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Drink The Mixer Elixir

Can Pioneer’s DJM-2000 stake its claim to the throne as the ultimate DJ club mixer? DJmag puts it to the test…

Pioneer’s newest bad boy has definitely been causing a stir since it first came to light. The DJM-2000 is their all-singing, all-dancing stab at the ultimate DJ club mixer.
The DJM-2000 is a four-channel multiple input DJ mixer that’s designed to be used closely with Pioneer’s flagship CDJ decks. It can be used with any record or CD decks as it is basically just a mixer at heart, but to get the full-blown top-end DJing experience the CDJ-2000s are the way to go.

Pioneer have thought long and hard about this one and want the DJM-2000 to become the hub of your DJing set-up, especially when coupling it up with a laptop running the Rekordbox software and any ProDJ link-compatible CDJs. This is where the DJM kicks out and grabs you by the nuts.
Once your laptop and CDJs are connected up via Pioneer’s ProDJ link, the mixer then takes over audio duties. Up to four ProDJ link-compatible CDJ decks and two computers can be connected to the mixer via the link, and this then allows the DJM-2000’s soundcard to be employed to pick up the strain. This effectively means that DJs don’t have to worry about using the outs from the decks — this is great in getting rid of cable clutter. The level of interaction and integration between all the bits of kit is impressive, slick and easy to use.

ANYTHING GOES
Using the DJM isn’t dependent on ProDJ link-enabled CD decks as it is equipped with four phono inputs for the connection of four traditional turntables, four line inputs, four switchable CD/digital ins, and a USB connection — if you’re using DVS software or a computer system that isn’t Rekordbox enabled and still wish to use the DJM-2000 as your soundcard. This means that every DJing need can be catered for from one mixer, and there should be no more fighting in the booth while clashing mixes, and heads, when switching from one DJ to another.
In the middle of the DJM-2000 is the new multi-touch touch-screen and all new effects section. The large LCD multi-touch panel allows DJs to access three performance modes — Midi, Mix, and Remix — which can be engaged via the buttons next to the LCD screen. Each mode can be switched on and off with the main button found below the selectors.

Mix Mode lets the DJ choose between the four channels whilst affecting the EQ frequency with more precise detail than just the normal fader channel EQs. Think of graphic equalisers and this is exactly what it’s like. The frequencies in the sound can be tweaked or cut completely, just like with kill switches.

This is quite a fun area of the mixer as wherever the screen is touched will reflect on how the sound is affected — creating swirly-style frequency effects is simple. The screen is very responsive, in fact surprisingly so. It also gives added feedback to the DJ in its graphic representations. 

REMIX
Remix Mode acts like a studio production tool and works on the side-chaining principal. A sound signal can be chosen via the four channel selects and this can be used as a modulator for the remix mode. Applying one of the four pre-programmed oscillators to the sound source will result in various different types of rhythmic effect being produced. It basically adds a new percussive drum sound over the audio, so that effectively the DJ has created a brand new beat to play over his mix.
As well as the four pre-programmed oscillator patterns, DJs can chose from three other effect sources. Pitch will modulate the pitch of the sound, gate will add a scatter-type effect, and the sampler will do just that. These each offer variants on the effects that can be achieved in Remix mode.

Midi Mode is a bold addition as it basically turns the DJM-2000 into a DJ controller. The DJM has four different types of midi control panels that can be mapped exactly to your specific needs for use with digital DJing software. It would work like this. Laptop is connected to the DJM via the USB port running, say, Ableton Live. The DJ is ripping it up in the mix using the CDJs, then decides to get all crazy on your asses by dropping in clips and loops from Ableton. This can be done via the touch-screen on the DJM using it as the control pad, meaning that no other controllers need to be connected to the set up.
This is really showing how Pioneer wants the DJM-2000 to be the hub of everyone’s DJing setup. Everything and anything the DJ feels like doing, in theory, could be done without taking their hands off the DJM.

Also part of the mid region is the new FX section. This is more comprehensive than Pioneer’s previous heavyweight mixer the DJM-800 and utilises the technology found in Pioneer’s EFX 1000 effects unit. The new FX can be assigned to any of the mixer’s channels simply by pressing the channel select buttons at the top of the FX section. There are now 13 effects to choose from including filters, gates, multi-tap delays, echoes etc. Once the effect of choice has been picked, various parameters can be applied to it. The FX have their own EQ section which is quite a powerful tool as now it’s possible to add delay on just the low, mids or even the hi-end element of a track, specifically isolating the frequency where the FX is to be applied.

The Beat Effect region adds extra dimension to the whole FX section. Engaging auto BPM, the DJM-2000 will analyse the incoming signal and calculate the track’s BPM – users can also do this manually. This then means that by using the beat buttons it’s very easy to actually start playing the mixer like an instrument. The beat buttons automatically determine how long the FX is applied. Grab a loop on the CDJs, run it through the FX, choose something like the slip roll effect, then start alternating between the beat buttons. What you get is that Justice-style, Daft Punk cut up effect that can be played as you like.
Now, the fun doesn’t stop there. Users of Pioneer’s other FX equipped mixers will instantly recognise the INST FX section. This is basically the original-style effects that we all began to love or loathe, depending on your viewpoint. This INST FX can be applied to the four main channels and used on top of the main effect section and Performance Modes. The addition of the white noise generator allows some neat little whoosh effects to be had.

BACK TO BASICS
At the soul of it the DJM-2000 is a four-channel mixer with each channel having 3-band EQ, which can be used as standard EQs or as kill switches just at the touch of a switch. There’s the usual cue and crossfader select switches and LED meters for monitoring your signal levels, and Trim for fine-tuning the incoming audio’s level. The headphone section is very similar to the DJM-800 and has a very loud output essential for all serious club situations. All of the sections, as well as the faders, are cue enabled — a nice touch.

Cosmetically, the DJM-2000 is a beautiful unit. Its uncluttered layout makes it a breeze to us. The emphasis is all about DJing and performance, playing with the mixer to enhance your sets. The sliders, switches and knobs all have a great feel to them — they’re very tactile and sturdy with all the faders being replaceable. This is such a performance-orientated mixer, it really does added extra weapons to the DJ’s arsenal.

Verdict

Price   £1799.00
Contact   pioneer.eu
Build Quality
  8.0
Ease of Use   8.0
Features   9.0
Value for Money   7.0
Sound Quality   8.0
Hype   With the new LCD Screen, FX and Performance modes, DJs can now be more creative when it comes to hardware mixing and DJing.
Gripe  

It’s not cheap, and will only be in the domain of the big boys.

The DJM-2000 is not cheap, and it is aimed at the pro DJ market. Clubs and superstar DJs won’t quibble about the price, but at around £1800 it’s going to sting some people’s pockets. What DJs get is a lot of mixer and new technology, and when in use the DJM-2000 almost becomes an instrument in its own right.
Verdict   8/10
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