One name has remained a constant in the DJ world throughout all the changes in technology over the last twenty or so years. The brand that coined the term CDJ, and made it not just a model number but a commonly used noun in the DJ world for similar devices has come a long way in the last two decades. Growing from the support that longstanding electronics company Pioneer brings to the table, Pioneer DJ continue to redefine the way in which we as DJs interact with our music.
It’s safe to say that Pioneer were very much responsible for the shift away from vinyl in the DJ booth and the development of the Digital DJ. When the CDJ was first introduced in 1992 it was an instant game-changer. Suddenly you could turn up to a gig with only a small array of compact discs and no longer needed to carry around large and heavy record boxes to keep the crowd happy. Of course, this took a long time for many DJs to welcome as a means or performance, but it wasn’t long before most venues fitted out their booths with both a pair of turntables and a pair of CDJs of some generation to cater to the needs of all DJs. The introduction of multi-channel DJ mixers made this all the more workable and soon many DJs were using vinyl and CDs in their sets together. Now, Pioneer have delivered some new products that will again redefine the way in with DJs work.
The CDJ Continues to Grow
I still see these things as CDJs, as that seems to be the colloquial term for a music playing device that has this sort of physical build, like a stand-alone desktop CD player. But the XDJ-700, the latest offering from Pioneer, isn’t quite that as it doesn’t accept compact discs like the CDJs of old would. Designed as a controller for the Rekordbox software, this is a digital music player, not a compact disc player, so it has far greater capabilities. Although not a new concept, this is a new device from Pioneer, offering a more compact and simplified way of working to that which was offered in the larger XDJ-1000. Although built into a smaller frame, it still offers many of the functions you would expect from a device like this, with music capable of being loaded via either USB or Wi-Fi, so you can access the full potential of your musical libraries. There is a large full colour screen on the top of the unit to allow you full visual feedback of what is going on with both file management and playback, as well as effects application and mix functions. Of course, the traditional large format jog wheel and pitch fader are as always ever present on the unit so you get the same feel when working with the XDJ-700 as you would with just about any other Pioneer player.
Taking the Effect to the Tablet
The other hot announcement from Pioneer this month was the release of the RMX- 100 effects processor app for iPad. Yes, that’s right folks; you can now have the classic RMX-100 in app form and take it with you anywhere you like. For those of you who just can’t listen to a track without wanting to tweak it in some way or another, adding effects and giving it a new voice, then the RMX-100 app is going to bring new life to your iTunes library as you can work it into your music playback just like the hardware version. Better still, for those of you that use your iPad as a production tool, you can use the RMX- 100 app’s Inter-App support for adding further character to your own music. If you are onto this quick, you can get an introductory price in the App Store until November 11, before the price goes up, so it could be just in time if you aren’t too slow to read Mixdown this month. This new trend of apps which emulate hardware units has pushed Pioneer to deliver a faithful recreation of the original RMX-100, with options like Scene, X-Pad, Isolate and Release FX all available at the swipe of a fingertip, just as they were on the original device. It’s time to get your iPad hot rodded with a little bit of Pioneer joy.