The rumours are true: After weeks of speculation and leaked images, Pioneer DJ has officially announced the DDJ-1000SRT Serato controller, a Serato version of its hugely popular DDJ-1000 for Rekordbox.
Watch this: Our Full Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000SRT review
(Or go to our complete written & video review here.)
The DDJ-1000SRT is a four-channel controller for Serato DJ Pro that has full-sized CDJ-style mechanical jogwheels that have displays at their centres. The jog displays show important track data like BPM, time elapsed, time remaining, and needle position.
The mixer has three-band EQs, Sound Color knobs, volume faders, a Magvel crossfader and crossfader assign switches. It also has two mic inputs, master and booth outputs, four pairs of RCA inputs with two being switchable to phono for connecting turntables, and two USB jacks for up to two laptops making it great for DJ switchovers and B2B sets. It has onboard Sound Color FX as well as the Beat FX strip that has 14 effects in all.
The mixer also works standalone, meaning you can connect media players like CDJs / XDJs and turntables, and use the onboard EQ, Sound Color FX and Beat FX without the need for a connected laptop.
The DDJ-1000SRT comes with Serato DJ Pro and is compatible with Serato DVS, letting you spin with timecode vinyl (sold separately). The first 5000 buyers of the DDJ-1000SRT also get a free Serato DJ Suite licence that comes with everything Serato DJ has to offer, including Serato DVS, Serato Video, Serato Flip, and more – frankly just as well considering the sticker-shock of US$1299 for a DJ controller.
Why a DDJ-1000 for Serato?
When Pioneer DJ launched the original DDJ-1000, it felt like a bold move – it is a controller that looks and feels like pro club gear, and uses the same software that pro DJs use to prep their sets to play on Pioneer’s pro gear (ie Rekordbox, albeit a “performance” version). Pioneer DJ was saying to the world: “Controllers or pro standalone, Pioneer and Rekordbox is the way to go!”
However, Serato is hugely popular, especially in America – Pioneer DJ’s biggest market. Many DJs are happy to use Pioneer CDJs in clubs directly with Serato (they work well with Serato on a laptop). Or, they DJ from USB in clubs, while continuing to use Serato elsewhere.
[Watch this: Our Rekordbox vs Serato comparison video.]
It is still clearly Pioneer DJ’s ultimate goal to dominate DJ hardware and software with its own gear both in clubs and among hobby/controller DJs; that can be seen in the fact that technically, there is no reason why the original DDJ-1000 couldn’t work with Serato, or the new DDJ-1000SRT with Rekordbox (so Pioneer DJ is still forcing DJs to make a choice).
However, the DDJ-1000SRT is an admission that there is still huge demand for Serato-compatible controllers, even among DJs who love the Pioneer DJ hardware layout and feel.
The “DDJ-1000 difference”
The original DDJ-1000 for Rekordbox DJ ushered in a new era for Pioneer DJ controllers: the big jogwheels and Beat FX made it feel more like a CDJ/DJM set-up than a DJ controller. Since then the DDJ-800 and DDJ-400 have carried the new look and feel for Pioneer DJ controllers “down the range” of Rekordbox controllers, too.
A big advantage of the more club-familiar look and feel of these units is that they make the jump from using a controller to using CDJs more frictionless – and the Rekordbox DDJ-1000 remains the best controller for club DJs who want something they can practise with at home and take to smaller gigs without having to fork over a couple thousand dollars for a personal NXS2 rig.
However, now that the DDJ-1000SRT has arrived, Serato DJ Pro users can hop aboard and get a taste of Pioneer DJ’s current generation of controllers. We wouldn’t bet against a Pioneer DJ DDJ-800SRT and DDJ-400SRT appearing before too long, either.
Be sure to read and watch our full review too.
• The Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000SRT is available now for US$1299. Check the Pioneer DJ site for more details.
What are your thoughts on this controller for Serato DJ Pro? Would you want to get it? What innovations are you looking for in a DJ controller? Let us know below.