Pioneer DJ Review: How Good Is It in 2021?

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The Lowdown

The Pioneer DDJ-1000 controller for Rekordbox DJ is a four-channel device which has two full-size jogwheels with high-resolution displays included in their centres. The displays are beautiful and the jogwheels are responsive and mechanical, similar from what you’d find on a CDJ-2000NXS2. The included Sound Color FX and Beat FX bring DJM-style effects tweaking to the unit, further bridging the gap between a DDJ controller and a club standard CDJ/DJM set-up. It’s a significant controller for Pioneer DJ and is among its best lately. It’s fantastic for intermediate and advanced gigging DJs who would like the closest approximation to a club set-up in a notebook computer DJ controller. Strongly suggested.

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First Impressions / Establishing

The DDJ-1000 has four channels with trim pots, three-band EQs, Color FX knobs, and an assignable Magvel crossfader. It’s got two decks, and each deck includes a jogwheel with an integral display, performance pads, a pitch control, transport controls, deck select buttons for switching to decks 3 and 4, and loop buttons that act like what you’d find on a CDJ. There are no FX section controls here like what you’d find on a DDJ-RX, DDJ-RZ, etc, and the explanation for that’s because it’s already got a Beat FX section in the mixer.

The rear of the machine has XLR and RCA Master outputs, 1/4” Booth outputs, RCA phono / line input jacks and two combo Microphone inputs. It’s also got a power jack, power button and twin USB sockets allowing you to connect up to two laptops for DJ switchovers. Leading of the machine has 1/4” and 1/8” headphone outputs.

I plugged the DDJ-1000’s wall wart power, hooked it up to my laptop, thrilled Rekordbox DJ, switched the machine on and got started.

In Use

Jogwheels and displays

The jogs on the DDJ-1000 have to be among the best that Pioneer DJ has released. It feels more solid than what you’d find on the XDJ-1000, and feels similar to a CDJ-2000NXS2, because of its mechanical nature and the addition of Jog Adjust controls. I was never a fan of the mechanical jogs because I recommended the feel of touch-sensitive jogwheels (peep the DDJ-RZ and DDJ-RZX) but I’m needs to have a change of heart as a result of these jogs. They’re responsive and don’t feel flimsy, while still retaining the entire feel of by using a flagship CDJ-2000NXS2 media player. That is surprising, due to the fact this controller will come in at under US$1200 – that’s “affordable” by Pioneer DJ standards (the DDJ-RZ with full-size jogs no onboard screens costs double).

The following point we’ve got to speak about will be the displays: they are gorgeous. Not iPhone X or Samsung S9 gorgeous, nonetheless they look fantastic – certainly a generation aside from screens entirely on Pioneer DJ’s media players. They’re high res and they likewise have a higher frame rate, a couple of things which Pioneer DJ was lagged behind in in comparison to its current rival Denon DJ. The DDJ-1000 puts Pioneer DJ squarely in 2018 territory so far as displays go, and it doesn’t take a lot of a stretch to assume this sort of display to seem on the next version of its CDJ / XDJ media player (CDJ-3000NXS, anyone?).

The display shows the album art, waveform, and time. In addition, it shows a phase meter which has an indicator for each and every four bars, which is cool because with regards to dance music, important developments in a tune happen after counting four bars. Pioneer DJ just managed to get easier that you can tell what your location is in a four bar phrase because of this phrase meter.

Additionally you get two means of viewing your situation in the track: first is with a playhead that goes from left to right in the track, and second is with a bar that encircles the display, sort of such as a clock’s hand.

Some factors of the display are customisable: you can transform the color of the waveform, you can want to hide album art, and you could select whether you wish to start to see the track’s remaining time or elapsed time.

Sound Color & Beat FX

The DDJ-1000 may be the first DJ controller from Pioneer DJ to have two hardware effects sections onboard, and they are effects that are pulled straight from the DJM-900NXS2, plus a few that are exclusive to the machine (more on them later). This ensures that these effects are designed in to the controller itself instead of just being controls for Rekordbox DJ’s effects, and that enables you to add effects to any audio tracks that passes through the DDJ-1000’s mixer section.

There are four Sound Color FX: Dub Echo, Pitch, Noise and Filter. They are managed by the colour FX knob on each channel. Additionally, there are 14 Beat FX which are selected via the rotary switch in the Beat FX section: Low Cut Echo, Echo, Delay, Spiral, Reverb, Transformer, Engima Jet, Flanger, Phaser, Pitch, Slip Roll, Roll, and two Mobius Effects. The Mobius Effects enable you to create interesting looping effects that loop into one another, and so are a hardware exclusive on the DDJ-1000 (it’s contained in the latest Rekordbox DJ software update, too). You can observe which effect you’ve got selected through the Beat FX OLED display.

The consequences sound good, but moreover just how they work is specifically just how you’d use effects when you’re spinning at the club with a DJM mixer. Which means you can practice using those effects in the home on your controller, that can be confusing for new club and bar DJs who haven’t spent enough time mixing with a CDJ/DJM set-up. Thus giving you more confidence to “intensify” to the consequences tweaking plate when you’re at the club.

Loop controls

The DDJ-1000 includes a looping section that’s similar from what you’d find on a CDJ or XDJ media player: there are Loop In and Loop Out buttons for creating your loop manually, and you will create four beat Auto Loops by using a single button. Again, this works to familiarise yourself with just how looping works on CDJs / XDJs, which new club DJs could find confusing because the loop control layout because of its previous DDJ controllers relied on using performance pads.

Performance pads

The DDJ-1000 has eight performance pads per deck with eight pad modes: Hot Cue, Pad FX1, Beat Jump, Sampler, Keyboard, Pad FX2, Beat Loop and Key Shift. The latter four pad modes are accessible with a Shift layer.

The pads themselves are smaller than what you’d find on the DDJ-RZ, DDJ-RZX, DDJ-SZ2 and so are closer to how big is the DDJ-RX. They’re springy and responsive, and so are built to be utilized and abused, which is excellent because getting the Keyboard pad mode signifies that you can play melodic cue juggles on them, sort of like what you’d manage to do on the DDJ-XP1 pad controller.


The DDJ-1000 is a crucial controller for Pioneer DJ since it represents a leap in the manner it produces gear. It releases gear regularly and frequently, though a huge part of those releases are simply just iterations of its previous controllers: More pads, a fresh silkscreen, a few new buttons occasionally but nothing which makes a massive difference in the manner that the controller works. Not with the DDJ-1000. What you’re getting is easily the most effective and advanced DJ controller that Pioneer DJ has designed for Rekordbox DJ, and the one that could quite definitely be at the peak of its current technological powers. It’s hard to think about how many other innovation Pioneer DJ could increase this device continue without introducing a paradigm shift in what DJing is or what DJ controllers must have onboard.

While it may seem to be such as a souped-up DDJ-RX initially, there’s a whole lot going upon this unit that provides us a glimpse into Pioneer DJ’s thinking in regards to the continuing future of its DDJ controller line: The most clear difference listed below are the onboard jogwheel displays that finally get rid of the tired, old segmented LCD screens (who still talks about them nowadays?) and within their place are new, high-resolution full-colour screens. The jogwheels are also mechanical instead of touch-sensitive, meaning they act like what you’d find on a club standard CDJ or XDJ media player. Will we see more DJ controllers with built-in displays, mechanical jogs, or both? Only time will tell.

In addition to the displays and jogs, additionally you get two sets of hardware effects: Sound Color FX (controlled by the colour FX knob on each channel) and Beat FX. They are the effects that you’ll normally find on a DJM club mixer (eg DJM-900NXS2, DJM-750MK2, DJM-450 etc). So yes, you’re basically getting something that’s very, very near a CDJ/DJM layout and set-up in controller form, with the exception being that you still need to hook up it to your notebook running Rekordbox DJ.

If you’re a DJ buying serious controller for practice and gig use, the DDJ-1000 ticks that box. If you’re a club DJ who spins with a notebook computer and you’re looking for a thing that bridges the gap between a club and a home set-up, the DDJ-1000 ticks that box too. If you’re a mobile or pro DJ, the onboard mic inputs and selection of Master and Booth outputs also imply that it’s got your connectivity options covered. Actually, the only DJ segments that the DDJ-1000 doesn’t service are absolute beginner DJs who remain getting started off with spinning, and DJs who spin exclusively with out a notebook (ie thumb drives or vinyl).

This is by far the very best controller Pioneer DJ has released recently, and we can’t {think a

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