If you’re planning on going all-in with DJing using Rekordbox DJ on your laptop, and you don’t want to take along a DJ controller to your club gig, the Interface 2 DVS box should be on your shortlist. It’s relatively inexpensive and has everything you need to get started spinning with timecode. If it had four channels, we’d give it five stars.
First Impressions / Setting up
The Interface 2 is an audio interface that can connect up to two turntables / media players. It’s got an all-metal build and feels sturdy, and is a bit smaller than the Rane DVS boxes, but larger than the Denon DJ DS1 DVS box (If you don’t know what DVS is and how it works, read our beginner’s guide).
Round the back it’s got two pairs of RCA for hooking up the outputs of your turntables / media players, a phono / line input switch, grounding post, and a power receptacle. In front of the unit are two pairs of RCA jacks for connecting to your DJ mixer’s inputs. All the RCA jacks are gold-plated.
It comes with all the accessories you need to get started: a power adapter, four RCA cables, a USB jack, licences for Rekordbox DJ and Rekordbox DVS, and a pair of timecode vinyl.
Setting it up is easy: you plug the outputs of your turntables to the inputs of Interface 2. You then plug the outputs of Interface 2 into the inputs of your DJ mixer. You then connect your laptop to it via USB.
Interface 2 worked smoothly with Rekordbox DJ. I had absolutely no issues with it, and there was no noticeable lag (latency was at 1.5ms, which is fine). I used it for scratching, and it was great, as you’d expect from any other professional-grade DVS solution.
Interface 2 is made of metal all around – there are no plastic components in its outer casing at all, which makes it hardy. The DJ booth can resemble a battlefield at times: A couple of dings and drops won’t affect the unit at all, and I’d imagine maybe even a small spill during your set won’t deter your performance. Despite all this, it isn’t ridiculously heavy, and fits nicely in a zippered compartment or pocket in your DJ bag.
The RCA jacks on Interface 2 are gold-plated. Gold doesn’t corrode, which is important when it comes to audio connectors because corrosion can lead to bad sound and signal loss – that can mess up the sound of both the output coming from your laptop, as well as the timecode signal going into your laptop. Since you’re basically unplugging and plugging leads every time you use this at a gig, having gold plating on the RCA terminals just ups the quality and ruggedness overall.
Interface 2 works even without using the power adapter, but it’s always a good idea to use it. This is crucial for laptops with USB sockets that don’t have enough power (or you’ve got other USB devices connected to your laptop), plus it makes the LED status lights brighter, perfect for use in broad daylight.
If you’re planning on going all-in with DJing using Rekordbox DJ on your laptop, and you don’t want to take along a DJ controller to your club gig, Interface 2 should be on your shortlist. It’s also a solid choice for DJs who want to use Rekordbox DVS but have non-Pioneer mixers (eg scratch DJs with Vestax mixers, for instance). It’s relatively inexpensive – coming in at just under US$300, the software licences alone cost almost the same price as the Interface 2 package.
For club DJs, it begs the question though: why not just hook up the CDJ / DJM set-up at your gig via USB to your laptop? It’s all a matter of consistency and reliability.
Not all CDJs / XDJs / DJM kit have the same firmware. As you gig more, you’ll find that some venues have their kit regularly updated and maintained, while others never bother to do so.
This is fine if you’re spinning with thumb drives only, but if you’re DJing with a laptop it’s a totally different thing altogether. Firmware updates go hand in hand with software updates, and you may encounter issues if you’ve updated Rekordbox DJ to the latest version, while the media player or mixer that you’re using still uses firmware from five years ago.
Having your own DVS box with you means that you’re keeping control of the most crucial link in your gigging chain. You can have sub-par mixers and decades-old belt-drive decks when you DJ, but long as you’ve got a reliable DVS box, you can rest assured that you’re going to get sound coming out of and going into your laptop at the very least.
Why would Pioneer DJ release a DVS box when it already has an overwhelming presence in almost all DJ booths? My guess is it’s gunning for the turntablism market, which has seen an uptick in recent years. This has traditionally been the realm of Serato DJ, and it looks like Pioneer DJ wants a piece of the action now.
Renewed interest in turntablism has been spurred by the vinyl resurgence, the portablism scene, and live streaming of home DJ sets. Pioneer DJ also knows that turntablists already have their own decks and mixers, and it’s much easier to sell them a relatively inexpensive DVS box than a top-tier scratch mixer like the (hugely popular) DJM-S9.
If you want to dive into the world of Rekordbox DJ and you want the flexibility to use whatever gear is available, whether that’s at the club or in your bedroom, Interface 2 is the DVS box of choice.