Honey, I shrunk the decks: Drift launches ultra-compact DJ mix system

Drift DJ Industries Zero
(Image credit: Drift DJ)

Drift DJ Industries has launched Zero, a two-deck DJ mixer system that’s small enough to fit in your pocket.

It’s a nifty-looking gizmo that shares many features with larger systems, but squeezed into a very compact – it weighs just over 0.2 kg - portable, battery-powered format. Drift DJ Industries says it is an ideal creative audio device for both “hardware enthusiasts and outside-the-booth DJs”.

It features two channels of audio playback with tempo-sync functionality and beat-grid and includes an array of built-in effects – delay, reverb and flanger – as well as a three-band EQ, and a looper.

Zero: The Portable DJ System - YouTube Zero: The Portable DJ System - YouTube
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Unlike a pair of traditional decks there is 32 gig of internal memory, meaning that you can record what you’re playing: perfect for creating bespoke mixtapes for friends and - let’s face it - more personal than just compiling a playlist.

On the back, there’s a feature-rich in-out setup, with a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, a stereo input on two 3.5mm line inputs, and dedicated outputs for the cue and main.

And the good bit is that these inputs are not just made for classic audio signals. In addition to audio, you can route in the unit control voltage and clock data. This will allow you to sync Zero with any other gear you care to, like a modular synth, for example.

Drift claims that the little gadget will enable you to “capture the moment of inspiration and lets you edit and play it back.” You can “remix your remixes, cut your last live performance into your current live performance. Plug Zero into your laptop and transfer the results to your DAW and/or share them with the world.”

It also sports a sleek white design that makes it look like a classic Apple product, though Drift has confirmed that a black option is also in the pipeline.

Drift are newcomers to the DJ/audio market. The Chicago-based company was founded by Jared Wheeler, a veteran of the software, design and marketing industries and, not coincidentally, sometime DJ, who apparently moved to the city because of its foundational role in the history of house music. 

“It’s a place that celebrates working your ass off to bring an idea into the world,” he has said of Chicago. “Music, architecture, manufacturing… it’s all the same thing here. If you can imagine it, you can probably find a way to build it in this town.”

There’s no news yet on prices of the Drift DJ Industries Zero. For more information go to the website at driftdj.com

Will Simpson
News and features writer

Will Simpson is a freelance music expert whose work has appeared in Classic Rock, Classic Pop, Guitarist and Total Guitar magazine. He is the author of 'Freedom Through Football: Inside Britain's Most Intrepid Sports Club' and his second book 'An American Cricket Odyssey' is due out in 2025