Thank God all that teasing nonsense is over. I’ve had the PR for a few days now and ached to show you what I could only guide and hint at. And now you can see what we caused a collective jaw dropping around these parts. The Denon DJ Prime 4 controller is the world’s first four channel standalone controller, a fact that absolutely will have caused a few industry meetings when that teased fact became apparent. And when you add a huge touch screen, zone output, and space for a built in drive, then you’ve got something very special indeed.
PR follows that is lacking in the usual overblown marketing claims, because for once the Prime 4 lives up to the hype:
THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL, ADVANCED DJ SYSTEM HAS ARRIVED!
Denon DJ introduces Prime 4, a 4-Channel Standalone DJ System with 10-inch Multi-Touch Display and Dedicated Zone Output
Cumberland RI, USA (January 17, 2019) – Denon DJ (www.denondj.com), a leading manufacturer of premium DJ products and solutions, today announced the introduction of their new Prime 4, 4-Deck Standalone DJ system with 10-inch multi-touch/ gesture display, dual-zone output, pro-mixer section, powerful performance pads, dual mic channels and a 2.5-inch built-in SATA drive bay.
From Touchscreen to Mainstage
Prime 4 features a glorious 10-inch multi-touch/gesture display for the most advanced DJ music library interaction experience available. DJ’s can touch, feel, move and play their music with the elegant swipe of a finger for the ultimate, technology driven tactile experience. Prime 4 will deliver that Mainstage experience to any DJ, and in any venue or gig scenario!
Unrivaled Creative Energy
Prime 4’s eight performance pads bring the most advanced and easy to use creative expression for DJ’s to hot-cue juggle, remix tracks, roll and slice up their tracks for dancefloor and crowd energy. Never seen before on a standalone DJ system, Prime 4 combines class-leading timestretch for DJs to radically mix any track tempo and genre, with real-time musical pitch shifting, matching musical keys with just the tap of a finger!
Two Rooms – Different Music!
Another industry ‘world’s first’ is Prime 4’s independent Zone Output, empowering DJs with the ability to send a full playlist of music to a completely separate room or location, all while the DJ rocks the dancefloor in the main venue. Also, keeping the music flowing, Prime 4 can access literally unlimited music files and media sources with no less than four USB inputs, one SD and also a built-in SATA drive bay – A DJs full gig/music set can also be recorded ‘live’ to any connected media source!
Command Audio & Visual Effects
Prime 4 empowers DJs to manipulate 14 on-board, pro-club DJ Effects, with three quick access parameter adjustments for instant gratification ‘in the mix.’ DJs can quickly access and manipulate single encoder, dual-function control too for Sweep FX and Filter, across all 4 channels. In addition, any DJ in any venue now has total command over impactful visual elements with lighting and video control via Denon DJ’s StagelinQ connectivity and Denon DJ partners Soundswitch, Timecode and Resolume applications.
Built to Last – Built to Perform!
Prime 4 is built on the legacy of 25+ years of superb Denon DJ audio engineering and manufacturing excellence, with rugged metal build quality and detailed, pristine 24-bit Denon DJ audio. Nothing sounds, looks or performs like the Prime 4 standalone 4-channel DJ System. With no existing ‘feature-comparable’ competitor unit on the market right now, the Prime 4 is affordable DJ technology that is light years ahead of any existing product.
- 4-Deck standalone Engine Prime DJ system
- 10-inch HD multi-touch display with gestures
- Dedicated XLR Zone output provides music to a separate room
- Built-in 2.5-inch SATA drive bay to store music onboard
- 6-inch rugged metal jog wheel with HD central display
- (4) assignable input channels for external media sources
- (2)dedicated XLR inputs for microphones with individual control
- StagelinQ connection for Event/Pro DJ lighting and video control
- Plays uncompressed audio formats (FLAC, ALAC, WAV)
- Crisp 24-bit Denon DJ legacy audio
- (4) USB and (1) SD media inputs for music playback
- USB keyboard support
- Coming soon | Serato DJ Pro control enabled
U.S. retail for the Denon DJ Prime 4 will be $1699.00 It will be available in March 2019.
“Our excitement is off the chart with the launch of the Prime 4 into the DJ marketplace,” said Denon DJ’s Creative Director, Paul Dakeyne. “The global DJ community has been eagerly waiting for a truly standalone, 4-channel DJ system, with performance features that will bring a Mainstage experience for any DJ and venue. Prime 4, without doubt is the ultimate, all-in-one DJ system to cater for all DJ needs and performance demands!”
A BOX OF FIRSTS
Well sort of, but definitely in the same box. Firstly, the big screen looks to be taken straight out of the Akai Pro MPC X. This is going to make standalone play a doddle with four channels. The renders show that the display isn’t showing a tremendous amount of detail, but I guess I’m used to large screens being crammed with info. After all, there are a heap of physical controls that would display things that otherwise would appear on that screen.
Zone output is interesting. Not new by any means — the Pioneer DJM-5000 mixer for example had it. But this is in a controller which is likely to not be an installed unit. So this opens possibilities for rooms within events for example. Not sure I have the capacity to play more than one floor in my head at once though. I can barely keep track of two tunes these days.
The drive bay is right out of the old Denon DN-HS5500 media player, a unit so far ahead of its time that nobody really bought into the motorised platter dual layered idea until the SC5000M Prime appeared. Seems that Denon DJ and inMusic in general is dusting off the old blueprints and seeing if the world is now ready for them.
THE IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE
Units like this usually have a Serato logo on them. But not this time, for this is first and foremost an Engine Prime unit, and its primary operation is with that software. The MCX8000 was a four channel Serato DJ controller with a pretty poor 2 channel implementation of Engine software. Thus the tables have turned, and Serato DJ Pro will be the secondary installation on the Prime 4. Perhaps that’s why it has a snappier name too.
Serato DJ Pro compatibility is coming though, but given the size of that screen and all the built-in effects, I’m not sure how necessary using a laptop will be. I’ve been using the SC5000 Primes without a laptop and feel liberated. And if the huge screen display can deliver the info I need, I see no real reason to go back. I just want Engine Prime to be better.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
Having hit my 50s, I find I have no desire to beat around the bush anymore. I’m a plain speaker, and seem to have lost the will to engage filters. So let’s just get this out of the way — this is Denon DJ’s version of Pioneer DJ’s XDJ-RX2, but with bloody big knobs on.
I can imagine a marketing meeting, where Denon DJ were planning the next wave of “going after Pioneer DJ” products were being devised. Somebody pulled out a picture of the XDJ-RX2 and said “this, but more”. And that’s exactly what has been delivered, and at the same price. Cue price cuts across the boards as RX2s start to gather dust on retailer’s shelves.
I’m not implying for a second that the Prime 4 is a copy. Much like the SC5000 Prime, it’s an amalgamation of existing tech (old and new), brought together to make a superior version of what already exists. If Denon DJ wanted to make an RX2 clone, they absolutely would, and probably bring it in at under £1k.
THE CAT IN THE PIGEON ROOM
As you can imagine, we see everything, and have done for 15 years. But the frequency with which we’re jaw droppingly impressed is much less than it ever was. But Denon DJ seems to be doing it more than anyone else right now. The Prime 4 is an absolute riot of nextlevelness. It is GAS inducing shiny of the first order. And Denon just slapped its considerable cock right onto Pioneer DJ’s table with a resounding heavy thud. The game is on gentlemen. So on.
The Denon DJ Prime 4 Engine controller will cost $1699/£1469 and will be available in March 2019.