The Journey to inMusic began In 1991 when Jack O’Donnell purchased a company then known as Numark Electronics, a small DJ equipment manufacturer that had been around since the early 70s.
For more than 50 years, Numark has combined an understanding of DJs’ needs with cutting-edge technologies to create products that continually lead the way. Numark has quite literally innovated its way to the top, engineering performance tools for the entire spectrum of the DJ world, from hobbyists to professionals.
One of a handful of original DJ brands, Numark, was founded in Edison, New Jersey by Harry and Robert Kotovsky in 1971. At the time, Numark developed a significant following for its mixers, turntables, and speaker enclosures and was considered one of the leading manufacturers in the DJ industry during the age of Disco. It could be argued without the innovation of Numark, many technologies DJ’s take for granted today would never have existed.
In the 80s, the company made its mark again, introducing the world’s first mixer with a built-in sampler, the DM1775. Before the DM1775, DJs were limited to techniques like prerecording drops on a cassette and then utilizing the rewind button and counter on an external cassette deck to cue the drop. The DM1775 had the ability to record and playback samples instantly, allowing DJs to do their own drops on the fly by sampling a beat, sound effect, or even their own voice.
In 1990, Numark innovated, introducing the world’s first dual-well CD player, the CD-5020. With a rack-mountable two-component design—dual CD drive below and a separate top-facing control surface above —the CD-5020 set the mould for virtually every dual CD DJ system from then on and marked a dramatic change in the way DJs interacted with music. The world of DJing had moved into what the company’s soon-to-be CEO would call “the transitional stage” from analogue to digital sourcing of music.
In 1991, Jack O’Donnell, the former head of sales and marketing for Stanton Magnetics, purchased Numark. By concentrating even more relentlessly on technology and innovation, Numark began to challenge the status quo on multiple fronts, creating DJ equipment with cutting-edge industrial design and functionality. Numark quickly became a standout in a DJ market that, at that time, was limited to mixers, turntables, and CD players. Today, even with a much more varied offering, Numark is still known for producing solid build quality, sleek looks, and intuitive layouts.
As the 1990s progressed, some DJs began to use computers for their music source instead of CDs or vinyl. Rather than running from this change or dismissing it as a peripheral market, Numark embraced this innovative concept and built upon it by introducing one of the first DJ computer software controllers, the DMC-1. The DMC-1 replicated the two-component, rack-mount design and control surface of dual CD players like CD-5020, so DJs could make a seamless transition from using CDs to controlling software.
Even with digital media rapidly taking hold and displacing analogue media, Numark continued to invest in traditional turntablists, releasing the breakthrough TTX turntable in 2002. The TTX’s major impact came in its challenge to the turntable design status quo. Throwing off the boxy shape that had dominated turntables for decades, Numark crafted the TTX with sleek rounded lines and numerous design firsts. The TTX’s groundbreaking industrial design informed not only many subsequent Numark products but also set new design standards across the industry.
In the early 2000s, digital media was not only changing the DJ industry but the consumer world as well. When Apple’s iPod hit the scene, it created a tipping point in the world of digital file-based music storage and playback, establishing hard drive (and later flash) music playback as a mainstay across all industries. The iPod quickly emerged as a serious music playback platform for consumers and DJs alike. Numark wasted no time creating a hard-drive-based tool specifically designed for DJs that validated this rapidly evolving format. The HDCD-1, released in 2003, was the first DJ playback system with a built-in hard drive. DJs no longer had to bring a binder full of CDs or even a computer with them. The HDCD-1 had a familiar rack-mount design and was able to store an entire library of music internally.
In the early 2010’s Numark was a game-changer during the development of its first range of tabletop DJ controllers opening a whole new world of tactile control for DJ’s products such as the Numark Total Control and the first generation of Mixtrack DJ controllers. The Mixtrack series became the world's most popular range of DJ controllers, bringing Digital DJing to the masses in partnership with Virtual DJ and Serato. A new generation of DJ’s was inspired by these technologies allowing performers to perfect their art and discover new possibilities.
Numark continued to have been a major innovator of new technology throughout the decade. Creating new categories of products such as the revolutionary Orbit, which utilized accelerometer technology usually found in high-end smartphones to unlock new creative possibilities for DJs using motion to control parameters.
Today, Numark is the largest manufacturer of DJ equipment in the world, with global distribution and sales that double its closest competitor. In the early days, Numark mixers were the mixer to own, and today Numark digital DJ controllers are setting that same standard. With the introduction of the powerful NS7 series motorized DJ controllers, Numark fused the company’s technological know-how with decades of DJ-minded product development, creating one seamless, powerful system. NS7 brought a level of performance with digital media that had never been achieved, accurately reproducing the look, feel and sound of vinyl, blurring the lines between different eras of DJing so completely that it made them virtually indistinguishable from one another.
Going into the 2020’s Numark has continued to bring its world-class technology to new audiences with its top-rated Party Mix series bringing the inspiration and path of the DJ to even more potential superstars of the future.