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WANT! | Pioneer DJ DDJ-SZ2

February 4, 2017 No Comments
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Now here’s a turn-up for the books — after a messy breakup that sent shockwaves through the DJ industry that are still being felt, Pioneer DJ and Serato are trying again. The relationship is back on, and the language used in the press releases indicates a long term future. And the first product to come from this reconciliation is a sequel to the mothership of controllers — behold the DDJ-SZ2.

Two sets of words follow, one from Pioneer DJ HQ, and the other from Serato themselves. Then we can get into it with our own words:

Freedom to control – Meet the DDJ-SZ2 controller Dedicated controls for new Serato DJ features

20th December 2016: We’ve upgraded our flagship Serato DJ controller to create the DDJ-SZ2. You can use the new 4-channel controller to get hands-on with the latest additions to Serato DJ, including key shift, key sync, pitch play and Serato Flip. The multicoloured Performance Pads give you instant feedback on pad modes and playing statuses, and thanks to the improved jog wheel latency, scratching is more responsive and precise than ever.

To help you get the most out of the controller, the DDJ-SZ2 comes bundled with the latest version of Serato DJ. The Pitch ‘n Time DJ and Serato Flip expansion packs are also included so you can use several new features including pitch play and key sync.

The DDJ-SZ2 will be available from mid-December at an SRP of €2,099 including VAT. Watch our introduction video for the DDJ-SZ2 or find out more about the new controller.

FREE SERATO VIDEO EXPANSION PACK PROMOTION

We’re putting a voucher for a free Serato Video expansion pack in the boxes of the first 3,000 DDJ- SZ2 controllers that we ship worldwide. This comes along with the Serato DJ, Pitch ‘n Time DJ and Serato Flip expansion packs bundled with the controller as standard, so if you’re one of the first DJs to buy the DDJ-SZ2, you’ll have full control of audio and video performances.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DDJ-SZ2

  • 1. Layout mirrors CDJ-style set-up

Mix and scratch instinctively on the controller, which looks and feels similar to a full professional CDJ + DJM set-up.

    • Big Jogs: Scratching feels natural on the Big Jogs taken from the CDJ-2000NXS2, and the illuminating On-Jog Display gives you information about the current playback status and position for more precise performances. Jog Feeling Adjust, also from the CDJ series, lets you customise the resistance and backspin time.
    • Multicoloured Performance Pads: Use the large, multicoloured tactile Performance Pads to trigger Hot Cues, samples and FX. Hit the pads harder to increase the volume of samples and watch their colours change as they indicate the selected pad mode and playing status.
    • DJM-style mixer section: Stay in control at all times thanks to the simple layout of the mixer section which mirrors the design of the DJM series.
  • 2. Dual USB port for smooth DJ changeovers

Dual USB ports let you hook-up two computers at the same time and use the top-loaded A/B switch for seamless DJ transitions.

  • 3. Native support and dedicated controls for new Serato DJ features
    • Key shift, key sync and pitch play: Use dedicated controls to trigger the new key shift and key sync functions in Serato DJ, which let you adjust the key of tracks and sync the keys of tracks during mixes. Pitch play lets you play your Hot Cues across a range of different keys and assign them to the controller’s Performance Pads.
    • Serato Flip: Create and save Hot Cue sequences to make custom edits of your tracks and use the dedicated Serato Flip controls to play them back at the touch of a button. Get even more creative by skipping or repeating track sections on the fly.
  • 4. Professional performance features and FX
    • Sound Colour FX: Spice up your sets with the four popular Sound Colour FX from our DJM series; Echo, Jet, Pitch and Filter. You can sync Echo with the BPM of the track that’s playing.
    • Oscillator: Add texture and tension to your tracks with the four oscillator sounds; Noise, Drop, Laser and Siren. Turn the oscillator parameter knob to create new tones.
  • 5. Magvel crossfader

The Magvel crossfader – taken from the club standard DJM-900NXS2 – is the ultimate to mix and scratch with. Accurate and smooth, it’s durable for more than 10 million movements and is liquid and dust resistant.

  • 6. High-quality sound

Hear your tracks loud and clear thanks to the audio circuit inherited from professional Pioneer DJ gear. Contact resistance is reduced by the AC inlet, and the high performance D/A converter made by Cirrus Logic, Inc., and low jitter oscillator mean the DDJ-SZ2 reproduces clear and powerful sound that’s faithful to its source.

  • 7. Other features
    • Plug and play: Simply connect your laptop and start mixing via Serato DJ. All buttons and controls, as well as the built-in sound card, are Serato DJ-ready.
    • Aluminium-finished top panel and jog wheels: For a quality look and feel.
    • Slip Mode: Silently keeps a track playing during a loop, scratch or Hot Cue. Release the jog wheel and the track comes back at exactly the right place.
    • Needle search pad: Instantly jump to a specific part of a track with a simple touch of the pad.
    • Peak limiter: Controls clipping of the master output.
    • P-Lock Fader Cap: Locks all fader knobs to prevent dropping

DDJ-SZ2 SPECIFICATIONS

DDJ-SZ2
Software Serato DJ
Input ports CD/Line x 4 (RCA)
Phono x 2 (RCA)
MIC x 2
(XLR & ¼-inch TRS  Jack x 1, ¼-inch TRS  Jack x 1)
Output ports Master Out x 2 (RCA x 1, XLR x 1),
Booth Out x 1 (¼-inch Stereo Phone Jack)
Headphone Monitor Out x 2 (Front ¼-inch TRS Jack,
3.5 mm Stereo Mini Jack)
Other ports USB (Type B) x 2
Sampling Rate 44.1 kHz
D/A Converter 24-bit
A/D Converter 24-bit
Frequency response 20Hz ~ 20kHz (LINE)
Total Harmonic Distortion ratio 0.002% or less (USB) 0.004% or less (LINE)
S/N ratio 111 dB or above (USB)
Headroom 19 dB
Maximum dimensions(W×H×D) 870 x 98.4 x 419.5 mm
Unit weight 10.7 kg

SERATO DJ SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Compatible OS (Windows) Windows® 10, 8.1,  7  (The latest service pack)
Compatible OS
(Mac)
macOS Sierra 10.12, OS X 10.11, 10.10, 10.9 (Updated to the latest version)
CPU (32/64 bit) Intel® processer CoreTM  i7, i5 or above
Memory 4GB or more of RAM
Serato Video requires a graphics card with 384MB of dedicated video memory
Display resolution Resolution of 1280 x 720 or greater

 

And now from Serato:

Announcing the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SZ2 for Serato DJ

Serato DJ 1.9.5 now includes official support the all-new Pioneer DJ DDJ-SZ2 controller.

The all-new Pioneer DJ DDJ-SZ2 comes with great upgrades to Pioneer DJ’s flagship DDJ-SZ Controller, including key shifting & sync controls, Pitch Play and Serato Flip, as well as improved jog wheel latency and post-fader FX.

With dual USB for easy back to back performance and changeover between DJs, large CDJ style platters and DJM style mixer section, the DDJ-SZ2 is a powerful controller, suitable as the basis of a permanent DJ setup, or a portable all-in-one solution.

Young Ly (Serato CEO) says: “There continues to be a very strong relationship between both Serato and Pioneer DJ, with a commitment to quality, and a passion for creating the best tools for the DJs bringing music to dancefloors worldwide. We’ve continued to work closely with their team and we’re excited to now support the updated DDJ-SZ2 controller, as well as recent support for their popular DJM-900NXS2 mixer and CDJ-2000NXS2. We’re looking forward to what comes next as we continue to collaborate on future products for Serato DJs and Pioneer DJs.”

Aki Ide (Pioneer DJ CEO) says: “The DDJ-S series has been a success from the start and we’re excited to introduce the new upgraded model, which is the perfect partner to the latest version of Serato DJ. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Serato and delivering exciting products for DJs together.”

Download Serato DJ 1.9.5

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SZ2: Key Features

  • Serato DJ Enabled.
  • CDJ Style jog wheels and mirrored layout.
  • Multi-coloured RGB Performance Pads with aftertouch to add expression to the Serato Sampler.
  • Familiar DJM-style mixer section.
  • Dual USB port for smooth DJ changeovers and back-to-back DJing with two laptops.
  • Serato Key Shift & Sync, as well as Pitch Play controls with included Pitch ‘n Time DJ license.
  • Serato Flip license included, as well as dedicated hardware controls.
  • Sound Colour FX: Spice up your sets with the four popular Sound Colour FX from our DJM series; Echo, Jet, Pitch and Filter. You can sync Echo with the BPM of the track that’s playing.
  • Oscillator: Add texture and tension to your tracks with the four oscillator sounds; Noise, Drop, Laser and Siren. Turn the oscillator parameter knob to create new tones.
  • Magvel crossfader, durable for more than 10 million movements and liquid and dust resistant.
  • High-quality sound thanks to the audio circuit inherited from professional Pioneer DJ gear.
  • Aluminium-finished top panel and jog wheels: For a quality look and feel.

WHAT’S NEW IN THE SZ2?

Not much to be honest. Overlaying old and mew images, it just seems like a smidgeon of Serato functionality has made it to the faceplate and not much else, but Serato has lavished more software for DDJ-SZ2 buyers. I’m sure more will come to light, but right now I’m supposed to be enjoying my wedding anniversary.

WHAT IT REALLY MEANS

Pioneer DJ really needed rekordbox to take off big time, and they bet the farm on it. Out came a slew of rekordbox specific hardware, and the software itself got up to speed from the starting blocks in record (rekord?) time. But despite the online cries for more, DJs are a conservative lot with vast well organised music collections in Serato DJ and Traktor, and simply jumping to new unproven software was never really going to happen, especially when their mortgage depends on everything working right every time.

So as witnessed by the NXS2 range getting Serato DJ and Traktor Pro compatibility, the DJ scene isn’t quite ready to leap blindly at new hardware that only works with new software, thus Pioneer DJ needs to keep the masses sweet with product that works with their favourite DJ apps. They tried to make a clean break and a fresh start, but it just hasn’t gone to plan.

That said, rekordbox is great software that does everything it needs to — Pioneer DJ made sure of that. And perhaps when it has matured and is being used more routinely by some VIPs but more importantly by the vocal masses on social media spreading rekordbox joy by word of mouth, then perhaps a wider audience might be willing to give it a whirl. But for now, Pioneer DJ clearly needs to keep everyone else happy to ensure that they keep selling hardware. For how long is anyone’s guess. I suspect that at some point in the next few years, Pioneer DJ may well sever ties again, but at least it won’t be a surprise.

So a new era has started (or more accurately an old era has restarted), where Pioneer DJ makes their own hardware and software, but it also works with its old partners too. I suspect that like before, the worlds of rekordbox and Serato DJ will remains disparate on controllers, and you’ll still have to make your choice rather than being able to use both. DDJ-S* or DDJ-R*? But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a DDJ-T* as well? We’re watching closely.

SUMMING UP

The DDJ-SZ2 should be out in time for Christmas (haha I wish) for the not inconsiderable sum of €2099. No word on other pricing yet. Note to Pioneer DJ PR — please include this as standard (the internet is global), as it’s always the first question asked, outside of “can I fit an Innofader” of course. And the first 3000 sold get Serato Video too.

OVER TO YOU

Come one them — let’s have it. You know you have an opinion, and we want to hear it.

GALLERY

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