Phase DJ was originally debuted at Namm 2018, from the creators of Mixfader MWM. It’s been an eagerly awaited product after being pushed back twice from its initial launch date of November 2018. The market has been kept on its toes with sneak peaks from the likes of Jazzy Jeff showcasing what seemed impossible. A super accurate, low latency time code replacement that even works when you wave the vinyl in the air.
What is Phase DJ?
Phase is DJ controller that detects rotation information from 2 wireless remotes and converts that information into a DVS signal for your software to use. Basically put, your DJ software receives all the timecode signal it expects from the Phase hub but without a needle or actual timecode vinyl. Included in the box are the two remotes, the hub, two RCA cables to connect to the mixer, 4 magnetic stickers to keep your Phase Remotes in place on any vinyl and a charging USB cable.
Why Do We Need Phase DJ?
DJ’ing started on vinyl and even in todays age of digital DJ’ing you can find DJ’s buying and playing vinyl on turntables around the world. The first choice for Scratch DJ’s, there’s a feel to the turntable that can’t be replicated by CDJ’s or DJ Controllers. It was for this reason that DVS systems became so popular, the ability to play digital files with traditional equipment gave DJ’s all the feel of vinyl but with the ability to play tracks that may have never been pressed into the physical form. Add to that the performance benefits of digital DJ’ing and you can see why DMC/Red Bull Thre3style DJ championships have been dominated by DVS set ups.
However vinyl systems do have drawbacks, especially in this modern age. Needle skip, dirt on the vinyl and properly calibrated turntables can all cause issues. With DJ’s preferring digital players these days the DJ boxes aren’t set up to reduce dreaded feedback like they once were in the 80s. This is where Phase comes in. Needing only the rotation of the turntables platter, the wireless remotes avoid the issue of feedback, dirt, noise and flutter. Giving your software a perfect control signal regardless of external conditions.
What are the alternatives?
Phase are the first to come up with the wireless remote solution which attaches to any turntable. However there a few other solutions if you want a turntable feel to play digital files without the issues of traditional DVS.
Rane recently launched the fantastic Twelve controller. A digital controller that resembles a turntable, complete with spinning platter and a fake vinyl to manipulate the music. Including a touch strip for performance features, the 12 offers the same digital control with a vinyl feel but at £630 each they are certainly a premium accessory that can only be used with Serato.
Denon DJ also released the SC5000M last year, a digital player complete with a spinning platter and fake vinyl just like the Rane 12 to control the music. Again another fantastic product that gives you the feel of vinyl with the ability to play digital files over its two layers. However the SC5000M only works with USB sticks and isn’t yet compatible with any DJ software plugged in from a laptop and its smaller 7” platters don’t match those of the Rane 12. At £1099, it’s a bargain for all the performance features but it sits at the other end of the spectrum compared to the Phase.
MWM have priced the Phase at £270 and it works with any turntable and software. This means Phase remains almost alone in the market place, undercutting the other solutions with being more adaptable and cheaper.
Would we recommend Phase DJ?
MWM have created a truly unique product with the Phase, it’s taken the digital DJ world by storm. It sits in its own product category and the other methods of recreating the experience are rather expensive. It’s not for everybody and certainly won’t appeal to those who don’t already own a set of turntables. But for those looking for a stable method for DVS with ultra low latency, this has to be the best way! Add to that the amount of viral videos and creative ways Phase can be used (You can pop the Phase on anything that spins) and the hours of fun are endless!