Classic rotary mixer design meets the modern age.
UREI produced the 1620, one of the most coveted mixers of alltime, from the ’70s until the mid-’80s. The UREI 1620was a standard fixture in early house-music clubs, and many of NewYork's top house DJs honed their skills on that model. The mixersare still highly sought after; used UREI 1620 mixers currently sellfor several thousands of dollars.
The main reason that DJs remain on the lookout for the 1620isn't entirely nostalgia: despite its lack of modern features, likea crossfader or separate EQ for each channel, it is one of thebest-sounding mixers ever made. Noticing the considerable demandfor used UREI mixers a while ago, Rane set its sights on producinga unit that combines the UREI 1620's best features with modernversatility. With the introduction of the MP 2016 Rotary DJ Mixerand the optional XP 2016 Processor, Rane offers DJs a desirable,professional-quality alternative to the 1620.
NO CHEAP KNOCKOFF
Although obviously inspired by the UREI 1620, the MP 2016 isn'tmerely a knockoff “reissue.” For example, it does notinclude left-to-right channel panning as the UREI does, but mostDJs can live without that generally underused feature. The MP 2016offers six separate stereo input channels; individual master volumecontrols for the booth and house outputs; 3-band EQ for the masteroutputs; and a headphone cueing section with a 6-position Sourceswitch, a Cue/Master selector switch, and a headphone levelcontrol. The device also comes with a Cue/Master switch for thebooth output, allowing DJs to either monitor the signal going tothe house system or cue up material by listening to the sound overthe booth monitors instead of using headphones. The Master sectionalso includes a Mono/Stereo switch, an Effects Loop engage switch,and a switch for engaging the XP 2016 Processor.
Channels 1 to 4 all feature a phono preamp and a phono andline-level switch. Channels 5 and 6 both provide a balanced micpreamp with a mic and line-level switch, as well as rear-panel trimcontrols for adjusting gain, treble, and bass. All six channelshave a 6-position rotary switch for selecting the channel inputsource or any one of five auxiliary inputs. In addition to stereoinput jacks for each channel (1 through 4 are RCA; 5 and 6 are XLR)and the auxiliary section (all RCA), the mixer offers balanced XLRand unbalanced RCA house outputs, unbalanced RCA booth outputs, astereo effects loop with ¼-inch jacks, and a pair of stereotape outputs (pre- and posteffects) with a trim control foradjusting output level. In all, you can connect up to 11 soundsources to the MP 2016 at once, control up to 6 sound sourcessimultaneously, and manage volume levels for the house, booth, andheadphone outputs from one location. Talk about total control!
JOIN THE ROTARY CLUB
The primary attribute that the Rane model shares with the UREIis its rotary-knob design. Each of the MP 2016's six channels hasindividual rotary knobs for adjusting input gain and mix level.Many DJs feel that knobs create smooth-sounding mixes more easilythan the sliders found on most mixers today. The mix-level knobs onthe MP 2016 are nice and big, with a silky-smooth action thatallows very precise adjustments. Dual-color signal and overloadLEDs for each channel light up in green when the signal is optimaland turn red when the level is too hot.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the UREI 1620 was that it didn'tprovide each channel with its own EQ. Although the MP 2016 has onlya 3-band master EQ, the optional XP 2016 Processor supplies threebands of EQ for each channel. The EQ knobs allow you to dial in upto 10 dB of boost or fully kill the frequencies in the control'srange (treble is above 4 kHz, mid is between 4 kHz and 300 Hz, andbass is below 300 Hz). The XP 2016 also features a crossfader withadjustable contour, and 3-position switches for each input channellet you assign the signal to the A or B side of the crossfader orpostcrossfader. For even more detailed level monitoring, the XP2016 includes a 10-segment stereo LED meter that displays thesignal level of the source selected in the MP 2016's headphonesection. By providing the modern features that today's DJs demand,the XP 2016 Processor truly distinguishes the Rane model from theUREI.
DJs who need ultraprecise control of their mixes will absolutelylove the MP 2016 and XP 2016 combo. (The latter is really anecessity for today's DJ applications.) Offering the ultimate inflexibility, the Rane is best suited to house, trance, and technoDJs who like to slowly and subtly mix in elements from varioussound sources and perfectly blend the levels of each channel. Acrossfader simply can't provide the same level of control. TheRane's channel and auxiliary inputs enable DJs to use just aboutany imaginable combination of turntables, CD players, samplers,groove boxes, drum machines, synths, tape loops — whatever.The creative possibilities are mind-boggling.
But the MP 2016's sound quality is what really makes it worthits rather lofty price tag. It has become the mixer of choice amongmajor nightclubs and top DJs for good reason: no other mixer modelsounds as clean or punchy. Even at extreme boost or cut settings,the Rane's EQ controls remain noise-free. If you've used only cheapDJ mixers before, the enhanced range that the MP 2016 reveals fromvinyl records may surprise you.
Granted, rotary mixers aren't for everyone, and sound qualitythis good doesn't come cheap. The MP 2016 and XP 2016 Processor area little too expensive for the average home-DJ setup. However, ifyou produce your own mix tapes or CDs or you're seeking ahigh-quality mixer for a club installation, the MP 2016 is one ofthe best DJ mixers ever made. It's worth every penny to anyonewhose primary considerations are sound quality and versatility.
MP 2016 Rotary DJ Mixer
XP 2016 Processor
PROS: Excellent sound quality. Smooth, precise rotary levelcontrols. Outstanding EQ for each channel (with XP 2016 option).Versatile.
CONS: Expensive. The optional XP 2016 is also pricey — butessential for modern mixing applications.
Overall Rating (1 through 5): 5
Contact: tel. (425) 355-6000