This spring expect to be thrown in a world of change in the DJ world. With turntables being put in the storage room and more people excepting controllerists as legitimate DJs, companies are rushing in to set the new standard. Pioneer who everyone thought would never release a midi controller, especially with the CDJ-2000 reaching shelves not to long ago, has announced two midi controllers to be out in April. The DDJ-T1(Traktor) and DDJ-S1(Serato) will basically mimic two CDJ’s and a mixer only without the CD drives. With these you also can control features of Serato and Traktor like loops, effects, and cues. With these being just a little over $1000 I would think that they would be a nice alternative to CDJ’s and also prepare a DJ for clubs in the future that might have CDJ’s as a standard without having to spend $5000 on a setup. Also Pioneer will be releasing the DJM900Nexus which will be an update to their DJM800. Expect a later review on this on.
Next up we have the Serato SL4. The most revolutionary feature in my mind to be added onto any interface would have to be the ability to plug in multiple laptops and Rane has done this with the SL4, a feature borrowed from their Sixty-Eight mixer. You can plug in two laptops through USB to switch DJs at a club or for two DJs to play at the same time. With 10 ins and outs the SL4 can hook up four tables and route Serato’s sample player or record your set with the extra in/out. The latency and sound are supposed to be better also but many won’t be able to tell the difference. It will be out in April and be $899(ouch).
Native Instruments have also announced a heap of new products to be dropped in April as well. The most prominent being Traktor Pro 2 which has drastically changed their waveform display which was much needed. You now have the option of multiple types of displays with different colors dividing the waveform into it’s respective parts. DJs also now have the advantage of sample players that were recently only available with the Traktor S4. You can use any of the four decks as either a virtual deck, sample deck, or to input another sound source. For Ableton like DJing you could have four sample decks that would let you manipulate 16 different loops at a time making this style of mixing much better to do in Traktor than in Ableton IMHO. Also with the software you can expect new interfaces as well. The Audio8DJ will be replaced by the Audio10DJ, and the Audio4DJ will be replaced by the Audio6DJ. These new products will give you two more outs and better sound/latency that you won’t notice. You can also get the Audio6 and Audio8 in a package with timecode and software for the “real” DJs. It is $230 for the software, $80 if you have Traktor Pro, $130 if you have LE, and free if you own the S4. Traktor Scratch Pro 2 will be $670 and Scratch Duo will be $350.
Apple has announced their new line of Macbook Pro’s with new thunderbolt technology and Sandy Bridge processor architecture, so for new DJs or DJs looking to upgrade you have never had a better time to do so. These new products will allow you to get as deep and technical as you want with your mixes. Multiple decks, looping, live sampling, cue point juggling, multiple effects, and browsing all controlled by whatever your feeling and a new Macbook to make sure it runs all night without a hick-up. Even record your sets live and edit them later and be sweet like Hard House DJs did a while back. DuhduhduhDeeeeJay!