The Mixars Primo Serato DJ Pro controller took a while to arrive, but I finally got it in my studio for a full review!

IN SHORT

Mixars Primo top view

The Mixars Primo took a long while to arrive after its initial introduction, but it was worth the wait. A fully equipped Serato DJ Pro controller with a 2 channel hardware mixer, 8 performance pads per channel, large jogs and a sturdy build quality is always welcome!
Price: 
$$$ check the price on Amazon

Under USD 200: $
Between USD 200 and USD 500: $$
Between USD 500 and USD 1000: $$$
Between USD 1000 and USD 2000: $$$$
Over USD 2000: $$$$$

Level:mid-level/professional
Power:power supply
Inputs:2 PHONO/LINE (RCA), 1 MIC (XLR)
Outputs:2 MASTER (XLR, RCA), 1 BOOTH (1/4 inch TRS Jack), 2 PHONES (1/4-inch stereo jack, 3.5-mm stereo mini-jack)
Supported DJ software:Serato DJ Pro
Djtechzone Rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
  

PROSCONS
  • Excellent build quality
  • Serato DVS included
  • Great jog wheels
  • Included filter effects
  • Affordable
  • Some knobs are hard to read

Video review

Prefer to see the whole thing in a video? Check out my video review below!

First impressions

The Mixars Primo Serato DJ Pro controller has been coming for a long time, and to be honest, at one point I thought it would just never be released. So I’m really happy that Mixars finally got the Primo out, and that they were so kind as to send me a unit for review.

The first impressions are very positive. The Primo feels solid and well build. It’s quite heavy and that’s because it’s largely made of metal.

The jog wheels are large and comfortable in use and the performance pads are very responsive.

The mixer has 2 hardware channels, and integrated hardware effects. On the back, the Primo has a wide array of inputs & outputs, including an AUX input.

It’s clear the Mixars is pitching the Primo against the likes of the Pioneer DJ’s DDJ-SR2, or the Rekordbox DJ version, the Pioneer DDJ-RR. I did a comparison between the two a while ago if you want to have more details on that. It’s good to have more competition in the mid-tier range, as it gives more options to DJ’s looking for a good deal.

Features & functionalities

The effects

Mixars Primo - the effects
Mixars Primo – the effects

The effects sections on the Mixars Primo are the way I like it: functional and complete. There are 3 knobs to control 3 effects separately, and one to control the beats and the FX mode. Underneath the knobs, there are buttons to activate and deactivate the respective effect. You can assign each effect section any available deck, from 1 to 4.

I also like the illumination on the knobs, which makes it easy to see which effects are on and off.

The jog wheels

Mixars Primo - the jog wheels
Mixars Primo – the jog wheels

The jog wheels are really fantastic on the Mixars Primo. They feel extremely robust, and the finish on top is designed to feel like vinyl. The tension is quite tight, which means that spin backs will be hard to execute since there is no tension adjustment for each jog.

Each jog wheel is surrounded by a blue LCD ring, that lights up when a track is loaded and spins when a track nears the end.

During my testing, however, for some reason, the LCD never spun an inch, no matter what I tried. I would expect the LCD ring to indicate the needle position, and it baffles me that the engineers didn’t go with that from the start.

But since Serato DJ Pro 2.1.2, the behavior has been changed so that the LCD ring indicates the needle placement. So be sure to update to the latest version of Serato DJ Pro!

Distributed around the jog wheels are different buttons that engage vinyl mode, reverse mode, slip mode, censor and reverse.

Finally, there is a handy touch strip under the jog wheel that allows you to go quickly to any point in the loaded track.

Pitch fader

Mixars Primo - pitch fader
Mixars Primo – pitch fader

The Mixars Primo has a high-resolution pitch fader that feels quite good. There is no LED to indicate the center position but there is a center click. Underneath the pitch fader there are buttons for pitch bending.

Performance pads & transport controls

Mixars Primo - performance pads and transport control
Mixars Primo – performance pads and transport control

The Mixars Primo has 8 performance pads per deck which extensive support for Serato DJ Pro’s performance features: HOT CUE, ROLL, SLICER, SAMPLER, CUE LOOP, MANUAL LOOP, SLICER LOOP, and PITCH PLAY. The pads work well and have a very good response. Also, some pads are marked to indicate what they do when certain features are activated, for example, when the manual loop feature is activated, the IN, OUT and RELOOP pads are labeled.

I like that Mixars also includes a separated AUTOLOOP button, with buttons to half or double the loop size. Looping is a key feature when DJing and only having the performance pads to engage loops makes things a bit complicated when performing.

Finally, there is a button to engage KEYLOCK and using SHIFT, to sync the keys of the loaded decks.

The mixer

Mixars Primo - the mixer
Mixars Primo – the mixer

The Mixars Primo Serato DJ Pro controller has a two-channel hardware mixer that supports Serato DVS (the license is in the box). This means that you can connect external hardware such as turntables and media players.

Additionally, the Primo has what Mixars calls filter effects: NOISE, FILTERS, ECHO and CRUSH. These work with or without a laptop, so they will work with external equipment.

Each channel has a 3 band EQ, a knob that controls the filter effects and a trim knob. In the middle of the mixer, there are volume knobs for the master output, the booth output, and the sampler.

The faders and crossfaders are all very decent in use, with the crossfader loose enough for scratch DJ’s to have their fun.

Inputs & Outputs

Mixars Primo - inputs and outputs
Mixars Primo – inputs and outputs

The Mixars Primo has an extensive amount of controls on the front. First of all, there is an AUX input that shares volume and other controls with the mic. There is a switch to alternate between the two. There are knobs to control the volume, the tone and there is even a dedicated echo for the AUX/Mic input.

Furthermore, there is a crossfader curve knob and a switch to reverse it as well. Finally, the headphone controls include a volume knob, a cue/master knob and even a split cue switch!

These features will certainly please mobile DJ’s, and if we combine that with the sturdy build quality and the hardware mixer that supports Serato DVS, it’s obvious Mixars is targeting them with the Primo.

On the back, the Mixars comes loaded with a TRS booth output, XLR and RCA master output, RCA inputs for each channel that can be switched between line and phono and an XLR mic input. Again, a very complete array of inputs & outputs.

Conclusions

Overall, I really enjoyed testing the Mixars Primo, and to me at least, it feels like a really solid entry for Mixars into the world of DJ controllers. They delivered on build quality, overall ease of use and integration with Serato DJ Pro, and as I said above, it will certainly attract DJ’s that need a reliable piece of gear for mobile use.

Since this mixer has been in the works for a few years and only comes out now, it might feel a little “old fashioned”: there are no fancy LCD screens, spinning jog wheels or anything like that. But I bet many DJ’s appreciate that kind of vibe and prefer a well build and solid piece of gear over a sophisticated but more delicate one.

I hope Mixars continues to expand their line of DJ controllers, there is certainly room for more competition!

Picture gallery

IN SHORT

Mixars Primo top view

The Mixars Primo took a long while to arrive after its initial introduction, but it was worth the wait. A fully equipped Serato DJ Pro controller with a 2 channel hardware mixer, 8 performance pads per channel, large jogs and a sturdy build quality is always welcome!
Price: 
$$$ check the price on Amazon

Under USD 200: $
Between USD 200 and USD 500: $$
Between USD 500 and USD 1000: $$$
Between USD 1000 and USD 2000: $$$$
Over USD 2000: $$$$$

Level:mid-level/professional
Power:power supply
Inputs:2 PHONO/LINE (RCA), 1 MIC (XLR)
Outputs:2 MASTER (XLR, RCA), 1 BOOTH (1/4 inch TRS Jack), 2 PHONES (1/4-inch stereo jack, 3.5-mm stereo mini-jack)
Supported DJ software:Serato DJ Pro
Djtechzone Rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)