Pioneer Finally Abandons The CD Slot in the new XDJ-1000

Pioneer has finally launched a product which has been a long-time coming: a USB-only, CD-less “multi-player”.  This is a move that has been predicted by many for quite a while, so this comes in under the category of “it was only a matter of time”.

The XDJ-1000 features a 7″ full-color touchscreen, Rekordbox integration (including the ability to play directly from the laptop, should you desire), an on-screen keyboard for track browsing (finally!), and full Serato (HID) integration.

The unit will debut late November (2014) and will run $999/€999/£829.  Let’s take a look at what the new unit has to offer!

Overview

Pioneer’s latest attempt at keeping its hold on the “professional” DJ booth involves the realization that software options like Traktor are leaving CDJs in the dust, from a feature and capability perspective.

XDJ screenWhile companies like Numark and Native Instruments are focusing on bringing screens to controllers (to bring eyes off the laptop), Pioneer is bringing more software-like options to its own lineup.  The lines are blurring, for sure.  No longer do you need to prepare your music on your laptop (or smartphone) and then export it to USB… you can play straight from those devices (either wirelessly, or via USB cable).  This is becoming a more realistic possibility with the XDJ’s touch screen which is the size of a small tablet.

The removal of the CD slot is sort of a no-brainer at this point, as it makes the unit significantly cheaper.  And, thinking about it, the target market for these players have likely ditched CDs long ago.  For those that haven’t, there are plenty of other options (like the 850k) which make more sense.

Speaking of which, this is another case of Pioneer “testing the waters” on new features on a more budget-focused model.  True, it still costs a grand per player.  Still significantly cheaper than the 900nexus.  This unit is more like a modernized 850.

If you’re fully committed to staying laptop-free in the DJ booth (and having your laptop closed or in a corner somewhere – the NI/Numark option –  isn’t enough), this may be the best bet.  With the addition of a QWERTY keyboard for track searching, one of the last big hurdles for laptop DJs is being removed.  The onscreen keyboard is a huge plus, in my opinion.

XDJ-1000 browse

All that said, you’re still paying a pretty penny for a pair of these players and a Pioneer mixer.  Sure, you can remove the cost of a laptop, if you’re willing to prepare tracks on a desktop machine you already have.  But you still need to use a computer at some point.

It’s clear that there is some room for a device like this in today’s digitally-focused DJ world.  If Pioneer manages to keep their foot in the door of the DJ booth, and maintain their “industry standard” status, it would certainly be handy to show up with a Rekordbox-prepared USB stick and play your set without glancing at your laptop… and having all the functionality that a large touchscreen provides.  Serato users can plug in and, via HID, start playing straight away.

No mention of Traktor support, though.  I would certainly hope that this is intended to be included.  HID/NHL support of Traktor would really make this a one-stop-shop kind of device.

It’s likely going to come down to politics.  Pioneer has obviously been in bed with Serato lately, and that could be a hurdle for those invested in Native Instruments.  However, it’s happened in the very recent past, so it’s not out of the question.  Many of my local gigs involve showing up with my laptop and connecting to a pair of CDJ-2000’s in HID mode… I would hate to see this ability go away.  We will have to wait and see on this one.

XDJ-1000

Who’s It For?

Digital DJing has come a long way in the last year or two.  It’s nice to see the market finally maturing and catching up on the professional level.

Still, there’s a cost-benefit analysis to consider here.  For the home user, it may still be too pricey of an option… especially if Pioneer decides to provide a flagship XDJ-2000 or something in the future.  It’s also a really pricey option for, say, 4-deck users.

However, considering the fact that there are plenty of Rekordbox-enabled options for the home these days, it does make a lot of sense for these to start showing up in DJ booths in clubs and venues around the world.

I see this as an attempt to keep some sort of standard in the DJ booth, and to keep Pioneer DJ relevant.  Will they succeed?  Only time will tell, but the majority of “big names” are still using Pioneer gear.  They are smart to realize that these kind of changes are required (like ditching the CD players and incorporating onboard search).

Pioneer Multi-PlayerOfficial Press Release

I’ll leave you with the official words straight from the horse’s mouth.  Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Digitally Focused: Pioneer DJ launches its first touch-screen, USB-only player
– the no-compromise alternative for digital DJs

13th November2014: Digital DJs can redefine their creative horizons with the XDJ-1000: the first in a new line-up of digitally focused, USB-only, rekordbox™-ready players. With Pioneer DJ’s first ever deck to feature a touch screen, a familiar club layout and a host of pro-DJ performance features, the XDJ-1000 is the perfect springboard from the bedroom to the booth.

The large, full-colour LCD touch screen puts intuitive control at DJs’ fingertips; its interactive GUI has tabs for Browse, Play and Perform, giving DJs instant access to the player’s full armoury. Many features are inherited from the top-flight CDJ-2000NXS, including 206 mm jog wheels, Slip Mode, Quantize and Beat Sync. Plus the brand new Quantized Beat Jump/Loop Move feature means DJs can spontaneously move 1, 2 or 4 beats backwards or forwards within a loop.

The XDJ-1000 revolutionises browsing; DJs can use the Qwerty touch-screen keyboard to search for keywords, then scroll on-screen or with the large rotary dial. DJs can analyse and prepare their tracks in rekordbox (PC/Mac) or the rekordbox app (iOS/Android), and the XDJ- 1000 will display at-a-glance information such as Wave Zoom, Beat Counter, Phase Meter and Key Analysis – as well as provide instant access to their pre-prepared cues, loop and customised settings. Plus DJs can colour code their playlists and the illuminated USB port will reflect that colour so they instantly know what’s on each USB key.

The first Pioneer DJ player without a CD drive, the XDJ-1000 meets the growing demand for a USB-only player with all the performance pedigree of the CDJ set-up. And it’s compatible with KUVO – Pioneer DJ’s community, which enables DJs to provide clubbers with live set information in real time – making it a must-have player for the next generation of DJs.

The XDJ-1000 will be available from late November 2014 at an SRP of EUR 999, including VAT, and comes with a free download of rekordbox (PC/Mac). The rekordbox app is available to download via App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).

Find out more out the XDJ-1000 or Watch DJ Pedestrian’s unique performance with four XDJ- 1000s and a DJM-850.

MAIN FEATURES OF THE XDJ-1000

1. Large, full-colour touch screen with intuitive GUI

The 7-inch, full-colour LCD touch screen gives DJs instinctive control and enables the ultimate creativity. The GUI is divided into three sections: Browse, Play and Perform, so DJs can effortlessly see and access all the features they need, without the screen being overcrowded.

2. Faster browsing with Qwerty keyboard and keyword search

The Browse function is speedier than ever, with the ability to call up a Qwerty keyboard and search for keywords, and scroll using the touch screen or large rotary dial. Plus DJs can choose how they view tracks: list, artwork or custom view.

3. Professional features including the NEW Quantized Beat Jump/Loop Move

The XDJ-1000 inherits many of its features from the club-standard CDJ-2000NXS, including Pro DJ Link, which allows DJs to share one source with up to four decks via LAN cable.

  • NEW!Quantized Beat Jump: enables DJs to jump backwards or forwards 1, 2 or 4 beats from the current playback
  • NEW! Quantized Loop Move: after DJs have created a loop, they can navigate 1, 2 or 4 beats backwards or forwards through the
  • Autoloops and cues: DJs can instantly trigger loops and cues they’ve prepared in
  • Quantize: uses the track’s beat grid to ensure loops and cues are set and triggered in time with
  • Beat Sync: looks at the rekordbox beat grids, on up to four connected players, and snaps them to the beat of the master
  • Slip Mode: silently continues track playback during a loop, reverse or scratch and brings the music back at the right point when the DJ exits the
  • Needle search: lets DJs slide their finger along the ribbon to intuitively access any point in the track, just like with
  • ActiveLoop: DJs can use rekordbox to set an Active Loop at the end of tracks to ensure they’re never caught unprepared

4. Enhanced rekordbox track information for ease of mixing and track selection

DJs can analyse their tracks in rekordbox and the XDJ-1000’s large touch screen will display a host of information to aid DJing:

  • Wavedisplay with Wave Zoom: the colour-coded wave display can be zoomed x5 for even more precise loops and
  • Beat Countdown: DJs can use rekordbox to mark key points on a track, and the XDJ-1000 will count down to them from up to 64 bars
  • Phase Meter: shows the position of the beat in the bar, enabling DJs to compare the phase of each player with the master deck at a
  • Key Analysis Indicator: a traffic light system in the browser shows which rekordbox tracks are in a compatible musical key with the master deck for harmonised mixes every

5. My Settings function including colour-coded USB port light

DJs can choose their personal preferences in rekordbox – including Quantize ON/OFF and Master Tempo ON/OFF – and the XDJ-1000 will automatically download them. Plus DJs can colour code their playlists in rekordbox, e.g. red for techno or blue for drum & bass, and the light around the USB port will reflect that setting for ease of identification in the booth.

6. Professional layout for familiarity at home and in the booth

The XDJ-1000 mirrors the layout of the club standard CDJs, so DJs can perfect their sets at home and move effortlessly to the booth to perform. The 206 mm jog wheels are the same size as those on the CDJ-2000NXS, for instant familiarity wherever a DJ plays.

7. DJs can load and browse music using Wi-Fi or USB connection

In addition to USB keys, DJs can load rekordbox-ready music from PCs, laptops and smartphones using a Wi-Fi or USB connection. They simply connect a device running rekordbox (PC/Mac) or the rekordbox app (iOS/Android) to the XDJ-1000 and then browse and load tracks from the device’s screen. Devices connected via USB will even be charged during performance.

8. Other features

  • Fully MIDI compatible
  • Serato DJ HID support planned for late 2014
  • Built-in auto standby function

MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

Playable file MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF(iOS version of rekordbox™: MP3 and AAC only)
USB storage support filesystems FAT, FAT32, HFS+
Frequency response 4 Hz ~ 20 kHz
S/N ratio 115 dB or more
Total harmonic distortion 0.003% or less
USB ports USB A port x 1, USB B port x 1
Audio output ports AUDIO OUT (RCA) x 1, CONTROL (φ3.5 mm mini plug) x 1
Other ports LAN (100Base-TX) x 1
Audio output voltage 2.0 Vrms
Electricity consumption 21 W
Max external dimension (W x D x H) 305 x 382.5 x 110 mm
Weight 3.3 kg

 

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