Just ahead of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show, Pioneer DJ has unveiled its newest controller, the DDJ-1000. Meant for dedicated use with its rekordbox dj software, the DDJ-1000 is designed to look almost exactly like the standard setup a DJ would encounter in a club, while also incorporating added functionality found in the brand’s other controller models.
The problem with a lot of DJ controllers is that they don’t offer the same feedback as more expensive CDJs at a club. Club equipment is weighty, there’s nice clickiness from buttons, and the knobs have tension when turned. Many controllers technically offer much of the same functionalities, but with parts that just... don’t feel the same. This is one of the nicer perks about this new DDJ-1000: it has full-sized jog wheels that are from its flagship CDJ-2000NXS model, the CDJ most commonly found in nightclubs. The company has even upgraded them, including a full-color LCD display in the center that shows information like a song’s BPM, time remaining, key, and the song’s waveform, complete with any cue points that have been set.
The DDJ-1000 has also borrowed the same button and knob layout found on most of Pioneer’s CDJs, from cue and play to tension adjust for the jog wheel. (So, if you’re used to DJing on that setup, all your muscle memory will be put to good use.) Borrowing many aspects of the form factor used in club models will serve users well. It can be annoying to re-learn where buttons and knobs are when you want to be in the moment, and this should make the transition easier if you’re used to Pioneer’s club CDJs and mixers, and coming to the DDJ-1000.
As seen with Pioneer DJ’s DDJ-RZ controller, the DDJ-1000 also has two USB ports in the back, making changeovers between DJs or back-to-back sets a breeze. However, there’s now a difference with the mixer: every channel can be assigned to USB A, USB B, or phono / line, so if you’re playing with someone else, channels can be divvied up accordingly.
If you have used other Pioneer DJ controllers, there’s a lot here you will recognize that is carried over from other models. Performance pads at the bottom of each CDJ section can be used to trigger cues, be used as a sampler, and more, and 10 of its most popular effects from the DJM mixer line have been carried over. There are even four new effects to play around with.
Other additions include an improved Magvel fader, which is supposed to be durable through 10 million movements, and a lower latency with the jog wheel and crossfader. It also comes ready to use with rekordbox dvs, a version of rekordbox dj that allows you to DJ with control vinyl, but you’ll have to purchase the Plus Pack license key and control vinyl yourself in order to take advantage of it (and, you know, have turntables).
As far as the rekordbox software itself, there are two notable changes. First, there’s an automix function, not dissimilar to what we saw in the new Djay Pro 2 software. You can now drop tracks into an automix playlist where the software will choose what song to play next, and, according to Pioneer DJ, “mix them accurately and smoothly” by way of an algorithm that detects everything from a song’s BPM, to key, to beat position. Rekordbox’s “related tracks” feature has also been given a boost, which is a way for the software to automatically display tracks that should match well with the one you’re currently playing.
For all the specs on the DDJ-1000, visit Pioneer’s website. The DDJ-1000 should be available starting mid-February, and will retail for $1,199. It will come with a license key for rekordbox dj, worth $129.