(Editor’s Note: Pioneer DJ has officially unveiled the XDJ-RX2, check it out.)
We’ve already reviewed Pioneer DJ’s XDJ-RX – the standalone, all-in-one DJing solution for those who prefer spinning with USB sticks. It’s a great piece of gear, but not without its shortcomings, the most glaring for many being that it only has two channels. It’s been a little over two years since it was introduced, and in this – the very first “Gear Prophecy” article – we got to thinking what a Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 might be like. So with a bit of imagination (and some Photoshop), here’s our take…
5 XDJ-RX2 Features
1. Four-channel control
The most obvious spec bump that the original XDJ-RX would benefit from would be control for up to four decks. That includes a four-channel mixer with three-band EQs, filter knobs, and onboard effects. Since only two jogwheels are present, a deck selector per jog, like those found on the DDJ-RX and DDJ-RZ for instance, would allow for quick deck switches.
2. Eight performance pads per deck
A large majority of DJ controllers have eight performance pads onboard. This is the new standard, regardless of whether or not people actually use all eight pads for hot cues – that’s because the pads can be used to trigger effects, set loops, enable Slicer and Loop Roll functions, and so on.
Plus with the new 16 hot cue slot per deck feature of the upcoming Rekordbox 5.0 update, it only makes sense that Pioneer DJ adds more performance pads into the XDJ-RX2 mix. Here’s hoping.
3. Touchscreen display
The XDJ-RX missed out on the touchscreen display that first appeared on the XDJ-1000 (it’s on every Pioneer DJ media player since). That meant you had to perform a variety of tasks using buttons as well as the Browse knob in the centre of the unit – usable, but impractical for an all-in-one system that lets you mix up to four songs simultaneously.
The XDJ-RX2 could have a touchscreen display similar to the XDJ-1000MK2 or CDJ-2000NXS2. This will solve the “single Browse knob” conundrum (try doing that to quickly load tracks on four decks), and at the same time make tune searching easier thanks to the onscreen Qwerty keyboard.
4. Magvel fader and Rekordbox DVS
Pioneer DJ’s Magvel contactless crossfader has been making appearances on its higher-tier units. We’d expect an XDJ-RX2 to feature one – even if it might not have as many customisable crossfader options as the DJM-S9, a quality crossfader is a must for a flagship all-in-one.
The original XDJ-RX had switchable phono/line inputs per channel for hooking up turntables, but it had no DVS capability. For an XDJ-RX2, Pioneer DJ could implement this again, this time with Rekordbox DVS capability baked in. Though the current XDJ-RX is marketed as a standalone device, having that extra option to use it as a DVS mixer would be a welcome addition for those who want to get onboard turntablism or scratch with timecode vinyl.
5. FLAC / ALAC support and more Ethernet Link uses
The XDJ-1000MK2 and CDJ-2000NXS2 both support the use of high-resolution lossless audio files. It would be a minor feature tweak – after all, how many DJs have hi-res listening systems in their bedroom practice studio – but one that would potentially be useful for DJs who spin with a mix of MP3s, WAVs, and FLAC / ALAC files at their gigs. Again, an XDJ-RX2 would be aimed at club and pro DJs who wanted something to use at home, as well as DJs who would like to smoothen the transition from using DJ controllers to a CDJ/DJM set-up.
Since Ethernet Link already exists in the XDJ-RX, an XDJ-RX2 could have more use for it, such as being able to sync with Pioneer DJ’s TORAIZ SP-16 Sampler. Assuming they’d chosen to put four channels on it, after all.
We love kit as much as the next DJ, and once in a while we all chat about gear that we’d like to see, or features and trends that will happen in the near future. Those conversations in DDJT HQ are what led to this Gear Prophecy series, and we hope that you chime in in the comments as well. To be crystal clear, this is all conjecture, but who knows – we may just see some of these things come to pass.
What do you think would make an XDJ-RX2 a killer all-in-one system? What did you like the most about the original XDJ-RX? What did you dislike? Do you even think Pioneer DJ should come up with an XDJ-RX2 at all? Share your thoughts below.