2010 was a big year for Pioneer DJ equipment as their products continued to dominate the global DJ community with a brand new range of media players and mixers. When their flagship CDJ-2000 was introduced in the latter part of 2009, this may have signaled the beginning of the end of the CD era for Pioneer as they sought to combine what had been the accepted industry standard media format over the past several years – CDs – with the new Digital DJ Age. These new players while still able to play CDs, are now fully compatible with laptops, USB flash discs and external hard drives and with Pioneer’s powerful Rekordbox software you really do get the best of both world’s as they have seamlessly combined the old with the new.
A Closer Look…
So What’s The Difference Between S1 & T1?
The DDJ-S1 is a Serato Itch DJ Controller. This means it is dedicated to control all aspects of Serato’s Itch software and as such you will find the ergonomic layout combines Pioneer familiarity with that of Serato’s Itch.
Likewise the DDJ-T1 is designed specifically to control Traktor Pro. The most glaring and obvious difference between the two units is that the S1 has a two channel mixer and the T1 is a four channel mixer. Serato Itch only features two decks whereas the PRO version of Traktor has up to four.
By the way, the T1 is packaged with Traktor Pro and not the LE (light edition) version which most ‘Traktor-ready’ units come with which while adequate for basic mixing and home use, won’t cut the mustard with any experienced DJ wanting four deck control and advanced FX.
Another notable difference between the S1 and T1 is that whilst the T1 houses regular output jacks (like your head-phones) the S1 has the more pro style XLR’s. Both have secondary RCA master out’s for home use or for hooking up monitors at a gig. Both units can also be USB bus powered but have a DC connector too with which they will light up a little brighter.
Now to fit four channels on the same size unit something had to be compromised I guess. So whilst the S1 boasts onboard level indicators (both channel and master) the T1 has neither meaning you will need to watch the software for that. I don’t see this as a major issue since with Traktor you can set an auto-gain option and limiter that will naturally keep your tracks at the same loudness throughout.
Another notable difference is that the S1 has two mic inputs. One it shares with the T1 – the front end ¼ inch jack but it’s the XLR top loading Mic jack that is an added feature. This also includes 3-band EQ, volume control and talk-over functionality none of which you will find on the T1.
All other differences relate specifically to matching features and functionality with the software you are driving. So with Serato you will find the FX section’s buttons and knobs matching that software. Ditto the T1.
What I really like about these units is that they have avoided multi-functional keys with the use of a shift button to save space. Each individual function in the software has its own dedicated button or rotary. As every DJ knows… the less confusing the better when you have a dancefloor to rock!
Which DDJ Is The One For Me?
There are several factors that may influence your choice. Clearly price may play a role. The S1 is surprisingly more costly than the T1. Admittedly there are some extra features such as VU meters, the advanced Mic section and of course the XLR outs and these may have increased production cost over the T1. But the four decks are pretty massive for some. Ultimately Serato fans will favour the S1 and Traktor fans the T1. If you’re neither, then I suggest you try them both as the software does play quite a significant role in the overall use.
Personally I think the S1/Serato combo suits scratch DJ’s and hip hop DJ’s looking to perform alongside an MC whilst the T1/Traktor combination is great for house/ techno/trance etc as it lends itself to remixing on the fly with its four decks and complex FX unit.
The verdict is out I’m afraid. You’re reading this hot off the press and at the time of print stock was expected in South Africa within days so now’s a good time to call your nearest Pioneer stockist.
In fact as I write this there are not even any online reviews to read through. But by all accounts the endless video footage to look at and the reputation of Pioneer left me in no doubt that these controllers are going to rock many a DJ set in the future.
Look out for an update when we get our hands on one to give you our final impressions.
NEWS FLASH: IDM MAG & Pioneer DJ SA are giving away a FREE DDJ-T1 Controller. To enter this rad competition simply click here
DDJ-T1 Price: R14,000.00 approx.
Supplier: Tedelex Pro Audio
Tel: (011) 873 9666
Written By : Dave Mac