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Audio Innovate AEM100 pro DJ Mixer

 
 
The AEM-100 is packed full of effects and features. A Pro X-Fade comes fitted as standard and you also get an onboard analog effects chain for each channel. This 2-channel DJ mixer is in a class of its own. CLEARANCE SPECIAL!
 
Product Name: Audio Innovate AEM100 pro DJ Mixer
Product Code: AEM100
Brand: audio innovate
 
Audio Innovate AEM100 pro DJ Mixer
 
RRP AUD $999.00
You Save AUD $650.00
Our Price AUD $349.00
 
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AEM-100 DJ Mixer

The AEM-100 is truly a revolutionary DJ mixer. With over 50 knobs buttons and faders all designed to complement your existing turntables, CD players, and media players, this two-channel analog dj mixer is in a class all to itself.

Start with the basics of two sets of meters for PFL and AFL levels, a three-band graphic eq section with bass, midrange and treble sliders for each channel, and a flexible headphone monitoring system to provide the user with many choices on what and how to listen to their cue. Add the following key components:
  • Unique knob controlled dual effect section with individually controllable filters and sound generators
  • Unique Fader CutsTM for fully adjustable sound transforms and crabs using fast-acting buttons
  • Extremely durable Pro X Fade crossfader
  • Up to 8 line level inputs, 2 turntable inputs, and 2 microphone inputs
  • Balanced Master XLR Outputs

The result is a mixer that is rugged, practical, and fun to use. We are confident you will enjoy this mixer as much as we've enjoyed making it all happen!

Inputs/Outputs

Lets start with some of the more progressive input options offered by the AEM-100. The first thing that grabs your attention is the use of 1/8" input jacks on the front of the mixer. Audioinnovate gives you two 1/8" Aux inputs right on the front to allow you to plug in any mp3 player on the fly without having to dig around in the back. Someone can hand you an ipod at your gig and you can plug it in on either side and mix it into the other side already playing.

Another great option is the addition of a 1/8" headphone out as well as the standard 1/4" out. How many times have you been with a broken 1/4" to 1/8" adapter or without one at all for your headphones? Now if you don't have one or if it goes out during a gig, no problem - just switch over to the other jack.

It also helps to have two discreet microphone channels. Now if the dj is working with two MC's, each one has separate volume, bass, and treble controls without interfering with the two main channels.

When looking at the back panel it becomes clear that no stone was left unturned. You are given three stereo RCA terminals for each channel to allow you to connect a variety of components.

The first RCA stereo input is switchable between Phonograph and Line. The second stereo RCA input is for line level signals. The third stereo set of RCA inputs is for aux.

It's great to have the 1/8" aux inputs on the front but since it's such a new concept what if you don't have a 1/8" to 1/8" cord to utilize it? Well if you just brought your RCA to 1/8" adapter for your I-pod then you can use the back panel connections instead. Or what if you want to take your scratch mixer on the road and hook up a spare CD or DVD player? You can even hook up both the front and back AUX inputs at the same time, for a total of up to 8 program audio sources.

We want to push technology forward but we don't want to leave you out in the cold while we are doing it.

To make sure we are pushing the bar forward we went ahead and decided to get right down to business with the master outputs. The master outputs on the AEM-100 are XLR balanced outputs. We DJs are professionals and we deserve professional grade connections and audio quality for our main outs. In addition to the XLR out we have provided three RCA stereo outs as well.

The three stereo RCA outs found on the AEM-100 are as follows, Master, Booth, and Recording outputs. In addition to audio outputs we have included two 1/8" fader start outputs to allow your digital decks to be controlled by the AEM-100. We live in a digital age so why not make the AEM-100 talk to your digital equipment?

Audio Path

Speaking of digital technology lets go into what happens to the signal when it moves thru the AEM-100. Audio running thru the AEM-100 remains 100% analog and never gets converted to digital.

All of the effects are direct analog controls and have the warmth and reminiscence of analog synthesizers. The entire lower 1/3 of the mixer has an advanced digital control circuit which adjusts digital faders according to the analog fader, knob, and button settings. The audio never actually passes through any knobs or faders here; it all goes in and out through digital faders to keep the noise level down to a minimum.

You can imagine this as having some little guy inside the mixer that can move the digital faders up and down, following your commands from the line faders, crossfader, and fader cuts (which we'll talk about in a minute).

The digital fader setup also improves the sound quality by smoothing out analog fader adjustments with high speed controlled volume changes. Furthermore, with no delay in the audio signal as it passes through the digital faders, you have the direct feel and control that you'd expect when working with the mixer and analog or digital turntables. As your analog faders wear, even though they may develop some slight bleeding" near the off position, the digital control circuit effectively removes this bleeding and can keep the sound fully off.

For the skeptics who worry about digital reliability, even if the digital section crashes" from a power glitch, all that will happen is you can't adjust the fader volume for a split second.

The audio output won't even flinch. Your crowd won't even notice except for a light flicker. The AEM-100 gives you the best of both worlds - analog warmth with digital precision, and a digital control circuit that even makes your mixer feel more analog.

Crossfader and Fader Cuts

The crossfader used by AI for the AEM-100 is the Eclectic Breaks Pro X Fade crossfader. The EB Pro X Fade crossfader is truly one of kind in durability and functionality. With a conductive plastic resistor element, beefy 8mm wide stem, and precision tooled wiper, it is designed to last for over 4,000,000 cycles without ever breaking and sound just as good after 4,000,000 cycles as when it started. When you install the AEM-100 for the first time, you will already have the Pro X Fade tuned to be a perfectly smooth featherweight fader perfect for scratching, and the cut in points will be factory set to within a millimeter from the fader endpoints.

As you work with the mixer, you can further fine-tune the fader tension or the cut-in points to match your mixing style. And even if the fader does start to wear out - most likely from dust accumulation - you can open and clean the fader to make it sound like new. The Pro X Fade combined with the unbeatable digital technology of the AEM-100 gives you a sound that is fast, precise, and smooth.

The most noticeable visual difference with the faceplate of the AEM-100 is the addition of fader cut buttons. The fader cut buttons can be used to cut audio in or out of that channel using your fingertips. This is not just the same standard way to transform.

You can set the sustain time (Cut Time"), attack and decay time (Cut Slope"), and in/out direction (Cut Style") all with familiar switches and knob controls. The fader cut buttons work hand-in-hand with the crossfader circuit and can even be used to trigger the fader start function for a cool stutter effect on the cue point. Each button is rated for over 1,000,000 cycles and has a low activation force so you can work the buttons agressively and do precision timed sound cuts.

The great tactile feel and speed allows you to a new level of control on cutting sounds that you can easily work in with your crossfader routines.

Effects

When it came to effects we decided not to stick to the same standard things that you already have on a digital cd deck and offer a new multi-layering effect section. Audioinnovate is proud to debut an effect section that is more reminiscent of a subtractive analog synthesizer then a standard effects section. To give you a better idea of what we are talking about lets take a look at what you can add to your music. Using the wet and dry fader you can blend or completely effect your music using a noise generator, tone generator, bitcrusher, Phaser, high pass and low pass filters, as well as stutter. The stutter effect is a square wave LFO that is applied to the amplifier of that channel with a variable speed control; you can set the LFO really slow to get a timed stutter effect or really fast to get a wild ringing effect. As you can imagine you can create some rather wicked sounds by just using the noise oscillator, tone oscillator, bitcrusher and filters.

Most effect units can only work on one channel at a time. With effects available on 2 channels, you can create effects on a free channel and add it to your music with the crossfader and fader cut buttons. So now it is possible to add effects that you craft as a music overlay and still be able to run the music through a filter, bitcrusher or any other effect if you wish. The AEM-100 provides the means for DJ's and musicians to add a new level of innovation to their sets.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Inputs:
    Line/Aux: 10kW input impedance, 5.6mV rms sensitivity for 1.0V output
    Mic: 10kW input impedance, 1mV rms sensitivity for 1.0V output
    Phono: 47kW input impedance, 0.9mV rms sensitivity @ 1kHz for 1.0V output
Outputs:
    Master: 8.6V rms Booth: 8.6V rms
    Record: 1.0V rms Headphone Amp: .5 watts / 47W, THD < 0.1%
Equalizer:
    3-band Stereo Equalizer per channel, -30dB cut / +10dB boost
Signal to noise ratio
    Line: 92dB (JIS-A) Aux: 92dB (JIS-A)
    Mic: 87dB (JIS-A) Phono: 83dB (JIS-A)
Frequency Response
    Line: 20Hz~20kHz +/- 1dB
    Aux: 20Hz~20kHz +/- 1dB
    Mic: 20Hz~15kHz +/- 1dB
    Phono: RIAA +/- 0.5dB
Talkover attenuation: Maximum -19dB, minimum -16dB attenuation of main audio
Power consumption: 18 Watts typical, 22 Watts with full headphone output
Dimensions: 10" wide * 14" deep * 4.2" high
Weight: 6.0kg
Life rating:
    Crossfader: >4,000,000 cycles CH1, CH2 Line faders: >100,000 cycles
    Fader Cuts buttons: >1,000,000 cycles Misc. faders: >100,000 cycles
Effect circuitry:
    Noise, Oscilattor: 0 to 3dB max level, oscillator has variable frequency square wave.
    Stutter: variable on/off from a few 1/10ths of a second transforms to high pitched ringing.
    Digitize: variable frequency sample/hold circuit.
    Phaser: dual phaser with variable cutoff.
    Band Pass, Band Reject filters: 4-pole sweepable butterworth filters.
Crossfader section circuitry:
    Cut Time: 1.64msec min, 420msec max, full right = unlimited setting for maximum cut time
    Cut Slope: 1.64msec min, 420msec max transition time between audio and cut position.
    ***Cut Time and slope both set to min will turn off cut function
    Fader Cut buttons, fader start, crossfader/line1/line2 response:
      1.64msec max delay initial response
      1.64msec max transition time for crossfader/line1/line2.
      ***No delay in the audio path, delay is for the audio control only.
    Output Resolution: 0.2dB typical with fader at 2/3 volume.

AEM-100 DJ Mixer

FAQ's:
Q: What is included in the AEM-100?
A: Included in each box is the AEM-100 product itself in with a power transformer and an owner's manual. The owner's manual includes warranty information, block diagrams, and technical specifications.

Q: Is the Pro X Fade adjustment and lube kit included with the AEM-100?
A: No. The crossfader adjustment and removal of the faceplate require skill and we do not recommend the average DJ attempt this. User damage to the crossfader due to improper handling will void the warranty. Furthermore, over lubrication of the crossfader may actually cause the fader wiper to "hydroplane" when you move it fast and lose contact. If you are confident you can properly remove the faceplate and work on the crossfader, or you can refer this job to someone skilled, we have both a tension adjust tool and a standard Pro X Fade adjustment and lube kit available here for purchase.

Q: Do you adjust the Pro X Fade prior to shipment?
A: Yes. We adjust the lag time to within 1 millimeter and keep the tension low for scratching.

Effects section:

Q: Is the effects section entirely analog?
A: Yes, the effects section uses entirely analog componentry. No joking. No digital simulations of analog.

Q: Does your unit have echo or delay?
A: Echo and delay are both common digital effects. In addition, the effects section is set up for texture overlay and to complement effects from digital turntables and effects units rather than duplicate them. To do Echo, Delay, or sampling type effects with digital turntables using fader start, you can use the fader cuts to trigger and adjust the line fader to get echo. More on this will be in the demo.

Q: Why is the effects section pre-fader? Shouldn't it be post-fader?
A: Post-fader effects are only advantageous if you use echo, delay, or other time dependent effects. Furthermore, if you turned on the oscillator or noise generator by accident, it would be confusing because you couldn't turn these off with the line faders.

Q: Why do you include sound generators in the effects?
A: Using the sound generators with the other effects, you can essentially create your own sounds for mixing in rather than searching for them on a CD or record. It's great because you can'tweak the sounds to get exactly what you want and it's very intuitive.

Q: How do the effects fit together? Do they go in some sort of order?
A: The Noise and Oscillator first add to the source material. Then the music goes through the effects from left to right and top to bottom, through stutter, digitize, phaser, and then the band pass or band cut filter. This ordering of the effects makes the most sense musically; for example, if you start with noise, you may want to digitize it for a cool futuristic effect and then filter it to get rid of the harshness.

Q: I turned the Phaser knob and it doesn't do anything. Why?
A: You need to engage the phaser effect first by pushing in the engage button.

Q: I can't get any band pass or band cut filter. Why?
A: A few possibilities. First, make sure the lever between the knobs is set to either band pass or band cut. Then for band pass, make sure the low pass knob is turned further clockwise than the high pass knob or the sound will cut out completely. For band cut, make sure the high pass knob is turned further clockwise than the low pass knob or the sound will either be full on or have a slightly louder phasing type sound.

Q: How do I turn off the effects?
A: The simplest way is to move the wet/dry slider to the dry position. If you want to have the effects off but ready to go in standby, make sure all of the effect knobs are turned all the way to the left, the phaser engage is off, and the band pass / band cut level is in the off position.

Q: How do I eliminate sound changes when I move the filter lever from Band Pass to Off to Band Cut and back? I don't want a click while I'm working live.
A: Between Band Cut and off: Make sure both the high pass and low pass knobs are set to the 12:00 position. Between Band Pass and off: Make sure the high pass knob is turned all the way to the left and the low pass knob is turned all the way to the right.

Cueing and I/O

Q: Why do you have cue switches in both the effects and crossfader section?
A: The cueing in the effect section is the 100% wet cueing so you can'test effects through the headphones before moving the wet/dry slider from dry to wet. The cue switches in the crossfader section are PFL (pre-fader level) cues so you can listen to audio before bringing up volume on the CH1 and CH2 line faders.

Q: Can you cut out the sound completely with the EQs?
A: The sound cuts out by -30dB but this is not a full cut. The full sound cuts are all available from the filtering in the effects section.

Q: Why are there both front and back inputs for AUX1 and AUX2? Can I use both rear and front inputs?
A: This allows you the option of either rear panel inputs for extra media players or front panel inputs for IPods and laptops. It also allows you to use either 1/8" stereo or RCA connections depending on your cables. Since the rear and front inputs add together, you can use them both but cannot control them separately.

Q: What is the advantage of balanced XLR outputs on the master?
A: The balanced XLR outputs limit the ground current which cut down on hum and noise in your audio system.

Q: Can both headphone outputs be used together?
A: Yes.

Fader Cuts:

Q: What are the 4 buttons on each side of the crossfader?
A: These buttons are for applying various transforming, crabbing, and vibrato style effects.

Q: They look like transform buttons. How are these any different?
A: With the Cut Time, Cut Slope, and Cut Style options, these buttons provide an additional level of control. Cut Time allows the cut effect to terminate quicker than your hand releases from the buttons. Cut Slope allows for complete smoothness control. Cut Style allows you to cut the sound either in or out. One advantage of these buttons is they only interact with the side you're working on. Note you can use the "transform button" setting below if you want the feel of traditional transform buttons.

Q: I want to swap the channels. How do I do that?
A: 1) Set the Cut Time to maximum and Cut Slope to minimum on both sides. 2) Set the Cut Style to "In" for the side you want to cut in. 3) Set the Cut Style to "Out" for the side you want to cut out. 4) Press a Fader Cuts button on the CH1 side and another on the CH2 side at the same time.

Q: Why are there 4 buttons on each side?
A: Having multiple buttons allows for high speed action with your hands similar to playing a keyboard or doing a drum roll.

Q: Can't I do the same things with the crossfader? Isn't this cheating?
A: We added these buttons to provide an additional tool in the crossfader section. These buttons are better for fixed and repeatable timing control where the crossfader is better for variable timing control. If there are sounds that can be done with both, then the point is that having the buttons will extend the life of the crossfader because you can switch between the two.

Q: I'm just working the crossfader. Is there any way to turn off the fader cuts buttons?
A: Yes. Simply turn the cut style and cut slope all the way to the left on both sides as shown in the "Fader cuts off" picture below.

Q: How do I set up the knobs to get the sounds I want?
A: You can start by using the following pictures for reference. Make sure that when you set the Cut Style to "In" that the sound starts out low or off. For Cut Style "Out", make sure the sound starts on first.

Q: The angle of the Fader Cuts buttons is awkward for me. What can I do about it?
A: You can set the "Fader Cuts" switch on the front panel to either normal or reverse. Reverse will make the right side buttons work on channel 1 and the left side buttons work on channel 2.

Q: Do these buttons do anything if I turn off the crossfader?
A: Yes they will still work. The only difference is they will interact with the CH1 and CH2 faders instead of the crossfader.

Q: Does the "Cut Slope" affect the crossfader or line fader slopes?
A: No. If you want to change the crossfader slope, please use the slope knob just below the crossfader on the front panel.

Fader Start

NOTES ABOUT FADER START

Fader Start was developed by Pioneer as a way to start the music coming from a CD player with the crossfader. It requires a mono 1/8" jack cable connected between the mixer and the CD player. One of the contacts is for stopping the music and the other is for starting the music. Just so you don't get thrown off, make sure you also connect the RCAs when you're testing so the fader start signals are properly grounded.

The idea is relatively simple: simply have the mixer emulate a "press cue/pause" or a "press play". However, since the original design didn't anticipate DJs doing crazy stuttering routines, unless you are doing a simply fade-in house style mix, you will get tremendous variations in performance between setups. Either the CD player or the mixer may add delays which can be severe enough so that cue and play triggers are sometimes even missed altogether. Regardless of the performance, you can maximize the performance on some CD players by reducing the number of effects running while you are using fader start.

Since the delay for fader start is typically a fast 1-2msec, if you use the AEM-100 with a fader start compatible CD player, most likely the performance is determined by the CD player itself. We have found the following performance results crabbing on the AEM-100 with various CD players:

Pioneer CDJ-1000: *****Perfect - Works all of the time!
Numark Axis 9: ****Very good - Works most of the time and only misses occasionally.
Numark CDX: ***Acceptable - Has little delay but sometimes misses fast triggers.
Denon DN-S1000: **Sluggish - Will do a single trigger on-time but useless for crabbing.


USING FADER START WITH THE AEM-100


Q: Can the fader cuts buttons control the fader start?
A: Yes. You can use these buttons to trigger and stutter on cue points on fader start compatible CD or media players.

Q: Does fader start work when the crossfader is turned off?
A: Yes, but when the crossfader is turned off, fader start is controlled by the CH1 and CH2 line faders instead of the crossfader.

Q: Is it possible to trigger fader start on both CH1 and CH2 at the same time?
A: Yes. There are 2 ways to do this: 1) Use the fader cuts buttons on both sides at the same time. 2) With the crossfader turned off, move the CH1 and CH2 sliders up and down at the same time.

Q: At what point does the fader start trigger?
A: The fader start triggers roughly where the sound becomes barely audible at about -30dB.

Crossfader and Line Faders

Q: Do you adjust the Pro X Fade prior to shipment?
A: Yes. We adjust the lag time to within 1 millimeter and keep the tension low for optimal scratching.

Q: Will the Pro X Fade and line faders sound different in this mixer vs. other mixers?
A: Most likely they will sound better and will continue to sound good over time. The internal circuitry uses digitally controlled potentiometers which smooth out digital noise. This noise may appear on the faders especially as you move them fast and the AEM-100 circuitry fixes it. Even when the Pro X Fade is set for a very sharp slope (~1mm distance from off to on), the sound will be incredibly smooth without any popping. This circuitry also eliminates bleeding which allows you to use your faders longer without replacing them. Furthermore, unlike many standard VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier) circuits which have large time delays, the AEM-100 delay is so short that you won't feel it (see specs).

Q: Are there curve controls on the line faders?
A: No, but you can do line fader tricks by using the fader cuts buttons on both sides at the same time and tweaking the cut slope and cut time.

Q: Is the Pro X Fade adjustment and lube kit included with the AEM-100?
A: No. The crossfader adjustment and removal of the faceplate require skill and we do not recommend the average DJ attempt this. User damage to the crossfader due to improper handling will void the warranty. Furthermore, over lubrication of the crossfader may actually cause the fader wiper to "hydroplane" when you move it fast and lose contact. If you are confident you can properly remove the faceplate and work on the crossfader, or you can refer this job to someone skilled, we have both a tension adjust tool and a standard Pro X Fade adjustment and lube kit available here for purchase.

Q: I just adjusted the crossfader tension and the crossfader is jammed. What happened?
A: You made the crossfader too tight. Please loosen the fader. This adustment is sensitive so only a little rotation will make a big change in the tension.

Q: I adjusted the lag time (crossfader cut-in points) and now the crossfader bleeds on the ends. What happened?
A: You need to set the cut-in points closer farther away from the crossfader center.

Q: I lubed the crossfader and now it sounds noisy. What happened?
A: You overlubricated the fader. Please reopen the fader and clean off the excess DeOxit lubricant. Leave on just enough to make the fader feel smooth but not any extra.