Pioneer Launches RMX-500 Effects Unit and DDJ-SZ Controller

Big offerings from Pioneer are starting off the first soft launch day of NAMM with a brand new effects unit that builds off of the RMX-1000 workflow and a new DJ controller that takes the DDJ-SX to the next level. Read on for details on both:

Pioneer RMX-500

The RMX-500 takes the best features of RMX-1000 but with a simplified layout and lower price:

  • Scene FX section: 10 total effects separated by Build Up and Break Down sections.
  • Rhythm FX add looping, chopping, delaying and offsetting effects, with a timing knob in the middle. At the bottom, a simple drum machine gives you kick snare, clap, and hi-hat sounds that repeat at a speed you set with the knob. You can add Rhythm FX to the drum sounds and save a sequence of the resulting pattern.
  • Release FX button cuts the music and effects and adds a vinyl break, echo, or backspin; releasing the button brings the music back.
  • Onboard soundcard with USB.
  • Comes with an AU, VST, and RTAS plug-in version of the effect processor; the hardware works as a controller for the plug-in. Also supports MIDI control.

Borrowing heavily from the RMX-1000 in design and function, the new RMX-500 is an entry-level multi-effects unit, with the best effects from the 1000. Instead of isolator knobs, the effects are split into Rhythm Effects (Roll, Trans, Add, Dev Delay, Offset and a Four Beat Sequencer) and Scene Effects (Breakdowns and Builds: Mod, Echo, Noise, Spiral Up, Reverb Up, HPF, LPF, Spiral Down, Reverb Down)  as well as pressure sensitive knobs on both sections that allow for additional modulation of the effect. There’s also the familiar Release Effects – triggered with the center button. Watch all of them in the performance video here:

The RMX-500 is expected to launch in February 2014 for a price of $499.

DDJ-SZ Controller: The Ultimate DDJ-S

Since the launch of the DDJ-SX in 2012, we’ve seen two other controllers join the family at more affordable price points – the DDJ-SR and DDJ-SB – but Pioneer has decided to go the other direction with the latest controller. The DDJ-SZ is designed to be as close to an emulation the CDJ / DJM workflow as possible in a controller – with resistance-adjustable jogwheels that match the CDJs identically (8.1 inches) with a central display in the middle that shows playback position, cue points, etc.

A big new feature – the DDJ-SZ has dual USB ports – a first for Pioneer on any mixer or controller – which allows two computers to control the unit and trade off very easily. We suspect we’ll see this integrated into some of their high-end mixers very soon.

The SZ also steals a number of the DJM mixer series effects and features, including a the contact-free MAGVEL crossfader found the the DJM-900SRT, as well as and Oscillator, Sound Color FX , and DVS functionality detailed below:

Oscillator – The new Oscillator on the right side of the mixer provides four types of sound effects: Noise, Siren, Cymbal and Horn. A quick touch of the buttons activates the effect(s), which can also be modified in amplitude (volume) to add to the music currently playing.

Sound Color FX – The mixer includes four Sound Color FX functions (Pitch, Jet, Echo and Filter), which add numerous audio effect combinations and arrangements to currently playing music with a simple twist of the knobs. Through Serato DJ’s beats per minute (BPM) analysis, users can also synchronize Echo effects to the BPM of currently playing music.

DVS Functionality – The controller can support DVS (Digital Vinyl System) using control tone to enable an external player to be used as a Serato DJ deck.

The DDJ-SZ comes bundled with a Serato DJ license, expected to launch in March 2014 with a suggested retail price of $1,399 Editor’s Update: Prices were all over the place around the web this morning – official confirmation from Pioneer that MAP Street Price will be $1999 ($2399 MSRP) – and the first 5,000 units will get a free copy of Serato Video.

Keep an eye out for all of the latest NAMM news by watching the DJTT Twitter – we’ll be posting new products, videos, and photos straight from the NAMM convention floor all week.

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