Creative Tips for Pioneer FX: Spiral Effect

In a DJ set, having predictable control over your mixer or controller’s effects unit is critical. So when an effect like Spiral shows up on a mixer, it’s often avoided because it’s initially confusing and unpredictable. In today’s tutorial, learn how to make the most of Spiral’s pitch delay effect found on Pioneer mixers and the XDJ-RX.

Tips for using Spiral successfully:

This effect is a total pain if you’re not careful with it. In order to make sure you succeed, remember these key points:

  • The beat marker (on the LCD below # of milliseconds) shows you if you’re pitching up / spiraling up (to the left) or pitching down (to the right).
  • If you change the direction you’re going, it might take a bit for the effect to catch up if it’s all the way spiraled down
  • If the level/depth knob is all the way to the right, the effect won’t ever naturally decay, even if you disable the effect. It will quickly become a sample wash, which can sound awesome, and you can continue to adjust the spiral up or down until you turn the level down slightly.
  • The effect on/off button is your release button – use it when you want to release the effect and let the spiral fade out. This sounds way better than just turning down the dry/wet knob.
  • When you want it to act as a resonator, use the X-Pad to quickly change the effect time to 10ms. Then adjust from there with the time knob.

If you’ve got additional questions about using Spiral, let me know in the comments.


beat FXeffectsFXmixerspioneerspiral
Comments (23)
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  • DJ Riddim

    Nice, please do a vid for the melodic effect.

  • Nilesh Parmar

    Great video

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  • Dennis Olivieira

    With the spiral on the DJM850 you can use your time bottons or your time incoder to make the effect sound the same.

  • M

    Spiral effect : helping mainstream DJs and all other DJM900 owners making money since invention of effects.

  • mokudekiru

    Sweet! Didn’t really understand how to control the pitching up/down before. Gonna try it out on my next mix 🙂

    • Dan White

      Thanks Mo – it’s all about the time knob and the beat effect buttons to really make it supa’ awesome.

  • Andrew

    Thanks for this! Learning the nuances of the effect really shows how it shines outside of the default settings use. Gonna practice this ASAP!

  • Andrew

    Great article!

    I could never really figure out how to use spiral on my RMX-1000 since it seemed so overpowering on the track

    • Dennis Olivieira

      That is one question I really want to now myself. I have a DJM2000 and a RMX1000 and don’t have spiral on my mixer. I turn down the power of my spiral effect on my RMX1000 and twick it a little bit in the user-mode as well but I can’t let the effect work like it works on a DJM900nexus, niether spiral up or spiral down. It seems to sound like it but it isn’t the same. Sorry for my bad English. But I need help with this one.

  • Stewe

    I was looking for nice tutorial about Spiral effect ever since the 900 came out. Thanks for video 🙂

    • Dan White

      Thanks Stewe. There’s a distinct lack of tips on the Spiral effect online – just one really janky handheld video that shows a bit of info on the resonator style effect. Glad this was useful to you!

  • olde

    thanks for this one! very good tips!