Denon DJ Launches Engine Prime Music Management App

Engine Prime

Denon DJ just launched Engine Prime, a music library management app built specifically for the company's SC5000 Prime media player.

Denon DJ just launched Engine Prime, a brand new music library management software that lets you manage your songs, create playlists, and then export them from your computer to a USB stick for use with the new SC5000 Prime media player. Engine Prime also lets you create and save your user preferences on the same USB stick for loading onto an SC5000 Prime at the club. You can customise settings like screen brightness, sync settings, and even a DJ logo for the centre jog display, among others.

Engine Prime is not an update to the original Engine app - it's a totally new piece of software built from the ground up specifically for the SC5000 Prime. It isn't backwards compatible with older Denon DJ hardware units that use the previous Engine software, such as the Denon DJ MCX8000, for instance. As with the original Engine app, Engine Prime is able to read both your iTunes and Serato DJ music databases, allowing you to manage songs from both apps within the Engine Prime library interface.

Engine Prime plays the same role as Rekordbox does in the Pioneer DJ ecosystem - it's a way for you to organise and export your music before getting behind the decks. Unlike Rekordbox though, which has the Rekordbox DJ add-on that lets you spin using your laptop hooked up to Pioneer DJ gear, Engine Prime is purely a music management app at the time of this writing.

The next club standard?

We like how things are hotting up at the pro DJ / top-tier media player front. Last year's launch of the Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2 player and DJM-900NXS2 mixer saw a bump in spec for the club standards, but they remained pretty much the same.

The Denon DJ SC5000 Prime, on the other hand, brings more innovation to the table with a focus on features that controller DJs will be readily familiar with, such as eight performance pads assignable for hot cue, Slicer, Loop and Roll functions, and even dual-layer playback, meaning you can play two songs from a single SC5000 Prime deck. Even the companion X1800 Prime mixer has contemporary features that controller DJs will be right at home with, including a touchstrip for effects.

The success of Engine Prime will tie in closely with how well the SC5000 Prime and X1800 Prime mixer do with club and touring DJs. Will Denon DJ be the new king in the club DJ court? We'll just have to wait and see. Ultimately, having more than one big player in the market competing for the crown means more innovation and more choice for us DJs - surely not a bad thing!

Watch out for our review of the Denon DJ SC5000 Prime, XP1800 Prime, and Engine Prime coming very soon.

• Engine Prime is now available for download. Check the Denon DJ website for more details.

What do you think of Engine Prime? By challenging Pioneer DJ in the pro DJ / club market, do you think Denon DJ is headed in the right direction? Why do you think so? Share your thoughts below.

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  1. DJ Vintage says:

    Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike have changed their rider too. And all that BEFORE the stuff was actually in stores (which it is - well the players, not the mixer- since late last week). Fun to see another logo in those booths.

    On topic: With the original Engine software being pretty much end-of-life, we should soon be seeing a version of Engine (Prime?) that supports export to sticks for MCX8000s, so all of us 8000 users are not being left in the cold, we just need a bit more patience I think.

    As for the Engine Prime. Had a chance to play with it for a few minutes before flashing out the door for an appointment, I'd say that installation was as you'd expect, uneventful, on my Windows 10 desktop machine. The user interface is pleasantly uncluttered and understated, but this is a personal thing of course. Also highly personal, but something I really like is the 3-color display of the waveform. It works better not only than the single color option, but -imho- better than the full color option too. The latter is just too busy for my taste. This shows you the three most important frequencies (primarily the boom and clap bits) and is as clear on the media player 7" screen as it is on my 24" desktop screen. Really nice.

    I am sure I'll be back when I had some more time to dig deeper. For it being version 1.0, I think Denon has done a solid job making something that will suit most Prime series gear users just fine. And I expect to see a regular stream of upgrades in the next period adding bigger and smaller features.

  2. Todd Oddity says:

    I've installed on now on both a Mac and a PC and seems to be running smoothly on both. I had a few tracks I played around with on an early beta release and was happy to see them pop into the library immediately - but with improved analysis.

    Two issues I've run into so far - resolution doesn't seem to scale on my PC, so with a 4k display (on a 13" laptop no less!) things are REALLY tiny to see. I'm sure that will get sorted out.

    The other issue I have is a little more concerning. I was told back in February that the software would feature elastic beatgridding - placing the markers where beats actually were and not where they should be mathematically. Turns out that is not quite true - you get the math grid unless you go in and start dropping manual points around a track. As being told this would be done automatically was actually the thing that put me over the top and got me to purchase my way into this ecosystem, I'm a tad annoyed about this. But I'll adapt if I have to. Even manually it works better than my current setup and software so at least there's that.

  3. DJ Peter says:

    This one I had to test :) . After a quick run, I'm somewhat disappointed and a little bit confused, while at the same time I do understand that this is a 1.0 version and there will be major updates coming soon and hopefully fast.

    In terms of functionality and how to do different tasks, it's clearly the software users they aim for, not us who primarily use Rekordbox. A simple task as to import a folder that immediately transforms into a playlist, requires multiple steps including manual renaming, unless I misunderstood the workflow. Other small things like when a track is loaded, to play it you have to use play/cue/pause while in RB you can klick in the wave file to play/pause. The playback is very blurry, feels like 5-10 fps at most, and still pauses frequently. The most worrying I discovered, was when I saw the result of the key analysis. About 40% of the result is different from what you get with Mixed-In-Key, latest version. Is that the same analysis that happens in the player? This pic shows a recent analysed folder where the key from M-I-K is in the file name and you can see Prime's result behind. .

    I believe Denon had to release the software now in time for the players reaching the stores, but the software team is probably working day and night to get things better. This part has to match the hardware if they want to at least get a fair share of the market. Most DJ's i know and in particular myself prepare everything before going to a gig. Relying on the players doing it minutes before going on a set, won't happen. That's called panic mode and no one wants that, but it's good it's there for those bad few moments when bad luck strikes.

    • Todd Oddity says:

      I haven't dug too deep into things yet to comment on most of your issues - but on my two installs (one Mac, one PC) the scrolling of the waveform has been smooth so far. If you're having fps issues, it might be conflicting with something specific on your system.

      • DJ Peter says:

        Hey Todd. There's a couple of more things and I actually didn't mention the worst one. I like, well demand, precise tools for most of the thing I do. In Prime someone thought it to be good to have dynamic scroll, which means that when you see the track you're looking for and stop scrolling, the list continues way and beyond out of your sight. A quick scroll back, and you see the track fly by in the other direction... I did feel like being on candid camera or like someone remotely controlled the scrolling just to see how long it would take for that mouse to get wings...

        My computer is a well proven computer rigorously maintained with an 8 core CPU and a AMD HD 7990 graphics card running windows 10. I've never had any issue with anything involving graphics and certainly not the kind of graphics used in DJ software. IF that's an issue in my computer, then there's most likely an issue with the Prime software, and with the hardware I use, a lot of other people will also have the same problem. I ran Prime and RB side by side, importing and analyzing the same folder with 121 tracks, 320 Kbps mp3's prepared with M-I-K and Platinum Notes. I also played the same tracks at the same time and the visual experience is superior in RB. This is a fact.

        Being a very satisfied Pioneer gear owner/user for many years, I still would love for Denon to succeed with their new series. I'm a firm believer in an open market where competition drives development and pricing to the advantage of the customer. 2 brands at the top is not enough, but certainly better than one. There's room for at least a couple more.

        Critic for me is a way to get points out for those who can benefit from it, and I try to avoid stuff that is more of personal preferences and stick to facts that concerns every user. That's why i focus on work flow differences, the crazy scroll, bad visual experience and obvious issues like the difference in key analysis compared to M-I-K. This gives others something to test for themselves and reflect over if they have different results. I also believe that Denon has people following all serious forums, like this, closely, to see what they have to improve now and what they may get away with or at least can focus on later.

        • DJ Vintage says:

          Now personally I am not too worried about the performance of software on my preparation machine (mind you, the scrolling thing sounds yikes - a bit like my G500s mouse can do with it's flywheel option, but at least that stops the scroll as soon as you touch the wheel again).

          What I am worried is how all that prepped stuff works on the actual machine it was made for, in casu the SC5000 Prime player. And there, when we look at graphics and graphic performance, there is world of difference between the NXS2 and the 5000 experience. Night and day doesn't begin to capture it I think.

          With the knowledge that Engine Prime was written from the ground up and the release pushed back almost a week to insert some last minute new features, I think it is safe to say Denon is geared to improve the software as soon as it can gather the feature/bug suggestions (which is already a decent list as a quick visit to the Denon forum will show). Clearly RB will be a bit more "robust", being in v4). Not really surprising if you compare it to version 1.0 of Engine Prime.

          Word on the street is that, apart from the great hardware and feature list of the SC5000s, one of the reasons that those big names changed their riders recently is the fact that if they say they want something added, it gets done really quickly. This is of course possible because of the CPU power in the MC5000 and the total control over the OS in the unit.

          So, yes there will certainly be some things better still in RB (talking about Export, not Performance of course), but as I said I am pretty confident that this will be remedied really quickly.

          Then we will just have to see what other brand can join the battle for booth domination 😀

          • DJ Peter says:

            Any comment for the differences in Key analysis compared to M-I-K? I think it was 47 out of 121 tracks that was detected with another key than the one found by M-I-K. That is not a small number. Is that the same Key detection that is in the player?
            When it comes to performance, the NXS2 is a very precise and solid performer. The recent firmware updates has made it more responsive and features missing compared to the SC5000 is now very few, which most of them most likely will be missing by DJs using controllers for production style DJing,, turning to stand alone units. The beat jump (16 beats), the slip roll, 8 hot cues, loop move, track filter search/adaptive playlist is all there. Missing is slice mode, dual layer, xtra usb ports, high performance cpu and pads.

            Great things, except for the pads, my personal preference. This will be hard for Pioneer to ignore in their next models, but I hope that they decide to keep it clean and don't clutter the player with pads. I prefer modular setups where you can add those performance tools if you need them, like the DDJ-SP1, but with its own dedicated usb port. Another personal preference is the mechanical jog wheel. For me it's got a feel that those capacitive jogs don't have.

            My personal wish is that Pioneer updates the XDJ to compete with the SC5000 with pads and everything, and leave the NXS-series as a modular performance tool. To have everything accessible via the touch screen like it is now, but expandable with extra tools with dedicated buttons for performance. And they can also leave the CD for good measure :) . I still meet CD DJ's almost every week and those are usually highly ranked pro's that would turn in the door and send the bill if there were no cd-players. I'm surprised every time I meet another one carrying his heavy bags while I show up with a couple of usb storage and my head phones, but that's the reality how ever strange we think it is. The top of the line player for club installations shouldn't have any limits at all to fit as many DJ's as possible.

            Having 2 2000Nexus, 2 2000NXS2 and the DJM-900NXS2 and a bunch of other fully functional DJ equipment, I won't be shopping for any new gear soon. But, I think I'm gonna have a blast next time I go for an update :) , when competition has set in for real and the resulting gear is on the shelves.

          • We haven't done a batch key analysis comparison, but we are privvy to where inMusic licensed its algorithm from, and it is Tier 1.

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