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TECH AWARDS RESULTS 2014

This year's results are now in, check them out here!

The most wide-ranging annual survey of dance music technology and kit is back. Every year we aim to improve the way we deliver the DJ Mag Tech Awards, and this year is no exception. In 2014 we have supercharged the video delivery, making it more concise and informative, giving you a real reflection on how the kit works. As per previous years it has been a very closely-run contest, with you the public casting the votes that will see a host of kit coming out on tops for 2014...

Technology is so ingrained within dance music culture it is almost impossible to think of a time when things weren’t done on a computer. Technology is a major part of our scene. Every year we see a new batch of innovations that are implemented or introduced in order to transform the way we play, make and deliver music. With these new developments the scene takes on a new and exciting fervour, which is translated in the way DJs/producers ply their trade. Of course there will be arguments about button-pushing, beat-syncing and the like, but these are just the usual commentaries that are delivered when something new is introduced.

The DJ Mag Tech Awards is a great way for manufacturers, DJs, producers, in fact any interested party, to really get deep down and cosy with the music technology that is driving our scene. It’s a great way to get everyone engaged and you’ve demonstrated this yet again by the enormous amounts of votes for your favourite kit that have come through. Well in excess of 100,000 votes have been cast and now we get to know who will reign supreme in the DJ Mag Tech Awards 2014

INNOVATIVE NEW DJ PRODUCT
Every year the innovations just keep coming, which pioneering bit of kit will take the crown for 2013?

 

WINNER: Reloop RP-8000

Hype
A turntable that benefits from top-notch build quality and components, MIDI controls and a digital pitch setting display.

Gripe
This turntable is very hard on the wallet, and those rubberised buttons do not reflect the otherwise great build quality.

Summary
Reloop are gunning to be the top dog of the turntable market with the RP8000, a beautiful turntable complete with some rather lovely touches and unique MIDI control features.

£525
8.6/10

ULTIMATE MEDIA PLAYER
Big toys for the ultimate club experience. These decks can play music from any source — vinyl, CD, digital and beyond.

 

WINNER: Pioneer CDJ2000Nexus 

Hype
A great-sounding deck that covers all bases, which has won it the accolade of the industry standard.

Gripe
Price, it’s not cheap and two will set you back a whole heap of cash.

Summary
The CDJ2000 is generally regarded as the industry standard club CDJ deck. With even tighter integration with the major DVS systems, the CDJ2000nexus is the ultimate player.

£1500
8/10

MEDIA PLAYER UNDER £600
Dropping pro features without the pro price tags, this highly contested category is where it is all at...

 

WINNER: Pioneer CDJ 350

Hype
The Pioneer CDJ deck for those on a budget, with USB storage device and RekordBox support.

Gripe
The smaller non-weighted jog-wheels and lack of features found on the other CDJs may leave some people feeling serious deck envy.

Summary
The CDJ player for DJs who want USB and RekordBox support, that don’t have rich parents and are unwilling to rob a bank to support their musical habit.

£527
8/10

ULTIMATE CLUB DJ MIXER
Year in year out this is the category that just gets harder to judge — but it’s not called Ultimate Club DJ Mixer for nothing...

WINNER: Pioneer DJM900 Nexus

Hype
Considered the industry standard mixer, that works in sweet harmony with the other CDJ Nexus products, as well as having two specific models for Serato or Traktor users.

Gripe
It is hard not to love almost everything about these mixers except the price-tag, which will put a dent in a few pockets.

Summary
The new 900 range has all bases covered, with Traktor and Serato versions making this the go-to mixer of choice for many clubs and pro DJs alike.

£1749
8.8/10

DJ MIXER UNDER £600
Bringing pro-style features to affordable functional mixers for DJs everywhere...

 

 

WINNER: Allen & Heath Xone 23c

Hype
That famous Allen & Heath sound quality plus their famous high and low pass filters, and a rather clever channel input arrangement that allows playback of two inputs per channel.

Gripe
A standard kettle plug-style power connector would be preferable to the external power supply used.

Summary
A truly professional entry-level mixer that performs and feels exactly the same as Allen & Heath's flagship models, that is available with an onboard audio interface.

£319
8.5/10

DJ SOFTWARE
This year the competition gets even tougher as we look at the best digital DJing software on the planet. This is going to be close...

WINNER: Serato DJ

Hype
Serato are smashing it with their pro digital DJing software. The FX rock, it sounds good and in use is an absolute dream.

Gripe
Having to pay for it.

Summary
Serato DJ's latest version has even more new features to make sure that this piece of software is leading the charge when it comes to digital DJing. The staggering amount of certified controllers, mixers and soundcards that can be used make this a DJ's dream.

£99
9/10

ULTIMATE DJ CONTROLLER
Top-of-the-range controllers offering professional performance for today’s superstar DJs...

WINNER: Pioneer DDJ SZ

Hype
Large eight-inch CDJ2000-style platters, colour assignable MPC pads, dual sound-cards for multi-computer connection.

Gripe
The control surface layout is bordering on cluttered, and this is one big controller, both in terms of size and price.

Summary
Pioneer's DDJ-SZ deserves its status as their flagship Serato controller. It is beautifully designed, packed to the gills with great features and offers great value for money for those who desire a CDJ layout and workflow.

£1749
9/10

CONSUMER DJ CONTROLLER
These cut-price wonders are packed to the rafters with top-end features that will make any budding DJ feel like a seasoned professional.

WINNER: Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk2

Hype
It’s lighter and more portable than the S4, and the new MK2 version has some minor refinements and new features such as the Flux Mode button.

Gripe
The lack of external inputs other than for a microphone is a letdown, and losing some of the functions of the S4 means more time spent using the keyboard and mouse on your computer.

Summary
A smaller more portable version of the incredibly popular S4 controller, with all of the major features but less of a dent on the wallet.

£399
8/10

STUDIO PRODUCTION SOFTWARE
To make those perfect beats you’re going to need some essential Studio Software. Which one will be crowned king of the beat-makers?

WINNER: Ableton Live 9 Suite

Hype
Great value for money, improved session and arrangement views plus a huge library of sounds.

Gripe
There is still no support for dual monitors, which is something of a let-down.

Summary
This latest version of Ableton has been worth the long wait, thanks to some great improvements to the workflow and a generous amount of device enhancements and add-ons.

£559
8.5/10

STUDIO PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT
It doesn’t get better than this — some of the tastiest kit for the studio and live performer...

WINNER: Native Instruments Maschine Studio

Hype
Two gorgeous high resolution screens, a redesigned workflow, multi source UV meter monitoring and software that has been rewritten from the ground up.

Gripe
Maschine Studio is a beautiful piece of kit, but it is not cheap and now requires an external power supply.

Summary
Maschine Studio is Native Instruments' flagship groove production studio and thanks to the fantastic design and beautiful engineering, it has quickly become one of this year’s must-have pieces of studio equipment.

£659
9/10

DJ TOOLS INCORPORATING FX
Taking DJing to infinity and beyond, here we check out the tools to enhance those DJing performances...


WINNER: Pioneer RMX 1000

Hype
Laptop-style FX for DJs without needing a computer, plus a VST plug-in for use in the studio or in Ableton sets.

Gripe
The lack of digital or pro DJ link connectivity is something of a disappointment.

Summary
Fantastic build quality, a slick control interface and fantastic sound mean the RMX1000 is the perfect way to add FX to any DJ set-up, and a great way to achieve laptop-style FX and sampler capabilities without needing to use a computer.

£599
9/10

BEST DJ APP
The next generation apps that are taking DJing to a new level...

WINNER: Serato Remote

Hype
Low latency plus a slick and user-friendly interface make this app the must-have accessory for Serato DJs.

Gripe
It only works if users have already purchased Serato DJ or Scratch Live.

Summary
A wireless remote control for Serato in the form of an iOS app, that puts all the best functions at DJs' fingertips.

£13.99

8/10

BEST MUSIC PRODUCTION APP
Killer tunes can now be made on the go with these tasty apps...

WINNER: Native Instruments iMaschine

Hype
Sampler, sequencer and audio recorder, plenty of kits to choose from, fantastic sound quality and iTunes integration.

Gripe
Really hard to fault this one, based on the Maschine’s easily programmable heritage.

Summary
The brilliant user interface, features like the Quantum sound library and the ability to record and mix make iMaschine the perfect sketch-pad for on-the-go beat-making, especially for Maschine and Machine Studio owners.

£2.99
8.5/10

HEADPHONES
A DJs’ most essential tool, you definitely don’t want to leave home without them!

WINNER: V-Moda Crossfade M100

Hype
Stunning sound quality, fantastic isolation, virtually indestructible headband, incredibly comfortable, protective hard case and minimal sound leakage.

Gripe
These headphones are geared towards DJs and audiophiles, so their studio performance suffers a little.

Summary
Feature-packed is an understatement, with Kevlar cables, customisable guards, military spec components and a level of audio reproduction that is nothing short of breathtaking. These headphones are incredibly desirable.

£234
9/10

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