Pioneer DJ has today announced two new “battle”-style DJ controllers, one of which is its first ever DJ device with motorised platters. Called the DDJ-REV7 and the DDJ-REV1, they are new Serato controllers at the pro and entry-level ends of the market respectively.
The high-end Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7 is a full-sized two-channel $1,899 controller with two 7″ vinyl-topped motorised deck sections, complete with “battle”-style pitch faders across the top. The DDJ-REV7 has in-jog displays, plus a full-sized DJM-S7-styled mixer section.
Meanwhile the entry-level Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV1 is a $249 controller with the same basic layout as the DDJ-REV7, ie the decks configured in “battle” mode and the pads relocated to the mixer. But this time, it has standard non-motorised jogs, and comes with Serato DJ Lite. The DDJ-REV1 can be seen as the replacement for the ageing DDJ-SB3 – and it’s a bold replacement.
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The DDJ-REV1 and DDJ-REV7 are the first DJ controllers anywhere to adopt the “battle mode” deck layout, and also the first controllers to have a mixer section based on battle mixers.
The DDJ-REV7 is the stunner…
The DDJ-REV7 will likely grab most of the attention, because for performance and battle DJs, it is a hugely tempting alternative to a scratch mixer plus two turntables (set up for DVS), a scratch mixer and two Rane Twelves, or indeed to the only other similar controller, the Rane One.
It will also turn heads because it has got convincing motorised platters, with good scratch “vinyl” on top, but without spindles – allowing for the addition of the jogwheel screens, and likely also making the jogwheels more comfortable to scratch on for some DJs, because their 7″ surfaces have no hardware to snag fingers on.
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The DDJ-REV7 also has standalone mixer capability (it can be used as a DVS mixer with turntables if wished), built-in effects, built-in scratch sounds, and high-end Pioneer DJ scratch mixer functions such as Scratch Bank, Silent Cue and Smooth Echo, plus dual laptop support.
Due to its full-sized mixer, the DDJ-REV7 could well turn out to be something pro scratch DJs choose to DJ on at gigs and battles as well as at home, too, so close is it in look and feel to separates systems.
The unit is available now at $1899.
More info: Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7 Review & Video
…while the DDJ-REV1 redefines the Serato entry level
In some ways though, the DDJ-REV1 is just as important a release. It offers beginner DJs a way into open-format/performance/battle DJing at a very low price point. It packs a few surprises of its own, too – it can use four decks (even in Serato DJ Lite), and it has a neat timing tool to help DJs learn to scratch.
Replacing the now old DDJ-SB3 as the go-to budget Pioneer DJ Serato controller, the DDJ-REV1 marks the first step in a new progression of Pioneer DJ devices for Serato DJ, and it’s a step that makes sense: Party DJs can start with the REV1, and move up to the REV7. Then if they wish, they can take it a step further and go for a DJM-S7 or DJM-S11 and two Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 turntables (or two Rane Twelves), while always maintaining the same layout and broad function set.
The unit is available now at $249.
More info: Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV1 Review & Video
Pioneer DJ guns for Rane
There’s no doubt that this is a big shot across the bows of Rane, which basically had the motorised DJ controller thing to itself until now. Not only does Pioneer DJ now offer a motorised platter that in many ways improves on Rane’s tech, but you’d imagine Pioneer DJ’s engineers are now working on ways to incorporate their new platter into other gear, too.
The physical layout of the DDJ-REV7 will for many be preferable to that of the Rane One, too: By switching to a “battle” layout for the decks and including a full-sized battle-style mixer, the layout will be more familiar to performance DJs than that of the Rane One.
It’s going to be interesting to see what Rane comes back with, but in the meantime, this brace of controllers is good news for Serato, and it’s good news for party DJs of all levels who want the familiar battle/performance DJ gear features and layout, but in a DJ controller format – something not available to them at all, until now.
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Go to our full reviews and DJ Jazzy Jeff demos for both of these units: