Numark HDX

TheBarrelShifter

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Hello All,

I gives me HUGE pleasure to announce the product I have secretly been working on for the past 2 years...

The Numark HDX has arrived and was launched at the PLASA show at Earl's Court over the past few days.

I have had to bite my lip recently when reading threads regarding CD and hard disk players since the development has obviously been top secret until this point. I even had the old forum mods remove my original posting about the Obsidian prototype I made 3 years ago when Numark decided to make the product.

The HDX is similar to the Numark CDX except that it plays audio from a removable 80 Gb hard disk. Formats supported are MP3, WMA, WAV, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC. The unit has USB 2 for high speed transfer of files from your PC (or Mac) and incorporates a CD mech which can rip audio or data CDs to the hard disk.

Here follows the official product information...

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Product Description

The Numark HDX is the world’s first and only tabletop HD/CD/MP3 player. With an ultrahigh
torque motorized 12†platter, the HDX utilizes a real vinyl record for the ultimate vinyl feel. Now you can dramatically reduce the weight of the music you transport, and increase the volume and variety of your library.

Styled after Numark’s highly successful CDX player, the new HDX is the most advanced DJ media player available. Complete with an onboard hard drive, USB 2.0 ports, and an 8x CD reader, the HDX is the perfect tool for professional and aspiring performing DJs, mobile DJs, producers and club installers.

The HDX includes a removable 80 GB hard drive supporting MP3, WMA, and WAV media formats. The unit’s enhanced search capabilities facilitate easy file location by artist, album, genre, track, plus BPM. With high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity, you now have full access to the hard drive for both Mac and PC, making updating of content easier than ever.

Positioning

The new HDX is the ultimate digital turntable, providing you with the benefits of a “real†vinyl control surface, and giving you random access to audio that only a hard drive can provide.

Applications

From scratch and mobile DJs, to producers and DJs in live bands, the HDX is designed to support all the needs of the digital DJ of today and tomorrow.

Dimensions & Weight
Dimensions: 17.75" x 14.5" x 3.625"(HxWxD) (371mm x 451mm x 92mm)
Weight: 22 lbs / 10kg

Key Features & Benefits

1) Authentic turntable feel
• Ultra-high torque (4.7 kgf cm) direct drive motor
• Full size 12†platter holds a real user replaceable vinyl record

2) Extensive DSP functionality
• Scratching, looping, smart looping via Numark’s proprietary Beatkeeper™ technology, auto beat matching
• Beat-synched effects include sonar, slide, filter, echo, chop
• ±100% pitch control, Key Lock

3) Slot load CD transport
• Fast CD loading
• Front-load slot

4) I/O panel connections
- Audio input
- Audio Output (RCA)
- Midi In/Out
- Digital Output
- Fader Start
- USB 2.0
- PS/2 Keyboard

FAQs

Q. Is the hard drive upgradeable?
A. Yes, with any standard 2.5†hard drive.

Q. If the hard drive crashes, can I still use the CD player on the unit?
A. No, HDX requires the hard drive to be functioning in order for not only the hard drive functionality, but the CD capability as well.

Q. How can I load songs?
A. Songs can be loaded using various methods:
- Insert a CD into the built-in CD drive and rip directly to the unit.
- Record audio that is connected via the LINE IN RCA input jacks on the I/O panel.
- Songs can be loaded to the hard drive using the USB 2.0 connector. When connected to a PC, the HDX is seen as a USB mass-storage device. Be sure to eject/stop the HDX connection on the PC before disconnecting the USB connection.

Q. What bit-rates can I rip or record audio at?
A. Audio can be ripped or recorded at the following bit rates: No Compression (wav format)
192 kilobytes/second (Compressed - CD Quality)
320 kilobytes/second (Compressed - Professional Quality)

Q. Can I search for tracks on the hard drive using a keyboard?
A. Yes. A keyboard can be connected via the PS/2 jack on the I/O panel. This can be used to search for tracks via any search method. Track searching/selection can also be done directly on the unit using the rotary encoder, the keyboard is not necessary.

Q. Can I create new playlists directly on the unit?
A. Yes. You can create and edit playlists directly on the unit using the rotary encoder and by following the intuitive on-screen instructions. Playlists can be created by accessing the PLAYLIST option when the MENU button is pressed.

Q. What audio/data formats does the HDX support?
A. The HDX supports the following file formats from the hard drive and CD:
- MP3
- WAV
- WMA

Q. Why is it important to have a 12†motorized platter with vinyl record and slipmat?
A. For professional DJs, a 12†motorized platter with vinyl record and slipmat provides the essential experience of
-The DJ uses the active motion of a motorized platter to scratch and adjust pitch.

Q. Can the DJ use their own records and slipmats?
A. Yes, the HDX can be easily customized with another record and slipmat.

Q. What is the torque and why is this important?
A. Torque is the force of the platter moving. In the HDX it is the current industry maximum of 4.7 Kgf cm. This is important because, the DJ uses the resistance of this force in order to scratch effectively. Poor torque, such as that found with a belt drive, means the platter will not stand up to the rigors of heavy scratching.

Q. What is smart looping?
A: Smart looping is a feature that lets the user make perfect loops every time by using the Beatkeeperâ„¢ to create the loop. The user will press the smart loop button, then press the in and out buttons close to the beat they want to loop on. The Beatkeeper aligns and quantizes the loop to be perfect. With the +/- buttons the user can then double or half the loop.

Q. What other cool features are on the HDX?
A. Fashioned after our premium TTX and CDX turntables, the HDX is rugged and durable. We have added all the features you would expect in a high quality turntable to make the user experience almost identical to using real vinyl. We have also added all the latest in digital technology that make DJing so much fun. A built in Beatkeeper gives accurate and instant BPM readouts. Key Lock allows users to change pitch +/- 100% yet still maintain the current key. The built in DSP processor allows creative effects to be used. Stutter allows the user to jump around the music instantly and still control the music via the vinyl record. Cue point storage allows the user to jump instantly to stored points and not spend time cuing up. MIDI makes this unit fully controllable in a studio environment. Combined these features make the Numark HDX the ultimate DJ tool.


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grokit23

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What sort of hard disks does it accept?

Can they be swapped in situ? eg: next dj comes up and brings his own hard disks with him to plug into the HDX.

If not how are we going to be carrying less weight around with us if the machines weigh 10kg each?

Any pictures... scratch that one just found some.

What sort of price range are we going to be looking at?
 
D

dave arc-i

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Q. If the hard drive crashes, can I still use the CD player on the unit?
A. No, HDX requires the hard drive to be functioning in order for not only the hard drive functionality, but the CD capability as well.
so IF you are lugging one around to do a live/dj set and the hdd crashes you are up shit creek then?
 

ChrisCabbage

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Don't want to piss on any bonfires or anything, but:

I'd rather carry a wallet of CDs around with me than a hard disk to be honest. If I drop my wallet, chances are that the material will survive. If I drop a hard disk, hmmm.

I don't necessary buy the idea that the 'vinyl interface' is the ultimate way of interacting with the material either.

It also sounds like (from the above description) that your playlists need to be pre-arranged? Is that the case?

So how would a DJ work with this system? Carry round a hard disk or CDs which he/she would then load onto the deck at a club?
 

TheBarrelShifter

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2.5 inch laptop hard drive in a removable caddy - user upgradable and yes you could take your own caddy to a HDX and plug it right in there.

You could carry a spare HD caddy populated with your music if you're that worried about the HD crashing. Laptop HDs are much more shock tolerant and reliable than desktop (3.5") hard disks - That is why we chose the much more expensive and less expandable 2.5" format.
 

TheBarrelShifter

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You can still carry around your wallet of CDs if that is the approach you prefer.
I'm not saying this product is ideal for every user - It is another way of playing music.
Since the decoders are in software it is much more versatile than a CD deck that uses a hardware mp3 decoder. For example, the HDX can play MP3, WMA, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC. All these formats are supported from data CD as well as hard disk.
You are entitled to your opinions, and no-one is going to force you to buy one. The bottom line is that Numark are the first to release a hard disk based deck.
 

ChrisCabbage

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Hmmm. Really sorry about this, but I really am not being excited by this product.

Seems to me that there's nothing with real *wow* factor over existing methods.

There are already established and adequate CD systems out there in general use.

The *format* issue doesn't bother me since all the material I buy is on CD. If I had a format problem, I'd just convert to CD.

For HD systems, I reckon most will be happier with a laptop which means greater flexibility and the possibility of new software with new and interesting features down the line.

I'm really not trying to put your efforts down, just giving some feedback on how this system appears to potentially fit in with my DJing.

I guess you're right - it might work out for some, but habits would have to change.
 
D

dave arc-i

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TheBarrelShifter said:
You are entitled to your opinions, and no-one is going to force you to buy one. The bottom line is that Numark are the first to release a hard disk based deck.
belated congratulations on getting your idea taken up by a major manufacturer.

back to the topic

I go with Purusha's view that for 'many' especially in the psy-scene CD has been standard for quite sometime and over the last four years laptops have become more and more prevelant for people doing sets - be it live, live/dj or just dj - i cant see this device having that much impact for the above reasons and that a laptop gives you greater flexibilty as a platform BUT in other genres where vinyl is still the main medium then something like this might just be enough to prise those dj's fingers away from vinyl - but i doubt it.
 

TheBarrelShifter

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Like I said Purusha, you're entitled to your opinion, as am I.

I disagree about the laptop, it is only half the solution, is less flexible, less reliable. You're also missing the point because not everyone owns a laptop, just because you're technically capable doesn't mean that everyone is. Plus the setup of FinalScratch or similar is cumbersome and technically involved.

There are plenty of people out there who are excited about this product which was very evident at the PLASA show over the past few days.

Thanks Biggins for your words of encouragement - I've worked my arse off bringing this to reality over the past 18 months (That is why I haven't seen you recently).

Toby
 

grokit23

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I'm guessing this is the same Toby who did the wonderful job with the in-car HD systems, for which muchos applause is due still. :Smile3: If these are made to similar standards then they'll be well put together and it's nice to see Numark carrying on with the innovative designs

I was enquiring down that line about removable HDs because a dj would generally have to take two with him or be limited to only playing from his own HD on one deck, though he'd have the back up option of playing from CD... not really an ideal situation.

As it is I'd love to have a pair of these at home, though if they were to be taken out to be used at parties I expect that any other djs would only end up using the cd functionality of them.
 

Biggins

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TheBarrelShifter said:
Thanks Biggins for your words of encouragement - I've worked my arse off bringing this to reality over the past 18 months (That is why I haven't seen you recently).
heheh

nah fair play mate....a right old improvement on the small "box of stuff" that i saw in your lounge in cambridge. good luck with it and i hope our paths cross soon (before december)

:Grin:

B
 

ChrisCabbage

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Like I said - just giving the opinions of a jobbing DJ. Up to you if you take them on board or not. I really am not having a pop for the sake of it.

BTW - the guy who doesn't own a laptop also certainly doesn't own the HDX!? He/she will have to make the choice which to jump for.

I guess we'll just have to see how it goes. Good luck with it - honestly!
 

TheBarrelShifter

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"I was enquiring down that line about removable HDs because a dj would generally have to take two with him or be limited to only playing from his own HD on one deck, though he'd have the back up option of playing from CD... not really an ideal situation."

Very good point grokit23 - Not many people know this yet, as it wasn't announced or demonstrated at the show, but on the underside of the HDX you will find a connector labeled 'HDX Link' - I think you can probably guess what this is for!
 

ChrisCabbage

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Some questions:

I guess Grokit has a point - you're going to need 2 of these right? Unless you can control 2 tracks from the one surface? If you need 2 hard disks, I guess you need to manually keep them in sync?

What's the pitch resolution?
 

TheBarrelShifter

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"BTW - the guy who doesn't own a laptop also certainly doesn't own the HDX!? He/she will have to make the choice which to jump for."

I think you've made an important point here - A few years ago a DJ would have had to make the choice between vinyl and CD. Whenever there is a transition in media type there will be a resistance to embracing the new media type. My approach to engineering this product has been to make the device all encompassiong to smooth this transition (I wanted to put a tonearm on it too, but they weren't keen on that (Interestingly, Gemini have just released a Vinyl/CD hybrid deck)).

I realise that the psy scene is a place that a scratch deck is unlikely to be fully valued, but since I prefer psy music and scene I am posting here - Remember that the core technology within could be transplanted into any form factor and control surface.
 

TheBarrelShifter

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"I guess Grokit has a point - you're going to need 2 of these right? Unless you can control 2 tracks from the one surface? If you need 2 hard disks, I guess you need to manually keep them in sync?

What's the pitch resolution?"

I think I answered the first one in my reply to grokit - Let me know if you need me to elaborate on my subtle hints.

The pitch resolution is selectable in ranges +-6% / +-12% / +-25% / +-100%
 

ChrisCabbage

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Nope - I can guess what the link is for.

Re: resolution. What I meant was: what's the finest resolution pitch *step*?

Also - does the pitching work by resampling or is it a software controlled hardware clock? I understand if that's a bit of a secret...
 

TheBarrelShifter

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"I'm guessing this is the same Toby who did the wonderful job with the in-car HD systems, for which muchos applause is due still."

The very same - Do you own an empeg car grokit? Please remind me of your real name, I couldn't find it on your profile page.
 
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