After opening up their beta of an upcoming DJ software one month ago, Pioneer DJ is finally revealing a first look at the Rekordbox DJ software interface, as well as two new controllers that are designed to be used in parallel with the software. Read more about the software inside and see the DDJ-RX and DDJ-RZ controllers.
Features of Rekordbox DJ
Pioneer has built their own DJ software to work with almost all of their DJ hardware – meaning that they’re achieving a hardware/software integration that hopefully will result in similar benefits we see in other similar ecosystems like Native Instruments and Apple. Products that will work with the software at launch include:
- DDJ-RX/RZ (see below)
For now, Pioneer’s focus with the software seems to be bringing it up to industry standard levels. Key features Pioneer is focusing on include:
- Low latency and excellent sound quality: Pioneer is hoping their software will be “an incredibly fast piece of software with exceptionally low latency, to give DJs natural, reliable control.”
- A single Rekordbox library: Instead of managing a library that then gets pushed to USB drives, your entire library lives in the software and you DJ off of it. There’s HID support, so that’s perfect for CDJ/XDJ setups. The Library also has the ability to suggest related tracks based on BPM and Key – something that we’ve loved in other softwares that have tried it previously
- Multi-screen option and enhanced browsing: We’re not going to beat around the bush – Rekordbox DJ looks very much like Serato DJ does. There’s a striking similarity in the GUI’s modular elements that can be turned on and off, and different waveform views. Serato is doing something right, because Pioneer is imitating them.
- FX / Decks: DJs can perform with 2 or 4 decks, controllers get plug-and-play access to Hot Cues, Slicer and a 16-slot Sampler. Pad FX can use all 16 pads to chain multiple FX, there are customizable Sound Color FX, Beat FX, Release FX, Slip Mode, Beat Jump, and much more.
There’s also a number of upcoming features that Pioneer is planning – including DVS control, custom MIDI mapping modes, and new Plus Packs that unlock video support and additional FX.
DDJ-RX / DDJ-RZ Controllers
To complement their software developments, Pioneer is also announcing two new DJ controllers that mirror the Rekordbox DJ layout – with colored performance pads, low-latency jogwheels, and a four channel mixer. To be honest, these controllers look almost identical to their Serato DJ-oriented counterparts, the DDJ-SX / DDJ-SZ – with just a few cosmetic modifications in order to help them better match the Rekordbox DJ software.
The DDJ-RZ and DDJ-RX will be bundled with Rekordbox DJ software, and will retail for $1999 / $999 respectively.
The controllers allow instance access of Rekordbox DJ’s FX – including Slip, quantized Beat Jump, Beat FX, Release FX, Sound Color and Pad FX, as well as a new Sequencer mode which allows DJs to record and playback.
Input and output remain the same as what you expect on the DDJ-SX2/SZ – with the RZ rocking dual USB ports for easy handoff between DJs.
Rekordbox DJ Plus Pack
The new 4.0 version of Rekordbox will continue to be a free download as a music management tool for every Pioneer DJ. In order to unlock the Performance section of the software, DJs will have to buy the Rekordbox DJ Plus Pack ($129), open a subscription ($9.90/month), try a 30 day free trial, or purchase one of the two above controllers (they both come with an unlock of the software).
Starting October 1st, 2015, Rekordbox 4.0 will be available for download – with an in-app software unlock for Rekordbox DJ. Subscriptions will be available starting December 2015.