Review: Pioneer DDJ-FLX6

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Review: Pioneer DDJ-FLX6

Words by Mixdown Staff

Distributed by: Jands | Expect to pay: $1,099

Key Features:  If you are reading this, then like us, you too probably have the standard Pioneer DJ mixer layout etched into your minds eye, to the point where you can draw it freehand, blindfolded and hanging upside down – such is the brands continued dominance in the contemporary DJ space. 

As the *pun intended* Pioneers of all things CDJ, multi-input DJ Mixer and media storage (as it pertains to DJing), their DNA is all over the way modern electronic music is performed, mixed and formatted  – and that’s just scratching the surface of their contributions.

As the most recognised name in DJ, it comes as no surprise that Pioneer are also on the forefront of hybrid/controller technology as well, with products like their flagship XDJXZ system really setting the bar for what can be achieved in regards to an All-in-One Mixer/Media Player/DJ Controller system.

Indeed, it is in the ‘Control’ and ‘Media Management’ sides of the equation that Pioneer DJ have been sprinkling their fairy dust of late, and needless to say, this has had massive reverberations through the entire product line, with mid-tier/intermediate products like the new DDJ-FLX6 Controller being the benefactors of a massive uptick in cloud based song libraries, improvements to interfacing and operability and more.

Featuring full size jog wheels, four-channels and a couple of handy new ways to interact with RekordBox, the DDJ-FLX6 has plenty going for it. It’s aimed towards people who have mastered the basics and now want to continue on their mixing journey, albeit without getting too weighed down in the technical elements or extraneous feature sets of a larger, more feature heavy controller. In terms of ease of use and mixing in broad brush strokes, it is difficult to find anything better suited to the task.

One way that the DDJ-FLX6 streamlines the workflow and maximises the fun is through Merge FX, a simple way to add large emphasis to your transitions and sweeps. With four fully customisable presets perfect for changing genres and tempos, you can achieve high quality mixes with a press of a button – really, it’s that simple!

Also new is the jog scratch mode, which quantises and creates sharp cuts while scratching. Purebred turntablists will obviously tell you that this is substitute for actual scratching, but is does offer a great compromise to allow people who don’t have hours and hours of practise behind them to be able to create fun moments while performing.

Dual layer mode allows each deck to control two different tracks playing on separate channels. This includes cueing, playing and any time adjustments you make via the jogwheel. Using this feature to create on the fly remixes and be able to mix out of them seamlessly is a cool feature.

The 16 performance pads are utilised basically the same as they have been previously with hot cue, pad fx, beat jump and sampler all still present here. Output routing is all unbalanced and definitely aimed towards home DJing although there is a dedicated booth output that could travel to a club if necessary.

Mixdown Says: The Mixer section on the DDJ-FLX6 will feel right at home to anyone who has ever DJ’d, being that same Pioneer layout that we will forever know and love, and the four individual load buttons for selecting tracks is a nifty touch, meaning no more cueing a track on the same channel that’s playing (and less chance of potential miscues a couple of beers in). On the flip side, the FX navigation takes a little bit of time to get used to, but becomes second nature after just a few plays.

The other obvious upside for working within the Pioneer DJ ecosystem comes in the form of Media Management and needless to say, the DDJ-FLX6 works seamlessly both with Rekordbox and with Serato (including Pro versions of both these respective softwares). This is a great hook for new DJs finding themselves at that crossroads and wanting to try out both to better find what works for them. 

Overall: This DJ controller is the perfect transitional option for beginner DJs looking to step up their game, or for the casual DJ looking to jump in and start mixing in as quick a time as possible. The perfect entertainer.

For local enquires regarding Pioneer DJ, get in touch with Jands.