Pioneer DJ just announced the DDJ-800, a brand new two-channel controller for Rekordbox DJ. It looks like a more compact version of the DDJ-1000 released over a year ago: though the jogwheels are smaller, they still have high-definition displays in their centres for viewing track data and waveforms, and there are Feeling Adjust knobs for adjusting jogwheel tension. There are 16 tactile illuminated rubber pads (8 per deck), along with full-size tempo faders and transport controls.
It has a two-channel mixer that’s got switchable phono and line inputs for plugging in turntables and CDJ / XDJ media players, two mic inputs (one combo, one 1/4″) that work with Rekordbox DJ’s new Feedback Reducer feature, and an RCA aux input. It’s also got XLR and RCA master outputs, 1/4″ booth outputs and 1/8″ and 1/4″ headphone jacks.
There are four Sound Color FX (Dub Echo, Pitch, Noise and Filter) and these can be swapped in Rekordbox DJ, and there are 14 Beat FX that can be tweaked via the Beat FX strip which has an OLED display for viewing parameters. It ships with a licence for Rekordbox DJ, and it’s compatible with Rekordbox DVS if you want to spin with timecode vinyl.
What’s so special about the new DDJ layout?
So far, Pioneer DJ has released three controllers that have this updated “CDJ/DJM” layout: the top-shelf DDJ-1000, the entry-level DDJ-400, and now the mid-tier DDJ-800. The idea is that these devices make transitioning from DJing with a controller to DJing with a CDJ/DJM club set-up more frictionless.
The layout is a departure from past Rekordbox DJ controllers mainly because of the looping controls that are closer to what you’d find on a CDJ / XDJ media player, along with the FX.
In the past, DDJ controllers had FX knobs and buttons at the top of both decks – on the DDJ-800 (as in the DDJ-1000 and, to a limited extent, the DDJ-400) the FX are found via the Beat FX strip beside the mixer, just like what you’d find on a DJM-900NXS2 club mixer.
The DDJ-1000 is one of Pioneer DJ’s most popular controllers because of the built-in displays and full-size jogwheels that feel like those found on the CDJ-2000NXS2. While the DDJ-800 doesn’t have the huge jogwheels, it does retain the high-res jog displays and other key features like Beat FX in a smaller, lighter form factor.
The booth output will be a welcome addition for mobile and pro DJs, and this indeed could be a compact alternative to the DDJ-1000 for playing weddings, functions and marquee events. While it’s hardly the “budget option”, DJs who value extensive digital DJ features that can still fit in a portable two-channel controller may want to consider it.
Watch out for our review of it soon.
Check the photo gallery and promo video below.
• The Pioneer DJ DDJ-800 will be available from April 2019 at US$899. Check the Pioneer DJ site for more details.
What are your thoughts on this controller? Do you like the feature set and size for the price? What would you have changed about it? Let us know below.