The DJM-750 is a four-channel mixer. Each channel has the option of using one of two RCA analog inputs or the USB sound card as its source. Channels 1 and 4 are switchable between phono and line, while channels 2 and 3 each have two line inputs. I personally prefer to have the option of putting turntables on any channel, but I don't see this as a deal-breaking limitation. Each channel can be assigned to either side of the crossfader or not at all. A welcome feature is that the EQ knobs can be set to go from either a standard EQ, with a range of -26 db to +6 db, or function as isolators for complete cutting of a frequency range. On the top left of the front panel is a mic input that accommodates either XLR or 1/4-inch inputs. The mic has an on/off button and a two-band EQ, with knobs for hi and low. Effects can be added to the mic as well. The master output has both balanced XLR or RCA connections; the booth and record outputs are only RCA. (In my opinion, balanced booth outputs make for a more professional mixer.) There is also a digital coaxial output and 1/8-inch CDJ fader start connections that I've never seen anyone use.
The USB sound card driver installed on a Macbook Pro in seconds. Accompanying the driver is a simple yet effective DJM-750 Setting Utility app that allows you to configure input and output. Not only can you assign the individual channels post-fader to a DAW input, but you can also select the record out, mic, crossfader or timecode as a source. Possible sample rates include 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, and 96 kHz. On my system, Pro Tools recognized the mixer as a sound card after one click in the Playback Engine dialog. Following that, I had probably the most painless vinyl transfer experiences I've ever had. It then realized that, utilizing channels 1 and 4, it would be possible to transfer two records at once. If you were performing either a DJ mix or a DAW set, you could also record each stereo channel separately and the master output for further editing. Reason 6.5 saw the mixer pretty easily with just a little extra clicking needed to iron out a weird problem of all four input channels seeing one turntable as a source. Sampling into Reason's sample input was a breeze and reminiscent of sampling to an MPC straight from vinyl. The outputs of different synths and other instruments routed easily to different mixer channels on the 750 and could then be further mixed, EQed and treated with effects. I would assume the same would be just as simple for Ableton Live and other DAWs. Finally, Traktor Pro's outputs routed easily to the mixer channels. Unfortunately, the mixer isn't Traktor friendly in any other way; you will still need an NI interface to use control vinyl or CDs.
The FX section has gotten a few new features as well. For starters, the Sound Color FX section now has a boost button that enhances the use of the Noise, Jet, Crush and Filter by adding delays and reverb tails to the sounds. Also, the faster you turn the Sound Color knob, the more intense the effect is. As for Beat effects, all of the usual suspects are there, with a new Vinyl Brake effect that approximates hitting the stop button on a turntable. You can apply effects to any individual channel, either side of the crossfader, the mic or the master output. These effects can also be previewed in headphones. Additionally, there is a pair of 1/4-inch sends/returns on the back panel for adding an external effects processor. All in all, these are effects that we have heard many times before, and to hear some of them more than once in any DJ set might be too much. Of course, it is up to the DJ to tastefully use them with the right source material.
Pioneer's DJ-750 serves as a solid choice for a club DJ mixer, but I think one of its strongest assets is its versatility as a piece of studio or stage gear. Even DJs who never venture into the world of production need to record mixes and such, and this is a perfect solution that removes the need for additional equipment. Anyone doing a laptop live set can forego the use of a sound card and traditional mixing board and have four stereo channels with gain, EQ and effects housed in a compact, familiar unit.
Ease of use: 3.5/5