NEW: Pioneer DJ DDJ-400 — the rekordbox beginner’s box

Another day, another Pioneer DJ controller. This time, it’s another RB-ditching model, namely the DDJ-400, an unashamedly entry level unit fuelled by rekordbox that aims to hold the hands of beginners and walk them through the foundation of DJing without the distraction of unnecessary nonsense.

There is as always a video that’s absolutely worth a watch:

And of course the words:

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Master the basics: Meet the DDJ-400 controller for rekordbox dj Club-standard layout and compatibility with new Tutorial feature

26th June 2018: If you want to try DJing at home and see how far you can take it, we’ve created the perfect controller to learn on: the DDJ-400. Made for dedicated use with our professional performance application, rekordbox dj (free licence key included), the 2-channel DDJ-400 is designed to help you get the most from the new features coming to the software with the release of rekordbox ver 5.3 today.

The DDJ-400 is the ideal piece of kit for first-time DJs. Its controls enable you to easily learn the basics, plus it’s packed with features that will help you develop your skills. The controller is compatible with the new Tutorial feature in rekordbox dj, which explains basic equipment operation step by step. Even if you’ve never ventured behind the decks before, you can learn how to DJ.

Thanks to the lightweight and portable design, you can take the DDJ-400 to friends’ houses to practise together or bring it to parties and small venues to perform. And if you want to take mixing to the next level, you’ll feel at home in the club DJ booth because the DDJ-400 inherits design traits from our professional range. The layout of dedicated play/pause and cue buttons, Beat FX, CDJ-style looping controls and more is inherited from our NXS2 set-up.

The DDJ-400 will be available from late June at an SRP of £259 including VAT. Watch the introduction video or find out more about the controller.

A licence key for rekordbox dj worth €139 is included with the DDJ-400 so you can plug it into your PC or Mac straight out of the box and start mixing. If you already own rekordbox dj, upgrade to the latest version to use the controller.


1. Club-style layout

The buttons and knobs on the DDJ-400 are arranged in the same way as those on our club-standard CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2 set-up. 

  • Player sections

Get familiar with jog wheels, play/pause and cue buttons, tempo sliders, a loop section and cue/loop call buttons just like the ones on the CDJ-2000NXS2. 

  • Mixer section

Use the trim and EQ knobs, and the headphone cue buttons, in exactly the same way as those on the DJM-900NXS2. 

2. Other features

  • Built-in sound card (audio interface) – plug and play by simply connecting the controller to your PC/Mac using a single USB cable.
  • Mic input circuit clear audio without distortion, even with high input level. 
  • USB bus powered no need to plug into the mains.
  • Grab handles on both sides – easy to carry.
  • Class compliant – no need to install a driver.


  1. Tutorial feature – learn how to DJ 

Follow the instructions of the Tutorial on your PC/Mac’s screen. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you can learn how to DJ. The Tutorial feature is also compatible with the DDJ-RB as of 26th June 2018.

  1. Track Suggestion – displays tracks that match well with the one currently playing1

This feature ranks every track in your rekordbox library according to how well it matches with the one you’re currently playing, helping you choose tracks that will fit well in your set. The track displayed at the top of the track list is the most relevant one to play next. Quickly scroll through your music, making maximum use of your collection.

There are three sorting modes:

  • Era: tracks with a close year of release.
  • Mood: tracks with a similar mood. 
  • Association: tracks sharing traits such as artist, label, etc.

1  To use this feature effectively, build up track information in your rekordbox library. 

  1. Easy sharing of mixes to social media with track titles and time stamps

Use rekordbox to record your sets and share them with the world via social media channels such as Mixcloud, YouTube and KUVO. When you upload your mix, all track titles and time stamps are automatically added by rekordbox, so listeners can check each track title while enjoying your set.

DDJ-400 specifications 

Softwarerekordbox dj
Frequency Response20 Hz to 20 kHz
S/N Ratio103 dB (USB)
Total Harmonic Distortion0.005%
Input/Output TerminalsInputsMIC x 1 (1/4-inch TS jack)
OutputsMASTER x 1 (RCA x 1)

PHONES x 1 (3.5-mm stereo mini jack x 1)

USBUSB (Type B) x 1
Maximum Dimensions (WxDxH)482.0 x 272.4 x 58.5 mm
Weight2.1 kg
AccessoriesUSB cable

Quick Start Guide

rekordbox dj licence key card

rekordbox dj system requirements

Compatible OSMacmacOS High Sierra 10.13 (updated to the latest version)

macOS Sierra 10.12 (updated to the latest version)

OS X 10.11 (updated to the latest version)

WindowsWindows® 10, 8.1, 7 (the latest service pack)
CPUIntel® processor CoreTM i7, i5, i3
Memory4GB or more of RAM

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I know some of you will look at this and lament the lack of particular “standard” features. The familiar effects controls seen on just about every other controller for example were picked out in our Slack channel as being missing. But I get where this is coming from — perhaps because I learned to DJ in a time where it was about basic turntables and simple mixers. I even find filters to be a luxury.

You see beginners naturally gravitate to the cool features, and twist that filter and rinse all those effects because it makes them feel like a pro, forgetting the fact that the tracks they’re “mixing” are off key and off beat. And frankly, there have been instances where I wish some pros didn’t have access to effects controls either.

Instead, the DDJ-400 is the introduction to DJing fundamentals without the associated frippery that just gets in the way of nailing the basics. To help,  rekordbox will come with a tutorial mode as well as enhanced track suggestion features.

I’m actually happy to see a controller focussed on helping people simply learn to mix. We often get brainwashed by hyperbole filled PR persuaded of the perceived need for bells and whistles, believing all too quickly that we absolutely must have them to be a great DJ. We don’t — all we need is a great music selection, and the skills to know how to mix it all together.

That said, the video does show a polished performance, one that effectively contradicts the seemingly entry level feature set. And I’d bet good money that some of you mocking this controller couldn’t knock out a set like that on your übercontrollers or lavish keeping it real setups. Skills will always trump gear. Always.

So if you see things missing on this controller, then you’re not the target audience. This is to save people (mainly parents) from spending a heap of money on shiny DJ gear that little Jimmy or Jemima Jogwheels absolutely must have, only to see it relegated to that black hole of lost desires i.e. under the bed. Essentially this is a gateway drug to something more, and definitely sees Pioneer DJ using beginners to create a solid foundation for the future of rekordbox.


The DDJ-400 is in shops and stores today and will cost $259/€279/£259. It also comes with a full licence for rekordbox DJ.