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Pioneer’s CDJ-2000

Again, Pioneer DJ has made our lives easier–somewhat.

Sure, they’ve responded to the music industry’s shift toward digital distribution with the CDJ-2000, by incorporating key components of the digital DJ’s kit. The 2000 can replace the sound card (for Native Instruments Traktor users) and the requirement for time-coded CDs (with its Human Interface Device). Simply plug a standard USB cable from your CDJ-2000 into your DVS computer (or a USB hub for multiple CDJ-2000s) and the audio now comes directly out of the players, using the standard RCA cords. This not only makes hookups a breeze, but now the transitions between DJs become completely unfettered, as the players can easily switch between playback formats—CD, USB, SD or DVS. No more fear of disconnecting the wrong cable and subjecting your audience to “dead air.”

But an even bigger buzz surrounds the CDJ-2000’s Rekordbox, software that imports your playlists and iTunes data into its collection and analyzes each track to develop the waveform for display on the CDJ-2000. It then calculates the BPM and sets a beat grid. You can then set cue points, hot cues, loops, etc., in the software and have those markers automatically load with the song when plugged into the player. In conjunction with the new “4 Beat Loop” and quantization functions on the player, rekordbox enables seamless looping and loop cutting down to a fraction of a beat. In our testing, the USB mode exactly matched—and was even superior to—the audio CD mode and opened up a whole new world of performance options, as the fear of a less-than-precise loop has disappeared.

So, sure, they’ve made our lives easier, but at a list price north of $1,600, it doesn’t make our marriages any easier.

“My wife is gonna be pissed when I bring this CDJ home,” said DJ Lenny Dibrezio, whose wife has been hammering at him to replace the kitchen floor.

Still, we say, Party On!

Look for a full review in the June issue of DJ Times.

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