Professional-grade construction in a consumer DJ controller? That’s the promise of the new Denon DJ MC2000, which combines a high-quality build with a reasonable price and the no-frills software approach of Serato DJ Intro.
A quick glance at the layout and the feature set reveals tight one-to-one layout and mapping with the software – and with Serato DJ Intro widely lauded to be the easiest DJ software out there, that would potentially make this the most beginner-friendly DJ controller yet. Read on for our first thoughts, launch video and full photo gallery, or go to our full Denon DJ MC2000 review.
The controller is two-deck (as is the software), and offers hot cue and sample control, access to track browsing features, as well as control over the two effects units of Serato DJ Intro. It has mic and line inputs in addition to the two software channels (both have level controls and the line input seems to also have a “monitor” control, presumably for headphone monitoring level), which would suggest the line input could be used as an emergency through.
The jogs are Denon standard (ie good), and control over the music will no doubt be tight and true; on every Serato controller I’ve ever tried, the jogwheel mappings have been perfect one-to-one. If you’re coming to this controller and to Serato from vinyl or from sub-standard spongy mappings on some other hardware/software combinations, I am sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
No doubt the pitch controls will be fine enough for manual beatmatching (our forthcoming review will verify that), and a full three-band EQ with gain controls means that for DJs returning to the game having used separate decks-and-mixer set-ups in the past, it will all feel very familiar.
While the unit has the aforementioned gain (“level”) controls for each channel, there are no VU meters, either on the software or the hardware. Luckily Serato DJ Intro has autogain which for the target market would be fine, but nonetheless it’s a shame there aren’t meters in the software bearing in mind they don’t appear on the hardware itself.
The unit is Midi mappable to other software, so while out of the box you’re tied to the limitations of Serato DJ Intro (you can’t record your sets from within the software, for instance), you can change if you wish later on. However, to be fair Serato DJ Intro is generally excellent – intuitive, easy to use, and with high-quality sound.
Denon’s smart decision to cover pretty much all of the basics, put great beginner software in the box, and ensure the construction standard is high enough for pro performance as well as complete beginners, means that for either learning DJing at home or a no-frills set-up for gigging on, The Denon DJ MC2000 appears to be a uniquely attractive controller – despite the fact that it’s really nothing new.
Many DJs (I suspect a silent majority) don’t want any more than this, and don’t want to jump through any hoops at all to just get up and running. For those people, the Denon DJ MC2000 could prove highly attractive. It could also be a good backup controller for pros.
I’ve always wondered why the digital DJ industry can’t deliver more simple, easy to use, well-made consumer controllers that have no anomalies, no software/hardware mismatches, and no sneaky limitations that hapless beginners only find out about after they’ve bought them. The Denon DJ MC2000 at first glance seems to be firmly in that category, and Denon is to be applauded for that.
Price is expected to be £269 / €325 / $299 (TBC), and we’ll have a full review ASAP.
Are you excited by this controller? Does it appear to be the perfect mix of simple-to-use and pro build in your eyes? Or are there things missing that mean it’s not for you? Please let is know your thoughts in the comments.