Reloop Digital Jockey 2 DJ Controller Review

Review Summary:

For me, none of the controllers on the market are "there" quite yet when it comes to one main feature: the decks/jogwheels. If someone would implement a jogwheel more akin to the better Pioneer CDJs (for example) then I think controllers as a whole would be taken a lot more seriously. But for the price, the Reloop range are good pieces of kit. Well made, not too large, and well worth considering if you want something more than a "toy" but don't want to spend really big bucks.

Reloop Digital Jockey 2
  • Reloop Digital Jockey 2
  • Rating: 3.5
  • From: Reloop
  • Reviewed by:
  • On October 11, 2010
  • Last modified:February 20, 2014
The Reloop Digital Jockey 2 Controller Edition is fully featured, but does it match up to the best in its class?

The Reloop Digital Jockey 2 Controller Edition is fully featured, but does it match up to the best in its class?

Guest post by Paul Chambers

Review: Reloop Digital Jockey 2 DJ Controller

Are you a Traktor user looking for a compact, mid-priced controller to match it with? The Reloop Digital Jockey 2 is one of many such controllers from the likes of M-Audio, Numark, Hercules and Behringer – but how does it measure up? The version reviewed here is the Controller edition which omits the sound card. This is suitable for people who already have a DJ or similar sound card (I use the Novation NIO 2/4).

Reloop also offers the Interface Edition which includes a sound card, and a Master Edition which not only includes a sound card, but can operate as a standalone mixer. Also, only the Interface and Master editions have touch sensitive platters.

Hands-on with the Digital Jockey 2

The chassis is made from metal with plastic edges. It feels pretty solid, so as long as it ain’t being chucked around there should be no problems. The controller is a nice dark shade, and doesn’t look as toy-like as some of the cheaper DJ controllers.

The knobs that control effects and looping are different to the EQ controls in that you have a click-through motion to them, so when you turn them they have a stepped action rather than turning smoothly. This I feel was implemented on purpose, as when you are using the effects from Traktor they offer better control – for example, the beat slicer works more precisely. I appreciate this when I use it in my Ableton Live sets. The pitch faders are not as long as say a 1210 turntable, probably about 2/3s the reach. The faders and especially the crossfader feel smooth, so no stiffness for scratch DJs.

Reloop Digital Jockey 2 Review Master Edition

A plethora of controls make it great for DJs who want to Midi-map to Traktor or other DJ software to customise things.

The unit is adorned with buttons that control everything from looping to effects assignments and parameters. You also have 2 shift buttons which mean that you effectively get near enough double the functions from the same buttons. They included two shift buttons when I think one would have done, but I’m just being picky here!

The knobs and dials can be pressed as well for yet another function. For example, the kill switches are accessed by pushing the EQ knobs instead of a separate button, which is a nice feature.

Jog on, jog on…

The jogwheels feel nice but for me they are too sensitive when it comes to scratching – although I’m not a scratch DJ so that may have a little part to do with it! This maybe due to them not being touch sensitive, I’m not sure, maybe someone who has had hands-on use of the other controllers in the range can offer some insight into this.

Again as with the buttons, the jogwheels can be used for many other functions apart from cueing and scratching. For example, a search button turns the wheels into a type of scrub wheel, pitch bend does just that (there is also separate pitch bend button for each deck) and the effects utilise the jogwheels to control how “wet” (or “on”) the effects are.

Arcade buttons and Traktor dials

Underneath the jogwheels are the usual cue/cup/play functions. These are basically a bit like the arcade buttons that you find on the modded Vestax units as championed by DJ Tech Tools. Reloop may well have copied this feature after seeing the modified Vestax version, and they do feel good to use.

If you are using Traktor, at the top you have a larger dial which when pushed brings up the full Traktor browser. You can then use this dial to locate your tracks. Using the jogwheels for the same function, you’ll find that the left jogwheel moves through your folders & the right wheel moves through the tracks of the folder that you are in. The knobs do have a slight looseness to them compared to a standalone DJ mixer which may put some people off: In fact, this would be my main gripe with this unit.

Back of the Reloop Digital Jockey Interface Edition

Back of the Reloop Digital Jockey Interface Edition.

Conclusion

For me, none of the controllers on the market are “there” quite yet when it comes to one main feature: the decks/jogwheels. If someone would implement a jogwheel more akin to the better Pioneer CDJs (for example) then I think controllers as a whole would be taken a lot more seriously.

But for the price, the Reloop range are good pieces of kit. Well made, not too large, and well worth considering if you want something more than a “toy” but don’t want to spend really big bucks.

This was a guest post by Paul Chambers, a DJ/producer from London who recently got back into DJing thanks to digital, having sold his old kit a while ago. He uses Traktor, Reason and Ableton Live, and his tastes range from acid/deep house/detroit techno right through to drum & bass. Check his music out at http://calitron.podomatic.com/.

Product Summary

Review Summary:

For me, none of the controllers on the market are "there" quite yet when it comes to one main feature: the decks/jogwheels. If someone would implement a jogwheel more akin to the better Pioneer CDJs (for example) then I think controllers as a whole would be taken a lot more seriously. But for the price, the Reloop range are good pieces of kit. Well made, not too large, and well worth considering if you want something more than a "toy" but don't want to spend really big bucks.

Reloop Digital Jockey 2
  • Reloop Digital Jockey 2
  • Rating: 3.5
  • From: Reloop
  • Reviewed by:
  • On October 11, 2010
  • Last modified:February 20, 2014

Do you own one of the Reloop controllers? What do you think of it? What controller would you go for at this price point, and why? Let us know!

Comments

  1. celtic dj says:

    WARNING – although at first glance this midi controller looks and feels alright ..after a year of using this controller I must say that the buttons are CRAP…5 of them don’t work properly (never did)… if I could get my money back I would because this model was an experiment with low quality buttons – shame on you Reloop !!!
    (They have just relased a new model with better buttons.)

  2. I agree, the play, cue, cup buttons is very bad and soon soon will not work.
    Interface Edition has a sensitive jogwheels.

  3. I own the interface edition since two or three months with no problems. The touch sensitive jog wheels make cueing fun. For me who is a starter the unit seem to be a perfect choice. Surely, I have my eyes on the S4 but thats just a different story. :)
    What I enjoy the most are the FX buttons and controllabilty of the effetcs.

    This is neither a toy or pro unit. Something like inbetween let’s say an inexpensive pro-sumers choice.

    Once I’ll spend a year with the unit I’ll be teling you more.

  4. Oh one more but important thing. The support is just insane. You have to dig around through their support forum for layouts and other stuffs which is fun and increase versatility (a lot of different tsi files can be downloaded) but at some points the whole thing made me just frustrated. Once you get over it’ll be fine. Don’t give up.

  5. Phil Morse says:

    Have heard of a few problems with setup and support on the Reloop kit. Seems to work well enough once these initial hurdles are got over, though.

  6. To the person who posted on here with email address noneed@togiveone.co.uk, erm, yes you do. This is a community and we are all accountable to each other – invalid email = invalid views. Play the game and we’d love to have you on board.

  7. Hey Phil :)
    A friend of mine has bought this controller, but did not think about that he needs a soundcard.
    What are the minimum specs for a soundcard that would work so he can mix and monitor/cue through headphones.
    Have got some tips on soundcards but they are a little expensive. So need the minimum specs so I can try to find a cheap alternative to Numark / Novation / NI and so on.

  8. Hi,

    I’ve just ordered the RDJ2 Interface Edition and expect it to be delivered in a couple of days.

    I often perform live in bars and small clubs. I was looking for a controller/soundcard that would be suitable for this.

    Have I made the right choice?

    • Phil Morse says:

      There’s no right or wrong choice – but you’ve made a good choice. Let us know how you get on!

  9. Hi,

    My controller was delivered today and I intend to set it up tonight :)

    Does anyone know of any problems mapping this to Ableton Live 8?

  10. Piter Parker says:

    Hi there,
    one thing is not clear to me. I’m waiting for my RDJ2 Master Edition and my question is about the HP cue. There’s a HP output in the front but there’s no HP cue button on the unit. Feel like an idiot right now.
    I know the unit can be mapped in the way I like but what is the point in not including a separate button for hp cue?
    Can anyone explain how does it (hp cue) work?

    Thanks for ur feedback

  11. I just got the RDJ2 for christmas and have problems setting it up. I installed the drivers and Traktor le from the disk that came with it but when I plug the controller into my laptop (macbook pro) it will not work at all. I just happened to try it with the home edition of virtual dj and it worked perfectly but only for 10 mins. Does anybody know how to set it up on traktor , thanks

    • You need to follow manufacturer instructions very carefully when setting Traktor up with a controller, and if you’re stuck, the NI forum is a good place to find someone who’s been through the same thing with Traktor and your controller.

      • the manual that comes with it is only 5 pages long and mostly just explains what the buttons do , also the NI forum has nothing on it

  12. i am going to be put off now reading the review i was looking forward to getting this rdj2 but umm now . ive been vdjing for a bit i had the hurclese rmx it was sold and good to play but a bit mad to set up . but i stoped djing for ages due to going to college to study music technology . is there anyone that has a good review on this sould i buy the mixage or should i just wait and buy the jokey 3 me ??

  13. I’ve had mine for over a year and gave up with it as half the functions didn’t work out the box. Oh and they don’t tell you until you read on their support forum that it doesn’t like AMD processors…well that was me buggered straight from the start.

    You also need a super duper PC or a Macbook Pro or the software will just lag like hell. Also I can’t believe they sell this without some instructions on editing midi. I haven’t a clue about midi, there is nothing that tells you how to set midi up. It assumes you know about midi…if you don’t then prepare to spend weeks reading and pulling your hair out before you can use this to any useful degree, it’s so confusing.

    The forums have tons of people scratching their heads too…the support is a joke as the main people that help you are other users who’ve also had to figure things out themselves. At one point they even stopped people posting custom config files for others to download…how crazy is that. I think they allow it now. I’m trying to get rid of mine… I’ll stick with my 1210′s thank you very much. The only good thing about it is it’s good build quality..pity you need a top of the range PC/Laptop and a degree in midi.

    • Unfortunately the Midi / mapping issue is part of the scenery with DJ controllers, it’s why Serato (with Intro and ITCH), Traktor (with the S2/S4) and slowly other manufacturers have tried to improve things by bundling software that “just works” with controllers.

      Serato especially has nailed it (their software truly is plug and play) but with VDJ and Traktor and gear from nearly all the other manufacturers, there is still set-up involved. It’s easy for us who’ve been doing it for years, but not for beginners.

      You’re right about AMD, although it’s also in the tech spec on their website. Some other manufacturers have the same issue too.

      Regarding super-duper PC, that’s not really the case in my experience – a well set up laptop (nothing else running etc) can handle every DJ controller I’ve ever thrown at it – we review with a 5-year-old Sony Vaio and a basic Macbook Pro and they both do fine.

      And regarding support, one of our predictions for 2012 is that the manufacturers who pull ahead will be the ones who completely nail the after-sales / eco-system / community around their products. The DJ controller manufacturers currently run the gamut between non-existent and excellent in this department, but as social media becomes more and more important, they will have to dominate or die!

  14. Benny B says:

    I have just purchased the master edition and i am so disappointed, neither the cue mix or cue volume knobs work. looks like i will be going back to a mixtrack pro :(

  15. LuvElectro says:

    In one i would sum up my Reloop experience…….disappointed. My Digital Jockey 2 Interface Edition broke down just under a year after purchase . It has taken the retailer / Reloop over 2 months to repair. Still waiting to receive it back…….
    Although it may not be a top of class product it should last for a lot longer than it has. That said, it does make using Traktor alot more fun. The mixes are much smoother and the effect control is great. Pity it is not of great build quality.
    Use caution when choosing your controller. You get what you pay for……

  16. I ordered this yesterday and am beginning to wonder if I have made the right decision, this is my first dj controller, Is it worth the money?? I bought th jockey 2 interface edition for £200?????

  17. should i get this for 140€ or pay more to get ergo for 399€ ??

    • DJ2 is quite old now, so we’d recommend looking elsewhere nowadays.

    • My brother recently bought this and having played with it, i would agree with Phil, its stuck in the past. The buttons are very fidgety (sometimes they simply don’t register a press..) and the feel of the controller isn’t great (my setup involves a maschine controller and a 50 pound ion controller and the feel on the ion is comparable..) Whats more the shift layering isn’t well thought through and you will often be impaired by the layers (looping a track then pausing it during the loop requires a shift press). Things move quickly in the world of DJing and this controller hasn’t kept up, i would say look elsewhere. Hope i help!

      • I recently got hold of a ME unit… The reloop traktor mappings are pretty lame, but I found it pretty easy to remap some of the functions. Actually – the reloop maps taught me a few new tricks.
        Anyway – with a simplified map i really like the fx/sample controls.. I don’t know why more controllers don’t have a similar layout, its far more intuitive than the standard everyone is simply copying now.

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