Link: Stanton  Price: $499/£459/€519

Introduction

While the whole DJ industry has flung itself into the MIDI controller market with a slew of very similar offerings, Stanton have largely ignored what everyone else has done, and navigated their own way through the digital DJ scene, doing pretty much whatever they wanted to. This hasn’t always worked out well for them, but on they pressed. And just at the point when you thought they might as well give in and pop out a 4 channel VCI-alike controller, they decide that the beat of their own drum is still their favourite tune. This makes me very happy indeed.

So what did they decide to do inside of trying to catch up to the crowd? Well clearly they’ve had a look at the habits of DJs, and although the laptop is vitally important in this ever evolving age, they quite rightly deduced thought that lugging a computer to a gig is one lump of hardware that you could possibly do without. And they’re quite right of course – I for one don’t like having a computer in my audio chain. They need constant attention, special configs to get the best from the assortment of DJ software in the market, and just when you think it’s all going hunky-dory, they’ll crash leaving you with awkward silence and a potentially ruined gig with a dead dancefloor full of angry punters.

So bollocks to this laptop malarky said Stanton – let’s make an all in one unit that you just plug in and it works. No laptop required. And that’s exactly what the SCS.4DJ is – a small DJ controller with a brain and everything you need to fill a dancefloor. You just add music and skills and you’re off. But keeping in mind that a lot of digital DJs have a symbiotic relationship with their computer, Stanton though it would be good to have a plan B, and have also included MIDI control too.

So let’s find out if the original hoopla at Musikmesse was justified.

In a nutshell

Stanton SCS.4DJ Controller

The Stanton SCS.4DJ is a 2 channel all in one unit. It’s a self contained box that runs under a Linux operating system accessed through the wonderfully crisp big screen. You get 2 channels with full EQ, a couple of very responsive jogwheels and a nice serving of effects to play with. It has no internal storage, and instead you can plug in a variety of USB device into the many ports scattered around the unit. You can plug a mic in as well, but don’t be expecting to use external sources.

The key in the phrase “self contained”. It’s designed to be a really simple 2 channel unit, rather than some over fancy bloatware box of too many tricks. Simplicity is the key, something that is becoming a byword for underpowered in the modern DJ age. We seem to have forgotten what DJing is about at its core.

First Impressions

Stanton SCS.4DJ Controller

You’d think that such a unit might feel just like any other MIDI controller, but it doesn’t. I’m not sure what it is exactly – perhaps the screen makes it immediately feel like an all in one, but the SCS.4DJ doesn’t fit into my preconceptions of the standard MIDI fodder out there.

Image-wise, the SCS.4DJ has a distinct feeling of space about it. As other manufacturers try to cram as many controls into the smallest area, Stanton have kept the form factor to a good size, and spaced the controls out accordingly. It’s logically laid out in a 2 turntables and a mixer style, and adopts a fairly standard MIDI controller layout of controls.

Wisely, Stanton have given a lot of space over to the screen and its associated controls. There’s nothing worse than having to fight with mission critical controls, or having to use arcane key combos to get to features – the SCS.4DJ has a button for everything, which given the all in one nature is ideal.

The semi-minimalism continues to the overall look as well. It’s an exercise in monochrome styling in the raw, which does make the Stanton logo pop beautifully. But when it’s switched on, the minimalism is peppered with splashed of red lights and throbbing green when music is playing. So just about every control has a light associated with it, but the problem is that if you’re working in a dark place, the SCS.4DJ takes on a black slab feel, where unactivated buttons merge with the body and makes finding them in a hurry tricky. Perhaps a dimmed LED when inactive might have been preferable. That said, I expect that the target audience will be working in their own spaces rather than ill-lit booths. But given the number of USB ports in the SCS.4DJ, you could use one of those USB flexi-lights to make things more visible.

I wasn’t sure at first, but now I’ve been won over by the stealth approach. I’m not one for gaudiness, go-faster stripes or pointless light shows. The SCS.4DJ is a slice of minimal pie and I like it.

One last thing – bar the screen, there’s no finger prints left on this. Love it for that alone.

Build Quality

Stanton SCS.4DJ Controller

The SCS.4DJ is unashamedly aimed at the cost effective end of the market, thus there is a distinct lack of metal on and in this unit. It’s a little bit creaky if you flex it, but otherwise feels solid enough. The upside of this is that it’s lightweight, thus making it highly portable. Speaking of which, dimensionally, it’ll fit into a large laptop bag if you must carry it with you, with room for said laptop. Not that you’ll need a laptop with the SCS.4DJ of course.

I did squeeze it into my 15″ Tenba Messenger bag with a laptop too. Just watch out for the volume knobs on the front face.

The controls are almost all plastic with just the necessary smattering of rubber in the really hands-on tactile areas such as EQ knobs, the edge of the jogwheels and the large navigation knob rotary controls that require a better feel.

Stanton SCS.4DJ Controller

Button pressing is a matter of personal preference. Some like soft and squidgy, while others prefer harsh and unforgiving. I’m undecided to be honest – my only requirement is that they respond well to being pressed, and the SCS.4DJ ones do just that. They’re hard with a minimal amount of travel, but do have a very definite click about them that requires a solid press to engage them. Given that there aren’t any hot cues on the unit, the need for highly responsive soft touch buttons is minimal.

Everything feels good and fitting the price bracket. Nothing flexes too much or gives the impression of being easily snapped, but if you do plan to take it out, I urge investing in a bag or case just to be safe.

Jogwheels

The jogwheels are 4¾” or 120mm of touch sensitive goodness. The rubber outer edge is designed to mimic platters of old and gives you a good grip if you need it. The inner metal area is where the touch magic happens. In its native factory fresh state, the touch response is instant – proper on/off feel, but this can be adjusted if you want, but to be honest the adjustments make it feel worse.

Another thing to point out is the resolution of the wheel. It’s a hotly contested crown right now that manufacturers are positively fighting to wear, but to the best of my knowledge, the SCS.4DJ takes it with an impressive 4K+ resolution. No wonder the drags sound so good.

You can also adjust the startup and brake times too from instant to around 5 seconds. While this is easy to do in software, I never change it, but would almost certainly complain if it was missing. Nice to have, even if it’s a deep dig into a couple of menus option on the screen.

There are 2 buttons to be concerned with here:

TOUCH: If you have a cue point defined (by default the beginning of the track), the touch button allows you to immediately back cue to that point just by touching the platter. With the SCS.4DJ having no hot cues as such, if you load the same track into both decks and define different cue points, you get a couple of pseudo hot cues. Something to note about this – it’s not quite like hitting a button to trigger the cue. When you touch, it returns to the cue point and pauses until release, so you have to slightly change your technique if you plan to use these like hit cues.

IDEA: Perhaps this behaviour could be an option in the menus? Also, have it so that when the deck isn’t playing, it becomes a stutter.

SCRATCH: Exactly as it sounds – turns the jog wheel from a ±10% pitch bender into a scratchable platter. It’s also automatically engaged when TOUCH is pressed too. On top of this, keeping it pressed while moving the wheel turns it into a scrub feature for fast scrolling through the playing track.

The jogwheels themselves are nicely weighted and capable of spinbacks. The everso slightly grippy surface of the jogwheel makes this a reality, but sadly the SCS.4DJ itself doesn’t seem too happy when you push this feature too far, and instead prefers to break up a little. Must be a buffer thing. Slightly annoying but only noticeable if pushed.

Of course as ever, the big question of any jogwheel is how well does it scratch? Given the size and price bracket, I’d say it’s amazing. The important thing to remember here that the SCS.4DJ has over any MIDI control is true zero latency. People bandy around numbers as if it’s the only way to judge, but for me it’s feel. And this feels right. It does all the slow drags and scribbles you could ever hope for. And because the waveforms are right under your nose, accurate juggling is a doddle.

I’d hate to be a manufacturer actively developing MIDI controllers. Due to the limitations of the protocol combined with the high expectations of the buying public, getting solid performance from the tiny wheels of steel isn’t always straightforward. But the SCS.4DJ has no such problems as it is entirely self contained. Zero latency means superior performance – end of.

EQ

There’s really nothing to write home about with the EQ section – 3 band EQ with full kills and… oh wait – there’s no gain control. Huh? What? A strange omission wouldn’t you think? Normally, I’d say yes, but with all this track analysing (more later) going on, the SCS.4DJ normalises the levels so that everything plays to the optimum volume, thus gain isn’t as required as normal, leaving EQ to shape the sound, rather than (as many people do) the volume.

It’s the first time I’ve seen this feature, and I think I like it. Seasoned pros will turn their nose up at it, but for people who just want to step up and play, they’re no fighting with levels to be done.

Faders

It’s a basic unit so you shouldn’t expect Innofaders all round in the SCS.4DJ. I haven’t opened it up, But I suspect short bodied 45mm Alpha style faders are the order of the day, and they feel just fine. The crossfader is smoother than the line faders, and comes with software controls for reverse and several curve options.

At its sharpest, the SCS.4DJ is a more then capable scratcher, but the lag distance is just a little more than I would like. But you can still scratch and crab properly once you get used to it. That said, this isn’t being pushed as a turntablist’s dream, so the performance is better than you should expect at this price point.

Pitch

There are no real surprises here. The pitch faders are 60mm, smooth and precise with a gentle centre click. Some like the click, other don’t. I do. The range out of the box is ± 10%, but can be internally changed from 5%, 25% or +25/-100% via the system menu, which can be a bit of a pain, but you’ll probably find the range you like and stick with it.

The jogwheel acts as a pitch bend and is +/-10% regardless of the selected range, and you get an additional pitch bend control right below the fader that gives you +/-2% for those very quick and more accurate pitch shifts.

You might think that the +25/-100% range is quite odd, but it does tie in very well with the SCS.4DJ’s keylock. You engage it via the top button on the home screen, and considering the price band of the deck, is remarkably good, and is usable beyond the usual 20-25% range found on other units. It’s especially useful as a pseudo brake effect if you (like me) like to keep the jogwheel response as instant start/stop.

The minimum resolution of the fader is 0.05% at 5%, which despite what some might feel is plenty fine enough. But due to the ridiculously high resolution of the jogwheel, you can nudge at 0.01% increments.

So pitch is well served and well implemented. Another tick for Stanton.

The Screen

Obviously, kicking the laptop to the kerb means that you have to be able to control the black slab in front of you. And all that is done via the large screen slap bang in the middle of the mixer section.

It’s a lovely thing to behold – bigger than an iPhone but not quite as high resolution, but better than ANYTHING on the DJ market. It’s not a new idea per se – The Numark IDJ2 had a colour screen, and numerous high end mixers had given space over to small colour screens. But this is full glorious high resolution, and Stanton make very good use of the small window.

It’s not a touch screen though – that’s why there are a series of physical buttons around the edge that correspond to changing buttons at the edge of the screen. These give you access to important top level controls, rather than having to dig into menus to activate things like keylock.

Working hand in hand with these buttons are additional controls to give you proper navigation into the deeper recesses of the system. Basic navigation is done with the big round rubber wheel with the enter/back buttons – an experience that left me exasperated when trying to save playlists. It’s like adding your high score to a game with a controller. Stanton tell me that adding a USB keyboard radically enhances your experience, but only owning a wireless one, I’m unable to comment.

Between those and the screen are 4 large buttons that take you into the key areas of the system. No matter where you are inside the SCS.4DJ’s brain, you can always see track title, artist, pitch, BPM and effects detail – a nice touch. Below that you can switch between several different displays via the buttons:



Home/Waveform: You get alternative views where you can see album art, beat indicators and a full waveform with progress indicator, or full coloured Scratch live-alike waveforms with the beat grid and progress indictor. This waveform is also zoomable between 5 and 10 second (approx) of the loaded music. And that waveform display is ultra smooth too.



Browse: This displays your entire library. Sadly regardless of how you have your library organised across any number of devices, it’s a flat view. But you do get sorting options between title, artist, BPM, time, album, genre and session (a recording made on the SCS.4DJ), as well as being able to skip alphabetically inside the sorted list.

If a single line isn’t enough information for you, hitting enter brings up a full screen of track related info to pick through, but most likely you’ll just want to the full track name for the remix version.

Playlists: This is effectively crate management, where you can define lists of songs to play. This can be a temporary thing, where you add tracks to the current unsaved playlist, or if you’re more organised than that, you can load and save playlists as well. And if you have a smartphone plugged in (in my case an iPhone and iPad), you’ll get your iTunes playlists showing too.

The above are library functions that I’ll cover in greater detail later.

System: As you might expect by the name, this is where you tamper with the finer points of the SCS.4DJ, including some nice surprises too.

For Stanton to bite the bullet in such style is admirable. I really hope it sets a trend where controller manufacturers incorporate a screen and offer some 2 way MIDI feedback so that some control is given back to the unit rather than having to keep looking at the laptop screen. Well done Stanton.

The Library

I know it’s become a bit boring to hear, but I cannot stress it enough – the successful use of a digital DJ solution is most likely going to be down to how well you prepare your music. Just turning up and plugging in devices is likely to be met with varying levels of disappointment. Thus Stanton have put some time into working out how best to make using a small screen over a laptop a practical reality.

Firstly formats. WAV, MP3, AAC AIFF and MP4 are supported, which essentially covers just about every possible audio format that the target market is likely to use. If you’re after FLAC or other more exotic formats, then you’re most likely not going to be an SCS.4DJ buyer. And yes I said MP4 – the SCS.4DJ can at least play the audio from movies, and can also play single movies. I’m guessing it’s for the demo movie to be played in stores. So strictly no VJing here though.

Let’s look at the ways you can use music on the SCS.4DJ. It’s all about USB – probably USB keys, but also hard drives and smart phones. Yes – that means iOS devices and suchlike, but not iPods in my experience (certainly not the 5 year old 30Gb or new Classic and Nano that I have here). Plugging a device into one of the many USB ports (including the handy hidden ones in the base) should see it recognised and ready for use. It’s best to allow the SCS.4DJ to properly build a database and analyse the BPM and waveforms first, but you can just dive in and use it right away. Obviously, all the sync and beat based functions will be out of the window.

A word of warning – analysing on the SCS.4DJ takes forever. We’re talking a painfully long time even on a small device. Apparently it works out at 8Gb per day if you leave the SCS.4DJ to run untouched. So don’t expect to walk up to the SCS.4DJ with a huge hard drive and get instant performance. And if you try using the unit while it’s analysing, it’ll be jumpy and sluggish.

But good news is on the horizon – at the time of writing (2nd August 2011), Stanton say that a computer based library application is already “in the works”. So I’m not going to harp on too much about this part too much as it does rather sound like a temporary situation. I’ll update the review in due course.

So the analysis creates a database of your music, calculates BPM, creates a wave form and adds a beat grid, all of which is pretty much vital to get the best from the SCS.4DJ. And on the whole it does a brilliant job. I can’t really comment on what other manufacturers use to calculate such things, but this really does a great job even with the toughest of tracks.

On the whole, 4 to the floor or tracks with a strong defined beat are analysed perfectly. It struggles a little with shorter tracks (say 30-60 seconds) and has the occasional wobbly with half time and double timing of beats (Jungle throws it out a lot actually), but no more or less than any other system out there. And these can easily be fixed from the EDIT BPM tab on the home screen. This gives you a specific x2 or 1/2 time to adjust the BPM, As well as the ability to shift the beat grid to the cue point position. But because the beat grid is probably accurate, they still mix together fine, so dropping some breaks into dubstep will still sync at the press of a button even if you don’t correct them.


A final note about the library – if you’ve got everything in order and have set up playlists properly, you can nip off to the bar, toilet or dancefloor thanks to the Auto DJ feature. It’s not especially complex or intelligent, but will automatically play the tracks in your playlist unattended, fading from track to track based on your crossfader curve setting and a time setting too.

As ever, provided your music is properly analysed and beat gridded, the SCS.4DJ will do an amiable job of syncing your tracks from the playlist. Keeping them within the same rough BPM range is essential to get the best from this feature. We’re clearly still a long way off losing our jobs to automated boxes yet!

Effects

Being more of an entry level unit, the SCS.4DJ comes with a small but largely useful set of effects to add a little spice to your mixing. You get a set of effects per channel, and each comes with a BPM related parameter control as well as a freq/amount knob, and each has a different purpose depending on the effect.

Filter: This is a dual hi pass/lo pass effect. All the way anti clockwise if full cutoff low pass, the middle is neutral and fully clockwise is full cutoff hi pass. The rate control affects the LFO frequency from a harsh sawtooth style to a long flowing in and out effect. Great for mixing without touching faders at all.

Flange: Aside from being English slang, this is the effect that old school DJs used to do with 2 copies of the same track playing at exactly the same time, with one slowly going out of phase with the other. If you can time it right, it’s great for a buildup.

Slice: This is where the organised chaos happens. Slice lives up to its name and essentially is a beat based sampler and resequencer. At it’s most basic, it’s a looper roller, where you can engage it with zero amount and expand or crunch a beat based sample. But it’s when you start to turn up the amount that it gets interesting. The more you engage the amount, the more chaotic the beat gets. We’re talking random amounts of beat slicing and reversing and braking that depending on how you have it set, it can descend into a cacophony of audio anarchy. Like any effect, if used carefully and it’s an amazing tool.

The one very useful side effect of slice is that because it’s sample based, you can stop the track playing and the effect carries on. You can even load the next track into that deck ready to be used. It’s really easy for example to ride the sliced loop and slam in the next track on the same deck. Top marks for this one Stanton.

Delay: Plays a portion of the audio back over itself – either once at the shortest, or for ages with a natural fadeout. It sounds great, but for me is the biggest letdown about the whole unit – it’s all pre-fade, which is most fine for mixing, for fader happy techniques, it cuts off. Shame really, but it’s something that I’m quite fussy about.

So on the whole, the effects section is well implemented, and for the target market will serve them well. Just don’t overdo the slice too much.

Loops

Everything has looping these days – it’s a core feature of DJ gear that everyone must have. And the SCS.4DJ implementation is ridiculously simple and incredibly accurate, provided of course that your music has analysed correctly.

The system has a default loop length of 1 bar, but can be adjusted up to 16 if you want. Hitting the LOOP button immediately engages the loop at whatever the default length is at the exact point you engaged it. Or if you have SNAP enabled from the home screen, it’ll loop from the nearest beat marker. Either way, provided your analysing is good, it’ll give you automatic glitch free smooth looping every time. It’s important to remember that these loops are only valid while the track is loaded and aren’t saved in any way. On a higher end unit, I might have complained, but not on this one.

The divide and multiply buttons allow you to either expand or crunch as necessary. The reloop button acts like a hot cue and reengages the loop from where you left off – including the length. Remember that last bit as it caught me out a few times.

This of course is all reflected on-screen too, with the looped area being shown with a coloured overlay. Unlike the slice effect, this loop only plays while the track is loaded. Not a complaint of course – this is how loops always work. Just an observation.

The success or failure of autoloop is down to the source audio and the analysis of it. If you decide to go off gung ho and play unanalysed, loop doesn’t work at all. So as ever, preparation is key. But if all is well at prep stage, the looping on this is the model of perfect simplicity.

Monitoring

Whilst it is technically possible to use the SCS.4DJ to DJ entirely without headphones, it’s still a better idea to use them in the long run. You get master meters only (post fader and EQ) – 4 green, 2 amber and 1 red to tell you if you’re overcooking your music. But you do get a pair of channel clipping LEDs to keep the lines volume in order. This is made rather easy because of the SCS.4DJ’s auto-gain feature. I say feature – it just does it at the analysis stage and stops your audio from distorting horribly at output. And yes – it can distort unless you take the time to analyse your audio – that old chestnut again.

In terms of what you hear in your ear, the SCS.4DJ is pretty conventional, offering 1/4″ and minijacks with a cue/master mix and volume controls. Inside the system menu is a split cueing control. Much better if you ask me.

MIDI

While the SCS.4DJ is all about ditching your laptop, Stanton have tipped their hat to the established controller market by offering MIDI capability. It’s a full on mode change, accessible via the system menu, that puts the SCS.4DJ at the mercy of whatever software you want to use and disables access to regular audio features.

It’s a pretty basic implementation – you won’t be getting LED feedback (bar the MIC IN LED flickering to show MIDI activity) although it is quite possible. But you do get some handy labels on screen to indicate hot cues and reloop buttons – if that’s how you map them of course, but this is user-configurable.

Getting a solid response from faders and buttons is never an issue, but mapping the jogwheel seems to be a problem for everyone. Stanton have done a pretty good job within the limitations of the protocol, with the jogwheel giving a lively response – I’d say more a matter of adjusting your technique to fit the new feel. You can scratch and juggle, but nowhere near as precise as in native mode.

To be frank, I couldn’t give a toss about MIDI mode. To me, the SCS.4DJ is all about working without a laptop, and quite rightly that’s where Stanton pitch it. It does work with MIDI, but I wouldn’t expect Stanton to offer a huge amount of support in this area, even if it does work with a good degree of success.

Ins and Outs

Given the basic all in one nature of the SCS.4DJ, you’d right expect that ins and outs would be thin on the ground. And that is most definitely the case here. Outside of USB ports, there’s only 1 input – the microphone. It’s a regular 1/4″ jack with a volume control. That’s it, and that’s really all it needs.

In terms of output, you’re offered balanced TRS and unbalanced RCAs, with a master volume knob on the front. No booth, but I don’t see the target market needing such a thing.

IDEA: Given that the SCS.4DJ plays videos too, plugging in some small PC speakers would make this an ideal room based music player.

Recording

Having laid out all the tools at your disposal, it’s time to play. It’s all well and good to fill a dance floor, but sometimes it’s nice to listen back to what we actually played. And that’s where recording comes in.

To record, you need a USB device attached with enough free space to record a WAV file. Plugging one in will tell you as soon as you hit the button. It probably goes without saying that recording while analysing is a no-no, so be sure that whatever you plug in to record to either has no music on it or has been analysed before hand.

And then it’s just a matter of pressing the REC button. Everything will be recorded as it’s the master output that’s being grabbed. Although you can’t name it, once saved, that recording is available to you to play as a session, or if you’ve used a regular USB device, you can drag them onto your computer. And while you can record to a smartphone, the level of access you get to the phone’s storage will probably mean you can’t recover recordings outside of the SCS.4DJ.

But it works exactly as you might expect – press a button, mix and file saved. You can’t ask for more.

In Use

Obviously, having no laptop makes life a lot easier and it really is a matter of plugging into the sound system and playing. No hoping that your software doesn’t crash, or system issues that stop MIDI from working properly, or USB power problems – the SCS.4DJ removes all of that completely.

DJing with it is nothing short of a joy. I’m not one of those elitist types who thinks that a DJ should have to learn to manually beatmatch – we live in different technology led times. I say that if it can be automated, it’s not that much of an artform or skill really. And provided the analysis is right, mixing on the SCS.4DJ is just so easy. You still need to know your music and be able to read the crowd as well as know what to mix in and when. But the SCS.4DJ makes the donkeywork so much easier, leaving you to just play the music.

How you work is entirely up to you. If you have a large core library, it’s probably better to have a larger analysed drive always attached in the inside, and keep a free flowing selection of tunes on quickly analysed smaller USB keys. These can be swapped in and out mid set for flexibility. I personally wouldn’t use my iPhone as my music storage medium. At a gig and need to use the phone? It’s clever that the SCS.4DJ can tap into iTunes playlists, but it’s an expensive medium that has the potential to stop working at the next firmware update, be it a minor or major one. I’d advise an iPod Touch if you wanted an optimised iTunes workflow.

Overall, I found the SCS.4DJ incredibly easy and importantly fun to use. The small feature set meant I was more focussed on doing more with what I had, as opposed to be being overwhelmed with too many bells and whistles.That said, I did wish for more cue points, but that’s probably more because I’ve become accustomed to them on other units. And because I needn’t be as concerned about levels or manual beatmatching, my mixes flowed much better – there is an element of riding the sync button to keep things in line though.

Summary

I’m probably going out on a bit of a limb here when I say that for the very first time, we have a true all in one box that can do everything without needing a laptop. Numark’s iDJ2 was close, but lacked the scratchable jogwheels. The SCS.4DJ finally brings everything together in one unit – you can properly mix and scratch on this without recourse to an expensive computer permanently plugged into it. It’s a proper all in one rather than a dumb box that needs software.

It’s not perfect of course. Some features that you might expect in physical form are a few menus deep in the system screen. The jumping from screen to screen has a bit of a lag sometimes. And the lack of gain controls means an adjustment to conventional working practices. But in general, there’s nothing really wrong with the SCS.4DJ. I’d say that given the price, the performance way exceeds my expectations. Anyone can use this out of the box – well, once their music is analysed properly anyway.

This all in one unit is going to find many friends, from budding bedroom DJs on a budget, all the way up to seasoned pros needing a backup. It ticks a great may boxes for a great many people, but above all it just works for everyone. And it’s fun too.

So if you’re starting out and want an alternative to established digital DJing that usually involves a computer, the SCS.4DJ is for you. Alternatively if you’re making a living from DJing and need a laptop-free backup should yours go down, the SCS.4DJ is for you too.

Ratings

Build Quality
Mostly plastic, but everything feels good. The upside is that it’s easy to carry rather than lug. But get a proper bag or case for it just to be safe.

Sound Quality
Largely academic in these advanced digital times. Plays great with no artefacts and the effects are good too. And the built-in auto gain stops things distorting. Zero complaints here.

Features and Implementation
Stanton have looked at the essentials for working without a laptop and nailed it. It’s so easy to use, and importantly does everything really well. Apart from analysing that is, which is very slow indeed – until Stanton bring out the library application which is due soon.

Value For Money
Stacked up against a MIDI controller, it’s expensive. But you have to weigh up that you don’t need a laptop or software.

The Bottom Line

The Stanton SCS.4DJ is incredibly easy to carry, setup and use, putting the focus in playing music. It really doesn’t get any simpler than this. And I love it.

Gallery

Stanton asked me to take some nice shots, I did just that.