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It’s been several years now since Cumberland, R.I.-based inMusic Brands first started corralling some of the biggest names in DJ under one roof, and the stable now contains Denon DJ, Numark and Rane (in addition to the non-DJ-specific brands in the group, like AKAI Professional).

As I’ve observed in previous reviews, behind the scenes, inMusic has also been accumulating some serious chops in embedded software. Also referred to as “firmware,” it’s the software embedded into the chips that form the brains of the hardware controllers, media players and mixers that the company is putting out. And while early DJ controllers relied on laptops and DJ software to do the heavy lifting, inMusic has seen fit to shift more and more of that lift into the hardware itself.

Denon DJ’s MCX8000 took some baby steps in that direction back in 2016, then the SC5000 Prime media players extended it farther in 2017, and now, the Prime 4 takes a pretty significant leap by bringing to market a standalone DJ controller that seems to do it all. While standalone controllers have been available before — meaning those that don’t require a laptop and DJ software — Denon DJ’s Prime 4 takes the entire notion of standalone and amps it up orders of magnitude.

So, what makes it so special? Let’s dig in…

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