The Denon DJ MC7000 is a four-channel controller meant to work with Serato DJ Pro. It’s well-built and well-specified: Mobile DJs will find the myriad connectivity options and mic inputs useful, and DJs who play at clubs and bars will appreciate the sleek, professional design of the controller. Dedicated controls for Serato Flip, Key Adjust & Key Sync plus the ability to trigger pads for Serato Pitch Play will please controllerists looking for a robust unit that they can take from studio to stage. Its only fault is that it doesn’t bring anything new or innovative to the digital DJ table.
First Impressions / Setting up
Denon DJ made a huge splash in the digital DJ market when it introduced its MCX8000 standalone DJ controller back in 2016. It had built-in screens and the ability to play music directly from a thumb drive, letting DJs spin without the need for a laptop. It was followed by the MC7000 a year later: almost the same size and form factor as the MCX8000 with the same number of channels, but without the screens and the ability to use it as a standalone unit – you need to hook it up to your laptop. It ships with a copy of Serato DJ Pro, though it also works with Virtual DJ 8.
Like the MCX8000, the MC7000 is a four-channel device. It’s got three-band EQs with filters and trim pots per channel, a replaceable crossfader that’s Innofader compatible, eight performance pads per deck with 10 pad modes including Serato Flip and Pitch Play. There are two five-inch jogwheels and long-throw pitch faders for accurate tempo matching. You’ve also got controls for Key Sync and Key Adjust, allowing you to change the musical key of a tune on the fly directly on the unit which is great for harmonic mixing. It’s also Serato DVS ready, meaning you can hook up your turntables to it and spin with timecode vinyl if you purchase the Serato DVS upgrade.
The rear of the unit has XLR and RCA Master outputs, XLR Booth outputs, four pairs of RCA inputs with two of them being switchable phono / line inputs, combo TRS and 1/4″ mic inputs, two USB jacks for connecting up to two laptops, a power switch and a power jack. The front of the unit has 1/4″ and 1/8″ headphone jacks.
I plugged the MC7000 into my laptop, fired up Serato DJ Pro and got to work.
The MC7000 has jogwheels that are similar in size to what you’d find on a Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2 or DDJ-RX controller. They are thick and responsive and have a nice heft to them – I prefer heavy jogs over loose ones, and these feel decent given their diameter. Nothing to write home about, but they get the job done well.
The jogwheels have needle search touchstrips above them, plus an FX section that consists of three knobs with three toggle buttons and other controls. Each jog has a pitch fader and Denon DJ’s signature Pitch Bend buttons for temporarily slowing down or speeding up a track in lieu of using the jogwheels.
As is standard with DJ controllers these days, the MC7000 has performance pads onboard – there are eight per deck, and each deck has 10 pad modes: Cue, Roll, Sampler, Slicer, Cue Loop, Saved Loop, Slicer Loop, Velocity Sampler, Serato Flip and Pitch Play. The latter mode is only available on a handful controllers – it basically lets you pitch up or pitch down hot cues for tone play routines.
Key Adjust & Key Sync
The MC7000 has a knob for adjusting the musical key of the tune you’ve got loaded in a deck, great for changing a tune’s overall pitch on the fly. It’s also got a Key Sync button which lets you match the musical key of a track that’s already playing – again, useful for harmonic mixing and performing long blends across multiple tracks that require you to be in a specific musical key.
Without a doubt, the Denon DJ MC7000 is a powerful controller that’s built like a tank, however it doesn’t really bring anything new to the digital DJ table, even when it was introduced back in 2016. Think of it as a refinement of and a step up from Denon DJ’s popular MC6000 controller that was a hit with both mobile and club DJs back in 2011. If you’re looking for a reliable DJ controller that does all the “traditional” digital DJ functions well, the MC7000 should be on your shortlist. If you’re looking for something different or a bit more innovative, there are other options to choose from: the Numark NS6II has built-in screens, while the Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000 has full-size jogwheels and onboard DJM mixer effects like you’d find at the club.