Hercules inpulse 500 FULL Review
With the DJControl Inpulse 500, Hercules has produced an ambitious two-channel controller for both its own DJUCED software and Serato, that bridges the gap between beginner and serious DJ. It’s a device that gets nearly everything right, and punches way above its weight. It’s a pleasure to DJ on, has some interesting unique features – and it looks the part too.
Hercules DJControl Inpulse 500 is the new DJ controller that lets you achieve your ambitions! Created for Serato DJ Lite and DJUCED to help you get started DJing, refine your skills and perform in front of audiences, DJControl Inpulse 500 has a professional design with a sturdy metal backing plate, and tons of great features: four extendable/retractable non-slip feet to elevate your mixing, a hardware mixer for the audio inputs, a dedicated Filter/FX area with awesome effects, two large jog wheels with touch detection for scratching, 16 backlit rubber RGB pads, helpful light guides for mixing with total confidence... and so much more.
You can even mix with music streaming services, featuring millions of tracks — including TIDAL and SoundCloud GO+ in Serato DJ Lite, and Beatport LINK, Beatsource LINK and Qobuz in DJUCED.\
It is quite deep, too, which adds to the feeling of a substantial device – and then you discover the feet! There are four fold-out feet underneath the unit which when put into operation, add a good couple of inches to its height. They are sturdy and grippy, and raise the controller up pleasingly to add to the feeling that this is a large, serious unit. There are even understated but cool white LED lights underneath. Top marks here.
Today’s new controller, the DJControl Inpulse 500, comes with both Serato DJ Lite and DJUCED®, Hercules’ in house mixing software. “We have been working alongside Hercules since 2015, most recently on the DJControl Starlight, which in 2019 became a super popular, portable controller,” said Nick Maclaren, Chief Strategy Officer from Serato. “We’re thrilled to partner with the team again on the DJControl Inpulse 500, a controller that lets young DJs take the first steps towards public performances. We have also adapted our software to integrate Hercules’ unique, award-winning learn-to-DJ hardware features so that users who choose to mix on Serato can go into their first performance with the confidence they need.”
Although the DJControl Inpulse 500 features Learn-to-DJ guides and DJUCED’s AI-driven Intelligent Music Assistant, it also boasts multiple features that help DJs confidently make the leap to performing for an audience and getting paid for their efforts:
Ready-to-mix audio options: Powered by USB, the backside of the controller is wide open for external sources – DJs can quickly plug in their smartphone or a media player via dual RCA auxiliary input or a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack as a back-up or as an extra source of music. Plus, the hardware mixer for audio inputs comes with an aux filter.
Controlled MC features: Plug in a microphone into the balanced micro input and play MC. The voice can be equalized, and its level is displayed on a VUmeter- if it glows red, it is peaking.
Filter FX: This pro performance feature lets DJs push their mix customization to new levels and personalize their sets with effects available with Serato and DJUCED®.
Solid retractable feet: Elevate the controller with folding feet underneath that glow when extended. This unique feature protects the controller from spilled drinks during rowdy performances and makes DJs look just a little more slick.
Build quality: sturdy metal backing plate on the mixer, rubber RGB pads and built-in Velvet Sound DSP from AKM for processing audio inputs and outputs.
Streaming support: Enjoy millions of tracks to mix with TIDAL and SoundCloud Go+ integrated within Serato, and with Beatport LINK, Beatsource LINK and Qobuz integrated within DJUCED.
The team at Hercules has been nurturing beginner DJs for almost 20 years, and as their community’s skills grow, their controllers are growing up too. When DJs feel they’re ready to move out of their bedroom and into bars, cafes and clothing stores, the DJControl Inpulse 500 offers a portable, professional look and feel, performance-ready controller that helps first-timers look cool and perform with confidence.
Available for preorder on June 11, 2020 and commercially available on July 3, 2020 at the recommended retail price of $299.99. Thanks to a special partnership with Sweetwater, US purchasers who order through the leading gear retailer will receive a free lifetime license for Serato Pro.
DJUCED is Hercules’s own DJ software, and it’s come on nicely to be a pretty full featured package. It’s roughly equivalent to Serato DJ Pro, about which more in a second. It’s free with the Inpulse 500.
While this isn’t a software review, it’s worth pointing out the differences between this and Serato DJ Lite: You get four decks (although you can only control two with this controller), there’s key detection for harmonic mixing, it has Beatport and Beatsource as streaming services (against Serato’s Tidal and SoundCloud, at the time of writing), but you also get French streaming service Qobuz too, which doesn’t appear in any other DJ platform.
Serato DJ Pro
Upgrade Serato and you lose the Beat Guide (presumably Serato and Hercules think a DJ playing on Pro software doesn’t need this feature) but you gain all of Serato’s features such as key sync, full effects engine, recording and so on.
I guess most importantly you get proper pad function, with Tone Play, loop roll, slicer and so on all present and correct. It keeps the rather cool flashing beat and bar lights on the library knob, which I liked, and the effects work exactly the same way as with Serato DJ Lite, albeit with Serato DJ Pro’s much wider choice.