DJ gear manufacturers usually create controllers that are optimized for separate DJ software companies such as Traktor or Serato. Denon is taking a different approach with the release of their latest controller the MCX8000. When we first heard about the MCX8000 and Engine during NAMM 2016, Denon was really quiet about the software and how it would interact with the controller. Prior to current developments, Engine was Denon’s music organizational tool, similar to Pioneer’s Rekorbox. Later, Denon stated that the software would support all features of the MCX8000 besides the sampler and beat-gridding capabilities. Now, Denon is ready to elaborate on the Engine 1.5 software and what makes it more than just a playlist manager.
The Purpose of Engine
With the release of the MCX8000, it is clear that Denon is looking towards the all-in-one solution when it comes to controllers in addition to developing music management software. The purpose of this is to make it easier for DJs to focus on the music and hardware and not the software as one would do with a traditional MIDI controller. (Similar to how many DJs depend on Pioneer gear and work within Rekordbox to manage their tracks.)
While this is nothing new, Denon is working to innovate their current model of managing music than using solely hardware to play. Engine brings in a friendly user interface and with advanced track preparation tools for beat gridding, looping, cueing, etc. Here are a few key features to highlight that makes Denon’s Engine unique.
Color Waveforms: Engine incorporates color waveforms to not only make the software attractive to the eye, but the waveforms also double as a way to analyze a track quickly. Each waveform is a blend of the primary colors (red, green, blue) with each frequency band in a 3-EQ represented by a primary color. Red is low-end, green is the middle band, and blue is high-end. The blending of the colors allows the DJ to anticipate what type of sound will come from the track making for quick track analysis.
Serato DJ Hotcue Support: Denon is also giving current users the ability to migrate from Serato over to Engine by offering support for the transfer of DJ Hotcues. Simply drag any track that was hot cued in Serato into Engine and the data will transfer. Those tracks can then be used in standalone mode.
Extensive Track Support: With the over-saturated music market, it is so easy to accumulate thousands of tracks in a single collection. Engine supports up to 100,000 tracks in a single collection and 1,000 tracks in a single playlist. The Engine software is similar to a V6 when it comes track processing and handling.
Furthermore, lists can be dragged directly onto a flash drive and put into the MCX8000. The other supported media players are Denon’s SC3900 and SC2900.
The other important features include:
- Create and analyze music database.
- Set cue points in advanced.
- Organize all of your tags and music files.
- Improve GUI for the optimized workflow.
- Up to 100,000 tracks.
- Up to 512 Crates, each with 7 sub-layers.
- Up to 512 playlists with 1000 tracks per playlist.
Engine isn’t going to replace Serato or Traktor, but with the way Denon is designing its products, a DJ won’t need a laptop. Back in the day, DJs spent time marking records with labels preparing for a gig was more than just charging a laptop and importing tracks from the Downloads folder. Denon’s new model with Engine has DJs more predisposed to preparing tracks for their all-in-one controllers without depending on a laptop in the booth, giving DJs an option over the Pioneer’s Rekordbox/CDJ duo.
Learn more about Denon’s Engine software here.
This software is absolutely terrible. It will not allow me to import aiff files from iTunes. It will not display track name nor artist name or anything from my aiff files. Even when manually reading the files on my mcx8000 it will not show artist or track name or bpm…… I should’ve steered clear. Now I cannot even post in the forum because my account has been put on hold simply for asking what is going on with some bugs….
Really disappointed. Love the MCX8000 works great BUT trying to prep using Engine. So not happening. I too have a high spec gaming grade laptop & thought my USB 3 drive and Engine would be flying together. No such luck. Engine won’t even launch. No help at Denon sad. Ran Windows compatibility test & comes back from Microsoft as incompatible. What a shame i was really looking for this to be a good backup to my Serato system. Guess not.
Totally agree – Engine should be removed from the market and either fixed or killed off. Its absolutely dreadful, and Denon should ashamed to put their name to it.
Unfortunately, finance dictates that I’m going to have to keep my SC2900’s a while longer – but when finances improve, its bye bye Denon.
I have been a professional DJ for over 30 years and have owned Denon hardware for years and its always been great build quality and I think the SC2900s are really well made but???? The Engine software is Rubbish. I have had so much wasted time loading up my songs which this has taken 2 days sometimes to finish and this is on a brand new hi spec laptop only to have it crash during a set. I have run the decks connected via a wireless router with a single hard drive and an ipad app which crashes many times during the evening. I have now got to the point that I cannot have the stress of what is supposed to be professional equipment failing so badly and so often and it is now time to get rid of my Denon system and move to Pioneer.
This system is not fit for purpose and Denon should remove it from the market until it is sorted.
So bad, Engine is always Crashing, if I want to import some Songs or folders. Eben if there are only 4 Songs in a folder.
Whattt! Denon still hasn’t fixed the piss-poor BPM detection and gridding system? And here I thought “ahh they finally fixed the gridding system with an update as big as this”.. Huge FAIL
I will never buy a second SC3900 until the gridding is fixed. I don’t care if I have to analyze a song in Traktor just to be able to manually type it down in engine, but they have to fix this!
A Denon rep said more updates will follow. (geeze you guys)
That was 2 years ago… and we’re still waiting!! How f***ing long must we wait?
[…] de canciones, que no detecta muchos archivos…también he estado moviéndome por foros y paginas donde se publicó la noticia, y a poco que leamos los comentarios veremos que los resultados son similares, cuelgues, mala […]
I was really, really hoping 1.5 would make me keep my SC2900s but after 2 years of complete silence, this is really not the software I was hoping for.
It runs better and all the crashing on windows has stopped which is great.
However it still can’t even properly analyize a song’s BPM and is almost always incorrect. I also can’t give it BPM ranges so all my Drum and Bass tracks are coming up at somewhere between 86 – 88 when in reality they’re double.
This feels more like a few months of polish to what should have been a complete re-write of the terrible software.
Oh well. Denon, I gave you a way bigger chance than you ever deserved but it’s time for me to say my goodbyes.
3 guesses what’s wrong with this sentence:
“Denon Engine 1.5 Launched: What New?”
What New indeed! What thinking, author? ESL U R? Because if not, grammar book reading should you.
I think in the last paragraph, “prone” should be “predisposed”. “Quite” should be “quiet” in the first paragraph. Thanks for the article, it’s nice to know about alternatives to the Serato/Traktor cabal.
Thanks for the notes – I’ve cleaned up the writing a bit! Thanks v much.
I had a little play with engine the other night, & it’s not great.
If any of your library is at a sample rate other that 44.1khz, then engine won’t recognise it.
There doesn’t appear to be any option to adjust grids if they’re incorrect.
BPM analysis seems to be fairly flakey, which means any loops you set are also off.
Waveform scrolling is jerky.
Presumably this has been rushed out to meet the release date of the MCX8000.
I said most of this on the comments on digitaldjtips too
“Waveform scrolling is jerky.”
From what I heard, the 8000 is a whole lot more data intensive, ie communication between the controller and laptop. If your computer is not up to spec or optimized for DJ use only, you will get the issue above. As for the other things, a Denon rep said that further updates will follow.
even 320kbps 44100 mp3’s wont load for me!
damn, I just got rid on my SC3900’s… Engine was a massive pain honestly. I had a lot of tracks that it wouldn’t read… I didn’t know any of the other apps had limitations on tracks, crates, or playlists… that doesn’t seem like much to brag about.
sadly, denon let us down again and i am again regretting buying my sc2900’s. the new engine 1.5.1 is poor, it freezes, it crashes, it won’t read 320kbps 44100 mp3’s … before anyone blames my pc.. sorry, no! i can run ableton with many tracks running, traktor works great, i can have multiple apps running with no drain on the quad processor or memory.. it’s just poorly designed, poorly researched, poorly tested software ;(