Full Rekordbox DVS Review
Pioneer DJ’s Rekordbox DVS add-on for its Rekordbox DJ software platform lets you scratch and spin with digital music using special timecode vinyl, CDs, or timecode file on a thumb drive. We put it through its paces in this review…
First impressions and setting up
Rekordbox DVS is an add-on that you purchase for Rekordbox DJ. You need to own or subscribe to Rekordbox DJ first, and the add-on costs US$99 without the control vinyl (control vinyl costs US$15 per piece). Once you’ve bought a licence for it, it’ll show up in the preferences section of Rekordbox DJ.
To set it up, you connect your turntables / DJ media player to your Rekordbox DVS-compatible mixer or controller. You then place your timecode vinyl / CDs / USB stick, and calibrate the timecode signal within the Rekordbox DVS set-up page. Once you’ve got that down, you’re good to go.
Rekordbox DVS works as expected – I was able to scratch and spin using the timecode vinyl with precision. For me the latency was quite low (1.5ms which is good), and I didn’t have any issues while DJing with it. The timecode file is available on the Rekordbox website, so I downloaded it, copied it to a thumb drive, and for testing purposes mixed using a CDJ-2000NXS. Again, no issues and it worked as expected (of course in this instance you could also just use the CDJs in HID mode by connecting a USB cable).
Like other DVS through the years, Rekordbox DVS has Relative and Absolute modes: Absolute mode is like spinning with actual vinyl where the needle position determines where you are in a tune (so if you skip” the needle, you hear it through the speakers). Relative mode gives you access to more digital features like sync and hot cues, and the position of the needle on the timecode record doesn’t dictate the playhead position in Rekordbox DJ.
There’s nothing exciting or new about Rekordbox DVS, but that’s both a good and a bad thing: it’s good because those wanting to switch over from another DVS like Serato DJ or Traktor will find the experience to be frictionless, and it’s also bad because there has been a lack of innovation as far as DVS goes.
It’s not Pioneer DJ’s fault, it’s just that DVS has got to a point where it’s already stable and there really isn’t much to add to it any more – this is the reason why Rane’s SL boxes are still used by a so many DJs even though they’re a decade old. As such, Pioneer DJ is coming late into the game with its DVS offering, but at least DJs who are curious about Rekordbox DJ will have it as an option.
I’ve used Rekordbox DVS for a couple of gigs with different Pioneer DJ mixers (and a mix of good and bad turntables) and have had no issue. It’s stable, responsive, and fits in well with my current Rekordbox workflow. Again, no innovation here at all, but how much farther can you go with DVS? Whoever answers this question will get an edge in the DVS game.
What are your thoughts on Rekordbox DVS? Thinking of switching from Serato DJ or Traktor? Share your thoughts below.