Denon DJ MCX8000: Hybrid Standalone DJ Setup + Serato DJ Controller

We saw a few leaked photos floating our forums last week, but Denon DJ has made the full announcement this morning: they’re unveiling the new MCX8000 DJ controller this week at NAMM 2016. Think of this controller as a cross between the Numark NV controller and the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX system – it can run in standalone mode with an onboard Denon DJ Engine workflow, or as a highly integrated Serato DJ controller – or both. Keep reading for the specs and details so far.

  • DJ Gear: MCX8000 (official product page)
  • Manufacturer: Denon DJ
  • Price: $1299.00
  • Availability: February 2016

Feature List:

Before we dive into some analysis, here’s what you need to know about the new Denon MCX8000:

  • Two high-resolution displays to show the playing tracks (they seem similar to the Numark NV)
  • Can run in standalone mode, playing tracks from 2 USB inputs using Denon DJ Engine without a laptop
  • Works with Serato DJ (included) – yes, this means the screen show the waveforms, browser, etc.
  • Four channel mixer with two microphone inputs
  • 3 Instant Effects for Engine playback or to apply to the line inputs (these seem to be Echo, Phaser, and Noise)
  • Velocity-sensitive performance pads (for cues, rolls, slicer, samples)

  • “Ethernet connection to control lighting and video” – we’re not entirely sure what this means yet, but it sounds exciting. Update: Denon writes “the Ethernet connection feature is now branded STAGE LINQ sends track information and BPMs to a lighting console to sync lights and video.”
  • Support for Serato DVS expansion (two switchable Phono/Line inputs on the back of the unit)
  • Inputs/Output: Booth Out (1 pair XLR), Master Out (1 pair balanced XLR, 1 pair of unbalanced RCA), 4 RCA line inputs, and an extra USB port for plugging in another controller (essentially a 1-port USB hub)

Denon Engine Back In Action

Denon DJ has been almost completely silent about Denon Engine and any developments on the media player front. For years they developed one of the only major alternatives to Pioneer’s CDJs, but the last player to be released was the SC3900, announced in 2012. Denon’s Rekordbox alternative for organizing/analyzing/sorting music was Engine, and that software is the basis on the onboard software on the new MCX8000.

The new version of Engine on the MCX8000 is clearly a significant upgrade to the platform. If this product was built with Engine in mind, the designers would want to make sure that any controls that work in Serato mode also have an equivalent function when in Engine mode. For example, the Slip and Censor buttons are clearly modeled after Serato functions, but it would be pretty silly if they were useless when running as standalone. Update: Denon says that almost every feature works in Engine: “Engine supports all features except: Sampler and Best Grid editing.”

But so far we don’t know that much about what the experience of using Engine is like. The press release from Denon simply says:

“DJs can use the MCX8000 with USB drives by opting to use Denon DJ Engine —without a computer connected! Engine is not required for USB playback but it greatly improves the overall experience. Engine enables the DJ to directly import Serato DJ crates and hot cues, as well as create their own— all from within Denon DJ’s Engine software.”

We’ll be testing out the MCX8000 on the NAMM floor and learning more about Engine

MCX8000 Design: Actually A Numark Product In Disguise?

Denon MC6000MK2 (left), MCX8000 (center) and Numark NV (right). Not to scale, click to zoom.

When inspecting the design of the new MCX8000 controller, it becomes clear that InMusic’s product design team as taken a new direction with the Denon line that is inspired by their colleagues at Numark, as well as Pioneer.

Notice how the MCX8000 has adopted the below-jogwheel transport section (cues, play, slicer mode, loop mode) of the Numark NV. The same goes for the screens, with clustered FX knobs right underneath. Also there’s a track strip, which has been a staple of top-of-the-line Numark products since the first NS7.

Make no mistake, the MCX8000 also looks a lot like Pioneer DJ’s controller offerings – the full color square performance pads, the mixer layout, and the illuminated jogwheels all expand on the design of DDJ line. Assuming Pioneer isn’t coming out with a new version of the XDJ-RX in the next few months, we’d say that they have something to be a bit worried about.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the new Denon DJ gear and all of the other new products at NAMM 2016 here on DJTT – you can see all the NAMM articles here, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram for up-to-the-minute updates and unique insights. 

denonDenon DJdenon engineenginemxc8000serato DJstandalonestandalone DJ controller
Comments (54)
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  • Lesley kell

    I feel like whoever wrote the artical and said it was a numark board in or pioneer in disguise is pretty bias just give denon there do that they did a awesome job and this board stands out from them all and is actually my personal favorite of the 3 all Im saying is that yoy made it sound like denon was being a copy cat when it actually 1uped them all.

  • Chris R Schneider

    this thing is very cool. can run vdj8, serato, and i saw a traktor. mapping somewhere. now you can connect a numark dashboard to it whalaa. its a xdj-rx. without being stuck to rekordbox.

  • Mário

    Hi, can i play music from a usb pen to the 4 channels of this mixer? Its because i cant see engine in channels 1 and 4. and if so, this sucks. Thanks in advance.

  • Spared The DJ

    Denon I love you but yes, unless you are giving me a Traktor-dedicated controller, I will not get on board. I am definitely not a Serato guy. I have absolutely nothing against my Serato brothers and sisters, it’s just not for me. But yes, Denon, pretty please, I will even pre-order! >_<

  • SteveO

    Can the MCX8000 record to a USB?

  • Spencer "Thunderball" Thayer

    The way Denon abandoned updates to Engine and the sc3900 is disappointing. I’ll never buy another product from them again.

  • Kristof Standaert

    Would be (very) nice if this one could be used with Traktor Pro …
    Especially the USB-ports are very useful/interesting. Ideal for backup when laptop should break down during a gig.
    NI seems to slide out of the ‘Road DJ’ market (with their midi controllers) and focus more and more to the ‘Remix DJ’ market, leaving the ‘road DJ’ (as myself) to look for other midi controllers for doing the job.
    I still find TP a great piece of DJ software and love working with it, and if possible, I would like to keep using it in the future. Would be unfortunate to be forced to jump over to Serato (I use TP for over 7 (satisfied) years now), just because TP is no longer compatible with the newest midi-controllers, besides there own midi controllers.
    Nothing against Serato though, that’s not the point. But I would like to stay with my trusted DJ software.
    I bought the Pioneer DDJ SX2 last year and configured it (midi mapped it myself) to run with TP. Works like a charm !
    I hope (wish) this one (or others to come WITH USB slots) is/are also usable with TP, or at least configurable to use with TP.
    Or NI puts a ‘Road DJ’ friendly midi controller themselves on the market in the near future 🙂
    But this one (and maybe other controllers to come with USB-stick-ports) are very interesting for the road-dj (backup library on USB stick(s) !

    • Martin Wilson

      I have a DDJ SX2 used with Traktor too. It rules!

      I’m going to have to guess that you can do the same with the MCX8000. The only problem is that the traktor MIDI code for the SX2 is thousands and thousands of lines long. Too much for me to make on my own. Hopefully Denon or some enterprising young DJ Tech Tools dude will do a mapping for us. 🙂

  • Chief

    Anyone know if this supports ALAC?

  • HonestLiar

    companies are finally waking up.. DJing with computer sucks! we need more standalone solutions

    • Martin Wilson

      No built in Dicers? Psh.

  • Per Jakobsen

    Where do I put the cash

  • ?????

    C’mon, guys. You’ll get TWO XDJ1000-like players/controllers + 4 channel mixer for just $1300. And it is Denon. Yes, i know about XDJ-RX, but it has bigger price and fewer features.

    • Mark

      Heaven forbid anything could be better quality than Pioneer 😉

  • Martin Wilson

    I likes it. I bought a DDJ-SX2 because it’s more jog centric than the S8, but adding these screens and standalone… interesting

  • All Day

    How do u get a job mixing for a big company when u suck like that… LMAO

  • Luke Peter Annett

    Denon…. Just bring out a 10″ 3900 serato software controller and be done with it. No sound card just pure usb hid to serato. Then make an all in one like the ns7iii for the all in one crowd.

  • stefanhapper

    Anyone thinks that Denon will ever release a Traktor version of this? I believe MIDI is dead for DJ controllers in 2016, isn’t it?

    • Mark

      As long as NI make hardware, I doubt it.

  • Gerd Bauersfeld

    Didn’t find any information on the product site if this unit supports FLAC in standalone mode.
    Anybody knows something about it?

    • D.N.A.

      MCX8000 does not play FLAC files. That does not mean we can’t do it in the future.

      • Reticuli

        You speaking as a consumer or a rep?

        • D.N.A.

          As the Product Manager of Denon DJ 😉

          • Reticuli

            Ok. You should hire me. I could help you dominate.

      • József Szita

        Why don’t support? Does he have technical reasons? Why is it necessary to wait always?

        • Reticuli

          Probably technical limitations of the hardware — same reason why all the Pioneer stuff didn’t have it up until NXS2.

  • Ob1

    This is just a recycled numark nv. Denon is dead. You cannot see the denon original design here…

    • Mark

      Very different to NV, just shares the same screen. NV doesn’t run stand alone. NV isn’t all-metal. NV doesn’t have Stage LinQ. NV doesn’t have dual balanced outs with EQ on the booth. Soooooo much more.

  • calgarc

    pioneer lel…

  • Alexandru Sereseoan

    I think it’s MCX8000, not MXC8000. Isn’t it?

  • Oddie O'Phyle

    Looks like elements of Numark, Akai and Denon. Looks like they dropped the M-Audio style pad from the MC6000MKII for the Akai style. USB through and Link to the unit are forward thinking. Cool.

  • Darrin

    one thing that is quite interesting is the Key Sync feature. if the analysis of the music is as good as other key analyzing software, then this could be really cool. also, would hope that Engine is getting a huge iOS and Android update so that people can prep tracks on the go. I remember seeing Engine on an ipad in the past so I can’t imagine they’ve overlooked that.
    pioneer will most certainly release a XDJ-RZ, it seems obvious given the naming conventions they are running with. when they do it’ll be a 4 channel xdj-rx and likely will smash this. not a pio ‘fan boy’ but I’d rather have the xdj-rx’s 2 channel player over this from denon. would hope to see more fx get added down the line as I’m sure they will.

    • Andre

      Just curious, why would you go with the xdj-rx as opposed to this? Denon makes great gear, I own a DN-X1600 and love it, I would dare to say it’s better than the DJMs

    • Joey Rocco Cramutola

      I have the xdj-rx too and yes the Denon is awesome looking but a deal breaker for me is that if you use Engine instead of a computer(I’m all about no more computer when I play) You only get 3 lousy effects? Huh! And not the best ones either! I mean the Xdj-rx comes with how many? Like 12 or so? All work great! Take out the phaser and add a flanger! Take out noise and add Gate! Than I would maybe be cool with the 3 lol I do like the fact that you can use both a usb stick and a Mack at the same time! Very cool! I wish you could do that with the Pioneer Xdj! Again I’m trying to ditch the computer(grew up on turntables) but that option would be cool ?

  • Marco Hooghuis

    Why do they always make some things symmetrical and others not? I don’t get it. Either make it symmetrical or not, make up your mind.

    • Baptiste Z

      I agree. Deal breaker of the product. It’s too complicated to rethink every time you switch decks, each side should be layed out the same way.

      • Mark

        Pretty easy to learn, mate. The brain is a powerful thing, adapting to this layout takes but moments.

    • max

      Yeah! It’d be so easy to hit the wrong button. Deal breaker indeed.

    • Dan White

      yeah, it’s a bit of a strange design decision – the mirrored transport sections, but then identical layouts around the display screens. Not sure what the thinking was there

      • Jacob Stadtfeld

        Denon being Denon. Not that that’s a bad thing.

        • Jack

          i can see the convenience of the mirrored transport controls, especially reducing the chance of knocking a pitch fader by accident by keeping it away from the mixer section

          The screen isn’t really that much of a critical area, and for the ease of track selection it makes sense to keep everything same for both sides.

          I can’t really imagine having to ‘rethink everything’ whatsoever

          • Jack

            oops, this was obviously meant as a reply to the comment below.

  • Oscar

    Looks nice , but i hope denon comes with a sc3900 upgrade.

  • Scott Frost

    Looks like Pioneer and Numark got drunk one night and had a baby.