Pioneers latest controller features some amazing looks but can it top the other DJ controllers out there? Pioneers first controllers the DDJ-S1 and DDJ-T1 for Serato Itch and Traktor got mixed reviews on launch earlier on in the year and Pioneer are now looking to take them complaints and wipe them out with the DDJ Ergo which is compatible with Virtual DJ and soon Serato Intro.
As we always expect from Pioneer the styling is second to none. Smooth curves, gloss finishes and lights galore are the order of the day but you can’t argue that its not a good looking piece of kit. It has the values of a professional piece of kit whilst also looking extremely inviting with LEDs around the platters and more. The unit is quite large and spaced out, whilst it could have been made more compact the spacing isn’t much of an issue and everything is still within easy reach.
The unit comes with 1/4″ and 1/8″ inputs for headphones and at the back of the unit is input for microphone and aux sources. TRS and RCA outputs and usb along with an on switch finish of the rear of the unit. Like most Pioneer products the inputs are basic but all you need.
This unit has been made for Virtual DJ so if you are not a fan of that piece of software you may take some convincing. Traktor mapping support is available for those that prefer Traktor but we have zero complaints with Virtual DJ and think this is a match made in heaven.
The jog wheels are smaller than what you’d find on a CDJ but still have that Pioneer feel to them. Stiff without being a problem and solid enough to make you feel like you are in control. The Play and Cue buttons are a little more spread out than what you’d normally find but you won’t have any trouble using them and they are satisfying to use. Made from a durable plastic the buttons have very little give to them giving them a fast clickyness without any wobble. The light crossfader and heavy channel faders should be expect by any Pioneer DJ user and once again we have no complaints. They feel smooth to use and have just the right amount of stiffness. The pitch fader is a bit stiffer and more so than what you’d find on a CDJ. Personally we’d prefer if it was a little less stiff.
As we mentioned everything is spaced out but everything is given its own area of space so you never have to worry about where the loop buttons end and the filters start. For the beginner DJ this has everything and more to offer. The 2 deck like layout allows for instant use and whilst you can use 4 decks it feels a bit of an after thought compared to something like the Numark 4Trak. This has been priced at the lower end of the market so if you are looking for something to plug in and play then this is for you. Those looking for a bit more control, especially with extra assignable buttons may want to look elsewhere.
Being an all in one unit, the Ergo has on-board sound too. With the mic and headphone inputs there is a nice level of volume which works well for party DJs but maybe not so well for club DJs. But that’s the point of this unit, its not meant for clubs but for DJs who want to look cool whilst having the functions to pull off their mixes. We love the look and feel of it and whilst its not as feature rich as some of its competition, its not aiming at that market so we can’t help but recommend it for those looking to get started in the digital djing realm.