Sneak Peek: Pioneer DJ DJS-1000 Sampler & Sequencer

Joey Santos
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 23 March, 2018


A new Pioneer DJ performance sampler has just been spotted making the rounds on social media. It has the form factor of a CDJ / XDJ, but with performance pads and buttons that look like the ones found on the Toraiz SP-16 sampler. In some photos it is seen as having a thumb drive inserted (indicating that it works standalone), though it is unclear whether it will allow you to play full songs like a CDJ / XDJ (the Toraiz SP-16 has a 32-second playback length limit, for instance). There is also no indication if it has a CD slot or an SD card slot, though chances are likely that there will be a USB jack in the back for connecting to a laptop.

The left portion of the screenshot above comes from a video posted on house DJ/producer Luciano’s Instagram Stories, and it shows the device on a table in what looks to be an interview between him and Dan Tait of Pioneer DJ. You can hear Dan say the name “DJS-1000” in the video.

What we know about the DJS-1000

The DJS-1000 is larger than the Toraiz SP-16, but its CDJ-style form factor makes it easier to set-up in a DJ booth as it sits alongside CDJs or XDJs.

There appear to be 16 performance pads, 16 sequencer buttons at the bottom of the unit, four buttons at the lower right of the unit (for selecting sequencer scenes, perhaps?), a touchstrip on the left of the unit, a big screen, and knobs above the pads – these all scream “Toraiz” as they are the features that you’d find on the Toraiz SP-16.

If you’re not familiar, the Toraiz SP-16 is Pioneer DJ’s standalone hardware sampler: you load sounds onto it via a thumb drive or USB cable (it has internal memory), and then you are able to trigger those sounds using the performance pads. You can also arrange the sounds into a sequence using the sequence pattern buttons (say you want to create a drum loop), which you can play back or save. The Toraiz SP-16 can also sync with a CDJ-2000NXS set-up for live performance.

What you won’t find on the Toraiz SP-16, though, is the CDJ / XDJ-style pitch fader (it’s on the right side of the unit). Toraiz SP-16 users have had to use the “Browse” knob and touchscreen to make tempo adjustments, which was a pain when you needed to do it quickly (ie while you’re mixing). We imagine the DJS-1000 to have “Nudge” buttons as well that will let you speed up or slow down the samples that you’re playing on-the-fly.

The Toraiz SP-16 is a powerful and intuitive sampler, but its shape and orientation make it an odd fit in contemporary DJ booths where CDJs and XDJs hold court.

The CDJ-style form factor is crucial here – the original Toraiz SP-16 (and to some extent, the AS-1) was shaped like a traditional sampler and drum machine (the Akai Pro MPC Touch has a similar look). Its landscape orientation made it look and feel like an “add-on”, much like the RMX-1000 and RMX-500 effects controllers.

By adopting the CDJ / XDJ design, the DJS-1000 becomes more familiar. It’s like Pioneer DJ wants us DJs to have this as an essential part of our set-up. It also makes it easier to drop in and pull out of a standard DJ booth for quick swaps. Because of the form factor and onboard controls, we believe that the DJS-1000 will be a more performance-oriented sampler and sequencer compared to the Toraiz SP-16.

With BPM|Pro 2017 fast approaching, we expect this to be a highlight at the Pioneer DJ stand. Watch out for our coverage of it.

Check the video below to see the DJS-1000 at this past weekend’s Dirtybird Campout.


This is a developing story. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more details about the Pioneer DJ DJS-1000.

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