Rekordbox Tip: How To Hook Up CDJs To Your Laptop In HID Mode

Joey Santos | Read time: < 1 min
Club/Festival DJing Pro
Last updated 12 June, 2018


If you’ve been spinning with a laptop and a DJ controller, you may encounter situations where you’re asked to play at a venue that doesn’t have space in the DJ booth for any other gear apart from the CDJ / DJM set that it has. If you’ve got a tiny controller (like the DDJ-WeGo4) you may be able to squeeze your kit, but if you’ve got a bigger controller like the DDJ-RX or larger, you’re going to run into logistical issues.

Instead of hauling a folding desk or bugging the bar staff for a cocktail table, you can still spin with your laptop using the CDJs. The CDJs essentially become your controller – this is known as HID Mode. There are a bunch of ways to connect CDJs / XDJs to your laptop in HID Mode, and this video will cover off one of those ways.

What is HID Mode?

HID (Human Interface Design) Mode lets you control your DJ software’s virtual decks. It does this by sending and receiving data to and from the CDJs and your laptop with virtually zero lag. DJs prefer this over using timecode CDs or USBs because there are added features in a CDJ’s HID Mode, such as the ability to browse your library and view waveforms straight on the CDJ display.

Furthermore, HID Mode is easier to set-up: it just requires connecting the CDJs to your laptop via USB cables, plus connecting the DJM mixer too. No need for fiddling with RCA leads and a DVS box. HID isn’t available in all DJ media players, though the most common CDJ models in clubs have them.

The following Pioneer DJ media players come with HID Mode baked in:

Pioneer DJ CDJ-850
Pioneer DJ CDJ-900
Pioneer DJ CDJ-900NXS
Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000
Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS
Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2
Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000
Pioneer DJ XDJ1000Mk2
Pioneer DJ CDJ-TOUR1 (if you happen to find yourself as part of a festival line-up!)

Watch the video on YouTube.

Any other laptop DJing tips you’d like to share when it comes to spinning with CDJs? Let us know in the comments.

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