Magazine Archive

Home -> Magazines -> Issues -> Articles in this issue -> View

Article Group:
Control Room

Styling & profiling

Kam GMX7

Article from The Mix, December 1994

Sampling DJ mixer


An S3000 it ain't, but Kam's GM-X7 is one of a new breed of DJ mixer with on-board sampling circuitry. It's a facility with something to offer every DJ, whether you want to drop cheeky catchphrases or segue your drum loops. Mixmaster Rob Green samples its charms...


Whether for reasons of economy or practicality, Kam have abandoned their trademark compactness for the GM-X range of sampling mixers. The GM-X7 comes instead in a 19" rackmount format, with sturdy carrying handles which lend it a certain air of professionalism.

No, the GM-X7's name doesn't indicate more input channels than the five of the GM-X5, it differs in the capacity of its sampler, in this case eight seconds. It also has a removeable crossfader, which is assignable to any of the four input channels, as opposed to the extra mic channel.

The cue selector buttons are situated to the right of the master fader. There are six of them for cueing the mic channel, all four input channels and the sampler channel.

Next door to that is the sampler section, which includes a sample start/stop button, selector buttons for all channels plus the master channel, as well as sample volume and PCT speed control knobs. A metal toggle selects the sample mode - write, single or repeat. The write mode is used for recording samples into the sampler, while the single and repeat modes are used for playback. With the repeat mode you can loop the samples, and use the start/stop button as a punch in or out. The single mode allows the button to trigger the sample for as long as it is held down. The sampler is 12 bit, and samples at 16kHz.

Another useful feature is the three band graphic EQ. This is especially good for recording, to achieve an appropriate bass level for tape. Below that is the master fader, the cue level knob and the headphone socket.

The mic channel has a fader, bass and treble knobs, talkover function and an easily accessible mic socket. All of the four input channels have selector toggles, and a stereo LED peak meter is provided to assist in obtaining the correct level.

The first fader, Mic 1, is purely a mic channel with bass and treble control knobs, auto talkover and mic input socket. Channel 1 also has a mic input, and a toggle is used to switch between mic 2 and CD/aux inputs. Channels 2, 3 and 4, of course, also have toggles which are switchable between phono and line inputs. All the RCA phono, line and output sockets are accessible from the rear of the unit.

Sampler section has a positive trigger button, and a choice of routing possibilities.


Performance



The GM-X7 is as smooth in operation as it is in looks. You can assign the crossfader to any desired channels from one to four, allowing you to operate with or without the crossfade function, thereby eliminating the chance of accidentally knocking the crossfader and spoiling your mix.

The crossfader feels nice and strong, and is of course removable. It offers a good profile, creating a fairly subtle mix between records, and never seems to drop one channel out too fast when pushed across.

During those crucial moments of transition between two records, the mixer lets you relax, secure in the knowledge that everything is at hand and in order. (Remind me not to come to your next jungle night - Ed). For instance, if you are monitoring on channel 2 and starting to lose it, you can simply reach to your right, tap a button, and you're listening to the other channel. To get the best picture of your mix, I believe that the ability effortlessly to select different monitoring channels in this way is essential.

I only experienced one slight problem with the crossfade mixing on this unit. I found that when a break came in and the fader was fully across, I could hear a small amount of cross-talk from the other channel. It's not a huge problem, but I am left wondering whether this is standard or merely a one-off problem with this particular mixer. It was the only thing that marred the GM-X7's performance in the slightest.

The sampler is an interesting little extra. It can be fun, and effective for use in mixes, especially mix tapes. Now you can take that sample from your favourite song, and trigger it in your very own mix. Unlike some outboard sampling units, it doesn't have more than one memory, or a back-up battery to allow you to prepare your samples in advance. Nevertheless, ideas like this are at the crossroads of DJing and music-making, and whet the appetites of many DJs for sampling and sequencing.

Once you get used to the sampler, you'll be amazed what you can do with it. In the right hands it can be a really productive tool. You can create drum loops and fade them in and out of your mix, or perhaps drop the record out altogether, start with the drum sample loop and just mix with that. It's not just plug in and go, but it won't take you long to exploit its potential.

The sound quality of the mixer is pretty good. I experienced a little bit of hum, but most mixers of this type create a certain amount of noise. With its comprehensive facilities, it's well suited to permanent installation in clubs. Even if one of the channels was lost, as is occasionally the case, you would be able to quickly plug in another channel and assign the crossfader to that one instead. Everything seems to be geared for tough use.

I decided to put the GM-X7 to the definitive test, and do a full mix tape on it. Listening to it, the mixes sound tighter than with my original mixer. This is probably due to the X7's clear monitoring and good crossfade profile. If it can help to improve your mixing ability at all, then it's surely worth having a look at. It gives you all the essential tools to do your job well, with the extra bonus of an on-board sampler to add some artistic licence to your set. The best thing is that you get the whole package for a very reasonable £315.95 - Get mixing!

The essentials...

Price inc VAT: £315.95

More from: Lamba, (Contact Details)

Spec check

Input channels 3 phono, 3 line 1 mic, 1 aux
Output channels Two
Graphic EQ Mic (2 band)
Output (3 band)
Metering LED
Effects None
Crossfader Replaceable
Headphone cue All channels
Mains supply On board
Dimensions 482mm (L) x 299mm (W) x 125mm (D)



Previous Article in this issue

Maximum headroom

Next article in this issue

Power play


Publisher: The Mix - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

The current copyright owner/s of this content may differ from the originally published copyright notice.
More details on copyright ownership...

 

The Mix - Dec 1994

Donated by: Colin Potter

Coverdisc: Mike Gorman

Control Room

Gear in this article:

Mixer > KAM > GM-X7


Gear Tags:

12-Bit Sampler
DJ Mixer

Review by Rob Green

Previous article in this issue:

> Maximum headroom

Next article in this issue:

> Power play


Help Support The Things You Love

mu:zines is the result of thousands of hours of effort, and will require many thousands more going forward to reach our goals of getting all this content online.

If you value this resource, you can support this project - it really helps!

Donations for July 2024
Issues donated this month: 14

New issues that have been donated or scanned for us this month.

Funds donated this month: £20.00

All donations and support are gratefully appreciated - thank you.


Magazines Needed - Can You Help?

Do you have any of these magazine issues?

> See all issues we need

If so, and you can donate, lend or scan them to help complete our archive, please get in touch via the Contribute page - thanks!

If you're enjoying the site, please consider supporting me to help build this archive...

...with a one time Donation, or a recurring Donation of just £2 a month. It really helps - thank you!
muzines_logo_02

Small Print

Terms of usePrivacy