In a time where the market is flooded with Digital DJ controllers, two trendsetters team up to take a considerable step ahead of the competition. The collaboration between Pioneer DJ and Rane‘s Sorato camp combines state-of-the-art hardware with some serious forward thinking design, ultimately delivering the DJ an exiting new set of tools.
Living up to their respective legacies of setting the standard in DJ technology over the past 5 years, Serato and Pioneer have put together a package that delivers everything you could ever want out of a DJ controller plus some extra goodies that immensely expanding potential creativity.
In the center of this beast you basically have a Pioneer four channel DJM mixer with all the normal bells & whistles, including color knobs and that delicious preamp, along with a fifth sampler channel. Additional you have assignable twin-FX controls with wet/dry select developed by digital FX industry leaders iZotope, as well as a track select knob in the center and tack loading control at the top of each channel. The Designers truly thought the mixer through thoroughly, making sure to include RCA inputs for CDJs with gain boosts for Analogue Turntables, XLR as well as 1/4′ in put for Microphones, both small and large headphone jacks, and stereo outputs for any situation you might come across in a club or studio environment (provided there are cables).
The deck controllers themselves look like Pioneer CDJs on steroids. You have the standard features you’re used to seeing on the CDJs like the unmistakeable jog wheel and the loop settings are there, just in a different place. But we also see the addition of twin-FX controls and eight high-quality, velocity sensitive touchpads assignable to cue-points, samples, or anything midi controllable in your computer. Above the jog wheel you see a innovative feature called “needle search” where you can touch anywhere on the ribbon to search through a track for your cue point, or do a massive funky rewind by sliding your finger across it. The controllers still have the option to toggle between ‘CDJ’ and ‘Vinyl’ mode, and you also have grid adjustment controls for your Serato display.
The most exciting aspect of this controller is its ability to control video through Serato. Beyond just switching through random video clips, with four controllable decks you have multiple ways of actually syncing up videos with your songs. Pioneer included their fader-start function which would allow you to control timecode on multiple decks similar to how we saw Armin Van Buuren showed off recently in his studio video for FM Mag, but what got my attention was the dual deck control feature debuted on the DDJ-SX. The ability to switch between controlling one or two decks simultaneously seems like the easiest way to effectively mix audio and video if you put a little bit of prep work in. On top of that the dual deck control opens up the door for an enormous amount of creativity with layering tracks, or cue-points and samples for scratching.
Overall the DDJ-SX controller is the digital DJ’s wet dream and though it is designed for Serato, it is also easily assignable to Traktor or any other digital mixing software. For me, reading over the description was like watching a documentary on a something like a Maybach where I couldn’t believe how far the design team went to make sure every feature was covered in the most innovative and high-quality way. What really blew me away was the price. Starting out at $900 seems like a steal for such a badass looking controller, but until I get my hands on one I wont be able to tell you which aspects of the design suffered to keep the price so low. Either way I’m convinced the DDJ-SX sets a benchmark for digital DJ controllers as well as the standard for controllers of the future.
Check out the demo video and go to the official Pioneer DDJ-SX website for more information.
Been in Florida my whole life nurturing a love for all beats that break. Never released a track, but I’ve been producing for nearly 15 years and playing out as a DJ for at least 8. I ran Floridub.com on the side (until godaddy stole it form me) and also write for NuSkoolBreaks.co.uk as well as FloridaBreaks.org and Breaksculture.com. You can catch me mixing on the award-winning NSB Radio station every Tuesday night 8-10pm (EST).