Review: Pioneer DJM-T1 Traktor Certified Mixer

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Pioneer and Native Instruments are still sitting in that kissing tree, and following the DDJ-T1 controller and the DJM-900 nexus Traktor Certified mixer is the brand new DJM-T1, a two channel mixer that’s got its eye on the DVS market. Of course, we took a good look at it.


Product: Pioneer DJM-T1

Price: £1279/$1599

Connections: 2 channel Phono & Line, dynamic mic input and RCA aux in, XLR, TRS and RCA out.

Ships with: Traktor Scratch Duo (incl. vinyl and CD)

Audio interface: 24bit/48kHz

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THE GOOD:

  • Great build.
  • Flawless Traktor Duo implementation.

THE BAD:

  • No channel fader curve adjust.
  • Jaw dropping price.
  • No post fader effects implementation.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

The DJM-T1 is a great mixer that brings together Pioneer’s sound and looks, Traktor scratch certification, and MIDI control in one box. There’s definitely a price to pay for that convenience though, and there are some issues – no upfader curve adjust is perhaps the biggest. That said, if you love Pioneer, scratching and Traktor, hate cables and bulk and have the readies, it might just be for you.

SOUND AND CONNECTIONS

The sound quality on the unit is very good, capable of a lot of loudness for very little noise and a lot of headroom throughout. There’s no doubt that the DJM-T1 sounds great, but it does have a very crisp sound that you may find slightly hollow if you’re used to more saturating analogue mixers. When it comes to connections, Pioneer have ensured that the DJM-T1 isn’t wanting for much. XLR, 1/4″ TRS and RCA connections are all available round the back, as are the phono/line inputs per channel and USB (which we’re glad is on the back rather than the top of the mixer).

On the front of the mixer are the mic inputs and headphone outs, as well as aux in. At first I wasn’t quite sure about the front mounted inputs, as it can be frustrating to have a mic cable dancing in front of your body and for many DJs who are used to having a session input to use as a pseudo third channel (perhaps to play loops from a computer to practice scratching) plugging in from the front looks and feels messy, but considering that the DJM-T1 comes with drivers to operate as an audio interface, the aforementioned situation is rendered moot by setting the computer output via USB.

It would have been fantastic to see a true internal effects send/return for post fader effects operation and, like the DJM-T1’s most obvious competitor the Rane 57, some basic hardware effects. As it is, the absence of external send/return when the mixer’s not connected to a computer there’s no effects capability on the mixer at all.

FEEL

Looking in many aspects like the younger, slimmer cousin of the other top flight mixers in Pioneer’s product line, the DJM-T1 features Pioneer’s lacquered speckled metal fascia and bold multi coloured LED controls.

The layout of the DJM-T1 is as clean as a whistle. The fader section is devoid of any nagging buttons or screws, the cue buttons hide out around the edges, and the top half is neat and symmetrical with bright LED buttons guiding your eyes and fingers to their targets. Considering the DJM-T1 is a standard 12” form factor it gets – I almost wrote crams but it doesn’t feel appropriate – a lot of controls on without being intimidating.

The knobs and faders are typical Pioneer, with fairly stiff channel faders by scratch mixer standards but a smooth crossfader – which is magnetic and features tension adjust and onboard lag and fade controls. It may seem strange for a mixer that doubtlessly nods to the scratch DJ market not to have curve adjust knobs and merely a cut/fade mode, but adjustments are performed digitally and at their sharpest are very sharp – perhaps 1mm cut lag on the model I have in front of me but tolerances in manufacturing may mean that at its sharpest it is even less on some mixers. Upfader adjustment is…well, missing, unfortunately. It’s tough not to see that as a pretty clumsily dropped ball.

MIDI

The entire unit, bar the master, booth, and mic attenuation knobs, sends MIDI information. It’s simple to edit mappings in Traktor (and the device controls are all properly named, making it easy to decipher the mappings)  and just as easy to control other MIDI software. There are two MIDI channel buttons – we’re not sure whether adding in a second channel is something Pioneer plans in a future driver update (and we’ll update when we find out) but at the moment only one MIDI channel works and there’s no setting in the driver to set the second channel. When switched on, the entire mixer sends MIDI. When off, the mixer section doesn’t.

It’s completely painless to use the DJM-T1 to control Traktor directly, as its controls are well laid out and there are no potentially disastrous combinations of shift that could lead to a halted set and distinctly unimpressed crowd. The growing trend of using a single actual deck to control all of Traktor’s virtual ones is really easy to do with the deck duplicate (Instant Doubles, to Serato users) feature simply a Shift-press of the load button. The DJM-T1 ships with Traktor Scratch Duo and thus is restricted to group effects, but it does have settings built in for advanced effect control. It doesn’t, however, have support for four effects banks – and inevitably four decks is off the cards. The sample deck functions get the thumbs up from us though, working flawlessly.

Pioneer’s approach to their new generation of software integrating mixers and controllers is to bolster the capability of the software by adding things in hardware that make up for its limitations. The DJM-T1 features MIDI LFO, which amounts to six LFOs that each modulate a MIDI CC. This function operates at a base hardware level (it can be switched off in settings, though) and doesn’t require Traktor at all – it’s a brilliant feature for automating effects although the lack of tempo sync means that accuracy is down to your ears.

CONCLUSION

So the DJM-T1 has a big sound, big feature set, big ideas and yes you guessed it: big price… and at £1279/$1599 I’m not entirely sure ‘big’ covers it. If you add up what you’re actually getting with the DJM-T1 – pro audio quality, MIDI control and a two in two out stereo audio interface with Traktor certification, you can see where the price has come from, but there’s a definite premium placed on it being an all in one unit. The things that have been missed off the feature list mar what is otherwise a fantastic mixer, and if you can look past those things – the lack of send/return and channel fader curve adjustment the principle omissions – then the DJM-T1 is still very good.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

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  • DJ Elevation

    So the price of this mixer dropped down to $700. For $1600 it was laughable, does anyone own this mixer and use it for Traktor and Serato? Your thoughts?

    I’d like to have a solution for both programs as they certainly both have plusses and minuses. Thinking of this or a Traktor z2 with one turntable and one midifighter. When I want to use Serato, just plug in a SL2 box, and use the midi controls on the mixer.

    Has anyone used either one for controlling Serato that could give a recommendation?

  • Calkutta

    sorry,i am totally happy with moving my fingers over 3 inches to reach my X1…for this price,seriously?…plenty of mixers that cost half this are way better,and you get to keep your sound card.unless you are djing outta a lunch box in iraq,i dont see the need for all this in one unit,and even losing my A6 to less connections….
    just my 2 cents…pioneer makes great mixers and im sure this thing is cool,but way outta my reach,way way out.
    j-kut

  • Djmabonzo

    I would like to see N.I. build their own mixer geared toward their software. Not That they have to copy the ttm 57 or any of the newer Rane mixers, but a solid product that they can put on the market with confidence

  • Can someone acknowledge that there is no option to listen to channel AUX using the headphone?! (the AUX/mic channel on the front). 

  • I haven’t loved a mixer this much since my TTM-57. L-O-V-E.

  • Rodger Mettenday

    Great review! I almost bought the unit, but when I learned from you that it doesn’t have effects capability if not connected to a computer, I knew it’s not versatile enough for me.

  • Francisco_serrano

    On you tube it says that it ships with a copy if traktor and time codes?
    Is this correct?

  • Now pioneer shoud make a 4 channel one 😉
    With 2 usb ports for double djing!

  • djMIXali

    Video review???

  • Elevations

    Does Pioneer bother to check out the rest of the controller market and prices?
    Paying $2000 on a mixer is sooooo 80’s
    Anyone that buys this mixer is an ignorant Pioneer fanboy, and just a plain idiot. 
    The beauty of Traktor is NOT having to spend $2000 on a bullshit mixer !
     

    • Killalllooters

      Yeh the beauty of traktor is having to spend $2000 on a mac to make it work..

  • Mylestec

    Hmm… admittedly I prefer the sound quality of A&H mixers over the Pio counterpart, but even so, I just don’t see too many Traktor users that will be satisfied with only 2 channels as it really cuts down on the functionality that Traktor scratch pro 2 offers.

    Further, because the retail price tag of this unit is so high – and flexibility so low, it seems that very few would be properly motivated to purchase this mixer.  What’s more is that scratching djs like to tag-team.. To this regard, I quite often play with other DJ’s who use Serato and we daisy chain ADJ8’s Serato boxes so that we can tag-team.  However, with only 2 channels I don’t think that strategy will work on this mixer will it?

    • Michielygil

      I’ve stepped down to a 2 channel mixer and am using 2 decks and 2 sample decks with it. With a build in soundcard and some midi at your disposal you’ve got almost limitless options on how you want to route stuff. Of course it depends on your way of djing, but with build in stuff and matrix assign, you can go a long way.

  • Michielygil

    As far as 2 channel mixers with midi and integrated (DVS) soundcard goes, I really think my Denon DN X600 is way better value for money. And it DOES have curve adjust on both X and channel faders and fader start. 
    For a third (!) of the price! I really don’t understand how some extra midi-buttons can justify this…

  • Twig

    Dont get me wrong, but this product is a good example of how its not gonna work :
    1. Price : 1600 bugs – Its (just) a standart 2 Channel Mixer (300 Xone 22), simple audio interface(250 Audio 5 DJ), Midi functions (190 NI X1) = 740 ?!?!
    2. Sound Quality : There’s a reason why there are just A&H Mixers in EVERY high end House / Techno Club – They sound way better, not the sharp, digital, pioneer kinda way

    btw : Maybe you should alle care a lot more about the music you play than wasting your time thinking about what super duper new tech tool would be interesting, spending hours on midi mapping your controller to work better with the new traktor update etc etc etc …

  • Twig

    Dont get me wrong, but this product is a good example of how its not gonna work :
    1. Price : 1600 bugs – Its (just) a standart 2 Channel Mixer (300 Xone 22), simple audio interface(250 Audio 5 DJ), Midi functions (190 NI X1) = 740 ?!?!
    2. Sound Quality : There’s a reason why there are just A&H Mixers in EVERY high end House / Techno Club – They sound way better, not the sharp, digital, pioneer kinda way

    btw : Maybe you should alle care a lot more about the music you play than wasting your time thinking about what super duper new tech tool would be interesting, spending hours on midi mapping your controller to work better with the new traktor update etc etc etc …

    • cabdoctor

      BTW maybe you should go back to crooklynclan.net

      • Wookie

        I think you can compare this mixer to Rane 61 or 62 just for traktor. And as known, rane has super duper mixers full of stuff. So I don not get your idea

    • cabdoctor

      BTW maybe you should go back to crooklynclan.net

  • This mixer really makes my shit itch, in so many ways Pioneer have nailed the difficult features perfectly. To cram 90% of an X1 onto a battle mixer without making it cluttered is an achievement, I bet it’s a joy to work with. But I could never justify getting a T-1, I don’t care about the price, it is what it is. If you want quality tank like durability you gotta expect to pay for it, after nearly a decade of djm 707 mixer ownership, I can safely say Pio know how to make a battle mixer that lasts years of proper abuse. However, if I swapped part of my current set up, Audio8, X1, DJM 707 and replaced with an T-1, I’d lose so many vital features without gaining anything bar convenience and lfo midi rotaries, yippee! 

    @Chriss Cartledge, How does it handle the audio from the loop recorder?? is there at least an internal send return loop bus to enable send effects, or to allow for post fade loop recorder sampling?? Post fade sampling is a massive feature for scratch jocks who wanna sample them selfs cutting it up.

    The lack of proper rotary curve adjust on “all” fades, no hardware send return loop and the seemingly lack of loop recorder controls pretty much kills this mixer for me.  Such a shame, this could of easily been a dream come true for many.

    At the end of the day Pioneer do know exactly what there doing for there customers, but they could of gained so many more if they didn’t intentionally stream line vital scratch features out of the T-1, let alone make the line fades slightly stiff. 

    Time will tell if Pio were write to ignore the needs of proper Turntablists. 

  • This mixer really makes my shit itch, in so many ways Pioneer have nailed the difficult features perfectly. To cram 90% of an X1 onto a battle mixer without making it cluttered is an achievement, I bet it’s a joy to work with. But I could never justify getting a T-1, I don’t care about the price, it is what it is. If you want quality tank like durability you gotta expect to pay for it, after nearly a decade of djm 707 mixer ownership, I can safely say Pio know how to make a battle mixer that lasts years of proper abuse. However, if I swapped part of my current set up, Audio8, X1, DJM 707 and replaced with an T-1, I’d lose so many vital features without gaining anything bar convenience and lfo midi rotaries, yippee! 

    @Chriss Cartledge, How does it handle the audio from the loop recorder?? is there at least an internal send return loop bus to enable send effects, or to allow for post fade loop recorder sampling?? Post fade sampling is a massive feature for scratch jocks who wanna sample them selfs cutting it up.

    The lack of proper rotary curve adjust on “all” fades, no hardware send return loop and the seemingly lack of loop recorder controls pretty much kills this mixer for me.  Such a shame, this could of easily been a dream come true for many.

    At the end of the day Pioneer do know exactly what there doing for there customers, but they could of gained so many more if they didn’t intentionally stream line vital scratch features out of the T-1, let alone make the line fades slightly stiff. 

    Time will tell if Pio were write to ignore the needs of proper Turntablists. 

  • Its def a little over priced, but this is the first Scratch certified pro mixer (sorry Denon & Mackie)… thats why I have already pre-ordered and can’t wait to get it in the mail 🙂

    • the scrach certified means nothing if you know how to map midi for me the denon kicks it ass in every way: price, quality just as good and features check the specs….
       

    • the scrach certified means nothing if you know how to map midi for me the denon kicks it ass in every way: price, quality just as good and features check the specs….
       

      • The Denon definitely is cheaper… but thats it. I don’t want to have to map midi (even though I know how). I want plug-n-play capability straight out the box.

        Plust this Pioneer has way better sound quality, better ergonomic layout (effects & sampler built right on the mixer) & some dope exclusive features not found on ANY OTHER mixer.

        Not to mention the 2-channel Denon (X-600 I believe) is not technically “Scratch Certified” meaning it could lose that ability if Traktor Scratch Pro 2 ever updates or anything. 

        If you really think the Denon is better why haven’t I seen a review for DJ TT or you. I’ve tried personally to contact Denon with these concerns and to no avail, received no feedback from them.

        I personally will never buy anything Denon (or recommend them) because of it. A company shouldn’t treats its potential customers and reviewers like that…

        • djproben

          Sound quality is a subjective determination in the end, but to say the Pioneer has “way better sound quality” means you probably haven’t listened to the Denons.  The X1600 and X1700 are both TSP certified fully as far as I can tell, and as for sound quality I’ve only used the 1700 but to me it is far nicer than the Pioneer sound which I find a bit hollow.  I also find the Pioneer EQs to be lacking in the bass which to me feels like less control, though some prefer it.  To be fair, I tried a Pioneer 900 Nexus recently and found the sound a lot more substantive than other Pioneers but as far as sound goes I still prefer the Denon.

        • djproben

          Sound quality is a subjective determination in the end, but to say the Pioneer has “way better sound quality” means you probably haven’t listened to the Denons.  The X1600 and X1700 are both TSP certified fully as far as I can tell, and as for sound quality I’ve only used the 1700 but to me it is far nicer than the Pioneer sound which I find a bit hollow.  I also find the Pioneer EQs to be lacking in the bass which to me feels like less control, though some prefer it.  To be fair, I tried a Pioneer 900 Nexus recently and found the sound a lot more substantive than other Pioneers but as far as sound goes I still prefer the Denon.

      • The Denon definitely is cheaper… but thats it. I don’t want to have to map midi (even though I know how). I want plug-n-play capability straight out the box.

        Plust this Pioneer has way better sound quality, better ergonomic layout (effects & sampler built right on the mixer) & some dope exclusive features not found on ANY OTHER mixer.

        Not to mention the 2-channel Denon (X-600 I believe) is not technically “Scratch Certified” meaning it could lose that ability if Traktor Scratch Pro 2 ever updates or anything. 

        If you really think the Denon is better why haven’t I seen a review for DJ TT or you. I’ve tried personally to contact Denon with these concerns and to no avail, received no feedback from them.

        I personally will never buy anything Denon (or recommend them) because of it. A company shouldn’t treats its potential customers and reviewers like that…

    • djproben

      What are you talking about?  Both Denon and Mackie have TSP certified mixers.

  • JuanSOLO

    I’m definitely interested in a battle style S4-ish mixer. I feel like this mixer , as well as others keep missing the mark. At $1500 bucks it needs to have everything it’s missing.  

  • JuanSOLO

    I’m definitely interested in a battle style S4-ish mixer. I feel like this mixer , as well as others keep missing the mark. At $1500 bucks it needs to have everything it’s missing.  

  • Dont even get me started on these pieces of shit!  Pioneer are fucking up the controllerism market with these peices of shit.. I have used both the tracktor and serato versions extensively and there horrid!!  The whole idea of controllers is to move away from the conventional thought of 2 decks and a mixer.. thats so old school..

    I work in a DJ store part time and i will sell an S4 over one of these any day…. although that still has unnecessary jog wheels. 

    Ive been a controlerism DJ for 5 years, regular CDJ dj for 2 years and i have used both ableton and Traktor in live environments.  This unit is a step in the wrong direction..

  • Dont even get me started on these pieces of shit!  Pioneer are fucking up the controllerism market with these peices of shit.. I have used both the tracktor and serato versions extensively and there horrid!!  The whole idea of controllers is to move away from the conventional thought of 2 decks and a mixer.. thats so old school..

    I work in a DJ store part time and i will sell an S4 over one of these any day…. although that still has unnecessary jog wheels. 

    Ive been a controlerism DJ for 5 years, regular CDJ dj for 2 years and i have used both ableton and Traktor in live environments.  This unit is a step in the wrong direction..

    • WillBlaze

      This unit is for people who still use vinyl and turntables. What does it have to do with controllerism? Why so upset? Not being a dick, just asking a question.

      • shunt

        Thing is though the S4 can even do the vinyl and turntable stuff using its two audio in ports and at a cheaper price. Admittedly it has a rather wide footprint with that controller, which isn’t ideal for scratch DJ’s, but you get pretty much everything on this mixer and then a whole lot more at a significantly cheaper price. Can’t really see who this mixer is aimed at tbh. Club mixers need 4 channels, too expensive for bedroom dj’s, too low on features for controllerists.

        • your exactly right.. Its hard trying to up sell people to the Pioneer product when is really doesn’t do too much more than a BCD3000 lol..

        • your exactly right.. Its hard trying to up sell people to the Pioneer product when is really doesn’t do too much more than a BCD3000 lol..

    • WillBlaze

      This unit is for people who still use vinyl and turntables. What does it have to do with controllerism? Why so upset? Not being a dick, just asking a question.

    • I think u are confusing the DJM-T1 & the DDJ-T1… One is a mixer the other is a controller.

      Which shows me u didn’t even read the column (or even look at the pictures lol), just decided to run ur mouth (or type on ur key-board), without really being engaged in the discussion given.

      I admit it has its faults, but nothing is perfect (ever) & by not evening get the right product and reading the column, u really discredit whatever you were trying to say. Just makes u look foolish.

      What DJ store do u work for? So I can be sure never to go there; I’ll ask for a microphone and because u didn’t listen to what I said, send me a pair of headphones… lol

      • Ah, you got me there..  I thought i read the DDJ-T1 lol.. still, you wont catch me purchasing brand new pioneer gear anytime soon.. 

    • I think u are confusing the DJM-T1 & the DDJ-T1… One is a mixer the other is a controller.

      Which shows me u didn’t even read the column (or even look at the pictures lol), just decided to run ur mouth (or type on ur key-board), without really being engaged in the discussion given.

      I admit it has its faults, but nothing is perfect (ever) & by not evening get the right product and reading the column, u really discredit whatever you were trying to say. Just makes u look foolish.

      What DJ store do u work for? So I can be sure never to go there; I’ll ask for a microphone and because u didn’t listen to what I said, send me a pair of headphones… lol

  • Dj SpecR

    i thought tthe price is to high 1600€
    u get an denon x 1600 for 1000€ and buy the traktor scratch certified update fo 300€ …. 1300€ for a 4channel mixer + interface+ scratch pro

  • Dj SpecR

    i thought tthe price is to high 1600€
    u get an denon x 1600 for 1000€ and buy the traktor scratch certified update fo 300€ …. 1300€ for a 4channel mixer + interface+ scratch pro

  • Snarejordan23

    if this had post fader fx i would buy it in a heartbeat.

  • Snarejordan23

    if this had post fader fx i would buy it in a heartbeat.

  • didn’t read it yet, but THANK YOU for the review… waited for this

  • didn’t read it yet, but THANK YOU for the review… waited for this

  • DjfarmerJames

    I really think Pioneer are starting to miss the point, I mean you can get a a fully integrated 4 channel controller like the S4 or DN-MC6000 for a lot less… or am I the one missing the point?

  • DjfarmerJames

    I really think Pioneer are starting to miss the point, I mean you can get a a fully integrated 4 channel controller like the S4 or DN-MC6000 for a lot less… or am I the one missing the point?

    • Tyfurious

      Scratch certified, but I think the S4 can do that too.  But it does have a analogue mixer feel, which a lot of DJs are begging for (more music less software).

    • Tyfurious

      Scratch certified, but I think the S4 can do that too.  But it does have a analogue mixer feel, which a lot of DJs are begging for (more music less software).

  • Would be interested, but 2 channels!

  • Would be interested, but 2 channels!

  • DJ Strategy

    As mentioned in the review, the price is definitely steep + the lack of IMPORTANT features such a fadercurves and most of all a SECOND USB-input for DJ switching and controls for cuepoints 5-8 as well as FX-Units 3/4 kinda kills this mixer for me!!
    Why doesn’t anyone including N.I. with their new soundcard think of a second USB-Input!

  • DJ Strategy

    As mentioned in the review, the price is definitely steep + the lack of IMPORTANT features such a fadercurves and most of all a SECOND USB-input for DJ switching and controls for cuepoints 5-8 as well as FX-Units 3/4 kinda kills this mixer for me!!
    Why doesn’t anyone including N.I. with their new soundcard think of a second USB-Input!

  • Surely one of the biggest conveniences of SSL and TS is being able to pack up the audio interface and take it to gigs with you, seems like your paying more for less convenience with this

  • Surely one of the biggest conveniences of SSL and TS is being able to pack up the audio interface and take it to gigs with you, seems like your paying more for less convenience with this

    • Jared

      I find it strange that you consider needing one less piece of equipment an inconvenience. The less you NEED  to carry, the more convenient in my eyes. If I need an extra soundcard, the option to bring it is still there.

      • DJ Strategy

        Well, I think what he meant was, that now, instead of just needing to pack up your interface you need to bring an entire mixer! ; )

    • Jared

      I find it strange that you consider needing one less piece of equipment an inconvenience. The less you NEED  to carry, the more convenient in my eyes. If I need an extra soundcard, the option to bring it is still there.

  • This mixer lacks 2 channels to justify this price.

  • This mixer lacks 2 channels to justify this price.

  • Very sexy mixer, but the price! D:

  • Very sexy mixer, but the price! D:

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