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Numark Orbit Wireless Handheld MIDI Controller with Built-In Accelerometer


Numark Orbit Wireless Handheld MIDI Controller with Built-In Accelerometer

Numark’s Orbit packs a massive amount of DJ control into a compact and intuitive design that fits comfortably in your hands and allows you to mix your music wirelessly on your computer.

Wirelessly manipulate effects, launch samples and hot cues, control software, trigger lighting, and more.

Every inch, inside and out, is tailor-made for DJ performance and powerful wireless control-Orbit is 100 percent MIDI-customizable, able to go as far as your imagination and creativity will take it.

  • Wireless handheld MIDI controller
  • Use with included Orbit DJ software, or customize it for use with any software that accepts MIDI messages
  • 2.4 GHz ultra-low-latency wireless performance control up to 100 feet
  • 16 backlit pads, 4 selectable banks, 4 virtual knobs per bank
  • Internal 2-axis accelerometer for instant motion control via 2 shoulder trigger controls
  • Use handheld, strapped to belt or body or hung around neck, control audio, lighting, mixing and more!
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery

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What customers say about Numark Orbit Wireless Handheld MIDI Controller with Built-In Accelerometer?

  1. 10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    A unique option, but some significant caveats., September 10, 2015
    By 
    Jon Frisby (Silicon Valley) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Numark Orbit Wireless Handheld MIDI Controller with Built-In Accelerometer (Electronics)
    I was looking at this as a supplement to a Novation Launchpad Mk 2, for controlling a generative lighting system at my wedding reception. I want the DJ controlling the simulation in general, but the photographer to be able to de-saturate the lights in parts of the room to get better photos. This seemed like the perfect option.

    While I’ll likely be able to use it for that, I was hoping to be able to light up the buttons reactively to help him keep track of what he’d saturated/desaturated without having to survey the environment — but that’s probably not gonna happen (see below).

    First, the good:

    1. The controls are quite versatile in how they can be mapped,
    2. The device is responsive to input, even wirelessly, and it’s easy to work with in terms of receiving events from the device.
    3. Being wireless makes it uniquely useful.

    Now, the bad:

    1. The Sysex messages this device supports are entirely undocumented, making it very difficult to set the lights on the device from software (other than from their own layout editor of course).
    2. The rate you can update the lights at is very slow when plugged in via USB and 10x slower when connected wirelessly. You should pretty much forget about lighting up buttons in response to user actions.
    3. It appears that what messages the device expects in order to actually obey you when you map it is different for wireless mode vs. wired mode. In wireless mode, where the update rate is already very very poor, you have to *read the device state* in order to get a state update to take effect — and you need to wait after sending the update before sending the read request.
    4. The firmware is *incredibly* fragile. It’s quite trivial to make the device crash such that a power cycle — or even a factory reset — is required to get it working again.
    5. Battery life is frustratingly short. This isn’t a huge deal on its own, but in conjunction with built-in LiIon batteries, it means that you get a couple hours of performance aaaaand, you’re done. You can’t just swap in a fresh set and keep going. On the plus side, it’s cheap enough that it might be feasible to just buy 2 or 3 and rotate between them.

    Other observations:

    1. The device is actually a bit more capable than their software exposes. While they only offer 12 color options (including black — or “off”), the hardware supports 6-bit color (2 bits for red, 2 bits for green, 2 bits for blue), allowing for 64 possible colors. If you’re writing Sysex messages to the device you can trivially make use of the full range.
    2. I don’t see anything on their site about firmware updates, nor in the docs about how one would apply an update. That suggests that this is not a device that will get better (less finicky / more capable) over time. At this price point, I’m not especially put off by that, but it’s worth considering.

    Conclusion:

    An interesting option, especially at this price point — but the software / protocol issues, lack of docs, etc render it more a nifty toy than a useful tool.

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  2. 9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Versatile, fun to use; very frustrating to install software., October 20, 2013
    By 
    J. Howard (NC, USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: Numark Orbit Wireless Handheld MIDI Controller with Built-In Accelerometer (Electronics)
    Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What’s this?)
    The Numark Orbit is versatile and fun to use, but getting the software to work is a huge pain. The Orbit incorporates two innovations over other DJ controllers: it has the form factor of a video game controller, making it tiny and lightweight; and it uses accelerometers and a single jog wheel to control continuous parameters, rather than knobs or sliders and a pair of decks. The trade-off for its size and shape is that inevitably feels a bit gimmicky, more like a toy than a piece of serious musical equipment. The device is well built, however, and the small physical interface is surprisingly powerful. Numark’s own demo software for the device is way too basic to be useful for actual performances, so you’ll want to use one of the provided mappings for Traktor, or make your own mapping using the Editor software that you can download from Numark’s website. This brings us to my one major complaint: the software is extremely frustrating to install. Numark makes you go through a complicated registration process where you have to enter your billing address, device serial number, date of purchase, and a bunch of other irrelevant-seeming information, all through a web interface that is almost unusably buggy. It felt really invasive and was generally obnoxious enough that with the website as it is right now, I wouldn’t recommend buying the product in the first place. If Numark got their act together and allowed users to download the software without the registration step, however, then I’d happily recommend the Orbit to anyone who wants a hyper-portable DJ rig, or wants an interesting new device to add to a larger performance setup.
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  3. 4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Can’t believe this hasn’t become a best seller., November 10, 2014
    By 
    ArjunR

    This review is from: Numark Orbit Wireless Handheld MIDI Controller with Built-In Accelerometer (Electronics)
    This is an excellent tool for any performer that wants to go to the next level of DJ performance. But the biggest advantage is the Traktor mappings. Even for a beginner it’s astonishingly easy to apply those build up style effects. The fX mapping makes this a brilliant addition to the standard DJ console.

    Also worth noting, it’s built like a tank, and has no perceptible lag on wireless. And they made sure that it gives a good “lightshow” when you are having fun with it. Nice little touches that make this a great tool for performing live.

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