PLAYdifferently Model 1: a truly game-changing mixer?
PLAYdifferently Model 1: a truly game-changing mixer? Since its debut, the Model 1 has been feted as the model that reinterprets and shakes up ideas of what a mixer can and should do. Blending aspects of the DJ mixer and the studio mixer, it is undoubtedly an impressive model.
Designed by Richie Hawtin and the design team from Allen & Heath's Xone range, you can be assured that the Model 1 reinvigorates your set-up so that you can, indeed, play differently.
So what actually is the PLAYdifferently Model 1? The Play 1 is a fully analogue DJ mixer that showcases features usually more akin with high-calibre studio models. Take your pick from the model’s totally balanced mix buss, a master EQ routing along high-differential power rails and a zero crossing detection for a smooth filter.
Alongside this, the Model 1 enjoys six input channels and two stereo returns, all housed by the model’s sleekly compact frame. Pick up a Model 1 and you will find a host of feature not usually seen on comparably priced device. Look out for input pre-amplifier drive control, a dual cue system, a hybrid filter/swept bell and a totally balanced Tascam DB25 connecter set-up.
In a design brimming with innovative design features it is tricky to pin down one that defines the model. One of the most impressive aspects of the design is the drive control offered by each channel.
As a result of this feature, the user can adjust the level at which the input signal is clipped by the channel pre-amplifier. This works to generate harmonic distortion as a rich creative effect.
Zero Crossing Detection System
The internal routing within the Model 1 utilises the brand’s unique zero crossing detection system. This acts to reduce audio switching components for channel filter selection, master filter on/off and master eq on/off. By using this seamless and rapid system, you can intuitively use these performance features at speed.
Ideal for DJ Crossovers
A simple but long-overdue feature is the addition of two headphone sockets. The dual headphone cue system is a great feature as it enables two DJs to work independently and simultaneously on the same board.
Alongside this, the next DJ on the bill can begin their cue process with no interruption to the present DJ’s set. This addition, even though it’s simple, significantly enhances the user experience of the model, which is only going to invigorate your live performances.
Design and Craftsmanship
No overview of the Model 1 would be complete without paying homage to its illustrious creators. The Model 1 is built by Play alongside designers from Allen & Heath and DigiCo. This brilliant meeting of designer minds is absolutely evident in all aspects of the model’s design, both sonically and visually.
The model’s steel-alloy chassis ensures that the design offers optimum resilience while being lightweight, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds while being out on the road. This demonstrates that the Model 1 works at its optimum performance when used out on tour in performance settings.
As has been much-discussed, the Model 1 is the culmination of the design partnership between electronic music legend Richie Hawtin and the former lead designer at Allen & Heath, Andy Rigby-Jones. Thanks to this stellar creative marriage of performer and designer, the Model 1 is optimally designed with the user and audio enthusiasts in mind.
The PLAYdifferently Model 1 is undeniably a beautifully designed mixer that truly lives up to the reputation of its creators. Its sound performance is gorgeously rich and it is brilliantly user-friendly. The Model 1 is probably too feature-laden to be needed by entry-level DJs, but for those who have the experience, this is a true aspirational model.