Dawn of a new species: CDJ-2000
Evolution. Changing times call for changing tools. That’s why, according to Pioneer, their new multi-format player is the natural selection for the next generation of DJs. It’s been 15 years since the genesis of Pioneer’s first CDJ deck, which led to the industry standard CDJ-1000 series. Now it’s time for something completely new and the brand have therefore recently introduced a major leap forward for the CDJ series: the CDJ-2000 – a new professional player for the digital age.
The CDJ-2000 can play music from multiple sources, including CD, DVD, USB storage devices and SD memory cards. It also comes with new music database management software for DJs: rekordbox™. Based on Pioneer’s ‘Prepare & Perform’ concept, rekordbox™ works (for both Mac and PC) like the leading music database management software, but is more creative and more DJ-friendly. rekordbox™ allows DJs to prepare more before their performance and opens a door to tools such as Hot Cue Banks and Quantize, for perfectly synced loops every time. DJs can then export data to a USB or SD device to access vast libraries of music files and perform live – without the need for extra equipment. There is no need to burn CDs, simply take your USB device to a gig, plug it in to the CDJ and play.
Through the industry-first ‘Pro DJ Link’, music files and database data on one single USB or SD device can be shared simultaneously by up to four players connected via LAN (local area network) cable. Plus, the data history of each DJ set is automatically saved and can be made into a playlist that can be loaded back into rekordbox™. Another key facet of the CDJ-2000 is its advanced HID (human interface device) and MIDI capabilities for native control of DVS (digital vinyl systems) via USB. What’s more, it achieves Pioneer’s highest sound quality to date through an improved audio output circuit, a new audiophile-pleasing Wolfson DAC processor, and a built-in 24-bit/48 kHz sound card.
Naturally, the CDJ-2000’s layout is related to its predecessor, the CDJ-1000MK3. However, although it fits easily into the MK3’s footprint, it ramps up performance with a large (6.1-inch) and clear full-colour screen. Below the screen is an industry-first waveform ‘Needle Search™’/Needle Drop ribbon, so that all the convenience of direct file browsing can now be found in an intuitive hardware format. Add to these features a highly evolved illuminated Jog wheel, and an overall enhanced design, complete with carry handles and Kensington lock, and you have the ideal digital innovation for total performance and seamless synchronisation.
‘DJing is increasingly about the endless creative possibilities opened up by digital Darwinism. Natural selection favours superior performance and those who can better streamline processes to channel the best of the software and hardware worlds. It really is all about the survival of the fittest. This new hybrid species of multi-player, our CDJ-2000, is thus an adaptable digital solution for the evolving needs of leading DJs,’ comments Mark Grotefeld, Head of Marketing (Pro SV), Pioneer Europe.
CDJ-2000 KEY FEATURES
Fully compatible with a wide range of media formats
Besides regular audio CDs (and MP3 data CDs and DVDs) the CDJ-2000 can play music files that have been copied to SD memory cards and USB storage devices, such as flash memory and hard disk drives. Compatible file formats are MP3, AAC, WAV and AIFF (16/24-bit). Files on Tonium’s Pacemaker*1 can also be played when connected as a storage device via USB.
rekordbox™ database management software - ‘Prepare & Perform'
The idea behind ‘Prepare & Perform’ is that rekordbox™ works in harmony with DJs, allowing them to analyse, arrange, edit and export their music and data to digital media before their performance. Put simply, rekordbox™ offers an alternative to taking a laptop to a gig. Not only does it function like a database for DJs (and is compatible with the leading music database management software through a bridge feature) but it also offers many more creative opportunities. DJs can prepare cue points, loops and Hot Cues in advance of their show. They can manage music files by editing tag information and artwork, while rekordbox™ analyses such track information as BPM and wave data. DJs can also edit beatgrids, which utilise the CDJ-2000’s new Quantize performance features, so, as an option, all cue points and loops can be set perfectly on-beat every time. In addition, users can create, edit and manage playlists in rekordbox™ and the CDJ-2000 creates a history playlist on your storage device of every track played for review when you next sync with rekordbox™.
Full-colour display screen
A bright, elevated 6.1-inch LCD enables DJs to acquire all information at a glance in the dark. And it’s not just about browsing directly though text, because artwork can also be displayed. Thanks to a combination of the GUI (graphical user interface) and a rotary selector, track browsing/selection is made super-quick and easy. Plus, for on-the-fly programming, tag lists can be created using the dedicated Tag button. Meanwhile, that all-important wave data is displayed with improved precision, so that high/low amplitude components can be grasped in the greatest detail to date.
Needle Search™/Needle Drop
This industry first reproduces digitally the action of needle dropping on vinyl. Needle Search™ lets you instantaneously preview music at any chosen point with pinpoint accuracy. Simply slide a finger along the Needle Drop pad while listening to the stuttered preview and checking the wave display to locate peaks and troughs. This tactile ribbon controller can also be used to conduct keyword searches.
Pro DJ Link
For the very first time, DJs can connect up to four CDJ-2000s and rekordbox™ by LAN connection and instantly share music and data between the players. That’s one LAN hub, one USB storage device or SD memory card, and countless creative possibilities – multi-directionally reinforced.
Wolfson DAC processor
A high-performance Wolfson DAC processor allows audio to be reproduced with a lush analogue feel. Great news for audiophiles is the better signal-to-noise ratio, giving a massive improvement on the CDJ-1000MK3 processor, and a new hybrid operation amplifier circuitry that also minimises noise. The result is a clear, transparent sound that is faithful to the original.
The CDJ-2000 has a built-in sound card so no extra interface or unnecessary rewiring is required and connection is possible by using only one USB cable. Information can be output as MIDI to software and other MIDI devices via USB. The player can also be used as a MIDI controller. But HID control offers superior interfacing with software, beating MIDI with speed, audio/visual streaming and two-way information on displays. Consequently, the player can easily, precisely and natively control such DVS systems as Serato’s Scratch Live*2 and Native Instrument’s Traktor*3 series – without any need for time-coded discs.
Quantized beat loop
After music files have been analysed with rekordbox™, the Quantize function automatically corrects and syncs the beat during a manual loop or real-time cue in. This even works if the in/out point is off beat. There is also a convenient auto one-touch four-beat loop onboard, if required. And thanks to a new 0.5 frame step, there’s twice the resolution for setting even more precise cue and loop points.
An extra three Hot Cue Banks
Aside from the three Hot Cue buttons on the CDJ-2000 player itself, there are also three Hot Cue Banks to be found in the rekordbox™ playlist. This provides users with an abundance of Hot Cues to further extend the editing opportunities.
Advanced new Jog Wheel
The all-new club conscious Jog dial is illuminated in four different places. It’s also much quieter and smoother in operation, and has a far wider tension range when compared to the CDJ-1000MK3.