Pioneer DJ DJM-S7 Scratch Mixer – All You Need To Know

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 3 mins
Last updated 21 December, 2021

Pioneer DJ has today launched the Pioneer DJ DJM-S7, a brand-new scratch mixer aimed squarely at competition, battle, and club open-format DJs. It offers an alternative, more affordable addition to the company’s Serato DJ/Rekordbox scratch mixer range.

Go to the full review of this mixer: Pioneer DJ DJM-S7 review

It sits below the Pioneer DJ DJM-S11, meaning Pioneer DJ has effectively replaced the DJM-S9 with not one, but two mixers.

Pioneer DJ DJM-S7: What you need to know

DJM-S7 vs DJM-S9
The DJM-S7 (left) and the DJM-S9 (right) are very similar mixers to look at, but the DJM-S7 does have lots of improvements, features and changes over the much older DJM-S9. It is even a bit cheaper, too.

The two-channel DJM-S7 inherits the exact same form factor as the old Pioneer DJ DJM-S9, but shares many of the improvements over the DJM-S9 that were introduced with the DJM-S11, including independent pad controls for each deck, and an improved Magvel Fader Pro crossfader.

DJM-S7 controls
Bigger pads, bigger “load” buttons, colour-codes effects paddles (for the new Loop Midi feature)… there are, when you look closer, several changes over the DJM-S9 that came before.

Also like the DJM-S11, the DJM-S7 includes all 22 hardware Beat effects, and has a built-in USB hub for attaching, for instance, a pair of Rane Twelves.

It unlocks Serato DJ Pro and Rekordbox, including DVS features, so you can use performance features in either platform. No need to enter a licence key – the unit itself does the software unlocking.

Learn to scratch with Digital DJ Tips: Scratching For Controller DJs

When DJing with Serato DJ Pro, the DJM-S7 has combo pad mode and the new Scratch Bank feature. Serato Pitch ‘n Time is included with the unit, so you can use all of Serato’s advanced key shift and key sync features.

DJM-S7 rear
Note the addition of two USB-A sockets – perfect for plugging in your Rane Twelves!

While the unit looks very similar to the old DJM-S9, including the non-standard layout of the EQs/filters/gain controls, there are improvements: It inherits the improved track load buttons of the DJM-S11, and has slightly bigger pads (though not as big as those of the the DJM-S11).

Pioneer DJ says the sound quality has been improved over the DJM-S9, but that the DJM-S11 is still the best scratch mixer it has, sound quality-wise.

Features unique to the DJM-S7

The DJM-S7 also brings a couple of features never seen on Pioneer DJ scratch mixers before:

  • Bluetooth connectivity (inbound only) – add a wireless music source to either channel or straight to the Master output. There will be a slight audio lag, so best used for a backup music source, or to add loops to scratch over, for instance
  • “Loop Midi” – you can use the effect paddles to repeatedly send Midi messages to Serato DJ Pro and Rekordbox (more on this below)

More about Loop Midi

Loop Midi is unique to the DJM-S7 (yes, even the DJM-S11 doesn’t have it). It repeatedly sends a Midi signal to your software, rhythmically, based on what you set using the loop controls.

Loop Midi
See the colour coding in the FX paddles? Those are RGB lights, which change to tell you when you are in one of the two new Loop Midi modes.

For instance, you could trigger a sample or hot cue every half beat with a single paddle, or use the function to raise and set the track key, or anything else you want to map to it – you just set the “loop length” (ie how often you want the paddle to send the signal) before use.

It comes with pre-mappings for sampler slots, hot cues and more, but you can map it to do what you want using standard Midi mapping features in Serato or Rekordbox.

Differences Between DJM-S7 and DJM-S11

Pioneer DJ’s current two pro scratch mixers are the DJM-S7 and the DJM-S11 (the DJM-S9 is discontinued). So what are the main differences?

DJM-S9 vs DJM-S11
Apart from the size, below we list the key differences between these two mixers.
  • The DJM-S11 has a touchscreen that shows waveforms and does much more too. There is no such screen on the DJM-S7
  • The DJM-S11 uses the touchscreen to offer control over decks three and four in the software, even though it is only a two-channel mixer: The DJM-S7 does not (it is strictly two channel)
  • The DJM-S11 has a better layout, with more traditional EQ/gain/filter controls, for instance. The DJM-S7 looks more like the old DJM-S9
  • The DJM-S11 has more FX select buttons (12 instead of the DJM-S7’s six)
  • The DJM-S7 costs $600 (€500/£470) less than the DJM-S11
  • The DJM-S7 has Loop Midi and Bluetooth, which the DJM-S11 doesn’t – but the DJM-S7 doesn’t have the DJM-S11’s standout feature, the Smooth Echo button

Price and availability

The Pioneer DJ DJM-S7 will cost US$1399 / €1499 / £1339, and will be available from mid-February 2021.

Our First Thoughts

It is pretty clear what Pioneer DJ has done here: On discontinuing the DJM-S9, Pioneer DJ has decided to offer two choices for scratch DJs – just as Rane has with the Rane Seventy and Rane Seventy Two.

Rane mixers
Just as Rane has its Seventy-Two (left) and Seventy (right) models, so Pioneer DJ now has two scratch mixers to offer Serato (and, in the case of Pioneer DJ, Rekordbox) users.

So the choice for Pioneer DJ scratch DJs is now:

  • The DJM-S7 – a no-nonsense two-channel replacement for the DJM-S9, that is nonetheless updated and has some nice new features of its own. It costs a little less than the DJM-S9 used to, as well
  • The DJM-S11 – the all-singing, all-dancing , touchscreen-enabled scratch mixer for those who want to go all-out with the latest features

Video demo

Watch our scratch tutor Steve Canueto put the DJM-S7 through its paces.

It is interesting that Pioneer DJ has largely retained the layout of the DJM-S9 for the DJM-S7: Maybe the company has decided that some DJs have got used the the DJM-S7’s non-standard layout and would rather the continuity with a mixer that doesn’t rock the boat as much as the DJM-S11 does.

Go to the full review of this mixer: Pioneer DJ DJM-S7 review

Just like the DJM-S11, one notable feature missing is Split Cue, Especially in these times where a lot of DJs are having to DJ at home, with neighbours, sleeping families etc, it seems a curious thing to neglect such an obvious pro feature.

An alternative view

If you’d like another opinion on this mixer, check out our friend Mojaxx from DJcity’s first-look video here.

What do you think?

Let us know your thoughts about this mixer in the comments below…

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