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Tools of the Trade

Reloop looks to the Traktor Pro user with the Jockey 3 Remix controller

By Chris Galvin
Reloop Jockey 3 Remix

The Jockey 3 Remix (MSRP: 549€) is Reloop’s flagship four-deck DJ controller aimed at the Traktor Pro user. Based on the Jockey 3 ME, the Jockey 3 Remix retains all the best parts of the 3 ME and includes new features like single rotary knob effects combos, EQ kill, and tri-colored LED buttons with three different modes including Track Deck Mode, Sample Mode, and Remix Mode.

Track Deck Mode
Includes playback, cue, loop and Beatjump button for “jumping” to a specific place in a track.

Sample Mode
Sample mode allows access to Traktor’s sample deck parameters with dedicated sampler volume controls and filter controls.

Remix Mode
Remix mode allows quick access to the effects as well as the new Roll & Mash modes. The Roll Mode triggers a drum roll and the Mash mode lets you set temporary cue points and to trigger the cue pads.

Layout
The blue and black color scheme looks identical to its predecessor with the addition of the new buttons to accommodate the three new modes, etc. Each module feels like it has been strategically placed and spaced for optimal control. The new tri-color LED backlit pads are also a nice addition.

Materials/Build
Weighing in at a hefty 11 lbs. (5kg), the Reloop Jockey 3 Remix is constructed of bulletproof metal and feels like a solid piece of equipment that could handle the rigors of touring. Clearly Reloop spent a lot of time sourcing the material for the J3R because the rotary knobs, cue buttons, sliders, and crossfader not only look really nice but are really smooth and easy to the touch.

Performance
Once I figured out the various mapping modes and modules interactions, playing with the J3R became a bit easier, more intuitive, and really pleasurable. The fun began when I started to really grasp and interact between the three new modes. While it did take about a week to memorize the placement of each feature module, once I got the swing of it, I was able to really drill down and take advantage of all the features of Traktor Pro via the dashboard. Be it looping stuff on the fly or adding a “static” beat to the background for a consistent-sounding transition mix, the interaction was really fun. I especially liked the ability to use the EQ kill feature when mixing bass-heavy tracks and then being able to control multiple effects with one rotary knob while mixing with the crossfade in the other hand. This is especially helpful because there’s already enough going on when you are mixing multiple loops, stems, and tracks—and having control with one single knob is awesome.

Jog Wheels
There seems to be a bit of latency when using the jog wheels, and if you’re using the J3R to scratch, it might take some getting used to the sluggishness—especially if you are mixing old-school without the Traktor synch mode on. With that being said, the rest of the buttons and rotary knobs were very quick and responsive.

Standalone Mixer
As an old-school guy who can’t seem to rid himself of turntables, I was able to connect a pair of 1200s and use the J3R as a standalone mixer to throw down some quick vinyl sets or just play some vinyl. Conceivably you could add two CDJs to the mix via the Line feature as well.

What we like
Having quick access to control the Traktor remix deck parameters in sample mode is fantastic. The one rotary knob control of multiple effects is a really great feature and the EQ kill was also very entertaining. For those died-in-the-wool turntable users, the two analog inputs for phono/line for a classic mixer-type setup are a particularly nice addition. There are also two headphone jacks and a 24-bit Burr-Brown audio interface to boot. Oh yeah, the J3R comes with Traktor LE.

What we don’t like
While the unit is solid, it’s a bit heavy for a traveling/touring DJ and I highly suggest getting a trolley bag for transport. The J3R is not plug-and-play, and you will have to install a driver to get up and running, but the immediacy of being able to connect a laptop and start mixing after the fact was fantastic. It did take a few days to get used to the layout and the Mode Section and the Shift for the second layer of MIDI functions.

Overall
This is definitely not an entry-level controller and is a worthy competitor to the Traktor S4. If you are looking to take a step up and have complete control of your mix performance in one unit without being tied to an S4, then you should roll over to your local retailer and give it a test ride.