Review: Pioneer DJ CDJ-3000 – Mixdown Magazine

Words from Sam McNiece

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Pioneer DJ, the industry leader in professional digital DJ equipment, is back better than ever with the biggest and baddest CDJ-3000. If you’ve played in a club recently, you may have seen one of these in the wild and been stunned by the larger screen and additional buttons and settings available.

For the uninitiated or unaware, Pioneer DJ equipment is the industry standard with basically every club, festival, and venue having DJs using their equipment. Intrinsically, a CDJ is an audio player that allows you to select and play audio files from USBs, CDs, and SD cards. The magic happens with the ability to manipulate the pitch (speed) of the track to match the music that is already playing, but we are past that being a new feature and Pioneer DJ have constantly added new features to their devices in the past. 28 years since the original CDJs were released.

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In a weird twist, this CDJ is actually the first of its namesake to not have a physical CD slot. Usually for other Pioneer DJ products that lack a CD port (namely the XDJ series) they have deviated from using their main CDJ product name, but not anymore. CDs are simply a fragment of past generations of DJing, with USB and SD cards being the format of choice as they are easier to transport and extremely more flexible to play.

Focusing on the important areas of the hardware, Pioneer DJ has updated the jogwheel, making it smoother to operate, reducing latency in use, and adding a new LCD screen in the center that displays album art for the track you’re playing. a playhead representation (for the scratch DJ) along with beat sync mode and settings. This is a neat touch that gives you access to information about what’s happening on the deck when you use the touchscreen to search for clues.

Speaking of the touchscreen, it’s also received a huge upgrade, literally. The nine-inch full color HD LCD touch screen is bigger, brighter and more functional than ever. Track selection can be done on the touchscreen as there’s plenty of room for it, even with my big fingers, and the encoder on the right hand side of the screen is still there for precision scrolling and selection as well. The interface has been redesigned with all the navigation options at the top of the screen where you move from left to right from source selection, through menus, to track selection. When selecting tracks there is now an option for font size and to display the full waveform while in the browser, making this their most accessible CDJ yet.

With the larger screen, Pioneer DJ has added a master waveform on top that displays the waveform from the master player in real time. This feature is a great advantage allowing you to see what is happening not only on the loaded track but also on a loaded track on another deck at the same time to match the beat and allow for smoother mixes as you know when the next track will drop. or it will go into a breakdown.

Key Sync is one of the new features offered by this media player that allows you to change the key of the track to match the key of the master track (the track that is already playing). You can even pitch the track up and down almost a full octave independently to create harmony or dissonance if you know what you’re doing, allowing all your tracks to be in tune (or out of tune).

Pioneer DJ’s new tweaks and improvements to the CDJ aren’t just on the surface level, they’ve also added a new microprocessor unit (MPU) that makes its processing power rival the newest smartphones. This extra power allows for smoother performance, especially when it comes to track loading and playlist scrolling, which is as fluid as it gets.

In addition to this, all internal audio processing is done at 32bit/96kHz, regardless of the audio quality of the source material. This enhancement hides artifacts that might be present using its new key shift feature on lossy mp3 files, for example, and provides a better sounding experience when using the master tempo setting.

Although there are a range of new features, people familiar with Pioneer DJ’s CDJ range will feel right at home with this deck. There may be a slight learning curve as some features have been moved, but the overall functionality remains the same. There are more hot cue buttons on the CDJ-3000 that are arranged from left to right below the touch screen, a new eight-beat loop button next to the standard four-beat loop, plus new beat jump buttons that let you allow you to move forward or backward. back in time a specified number of beats. The play and cue buttons, which often get a bit of wear and tear, have been upgraded to be more durable, which is a plus for any owner of this device.

Pioneer DJ has also introduced a new feature exclusive to the CDJ-3000, aptly named CloudDirectPlay, which allows you to stream your music from Dropbox directly to the device. To set this up, you’ll still need to carry a USB with an authentication key that will unlock your cloud-based DJ library via rekordbox.

With all these new tweaks and updates, Pioneer DJ has outdone itself with a long overdue update. Faster response times when searching and loading tracks make using the device smoother, and the new jogwheel along with hot cue buttons let you use the device more precisely to mix up a storm (or a train wreck, for that matter). don’t judge here!).

All in all, Pioneer DJ’s CDJ-3000 is an excellent new industry standard that will proliferate in clubs, pubs and festivals for years to come. With rock-solid performance and high-quality construction, this media player is the product to beat and will continue to perform for years to come.

Head over to Pioneer DJ for more information. For local inquiries, each to Jands.

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