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Continuing to add detail to last night’s big news, The DJM-900 family has expanded to have not just a Traktor certified version, but also a new Serato DJ certified version. The all new Pioneer DJM-900SRT is essentially a regular 900 injected with the new Serato DJ DVS magic.

Let’s wade through the length tome from Pioneer:

Introducing the DJM-900SRT: the newest high-performance mixer with an
inbuilt sound card for plug-and-play connectivity with Serato DJ

5th September 2013: Pioneer DJ is launching the DJM-900SRT four-channel mixer with an inbuilt Serato sound card for native control of the hugely popular Serato DJ software.[i]

DJs can connect the DJM-900SRT to their laptop via USB cable and use the included control disk (CD/VINYL) to mix and scratch with Serato DJ’s four decks, without the need for an external sound card. Set up and DJ handovers are made easy thanks to PHONO inputs on every channel; so turntables can be connected to any channel and set up alongside CDJs for effortless switching between the two.

The DJM-900SRT inherits all the high-performance features of the DJM-900nexus, including six Sound Colour FX and thirteen Beat FX with intuitive X-PAD control that allows the DJ to manipulate multiple parameters simultaneously.

Plus, PRO DJ LINK[ii] enables DJs to connect the mixer via a LAN cable to compatible CDJs to access Serato DJ Beatgrid information and hit the Quantize button to sync FX to the master BPM.

Exuding the top quality sound design and robust build expected from Pioneer’s pro-DJ mixers, the DJM-900SRT will be available from October 2013 at an SRP of EUR2199/GBP1799, including VAT.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DJM-900SRT

1. Built-in Serato sound card for plug-and-play connectivity with Serato DJ

The DJM-900SRT is equipped with an internal Serato certified sound card, so DJs can simply connect the mixer to a PC/laptop via USB cable to access all Serato DJ’s tracks and BPM information. The included control disk for CD or VINYL enables mixing and scratching with up to four CDJs or turntables without the need for external hardware.

2. Studio-quality Sound Colour FX to make creative vision a reality

The DJM-900SRT puts six mind-bending Sound Colour FX at DJs fingertips. In addition to stalwarts FILTER and CRUSH, the mixer has inherited the popular NOISE from the DJM-2000, and includes SPACE reverb, DUB ECHO and GATE/COMP.

3. Channel-assignable BEAT FX with X-PAD and TWIN LFO for ultimate control

In addition to the Sound Colour FX, the mixer boasts 13 channel-assignable BEAT FX to mash up the music in sync with the BPM: DELAY, ECHO, SPIRAL, REVERB, TRANS, FILTER, FLANGER, PHASER, ROBOT, MELODIC, SLIP ROLL, ROLL and REVERSE ROLL.

The DJM-900SRT is equipped with an intuitive X-PAD, a touch-sensitive strip that allows DJs to simultaneously engage BEAT FX while adjusting the parameters ­– all with just one finger. Plus TWIN LFO gives multi-layer control to FILTER, PHASER and FLANGER sweeps: LFO1 gives additional manipulation of BEAT FX, while DJs can use the X-PAD to modulate effects in LFO2.

4. PRO DJ LINK functionality enhances performance possibilities

The DJM-900SRT can be connected via a single LAN cable to CDJs that support PRO DJ LINK to access rekordbox™ BPM and Beatgrid information and keep the effects in perfect time. Even if the BEAT FX timing has slipped, PRO DJ LINK automatically syncs the effects to the beat.

5. Advanced design for accurate reproduction of audio sources

The DJM-900SRT is equipped with the same high-quality audio input and output circuits as Pioneer’s flagship DJM-2000nexus. A 32-bit A/D converter digitises and enhances sound quality for all outputs, while the 32-bit digital signal processor (DSP) suppresses digital noise. Even analogue noise is reduced, through balanced hybrid operation amps and output circuits.

6. High-performance faders for enhanced durability and operability cross fader

The DJM-900SRT is perfect for tough club environments, thanks to two metal shafts supporting the fader knobs and an exclusive magnetic cross fader construction that can be used more than 10 million times – nearly three times more than the DJM-750. The fader mechanism is positioned to one side, rather than directly beneath the fader faceplate opening, minimising the damage from liquid or dust getting inside, while the Pioneer P-LOCK Fader Caps are impossible to pull off in the heat of a mix. The operational load, fader curve and cut lag can be adjusted to suit the DJ’s preference.

7. Multiple inputs with effortless switching and management

DJs can connect up to four CDJs or turntables, with each having its own channel, so there is no need to switch between decks 1/2 or 3/4. A USB connection and USB audio input indicator helps DJs stay on top of connections into the mixer, while symmetrically and intuitively arranged rear-connections are perfectly aligned to the mixer channels to easily connect sources ‘blind’.

8. Other features

  • Peak limiter eliminates distortion on the master output, even at high volume.
  • Fully assignable MIDI functionality can transmit most control information to external devices and can also be used as a MIDI controller.
  • MIDI LFO signal output that changes at beat-by-beat intervals.
  • Built-in switchable 3-band equalizer (+6dB to -26dB) and 3-band isolator (-6dB to -∞dB).
  • Automatically switches to standby if unit is not used or there is no input for a pre-set period of time.

MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

Number of channels4 audio channels, 2 MIC channels
Input portsCD/LINE X 4 (RCA)PHONO X 4 (RCA)DIGITAL IN X 4 (COAXIAL)MIC X 2 (front panel XLR & 1/4 inch jack dual purpose x 1, 1/4 inch jack x 1)
Output portsMASTER OUT x 2 (RCA x 1, XLR x 1)BOOTH OUT x 1 (1/4 inch jack)HEADPHONE MONITOR OUT x 1 (front panel 1/4 inch jack x 1)REC OUT x 1 (RCA)

DIGITAL OUT x 1 (COAXIAL)Other portsSEND x 1 (1/4 inch jack), RETURN x 1 (1/4 inch jack)MIDI OUT x 1 (5-Pin DIN)USB B port x 1,LINK port x 1(LAN)Sampling rate96 kHzD/A converter32-bit   (MASTER D/A converter)A/D converter24-bitFrequency response20 Hz – 20 kHzTotal Harmonic Distortion ratio0.004% or lessS/N ratio107 dB or greater (CD/LINE)Head room19 dBPower source110-240V AC (50 Hz/60 Hz)Power consumption41 WMaximum dimensions331 mm (W) x 404 mm (D) x 108 mm (H)Unit weight7.1 kg

SERATO DJ SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Applicable OS (Windows)Windows® 7
32-bit: (CPU) 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo/(Memory) 2GB
64-bit: (CPU) 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo/(Memory) 4GB
Applicable OS (Mac)Mac OS X v10.8.4/10.7.5/10.6.8
32-bit: (CPU) 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo/(Memory) 1GB
64-bit: (CPU) 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo/(Memory) 4GB
Display resolution1280 x 720 or higher resolution

* rekordbox™ is a registered trademark of Pioneer Inc.

* Serato DJ is a registered trademark of Serato Audio Research Ltd.

* Windows® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the US and other countries

* Mac OS is a trademark of Apple Inc. registered in the US and other countries


[i] First Serato DJ compatible mixer

[ii] Tracks analysed by rekordbox™ only

Sooo… it’s a DJM-900 that does Serato DJ. Anything else? A great deal is made of recycling much of the existing PR, but as far as I can see, we’re talking about Serato electronics inside, a matt faceplate, blue cue buttons, and according to the video “new rugged faders”. No word on what those are just yet. And as a proper Serato DJ mixer, it’ll be bundled with control CD and vinyl. I await a Youtube video to appear where some geek with a screwdriver opens up both DJMs to do a comparison.

But seeing as it’s really not much more than an ever-so slightly different DJM-900, let’s indulge in some crystal ball polishing.

Some Analysis

I’m still trying to get my head around the potential impact on the scene by this move. If someone wanted a DJM-900 before, they knew it would be Traktor certified but would still have to buy the Traktor and the Traktor Scratch upgrade kit to use vinyl, or the full Scratch Live package. Now they can buy the DJM-900SRT which comes with Serato DJ, but will need the full Traktor Scratch package if that’s their flavour. But if a DJM-900SRT owner wants to play out in their local club, the chances are that they’re still going to need an interface anyway, unless the booth tech is happy to let them swap out an entire mixer. Hmmm…

So if a club upgrades/sidegrades to a Pioneer DJM-900SRT, Serato DJ users will be able to plug right in, whereas previously happy Traktor DJs will be royally pissed off. So the advantages of a DJ buying a Traktor or Serato DJ specific mixer are reduced because they’ll still probably need to have the respective interfaces and cables anyway.

So for me, if you play out and use your own gear, the DJM-900SRT is a gift from the Gods as you can now buy the club’s favoutite brand and get Serato DVS in one box, and equally a Traktor user has their own variant too. But if use house gear, and are a Traktor user, things might have just got a little messier. Not immediately you understand, but you’re going to have to check in advance. Hell, sales of Traktor interfaces might actually rise because of the DJM-900SRT. Oh the irony.

About that Z4…

I had  theorised about a Traktor Kontrol Z4 some time ago. But when this Pioneer/Serato product started blipping on my radar, I revised my opinion, and suspect that NI have been waiting to see what was coming and how the whole dissolution of the Rane/Serato exclusivity deal would impact on the club scene. It’s one thing for Rane to make a play for the booth with their Sixty Eight, but another thing entirely if a Pioneer badged Serato certified mixer were to appear. I’m very interested to see if the alleged Z4 will even make an appearance now.

To give you some context, controller sales have decimated not just turntable and media player sales, but also mixer sales. Not quite in the same way you understand, but still a very noticeable drop over the last 5 years. And given NI’s stellar sales figures in the controller market, having to face the feat of trying to make inroads into Pioneer’s home turf of the booth with an unproven first product, it might well be that NI will continue to focus on the controller market, and perhaps go headlong into the more consumer end for a while. It’s a pot of gold right now, and they have a definite head start over most.

Pioneer DJM-900SRT Serato DJ review (3)

Summing Up

Moving past the theorising and focussing on the product itself, the DJM-900SRT is a smart move for Serato and especially Pioneer, and a stonkingly good product to boot. Serato have traditionally dominated the 2 channel market, and only recently has Traktor made any real attempt at knocking Rane off the top of  the pile. But having the club standard DJM-900 work natively (a perfectly wrong word if ever there was one in this context) with Serato DJ, our friends in New Zealand have just staked their claim good and proper to be the club DVS standard as well.

We’re all still reeling from the news, and once the dust has died down a bit, and we’ve played with the DJM-900SRT (which I am seriously looking forward to), we’ll be able to dig a little deeper into the future of the booth.

The DJM-900SRT will be available in October for $2299/€2199/£1799.


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