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Meet Pioneer’s new push, a strategy aiming squarely at scratch and turntablist DJs and effects lovers, with or without a computer.

If some of the latest mixers have conventional analog mixing, bread and butter features, and rotaries, Pioneer’s DJ mixer this week – isn’t any of that. Instead, the DJM-S9 is a “battle” mixer loaded up with extras and emphasizing scratch and effects features. And it is unmistakably a Pioneer box in that it draws heavily on wild effects.

It’s a “party rocking mixer” as an artist describes it in the launch video.

Also, watch the video. What you mostly don’t see is a laptop. So while Serato integration is a selling point, you mostly see turntables spinning away, and Pioneer is quick to emphasize that the S9 works without a computer at all.

A turntablist strategy is a big part of what Pioneer is emphasizing (and, I might add, the polar opposite of the strategy at Native Instruments). So, the company that just got into the turntable business is also coming with the introduction of a PC-X10 cartridge and stylist.

Both the mixer and Pioneer’s turntable will also come in a very spendy limited-edition gold-plated edition. (Right, then!)

The S9 is the main story, though. Here’s the quick run-down:

  • Scratch-focused crossfader. It’s called “Magvel Fader Pro” (sounds like some sort of new high-speed Chinese train). But the idea is durability: high-performance scratch operation, contactless magnetic operation. And it’s customizability – shock-absorbing bumpers with different levels of resistance and configurable curve and response.
  • Colored pads. If electronic music vendors made toasters, I suspect they’d have colored pads on them now, too. But on the DJM, they trigger cue, roll, slice, and loop features on their own, or you map them to Hot Cues and other features if you’re a Serato user.
  • Effects, with or without a computer. Onboard, you get 15 Pioneer effects – echo, delay, reverb, flanger, phaser, trans, beat FX, BPM-synced. And you get filter effects, too. Effects are the reason I know a lot of DJs ask for Pioneer on their tech rider. But interestingly, if you do use Serato, you can map its 55 iZotope-developed effects instead (with its effects pack).
  • My God, it’s full of sound cards. Two USB sound cards. Four deck support. Switch inputs on the front.

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In other words, take the mixing features of the DJM-909 battle mixer and cross-breed them with the effects features of the RMX-1000, then add a bunch of Serato integration for those who want it (or ignore that, for those who don’t). (Inside, Pioneer says they’ve “inherited” the audio circuitry from their top-of-range DJM-2000NXS.)

If you don’t get one in a club, you can carry it around easily – it weighs just 4.6 kg. And it still is fully MIDI-compatible, so while there’s no mention of Traktor here, I imagine it’s only a matter of time before someone creates a map.

And then you have a mixer that works for turntablists, that works for Serato mavens, that works for people who love Pioneer effects, and works (finally) for people who want to play back to back – even if they’re using two computers.

It’s gimmicky. It’s not bread and butter. But for DJs who use a mixer as an instrument, I think it’s likely to be dynamite. It could be the most popular thing Pioneer unveils this year.

And by the way, it makes me still frankly puzzled why no one has come up with a clever performance mixer for producers who play live but aren’t turntablists. Roland’s AIRA mixer was one attempt, but it’s pretty specific to the AIRA lineup.

In the meantime, if this isn’t a hit, I’ll eat my slipmats.

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BATTLE READY: TWO-CHANNEL MIXER FOR SERATO DJ GIVES YOU THE POWER TO PERSONALISE [Pioneer DJ News Release]

  • wndfrm

    lovely! another pioneer box to look nice unplugged in front of 10000 screaming punters. πŸ˜‰

    .. looks fun though.. make a 4 ch. version..

    • Ha!

      Well, at least some of their customers are using them plugged in. πŸ˜‰

  • wndfrm

    lovely! another pioneer box to look nice unplugged in front of 10000 screaming punters. πŸ˜‰

    .. looks fun though.. make a 4 ch. version..

    • Ha!

      Well, at least some of their customers are using them plugged in. πŸ˜‰

  • wndfrm

    lovely! another pioneer box to look nice unplugged in front of 10000 screaming punters. πŸ˜‰

    .. looks fun though.. make a 4 ch. version..

    • Ha!

      Well, at least some of their customers are using them plugged in. πŸ˜‰

  • coolout

    This mixer is looks pretty bad ass. Never really liked the feel and layout of the Rane 57s and 62s, although I know guys that swear by them. I’ve been using DJM-707s for years and my current one is like a frankenstein version of the S9, strung together using desperate parts (innofader, dicers, SL box, effect box for post-fader FX, USB hub) pre-wired in a custom case. I finally made it to the point where all I have to do is pop the top, plug in power, turntables, and one USB. It took a lot of work to get to that though. I needed the S9 like 5 years ago. Hopefully they’ll come with a 4-channel version (in the same battle style form-factor) and add Traktor Scratch support.

    • Unless I’m missing something, couldn’t custom MIDI maps mean that you’d get what you want out of this with Traktor Scratch unofficially? All the control is via MIDI.

      It seems this could compare favorably with the Z2, because of the built-in effects. The controls would map well to Traktor, but then you’d also have the standalone capacity.

      I mean, obviously, NI’s strategy is about software integration – full stop. But it’s nice to have these options that aren’t quite so rigid in making that differentiation.

      • coolout

        Traktor Scratch Pro is hardware dependent. NI audio interfaces and approved mixers only unless you’re willing to hack the software. MIDI control would be nice, but carrying an extra interface defeats the whole all-in-one thing. Official support would make the S9 the first dual USB Traktor device I think. As of right now there’s no easy way for multiple DJs using Traktor switch over and certainly no easy way to mix Serato and Traktor at a gig.

        Another thing is official support would probably map everything 1:1 or use some sort of overlay. Adventurous DIY mappings are cool for messing around at home, but I’ve found at an actual gig nothing beats simple, well thought out controls with easy to read, printed knobs and buttons. User mappings can be hit or miss.

        • Oh, for DVS – yeah, absolutely, I agree, and that does need certification. I think it’s actually a bit ridiculous that these DVS are mixer dependent, but… that’s another story. I’ll inquire about certification, but it seems things are going Serato OR Traktor… frustrating.

  • coolout

    This mixer is looks pretty bad ass. Never really liked the feel and layout of the Rane 57s and 62s, although I know guys that swear by them. I’ve been using DJM-707s for years and my current one is like a frankenstein version of the S9, strung together using desperate parts (innofader, dicers, SL box, effect box for post-fader FX, USB hub) pre-wired in a custom case. I finally made it to the point where all I have to do is pop the top, plug in power, turntables, and one USB. It took a lot of work to get to that though. I needed the S9 like 5 years ago. Hopefully they’ll come with a 4-channel version (in the same battle style form-factor) and add Traktor Scratch support.

    • Unless I’m missing something, couldn’t custom MIDI maps mean that you’d get what you want out of this with Traktor Scratch unofficially? All the control is via MIDI.

      It seems this could compare favorably with the Z2, because of the built-in effects. The controls would map well to Traktor, but then you’d also have the standalone capacity.

      I mean, obviously, NI’s strategy is about software integration – full stop. But it’s nice to have these options that aren’t quite so rigid in making that differentiation.

      • coolout

        Traktor Scratch Pro is hardware dependent. NI audio interfaces and approved mixers only unless you’re willing to hack the software. MIDI control would be nice, but carrying an extra interface defeats the whole all-in-one thing. Official support would make the S9 the first dual USB Traktor device I think. As of right now there’s no easy way for multiple DJs using Traktor switch over and certainly no easy way to mix Serato and Traktor at a gig.

        Another thing is official support would probably map everything 1:1 or use some sort of overlay. Adventurous DIY mappings are cool for messing around at home, but I’ve found at an actual gig nothing beats simple, well thought out controls with easy to read, printed knobs and buttons. User mappings can be hit or miss.

        • Oh, for DVS – yeah, absolutely, I agree, and that does need certification. I think it’s actually a bit ridiculous that these DVS are mixer dependent, but… that’s another story. I’ll inquire about certification, but it seems things are going Serato OR Traktor… frustrating.

  • coolout

    This mixer is looks pretty bad ass. Never really liked the feel and layout of the Rane 57s and 62s, although I know guys that swear by them. I’ve been using DJM-707s for years and my current one is like a frankenstein version of the S9, strung together using desperate parts (innofader, dicers, SL box, effect box for post-fader FX, USB hub) pre-wired in a custom case. I finally made it to the point where all I have to do is pop the top, plug in power, turntables, and one USB. It took a lot of work to get to that though. I needed the S9 like 5 years ago. Hopefully they’ll come with a 4-channel version (in the same battle style form-factor) and add Traktor Scratch support.

    • Unless I’m missing something, couldn’t custom MIDI maps mean that you’d get what you want out of this with Traktor Scratch unofficially? All the control is via MIDI.

      It seems this could compare favorably with the Z2, because of the built-in effects. The controls would map well to Traktor, but then you’d also have the standalone capacity.

      I mean, obviously, NI’s strategy is about software integration – full stop. But it’s nice to have these options that aren’t quite so rigid in making that differentiation.

      • coolout

        Traktor Scratch Pro is hardware dependent. NI audio interfaces and approved mixers only unless you’re willing to hack the software. MIDI control would be nice, but carrying an extra interface defeats the whole all-in-one thing. Official support would make the S9 the first dual USB Traktor device I think. As of right now there’s no easy way for multiple DJs using Traktor switch over and certainly no easy way to mix Serato and Traktor at a gig.

        Another thing is official support would probably map everything 1:1 or use some sort of overlay. Adventurous DIY mappings are cool for messing around at home, but I’ve found at an actual gig nothing beats simple, well thought out controls with easy to read, printed knobs and buttons. User mappings can be hit or miss.

        • Oh, for DVS – yeah, absolutely, I agree, and that does need certification. I think it’s actually a bit ridiculous that these DVS are mixer dependent, but… that’s another story. I’ll inquire about certification, but it seems things are going Serato OR Traktor… frustrating.

  • Dubby Labby

    Pioneer should release and standalone DVS box or NI should release Traktor pro 3 or…. Just nothing. Who cares? At last we are only talking about djing with 2k euros gear… xP

  • Dubby Labby

    Pioneer should release and standalone DVS box or NI should release Traktor pro 3 or…. Just nothing. Who cares? At last we are only talking about djing with 2k euros gear… xP

  • Dubby Labby

    Pioneer should release and standalone DVS box or NI should release Traktor pro 3 or…. Just nothing. Who cares? At last we are only talking about djing with 2k euros gear… xP

  • Still trying to sort, are the pads exclusively for midi or can you sample from your live (wax) input as well?

    • They trigger internal effects, too, not just MIDI. I mean, it isn’t an MPC, but yes, you can use it with your live inputs!

  • Still trying to sort, are the pads exclusively for midi or can you sample from your live (wax) input as well?

    • They trigger internal effects, too, not just MIDI. I mean, it isn’t an MPC, but yes, you can use it with your live inputs!

  • Still trying to sort, are the pads exclusively for midi or can you sample from your live (wax) input as well?

    • They trigger internal effects, too, not just MIDI. I mean, it isn’t an MPC, but yes, you can use it with your live inputs!

  • Kinetic Monkey

    Wow, this looks lovely… but am I the only person that would need to swap out all of the knob caps so that they matched?

  • Kinetic Monkey

    Wow, this looks lovely… but am I the only person that would need to swap out all of the knob caps so that they matched?

  • Wow, this looks lovely… but am I the only person that would need to swap out all of the knob caps so that they matched?