Pioneer has been on a tear the past year releasing controllers for all price points and skill levels. From beginners, the easy on the wallet DDJ-WEGO, and for the All-In-One Dj, the XDJ-R1. Over the holidays, Pioneer dropped some huge news. A follow-up to the hugely popular DDJ-SX – The Mothership controller for Serato DJ, Pioneers DDJ-SZ. This beast features large 8.1-inch JOG wheels with center display, and boasting 2 separate sound cards, enabling two separate Laptops to plugged in and control the unit cohesively.
Pioneer DJ expands its family of Serato® DJ Software controllers with the DDJ-SZ, its flagship model that strongly emulates the look and feel of Pioneer’s world-renowned CDJ digital players. The DDJ-SZ is designed for the serious “controller” DJs who are inspired by the performance specifications of Pioneer’s professional DJ products but also want the convenience of an all-in-one system. The new controller is 35 percent bigger than the widely popular DDJ-SX, sporting additional functionalities and features including extra large JOG wheels (the same size available on CDJ players), large performance pads with multi-color illumination, DJM style mixer, dual USB ports and a MAGVEL cross fader.
BIG JOG WHEEL
The most noticeable CDJ PRO gear integration to the DDJ-SZ is its large 8.1-inch JOG wheels. The JOG wheels provide instantaneous response and excellent operability for accurate and smooth scratching and mixing performance. The center of each JOG wheel also features “ON JOG display” to illustrate playback status, cue points and position. In addition, the unit offers a JOG FEELING ADJUST to enable users to change the resistance of the wheel from light to heavy for a customize feel.
Directly below each JOG wheel are four effects buttons – HOT CUE, ROLL, SLICER and SAMPLER. Under the effects buttons are eight extra large “performance pads” that DJs can quickly access to insert different modified effects to music playing. In Sampler mode, the output volume of the sampler effects also varies depending on the strength of user’s tap of the pad. An update from the current DDJ-S controllers, the performance pads on the DDJ-SZ illuminate in different colors to quickly communicate the effect mode it is in.
DUAL USB PORTS
The DDJ-SZ includes two USB ports to enable simultaneous connection of two computers. Users can instantly switch between two computers for seamless transitions between two DJs or as additional music sources.
The mixing area of the DDJ-SZ also closely mimics Pioneer’s DJM series of professional mixers, utilizing a generous number of controls and effects with features including Sound Color FX and new Oscillator functions to deliver more creative music arrangements. The mixer can also be used as a standalone 4-channel mixer for outboard players and turntables.
- Oscillator – The new Oscillator on the right side of the mixer provides four types of sound effects: Noise, Siren, Cymbal and Horn. A quick touch of the buttons activates the effect(s), which can also be modified in amplitude (volume) to add to the music currently playing.
- Sound Color FX – The mixer includes four Sound Color FX functions (Pitch, Jet, Echo and Filter), which add numerous audio effect combinations and arrangements to currently playing music with a simple twist of the knobs. Through Serato DJ’s beats per minute (BPM) analysis, users can also synchronize Echo effects to the BPM of currently playing music.
- DVS Functionality – The controller can support DVS (Digital Vinyl System)1 using control tone to enable an external player to be used as a Serato DJ deck.
MAGVEL CROSS FADER
For extremely smooth transitions and high durability between the DDJ-SZ’s players, the unit features a MAGVEL cross fader (the same component used in Pioneer’s DJM-900SRT) that utilizes a contact-free magnetic system that can withstand more than 10 million operations. The “cut in” time of the cross fader can also be customized to the user’s preference.
Serato DJ Software – Bundled with the DDJ-SZ for an easy out-of-the-box experience.
Slip Mode – While activated, Slip Mode silently continues song playback during a performance loop, scratch or hot cue and resumes audible playback when the loop, scratch, or hot cue operation is ended, creating smoother and more seamless transitions.
Needle Search – Users can immediately jump to a specific part of a music track with a simple touch of the Needle Search pad.
High Quality Audio – A low-jitter clock and high-performance digital-to-analog converter (DAC) are used for accurate audio playback. In addition to a 24-bit digital signal processor to minimize digital noise, its balanced hybrid operational amplifier and balance output circuit also reduce analog circuit noise.
Built-in Sound Card (audio interface)
P-LOCK Fader Cap – Prevents the fader knob from slipping off during extreme use.
Auto Standby – Automatically switches to standby mode when no activity or input is detected for a period of time.