop than it is to destroy solid-state media.

However, I think this unit is incredibly impressive. I can't see clubs installing it (what happens when your drunkard DJ drops it on the dancefloor and it gets destroyed?), and it's just too much coin for bedroom DJs or even mobile pro DJs. I don't think it has a market.

It's innovative and it's impressive, but unfortunately I don't see it going anywhere.

{subject}
On April 2, 2009, bedouin said this:
I'm waiting for Martha Stewart to release her MIDI controller until I can make a decision.

{subject}
On April 2, 2009, nem0nic said this:
CF? Really? Why not Bernoulli carts? Or Zip discs? But USB is so cheap and easy to implement....

And no headphone jack on the remote? So wait, If I use this system to allow me to go out on the dancefloor, I'll still have to run back to the base every time I need to mix...

How is that different than me just walking out on the dancefloor with normal gear? Oh, I get to scratch blindly on a controller with no visual reference.

But hey, I would look fabulous doing a jesus pose at the center of the dancefloor with one of these in my hand. And Justice could use these and have a valid excuse for the lack of connecting cables. OK, I get it.

{subject}
On April 2, 2009, Silami said this:
"It's innovative and it's impressive, but unfortunately I don't see it going anywhere."

Totally agree. I like the innovation, but I think they should have put a little more thought into it. Having no headphone-output on the remote makes it a bit too limiting and takes away about the whole point of the remote.
CF is nice, but they should at least have implemented a USBport too, maybe even a cd/dvd slot.
That price is just way too much, I don't think anyone will buy this..

The final product looks more like a gimmick to me, reminding me of guitar hero. I think with a little more for a little less it could have been a really good product. In the way it's going to be on market it's not the thing for me.

{subject}
On April 2, 2009, Dizzy said this:
Another thing to note... not only is the headphone jack on the base but the play buttons as well. How the hell are you supposed to mix out on the dance floor when two of the three crucial elements essential to mixing are 20 metres away from you? The only thing it would be useful for is doing a mix at the base and then running out on the floor to twiddle the eq and effects knobs. And no USB?! WTF? You may as well have put a floppy disk drive in the thing! Innovation is one thing, but practicality is another.

{subject}
On April 2, 2009, 75er said this:
Definitly one of the nicest tools for the underrated species of Controllerists. Turntablism is so last century now blink1.gif
No, I still love turntablism, but guys like Moldover, Ean Golden and so on took it to the next level. So we also need tools liek this. As for the price, do you guys remember QFO, Controller One and stuff like that. It's not a product for everybody, only a handfull of Controllerists will really know how to play it as a new musical instrument.

{subject}
On April 2, 2009, beat boy said this:
nextlevelness:now i can watch "the hills" in the back with this thing on my lap with a 20m headphone extension cable and still make money.

fact is that nobody is taking nothing to the next level,the only thing nextlevel is the technology not the so called dj.

{subject}
On April 3, 2009, Meo said this:
"But hey, I would look fabulous doing a jesus pose at the center of the dancefloor with one of these in my hand. And Justice could use these and have a valid excuse for the lack of connecting cables. OK, I get it."

Yupp... thats what they want... save us from the spaghetti cable monster that is called justice...

Now when the hell did the script writers for Statreck start making DJ gear?

It is just is too weird. No matter if its good or not.

{subject}
On April 3, 2009, DJ Pulse said this:
Saw it at online then in person @ WMC. It's interesting, except...

- headphone output is on the base unit
- waveform display is only for one track at a time

... various other small things that a DJ would look for but they've left out of v.1 of their design.

{subject}
On April 3, 2009, tobamai said this:
The CF instead of USB is a weird choice... It makes me think there must have been a business reason to do that, but I don't think Wacom makes compactflash cards. Maybe it was a design decision? Some engineer wanted a minimum read speed that isn't guaranteed with all (read: legacy) USB devices.

It looks like a really flashy, surprisingly solid piece of kit. I'll definitely try one when I can get my hands on one. The switch between decks thing is iffy for me, I'd rather have dedicated controls per deck. I'm interested to know who's going to pick one up (and who they're targeting) with those features at that price point.

Wacom, if you're reading here's some free material to use in your advertising: "Nextbeat, because if you want to keep mixing while you take a dump your only other option is adult diapers."

{subject}
On April 3, 2009, marbles said this:
It's a bit like an oversized Pacemaker...but without the headphone port being mobile too, and less,.. erm,..portable.

Nice 'executive' toy,... I'm only saying executive because of price.

Why don't these comapanys get some regular folk who actually have some knowledge of dj'ing in to give the products a once over before release....mind you, these type of jobs usually attract the 'yes men'.

{subject}
On April 3, 2009, bedouin said this:
"Why don't these comapanys get some regular folk who actually have some knowledge of dj'ing in to give the products a once over before release...."

Because talented DJs don't need gimmicky, shit toys to sound good.

{subject}
On April 3, 2009, Anselm said this:
Also its limited in its working progress, isnt it? I mean for the electronic lovers with mixing ability and the jukeboxes with a fascination regarding the flanger as the ultimate tool for everything its way to simple for having fun.

Its a progress though... I recognize that, but I'd prefer an updated pacemaker with an ability to change at least two eqs at the same time blink1.gif

{subject}
On April 8, 2009, if said this:
if the controller is blue tooth then I smell some fresh mods.

{subject}
On April 12, 2009, bo! said this:
I can do that whole wireless bullshit with serato or ableton with an itouch midi application.

{subject}
On April 12, 2009, Gizmo said this:
quote:
"I can do that whole wireless bullshit with serato or ableton with an itouch midi application."

But can you do it without decks, mixer and laptop?

{subject}
On June 27, 2011, Mike said this:
Where can i buy it in USA?







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