The arduous 5 day wait is over. The normal duck’s arse tight Pioneer machine had more leaks than wikileaks about the next CDJ. The whole industry knew about it, as did a lot of you based on forum chatter. But nobody really knew what it would be. Indeed, the teaser video proffered tantalising clues and hinted at the second coming of DJing. But now we know what we’d pretty much worked out anyway – it’s about wifi, syncing and a handful of solid performance updates. Behold the evolved CDJ-2000nexus.
There’s a stack of words, videos and pictures to get through. So please pull up a chair and watch performances from Laidback Luke, Kissy Sellout and Eats Everything:
Now read the various lumps of PR for completeness. For the record, our traffic is a fairly even split between US and Europe so it’s only fair to publish both.
Firstly, the European PR:
Introducing the Pioneer CDJ-2000nexus multiplayer
– evolved to elevate pro-DJ performances beyond beat mixing
6th September 2012: Pro-DJs are about to get a new lease of life, as Pioneer unveils the CDJ-2000nexus – the industry’s first multiplayer to be compatible with rekordbox™ DJ software on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, Android smartphones and tablets.
Inheriting the DNA of the much-loved CDJ-2000, the CDJ-2000nexus has evolved beyond
DJs’ wildest dreams. DJs can prepare amazing sets and playlists using the included Pioneer rekordbox software or download the new rekordbox app to access the same features on their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, Android smartphones or tablets. Music can then be loaded onto the CDJ-2000nexus via USB or, new for the CDJ-2000nexus, Wi-Fi*.
The CDJ-2000nexus opens up a new realm of possibilities during performance, with the addition of four-deck rekordbox Beat Sync. Dedicated controls for Master and Sync let you choose which new songs are automatically beat-matched to the master deck. DJs can now focus on taking their performance to new heights through their mastery of loops, cues and new live edit functions, all perfectly in sync.
“Finally true quantization comes to hardware users, opening up possibilities for those who want to retain traditional DJing methods but with the advantages of technology,” James Zabiela.
The hugely popular Slip Mode is an essential performance tool that takes the risk out of using remix functions such as loop, scratch and reverse. DJs can create live edits while Slip Mode keeps the music playing muted in the background, bringing it back in when the edit is finished. Another new feature is Active Loop; DJs can use rekordbox to set automatic loops in any track. So DJs can extend part of a track, never miss a trick, or prolong the end of a song so the music never runs out unexpectedly.
Pioneer has also added new Quantize functions. So as well as snapping all cue and loop points to the rekordbox beat grid, Hot Cues and Hot Loops can now be triggered in perfect time with the music. A dedicated Quantize button makes it easy to switch between ‘free’ or ‘quantized’ playback, giving DJs the choice to express themselves in the best way for each performance. Automatic recall of Hot Cues and Hot Loops makes the whole creative process even more fluid.
The CDJ-2000nexus makes mixing in-key effortless. Tracks are analysed by rekordbox and the CDJ-2000nexus browser incorporates a simple traffic light system that shows you which songs will mix well with the master deck. This works hand in hand with Master Tempo, which changes the music speed without altering its pitch. DJs will notice a significant improvement in quality and it now works without artefacts up to ±16%.
The large, full-colour screen now features rekordbox Wave Display and Wave Zoom to provide a much better view of the music, and lets DJs edit beat grids directly on the players. Browsing music is even more intuitive, with the option to view tracks in list, artwork or customisable formats. The screen shows a host of mixing tools that can be pre-set in rekordbox, such as Beat Countdown and Phase Meter.
The CDJ-2000nexus retains all the popular features of the CDJ-2000, such as the 206mm jog wheel and the ability to edit playlists on the fly. And, naturally for Pioneer professional products, the highest possible sound quality and robust build come as standard.
The CDJ-2000nexus is available from late September 2012, at an SRP of 1,799 EUR / 1,599 GBP including VAT.
World’s first DJ player to be compatible with mobile devices, by USB or Wi-Fi
Pioneer’s rekordbox DJ software has already revolutionised set preparation with its indispensible features such as BPM analysis, beat grid, Hot Cues, Loops and Quantize. And now DJs are using it on their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, Android smartphones and tablets to create playlists and store music.
The CDJ-2000nexus is compatible with both the included Pioneer rekordbox software, and the rekordbox app – which can be downloaded free from the App Store (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) or Google Play Market (Android devices). The player is Wi-Fi compatible, so – in addition to USB – DJs can connect wirelessly from their laptop, PC, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, Android smartphones and tablets when the player is hard wired to a wireless router.
NEW! Beat Sync for perfect beat matching every time
Hit the Sync button and the CDJ-2000nexus looks at the rekordbox beat grids of music, on up to four connected players, and snaps them to the beat of the master deck. This amazing feature promises to revolutionise performance, freeing DJs up to get truly creative with loops, cues and scratching, or the samples and effects on their mixer.
High-quality Master Tempo keeps sound faithful to the original
DJs will be truly impressed with Pioneer’s best-ever quality Master Tempo. The CDJ-2000nexus uses a new algorithm to lock the track’s pitch while they manipulate the tempo, for sound that is more faithful to the original tone.
NEW! Wave Zoom for even more detailed information
In addition to the original Wave display, which lets DJs see the peaks and troughs of the music, the CDJ-2000nexus is the first player to have Wave Zoom for even more precision on loops and cues. And the popular needle search – which lets DJs slide their finger along the ribbon to intuitively access any point in the track – is now illuminated for improved visibility in the booth.
Highly evolved features to breathe new life into performance
The CDJ-2000nexus is bursting with exciting new and improved features that really put the joy back into performing.
- Slip Mode: a popular feature on Pioneer’s CDJ-900, Slip Mode silently continues track playback during a loop, reverse or scratch and brings the music back at the right point when the DJ exits the performance.
- Improved Quantize: Quantize uses the track’s beat grid to ensure loops and cues are set and triggered in time with music, with 100 per cent accuracy. And DJs can now access Quantize via its own dedicated ON/OFF button.
- Active Loop: DJs can use rekordbox to set an Active Loop at the end of tracks to ensure they’re never caught unprepared again. The CDJ-2000nexus will even display a beat countdown to that point.
- Hot Cue auto load: instantly loads up to three pre-set Hot Cues when a track is loaded onto the player.
- Emergency Loop: if the player becomes disconnected from the source, the CDJ-2000nexus automatically goes into a four-beat loop, which DJs can scratch or mix into another source.
- Last track played: DJs can use the dial to easily navigate backwards through the last five tracks loaded on a player.
- Rating on the go: rate and change the ratings of tracks during performance, and it will be automatically synched with rekordbox.
Improved track information to make mixing a breeze
The CDJ-2000nexus automatically displays even more information on its large LCD screen.
- Beat Countdown: DJs can use rekordbox to mark key points on a track, and the CDJ-2000nexus counts down to them from up to 64 bars away.
- Phase Meter: DJs can see the position of the beat in the bar and compare the phase with the master deck on each player at a glance.
- Key Analysis Indicator: this browse feature known as the ‘traffic light system’ shows you which songs are in a compatible musical key with the master deck and, when used with Master Tempo, ensures harmonised mixes every time.
Sharper screen and improved browsing
The new player inherits the 6.1-inch full colour LCD screen from the CDJ-2000. Browsing and selecting music is even easier; DJs can choose how they view tracks – list, artwork, or custom view – and scroll through using the large rotary dial.
My Settings function for immediate access to personal preferences
DJs can access their personal preferences on any CDJ-2000nexus thanks to My Settings. The player automatically detects settings that have been selected in rekordbox – including Quantize ON/OFF and Master Tempo ON/OFF – for a customised DJ booth in seconds.
High-quality sound and improved LAN port
The CDJ-2000nexus boasts professional quality audio circuitry, and a built-in 24-bit/48 kHz sound card, for a clear, powerful sound even at club volumes. A precision engineered Wolfson DAC, which plays master quality audio files up to 24 bit/48 kHz, reduces jitter, while the player’s signal-to-noise ratio of 115dB ensures incredibly accurate sound reproduction.
A new IEC connection allows a more professional power connection for improved sound quality. In addition the improved LAN port design is more robust and now makes it impossible to plug in the wrong cable.
Stylish, robust design and familiar layout
The CDJ-2000nexus inherits its design and layout from its club-standard predecessor – but with a few improvements. The metal colour jog wheel and pots give the unit a more premium look, while the anti-scratch panel keeps it looking sleek and new. And white illumination ensures a contemporary look and high visibility in the booth.
- Improved jog wheel tension dial
- Control various DJ software via MIDI/HID control
- Pro DJ link enables sharing source with up to four players connected by LAN cable
- Supports MP3, AAC, WAV and AIFF music files
* A wireless router is required for this connection
Playable media iPhone 4GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, IPhone 3G/ iPad 3rd generation/ iPod Touch 4th and 3rdgenerationAndroid phone/Android tablet, etc.USB storage devices (flash memory/HDD, etc.)SD memory cardsComputers (Mac/Windows PC)Audio CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW/R-DL Playable files MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF(iOS version of “rekordboxTM” enable to playback only MP3 and AAC) USB storage support file systems FAT32, FAT16, FAT12, HFS+ Frequency response 4 Hz ～ 20 kHz S/N ratio 115dB or more Total harmonic distortion 0.0018% or less USB ports USB A port ×１, USB B port ×１ Audio output ports AUDIO OUT(RCA)×１, DIGITAL OUT（COAXIAL）×1 Other ports LAN（100Base-TX）×1, CONTROL(φ3.5 mm mini plug)×１ Audio output voltage 2.0 V rms Power use AC 100 V (50 Hz/60 Hz) Electricity consumption 37 W Max. external dimensions 320 mm （W） × 405.7 mm （D） × 106.5 mm （H） Weight 4.7 kg rekordbox™ music management software (included) Supported OS Mac OS®X 10.5.8, 10.6 or 10.7Windows®7 Home Premium/Professional/UltimateWindows Vista® Home Basic/Home Premium/ Ultimate/Business (SP2 and above)Windows® XP Home Edition/Professional (SP3 and above)(*Windows® XP Professional x64 edition is not supported) Playable files MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF
iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the United States and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple inc. rekordbox™ is a registered trademark of Pioneer Inc.
Windows®, Windows 7, Windows Vista® and Windows XP are registered trademarks or trade names of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.
* Android is a registered trademark of Google Inc.
* rekordboxTM is a registered trademark of Pioneer, Inc.
* Other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.
* Other product, technology and company names, etc. mentioned herein are the trade names or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
And the US press release:
NEXT GENERATION PIONEER CDJ-2000NEXUS IS READY TO CHANGE UP THE MUSIC MIXING GAME
Long Beach, Calif. (September 6, 2012) – Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.’s Professional Sound and Visual Division, the leader in Professional DJ products, today unveiled its next generation flagship CDJ player, the CDJ-2000nexus, offering exciting features and technologies including Wi-Fi® connectivity, a first in the industry, compatibility with Pioneer’s new rekordbox™ App for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and new functions such as Beat Sync, Wave Zoom and Slip. Newly enhanced features inherited by the CDJ-2000nexus include a selection screen interface for a more intuitive music search experience, increased visibility of the needle search pad, and improved master tempo sound quality.
“Our CDJ players are the established de-facto equipment in the professional DJ community and we’re making sure they stay that way by continuing to improve their functions and features,” said David Arevalo, senior marketing manager, Professional Sound and Visual Division for Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “The CDJ-2000nexus is the first player that will also enable users to prepare their music on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and then wirelessly transfer it to the unit for playback.”
Industry’s First DJ Player with Wireless Source Capability
The CDJ-2000nexus can utilize different music sources, from a hard drive to USB thumb drive and/or SD memory card, and now for the first time, an iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and a computer via Wi-Fi. Using Pioneer’s rekordbox App to create playlists, cue/loop points, beat location settings, waveform analysis and more, users can temporarily transfer the content wirelessly through Wi-Fi to the CDJ-2000nexus. Users can also perform the same wireless function with a Mac utilizing the rekordbox music management software.
New rekordbox Software Functions
With the included rekordbox music management software installed on a computer, users can organize and catalog their entire music libraries. Newly added features available when rekordbox is used with the CDJ-2000nexus include music file analysis functions such as Wave Form Zoom (wave form expansion) andKey, as well as additional settings such as Active Loop and Hot Cue Auto Load.
When music files are imported to rekordbox, the software analyzes each file and prepares it for use specifically for the CDJ player. Key elements of Pioneer’s rekordbox software:
- Data Analysis – Wave Zoom, Key, Wave, Beat Grid, BPM, ID3 Tag and more
- Track Settings – Active Loop, Hot Cue Auto Load, Cue, Loop
- Creation and editing of Playlists
- Saving of playback log information
Full-Color LCD Display
The CDJ-2000nexus features a large full-color WQVGA 6.1-inch (480 x 234) LCD panel for displaying song titles and album art as well as detailed track information. The Wave data of each song is also illustrated on screen and the new Wave Zoom function provides five different levels of magnification of the wave data which are color-coded according to bandwidth.
Pro DJ Link
Pioneer’s Pro DJ Link feature enables up to four CDJ-2000nexus players to connect via the Link Port and share a single music source. Additional functions added to the CDJ-2000nexus that can be accessed when other players are connected using the Pro DJ Link are:
- Beat Sync – Tempo and beat location of music currently playing on one of the device can be matched with the push of a button.
- Traffic Light – Shows the keys of music being played by any players connected via Pro DJ Link, making key-compatible music easier to find by a different color indicator.
- Beat Count and Phase Meter – The Beat Count, which is the number of beats until a set point (memory cue), and the Phase Meter, which shows the beat/bar of the music, can also be displayed simultaneously by other players.
Pioneer added Slip Mode and Quantize functions to the CDJ-2000nexus for added performance and reliability.
- Slip Mode – When activated, Slip Mode silently continues song playback during a loop, reverse or scratch and continues audible playback at the exact time when the loop, reverse or scratch is ended, resulting in smoother transitions.
- Quantize – Utilizing a Quantizing feature, cue points and loops can be set perfectly on-beat. The Quantize feature ensures cue points are set accurately and automatically, correcting and synching beats during manual looping or real-time cueing to reduce off-beat mistakes.
- My Settings – The function settings of a player can be saved to an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, USB storage device, SD memory card, or other device. For additional convenience, the settings can also be can be made ahead of time on the rekordbox App or software allowing users switch to their settings when a connection is made to the CDJ-2000nexus.
- Wolfson Processor – To achieve excellent sound quality, the player is equipped with the audio industry’s highly respected Wolfson® DAC processor, delivering a very transparent, accurate audio signal with a highly improved signal-to-noise ratio and increased headroom.
- DJ software MIDI/HID control – Up to 35 controls on the surface of each player can be used to trigger other devices, such as DJ effectors and software by way of HID and/or MIDI.
- Active Loop – Automatically starts loops when playback begins from a specified point.
- Load Previous Track – Playback of prior music that has been loaded to the player.
- Rating on the Go – Users can rate tracks during play for easy reference or sorting.
The CDJ-2000nexus will be available in September with a suggested retail price of $2,399.
At first glance, the changes aren’t at all obvious. It’s a bit like when Apple upgrade a MacBook Pro – you want the new one for all the cool stuff, but it rather disappointingly looks just like the old one. And frankly, from the teaser video, I think we have expected a quantum shift to something else. I guess next time round we’ll see something a little different. So let’s dig into the new stuff:
Wifi – I guess this is the “they went there” reference in the teaser. In conjunction with the previously seen rekordbox app, you can prep tracks and have the CDJs work wirelessly with it. It is important however to read a little deeper into what the CDJ-2000nexus can actually do with wifi. This isn’t like the AERO, nor is it being promoted as the party hardy wifi free-for-all. The CDJs still have to be connected to a router to get the full menu of new features, so it’s not quite 4 players all connected together wirelessly and all using music from any old wifi device. It’s very ordered and well designed. But you can connect individual CDJs to individual wifi devices, or via USB too.
UPDATE: Just to clarify this – the CDJ-2000nexus has no wifi of its own. This is why it needs a hub.
Our take: Can only be a good thing. Pro DJs are busy people, and track prep is a modern but vitally important process that has to be done if you’re to succeed. Being able to prep on the go, jump off a plane into a taxi and turn up ready to go with just your phone is a pretty killer feature, even if it is a brave DJ who relies just on that. It’s odd to imagine a future where a mobile phone will be a communication device, a music player, a camera, a credit card, a boarding pass and the sole device necessary to rock a stadium full of people. Just don’t lose it.
Beat Sync – Oooooh sticky subject right here. Pioneer have implemented sync to the CDJs, which means that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING will be perfectly beatmatched across whatever you’re playing, be it loops, tracks or effects to the grids generated in rekordbox. Move the pitch control on one deck, and everything changes with it.
Rather hilariously, I read that someone had it on good authority that there was a “mashup” button in the unit, based on the corner shot in the teaser clip. That’s about as likely as the viral “donk” button I made up a few years ago.
Our take: Some call it the death of DJing, but I call it the unleashing of creativity. Locking beats IS NOT MIXING – it’s a chore that has been automated, thus by definition not an art. Mixing however is, and that is not what sync does. Think of it like MIDI clock – it simply ties the BPMs together, but you still have to do all the skilled creative stuff. I’m sure many will argue with me but I don’t care – sync is good, is not the death of DJing, nor were CDJs, DVS, controllers, iPads and the demise of Technics, and if used properly can free up DJs to get way more creative than they could when they had to ride the pitch. It’s a time saver and nothing more. You try pitching down 4 decks in perfect sync.
Better Screen – this is more like it. CDJ and DVS users have become near dependent on waveforms, and the CDJ-2000Nexus brings considerably more detailed ones, including hotspots, and a much clearer loop and cue display. And it’s zoomable too. There’s just a lot more happening on screen now, and it’s in glorious technicolor.
Our take: Pioneer want you to leave your laptop at home, or at least pushed to the side so that your focus is on the CDJs. I’m all for that.
Slip Mode - included in the original CDJ-900, but bizarrely left off the original 2000, slip mode allows you to get busy on the CDJ with scratching, looping (yes a slip loop) and reverse, but leave the original track playing along happily underneath ready for you to rengage.
Our take: Pioneer would have been lynched if they hadn’t put this seriously cool feature on the new 2000Nexus.
Autoloop – imagine being able to set a loop up in rekordbox, and when that loop was reached in the track, it kicked in. That’s pretty cool, and especially useful if you’re the kind of DJ who likes to meticulously plan a set.
Our take: Serato users kicked off about this recently, as this was standard behaviour but was then changed in ITCH, making switching from DVS to controller a pain in the neck. Either way, it’s still very welcome in rekordbox.
Quantize – if you’re a little more freestyle with your performances and can’t be arsed with annoying things like track prep, quantize lets you set cues and loops, and know that they’ll be bang on the beat. but you can switch it off if you don’t want to be confined to the 4 to the floor grid.
Our take: Another timesaver. Or is quantize another step too far for some? Do DJs have to be able to hit a cue bang on beat too? I will never use it though, but simply because I cannot abide by the American spelling on the word. Perhaps Pioneer could add a label into UK boxes with the correct spelling. Ta very much.
Pro DJ Link – this seems to have been upgraded a little and shows information about all players across all the decks. Beat counters, phase meters and key indicators (the new rekordbox calculates key) give you a much clearer overview of what’s happening across your setup.
Our take: if you’re trying to control 4 decks at once, you’ll need all the help you can get. And thankfully it looks to be well presented on screen.
There’s much more, all of which can be gleaned from the extensive lumps of PR above, which if you haven’t read yet, go do it now.
Overall, Pioneer have built upon the foundation of the 1000 and 2000, and added things they should’ve added first time round, but importantly made it a whole lot better for performance DJs who really like to push technology to the limit. For those who rock just 2 decks, the upgrade is less compelling – much of this is about automation and syncing, something that is more easily achieved on 2 decks.
Bye bye laptop?
There is something interesting happening here. Rekordbox was released as a music manager, but the features have advanced to the point where it replicates much of what is being done in a DVS. The new screens show all the things you’d normally look for on a laptop, much like 4 Traktor decks, but without the need for a laptop, audio interface or certified mixer – but who wouldn’t by the DJM-900Nexus to complete this setup? Perhaps we’ll see even more advanced HID stuff happening with Traktor.
So Pioneer brought out the last CDJs with a clear “keep the laptop out of the booth” message. But then they realised that people still wanted to use laptops because of all the features that the software offers. But now, with rekordbox doing so much more, and the 2000 screens mirroring this functionality, to me Pioneer are reaffirming their no laptop stance. I certainly don’t see any in the videos.
Upgrade or Update?
It’s not just a matter of some new features – there’s a whole new workflow going on, one that allows you to prepare remotely and be sure that it’ll all just sync together perfectly. I think for CDJ-1000 fence sitters, this is the time to jump. For the CDJ-2000 owners, you’ll have to decide for yourself if these new features are worthy of dropping a lot of cash on.
Speaking of which, there are some pricing differences. In the UK, we’re traditionally stiffed big time, but the price remains the same – £1599. Wait a second DJWORX – isn’t that a full £100 more than the current price. Well yes it is, but the retailers have discounted it themselves, so I would expect the new CDJ-2000Nexus to settle down back to its normal price. But for the US and Europe, the price is rising. Sorry readers, but your currency sucks right now, so Pioneer have had to adjust accordingly. The CDJ will have an SRP of $2399 and €1899.
A serious question – how many of you have 4 CDJs? These videos look great and all that, but is it just a few VIP DJs who are really going to make the most use of all this glorious technology?
And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can someone at Pioneer put a really good Hip Hop DJ in front of a 4 deck setup and let them go wild. I’d love to hear a proper Hip Hop set turned inside out on such an advanced setup. It’s not just for EDM – it’s for all DJs.