2016 is almost over! In the DJ world, a lot attention starts to focus on new products that might be introduced at NAMM in January. As suggested by a DJTT reader, we’re compiling a list of features that need to be on CDJs / DJ media players released in 2017 and beyond. Share your own no-brainer must-have features in the comments!
The Future Of
CDJs “Media Players”
We’re expecting a lot of new DJ products in 2017. For now, it feels like the increased move towards standalone DJ gear is here to stay. Manufacturers saw this trend too – and while reports still show that controller sales are doing well, we expect many product releases that capitalize on this market desire. Here’s the lay of the land right now:
Advanced Cue Point/Loop Controls
(Controllers Have Had It For Years)
Put performance pads on the bottom of every CDJ and media player, and suddenly the migration from controller to standalone gear makes a lot more sense to every user that’s bought a DDJ in the last five years.
Based on what we could tell from Denon DJ’s teaser in November, they’ll likely be the first company to include something along these lines.
Loop Move / Beat Jump
Many DJs on software rely on beat jump and loop move as an essential part of both their preparation and mixing workflows. Learn why beat jump is one of the most underused DJ tools in this DJTT article.
A key part of implementing this feature set is making sure it isn’t limited. Pioneer’s just released XDJ-1000MK2 has beat jump – but as the product page notes:
“Use Beat Jump to jump backwards or forwards 1, 2 or 4 beats from the current playback position.”
It’s always felt like Pioneer could theoretically update the XDJ-1000s and the MK2 versions to have longer, more useful movements. They could also update the older CDJ-2000NXS and XDJ-RX units to include beat jump and loop move. But this appears to be another feature that the company is using to entice users to upgrade their gear to newer models.
Record Out: Save Your DJ Sets To USB
Want a just OK recording of your DJ mix? Hope no one else is using the record out on the mixer – if it even has one. Make sure you brought your audio recorder, and the right cables. Make sure your SD card has space, and the batteries are charged.
This could all be fixed the same way that it is on the XDJ-RX: using the USB drives already plugged into a setup as the hard drives to record the set to. With gigabit ethernet and USB 3.0 ports (hopefully!) on new models, it should be possible.
Ableton Link Sync
(Every Other Digital DJ Has It Now)
MIDI syncing is pretty unreliable – so Ableton has taken on the challenge of fixing this problem for every DJ software. Ableton Link is completely open to developers to allow implementation in their own softwares. You can already sync Maschine, Traktor, Serato, and Ableton – all in the same session.
What would it take for Denon and Pioneer to add this functionality to their standalone gear? It would allow for some powerful cross-setup collaboration.
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth To Get Playlists From Mobile Devices
At launch, the CDJ-2000NXS was heavily advertised as Wi-Fi compatible – but that’s only if it is plugged into a wireless Ethernet router. Allowing DJs to walk up and use the promos they just downloaded on their phone – without having to process the files through their laptop and onto a USB drive – would be amazing.
Most Importantly: A Lower Price Tag
The XDJ line has thankfully brought some relief to high-priced DJ media players. The XDJ-700 line is a step in the right direction at the $697 price point. The most recent CDJ-2000NXS2 did the opposite – with the price going up to $2,197. That’s $4,394 for a pair.
But many still think the entire CDJ/XDJ line is drastically overpriced for the technology inside – and how many pieces of gear you end up needing to have a complete setup.
With Denon chomping at Pioneer’s ankles with their upcoming product release, we really hope that the feature set is comparable enough that both companies will have to start thinking about lowering the average price of every unit.