Modestep step out with Denon

Modestep Denon SC2900 DN-X1700 (9)

I have a pet peeve. Well I have several, but one of the biggest is when people take a look at particular lumps of DJ gear and proclaim that “you’ll never see that in a booth”. Because as we all know, the booth is THE ONLY PLACE that people DJ right? Oh wait… this just in — people DJ in all manner of settings, and one such place is the stage. So I was especially happy to see that perpetual club bridesmaid Denon has been picked above all others to be Modestep’s trusty weapon of choice.

Denon UK have oh so proudly put together a lengthy piece of PR for you to chew over:

Modestep have been re-writing the live music rulebook across Europe, introducing a new wave of Dubstep and Electronic rock fusion to the masses.

Formed in 2010 by brothers; Tony and Josh Friend with Matthew Curtis and more recently Nick Tsang, the group started performing Dubstep vibes with soulful vocals (Josh), later adding rock elements to their music to create the familiar sound known today through UK chart hits such as “Sunlight” and “To the Stars”.

To coincide with the new “Evolution theory” album launch the band are heading around the UK to promote the new release, starting early February.

Denon DJ are proud to be Tony’s choice of DJ gear as he tours across the country with the band, showing off his skills on two Denon DJ SC2900’s and utilising Denon DJs flagship mixer:  the DN-X1700.

At first glance, the DN-X1700 is a standard matrix club mixer consisting of 4 CD and PHONO inputs, 4 digital inputs, 2 microphone inputs, 2 master outputs, booth and recording outputs and more.  But it’s the levels of sound quality and incorporation of forward-thinking performance features that make the DN-X1700 Professional Digital DJ Mixer the ultimate performance tool for top-flight professionals.


Every detail was considered and no corners cut in designing the DN-X1700 and its accurate sound representation. The mic amp, with its own discrete transistor configuration, incorporates a low equivalent input noise of 127 dB while even the phono amplifier has a 89 dB signal-to- noise ratio, all due to its own discrete FET circuit configuration.  And at the heart of it all, the power. The DN-X1700 employs two extremely high-end, low- noise R-core power transformers for the analogue circuit with Denon DJ custom designed electrolytic capacitors.

Furthermore, film capacitors designed to enhance sound quality and high-precision metal film resistors round out the power circuit, resulting in sound quality that is overwhelmingly high and breathtakingly accurate. Unlike any other DJ mixer in its class, the DN-X1700 is equipped with a high performance 32-bit DAC (digital analogue conversion) at the audio output stage.  Even the world’s best-selling DJ mixers, CD / DVD players and home theatre systems boast only 24-bit DA conversion; 32-bit conversion provides additional “headroom” in the conversion process, providing an analogue output signal with greater resolution and frequency response. The resulting ultra wideband output signal makes the DN-X1700 one of the best sounding pieces of digital audio equipment ever made for the DJ market.


Designed with both Professional and Club DJs in mind, the Denon DJ SC2900 steps-up to the booth with a fresh take on true digital-media versatility. No longer is there a need to struggle dragging a mass of CDs to the club or through the studio doors – the SC2900 includes playback from USB drives and offers the ability to share one USB stick over (up to) four networked Denon DJ SC2900 or SC3900s. However, traditional CD DJs and producers can still make the most of the front mounted CD slot, and pure software DJs can utilise the Traktor 2 compatibility* to mix and produce.

What set’s the Denon DJ SC2900 apart from the conventional “club CDJ” is its leap forward in display technologies with the introduction of the ‘Eclipse’ platter with glowing LED markers that surround the circumference; enabling a very clear and elegant method of accurately displaying ‘Cue Point’ and ‘Playback’ markers. Combined with the ENGINE for iPad® App means that a networked iPad becomes the biggest and most versatile media navigation screen in the industry, giving every DJ a powerful way to manage tracks and playlists, ready to perform, all through the iPad touchscreen.

‘ENGINE inside’ ensures compatibility with ENGINE software – a unique combination of software and hardware that empowers todays DJs with high speed access and control over their extensive digital music libraries. Leaving the ENGINE software to manage the set from a USB connected, or networked, PC or MAC and the hard work down to the player itself – reducing the need for a super-powerful computer to manage the DJs performance.

What I like about this, and the main reason for posting it, is that outside of the confines of the booth, you have freedom to use whatever you please to DJ. I’m certain that a great many of you never set foot inside a booth, yet still feel the need to fall in line with industry standards anyway.

So let’s fling this open to you — do you use Technics or Pioneer because it’s industry standard? Do you them because your local club has them? Or do you use them because you genuinely like them more than anything else? Do you hanker  for something else but can’t because the venues you play has them? A few questions there, but you get the idea.

  • Elliot

    I just DJ for a hobby. But I do prefer the Pioneer gear. I just purchased a used CDMX-5000 and it still works just like new and has allot of features even though it’s a old model. I got to look at the CDJ Nexus and many other CDJs and to me, I like the quality and features of the Pioneer vs the other brand. When I get better and start making mixes and such I will choose the Pioneer gear in my price range.

    • Good luck to you …. I’ve had pioneer and do not want to use it there ever again …. these equipments are very problem…………

  • for the most part i DJ as a hobby, but i do play out at alot of local parties, and land the occasional club gig. To me the best part of being a digital Dj is developing your own setup to suit your personal style. My live set includes my Traktor S2, a behringer DDM4000 mixer, my sound card, an akai mpk25 keyboard, and an APC40. Its always changing and being updated to fit my needs. i challenge anyone to find my same setup in the club. I say fuck industry standard equipment and use what you know.

    • reqz

      You really need all that gear to DJ? I feel like you might have a hard time finding space for all that gear at a club unless you are headlining and get to a have a technical rider.

      • I definately dont need all of that equipment, but i do generally play gigs with a partner. so, having all of that kit keep us both busy. the S2 is used with its default mapping, the mixer is so i can control multiple controllers into the pa system, the APC is used for clip/cue point launching and fx, and i use the MPK25 pads and keys for the remix decks. if i wanted to i could play with any single piece of my setup as i have custom made traktor mappings for everything. in fact when i first started all i had was the APC and a mapping that took me months to perfect.

        • and suprisingly enough my entire setup has a fairly small footprint. i can fit all of my kit on a medium sized desk, snuggled together like tetris pieces.

  • I genuinely like the pioneer cd-players, they are very responsive and feel just right, however I’m not really that convinced of their mixers (being mainly the djm-700/800 I use at party’s) for some reason no mixer I ever used can beat my Behringer DDM4000, it’s such a nice, useful and very “tweakable” mixer, many dj’s don’t understand it when at a party I switch out the pioneer (which is standard everywhere) for my own DDM4000 I brought with me but it seems to just ‘understand’ me.

    • Hey, you like what you like. If the Behringer is set up better for you cool, use it. But I can’t imagine swapping out a DJM800 for one at a party for the sole reason that the DDM4000 sounds like SHITE in comparison.

  • Bedroomer here.
    I have a pair of 1200s MK2 because their design is so simple yet so timeless and so beautiful. The same is true for my black Rane Empath. Moreover, i love its compact layout, the cue section and the overall built/sound quality. Before i got the Empath i had an Ecler Nuo 3, so you could say i have a thing for slightly uncommon gear that does not only work properly but also looks good in my living room.

  • Djsureshot

    Well, I don’t use CDJ’s I use Numark TTX, an American Audi DV2 and guess what? I don’t use SSL. I use…wait for it…..Virtual DJ Pro. Yup, I’ve been one to stray away from the “standards” because I believe there are other manufacturers out there who put out excellent product. I don’t club DJ, I am a hobbyist and a mobile DJ. Guess what? Most of the clients I DJ for have no clue on what the difference between SSL, Traktor or VDJ PRO and they could care less, they just want to know I can rock the party. Which I do quite nicely thank you. So good for modstep for branching out and going against the norm. After all, I don’t consider myself a sheep bah bah bahing along to the latest trend or the “must have” equipment. People cirnge ant the mention of VDJ PRO, I’m not sure why. Use what works for you and tell the snobs to step off.

  • TECHNICally, Denon was the “industry standard” CD deck maker before Pioneer took the scene… but back then such decks were usually of the 19″ rack mount variety.

    i don’t use Technics or Pioneer because of the “industry standard” …and i laugh at anyone who comes at me with that term. i think it’s sheep mentality, and anyone who subscribes to it are just puppets… not to the developers of the tech, but the marketing gurus who’ve successfully convinced so many that their products are “must haves”.

    i own my Technics out of respect. i don’t need anyone else’s approval, and i have no need to show them off. i just feel that i owe much of my life to hiphop and it’s a way of paying homage to my youth. i do still prefer to rock turntables but if you ask what i prefer to use, currently it’s my PDX2300s. previously it was my TTX-1s.

    i like Pioneer products, but i’m not a CD DJ. i don’t really go for the club mixers, i have one for my multi-channel needs… everything else is a battle box. i really do love my 909, but there’s nothing “industry standard” about my decision to own it.

    i’d LOVE to have a pair of Denon SC3900s.. and i probably would if i didn’t have a pair ov V7s taking up space. the V7s are nice but the 3900s are awesome. Only the wait for Serato DJ is keeping me from trading out digital decks.

  • Mostly DJ for a hobby, but have played at parties. At home I use technics turntables with a Denon X1500. I have got both traktor pro and serato scratch live, but I have lacked enough inspiration in recent years to dig down and get dirty with any of those softwares.

    I used to have the Denon DN-S5000s as well, but I found out i preferred the turntables and the vinyl feel so much that I rarely used them – so I sold them.

    Whenever I’ve played out I’ve either brought my own gear or there has mostly been technics turntables available.

    Even though I’m happy with the X1500 (especially the matrix input), I am now leaning towards the Z2.

  • I have just got myself a pair of the SC2900 and a DNX1600 (didn’t feel the need for dual FX). Now this all together cost less than one CDJ2000 (give or take) and realistically the only difference is this.

    1) The CDJ Screen and associated view/ adjustment features.

    2) Strip search.

    3) Rekord box is superior to engine currently but they are working hard on it to make it very good.

    However I much prefer the jog wheels on the SC2900 and have loved them the 3 gigs i’ve had since I got them (two weeks ago).

    I have had people say “oh you should of got the CDJ’s” but after playing with them all Denon have come up with a gem of a product and with a little bit more work you can see these becoming quite standard in the smaller venues just because of the price point and how plug and play they really are.

    • not sure but you have 2 sc2900’s +x1600 for the price of 1 cdj2000??? where did u buy them??

      • my local shop or Absolute Music to others. Basically came in at £1800 for all three. ok a little over 1 CDJ2000 at £1500 (average price)

    • Weaver2

      I actually just got an awesome deal on two SC2900 and a X1600 as well! Ran me almost exactly $2000, which is the cost of 1 CDJ 2000 nexus around here.

      I’ve never used CDJs before (went vinyl > controller) and it’s certainly a learning experience lol. The X1600 is such a fantastic mixer though, I’m really surprised they aren’t more popular.

  • Honestly: I would love to use a pair of Denon SC-2900! They give everything I need for a really good price. But I need to use my Pioneer stuff in combination with Rekordbox because I am playing regulary in Clubs where they only have Pioneer. So what am I supposed to do with Denon at home when I cannot use it outside? Always bring my own CD Players to the Club? No thanks… That’s the point. Sadly, Rekordbox and Engine use completely different bases. Imagine you can use Rekordbox analyzed files with Denon and vice versa? I would instantly sell my CDJs and buy a pair of SC-2900.

    • The whole idea behind Rekordbox is that you don’t need to own the CDJs. You can prepare your tracks at home, and just take your drive or card to the club.

      • And how are you supposed to play at home?

        • Use a computer, a hi-fi, DJ equipment by other manufacturers…
          I don’t have CDJ-2000s at home, but it doesn’t stop me using them (or any other kit) when I’m playing out anywhere.

      • I think you got me wrong here. 😉 I know that I do not need to have a pair of CDJ at home. But the thing is that i do not want to manage my music on two pieces of software. Engine & Rekordbox. Furthermore I would have to use separate USB sticks.

        My wish: Save Cue Point and Loops on my tracks, export it to my USB stick and use it n any CD player -> At home a pair of Denon, in the club CDJ.

  • I’m on a Pioneer DDJ SX and Traktor some times at clubs I hook up my laptop to their CDJ’s 2000 and use them in advance HID. And that Modestep uses Denon does not change much in the real world, when you DJ with a mask on it screams that you at least want to be diferent. Zed use a Traktor S4. it’s not like because someone uses something not Pioneer things are going to change. I’m sure for what they do in a set they could be using any cdj, mixer, controller or software and get what they want out of it.

  • well, hes using pioneer hdj 2000 with the logo covered so I’m not that convinced he just loves Denon that much

  • Yay, another dj with a mask and sleeve tattoos. I guess it’s cool that he’s using Denon though. I like the 2900’s.

  • Arthur Eschner

    I’m really glad to see Denon get some well deserved spotlight. I’m a big Denon fan and have owned the 5000’s, 3700’s, 1600 & MC6000. A while back I got a NS6, and although the unit is solid, it’s not on the same level as what I’m used to from Denon. The customer support from Denon is also top notch (Numark is a joke!) If you have an issue you can always trust Silvio to step in & help you out. I recently decided to try the HDJ500’s – Absolutely worst headphones I have ever used in my life!!! I have serviced many cdj’s, I can honestly say that it’s the firmware used that makes them successful. The actual hardware is very cheap & not anywhere near worth what they charge for it. Sadly most have no option but to use the gear they will be faced with continuously in the booth.

  • Jose Silva

    I am going to get hate comments for this, but I really have a hard time respecting or accepting a so call “DJ” that doesn’t come from a turntables background. CDJ’s and controllers in general are nice and I used to have a pair of 3500’s but at the end of the day there is NOTHING like mixing / scratching with turntables, specially 1200’s. I bet at least HALF of these djs now will shat their pants having to rely on a simple mixer / turntables setup. No flashing lights, no automatic effects, no SYNC button, what is this needle thingy???….hahaha oh lawd.

  • Patrick Duangchan

    I played around with the same setup at Namm. The sc2900 cdjs are really good! So is the x1700 mixer, that thing has a nice crossfader for scratching too. The sc2900 is an equal alternative to Pioneer cdj 2000s. It’s equal in quality and performance but the Pioneer has a better waveform monitor. The sc3900 (with the spinning platter) was surprisingly accurate too. I own Technics 1200s so I was skeptical at first but they feel like you’re playing real vinyl.

  • DJ STU-C

    i use technics 1210 mk3 purely because when i bought them in 2001 the cdj culture wasnt really there, ive owned and sold cdj’s (i was djing out a lot and never had them wired up so sold them to a friend) but i always kept my decks. now i use them because buying a mixer and serato was the cheapest way of me getting a dj setup at home again. ive added a cdj-350 as a third deck and the denon serato controller (forget the name) its the perfect setup for me, i have the interest of still mixing on the purest form of apparatus with the full functionality (and a little more) of the cdj’s by using serato and the controller.

    by the way that headline picture depicts what is both right and very wrong with dance culture at the moment.

    right being the guy using equipment that is good quality but somewhat overlooked

    very wrong being loads of dicks who are more interested in recording shit on their phone rather than actually enjoying the night

    • DJ STU-C

      p.s. im not keen on the novelty mask either

    • i started in the digital age of Djing, and it is all i have ever known. I must say i have a shit load of respect for djings roots and vinyl, but you need to change with the times. i know i wouldnt be totally lost with a down and dirty 2 channel mixer and 1200s. i am quite capable of counting to 4, and beatmatching is a joke not a skill. This is not to say i rely on the sync button or Fx but its nice to have them when needed.

      • sorry this was meant to be a reply to Jose Silva 2 comments below

        • DJ STU-C

          haha no bother, i wondered why i was getting flamed about beat syncing:)

  • Jose Silva

    Oh so that’s a club scene?…that seems more like who passes out first, stupid jersey shore-girls gone wild wannabe’s, and another sync-dj pretending to mix and look cool. If that’s a DJ, then what are Todd Terry, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles, Carl Cox, Tony Moran, Jellybean…??? Negro please.

    • You do realise that the sync button on the SC2900 doesn’t automatically mix for you? It’s just a quick way to set the BPM of one deck to the same tempo as the other.

  • i didnt read any below, it looks like alot to read… at my residency I use ttx’s and a 57. not because of standards, it is because it fits what i need it for and since I am the resident dj i choose the main gear (and because its mine :P). but i do feel that 1200’s and ttx’s have better vibration isolation vs 150’s and super OEMs.

    Put me in front of cdj’s I feel stupid, I can still mix, but i dont get as funky with it, because im not comfortable with it. Its like when i get to a club and see they have a rotary mixer there 🙁 I wont be doing any scratching there. Another things is that I wont buy Pioneer CDJ’s because i think they are way over priced and new models come out too often for my liking, but im lucky most clubs still have 1200’s there.

    I would imagine most people buy “the standard” so they are/will be familiar with what most have or will most likely be at club x or y…another food for thought is the upcoming dj’s also buy what their favorite dj uses

  • james21

    why do you wear the mask and why does it cost so much

  • james21

    and i am a big fan