American Audio’s SD Player

March 15, 2008 by Mobile Beat

Imagine carrying your music library around on a card the size of a postage stamp! Now DJs can put all their digital music on an SD card – measuring a miniscule 1″ x 1-1/4″ — and mix and manipulate tracks just as they would songs on a CD or MP3 disc. American Audio has introduced two revolutionary pro audio units designed specifically for use with SD cards: the SDJ-1 dual SD player; and the Q-SD, a 19″ 4-channel mixer combined with an SD player. Both units have built-in SD slots that allow them to read MP3 files directly from SD cards without any external drives, additional software, computers or separate MP3 players required.

An SD (Secure Digital) card is a highly compact flash digital storage media that’s available with memory capacities up to 4GB and more. To put it another way, you can fit as many as 150 – 1,000 MP3 tracks (128 kbps) on a little square you can hold between your thumb and forefinger! What’s more, SD cards are very inexpensive and they’re widely available. By making it as simple to use SD cards as you would any disc, American Audio’s new SDJ-1 and Q-SD player and mixer units give DJs the ultimate level of mobility.

“What DJ wouldn’t love the ease of carrying around his or her music on an SD card?” said Tom Freret, national sales manager for American Audio. “Until now, most of the existing players’ hard drives had compatibility issues. Other alternatives for using MP3 files directly require you to hook up a bulky and expensive laptop or an easily-stolen portable IPod to your player. Aside from the hassle of an extra component, there were often connectivity problems when you added external hardware.”

The SDJ-1 and Q-SD, on the other hand, were designed from the ground up to read digital music files directly from SD cards, without any additional hardware or software. “We took a look at what people were doing and came up with an easy-to-use solution for playing and mixing tracks from SD cards that was very native to what DJs already do,” said Freret. “The whole idea is that DJs don’t have to learn anything different from what they’re accustomed to doing – just put the SD card into the unit and proceed as you would with a traditional CD or MP3 disc.”

The two new SD-compatible units even look like existing American Audio products. The SDJ-1 has a faceplate similar to AA’s PRO series players, and the Q-SD resembles the company’s Q-Series mixers, making for a smooth and easy transition to SD. About the only difference is that both units have built-in slots for SD cards – two SD slots on the SDJ-1 and one slot on the Q-SD – each of which is capable of handling SD cards up to 4GB capacity. The SDJ-1 and Q-SD are compatible with SD cards up to 4GB and do not accept SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards.

Both units come equipped with a full range of must-have features for pros, including Tempo Lock, Seamless Loop, Auto BPM Counter, and Fader Q Start when used with compatible American Audio products (the SDJ-1 can be used with American Audio’s traditional Q-Series mixers). Like the company’s MP3 disc players, they have advanced cueing with track search by frame. Additionally, you can search the SD card for the next song while the current one is playing.

On the SDJ-1 dual player, music from either SD can be played on either side. The SDJ-1 is ultra fast with no boot up time, and because there are no moving parts there’s nothing to break down, which makes it super reliable. It features Pitch Bend, Pitch Control (+/-4%, +/-8% or +/-16%), and dual RCA outputs.

The Q-SD combo mixer/player has 2 Phono, 4 Line, 4 Aux & 2 Mic inputs, with the capability to assign SD to any of the 4 channels. Among its features are: gain, treble, mid & bass control for each channel (-30dB rotary kills); master output trim control; zone output control; cue mixing, cue level and master level control; balanced XLR outputs; DJ microphone with volume, treble, bass and talkover control; and pitch bend (+/-4%, +/-8%, +/-16%, +/-60%).

For a limited time, with each purchase of an SDJ-1 or Q-SD unit, American Audio is including a 1GB SD card, plus a USB SD card reader that you plug into your computer to transfer files onto the SD card. “This way, consumers get a complete package right out of the box that includes everything they need to take their tunes, drops and loops from their computer to their gig,” said Freret. “They don’t have to go out and buy anything else. Plus, the great thing about SD cards is that you can get them almost anywhere that blank CDs are sold.” Using the USB card reader, files can be easily transferred from the computer to the SD card with a few clicks, without requiring any software programs.

The SDJ-1 dual SD player measures 19″L x 3.46″W x 4.25″H, and weighs 3.96 lbs. The MSRP of the SDJ-1 is $349.95 (includes 1GB SD card and USB SD card reader for limited time).

The Q-SD combo mixer/SD player measures 19″L x 7″W x 4.31″H, and weighs 8.5 lbs. The MSRP of the Q-SD is $599.95 (includes 1GB SD card and USB SD card reader for limited time)

Check out the YouTube video on this player – click here.

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