Sunday, September 2, 2012

Why the XDJ-AERO looks promising

So I've been thinking about getting a pair of CDJs that are rekordbox-ready so I can play out in the clubs without bringing my laptop

Why? Coz I think setting up between DJs in a dark DJ booth is kinda troublesome, for example, on my last gig the guy before me uses Serato Scratch Live, I use Traktor Scratch + Timecode, and the guy after me uses the rekordbox... So after the guy before me finishes, I need to hook up my Traktor Audio6 into the spare channels on the club's mixer, and then once he's done I need to unhook the RCAs off his SL1 unit into my A6, the whole transition thing was really messy, cables everywhere, plus it was really dark too, and once i was done, i have to help the guy after me (which is the right thing to do of course - you gotta help each other right) hook the rcas from the CDJ900s straight into the club mixer again

This whole setting up thing with DJs using different mediums really got me thinking - maybe I should ditch the laptop too? If everyone used rekordbox its just plugging in - ready to go? Plus it seems to be a lot more fun jamming without a laptop - just like the olde days!

So while i was daydreaming about whether to get CDJ850s or not, Pioneer introduced the XDJ-AERO~

At first i was like "Uh... WTF? Wifi? Gimmick! Its not gonna work" but then as i look at the whole thing with more perspective, I began to see why this is potentially an excellent value home jamming system, all-in-one! well im writing this to tell you why i think the XDJ-AERO really has great potential

ITS REKORDBOX READY! No laptops needed!

Yup, you can play off a single usb stick that you prepared in rekordbox - just like the big boys CDJ900 and CDJ2000! The CDJ350's and 850's require you to have one usb stick on each drive, its not a big deal as i think you should bring out TWO anyway, but hey its good to be able to play off the same thumb drive no? and this is the cool thing, using the same thumb drive you use to jam at home, bring it over to the club with cdj850/900/2000 and you are good to go, its club ready pretty much!

Dedicated Filters on Each Deck

This was a feature that used to be only on the premium Pioneer Mixers (until they introduced the djm250 that is), having a filter on each deck is really awesome for smooth mixing and for effects usage - Seriously you can never go wrong with having low pass and high pass filters on each deck!!

Built in Effects on Each Deck

Again, the effects that were popular on the big boys' DJM Mixers are here : ROLL, TRANS, and Echo, nevermind the FLANGE as i think CRUSH would be the better choice, but hey you cant have everything right? Plus the FX has dedicated Time/Depth rotaries on each deck, think of it as the CDJ400 effects with more bpm accuracy and more control - having time and depth control means you can do a really cool roll effect just like in the bigger DJM Mixers

Its a mixer too!

Oh wow look at the back, you can plug things in, say a cdj or a turntable, and the thing will act as a mixer! Not bad Pioneer not bad...

It has QUANTIZE mode!

Yep this thing has quantize mode - means you can pretty much set a perfect loop that will not go out of time, that is if you set your beatgrids right. This feature was really reserved for the higher level (read: expensive) Pioneer devices like the CDJ900/2000, so now that this new xdj-aero has it, its really cool!

What's Missing??

Well first of all - it would have been awesome if they put full length pitch sliders instead of the shortened ones, secondly as of yet the unit does not have hotcues, cue markers or waveform displays on the unit itself (however i am quite sure that if you link your smartphones to aero via wifi you can see the waveforms - but thats another story)
oh and see those numbers "1/2/3/4" under the fx? i wonder if there will be hotcues in a next update?

Its full featured enough to be a solid home setup

Well for 2 deck mixing + FX + Filters, QUANTIZE and rekordbox functionality, and bonus WIFI Features (that i suspect will be more and more popular after Pioneer launches the CDJ2000MK2 which i suspect will support the same feature), this thing can really be either a solid home practice deck, or a good starting setup for anyone who wants to get into the whole rekordbox djing (no laptop)

Im pretty sure Im getting one as soon as its out here in Singapore! 

It will be a great addition to my current setup (Rane TTM56s mixer + X1 + Traktor Scratch + Turntables) as the XDJ-Aero can be my rekordbox jamming unit in cases where i dont wanna bring my laptop out for gigs!

Some Videos

The XDJ-Aero is Available NOW in the USA!

Uh you guys are lucky! I wish I can get my hands on it NOW :(

Amazon Link (From USD $1099!):

Pioneer XDJ Series XDJ-AERO Wireless DJ System