Pioneer has today announced the Pioneer DDJ-SX2, a revision of the DDJ-SX Serato controller that adds in hardware support for Serato’s latest features: Serato Flip and Serato DVS. Read on for details, analysis and a video.
Those new features in full
Serato Flip allows DJs to escape the “linear” timeline of a song, making and recalling re-edits that can jump around between cue points and loops, effectively allowing the DJ to create their own more DJ-friendly versions of tracks for use in their sets. The DDJ-SX2 adds two crucial features to the original DDJ-SX’s spec for use with Serato Flip: Multi-coloured cue point LEDs on the performance pads, and on-jog digital cue point markers and countdown – plus a couple of buttons to save using “sift” in your mapping when using Flip.
Meanwhile, Serato DVS brings the ability to DJ using your existing turntables or CDJs, and as of Serato DJ 1.7 you’ll be able to do it with a whole host of controllers, as well as with the existing range of rather expensive compatible Rane and Pioneer pro mixers. But it has become clear since the announcement of Serato DVS that the original DDJ-SX is not (so far) one of those controllers. The new DDJ-SX2 brings that compatibility.
Getting the new features
Both Serato Flip and Serato DVS are Expansion Packs for Serato’s software, and will be available as of Serato DJ 1.7 this September. The new DDJ-SX2 will include a free Serato Flip Expansion Pack voucher, and the first 10,000 units will also ship with a free voucher for the Serato Video Expansion Pack, worth around €129 / £119.
Practically identical to the DDJ-SX bar some small hardware changes, this appears to be mainly a case of updating the electronics within the unit to take care of Serato Flip and Serato DVS duties, and taking the chance to improve the spec slightly (apparently the sound card is better). The big question is whether this could have been done, fully or partly, by simply upgrading the firmware on the original DDJ-SX.
After all, Numark has managed to upgrade the N4, and Denon (now owned by inMusic, Numark’s owners too) has updated the MC6000 Mk2 to work with Serato DVS. Maybe Pioneer will indeed roll out a firmware upgrade for the DDJ-SX to make it DVS compatible at some point?
Looking forward though, it seems that the new jogwheel display functions to work with Serato Flip may well prove to be a genuine advancement that of course nobody could have predicted when the original DDJ-SX came out; we think that Serato Flip could potentially be a game-changer in digital DJing, and clearly Pioneer thinks so too, with a new controller ready within days of the Serato Flip announcement to take advantage of this rather exciting new feature. (As soon as we get hold of the Flip software we’ll be testing it to see how useful we feel it may actually turn out to be, though, so watch this space…)
That Serato Flip feature properly demoed…
Here’s Pioneer’s DDJ-SX2 promo video where they demo Serato Flip. We actually think it shows off a lot more of what Flip is capable of than Serato’s official video, albeit a lot more than most DJs would ever do with Flip (we think it’ll be most used for simple “clean” versions of songs and creating easier to use “DJ edits” with longer outros and intros).
Are you interested in the new DDJ-SX2? Are you an original DDJ-SX owner who feels slightly upset by the lack of DVS support on your unit? Do you really care about plugging decks or CDJs into the DDJ-SX/2 anyway? (After all, it’s a wide enough unit as it is – are your arms long enough to control four decks this way?) And is Serato Flip the future, or another answer to a question nobody was asking? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!