PIONEER HAS FINALLY AWAKENED ! ! !
The Pioneer XDJ-R1 ($999) has landed, and it has some pretty amazing features that set it apart from the rest of the controller pack:
– a wireless real time sync function to an iPod, iPhone, or preferably, an iPad to serve as an additional control surface that adds more dynamics to track window queues and effect control parameters.
– 2 on board CDJs that can switch between thumb drive files and CDs
– a built in stand for your iPad or iPod
– a Wi-FI lan hot spot built right into the controller
– also has a built in 3-trigger sampler that seems a bit dated in terms of functionality
Another major plus: it is also a stand alone mixer that can be operated as a true full fledged midi styled controller -WITHOUT the need of a laptop. You can have all the tracks you want stored on a thumb drive, and you’re all set to go! Remember, you still have the option of having a midi usb interface for your laptop too; thanks to the usb connection on the back, which can be essential for Traktor and Serato users.
Pioneer mainly deserves attention on this piece because it finally has delivered a reasonable price-point that can work its way to becoming a reputable bang-for-the-buck! We are talking a MSRP of $999, but you can swap one at a street price of $899. That is less than the price of 2 CDJs alone, and you get a mixer and the midi interface as a bonus! Smart move Pioneer ! I am finally impressed after having a long-term illness of gaping disgust over your overpriced $2000 controllers and mixers.
This looks like the ideal piece to attract mobile jocks, small nightclubs, bedroom DJs, and bars, but it does not look like it’s destined to handle the hustle, bustle, and vigors associated with the wear and tear backpacks and shoulder bags offer for portability advantages, which is the main culprit behind the success rate that led to the popularity of midi controllers, but… you can move it around as long as your careful and steady. Unfortunately, on the down side, thanks to the CD drives, there are moving parts and much more weight to boot, so it might not be the ultimate choice- depending on what you’re looking for in the midi controller market. I also firmly believe that Traktor owners can still boast on functionality from what their combined modular controllers (X1, F1, etc.) bring to the table as remixing tools and performance masterpieces.
The rear has your usual inputs for 2 phonos or 2 aux inputs. It also has a mic input, a booth out, and my weapon of choice for gigging, XLR outs. It also comes bundled with Virtual DJ Limited Edition, Rekordbox, Remotebox software.
Well… I guess the ball is in Pioneer’s court for now, as far as integrated stand alone units are the topic of the day, but don’t count out Vestax or Native Instruments to hit back hard.
Great controller Pioneer !