While the DJ scene has been cooing and fawning over the return of Denon and their new MCX-8000 übercontroller, industry stalwarts Gemini had something big and standalone of their own to show. The new SDJ-2000 controller was like so many new pieces protected under the usual perspex forcefield, but we were able to coax Gemini to release the beast from its cage and let us have a closer look.
So what’s this all about? Well it’s a four channel asymmetrical fully standalone controller with a large central screen. Running under Gemini’s own VCase software, you can fully analyse large libraries on your Mac or PC and offload them to a single USB device. This device drives all four channels, and if connected by the ethernet port, you can hook up two additional Gemini MDJ-1000 media players too, and all can share the same USB based music too.
That’s not all — the SDJ-2000 has 8 onboard effects that can be applied to the channels or connected external inputs too. Speaking of which, there are line inputs on all channels, two of which are phono switchable. The SDJ-2000 also looks to have effects similar to Pioneer’s colour effects — gate, filter, crush, and noise — each with a large control per channel. This is also fully equipped with two mic channels with tone controls, as well as master and booth outputs.
There are familiar RGB (well on the PR picture anyway) pads that offer hot cues, loops, slicer, and sample play. These are common to pretty much every controller now, but it’s cool that Gemini’s VCase software offers them too.
Unlike the Denon DJ MCX-8000 that is merely mini Innofader ready, the SDJ-2000 comes with a mini Innofader. That’s a big plus, as adding one will set you back a fair chunk of change.
It’s worth mentioning that while this is a standalone player, it’s also fully MIDI mappable. No word on how the huge screen will interact with that but I’m quite sure that Gemini’s latest hire Craig Reeves (yes the sometime writer for us) will inject his knowledge into this product and make it sing.
And so to price — the price floating around for this is a firm $799, which compared to other controllers of this size and feature set is aggressive to say the least. It does lack full on official compatibility with established software, but I suspect that this is designed primarily for standalone use anyway. And not having to pay licence fees keeps the price down anyway.
Of course it’s not going to be a fixture in booths. But for DJs wanting a very complete experience for a fair chunk less than competitive players, the SDJ-2000 may well be one to look at.