There’s been a small bump of news for DJ and production technology for NAMM 2017, but on the whole, the convention felt a bit lackluster compared to years past. Keep reading for an overview of what we saw that was new, and what booths were missing at the show.
Missing Or Quiet DJ Companies at NAMM 2017:
Let’s start with the companies that weren’t at NAMM this weekend, or who had a more reserved presence than in years past:
- Rane: Acquired by InMusic last year, this well-respected mixer brand is in transition. US production of their products has stopped, with a move to overseas production underway. No new products or booth was present at NAMM.
- Native Instruments: As usual, NI tries to avoid NAMM all together (aside from some private meetings in the hotel nearby). They’re not showing any new gear – and we get the sense that new Traktor products aren’t in the near future, but instead are further out.
- Allen & Heath: The A&H booth was showing off their 2016 releases: the co-branded PlayDifferently Model1 mixer (which wasn’t set up with nearly enough inputs to be able to properly demo it) and the XONE:PX5. There weren’t any new products on display or hinted at.
- Denon and Akai: While we did see their new products at the NAMM show, they opted out entirely from the convention floor, choosing instead to have a private showroom upstairs. From a business standpoint, this makes a lot of sense – but we saw many convention attendees who were disappointed to find out they needed an appointment to see the new gear.
- Numark: InMusic clearly wanted to focus most of their efforts on Akai and Denon DJ products for this convention. Amazingly, this meant that one of the biggest names in DJ gear, Numark, was completely absent. No new products from them at this time.
- Roland (and their new acquisition, V-Moda) are also off the main show floor entirely. Instead that have a more out-of-the-way room upstairs. Neither company had new dance music-oriented gear launching. This isn’t that surprising, as in recent years Roland has opted to announce products on August 8th and September 9th (808 Day / 909 Day).
- Pioneer DJ: Yes, they launched a new synthesizer at NAMM. But with many other companies making an effort to unseat their reign over DJ gear, the Prophet 6-modeled synth wasn’t of much interest to DJs expecting the company to respond or innovate.
- Novation: Did not have any new product launches for the NAMM show – their booth was mostly showing off the Circuit and Launchpads.
Prototypes and First Glimpses
There were a few companies at NAMM who had products that were clearly rushed to the show to be able to take advantage of the news cycle there. Here’s what we noticed:
Mixars Gear = Under Glass
This young upstart of a DJ mixer brand had three new products at NAMM. There was the Uno, a two channel mixer (details here) that was available to test. The more exciting products were under glass and only displayed in Vegas mode – non-functional/testable at this time.
Learn more about the Primo controller (that looks set to challenge the DDJ-SR) and the Quattro four-channel Serato mixer in this article covering both.
Gemini’s MAS-1, SDJ-4000, PMX-10, MDJ: Factory Fresh
Gemini DJ’s new products were all fresh prototypes from the factory. According to Craig at Gemini, they’re still going through a few final design iterations to improve the buttons, finalize the finish, etc. Gemini’s new products included:
- SDJ-4000: a lower-cost standalone controller with a built-in computer to play tracks directly from the unit. It has four channels – but important to note that only two decks are available on the onboard computer. (details here)
- PMX-10 (and PMX-20): New mixers from the company that follow a familiar design – basic two-channel layout with 8 push buttons on either side. Only the PMX-10 appeared at the show
- MAS-1: This is a large APC-style unit, designed to appeal to Ableton DJs. The controls have loads of room around them. (details here)
- MDJ-900 / MDJ-600: Added to the Gemini booth on Sunday (we were already at the airport!) were two new CDJ-style competitors. No pricing or launch date available yet.
Denon’s Pioneer Challengers
Denon DJ’s new media players deserve every DJ’s complete attention (we’re getting review units in later this week for a full assessment). Many online commenters seem to think that Denon build quality or user experience is historically negative – but those sentiments should all be thrown out the window. InMusic acquired the brand and brought these new units to life over the last four years, and it’s a completely different story.
In short, the SC5000 media players:
- are $300 cheaper than CDJ-2000NXS2s
- have a feature set similar to what you would get on DJ software (track analysis, loop move, beat jump, dual decks, high-res screen) in a standalone player
- feel sturdy and solidly built (again, we’ll dive into this in our full review)
- look about 1000% better in person than they did in the original press release images
Denon also launched a new turntable and mixer – check out the details on each unit here.
Other News From NAMM 2017:
- Reloop announced tehir RMX-90 DVS mixer: more details
- Stanton ST.150 and STR8.150 turntables were upgraded to M2 versions
- Akai had two new standalone MPC units on private display – learn more
- American DJ had one of the most utilitarian mobile DJ accessories on display: a power strip with USB ports and built-in USB hub!
One of the cooler accessories we saw at #namm2017 for DJs was… a power strip from @americandj! With lots of USB ports!
A photo posted by DJ TechTools (@djtechtools) on
So regarding the comments calling for two modular controllers that control Rekordbox, have you all heard of the XDJ-1000 MK2? That is exactly what they are, plus they function completely independently of a computer, so no need for that either. Add in the DDJ-SP1 and you have everything you are asking for, stand alone, or with Rekordbox. Of course this comes with the Pioneer Tax, but I don’t think you can expect to get something form PioneerDJ without crazy pricing. Even with the Pioneer pricing, they are not a terrible deal when compared to the rest of their lineup. I highly encourage you to try them, as they are fantastic players, and controllers for Rekordbox. A firmware update will make them hopefully control Traktor, which for me would be nice, but Rekordbox is now my DVS of choice, despite lagging a bit behind in functionality, it still beats having several libraries to manage.
There was a time when NI gear was appealing to me.
So Inmusic owns:
AIR Music Technology
So really its Inmusic vs Pioneer Vs NI
Correct, in terms of industry heavyweights. You might include Reloop, Allen & Heath, and a few other smaller companies as well. But this is a big reason why so many bemoaned the loss of Vestax – it felt like they were able to compete on both controllers AND mixers with NI and Pioneer.
And Vestax had truly ORIGINAL stuff, not the 34th copycat controller for Serato – something that can’t be said about Reloop.
By the way, there haven’t been any news on stpVx for a while…
Exactly. They innovated and took chances!
In reality it is Pioneer Vs. all and Pioneer is winning by a landslide………….
If manufacturers are booking private rooms instead of having displays on the main floor, doesn’t that seem to evoke some action from the organizers? Maybe they’re just not servicing their customers correctly?
Not a bad theory here. I suspect a lot of companies simply want more private, controlled environments. On the main show floor, you’re competing for attention, space, volume – and there are so many distractions all the time.
AND the floor is usually L-O-U-D! Private rooms tend to give a cleaner sound, and are more intimate so sales can happen at the same time, at the user’s pace.
If Native Instruments isn’t showing there, you know there’s something they don’t like about it. They have the money to do it, but prefer to show only to private crowds PROBABLY because NAMM has some stupid rules somewhere.
Native instruments hasn’t shown at BPM in the UK for a good number of years either.
One word that has come to mind is “Consolidation”
I only wish Native Instruments would consolidate their programs to make them work better (with each-other). I use Maschine and Traktor, and would really like to see the controllers cross-over with more control of each other’s software.
Or did I miss what you were meaning by consolidation?
consolidation as in companies buying other companies, or collaborations. (not just one company and it’s own offerings)
I agree that the most notable announcement is the absence of major announcements from a lot of companies. Perhaps most DJ gear is now released after the summer touring season where it can be sold for Christmas, which the DJM 450 is 2016’s example of.
The most curious announcement was the Serato SZ2’s release basically between Christmas and New Year’s. It was a time guaranteed to not generate a lot of buzz and could have easily been made at this year’s NAMM announcement.
My guess is that there was a contractual reason to announce in 2016 because there was either an expiration or a change in status between Serato and Pioneer going forward.
I thought for sure there would be a Serato version of the DDJ RR announced. Perhaps there will be at Musik Messe this year. However, Mixar’s Primo casts doubt on whether there will be a Pioneer two channel Serato controller because it is feature equivalent
Obviously Pioneer has business reasons to include Recordbox in its lower cost controllers because they aren’t paying a licensing fee to a company like Serato. I doubt there will be a Serato controller that is less expensive than the SX2 because there are already many used SX1s and 2s at prices equivalent to a hypothetical DDJ SR2.
It may be that Pioneer will sell off its pre 2017 inventory of Serato controllers but going forward nothing with a Serato license sold by Pioneer will be cheaper than an S9 or successor because Pioneer wants to encourage the use of Recordbox by more people and not pay money to another company on lower margin products.
>My guess is that there was a contractual reason to announce in 2016 because there was either an expiration or a change in status between Serato and Pioneer going forward.
Solid theory. It would explain a lot about the Pioneer / Serato Situation.
Denon has implemented new features that pioneer didn’t done!!!! I think that if every dj that uses pioneer will tray the new denon media player, pioneer will take a hit in their sales.
Features aren’t everything. Stability & longevity is what make Pio so strong!!
Denon is expecting thousands of dj’s worldwide to just drop their rekordbox databases filled with cue points & saved loops that’s been built up over many years.
That’s a very big expectation, especially considering their track record with software…. when they can’t fix their old software they just develop a ‘new’ version.
Eg: Denon Music manager sucked ass – They release Engine. Engine sucks ass & balls – They release Engine ‘Prime’. With each new release they totally diss the older platform – along with existing (complaining) customers.
I don’t disagree that Denon’s software has traditionally left something to be desired. But have you used the new units yet? Have you used the onboard software?
I noticed you’ve posted a lot of comments praising Pioneer and trashing Denon – want to share a bit more about your specific experiences?
There’s one big, glaring, detail that you’re leaving out. Denon is owned by a completely new company now. This company has thrown 4-years of R&D and serious coin to take the game to Pioneer. Sit back and watch, things are going to get very interesting… 😉
Whatever happens. It’s good for us. I am happy that Denon threw gloves on the ring. It will wake up Pioneer R&D dept. and make them snort tons of cocaine to catch up. Sadly we will need to wait year or two. So I am calling it: In-Between time. Bad time for spending money. Unless you can’t wait, then just grab Denon and pray for future. By the way. If I were a Denon company. I would secretly fund Recordbuddy guys to make direct Rekordbox = Engine translation tool for DJ’s. Problem solved. All Pioneer guys can play on Denon within few minutes.
… or just make the SC5000 read meta data from rekordbox analysed files.
I’m sure it’s possible. The unit already can do the same with the Serato library.
Denon DJ seemed to indicate they REALLY want to make this happen somehow – but obviously Pioneer isn’t going to play ball too easily…
If they make it happen they also better ramp up their legal budget 🙂
I like that idea. I approve this message ??
I’m waiting for a Technics SL-1210 MK? Without tonearm. So a full digital vinyl deck, with build in screen and buttons. Same size as a normal turntable. So a pioneer cdj2000 that looks like a turntable. That world be my dream controller!
You can make it (diy) today with the pideck or FPGA mod plus tascam ttm1… waiting for Pioneer to release it could be a deception if they never release it. Also attaching a iPod/iPhone to sldz1200 modded like…
Needs a tonearm and android compatibility.
You might we waiting for a while – this was tried early on in the digital DJ days and most of those units didn’t succeed.
Your probably both right, but still for me it would be perfect. I am still looking for old technics turntables to modify. Because I don’t want to mess up my perfect mint condition SL’s.
I like that that power strip is gunna give us some more options for cable management for solitary studio set-ups
QUICK POOL (upvote if you are waiting): Do you wait for single platter controller for Traktor or Rekordbox? It seem like I am the only person i the DJ world just waiting years and years for some quality deck controller WITH WHEEL to control software. Small, portable, reliable. I have mixer. I don’t want full controller with crappy mixer build in. I need something like NI D2 with wheel or new version of Denon sc2000 (but from Pioneer). I am considering only NI and Pioneer as manufacturers. Especially form Pioneer for Rekordbox. I am really the only one noticing this part of DJ gear is non existent and missing?
I’d like to have a D2 style screen and a nice jog w/ center display.
Motorized? Sorry but I don’t understand… denon dnsc2000 with screen?
Think of an SC5000 minus the internal processing power and standalone capability. With native HID control for Traktor and Serato. For $1.000 each.
And screen, right?
Not really. It would be nice but I have a laptop (with touch screen) but more screens always welcome. I simple want any new Pioneer controller just without mixer. So 2x separate DJ controllers with a feckin wheel (not like NI D2 gimmick).
Ever really tried the D2?
I ordered them out of curiosity, then liked them, then sold my CDJ-2000s because they were inferior in many ways.
The D2 is an awesome piece of hardware that is great fun to dj with.
But sometimes I feel like mixing with a jog (…and not spending more than 4 grand to do so in a proper way!)
The D2 is a fantastic bit of gear – but I really wish it supported decks A/B on one single unit. Instead, you need two. Unless someone has made a firmware hack for this yet?
The later firmware allows the D2 to switch between A/B with a single Shift-Letter keypress. You just can’t use the “Deck” button to do it. I have one on my desk at work and it works just fine.
Right, but it only shows A/C or B/D on the screen at the same time, right?
That’s right. However if you’re only monitoring one deck in the display then you’re switching between A/B with a single keypress. It’s just not the keypress you’d like and yes, I get that it’s annoying.
I just need wheel for mental comfort. I am old school guy. Sometimes I do not want to prepare tracks with beat grids. Sometimes I just want to drop new track and play it, but then if they are not prepared or analyzed – you know what happens. Patatajpatataj. And if you press sync, you get just other catatonic noise. And fingering some poor strip is just weird for me. 🙂
Plus D2 is way overpriced for a controller. I dont use stems or remix decks. So I would gladly replace all faders with nice wheel.
It’s amazing that even Reloop or any smaller manufacturer does not make something similar. Just 7 years old Denon sc2000.
Pioneer still hasn’t ditched cd drive so make a controller without standalone function…? It will be great but difficult to expect from Pioneer… or better said the product released by Pioneer to fit in your description is the turntable… as all the manufacturers. That’s why NI released D2 without jog since the best jog is a turntable with timecode.
Pioneer selling point was ever toward standalone or allinone solutions.
Screen would be awesome.
Doesn’t need to be that big touch screen but something like on the D2 so I can put the laptop to the side.
You took the thought right out my head. I have been thinking exactly the same thing. A true modular setup with the missing link being the jogwheels and transport section as a separate device. We already have mixers galore: just need the modular jogwheel and transport controller part.
+1 from me on this, I now have 4 Denon SC2000s just in case 2 of mine ever break. They are very good but I would much prefer a proper full size controller similar to a CDJ but properly mapped and without being too heavy.
And 8 cue points below wheel. Like all new controllers.
very nice decks for my computer thank you for support and help
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED!
Thanks for that. But… form Pioneer for Rekordbox – at least for me 🙂
Or form NI for Traktor but I stopped hoping for anything form NI long time ago. T3 = HL3
If I had the manufacturing knowledge and power to pull this off, I would start a corwdfunding campaign to make this controller a reality, your mockup is bang on the money. Perfect portable standalone controller for Serato, Traktor or anything else you want to map it to. Perhaps IOS compatable and even a built in soundcard should users want that otpion? Denon, Pioneer or anyone else – ARE YOU LISTENING!?
yeah I’d love to get these fake standalone midi controllers I mocked up really quick. I don’t care what brand makes them, like a 500 dollar price point and maybe a cool carrying case that holds to controllers . For now all we can do is get the Pioneer SP-1 and use whatever players the club has.
I still don’t know why people insist on the Jogwheel. I started with vinyl and didn’t like manually cueing up, but I did what I had to do. CDJs came along and no one took them seriously until someone mocked-up a mini turntable interface… and THEN they took off, but the thing is, that’s a lot of real estate for one control that doesn’t need that much space dedicated to it. I mean, if you want to scratch, do it on vinyl. CDs are basically mini, specialized computers that have to emulate scratching anyway, so why spend all that money to get what controllers do for less, OR just get a turntable and scratch?
great deal for the money just connect to the computer and redy to go and play with serato thank you for support and help
I was so tempted so many times to do the same thing and just buy a grip of those, they were so close to perfect.
great deal for the money
What about the Roland CMD series?
Behringer CMD? I read a lot (almost only) bad things about them. The concept was good, though.
Yeah, I thought I updated that. I DID mean to say Behringer.
Yes waiting allready long time. I wished to see a combination of a D2 with a sc2000. Seems like the sc5000 is going this way. Maybe if Denon breaks through with this they can make a controller only version of it (read: cheaper version). I also love modular controllers that you combine yourself to what you want I now have combination of F1’s, behringer cmd mm-1, behringer cmd dv-1, X1mk2’s and sc-3900’s.
Another option would be NI S8 + DVS(TT/CDJ-style controller) buuuut I don’t so much like the short channel faders on the S8.
Can’t say much about serato/rekordbox controllers. Also except from akai and Reloop not too much modular controllers on the market I guess.
You aren’t the only one.. It’s like nobody can see the platter shaped hole in the controller options.
I suspect a lot of these companies see a single-platter controller as potential self-cannibalization of their own all-in-one / media player products… but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a market.
If they saw it as an opportunity to provide an option for people who have little interest in moving from their preferred mixer maybe we would have better head way.
Wouldn’t that also be the case with the D2?
NI made a clever move pricing two D2’s at almost the same level as an S8.
I think there’s an opportunity for companies to sell a nice (and expensive!) traditional mixer + 2 modular jog controllers.
I can attest that the S8 is far superior to just 2 D2s. Sharing FX from side to side is a big deal… and you get a really good mixer too.
I’m happy with my mixer of choice and 2 D2’s.
Not getting your FX point. Could you explain?
Each side has up to a bank of 4 effects (which is standard in Traktor), but you can choose which side you want to apply these effects to with a button push on the mixer, effectively allowing you to toggle the left bank FX on your right bank (or vice-versa) for each track deck.
If I understand you correctly you can use those “arrow” buttons (and Shift+arrow) above the high eq pot to select any combination of those 4 effect banks to any deck/channel on the mixer individually, right?
But the same applies for the D2. The difference is that you make your selection of effects with those small A, B, C and D buttons above the FX Select button.
Pushing A lets you assign the effect controlled with the row of pots ABOVE the display (effect unit 1 one the left D2 or effect unit 3 on the right one) to Deck A (and the same goes for B for applying it to deck B, etc.). Pushing Shift+A assigns the effect units controlled by the pots BELOW the display (unit 2 and 4) to deck A and so on. Which basically means that you can use the D2s to assign any combination of effects to any deck, too.
Only difference is the workflow – the outcome is the same.
I think so. I haven’t used a Kontrol D2 yet. I know that the FX assignments are at the top of the channel strip EQ knobs on the S8. It’s pretty easy to assign which effects are assigned to which deck because both buttons are there at the top of each channel strip. You can assign either side to any deck ie: all 4 on left side, a and c right, b and d left, a, b, and c left, d right, etc.
I haven’t yet played with the Drum Sequencer on the S8, but I imagine it’d work with those too (just like the Remix Decks… which I have experimented with on the S8, but not yet used when playing out).
Crazy idea for CDJ’s – ability to connect real keyboard (for searching songs) with option to connect external 10″ screen that would be placed behind mixer solely for showing browser section. That way we could ditch laptop altogether (presuming that hotcues are on the mixer or SP1 style add-on controller).
In the meantime, I’d be totally fine with option of single platter controller mikefunk is proposing.
I think the overall trend is against a new Numark V7. http://djtechtools.com/2010/11/23/numark-v7x5-review/ Vinyl is resurgent http://djtechtools.com/2016/07/27/are-dj-turntables-outselling-cdjs/ A Midi Fighter and a V7 would do everything you want, although a theoretical Nintendo Switch style Midifighter with two separate sets of buttons would give you eight cue points on to go with a pair of V7s.
There is already one out… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5e7c7ba7ffa33118828b3cb623f7a83f195a8b40bc744bc4c4f3915b8ec92425.jpg
surely the CDJs tick all the boxes here, perhaps they are too big for your needs though?
By the way. I was hoping for more form 2017. Very disappointed.
Seeing my own comment in article – priceless! 😀
Love giving shoutouts to our community members! To be clear, I’m not saying you’re wrong – but rather trying to identify how much work Denon has to do with communicating the value they’re trying to deliver in products like the SC5000
Well… when I learned that inside is basically build in laptop and they can update software heavily with any imaginable functions, it make sense. Having future proof, powerful internals that can handle new crazy updates is promising. Not like Pioneer calculators that can barely handle wave display and just read prepared files. I get why price is similar. Inside is 10x more horsepower. And thanks by the way! 🙂
That’s assuming that Denon can actually release decent software/firmware. Which so far, they have proved they are incapable of doing. A laptop is only as good as the software it runs on.
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