The latest hot news in DJ electronics involves the collaboration between two industry heavyweights, and has resulted in two products that are likely to be very big indeed. Serato have just released their Serato DJ software which is designed for all-in-one controllers and is the much anticipated upgrade that Serato users have been waiting for. The Pioneer DDJ-SX has been designed to integrate perfectly with Serato DJ, with intuitive control of all of the fancy new features found in the software, and makes the lofty claim of being “the most advanced all-in-one DJ controller to date”.
Serato DJ will be welcome news to users who have been waiting for full four-deck control using their hardware controllers and will be a free upgrade for existing Itch users, but DJ Intro users will be expected to pay an upgrade fee. One of the exciting new features found on Serato DJ is a new effect section powered by industry legends iZotope, which includes Delay, Echo, Ping Pong, Phaser, Flanger, Distortion, High Pass and Low Pass filters as well as a combo filter. Serato DJ boasts eight cue/trigger points as well as two- and four-deck view modes for proper four-deck mixing shenanigans.
Offering a complete package of tools for DJs, Serato DJ also has standard features such as Recording, Looping, Sync and Auto Tempo Matching, Crates, Sample Player as well as support for Serato Video, which is being included for free with upgrades for a limited time.
The DDJ-SX is a controller that oozes quality. It looks and feels like it was designed and manufactured by Pioneer, as demonstrated by features like moving track position displays similar to those found on Pioneer's CDJ-2000s at the centre of the jog wheels, which also boast the lowest latency on the market. At the heart of the DDJ-SX is a four-channel mixer of outstanding quality, with track load and other controls to take care of track browsing and selection within Serato DJ at the top of the mixer’s control surface. There are a good amount of inputs and outputs too, including a separate booth output via jacks and photo-style connectors.
The two controller sections found on either side of the DDJ-SX’s control surface are laid out nicely, and manage to pack a lot of controls into a small space without feeling cluttered and fiddly. The most striking feature is found at the bottom of each of the controller sections in the form of eight large Akai MPC-style trigger pads which can be used in four modes to either trigger samplers, as hot cues or to apply roll or slicer effects. Other nice features to be found include the Needle Search touch controls at the top of each jog wheel, and the ability to not only switch controllers between decks but to also control two decks at the same time for even more audio fun and games.
Either of these products would be big news if they were released on their own, but combined they form a deadly combination that work perfectly together and bring out the best elements of each other. The DDJ-SX is very reasonably priced, and — taking into account that the full version of Serato DJ comes included in the price — the deal looks even better. We will be very surprised if the DDJ-SX isn’t seen popping up in vast numbers across the globe in DJ boxes and on stages in the coming months.