August 14, 2017
For Episode 104, David and Trip do a run down of the year’s biggest gear announcements, before the Summer NAMM event. We have mentioned some of the gear, throughout the year as it came up, but now we can revisit the highlights and put the spotlight on some of the other gear that we overlooked.
Kicking things off, Pioneer introduced Rekordbox Interface 2, which is a 2 channel DVS audio interface for Rekordbox. These units will allow a Rekordbox user to connect two turntables or CDJ’s and a mixer, in order to use timecode vinyl or CDs with their Rekordbox DJ software.
Also from Pioneer, we see the MKII version of their stripped-down 2-channel DJM250 mixer. It comes Rekordbox DVS ready, which is really nice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly 2-channel mixer with DVS functionality.
However, if Rekordbox isn’t your thing, or you’re just not into Pioneer, Mixars UNO has a very similar 2-channel stripped down battle style mixer, as well. Instead of Rekordbox, it comes loaded with Serato DVS functionality, and comes in about $50 cheaper than the Pioneer DJM250 MKII.
If you need something with more bounce to the ounce, however, Reloop has dropped the new RMX-90 on the market, this year, and man...is it sexy! In the same vein as the DJM (but definitely not a knock-off), this is a 4 channel, Serato DVS ready mixer with a separate AUX channel, and is Innofader compatible. Even cooler, though... is that it has a powered active USB hub BUILT IN to the mixer, so if you’re running low on USB ports on your laptop *coughMacUserscough*, this could help to alleviate that problem.
Gemini is also coming out swinging this year with the SDJ-4000 and the MAS-1.
The SDJ-4000 is an all-in-one, standalone controller. While the aesthetics leave David and Trip with a 1950’s Star Trek computer kind of vibe, the feature set is full and Gemini is looking to compete. With dual decks, full color 7” high-res display, routable effects, and two USB ports, this unit is a likely contender for those who are looking for features on a budget.
The Gemini MAS-1, however, is a different type of controller, as it is geared for the Ableton Live user experience. With the layout of the sliders, pads, and knobs, it looks to make the DJ experience a little more intuitive with Ableton, which is not necessarily an intuitive DJ experience.
DJ Tech Tools has made 1,000 of the HUGE Midi Fighter 64, and they are now for sale. The big brother to the original Midi Fighter controller, this one has 64 arcade style buttons, laid out in an 8x8 grid. Finger drummers will love this one, as well as DJs/producers who want to add the ability to trigger sounds from a LARGE, brightly lit unit. Gorgeous, and very fairly priced for a limited run unit.
Akai, following their tried and true path, have released the MPC Live & MPC X. Both have multitouch displays, touting 16gb of onboard storage, and are BATTERY POWERED. However, even better than a lot of the sampler workstations out there, MPC has made these units STANDALONE, meaning you do NOT have to have a computer to make music on these units. They’re both expandable using SD cards or Sata connections, and they’re even Ableton Link compatible. The only decision you have to make, is which one is the right size for you, and fits your budget. Go MPC Live for more mobile friendly and budget conscious, go MPC X for the big, bad boy, studio version.
Now, we realize that the Toraiz AS-1 is a monophonic analog synth, which doesn’t actually classify as “DJ Gear”, but it’s made by Pioneer DJ, so we made an exception. It’s another synth in the Dave Smith line of incredibly amazing gear, so we felt it was worth the honorable mention.
Finally, we know everyone is talking about Denon, and their new Prime line, and trust us… we are, too! But, we also talked about it so much, this year, that we intentionally didn’t go too deep on it, but it’s hard to have a conversation about the hot new gear in 2017 without talking about the top contenders. With the rich and impressive feature sets and aggressive marketing campaigns, we’re duly impressed with Denon and wish them the best of luck on the uphill Battle to replace Pioneer in the booth, even from the most die-hard Pioneer fanbois amongst us.