Denon DJ’s new four-channel standalone unit shows commitment to battling Pioneer DJ

Denon DJ has introduced a brand new four-channel standalone DJ unit referred to as the Prime four. It’s the primary standalone unit with the power to play 4 decks of tracks utilizing solely two platters, which is one thing DJs have wanted for some time. This not solely makes the Prime four distinctive, however it hammers house that Denon DJ is sniping at Pioneer DJ’s stranglehold on the DJ tech market.

Pioneer DJ’s tools has lengthy been the uncontested normal utilized by the business. It’s requested by most DJs, which suggests many golf equipment, audio rental corporations, festivals, and extra can justify shopping for the dear Pioneer DJ gear. In 2017, Denon DJ introduced the Prime series with a CDJ that seemed to reclaim a bit of the professional market. Amongst its efficiency options, there was a giant hook: dual-deck playback, which allowed every deck to have two layers that may be toggled between and performed concurrently, providing you with primarily 4 decks in two.

The brand new Prime four, meant extra for a house setup or cell gigs, is a shot at Pioneer DJ’s comparable XDJ-RR and XDJ-RX2 all-in-one items. The Prime four builds upon the tech Denon DJ developed for the Prime SC5000 CDJ, however it does it in an all-in-one format as an alternative of separate CDJs and a mixer. Notably, the Prime four contains the identical dual-deck playback. The Prime four’s jog wheels are six-inches, metallic, and boast heart HD shows with customizable RGB gentle rings. There’s additionally the recognizable eight efficiency pads beneath every deck with choices for warm cues, loop and autoloop, roll, and slicer and slicer loop.

There are another firsts for a standalone participant. The Prime four has an choice that mixes time-stretch (altering the velocity or period of audio with out affecting pitch), with real-time musical pitch shifting, so you’ll be able to match tune keys with only a faucet.

One other (area of interest) first with the Prime four is the unbiased Zone Output for DJs to ship a separate playlist of tunes to a distinct room or location whereas performing. Both deck quantity 4 or the grasp sign might be assigned to this separate zone by way of a devoted XLR output, with its personal acquire and EQ management. Cell occasion DJs will most likely see probably the most use out of this, giving them, say, the power to play in a single room and likewise present alternate music for a distinct, chill-out room.


Picture: Denon DJ

It’s onerous to disregard the Prime four’s large tilt display. Clocking in at 10 inches (three inches bigger than the Prime SC5000 CDJ), it’s a number of actual property. The price is that the display awkwardly protrudes out from the again of the unit when folded flat. Nevertheless it’s simple to argue why the additional area is required. Displaying 4 waveforms, plus library navigation and a pop-up keyboard for locating tracks and extra could be nightmarish on a smaller display. Like Denon DJ’s Prime SC5000 CDJ, it is a multitouch show that permits for swipes, faucets, pinch to zoom, and different gestures for navigation and management.

So far as inputs, there are two devoted XLR inputs for microphones with particular person management, 4 USB slots (two on high, two on the again), one SD media slot, and a 2.5-inch built-in SATA drive bay for storing music instantly within the unit. Whereas taking part in, a DJ’s set might be recorded stay to any of those enter sources.


Picture: Denon DJ

Above every platter is a bay for choosing audio results with three knobs for quick-access changes: a parameter (like panning), frequency, and moist / dry or beat timing. Individually, there are 4 in style results onerous assigned to buttons within the heart: filter, echo, wash, and noise. For individuals who need management over visuals, the Prime four additionally works with StagelinQ, Denon DJ’s lighting and video protocol.

Different issues to notice in regards to the Prime four: there’s USB keyboard assist for music search so that you don’t need to depend on the on-screen keyboard, it helps uncompressed audio codecs (FLAC, ALAC, WAV), and assist for Serato DJ Professional management is coming quickly.

Ever since Denon DJ launched its Prime sequence in 2017, it’s felt like the corporate is taking a direct swing at Pioneer DJ’s monopoly each in nightclubs and as a favourite amongst most performing artists, proffering what it says is a greater choice. That’s solely strengthened by a latest video Denon DJ launched with its sponsored artists rocking Prime gear at festivals, capped with the hashtag “#ChangeYourRider.” If sufficient DJs begin placing Denon DJ Prime gear on their riders (part of the contract that outlines necessities for issues like hospitality and tools wants), the hope is that extra distributors will purchase the gear to have it available, and Denon DJ can finally take away a few of Pioneer DJ’s grasp on this circuit.

It’s been below two years since Denon DJ launched the Prime sequence, and it’s been capable of snag a few flagship model ambassadors throughout that point, together with Laidback Luke, Oliver Heldens, Paul Oakenfold, and Tiësto. It’s a tiny pool to begin with, and never everybody caught with the gear. Tiësto went again to Pioneer after his brand ambassadorship period ended.

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Posted by Denon DJ on Thursday, January 10, 2019

I don’t know that Tiësto’s determination is a knock at Denon DJ’s high quality. It could possibly be a tough have a look at the present actuality the place Pioneer DJ’s gear is the usual already bought and available by promoters, audio rental shops, nightclubs, and extra. And it’s the tools DJs know learn how to use, making Pioneer DJ an ecosystem the business is locked into. Denon DJ Prime isn’t. It’s merely simpler and less expensive on all ends to have and use what everybody else already has and makes use of.

Denon DJ making an attempt to disrupt this could outwardly seem like a David versus Goliath state of affairs, however it does seem it’s on this battle for the lengthy haul. Once I did a hands-on with the Prime SC5000 CDJ final 12 months, a Denon DJ rep instantly instructed me that the corporate had “over-engineered” the tech, anticipating its capabilities to remain updated for at the very least 5 years. Denon DJ additionally lately slashed the SC5000’s worth to $999, making it nicely underpriced compared to Pioneer DJ’s CDJ-2000NXS2, at $2,199.

Certain, the brand new Prime four isn’t geared toward competition use, however it is a method for Denon DJ to take tech it already constructed for the primary stage and expose it DJs who’re on the lookout for knowledgeable house setup or cell gig. Within the course of, it’s managed to carry to market one thing many DJs have pined for and Pioneer DJ has but to ship: a real four-channel standalone DJ unit. Denon’s DJ Prime four will price $1,699.00, and will probably be obtainable in March 2019.


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