What Is It?
It is the bell that tolls the end of DJ’s working with the CD format. What Pioneer have launched with the CDJ2000 is a multi-audio format professional DJ player/MIDI controller that is capable of performing off CD, DVD Audio, USB, and SD Card media devices… and while the full list of features are way too numerous to mention the first new thing you notice about the CDJ2000 is the full colour 6.1” screen. This brilliant tilted screen is used to navigate your sources Disc (CD or DVD), SD Card, USB or Link and provides all the info on the track playing that you need, including artwork. Pioneer have also provided a rotary selector for rapid scanning through those reams of tunes on your hard drives. Then right below the wave display of the track on the screen is another new feature, the Needle Search bar. This touch screen bar is used to fast track your way along the tune that is playing by merely placing your finger on the bar and dragging it to the required position; but is cleverly play locked to avoid any mishaps. The jog wheel has also been improved upon with illuminated outer edges for better visual feedback from the platter and it’s great to see that the Jog wheel tension adjust option has remained. Another new feature finding its way to the CDJ2000 is a 4 Beat loop button below the Loop In/Out buttons for an on-the-fly 4 beat loop which can be cut down to 1/16ths just by repeatedly pressing it.
Besides the obvious advantage of being able to utilize USB drives and SD cards Pioneer have added the ability to link up to four CDJ2000’s together , so you can access all
of your music across four players from just the one USB drive or SD card. Each CDJ2000 also comes with Pioneer’s new Rekordbox software which allows you to analyse and prep all the music you are going to be performing on the night. With Rekordbox, not only can you create the display waveform in the analysis but you can set your cue points, hot cues and quantized loops all in the software and then save it to flash for the performance. Set-lists can be assembled in the software or you can also playlist and mark your tunes while playing on the CDJ2000 if you liked the flow of your set. MIDI functionality has been added to range and incorporating the CDJ2000 with software such as Ableton, Traktor and Serato is a breeze thanks to its hefty on-board soundcard. The audio components have also received some attention with the Signal-to-Noise ratio and distortion percentages all being improved upon and the frequency range widened to 4 Hz – 20 kHz; so all those bass and mid range harmonics have been tightened up as a result.
Who Should Own One?
Anyone who takes their craft seriously and with the money to invest. Owning the CDJ2000 and using it to its capabilities is going to make you a better DJ. It is the new standard for performance CD players worldwide and while we might not be seeing it yet in SA venues and events you can be sure as skippy that pairs have already found their way to every club, studio and rental business worth its salt in the European, American, Asian and Australian markets.
It is the pinnacle of DJ gear out there and will continue to be so until the CDJ2000mk2 comes out in a couple years with a Blu-ray drive (as yet unconfirmed). Besides the host of formats and devices that can be used with the CDJ2000, in my opinion, it is Pioneer’s DJ Software – Rekordbox – that is at the core of the CDJ2000’s functionality. The ability to set-up a virtual record box with hot cue’s, quantizeable loops and artwork is a masterstroke especially for guys like myself who like to prep the music we are working with ahead of time, to execute a sharper set. Plus you can do this all on your laptop or Macbook in the comfort of your studio, hotel room, airport, etc. Pioneer have kept all the functions that made the CDJ1000 such a legend and built on this to create an absolute beast which will take something really amazing to topple by its competitors.