Denon DJ MCX-8000 controller Engine 1.5 Serato DJ (17)

Two weeks ago, this was hotter than hot news. I went down to inMusic UK to see this in the flesh, with the usual underlinings of secrecy, but as I suspected this cat was way too hot to stay in the bag. And sure enough, Denon DJ’s real return to the DJ fold via the epically huge MCX-8000 controller was leaked via a trade magazine. Arse.

So yes, everything you’ve seen over the last week is totally true, but we were instructed to stick the today’s embargo, if only to attempt to appear to be clinging onto said cat for dear life to keep even a whisker in the bag.

Anyway, here’s the PR to fill in any knowledge gaps that you might have:

Denon DJ MCX-8000 controller Engine 1.5 Serato DJ (22)

DENON DJ MCX8000 DJ CONTROLLER WITH ENGINE SOFTWARE POWERS TO NEW HEIGHTS OF PERFORMANCE AND CONVENIENCE

MCX8000 hardware/software controller offers complete command of Serato DJ and Denon’s ground-breaking Engine technology in one instrument—without a computer!

Ash Vale, UK (January 18, 2016)—Denon DJ (www.denondj.com), a leading manufacturer of premium DJ products and solutions, today announced the introduction of its new MCX8000 DJ controller with its exclusive and revolutionary Engine software. The MCX8000 is the first true DJ hardware/software controller that offers total command of both Serato® DJ and Denon DJ Engine technology in the same instrument. The DJ can use the MCX8000 with its USB drives by opting to use Denon DJ Engine—without a computer connected! Engine enables the DJ to directly import from Serato DJ crates with all hot cues—as well as create their own—with Denon DJ’s Engine software.

With MCX8000 DJs looking for a complete, high-performance set-up with flexible operation and freedom from computer-related restrictions will find an MCX8000 with Engine system fulfills all their requirements: 4-deck Serato control and Engine-provided freedom from a computer, plus the ability to switch to local USB dives when using either Serato or Engine. With the MCX8000 two DJs can seamlessly hand off from one to another combining Engine and Serato DJ. Metal construction and high quality op amps ensure rugged and high-quality performance.

Key Features

  • Includes revolutionary Denon DJ Engine standalone technology with integrated Serato Cue point support
  • 2 USB inputs for Engine playback in standalone mode
  • Includes 4-deck Serato DJ software
  • 2 high-definition displays show Engine and Serato DJ operation
  • Professional 4-channel digital mixer with 2 microphone inputs and Dual XLR outputs
  • 3 built-in instant pre/post fader effects for Engine playback and line inputs
  • Velocity-sensitive performance pads for cues, rolls, slicer and samples
  • Stage LinQ network connection to control lighting and video
  • Serato DVS Upgrade ready
  • Metal construction

“The new MCX8000 DJ controller with Engine software marks a pivotal event in the development of DJ hardware, software and performance adaptability,” said Ross Goodwin, Product Manager for Denon DJ. He added, “DJs have been clamoring for a single device that does two things: 1) Offers ultimate control of Serato DJ and 2) Runs standalone in case of computer malfunctions and for the ability of one DJ to seamlessly hand off to another. The MCX8000 establishes a new era in DJ performance, control and flexibility.”

The MCX8000 will be available in Q2 2016 with an MSRP of £899.99.   

INMUSIC’S DENON DJ IS HERE

With obvious design cues from the Numark NV (but built with a lot more metal) and if I’m honest a few Pioneer DJ ones too, this is essentially the proper pro version that many of you were looking for. And it’s big compared to what we’re used to, but I think some of that is down to proportions. You see the MCX-8000 is thin, and that makes the thing appear bigger.

It sees the return of Denon DJ’s Engine software (v1.5 in fact) and has developed into more than just a library as it’s now driving this expansive lump of hardware to be entirely standalone. So on one hand, it’s a Serato DJ controller that’s DVS upgradable (yes the handful of people with very long arms who would actually want to use this with turntable will have to pay), and on the other you can leave your laptop at home and run from USB drives only — or both, because you can switch channels on the fly if you want. That’s clever. And it’s all mappable too.

And on this subject, Engine is also able to share the Serato library and import BPM, loops, and hot cues. It’s one-way at the moment, and it’s also planned for Engine to import beat grids in future versions too.

The controller itself has hardware effects and filters, and they’re planned to be post-fader too, although the crossfader was still pre-fader on the unit I tried. And the fader is mini Innofader compatible. Oh the jog wheel lights are editable too.

Denon DJ MCX-8000 controller Engine 1.5 Serato DJ (8)

Aside from the excitement of true standalone, I find myself very interested in the Stage LinQ port. It’s a regular Ethernet port, but it’s the technology that sits at the other end that’s of most interest. I don’t have the full spec (but I think I know who makes it) but essentially the MCX-8000 will transmit metadata out of the port to a lighting controller. This controller reads the metadata (tracks name for example) and based on what you’ve programmed will control the lights. So imagine that you’ve programmed a light show for a particular track with a build and a drop etc. This process of the DJ driving the lights on the fly means that the whole show doesn’t have to be programmed from start to finish, but per track, allowing you to change things up as you see fit. And while DMX is a little daunting for casual users, we can only hope that the the lighting program is user friendly too.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

For me, we’ll begin to see some clear lines develop with inMusic’s DJ brands. ION will service the consumer end perfectly, Numark will evolve into a mid range brand (I wouldn’t for example expect to see the NS7 stay as a Numark model), with Denon DJ sat pretty at the top of the tree in the professional slot.

Now I have to be very careful about what I say next. While what we see with the MCX-8000 is cool enough, it’s the future that is most interesting. For some, this lump of hardware may not be quite enough to signify inMusic taking the Denon brand seriously enough. But I can tell you that you’d be quite wrong to think that.

I did comment to InMusic that everyone is playing for second place behind Pioneer DJ to become industry standard. Back came a knowing grin followed by “let’s wait until you see what we have this afternoon”. Such bullishness appeals to me, and having seen things coming in the future from Denon DJ, it would be very foolish for ANYONE to get complacent and think that they’re untouchable. I definitely had some wow moments, and they’re rare these days. Other key media types have had the same personal presentations that I have, so I’m interested to see what they think too.

RECAPPING

The Denon DJ MCX-8000 runs with Engine 1.5 fully standalone with onboard effects and filters, or with Serato DJ and switches to Serato’s effects, or a combination of both. It’ll work as a standalone mixer, or with DVS if you buy the Serato DJ DVS upgrade. The MCX-8000 is aggressively priced at £899/$1299, a level that will see these fly from retailer shelves.

Mark my words – Denon DJ is back, and the MCX-8000 is just the start. Buckle up.

GALLERY