Xone:DX Users Petition For Serato DJ Support

As Serato DJ begins its rollout in the next few months to a wide array of supported controllers, there’s a significant missing controller in the lineup, the Allen & Heath Xone:DX. This beast of a MIDI controller debuted in 2010 as one of the first flagship four deck controllers for Serato ITCH, with an (at the time) incredibly impressive feature set.

Read the DJ TechTools review of the Xone:DX from June 2010.

Loyal users of the controller are pretty peeved about the lack of support for Serato’s new software, and have started a petition directed at Serato to build out support for the MIDI controller, which in 2010 carried a hefty $1299 price tag. There’s a number of very long forum threads on Serato’s website with users discussing and debating the decision – the basic tenants of which are that Serato ITCH still feels like an incomplete, unstable product to some users, and by discontinuing ITCH and not allowing DX users to update to DJ, they’re being left in the dark with a very expensive controller that might have been purchased as recently as within the last six months as new. These users have started a petition asking Serato to reinstate continued support for the DX, either by updating ITCH or by adding support to Serato DJ.

Serato’s official response seems to be focused around the unit being discontinued, and no longer supported by Xone – and while the production may have ceased, a few Google searches reveal that as much as the unit no longer is in production, there are still units circulating around the retail market. When we reached out to Serato, here’s what they had to say:

“In regards to the Xone:DX this is a discontinued hardware product and therefore will not be supported in Serato DJ. It is supported and will continue to be so in the latest version of ITCH (2.2.2). This is the same for the Denon HC5000.”

And a user on the Serato Forums shared this comment from Allen & Heath’s support team:

“(…)we are currently in communication with Serato and I hoped to have a more detailed answer for you.

At this stage it appears highly unlikely that Serato will offer support for the DX, when we have clarification on this will publish an official statement.

In the short term this question might be better put to Serato to see if they will be offering another forms of connectivity with DJ such as general midi which will allow third party devices to interact with their software.”

The real question that arises out of this mess is what type of longevity is reasonable for users to expect from their controllers? Xone and Serato most likely did not plan for the controller to be phased out as early as it was. And as a comparison, look at the success and continued support that Native Instruments has had for the Kontrol S4, which was brought onto the market just months after the DX – and those users never paid more than $1000 for their controllers!

We’re interested in your thoughts in the comments below – how much of an obligation does Serato (or any software manufacturer with proprietary hardware requirements) have to continue supporting DJ controllers as they release new versions?

More Info:

Allen & Heath Xone:DXallen and heathdiscontinuedserato DJserato itchxone:DX
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  • Xone:PX5 – Is Allen & Heath Teasing A DJ Mixer/Controller? – dPico AUDIOS

    […] The last Allen & Heath Xone product to have an X in the model name was the Xone:DX, a four-channel hybrid MIDI controller and external mixer designed originally for Serato ITCH. The Xone:DX was discontinued in 2012, but had a dedicated fan base that got incredibly upset when the new Serato DJ software was announced to not have support for the uni…. […]

  • Xone:PX5 – Is Allen & Heath Teasing A DJ Mixer/Controller? | NUTesla | The Informant

    […] The last Allen & Heath Xone product to have an X in the model name was the Xone:DX, a four-channel hybrid MIDI controller and external mixer designed originally for Serato ITCH. The Xone:DX was discontinued in 2012, but had a dedicated fan base that got incredibly upset when the new Serato DJ software was announced to not have support for the uni…. […]

  • Xone:PX5 - Is Allen & Heath Teasing A DJ Mixer/Controller? - DJ TechTools

    […] The last Allen & Heath Xone product to have an X in the model name was the Xone:DX, a four-channel hybrid MIDI controller and external mixer designed originally for Serato ITCH. The Xone:DX was discontinued in 2012, but had a dedicated fan base that got incredibly upset when the new Serato DJ software was announced to not have support for the uni…. […]

  • guru post

    […] Xone:DX Users Petition For Serato DJ Support | DJ TechTools http://www.djtechtools.com/I saw 4 brand new xone dx controllers for 379 at guitar center. I paid 1000 for mine. this is bs. Dj L- BIZ. its a hard one but as djs crave more features and products the life span of equipment has considerably diminished … […]

  • DRing

    Shame on Serato and A&H for screwing over the early adapters and customers who believed in them.

    Unless Serato does the right thing I will NEVER trust them again. This is wrong and it needs to be fixed.

  • Robbie

    I saw 4 brand new xone dx controllers for 379 at guitar center. I paid 1000 for mine. this is bs

  • Dj L- BIZ

    its a hard one but as djs crave more features and products the life span of equipment has considerably diminished – Serato want a better product for their users, this can’t be argued but we have all been a a position where you buy an expensive product whether a TV, laptop or car even only to find out that a short time later a new or improved version is released. I had the same issue with a G4 powerbook i bought at ‘the wrong time’ and also with the vci300 only for a mk2 to appear a short time later which addressed all the issues that niggled me in the mk1 version

    It must be difficult now to judge the timescales of when to release new products updates etc and when doing so it would be naive to think manufacturers would not have paid a passing thought to those who they are excluding in doing so each time. After all the faithful customer base is the best you can hope for (numbers don’t always count for everything).
    I do feel sorry for people that have shelled out a lot of money ($1000 or more is a big dent in most peoples wallet) but we live in fast moving progressive times and we as djs are partly to blame – we all want newer louder, shiner & more features etc the manufacturers are just answering those calls…
    As a guy with numerous bits of (not very) old kit with no resale value i honestly feel for you.

    {I must add though, what would users be looking for from Serato many of the new and decent features add will not be accessible anyway so you will need some extra extra controller like a maschine etc to access those…}

    I can see where people are coming from but asking Serato to retro fit an old (and now sadly discontinued) unit is a bit pointless A&H have obviously let it go. Why would either company be happy to split or delay productivity in other areas for this… It doesn’t make good business sense really, although alienating a group of users may not make much sense either but there must be a balance.

  • Nimrod

    There comes a time when you have to come to admit your own mistakes. Last year i chose Xone:DX over an S4. I Wouldn’t make that mistake again. I Did it because i was expecting the software to get better (they know how to make good software judging by SL), and now that it did, i was left outside. IMO, there’s no such thing as ‘reasonable longevity’, there are too many factors to this equation, but as the article points out – the direct competitor seems to have defined what kind of obligation is expected from software manufacturers, and it was just enough to win me (and as it seems another bunch of guys) over. So long, Serato, I Won’t even consider buying another one of your products.


    It’s all about the Benjamins!

  • Basi

    First I was in shock – no further support for my Xone?

    But this forced me to look around and hey – Tracktor is not only pretty awesome, its actually better then the damn Itch! Then came a mail today from Native Instruments that they give it out for 50% the prize! yey 🙂

    The world is good again 😉

    Check it out, the support is perfect (big and awesome user community!) and Tracktor feels like the much bigger, stronger and cooler brother of Itch.

    …and nope – I am in NO financial or personal relationship with Native!

  • eizhauz

    I am one of the unfortunate owners that purchased this at a killer discount rate last Spring. It was my first controller and while the software has been somewhat glitchy, I don’t ask for much. I still like to beatmatch once BPM’s are in range but would love to have a better effects section (reverb is a joke).

    To say I am not looking at the Black Friday Sales on DJTT presently would be a lie.

  • Djeross

    Thank you all at DjTechtools to cover this story. I really hope it will help filling the petition.

    To any Xone DX user : go sign it ! It will take you 2mn to do so, and could help us having support for this unit.

  • J.J. Gonzales

    Look at the two discontinued products that will not be supported in Serato DJ. Denon DN-HC5000 and A&H Xone:DX (sold 5000+ units and A&H updated the firmware this year). Both companies are owned by D&M Holdings. It sounds to me like a communication issue and not a discontinued product. How is that the discontinued Pioneer DDJ-S1, Vestax VCI-300 and Numark NS7 still get support. (Contrarily to popular belief, they are not being made. Name one DJ company currently ordering these older controllers.) They are getting the new software because these companies have current and future products. Plus, they don’t have a problem being honest with there hardware sales in order to pay Serato. However, Denon’s new MC2000 has Serato DJ Intro Support.

    Personally, I’ve never understood the Xone:DX. I thought it was perfect for those DJ’s who wanted a bunch of buttons on a high-end controller with no need to scratch, juggle and track like a record. But just like all those DJ’s requesting POT mixers, only a select few will actually buy them. The Xone:DX got me exited. Not for the hardware, but for the software ITCH. It was the controller that brought us EFFECTS AND 4 DECKS in Itch.

    I understand Serato wanting to get paid. But this leaves a bad taste for the Serato branding. You go to Serato forum and they tell you to look elsewhere like Traktor. You go with Serato because of the free updates for life. Now, after a few years your controller might not be supported on the new Mac operating system. Ridiculous! Itch is broken at 2.2.2. There are several outstanding bugs and the database is mediocre at best.

    Instead of charging $199 to DJ Intro controllers, they should charge $99 to all Itch controllers that have been discontinued. Even if 500 out of the 5000+ DX users wanted an upgrade, thats $50,000 to Serato DJ for a technician to MIDI map the controller for native support. That would take what… one week (longer to beta test).

  • Koen Brinkerink

    At the time I bought this piece of gear no alternatives were available. Though, soon after NI presented the S4 what was immediately the dead of the DX and prices dropped from approximately 1500 euro to 1200. Yes, it did have some major flaws, and yes ITCH was terrible, though together with Traktor it ran very smoothly and acceptable. Though the lumpiness of the unit, lack of good midi maps and the more attractive priced alternatives made this a dispensable unit. Till this day I regret my choice of buying it. By selling it, I’ve lost about 400 euro’s that I could have spent more wisely (at that time) for a new set of SL1200’s.

  • Michael Hayden

    It’s pretty clear that NI rules for this reason.

  • Berry Good

    There is something distinct about serato controllers; you can scratch on them and I think that is where A&H kind of messed up, nobody uses A&H mixers for scratching or anythin of that sort, its mostly for techno house and such…and a lot of effects which serato is not the best at. Just like scratch live was never a 4 deck software( not that you couldnt but the majority of people using it really used 2…so was a bad relationship from the start. What I do think tho is that A&H should make an affordable 4 channel digital mixer (DB1 or DBX)

  • Dustin

    I don’t buy into the finger pointing. As the software and hardware were packaged and sold together, both companies have a certain level of responsibility for supporting them. I don’t understand what the big cost savings here is anyway. Is it that expensive to have staff at each company spend a few hours maintaining the midi mappings and drivers? I’m sure Serato has spent more man hours on this PR issue than it would have taken a low level developer to just make it work. As for A&H, if they made a mistake with this hardware release, suck it up and take ownership of it. Walking away from a product in the (new for them) controller market this way is a big blemish on their otherwise stellar reputation in the DJ community.

  • Mizurah

    It’s unreasonable for Serato and A&H to not come to a solution on this. Not updating tech products after a number of years (how many did Windows 95 have, 8?) is understandable, but the DJ community expects something totally different. DJs are used to Technics, lasting decades, not two years. And mixers last much longer than 2 for anything….

    They are making an awful business decision. By not supporting this controller after two years, they are totally alienating a number of high-end users. Moreover, they are making people who don’t own one (me included) skeptical about their commitment to customers. This is shocking given my recent reversal of feelings for Serato after being ignored about MIDI for a year, and my love of my new DDJ SX (a huge improvement over my DDJ S1).

    I really hope they get it together, or we might see the rise of a 3rd competitor. I’m sick of having to pick which one I like and worry about clubs having a different. Or at least make libraries stanadard!!

  • lolwut

    That was such a poorly executed controller. Seriously, how the hell did A&H make a “premium” $1299 controller without a goddamn power button (and a bulky power adapter on top of that). The dB meters were a complete joke, it had no touch sensitive platters, faulty cue buttons at launch, and the worst placed Cue/Pgm knob location. On top of that, mine had problems with audio glitching out whenever I’d use certain controls for the first time upon turning it on and using it with Traktor (apparently I wasn’t the only one either). When 2 of the 4 hot cue buttons broke (those dinky, cheaply made ones below the left and right deck controls), I decided to pawn mine immediately and move on to a more serious controller.

    Theres a reason this controller plummeted in value, you can score them for $350-$400 now (used of course), and Serato probably recognized it’s shortcomings. The real solution would be if A&H addressed the issues most people had by releasing an MK2 revision, or simply owning up to it instead of brushing it under the carpet (go ahead and try finding it on their website, they removed it along with the driver support)

    It’s not the worst controller I’ve ever used by any means, but it certainly did not carry the A&H quality users should rightfully expect for the price they were asking. Now it’s pretty much chalked up in the same league as the Xone 3D: a great idea, flawed by a series of oversights which killed it’s longevity. The only difference is that the 3D actually had a seriously bad ass replacement which quickly filled its gap.

    • lolwut

      Correction: if you Google it, A&H still has an unlisted product page for it that has the software downloads. That’s about it for the DX. I think they stopped updating shortly after launch. I also found it really awkward that the firmware updates were pushed out via Itch, not from a standalone executable provided by A&H. Maybe it’s a Serato thing, either way it was pretty confusing.

  • Coke

    Allen & Heath discontinued the product, not Serato. So they should be petioning to A&H.

    • Djeross

      Yep, but A&H still continue to provide support and new firmware, even after discontinuing the product… Serato doesn’t want to do so !

      • Bleep

        But it doesn’t mean that they still have the intention to partner with serato. Again the whole fiasco was decided by both parties not serato alone…

        • shonkyboy

          yes but one thing is for sure – no matter which company is responsable i know one thing. it wasnt the fault of the poor guys who bought the thing in the first place!