A quick recap – the Denon DJ MCX8000 übertroller was released. We reviewed it, and bar some disappointment about only two standalone channels, we were very happy indeed. But storm clouds gathered, and swirled around the vortex of hurricane Engine Prime. MCX8000 owners were not happy, for they had been left out in the cold of Denon DJ’s new top tier VIP club. But now, after a period of beta testing, the MCX8000 V2 firmware is here, and with it comes the ability to read Engine Prime USB drives, and a slew of additions, improvements, and fixes. And there’s a supporting V1.2.1 release of Engine Prime. And it’s all free.

Obviously, there’s a press release:

DENON DJ UPGRADES ENGINE PRIME SOFTWARE TO VERSION 1.2.1, ADDS COMPATIBILITY WITH MCX8000 CONTROLLER

Denon DJ’s MCX8000 is now “Primed” for Engine via its USB drives and gets performance and hardware upgrades for improved microphone/recording workflow and beatgrid/sync enhancements.

Cumberland RI, USA (September 12, 2018)—Denon DJ (www.denondj.com), a leading manufacturer of premium DJ products and solutions, today announced that they have made a major update to their Engine Prime v1.2.1 software and firmware. This update now enables the MCX8000 controller to be feature enhanced with Denon DJ’s standard-setting Engine Prime music management software, giving DJ’s unprecedented control over their digital music. The MCX8000 will utilize Engine Prime optimized music libraries via its USB drives, and new performance and hardware features have also been added to the MCX8000 via its v2.0 firmware update. Improvements include microphone/recording workflow, beatgrid/sync and quantize enhancements, plus song browsing improvements.

In addition, Engine Prime itself has been improved, and this new version 1.2.1 has enhanced music library and track import features plus optimized playlist options, along with its newly-added MCX8000 database export support, giving the MCX8000 performance capabilities that are unmatched by virtually any controller currently available. Also, the Prime Series SC5000 and SC5000M media players can now be firmware-updated via a USB drive, without the direct use of a computer.

Additional details for Engine Prime 1.2.1, the MCX8000 2.0 and SC5000/5000M Prime 1.2.1:

Engine Prime 1.2.1

  • MCX8000 Database Export support
  • Playlists now rearrangeable
  • Drag iTunes, Traktor and Serato parent crates/folders to Collection
  • Faster iTunes and Serato library import
  • Album/Song Artwork management faster and optimized
  • Enhanced Loop control for quicker navigation through tracks

MCX8000 2.0

  • Support for Engine Prime prepared USB drives
  • Mic 1 & 2 Attenuation controls added
  • Fine tune of Mic ‘talk-over’ adjustments
  • Change USB recording level
  • Beat Grid support for Engine Prime prepared USB drives
  • Quantize feature and Beat Sync/Division options added
  • Song BPM sorting feature

But for existing users, this is the real nitty gritty of what’s new:

MCX8000 Firmware 2.0 Release Notes:

New Features:

  • Added support for Engine Prime prepared USB drives. 
  • Added Mic 1 attenuation control utility menu option (0dB to -20dB).
  • Added Mic 2 attenuation control utility menu option (0dB to -20dB).
  • Added ability to change USB Recording Level.
  • Added ability to change Talk Over Level from (-10dB to -40dB).
  • Added Talk Over level utility menu option (-10dB to 0dB).
  • Added Talk Over resume type utility menu option (fast, normal).
  • Added Booth Receive mic signal utility menu option (on, off).
  • Added Beat Grid support for Engine Prime prepared USB drives.
  • Added Beat Grid slide feature via SLIDE button.
  • Added Quantize feature via ADJUST button.
  • Added Quantize options 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1-beat and off for setting/triggering hotcues and loops.
  • Added Beat Sync feature.
  • Added pitch range lock (soft takeover) to prevent drastic pitch jumps when moving the pitch fader at large pitch percentage ranges.
  • Added BPM sorting when browsing songs through BPM Filter.

Bug Fixes and Improvements:

  • Improved Slicer quantization, triggering accuracy, and drifting when in sync mode.
  • Improved Needle Drop accuracy.
  • Added 12 o’clock platter LED reset for cues.
  • Expanded support for sorted folder names from 32 to 64 characters.
  • Extended display time for letter popup when using first letter search.
  • Removed preview stutter when using needle drop.
  • Changed the “Default Auto Loop Beat” setting name to “Default Auto Loop Size”.
  • Changed “Auto Cue Level” to “Track Start Position”. Tracks will now load to the Initial Cue position or Track Start.
  • Fixed issue where <unknown> was displayed for track name in crates & playlists with over 500 tracks.
  • Fixed issue where device would not register as MIDI device on certain Mac OS systems.
  • Fixed issue where the loop region would disable after performing a loop jump.
  • Fixed issue where the loop was sometimes disabled after triggering the loop.
  • Fixed reloop issue that caused audio drop if triggered when no loop had previously been set.
  • Fixed issue where pitch fader was not reported in the SysEx initialization message.
  • Fixed issue which prevented Slicer functionality directly after scratching.
  • Fixed issue where continuous play stops after about 64 songs playback.
  • Various bug fixes and stability improvements.

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Engine Prime Software Update 1.2.1:

New Features:

  • MCX8000 DB export support. Engine Prime now supports one directional database conversions to legacy MCX8000 format.

Denon DJ MCX8000 controller firmware v2 Engine Prime

All aboard Engine Prime

It took some time, a little persuading, and some straight calling out, but Denon DJ has finally delivered on their promise. It’s not just making the MCX8000 wrangle Engine Prime drives, but all the other gubbins that’s been included in this releases too.

We can only hope that this will be enough to placate those who felt wronged by Denon DJ. They have after all done it to keep their customers happy, and probably in part to extend the longevity of a controller that really hasn’t got many rungs to climb to be top of the food chain.

I imagine the next one to be a four deck standalone jobbie, with a big touch screen and probably a wealth of other stuff you think you need. But for now, the MCX8000 (can we call it Prime now?) sits pretty on the upper rungs of the DJ technology ladder. Be happy.

It’ll all be available on the Denon DJ site soon.