By Mike Wieder:
We’ve all had it happen. You’re at an event ready to start when suddenly your computer freezes up or your CD player won’t start. Your heart starts thumping as you run out the door to your truck and scramble to grab your backup gear. Back inside you see that the crowd is getting antsy, and it’s all you can do to wipe away the perspiration and try to keep your breathing slow and even. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an easier solution to this equipment failure nightmare? There is! It’s called the “Pacemaker” by Tonium and without a doubt, this gadget is the best investment I’ve made in my nearly thirty years as a mobile entertainer.
The Pacemaker is a portable audio system that fits into the palm of your hand and has all of the features of a full-sized system. Solidly built, the unit has a 60-gigabyte solid-state hard drive that allows you to store approximately 12–15K songs depending on length and bit rate. The Pacemaker has an output for headphones and another that can run to a mixer, speakers or a wireless transmitter. What’s more, the Pacemaker can be run wirelessly, to boot! Aside from the built-in effects, cases and internal controls, what makes this item the ideal backup unit (over the iPod or any other mp3 player), is its touch sensitive cross-fader. With the Pacemaker’s huge hard drive, pitch control, crossfader, ability to use playlists and more, you’ll never need to bring another piece of backup gear to an event. Add a couple of speakers, and you could use the unit as your primary system for low-budget functions, as well.
A Tiny but Feature-Rich Powerhouse
A quick glance at the Pacemaker and its lack of buttons doesn’t make it look very impressive; however, further examination will reveal that this tiny audio system is a feature-rich powerhouse. At the top of the unit is the power /settings button that allows you to access options such as volume control, play mode etc. A USB connector allows you to transfer tracks using the Pacemaker music editing software and a kill button lets you deactivate or relaunch engaged effects.
The mode you are in determines what’s displayed on the viewing screen (e.g., music, effects or other option you’ve chosen by pressing the settings button). Below the screen are fast-forward and rewind buttons. When used in conjunction with the music search feature, they allow you to quickly scroll through your library. Underneath are the player controls, which operate like a dual CD player. Just press the button on the side that you want to select.
One attribute that makes Pacemaker totally unique, is its touch sensitive cross-fader. As DJs, we all know that dead air is a cardinal sin. The LED lit crossfader allows you to mix with your fingertip. Below it on the left is the play/pause button and opposite that is the cue button. On the side of the unit, there is a “P” button. When pushed either up or down, you can access the various features and functions. The touch pad underneath it allows you to both access your library and manipulate audio effects.
I LOVE THE PACEMAKER – and YOU will too!