American Audio has introduced two new pro audio units that let you carry your music around on an SD card: the SDJ-1 dual SD player; and the Q-SD, a 19” 4-channel mixer combined with an SD player. Both units have built-in SD slots that allow them to read MP3 files directly from SD cards without any external drives, additional software, computers or separate MP3 players required.
SD (Secure Digital) cards are a type of compact flash digital storage media that’s available with memory capacities up to 4GB and more. They’re cheap and getting cheaper, and let you put a thousand MP3s on a postage-stamp size square. It might not be a sexy as digging through crates, but it’s practical.
The SDJ-1 and Q-SD were designed from the ground up to read digital music files directly from SD cards, without any additional hardware or software.
“We took a look at what people were doing and came up with an easy-to-use solution for playing and mixing tracks from SD cards that was very native to what DJs already do,” said American Audio’s Tom Freret. “The whole idea is that DJs don’t have to learn anything different from what they’re accustomed to doing – just put the SD card into the unit and proceed as you would with a traditional CD or MP3 disc.”
Here’s a video from American Audio that shows how it works:
Both units have built-in slots for SD cards – two SD slots on the SDJ-1 and one slot on the Q-SD – each of which is capable of handling SD cards up to 4GB capacity. The SDJ-1 and Q-SD are compatible with SD cards up to 4GB and do not accept SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards.
Both units come equipped with features for pros, including Tempo Lock, Seamless Loop, Auto BPM Counter, and Fader Q Start when used with compatible American Audio products (the SDJ-1 can be used with American Audio’s traditional Q-Series mixers). Like the company’s MP3 disc players, they have advanced cueing with track search by frame. Additionally, you can search the SD card for the next song while the current one is playing.
On the SDJ-1 dual player, music from either SD can be played on either side. The SDJ-1 is fast with no boot up time, and because there are no moving parts there’s nothing to break down, which makes it super reliable. It features Pitch Bend, Pitch Control (+/-4%, +/-8% or +/-16%), and dual RCA outputs.
The Q-SD combo mixer/player has 2 Phono, 4 Line, 4 Aux & 2 Mic inputs, with the capability to assign SD to any of the 4 channels. Among its features are: gain, treble, mid & bass control for each channel (-30dB rotary kills); master output trim control; zone output control; cue mixing, cue level and master level control; balanced XLR outputs; DJ microphone with volume, treble, bass and talkover control; and pitch bend (+/-4%, +/-8%, +/-16%, +/-60%).
For a limited time, with each purchase of an SDJ-1 or Q-SD unit, American Audio is including a 1GB SD card, plus a USB SD card reader that you plug into your computer to transfer files onto the SD card. “This way, consumers get a complete package right out of the box that includes everything they need to take their tunes, drops and loops from their computer to their gig,” said Freret. “They don’t have to go out and buy anything else. Plus, the great thing about SD cards is that you can get them almost anywhere that blank CDs are sold.” Using the USB card reader, files can be easily transferred from the computer to the SD card with a few clicks, without requiring any software programs.
The SDJ-1 dual SD player measures 19”L x 3.46”W x 4.25”H, and weighs 3.96 lbs. The MSRP of the SDJ-1 is $349.95 (includes 1GB SD card and USB SD card reader for limited time).
The Q-SD combo mixer/SD player measures 19”L x 7”W x 4.31”H, and weighs 8.5 lbs. The MSRP of the Q-SD is $599.95 (includes 1GB SD card and USB SD card reader for limited time).