The EVO5 is Ecler's most advanced piece of kit, incorporating a 4-channel mixer, a 6-channel FireWire soundcard, a MIDI controller and an effects section.
The whole circus is coordinated through the 320x240 colour LCD screen on the top left, which gives access to the highly tweakable interior. Build quality is good overall, but let down slightly by the supremely wobbly push encoders.
Ecler drafted in the help of the Guigiaro design team to help present the complex power of the EVO5 in an elegant and workable way, which is an important factor considering that DJs could potentially use this machine as an Ableton Live MIDI controller, as a Traktor Scratch DV system or even for some straight up four-deck mixing.
Audio and MIDI
The soundcard has six stereo channels which are routed to each of the four channels, plus one for the PFL and one more to the main mix. This is actually very useful as it enables users to utilise all four channels of the mixer for decks and CDJs and still route the output from a computer to the master output, or cue it up via the headphone PFL section.
If you can make do with RCA inputs and one XLR mic input, then it could double up for some studio recording purposes as well.
Native Instruments has given the EV05 its 'Traktor Scratch Ready' stamp so it can be used instead of NI's Audio8 soundcard. The one drawback is the convoluted switching between Traktor and normal modes – this requires some menu diving, making it less instant and intuitive than it should be.
Almost all of the EVO5's controls can be switched to MIDI mode on a channel by channel basis. All editing is via the LCD, and is kept to a simple set of parameters comprising of channel, CC number and pickup modes. Switching between each of the modes requires some menu diving, which again, makes it a little less instant than it could and should be.
The dual effects engine chains any of the two basic effects modules in series to create an effect preset. Up to 62 of these can be stored in memory or in one of the six quick access buttons around the LCD.
The effects are not revolutionary and consist of the usual suspects - delays, reverbs and flangers - but they're definitely better quality than you'll find on the average DJ mixer.
The all sync to BPM and modulation effects feature pattern step sequences alongside the basic LFO waveshapes. Unfortunately, you can't split the two effects between two channels, and on the whole the effects section isn't as cutting edge or creatively appealing as the ones on the Korg Zero8 or the Pioneer DJM-800.
All of this high-tech tweakability wouldn't mean that much if the sound quality wasn't up to scratch for an £1,100 mixer. Thankfully, the EV05 does sound rather good, up there with its digital rivals in the big boy league (the aforementioned Korg Zero8 and the Pioneer DJM-800).
The downside, though, is that you have to work a bit harder to unlock all of the EV05's potential.