Engine DJ 2.0 Brings Ableton Link, Lighting Control & More

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 15 November, 2021

Engine DJ, the software that enables Denon DJ’s Prime series of DJ equipment, has just received the biggest upgrade since its launch, to Engine DJ 2.0, including a renaming. The desktop software is now called “Engine DJ Desktop”, and the software embedded in your DJ gear is called “Engine DJ OS”.

Read our full review: Engine DJ 2.0 Desktop & OS Review

Main new features

The headline features of the newly named software are:

  • Ableton Link (wired or wireless), making Engine DJ OS-compatible DJ equipment the first standalone DJ gear in the world to incorporate this protocol
  • Engine Lighting powered by SoundSwitch, an OS-embedded lighting solution accessible directly on the DJ hardware to control lighting, with no laptop required – it will work out of the box with Philips Hue lights for an instant home lighting show, and with DMX lights via a SoundSwitch subscription
  • A new look, and a host of improvements to the user experience, a particularly welcome one for us – being the end of the “Crates” and “Playlists” confusion – now, it’s just “Playlists” (this fixes the “double track listing” issue too)

Read this next: 9 Reasons Why You Need To Learn Ableton Live Right Now

Additional changes & improvements

More additions and changes include:

  • A new Control Center menu
  • A Playlist Deck with crossfader (on Prime 2/4/Go) – basically, it can autoplay for you
  • An onboard clock, for more accurate History playlists
  • Major streaming service improvements, with preview, prepare, history and playlist deck available on these as well as on your local library
Engine DJ 2.0 brings an improved look, a better user experience, Ableton Link, lighting, and more..

Boring but important…

Underpinning many of the changes is probably the biggest change of all, which is not directly visible to users: An all-new database. The developers tell us that file analysis is faster, searching is quicker, database sizes are smaller, and stability is improved, and that the new database clears the way for some pretty huge features coming down the line.

It’s important to note that your device firmware, including Denon DJ Prime series mixers, will need updating to use Engine DJ 2.0. Head to the Downloads page on the Engine DJ website, or update your devices or directly via Wi-Fi/wired internet connection.

Read this next: When To Upgrade Your Gear (And When To Wait)

Your old library will need to be updated the first time you use the new software, and this may take some time – so be aware of that when it comes to updating. Also, Denon DJ MCX8000 users should be aware that the Engine DJ 2.0 software will not work with their units: MCX8000 users should remain on Engine DJ 1.6.1.

Our First Thoughts

It’s a healthy sign that the Engine DJ team is clearly putting a lot of effort into the software that powers Engine DJ-enabled hardware, because such hardware is just a collection of expensive boxes without functional software. This release relatively soon after the Engine DJ 1.6 release marks a major improvement in usability and more importantly, in under-the-hood power.

Learn to DJ with Digital DJ Tips: The Complete DJ Course

It is also worth noting the official dropping of the “Prime” name from Engine DJ. Prime is a Denon DJ sub-brand, and this change would strongly indicate that Engine DJ is likely to appear as the software and OS behind non-Denon DJ equipment at some point soon. We’ll let you know as soon as we have anything on that…

• Click here to go to the Engine DJ website to learn more and to download the new software.

Click here for your free DJ Gear and software guide