SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Roberto Medrano, Dmitriy Stepanov, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Sean Houghton

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Pioneer Beefs up Its DJ Controller Lineup with the Introduction of the Flagship DDJ-SZ

NAMM Booth #5810 Hall B – Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today expanded its family of Serato® DJ software compatible controllers with the introduction of the DDJ-SZ, its flagship model that strongly emulates the look and feel of Pioneer’s world-renowned CDJ digital players. The DDJ-SZ is designed for the serious “controller” DJs who are inspired by the performance specifications of Pioneer’s professional DJ products but also want the convenience of an all-in-one system. The new controller is 35 percent bigger than the widely popular DDJ-SX, sporting additional functionalities and features including extra large JOG wheels (the same size available on CDJ players), large performance pads with multi-color illumination, DJM style mixer, dual USB ports and a MAGVEL cross fader.

Pioneer DDJ-SZ Serato DJ compatible controller (Photo: Business Wire)

Pioneer DDJ-SZ Serato DJ compatible controller (Photo: Business Wire)

“The DDJ-SZ is the ‘Big Daddy’ of our controller lineup meant for those professional-type software DJs who really love our CDJ gear but like the ease of having everything in one unit,” said David Arevalo, director of marketing, Professional Sound and Visual Division for Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “We’ve given the DDJ-SZ a similar look and feel of our PRO gear, including large JOG wheels with a display that makes every performance even better.”

Similar to its smaller DDJ-S counterparts, the DDJ-SZ is optimized to work with the latest Serato DJ software.

  • Big JOG Wheel – The most noticeable CDJ PRO gear integration to the DDJ-SZ is its large 8.1-inch JOG wheels. The JOG wheels provide instantaneous response and excellent operability for accurate and smooth scratching and mixing performance. The center of each JOG wheel also features “ON JOG display” to illustrate playback status, cue points and position. In addition, the unit offers a JOG FEELING ADJUST to enable users to change the resistance of the wheel from light to heavy for a customized feel.
  • Performance Pads – Directly below each JOG wheel are four effects buttons – HOT CUE, ROLL, SLICER and SAMPLER. Under the effects buttons are eight extra large velocity sensitive “performance pads” that DJs can quickly access to insert different modified effects to music playing. In Sampler mode, the output volume of the sampler effects also varies depending on the strength of a user’s tap of the pad. An update from the current DDJ-S controllers, the performance pads on the DDJ-SZ illuminate in different colors to quickly communicate the effect mode it is in.
  • Dual USB Ports – The DDJ-SZ includes two USB ports to enable simultaneous connection of two computers. Users can instantly switch between two computers for seamless transitions between two DJs or as additional music sources.
  • High-End Mixer – The mixing area of the DDJ-SZ also closely mimics Pioneer’s DJM series of professional mixers, utilizing a generous number of controls and effects with features including Sound Color FX and new Oscillator functions to deliver more creative music arrangements. The mixer can also be used as a standalone 4-channel mixer for outboard players and turntables.
    • Oscillator – The new Oscillator on the right side of the mixer provides four types of sound effects: Noise, Siren, Cymbal and Horn. A quick touch of the buttons activates the effect(s), which can also be modified in amplitude (volume) to add to the music currently playing.
    • Sound Color FX – The mixer includes four Sound Color FX functions (Pitch, Jet, Echo and Filter), which add numerous audio effect combinations and arrangements to currently playing music with a simple twist of the knobs. Through Serato DJ’s beats per minute (BPM) analysis, users can also synchronize Echo effects to the BPM of currently playing music.
    • DVS Functionality – The controller can support DVS (Digital Vinyl System)1 using control tone to enable an external player to be used as a Serato DJ deck.
  • MAGVEL Cross Fader – For extremely smooth transitions and high durability between the DDJ-SZ’s players, the unit features a MAGVEL cross fader (the same component used in Pioneer’s DJM-900SRT) that utilizes a contact-free magnetic system that can withstand more than 10 million operations. The “cut in” time of the cross fader can also be customized to the user’s preference.

Additional Features

  • Serato DJ Software – A new Serato DJ software2 is bundled with the DDJ-SZ for an easy out-of-the-box experience.
  • Slip Mode – While activated, Slip Mode silently continues song playback during a performance loop, scratch or hot cue and resumes audible playback when the loop, scratch or hot cue operation is ended, creating smoother and more seamless transitions.
  • Needle Search – Users can immediately jump to a specific part of a music track with a simple touch of the Needle Search pad.
  • High Quality Audio – Two built-in 24-bit soundcards, low-jitter clock and a Wolfson high-performance digital-to-analog converter (DAC) are used for accurate audio playback. In addition to a 32-bit Digital Signal Processor to minimize digital noise, its balanced-hybrid operational amplifier and balance output circuit also reduce analog circuit noise.
  • Built-in Sound Card (audio interface)
  • P-LOCK Fader Cap – Prevents the fader knob from slipping off during extreme use.
  • Auto Standby – Automatically switches to standby mode when no activity or input is detected for a period of time.

The Pioneer DDJ-SZ will be available in March 2014 with a suggested retail price of $2,399.

The first 5,000 units of the DDJ-SZ sold worldwide will be bundled with a free license for the Serato Video plug-in (worth $149).

For a video demonstration, please click here.

Pioneer offers a complete line of professional DJ Equipment through its Professional Sound & Visual Division. Its DJ products are industry standards at clubs, studios, mobile rigs and homes around the world, known for their high quality sound and reliability. For more information, visit www.pioneerdjusa.com.

1 Serato time code vinyl/disc sold separately.
2 Visit http://pioneerdj.com/support/ for details (update available beginning of March).

PIONEER is a registered trademark of Pioneer Corporation.
SERATO is a registered trademark of Serato Audio Research Ltd.

For more information follow us on:

Twitter at twitter.com/PioneerDJ
Facebook at facebook.com/PioneerDJusa
YouTube at youtube.com/pioneerdjglobal

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