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Gemini PMX-80

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1 Review

2 channels + mic input;
Gain controls;
Crossfade reverse;
Crossfade curve adjust;
slim design;
Split cue option;
3 way eq with kill;
Low frequency kill switches

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      11.12.2000 00:19
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      Having a keen interest in becoming a DJ, and after finally saving enough cash for some midrange DJ kit, I finally got round to parting with my cash and acquiring the PMX80 to control my two Citronic PD-1s. As I got them as a package deal, it therefore effectively reduced the price of the mixer considerably, from 99 quid down to approx 35; as a result I’m reviewing the mixer with this lower price level in mind. The reason for this is that this mixer is relatively basic, and therefore it’s quite a safe bet to say only those starting out will be considering this sort of mixer, so you’re likely to pay somewhere around the same price. Anyway... The DJ shop I was buying from offered a number of mixers with my chosen turntables, and I’ll tell you why I picked the PMX80: from the specs it gave great value for money. Features such as gain controls, low, mid and high EQ controls, low cut switches and crossfader reverse are generally not found on such low priced mixers. Having looked then looked at the other Gemini mixers, I found it’s the highest spec’d 6.5” mixer in the PMX range, and also has only the PMX-140 to beat it. I could’ve gone for this for only 10 or 15 quid more, but I wasn’t arsed about the mid and high cut switches and the punch in. Also that one’s a lot bigger, and I’d prefer to spend that other 15 quid down the pub. Having wired my two TTs up to the mixer, and connected the mixer to my hi-fi, I slapped my 12” on, hit start, whacked across the x-fader, cranked up the gain and was delighted. Then I wired up my PC sound card to the line in on channel 2. The mixer supports three lines and three phonos, but only has four RCA style inputs on the back and two channels. Various toggle switches assign the inputs to the channels. It seems slightly confusing at first, but after a moments thought, all becomes clear. Headphone or ‘cue’ mixing is possible with thi
      s mixer [I thought it was a rather obvious feature but some mixers don’t actually support this], which enables you to listen to and prepare the choon that’s on the other channel, mandatory of course for beat mixing like I wanted. A toggle switch selects CH1, Split or CH2 to be fed to your ’fones. The split setting sends CH1 to the left ear and CH2 to the right, but you can’t overlap the two, which some DJs prefer. However, if your headphones allow you to select stereo and mono, switching to mono will of course overlap the two choons. I did find that mixing this way was a bit unreliable, though; everything sounded perfectly in time but wasn’t quite right on the master output. This of course proves that you need to have good headphones. The output it provides is rather good. I had to crank my hi-fi up to full to notice any humming sounds when everything was silent. The TTs connect to the ‘ground’ socket on the mixer to try to reduce this sort of hum, and it seems to work. The 4 red and 7 green line of LEDs running horizontally along the mixer accurately show the sound level of the output signal. However, there are no LEDs to show the level of the sound you’re cueing, so you’ll have to be careful you don’t whip in a quieter or louder choon during the actual mix. My only other main gripe is that there is no REC output, meaning I can’t record my mixes onto MiniDisc, unless I plug that into the headphone socket of my hi-fi (therefore silencing my amp). One final point is the manual’s pretty dire, but everything’s pretty self-explanatory anyway so that doesn’t really matter. So all in all, if you can get this in a good price package deal then go for it, unless you’re determined to have a REC out. Certainly for a starter mixer, it’s got more than enough, it’ll even get you through some quite creative mixing, and a few live sets
      ! -DJMatt

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