Engine DJ 3.0 Brings A Sampler To Standalone Gear For The First Time

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 3 mins
Last updated 2 March, 2023

Engine DJ 3.0 has just been released, bringing sampler functionality to the standalone DJing platform, along with other major improvements.

This makes Engine DJ – which powers Denon DJ’s Prime and SC Live gear, and Numark’s Mixstream standalone DJ equipment – the first standalone solution to offer a sampler.

Yet this is only one of several headline new features. Here’s a list of the main new features users will find upon updating their desktop software and hardware firmware to Engine DJ 3.0:


All Engine DJ devices now offer eight slots to store and trigger samples or entire songs. The new Sampler pad mode is being pitched as a “drop sampler”, and can be accessed on Engine DJ by holding Shift and pressing the Roll pad mode button. The sampler output volume can be adjusted from the Control Center menu.

A great feature is that loaded samples are retained in their sample slots after the power is turned off, and even after the media source has been ejected. This means that mobile DJs, for instance, could have their idents/jingles permanently lined up in the sample slots.

Inside Engine 3.0, you also get pre-loaded “drop sampler” content, such as drums, risers, one-shots and more.

Engine Remote Library

When a laptop running Engine DJ Desktop is on the same WiFi or wired network as an Engine DJ set-up, its complete Engine DJ collection is now available “over the air”, without the need to export to portable media and insert into the Engine DJ-powered unit, or to import changes back to the laptop afterwards.

Not only does this make it easier to practise sets in the studio and work on playlists, cues and loops etc without continual exports/imports, but it also makes preparing those cues, loops etc easier. The reason for this is that now, you can use the hardware controls to prep tracks, with what you do being immediately fed from the hardware unit back to Engine DJ Desktop running on your laptop (and vice versa).

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This functionality is similar to the “Link” playback option available to Pioneer DJ standalone system users for many years. It differs in that you can use WiFi (due to that being built into all Engine DJ hardware), and additionally, you can also connect a direct cable between the DJ unit and your laptop (no router required as with Pioneer DJ’s Pro DJ Link, although it can work that way too).

Performance Pads “heads up display” & FX usability improvements

Users can now easily see hot cue and loop names, check which samples are loaded, and see loop and roll time divisions on a new display option, which shows on the screen the selected performance pad mode, details about its parameters, and so on.

Additionally, users now have the choice of whether effects parameters are reset to factory default values when loading new effects or not, with a new toggle, “Reset Effects Upon Load”, which can be found in the mixer settings.

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Notes for updating

As ever, the update is free to all Engine DJ users. However, users should be aware that their Engine DJ database will be upgraded upon doing so, which can take some time depending upon size of collection.

Therefore do make sure you upgrade both the laptop and unit software well ahead of any gigs.

The Engine DJ Desktop 3.0 software is backwardly compatible with Engine DJ 2.x.x versions, so you don’t have to update your hardware firmware at the same time as you update the desktop software, if you do not wish to.

• This is a free update. More details and downloads on the Engine DJ website.

First Thoughts

This is major news for all Engine DJ users. One of the biggest complaints we hear at the Digital DJ Tips school from software/laptop DJs switching to standalone DJ systems (in general) is the lack of a sampler, so to see one finally added to a standalone solution is great news.

For the first time ever, Engine DJs have access to a sampler on media players and standalone DJ systems.

Likewise, being able to work on, and DJ from, your library on a networked laptop without laborious importing/exporting, fixes another bugbear with standalone DJing. It means DJs can work much more fluidly on their playlists and music prep at home, only exporting before heading to the venue (or even choosing to take the laptop there, too).

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So, well done to the developers. Engine DJ becomes a stronger and stronger platform year on year, with rapid and meaningful developments dropping regularly, reinforcing the belief that the companies involved are behind this platform for the long term.

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