A CDJ with no CD? That’s the Pioneer XDJ-1000

Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000 USB player no CD (8)

Today, we remember two important revolutions. The first was when Pioneer announced the CDJ-1000. We could argue over which actual manufacturer and model was first, but I think we can generally agree that the first CDJ-1000 was the one that really made the difference. With this single move, the DJ landscape was an entirely different vista. The second was when Apple decided to ditch the floppy drive. Despite the reliance of users on this portable medium, it needed to die so that things could move on. And today, Pioneer is doing an Apple, and making the first move towards making CDs a thing of the past. Say hello to the Pioneer XDJ-1000.

First, the detailed PR from Pioneer:

pioneer logo

Digitally Focused: Pioneer DJ launches its first touch-screen, USB-only player
– the no-compromise alternative for digital DJs

13th November 2014: Digital DJs can redefine their creative horizons with the XDJ-1000: the first in a new line-up of digitally focused, USB-only, rekordbox™-ready players. With Pioneer DJ’s first ever deck to feature a touch screen, a familiar club layout and a host of pro-DJ performance features, the XDJ-1000 is the perfect springboard from the bedroom to the booth.

The large, full-colour LCD touch screen puts intuitive control at DJs’ fingertips; its interactive GUI has tabs for Browse, Play and Perform, giving DJs instant access to the player’s full armoury. Many features are inherited from the top-flight CDJ-2000NXS, including 206 mm jog wheels, Slip Mode, Quantize and Beat Sync. Plus the brand new Quantized Beat Jump/Loop Move feature means DJs can spontaneously move 1, 2 or 4 beats backwards or forwards within a loop.

The XDJ-1000 revolutionises browsing; DJs can use the Qwerty touch-screen keyboard to search for keywords, then scroll on-screen or with the large rotary dial. DJs can analyse and prepare their tracks in rekordbox (PC/Mac) or the rekordbox app (iOS/Android), and the XDJ- 1000 will display at-a-glance information such as Wave Zoom, Beat Counter, Phase Meter and Key Analysis – as well as provide instant access to their pre-prepared cues, loop and customised settings. Plus DJs can colour code their playlists and the illuminated USB port will reflect that colour so they instantly know what’s on each USB key.

The first Pioneer DJ player without a CD drive, the XDJ-1000 meets the growing demand for a USB-only player with all the performance pedigree of the CDJ set-up. And it’s compatible with KUVO – Pioneer DJ’s community, which enables DJs to provide clubbers with live set information in real time – making it a must-have player for the next generation of DJs.

The XDJ-1000 will be available from late November 2014 at an SRP of EUR 999, including VAT, and comes with a free download of rekordbox (PC/Mac). The rekordbox app is available to download via App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).

Find out more out the XDJ-1000 or Watch DJ Pedestrian’s unique performance with four XDJ- 1000s and a DJM-850.

MAIN FEATURES OF THE XDJ-1000

1. Large, full-colour touch screen with intuitive GUI

The 7-inch, full-colour LCD touch screen gives DJs instinctive control and enables the ultimate creativity. The GUI is divided into three sections: Browse, Play and Perform, so DJs can effortlessly see and access all the features they need, without the screen being overcrowded.

2. Faster browsing with Qwerty keyboard and keyword search

The Browse function is speedier than ever, with the ability to call up a Qwerty keyboard and search for keywords, and scroll using the touch screen or large rotary dial. Plus DJs can choose how they view tracks: list, artwork or custom view.

3. Professional features including the NEW Quantized Beat Jump/Loop Move

The XDJ-1000 inherits many of its features from the club-standard CDJ-2000NXS, including Pro DJ Link, which allows DJs to share one source with up to four decks via LAN cable.

  • NEW! Quantized Beat Jump: enables DJs to jump backwards or forwards 1, 2 or 4 beats from the current playback
  • NEW! Quantized Loop Move: after DJs have created a loop, they can navigate 1, 2 or 4 beats backwards or forwards through the
  • Auto loops and cues: DJs can instantly trigger loops and cues they’ve prepared in
  • Quantize: uses the track’s beat grid to ensure loops and cues are set and triggered in time with
  • Beat Sync: looks at the rekordbox beat grids, on up to four connected players, and snaps them to the beat of the master
  • 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
  • Needle search: lets DJs slide their finger along the ribbon to intuitively access any point in the track, just like with
  • Active Loop: DJs can use rekordbox to set an Active Loop at the end of tracks to ensure they’re never caught unprepared

4. Enhanced rekordbox track information for ease of mixing and track selection

DJs can analyse their tracks in rekordbox and the XDJ-1000’s large touch screen will display a host of information to aid DJing:

  • Wave display with Wave Zoom: the colour-coded wave display can be zoomed x5 for even more precise loops and
  • Beat Countdown: DJs can use rekordbox to mark key points on a track, and the XDJ-1000 will count down to them from up to 64 bars
  • Phase Meter: shows the position of the beat in the bar, enabling DJs to compare the phase of each player with the master deck at a
  • Key Analysis Indicator: a traffic light system in the browser shows which rekordbox tracks are in a compatible musical key with the master deck for harmonised mixes every

5. My Settings function including colour-coded USB port light

DJs can choose their personal preferences in rekordbox – including Quantize ON/OFF and Master Tempo ON/OFF – and the XDJ-1000 will automatically download them. Plus DJs can colour code their playlists in rekordbox, e.g. red for techno or blue for drum & bass, and the light around the USB port will reflect that setting for ease of identification in the booth.

6. Professional layout for familiarity at home and in the booth

The XDJ-1000 mirrors the layout of the club standard CDJs, so DJs can perfect their sets at home and move effortlessly to the booth to perform. The 206 mm jog wheels are the same size as those on the CDJ-2000NXS, for instant familiarity wherever a DJ plays.

7. DJs can load and browse music using Wi-Fi or USB connection

In addition to USB keys, DJs can load rekordbox-ready music from PCs, laptops and smartphones using a Wi-Fi or USB connection. They simply connect a device running rekordbox (PC/Mac) or the rekordbox app (iOS/Android) to the XDJ-1000 and then browse and load tracks from the device’s screen. Devices connected via USB will even be charged during performance.

8. Other features

  • Fully MIDI compatible
  • Serato DJ HID support planned for late 2014
  • Built-in auto standby function

MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

Playable fileMP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF(iOS version of rekordbox™: MP3 and AAC only)
USB storage support filesystemsFAT, FAT32, HFS+
Frequency response4 Hz ~ 20 kHz
S/N ratio115 dB or more
Total harmonic distortion0.003% or less
USB portsUSB A port x 1, USB B port x 1
Audio output portsAUDIO OUT (RCA) x 1, CONTROL (φ3.5 mm mini plug) x 1
Other portsLAN (100Base-TX) x 1
Audio output voltage2.0 Vrms
Electricity consumption21 W
Max external dimension (W x D x H)305 x 382.5 x 110 mm
Weight3.3 kg

 

XDJ-1000: CD out

Obviously, there will be much chatter about Pioneer making moves away from CD, but this isn’t really any kind of surprise at all. Rekordbox has been around for five years now and was always a USB only workflow, thus the writing was on the wall back in 2010. But CDs were and still are a very popular medium for DJs, so simply ditching them way back then just wasn’t an option.

But now they have, or at least have marked their media-less future line in the sand. The deveil is in the detail and thw eording in the PR states that this is the first in a new line-up. It’s not clear if XDJs and CDJs will continue in parallel, but I doubt it. I think the CDJ range has been assigned to old Pioneer, and not new Pioneer DJ.

So now an entirely digital rekordbox-based workflow is Pioneer’s future. Will we see an XDJ-800/900 next? All models having the drive ripped out and a touch screen implanted? Time will tell. But Pioneer is absolutely pinning their hopes on rekordbox.

But this in itself is not an attraction. Indeed, it is definitely not a reason to upgrade from existing CDJs. If anything it is a reason not to, as these units are less flexible. At least people won’t be able to walk up to the booth and demand that you play the song that they have with them on a CD. And previous CDJ incarnations can do the same thing as the XDJ-1000 and then some. At first glance anyway — it’s early, and I can barely focus on the screen.

An interesting point — without any physical media, is the XDJ-1000 now classed as a controller rather than a player? This is going to mess with sales figures and stock categories over the globe.

A CDJ with no CD? That's the Pioneer XDJ-1000

Touch screen in

This however, is possibly the real reason to upgrade or buy. CDJs and their ilk have had big screens in for a while now. And controllers are just catching up to this, but the touch screen was the inevitable path since the CDJ-2000 first hit the screen. It does make the XDJ-1000 seem a little lacking in features, but it’s clear from the video that this is an illusion, as the screen hosts a bevvy of features usually assigned to a physical button.

Ironically, Pioneer is someway behind another manufacturer with touchscreen CDJs. Gemini’s cheekily named CDJ-700 beat them to it a couple of years ago, but the XDJ-1000 is likely to leave it in the dust. It does however raise a question for me about where future XDJs might go. The 1000 has everything that you could reasonably comprehend to fit into such a unit, so I wouldn’t be expecting to see an XDJ-2000 anytime soon.

Touch screen support could be a stumbling block though. Interesting, Serato DJ HID support is coming, but that doesn’t really say anything about whether this is just information being passed from computer to screen, or if Serato DJ features are supported via the touch screen too. No mention of Traktor though which is telling. Have they put themselves on an island that nobody wants to or can visit now?

Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000 USB player no CD (4)

About the price

We’re used to the Pioneer tax by now. But given the landmark nature of this product, and the possible premium that could go with it, this £829 price tag puts the XDJ-1000 in the hands of a great many more DJs than before. Indeed, it’s as if Pioneer DJ is trying to wrap up all the table top users into a single price point. There is no aspirational post £1K here, and a XDJ-800 would most probably lack a touch screen. Perhaps given Pioneer DJ’s new independence, they’re trying to appeal to a wider audience and get more sales. This would do it.

Are you ready to let go?

Much like Apple’s ditching of floppies, this is a very bold but necessary move to remove the chocks from progress. I think it would be fair to say that DJs burn CDs rather than buy them, so removing a lengthy step from the workflow and getting rid of a moving part in the mechanism is a good move. Not everyone will like it of course, and I expect a heap of people decrying it. But your CDJs still work, and will most likely be available to buy for a little while.

But this is the digital age, where music is transcending media and becoming nothing but a stream of data. If you sit back and look at the CD workflow, it’s positively prehistoric isn’t it? Oh but wait… DJs actually like to feel they’re being DJs by loading physical media. This will be an interesting subject for sure.

Summing Up

The XDJ-1000 is the first and overdue update to the CDJ line. The quotes prices are $999/€999/£829 but check with your dealers for actual street price. They’re available at the end of November.

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