American Audio’s VMS4 Velocity MIDI Station Available July 2010

American Audio is pushing the Digital DJ envelop with their new 4 channel (!) VMS4 Velocity MIDI Station DJ controller. Not normally known for the upmost in quality, the American concern certainly wanted to make a splash in the controller market with their VMS4.

The VSM4 features four MIDI and Analog Channels, which they dub, MIDILOG, a slick Innofader Cross-Fader Option, and a built-In Mousepad for about $500 when it debuts in July. The VSM4 is said to work with both Mac and PC platforms and contains drivers for all leading mixing software entries, although it ships with Virtual DJ LE.

» MIDI Controller with 4 USB / Analog selectable MIDILOG (Midi & Analog) channels
» Bundled with VIRTUAL DJ 6 LE Software
» Compatible with all major DJ Software via MIDI Learn function
» MAC and PC compatible
» All audio control faders, knobs, switches, and buttons “smoothed”
» On/off soft startup and turnoff
» Gain/treble/mid/bass EQ on all MIDILOG channels
» 2 phono/line selectable analog channels
» Two microphone channels with illuminated on/off switches and gain/treble/mid/bass EQs
» On/off cueing on each MIDILOG channel
» Split cueing headphones with rotary mix control
» Illuminated rubber knobs for ease of use in dark environments
» Solid 1.6mm thick faceplate for extra durability
» Panel mounted rotary knobs
» Full analog mixer operation if the computer crashes or with external power supply
» Innofader replaceable crossfader compatible (sold separately)
» Crossfader curve control
» Crossfader assign and reverse
» Q-Start crossfader controlled startup for 2 external audio players
» User replaceable channel faders
» Master and Booth outputs with L/R balance
» Balanced Master outputs
» 12 position stereo master output VU meter
MIDI Features:
» Built-in mouse pad (Yeah!)
» MIDI assignable touch strips
» Two 10- bit resolution pitch sliders
» 62 assignable MIDI buttons and switches
» 50 MIDI buttons have LED illuminations, including 18 with dual blue/red LEDs
» 4 assignable rotary encoders
» 34 assignable rotary controllers
» 5 assignable linear fader controllers
» Dual MIDI controls on all buttons and switches
» Dual 2000 point resolution touch sensitive turntable scratch controllers
Audio Features:
» 24-bit 48 kHz analog audio
» 16-bit 44.1kHz USB audio
» 10-bit resolution on all analog fader controls
» THD <0.1%* » Channel separation >60dB*
» S/N ratio >85dB*
» Analog channel audio latency < 1msec » Selectable USB modes: 4 in 4 out mode for running software effects on phono/line analog channels or 2 in 8 out mode for running 4 software channels and master recording * For each audio channel, both line and phono modes

The VSM4 also features two jog wheels, two microphone channels with gain/treble/mid/bass EQs. Each of the mixer’s four channels contains gain, treble, mid and bass controls. All of the audio control faders, knobs, switches, and buttons are smoothed, meaning no popping, wiper noise, or zipper noise. The mixer itself offers the option of being used with an Innofader replacement crossfader (sold separately as an option). All buttons on the VMS4 illuminate in dark environments and only take 2 msecs to respond to a DJ’s touch (4 msec response on all rotary and linear faders).

The VMS4 also has a handy backup feature should your computer crash. The VMS4 will reportedly automatically kick into an analog mode to support a CD players or turntables. Savvy!

In addition to its performance versatility, the VMS4 also offers versatility in its appearance. DJs can personalize the look of their unit, thanks to the availability of customized skins, which can be ordered via the website

Among the VMS4’s other MIDI features are: 50 LED illuminated buttons (including 18 with dual blue/red LEDs), 34 assignable rotary controllers, 5 assignable linear fader controllers, 4 assignable rotary encoders, MIDI-assignable touch strips, two 10-bit resolution pitch sliders, 62 assignable MIDI buttons and switches, dual MIDI controls on all buttons and switches, and dual 2000 point resolution touch-sensitive turntable search controllers.

The VMS4’s audio options include the ability to use it with sound cards; 24-bit 48 kHz of analog audio; 16-bit 44.1 kHz USB audio; 10-bit resolution on all analog fader controls; and selectable USB modes; 4 in 4 out mode for running software effects on phono/line analog channels, or 2 in 8 out mode for running 4 software channels and master recording.

The Future: It appears that American Audio could not hammer out a deal with Native Instruments to be a Traktor Certified product, which is clearly the target market for the VSM4, being fortified with 4 channels of MIDI glory. Not that Virtual DJ is completely dodgy, but the company will license/package their LE product with basically any DJ controller in order to garner market share.
But here’s the kicker: Virtual DJ LE only works with two MIDI channels, so while it’s nice that American Audio packaged Virtual DJ with the VMS4, it’s really one step forward, two steps back in terms of functionality.
The real observation that comes to mind when you look at the VMS4 is: This should really have been Native Instrument’s first DJ Controller instead of the X1.

American Audio’s VMS4 Velocity MIDI Station costs $699.95 and will be available in July. More information on the American Audio VMS4 Velocity MIDI Station.

Author: FutureMusic

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