Now here’s a timely surprise — with the last two stories being about Pioneer DJ and iPhone DJing, it’s almost as if we knew what was coming. We didn’t, but here’s a release that has the hallmarks of boosting the currently for sale Pioneer DJ’s bottom line significantly, and at the same time embracing streaming big time. For the new DDJ-200 controller is a USB only controller designed to work with a plethora of smartphone DJ software. And it’s just £139.
As ever, much media from Pioneer DJ to pour over:
Stream, Create, Experience: Introducing the DDJ-200
Smart DJ controller, compatible with streaming services and our free app WeDJ for iPhone
May 14, 2019: Enter the world of DJing with the DDJ-200, our new smartphone and iPhone compatible smart DJ controller. Priced at just £139 the DDJ-200 makes it easy to start DJing with the help of the Tutorial feature in our app, WeDJTM for iPhone (ver. 2.0), which you can download for free from the App Store.
For over 25 years we’ve been making DJ equipment, software, professional audio gear, and music production tools that have been used by everyone from bedroom DJs to global stars. Now, the DDJ-200 offers anyone – regardless of their musical or technical knowledge – an intuitive way to make the leap into mixing music. Designed with beginners and hobbyists in mind, the smart DJ controller is compatible with a variety of music streaming apps and offers access to features that demystify many aspects of the craft. You can use the DDJ-200 to mix tracks at home or on the go and take your first steps as an artist.
Connect the DDJ-200 to your iPhone and mix songs from your iTunes via our app, WeDJ. Or connect the software to SoundCloud Go+ and Beatport’s new Beatport LINK streaming service to access huge online sources of music. Download Algoriddim’s djay iOS app and you can mix tracks from Spotify (Premium account required), or download MWM SAS’s edjing Mix iOS/Android app and access content from Deezer. Find more information about iOS/Android app compatibility and music streaming support below.
The layout of the buttons and dials on the DDJ-200 inherits the style of our professional DJ equipment to make it simple for you to get hands-on and find all the controls you need to perform. To help you get to grips with DJing as quickly as possible, we’ve added the Tutorial and Transition FX features to WeDJ for iPhone, both of which are popular with beginners.
The DDJ-200 will be available via our dealers at an SRP of £139 including VAT. The smart DJ controller is compatible with WeDJ for iPhone and our professional performance app for PC/Mac, rekordbox dj (worth €139). Simply download the software to your compatible device, plug in the controller and start DJing.
To help keep your DDJ-200 safe from bumps and scrapes on the road, the DJC-200 BAG will be available from May at an SRP of £39. The DJ controller fits snugly into the custom-designed protective bag which features an EVA Durashock molded body, impact-resistant egg-foam, black ballistic polyester, and a soft, fleeced lining.
KEY FEATURES OF THE DDJ-200 and WeDJ for iPhone
- Multi-app compatibility and support for music streaming services
Connect the DDJ-200 to your smartphone, tablet or PC/Mac, choose your favorite from a number of compatible DJ apps such as WeDJ, MWM SAS’s edjing Mix and Algoriddim’s djay and control tracks stored on your device. Some streaming services are supported too, so you can discover music from numerous genres in vast online catalogs. Even better, when connected to the DDJ-200, you can enjoy free use of all the features in rekordbox dj and WeDJ for iPhone that normally incur in-app billing.*1, 2
DDJ-200 compatible DJ apps and their corresponding devices and streaming services*3
Application Supported devices Compatible streaming service WeDJ for iPhone iPhone Beatport LINK, SoundCloud Go+ *4 djay iPhone, iPad Spotify edjing Mix iPhone, iPad, Android Deezer WeDJ for Android*5 Android NA rekordbox PC/Mac Beatport LINK, SoundCloud Go+ *4
(Both Available in Fall 2019)
- Tutorial and Pop-Hint features to help beginners enjoy DJing
Combine the DDJ-200 with WeDJ for iPhone to use the Tutorial feature which summarizes the basics of DJing. Find out how to connect the controller to your devices, and how to use various features and effects, and pick up tips on performance techniques.
WeDJ for iPhone also offers the Pop-Hint feature that explains the functions of buttons without switching screens. If you’ve never handled DJ hardware before, these features will help you get up and running, and performing, in no time.
- Transition FX – easily perform professional sounding mixes in various styles
The DDJ-200 can reproduce various patterns of DJ mixes between tracks for people with no experience behind the decks. Activate the Transition FX feature in WeDJ, choose from 11 patterns*6 and simply slide the crossfader to switch from one track to the next via a professional-standard transition.
- Phrase Sync – world’s first feature on a controller*7 for easy, natural switches between tracks
Our phrase analysis algorithms will analyze the composition of your tracks and detect phrases. When you tap the dedicated buttons in WeDJ for iPhone, Phrase Sync uses the information from this analysis to align the start and end positions of the phrases in two tracks so you can be sure it will sound natural when you switch between them. The DDJ-200 is the world’s first DJ controller to offer this kind of feature.
- Compact, lightweight body for DJing anytime, anywhere
Take the DDJ-200 wherever you want, thanks to its lightweight and slim body. There’s no need to carry speakers because you can play sound from the built-in speaker of your smartphone, tablet, or PC/Mac. And the DJ controller can be powered via a power bank*8, so you don’t even need to stay close to an outlet.
- Split output for DJ performances
Use split cables to separate the audio output of your smartphone, tablet, or PC/Mac into master and monitor outputs. This enables you to check audio via your headphones, e.g. cueing the next track, while the crowd hears the master sound playing through the speakers.
*1 When the DDJ-200 is not connected to the smartphone/tablet/PC/Mac, using paid features of WeDJ for iPhone will incur in-app billing.
*2 To use rekordbox dj when the DDJ-200 is not connected, license key activation is required.
*4 A list of countries where SoundCloud Go+ is available can be found here (as of May 7, 2019).
*5 WeDJ for Android is scheduled to become compatible with the DDJ-200 via an update in late July 2019.
*6 Use of some FX incurs in-app billing.
*7 The first DJ controller in the DJ controller market (according to research conducted by Pioneer DJ Corporation, May 7, 2019).
*8 Power bank not included. Power banks are external units that can be recharged and carried with smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
Input / Output Terminals USB USB (Type B) x 1 Power Supply USB Bus Powered Power Consumption DC 5V , 500mA Bluetooth Specification Bluetooth 4.2 (Low Energy) Maximum Dimensions (WｘDｘH) 378.0 × 208.0 × 48.2 mm Weight 1.2 kg / 2.6 lb Accessories USB cable, Split cable, Warranty (for some regions), Quick Start Guide (WeDJ/rekordbox); Quick Start Guide (djay), Quick Start Guide (edjing Mix)
WeDJ for iPhone system requirements
Compatible OS (iOS) iOS 12, 11, 10 iPhone iPhone XR,iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone 8,iPhone 8 Plus,iPhone 7,iPhone 7 Plus,iPhone SE,iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6,iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPod touch (6th generation)
rekordbox system requirements
Compatible OS Mac macOS Mojave 10.14 (updated to the latest version)
macOS High Sierra 10.13 (updated to the latest version)
macOS Sierra 10.12 (updated to the latest version)
Windows Windows® 10, 8.1,7 (the latest service pack) CPU Intel® processor Core™ i7, i5, i3 Memory 4GB or more RAM
A FEW THINGS TO COVER HERE
Here’s what I see — firstly it’s unashamedly aimed at beginners, and by extension younger people who are invested in streaming platforms as a way to discover and listen to music. And now they have an entry-level controller that they can carry anywhere and play their house parties with other beautiful people. Native Instruments did it with the S2 MK3 launch, so why shouldn’t Pioneer DJ?
The controller itself is Bluetooth enabled, but has no audio of its own — that’s all handled by your smartphone and whatever app you choose to use. So you’re going to have some fun juggling cables for headphones, speakers, and charging for sure.
But to answer one of the first thoughts that came to mind about latency — the above video from algoriddim shows that the wireless link doesn’t seem to impact on scratching at all. Things are definitely getting better in this respect.
The DDJ-200 is focussed in the updated WeDJ 2 app. And to help beginners get a head start in the big wide world of spinning, it comes complete with embedded tutorials, plus features like transition FX to allow beginners to use preset transitions and sound good out of the box. Yes, it’s a little DJing at the press of a button, but it makes the learning curve less steep, and hopefully keeps the new DJ from getting frustrated and putting the controller under the bed forever.
But the biggest thing about this release is how it’s squarely aimed at using streaming platforms. Via a combination of WeDJ 2, edjing, and algoriddim djayyou have access to streaming platforms — the new Beatport LINK, Deezer, SoundCloud Go+, and Spotify. Sorry people — Android is woefully underrepresented in this setup, but as we’ve established many times before, Android is just pants for audio. It’s nobody’s fault except Google — shout at them.
BOTTOM LINE BOOSTER
I suspect that the timing of this isn’t coincidental. With Pioneer DJ being up for sale, they need to demonstrate that it’s a viable company with a vibrant future. And trust me when I say that a controller like this will sell by the container load. It ticks so many boxes for beginners at a not-at-all Pioneer DJ price point. And is also quite the no-brainer purchase for established DJs in need of an emergency backup, or a highly portable and cheap go anywhere solution.
The key here is that it has appeal to a huge number of people, but especially beginners. Having assumed that rekordbox would have a high-end to entry-level trickle down effect to establish the platform (it didn’t), it seems that grabbing the beginners early and luring them into the Pioneer DJ ecosystem is the way to go. And it’s exactly what NI is doing with the S2 MK3 as well — make it cheap and get them hooked.
Bluetooth DJing has been mocked and scorned for a very long time. But for a company like Pioneer DJ to put out a unit like this, and importantly have established app makers get behind it shows that the issue of latency that previous dogged it as a workflow may well be a thing of the past. It’s not for everyone of course, but the target audience isn’t as demanding as professionals playing mission-critical events. But if it can get a foothold and establish itself to be good enough, it’ll continue to be worked on and improved. Just look at Phase — apparently flawless latency free scratching from a wireless device. It’s clearly possible.
It’s not quite fully wireless DJing yet though, as the DDJ-200 still needs power via USB. But I suspect that is on the industry’s list to crack next.
But the writing is on the wall for streaming. It’s happening in every major application, and won’t be going anywhere soon. The issue that needs to be worked on is typified in one of Pioneer DJ’s caveats:
Basically the industry provides the tools, but the legality playing music to a crowd is entirely on the user. And it’s an issue that lacks any clarity whatsoever, and is different all over the world. I’m sure it’ll come into sharp focus as streaming properly takes hold of the DJ scene and is a feature in professional level hardware.
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-200 is almost certainly available within days or weeks, and will set you back €159/£139/$149.