DDJ-400: Pioneer DJ’s New $250 Rekordbox Controller

The DDJ-1000 came out earlier this year to great acclaim, taking the DDJ line to a new level – for Rekordbox DJ users exclusively, of course. But today Pioneer DJ is announcing the DDJ-400, a budget-minded controller designed to replace the DDJ-RB with a layout that matches more their club gear. Keep reading for the first details, a video, and more.

DDJ-400: A Controller To Watch For First-Time DJs

There’s a brand new intro controller on the block, and with a serious budget price to match. The DDJ-400 is Pioneer DJ taking aim at the budget controller market (they already pretty much run the game with the DDJ-SB lineup) and moving the funnel so that new DJs will end up being Rekordbox DJ users.

The new DDJ-400 makes a lot of the similar design decisions as the DDJ-1000 (which in turn was largely inspired by NXS2 club kit), so there’s familiar beat FX with a large on/off blue button, filters, CDJ-style looping, and so on.

DDJ-400 Feature Set

  • Club style layout: many of the basics are identical to NXS2 setups, including the play/pause/cue buttons, tempo sliders, loop and cue/loop call, trim, EQ, headphone cueing, etc. There’s also Beat FX and a Filter knob per channel (no other Color FX, though)
  • Built-in soundcard: RCA outs and a headphone cue, as well as a 1/4″ mic input

  • USB bus powered: Making this a really, really portable piece of kit.
  • Class compliant: This means no drivers are required. It also means that it can work with iOS devices pretty easily…so maybe we might see a new update to the Rekordbox app soon?
  • Rekordbox DJ License included: This is a massive subsidy that Pioneer DJ is doing – giving away a full version of their software with every one of these budget controllers. Usually that runs $129 (or you can subscribe to a monthly plan starting at $9/month)

If you want to try DJing at home and see how far you can take it, we’ve created the perfect controller to learn on

Pioneer DJ

Make no mistake, this new gear from Pioneer DJ is expressly designed to be the controller that you recommend to everyone who “wants to try out DJing but doesn’t know what to start with”. Unless you’re using a DDJ-RR/SB3 or similar basic controller right now, you’re unlikely to upgrade to this kit. You might purchase it as a solid backup or a portable controller for gigs that you don’t want to bring a ton of gear to.

Rekordbox 5.3

At the same time, Pioneer DJ is also announcing a new update to Rekordbox DJ with features specifically designed to go well with this launch. The big points here are:

  • Built-in tutorials for learning how to DJ, which works interactively with the  DDJ-400/DDJ-RB. It tells you what to each function does, and waits for you to do the onscreen instructions. Think of it like a video game tutorial level.
  • Track Suggestions: Rekordbox DJ’s “Related Tracks” has gotten an upgrade:
    “This feature ranks every track in your rekordbox library according to how well it matches with the one
    you’re currently playing, helping you choose tracks that will fit well in your set. The track displayed at the
    top of the track list is the most relevant one to play next. Quickly scroll through your music, making
    maximum use of your collection. There are three sorting modes:

    • Era: tracks with a close year of release.
    • Mood: tracks with a similar mood.
    • Association: tracks sharing traits such as artist, label, etc.”

  • Easy sharing of mixes to social media: Pioneer DJ has built-in a quick export feature for sets recorded on their software, integrating with Mixcloud, YouTube, and their own KUVO platform. Included in the export are track titles and timestamps that automatically are added by the software.

Think you’d recommend a DDJ-400 to a new DJ, or not? Debate in the comments below.

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