From my viewpoint, I see Pioneer as the world leaders for CDJ manufacturing, they have always been the industry standard for CDJ’s and from my experienced coined the name CDJ. Similarly to how people call their mp3 players iPods even if it’s not an iPod; many people now call their DJ CD players, CDJ’s. 1994 saw the first real CDJ product, the CDJ-500.
From this point onwards Pioneer went from strength to strength and produced the most commonplace CDJ’s the CDJ1000. Most clubs will be sporting the CDJ 1000s alongside a pair of ‘Technics’ Vinyl turntables. These particular products have dominated the club scene now for many years. With the leap into digital DJ’ing, I feel there is a sense of unease around the continued success of these club gear giants. Pioneer has released their most beautiful CDJ line yet (in my opinion) with the CDJ 900’s and CDJ 2000’s. These however are most often priced outside the reach of the humble start-up bedroom DJ. I would love a pair, but I am unable to afford these beauties!
Pioneer cleverly enabled this recent line of CDJ’s to send midi messages allowing DJ’s to control the ever popular Traktor DJ Software from Native Instruments. I know I have seen Steve Lawler using this set up in clubs before. With the recent update of Traktor 2.5.1, you can plug and play the CDJ 2000’s.
Pioneer targets entry level
The unease that I describe above brings me to Pioneers latest Traktor enabled release; the DDJ-ERGO-K. This controller is basically the DDJ-ERGO-V with a make over (black finish instead of white) and more compatibility with Traktor Software.
Although I haven’t yet handled the DDJ-ERGO-K (wow, thats a mouthful), I am sure it is an excellent choice for the bedroom DJ that wants the capability of a standard DJ set up with pretty lights. The lighting on this thing seems like it’s come straight out of a spaceship. With light indicators on the volume sliders, to light indicators on the platter that tell you how in time your mix is, it will certainly illuminate your face in pretty colours as you lean over it. The brighter your face glows blue, the more spot on the mix is going! It really does bring a whole new meaning to DJ’ing until your blue in the face!
It has a nifty little slot to slide your laptop under, which if like me, you have hotkeys set up on your laptop, will be useless or at best, annoying. Other than that it seems to have all the relevant buttons and nobs for standard mixing and effects. The one thing that hit me about this controller was the video that they are using to market the device.
I’m not sure about you, but whist I watched this video I couldn’t help but think how unlikely it would be for me to carry my ‘ERGO’ around the streets and bust my macbook pro out and sit there rocking out a mix to myself on the streets. Leaving me completely unawares of the large group of youth creeping up on me with knives ready to grab my shit. So although I like your equipment pioneer, I think you messed up with this video.
Pioneer DDJ-ERGO LIMITED Controller includes:
- Pulse Control – Integrated Pulse Control provides users with visual prompts.
- Mix Pulse – As the pitch of songs begin to match, the intensity of white LED lights of the jog wheel increases. In conjunction with the music, the pulsing of lights enhances beat matching skills.
- Beat Pulse – The embedded LEDs in the channel faders illuminate along with the beat of the current song playing. The illumination intensifies and weakens based on the output sound level.
- Launch Pulse – Triggers a red light to illuminate on the jog wheel to signify a press of the track load button.
- FX Pulse – The lights on the jog wheel identify which FX is applied.
- DJ Software – Includes Native Instrument’s TRAKTOR LE 2 DJ software. When used with TRAKTOR PRO 2 (upgrade fees apply), the controller can also operate as a 4-deck controller and sampler. In addition, the unit supports Serato’s “Serato® DJ Intro” software (downloadable at no charge fromhttp://serato.com/dj-intro).
- Laptop Dock Design – The DDJ-ERGO LIMITED is designed to accommodate the placement of a laptop computer below the unit to save room and bring the laptop screen closer to the user. The controller also features removable legs, enabling it be used in angled or horizontal flat positions.
- USB Power – Utilizes the host computer’s USB port for power, eliminating the need for an external power supply.
- High Quality Audio – Employs the same audio technology used in Pioneer’s professional DJ mixers for clear, powerful audio output.
- Other features
- Employs a P-LOCK Fader Cap locking mechanism to prevent the channel fader knobs and crossfader knob from slipping.
- Built-in audio interface for high quality sound input and output.
Whats the Verdict?
Without having laid my hands on one, I don’t really qualify to say much about the DDJ-ERGO-K, so I will leave you all to do some more research and read up various reviews that you find laying around the internet. But for a release price of £429 / €499 and with a built in Audio interface and included Traktor LE software it doesn’t look like a bad place to begin.
For additional information and specifications on the new DDJ-ERGO Limited, click here.
TRAKTOR is a registered trademark of Native Instruments.
Serato is a registered trademark of Serato.