Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX
It's a grey day here at Mole towers when a courier drops off a box. I open it, and inside is a shiny chunk of black DJ tech. Suddenly, the boy in me is awakened and the sun starts to shine as I plug in the all new Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX!
As a long time user of Pioneer DJ kit, I am very used to - and love working with - a pair of CDJ-2000s and a DJM-900nexus mixer linked together with a Macbook running rekordbox using the Ethernet-based Pro DJ Link system. This combo is quite a large and heavy solution, so when news arrived of a mobile DJ friendly solution, I got quite excited.
The XDJ-RX is squarely aimed at the mobile DJ and is primarily designed to be used as a standalone device. It's an all-in-one system consisting of a dual player, a mixer and two effects modules. It plays music from a choice of two USB media devices or from a laptop connected using the Pro DJ Link. There is a generous 7" display which facilitates searching and selecting tracks from various sources, it also displays waveforms for the currently playing tracks, amongst other things. The unit can also be used as a MIDI control surface for DJ software such as Traktor Pro 2, although this is not what this bit of kit was really designed for (check out the Pioneer DDJ range if you are just looking for controllers).
Before I look at the XDJ-RX in detail, it's worth talking about rekordbox, which is the software this product was designed around. rekordbox is Pioneer's in house application which serves many purposes. First, you use it offline to analyse your music collection. It automatically analyses the BPM and key as well as mapping out a waveform for each track. You can then create loops and insert cue points where you need them, which can be recalled later when playing back using the XDJ-RX. rekordbox can also be used to create playlists, which is key to DJing with the RX. For example, I have playlists which include essential garage, essential drum n bass, essential rock, essential party, chill out, etc. For each event I then also prepare in advance a folder which contains the requests and must plays for that particular evening.
When youve analysed your music and set up your playlists, the next step is to synchronise your rekordbox music to a USB storage device (or two) using the Sync Manager. Then, when you connect this device (or devices) to the XDJ-RX, all of your music collection along with your playlists can be easily accessed and searched. This eliminates the need to have your laptop actually at a gig, and no one can accuse you of not concentrating on your job by checking your Facebook status whist DJing! This should also eliminate those people who ask you to look for their favourite list on Spotify or YouTube...
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 71, Pages 76-79.