Pioneer DDJ-SX Launched: First Controller For New Serato DJ Software

Pioneer DDJ-SX

The Pioneer DDJ-SX is a heavyweight contender, with a full standalone mixer, four channels of Serato control and just about every performance feature ever invented crammed into its brushed aluminium control plate.

Update: We've now published a full Pioneer DDJ-SX review. A new DJ controller - the Pioneer DDJ-SX - will be the first to come bundled with Serato DJ, Serato's latest software. Today's announcement of both controller and software gives a launch date of November 1. Scroll on for video, pricing, photo gallery and more.

With velocity-sensitive performance pads, a four-channel standalone hardware mixer and a slip mode borrowed from Pioneer's CDJs, the controller is a high-end model, in Vestax VCI-400 territory, with visual elements and build quality also reminiscent of the Numark NS6.

Features

Pioneer DDJ-SX

The company has opted for traditional capacitive jogwheels, but they take a lead from Pioneer's CDJs with their circular central LED section.

  1. Performance pads. Similar to the Novation TWITCH and the Vestax VCI-380 (and velocity-sensitive, like the latter), the controller's performance pads will control samples, cues, loop rolls and a slicer, and like with the Traktor Kontrol S4, they push the jogs back up the controller
  2. "Dual Deck" mode. This will apparently let you link two decks (ie A&C, B&D) and manipulate them as one
  3. 4-channel standalone hardware mixer. Like the Vestax VCI-400 (finally), the unit will also work as an analogue mixer
  4. Slip mode. Slip mode lets you manipulate the track (scratching, looping, triggering cue points), then when you exit slip mode, the track will continue where it would have been before you began. It's a popular feature on CDJs from Pioneer and Denon
  5. Other high-end features. Fader start, dedicated filter knobs, large platters with CDJ-like LEDS, booth and master outs with balanced connectors and two mic inputs point all to this being very much a pro controller, that ought to appeal to those playing out as much as bedroom DJs
Pioneer DDJ-SX

Got gear lust yet? Just don't try tucking this baby in your backpack or hand luggage on a plane...

Described by Serato as "the most advanced all-in-one DJ controller to date" and "the pinnacle of our work to date", the company is clearly staking a lot on the combination of this controller and its new software. The DDJ-SX, bundled with Serato DJ, is available from November at a SRP of US$1,199 / £809 / €999, with the first 10,000 units bundled with a free licence for the Serato Video plug-in, worth around US$149 / £92 / €116.

Video

• Go and view our Pioneer DDJ-SX photo gallery on our Facebook Page

Are you excited by a Pioneer four-deck Serato controller? Are there features you'd like to have seen, or features that really impress you about this? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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Comments

  1. For info on the new Pioneer DDJ-SX, read up on it here: http://serato.com/dj/pioneer-ddj-sx

  2. There’s a picture of their new controller on the Serato site Phil…

    http://serato.com/dj/hardware

  3. DJ Forced Hand says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen… the New Standard for Digital DJing.

    • It does look pretty good, doesn’t it? Can’t really see anything they’ve missed off or anything I dislike about it right now… I bet the price will be a jawdropper though…

      • DJ Forced Hand says:

        Are there fader effects (where the up-faders are toggled to be effect faders)?

      • Gill Bates says:

        A jog wheel feeling/tension adjust and a vynil speed adjust like on the CDJs would make it perfect;)

      • Greg Serenade says:

        it’s already available to be pre-ordered in the states for $999 http://www.agiprodj.com/pioneer-ddj-sx-serato-dj-controller.html. damn, this is not bad at all. I’ve had my eye on the Numark NS6/4Trak for a while now and saw it as the new standard in DJ controllers, but this is def gonna give Numark a run for their money especially at this price point. Pioneer already have name recognition and brand loyalists on their side but in the controller game their products have been sub par IMO. but NOT with this! I gave them the thumbs down after seeing the CDJ 2000 Nexus, but now it looks like Pioneer is gonna hold their position as the industry standard even in the controller game. it’ll be pretty interesting to see what features the brands will be adding to their controllers USB ports? built in screens? it’s already being done but to be combined in one unit would be sweet! but for now I think Pioneer takes the cake. and those pads!! aww man it’s a wrap.

  4. Any price guesses? With the VCI-400 at a cool $1k I’m thinking $1500+ street with a $2k MSRP. Price has to be available soon with a available date of November 1st.

  5. i’m affraid it’s could be expansive but….wow

  6. So reminds me of the 4trak but with the “pro mode” portion. Basically 4trak for Serato. Wonder whats a better combo/price, this or 4trak with a F1 Kontrol/midi fighter.

  7. Wirelessdj says:

    Booth out? XLR jacks?

  8. Looks serious. Was thinking about getting a VCI-400 but thinking I might wait now. This along with Serato DJ sounds like a major upgrade.

    • I was lucky enough to be invited to Serato to give some feedback- (I still can’t get over how a little ole New Zealand company has done so well!)it’s a really nice piece of gear. I was a very happy DDJ S-1 user until I tried this puppy out, now I’ve been ruined

      It is a Proper Pro piece of gear- metal case, larger jog wheels (about two thirds the diameter of a high end CDJ, and more importantly they FEEL like CDJ jogs. Great ideas like knobs on the front face that can be pushed in so you don’t bump them, and the pads on them feel like MPC drumpads. THank christ for a booth out as well- I usually plug my S-1 into another mixer for that reason alone.

      When I tried it the FX weren’t setup, but Izotope make one of the most popular pieces of mastering software out there- it’s bound to sound great.

      I just hope it’s not too pricy in NZ pesos- it looks like it might be a lot cheaper than I was expecting though!

  9. Hmm but the software is not as good as traktor why would you pay a fortune for something that is already avalable at probably a much lower price ie the s4,the s4 also uses traktors premium software not some upgrade from something called intro.If you could use this with serato scratch then it would be a different kettle of fish,A serato user who wants to use a dvs at some venues and a controller at another has to have 2 lots of software 2 music collections wheras a traktor user only needs one.Lot of fuss about nothing if you ask me

    • i think that Itch has been better than Traktor (for me, at least) for some time. the reasons? mainly elastic beatgridding that you can change on the fly. also, i find it closer to old-style mixing.

      horses for courses but Traktor isn’t “better”.

    • All you need is one music collection with Serato too.
      You can beatgrid, tag tracks, set cue points etc
      and they are recognized in Scratch Live, Itch, Intro and now DJ.
      Plus it appears (not promised) that the DVS functionality will
      be coming to the new DJ software as well.
      What software one person uses vs. another is always going to vary but this definitely will get more users switching to Serato. Especially if the midi mapping is as easy as it is in Scratch. (I’m sure it will be)

    • DJ Forced Hand says:

      Tony, I’m not sure where you are getting your facts, but according to the Serato website, this is the first controller designed for the new Serato DJ (not the Intro version, the full version) which will replace Scratch Live as of November 2012 and allow you to MIDI map any other controller as well while including velocity sensitive buttons, a touch strip for needle dropping and loop pinching, and iZotope effects while also adding the ability to play video as well as audio. Everything in your Scratch Live library will be seamlessly portable so you wouldn’t need 2 music collections (unless you wanted to bring vinyl with you to scratch analogue style). Serato DJ *IS* a DVS, a digital controller and stand-alone mixer as well (for people who don’t want to use a computer… although I’m not sure how the trigger buttons will work without a computer). Also, all Serato products come with a free subscription to Whitelabel.

      This *IS* a big deal.

      • I am not so sure I don’t think this will work with Serato control vinyl. I imagine the idea is to have “one” product eventually as Traktor does – but I still tkink, as I mentioned in the article, that they’ll charge a premium for the DVS functionality, at least in the short to medium term (until everyone stops using it, surely one day…).

    • It doesn’t come with Itch- a new software called Serato DJ is being launched. It’s really nice, with a very clean interface.

  10. Hope it has a better soundcard like the A&E 4D.

  11. I’m in love. My perfect mashup of Twitch and a jog wheel controller. I share the concern over whether the Channel faders are effect assignable. But…so sweet! Must have as upgrade!

    • DJ Forced Hand says:

      I’m right there with you buddy, but I just bought a Maschine Mikro Mk2 (it’s in the mail… honest…). I’m going to use all of my gear with Ableton, Traktor and Itch until DJ comes out (YAY free upgrades!) at which point I will determine how much I need this versus my 3-piece kit. Hopefully plugging in a turntable will give me DVS control in Serato DJ. The Twitch is a great tool, but this is better.

  12. Looks like a sick controller.. Atlast after the low feel Wego, Pioneer has come back with a bang.Looks like now they wanna target the Vestax, Novation fans with this controller. Im just thinking how big hole is this gonna burn in the pocket now.
    oh btw Phil, you had the link and you had the first pictures, thought this page should have a direct video link too (though its on the serato link) :P so here you got:

  13. When Pioneer first came into the controller market they released the DDJ-T1 for Traktor and DDJ-S1 for Serato at the same time So I don’t think it will be too long before we see the Traktor version of the SX.

    It looks like a serious bit of kit that covers all the bases, Pioneer has listened to what people want. Knowing Pioneer I’m sure it will come with a serious price tag too.

    It’s great to have more competition at the high end of the market as this will force A&H, Denon and NI to respond meaning better future products.

    • Pretty much no chance of a new DDJ for Traktor. Why make premium hardware for guys you compete with directly?

      • Greg Serenade says:

        Why not? they already have controllers available for traktor software… I think it’s just a matter of time before they release a version for traktor. but IMO it’s pointless given that this current version can most likely be mapped to Traktor just like the Numark NS6 was mapped for traktor before Numark released the 4TRAK

      • DJ Forced Hand says:

        Pioneer will probably release a Traktor version (for slightly less) because they like money, but (as a Twitch owner) I have to say there are features Serato controllers have that Traktor has yet to duplicate.

      • If Pioneer could have helped it I don’t think they ever wanted “controllerism” to take off hence why they were so late into the game and the last major manufacturer to get into the market.

        However, there’s no way that they’re going to ignore the “Traktor market”…it’s simply too big and if they don’t make higher end controllers for Traktor someone else will.

        I predict we will see a Traktor version similar to the SX before the new year.

  14. On first look it seems to be a (dream?) combination of the best bits from the NS6 (styling, 4 channels, connectivity, build), the VCI-380/S4 (FX pads) and their existing DDJ-S1. Would love to give one a go and see if thats the case!

    Unfortunately, having just grabbed a reduced price (now I know why!) DDJ-S1 a couple of months ago it’ll be a fair while before I can fund another controller purchase.

    Curious to try out the new Serato software too. But it says it won’t be implemented for existing ITCH controllers until next year. Dang!

  15. Gee gonna have to start robbing if I want this bit of kit, any jobs going in the banking sector anyone?

  16. There is now a video up on the bottom of the serato page detailing some of the features and a good overview of the inputs and outputs… Looks impressive and no doubt will have an impressive price tag :)

  17. Tone control in the Netherlands has it on offer for 999 Euro: http://www.tonecontrol.nl/pioneer-ddj-sx-serato-controller

  18. that looks like a really nice bit of kit! Quite the departure from pioneers previous efforts.

    All we need now is for them to include CD and USB stick functionality and open it up for every bit of DJ software and it’d be a great contender to replace full bar setups.

    To be honest I think this needs to happen. Pioneer are well respected by people who don’t know DJ equipment (Too much imo!). So if they could push this through, it’d open up a world of possibilities to us digi folk!

    • i think just the usb setup and the small led screens from the xdj aero are enough add the layout and features off the ddj sx and you have the perfect controller

  19. Time to trade in my NS6. I think there is a new king of controllers.

  20. Gill Bates says:

    I’m curious about how will the jog weels and the pitch faders work. The 4Trak and the Denon-SC2000 pitch faders were OK, but I still haven’t found the perfect DJ controller for beatmatching and scratching.

    • They feel pretty bloody nice- similar to a good CDJ. THe construction is a LOT more heavy duty- knobs feel like a good quality mixer, jogs have size and weight.

  21. Possibilities to use with midi-instrments eg keyboards?

  22. So about $1300 Aus? Thats what a new DDJ-S1 was being sold for over here until recently, and what the NS6 still goes for new now. Based on that I’d say its a pretty good price for a controller of this sophistication (as it seems untested). The VDJ add-on for the first 10,000 sold is a great idea too.

    Wonder what I could get for my S1 second hand (the wife would KILL me for even suggesting it!!)?

    • Pioneer Aus has announced it’ll be $1500 here. Starting to push a bit on the price, but given the comprehensive features, that’s not too outrageous IMO. Need to start saving I guess!

  23. THIS is so nice! I would love to have exactly this controller for Traktor with a tight integration and Timecode support! It would fix all my needs which I have to carry around in an extra device(namely a audio 4 soundcard and a Korg nanopad 2) Would love to have that.

  24. I love my S4 to death and I’m still keeping it over this, but damn that’s pretty. That would look killer in an at home ‘booth’

  25. Christopher says:

    does anyone know if the pitch faders are 100mm and the jog wheels cdj size they look smaller but how much is the question.

  26. BigChipsHI says:

    I really like the layout, and the VU meters are a big upgrade from something like the s4’s or the ddj series. I do however have one major concern, the left decks pitch fader… sitting tightly and snuggly right in between an ultra sensitive deck platter, eq’s, and what else have you.

    you can argue that it mimicks a typical cdj setup, but even cdj’s dont get that close to your mixer eq’s and/or your platters.

  27. Phillip Diaz says:

    the whole unit looks ugly as f**k!! why in god’s name are the jog wheel’s chrome??? looked way better in dark grey/black with the Pioneer signature led ring! preferably exactly like the CDJ 2000 with the on air illumination! also the sample pads should be RGB according to the option selected below the jog! then again is made for serato so… figures!!! not quite in the Traktor way i’m afraid!!! C’mon Pioneer stop with the shinny toy design, and make something that look’s as sober and professional as your standard Pro analog/digital Gear!!!

  28. I had a feeling that Serato must’ve had something big coming as it seemed like they weren’t even trying to keep up with Traktor or Virtual DJ even…but this is big. It makes sense to have a “one stop shop” type of software. This controller looks like it could be a bit of a game changer. The only concern for me would be the size but to be honest if it has a nice spaced out, more traditional feel to it and the jog section is quite similar to CDJs (as it initially appears) then this will sell really well if the above pricing is indeed correct. Can you say controller envy?!

  29. Despite all enthusiasm about the new Pioneer stuff, no matter if it’s for Traktor or Serato, you shouln’t forget that this kind of equipment has absolute nothing to do with mobility!
    It looks like a fully equipped Kitchenette without a fridge :-)
    Not like a exceptionally modern and cool, manageable bring-along DJ tool. It’s for fixed club/home installations maybe, but honestly I don’t know any club going to buy it – they already have a working system and experience shows that they mostly have long pockets but short arms. The club I played twice this year not even fixed the tweeter of one of the monitors since 8 month! These kind of stuff – another toy for DJing that we just don’t need. Cheers.

  30. Sorry to ask the question again, has it got split cue for your headphones, also can it read time coded viynal

    • No, and no.

      • I want one… I like both programs, Scratch Live (SL3) and Traktor. They each get some things right and some wrong. I’m using the MC-6K with both and for some reasons the jogs work better with Serato, especially with scratching. Traktor has a tendency to over exagerate on the pull back and ramp, where the behavior with Serato is more vynl like…

        Wished they’d offer native support for the MC6K, but seeing as tho that unit got Traktors endoresment first I understand.

        Salue Phil, much respect to you.

  31. Impressed, Pioneer finally making a controller that ticks all the boxes (apparently). If it comes out for Traktor I’ma buy it. Before that I will check out Serato DJ once the update comes out for the Twitch. Might even jump to Serato Software then, with additional and mappable controllers and (hopefully) decent effects it has everything I need. Suck on that NI!

  32. Shuga*Foot says:

    It’s pretty sick! If they release a version with Traktor I would rather spend my coin here than on the XDJ Aero. The price tag for a wireless 2 channel controller is a bit much.

  33. It’s a midi controller, i’m sure someone will create a killer TSI file for it. I can’t see any logical reason why it wouldn’t work with Traktor.

  34. Native Instruments better step it up with a new controller to compeete or I’m jumping ship from traktor to serato. Best controller to date.

  35. There was information on the pioneer and serato website stating a 24 bit audio interface. I’ve noticed this has now disappeared? They got rid of it? Or it was just a mis-hap??

  36. Most def looks like a great controller. I just sold my Denon DNS-3500s to purchase this bad boy. I’m really looking forward to it! Just a few more weeks and I’ll be going live with the new new.

  37. Electro static jog wheels! precision control!

  38. Can the 4 channels be used fr 4 deck mixing (which i understand is available in serato dj?). Or are they for controling external sources – cdj’s etc……

  39. If pluggin 2 turntables. with it, do we still need the Sl2 ? or just the Serato Vinyls will do the job?

  40. Again, pioneer leaves out split cuing. I’m still not purchasing their controllers until they put it back in. And i know of many DJs who hold this opinion.

    WTF are they thinking? Split cuing was the earliest reason i grew to love Pioneer mixers..

    smh

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