Pioneer DDJ-SZ Serato DJ Controller Features And Reviews

Pioneer has today launched a new flagship Serato DJ controller, the DDJ-SZ. It’s designed to emulate the layout of a club-standard CDJ-2000NXS players and DJM-900SRT pro DJ booth set-up, the bigger, brighter DDJ-SZ has on-jog display with illuminated cue point markers, and large performance pads with customisable multi-coloured hot cue LEDs. For Serato DJ users who want high-end Pioneer quality but have no need to play from CDs or USB sticks, the DDJ-SZ offers affordable Pioneer quality for Serato DJ users on the go or for small venue/ bar installations.

The Pioneer DDJ-SZ can be used as a standalone mixer too, and has all the modern standards such as slip mode. Pioneer is making a point of the fact that it is Midi compatible so can be mapped to other DJ software too if required. Pioneer built the DDJ-SZ keeping in mind user feedback that requested the look, size, and feel of CDJs and a DJM mixer in a single controller. On that account, the DDJ-SZ delivers and then some. It also delivers a lot of new bells and whistles.

Pioneer DDJ-SZ Serato DJ ControllerImage source djworx.com 

The DDJ-SZ includes two USB ports to enable simultaneous connection of two computers. So two people can plug in laptops simultaneously and play on the hardware at the same time. There’s two truly independent sound cards, so users can instantly switch between two computers for seamless transitions between two DJs or as additional music sources.

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. So you could, for example, connect CDJ units to the controller and use the CDJs as decks 3 and 4.

The new Oscillator on the right side of the mixer provides four types of sound effects: Noise, Siren, Cymbal and Horn. This effects is exclusive and you’ll never found on DJM mixer. 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. These produce tempo-synced oscillations with a parameter control, and they can be routed to a specific channel for mixing and cutting. Four additional Sound Color FX include Echo, Jet, Pitch and Filter.

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. There are two browsing/loading knobs, one for each deck, like there would be in a CDJ setup. And the Jog Wheels are conductive, rather than a mechanical push. Directly below each JOG wheel are four effects buttons: Hot Cue, Roll, Slicer and Sampler. Under the effects buttons are eight extra large “Performance Pads” that DJs can quickly access to insert different modified effects to music playing. The fully illuminated pads are color coded to illustrate which mode you’re in. The only bummer here is that you can’t active Slicer when a loop is already running.

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 – The 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.

MAIN SPECIFICATIONS :

Software Serato DJ
Number of channels 4 audio channels, 2 mic channels
Input ports CD/LINE×4 (RCA), PHONO×2 (RCA)
MIC x 2 (XLR & 1/4 inch combined PHONE x 1, 1/4 inch PHONE x 1)
Output ports MASTER OUT×2 (RCA×1, XLR×1)
BOOTH OUT×1 (1/4 inch PHONE)
HEADPHONE MONITOR OUT×2 (front panel 1/4 inch PHONE, Φ3.5mm MiniPin)
Other ports USB x 2 (Type B)
Sampling rate 44.1 kHz
D/A converter 24 bit
A/D converter 24 bit
Frequency response 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion ratio 0.002% or less (USB)
S/N ratio 111 dB or above (USB)
Head room 19 dB
Maximum dimensions 870 mm (W) × 419.5 mm (D) × 98.4 mm (H)
Unit weight 10.4 kg

Serato DJ System Requirements:

Applicable OS (Windows) Windows 7
32-bit: (CPU) 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo /(Memory) 2GB
64-bit: (CPU) 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo / (Memory) 4GB
32-bit: (CPU) Core i3, i5 or i7 1.07 GHz / (Memory) 2GB
64-bit: (CPU) Core i3, i5 or i7 1.07 GHz / (Memory) 4GB
Applicable OS (Mac) Mac OS X v10.9.1/10.8.5/10.7.5/10.6.8
32-bit: (CPU) 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo / (Memory) 2GB
64-bit: (CPU) 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo / (Memory) 4GB
32-bit: (CPU) Core i3, i5 or i7 1.07 GHz / (Memory) 2GB
64-bit: (CPU) Core i3, i5 or i7 1.07 GHz / (Memory) 4GB
Display resolution 1,280 x 720 or higher resolution

This is review video of Pioneer DDJ-SZ

According to several review of the users, this Pioneer DDJ-SZ get some positive response:

  • Quality, They feel that it is solid
  • The audio quality
  • The mixer section with independent sound color fx, independent software
  • The jogs (good size and the LED display is superb)
  • Dual soundcard to change between several dj mac
  • Ability to mix in with his mk2 noisemap
  • Quality of material
  • The impression of a djm Grefe on a controller!
  • Two independent microphones
  • Pad just perfect

And the negative response:

  • The touch sensitivity of Jogs.
    Unlike the SX, there is no way to adjust the touch sensitivity of jogs. Depending on how the finger is placed on the jog, it will be recognized by the SZ … or not! If we set flat, it works well, if we put the fingertips, the SZ does not see!
  • No specific mapping for Traktor
  • Oscillator Some effects are in their opinion a little gadget (Horn and Siren).

The Pioneer DDJ-SZ was sold at price range $1,999. Hopefully the article of Pioneer DDJ-SZ Serato DJ Controller Features And Reviews was useful…

Reference:

  • djtechtools.com
  • pioneerelectronics.com
  • pioneerdj.com
  • en.audiofanzine.com