Denon MCX8000 DJ Controller rocks NAMM

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Namm 2016 has been and gone and the only thing left on peoples minds is the Denon MCX8000. Denon’s most hyped release in years. They have finally created a controller to knock Pioneer off of there marketing throne, Thanks to the deep pockets of InMusic, Denon’s parent company.The MCX8000 represents the future of whats to come in the DJ world …..

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With the Built-in Engine software and 2 HD waveform displays your not really going to need a computer as it operates as a stand alone DJ player. Efficiency is the name of the game not looking at a computer screen. The mixer portion of the controller can operate as standalone as well, and can accept 4 separate inputs giving you the ability to run Serato DVS timecode, turntables or any number of different devices. The mixer also sports (3) built-in effects, a dedicated filter section, (2) Mic inputs, XLR outputs and of coarse has the much appreciated  Split Cue option in the headphone matrix. Being able to run 2 of the 4 channels on the mixer with built-in software and the other 2 channels using vinyl you become –Off The Grid– so to speak…take that Pioneer. It gets better as well, not only is it Serato compatible but Engine 1.5 also runs on you laptop/computer and enables you create playlists/crates and has the ability to import Serato cue points (I have tens of thousands). Serato also announced recently the integration of Pulselocker which further deepens your options of selecting your music source. Stay tuned in the near future as an in depth review of Pulselocker and Serato is on the way.

 

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As far as performance controls there are 16 RGB velocity pads and being in the same family as Akai via parent company InMusic rest assured they are of the same quality as the MPC pads. Long Throw 100mm faders are a staple on all Denon controllers and are always very durable and precise. Denon has moved away from the moving platters of the 3700/3900 players and have opted to use static platters….reducing size and weight of say the Numark NS7’s. That being said they are 135mm(5.3in) platters far smaller than some of the Pioneer platters but are very durable and have no clicky feel, not to mention an RGB led ring that is mesmerizing.

 

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Of coarse, who can miss the 2 large HD waveform displays feeding you a plethora of information. The upper portion of the MCX8000 is dedicated to displays, effects and utilities. Loading and scrolling through playlists and crates can be done in this area with track info being displayed on screen including Waveform zooming, BPM, key, looping, pitch, cue points as well as on board effects parameters. File structure hierarchy of Serato is displayed nicely including iTunes playlists. There is also 2 USB ports for thumb drives or hard drives…this enables 2 DJ’s to go B2B without missing a beat. Having 2 Displays and the ability to control loading and searching crates will without a doubt improve your performances giving you a greater feel of continuity…one with the machine. Having on-board effects is a good option, but not great, as the on board effects don’t really give you freedom…luckily you can use the Serato effects units as well as Pitch N Time for some insane mixes. The MCX8000 can play Key mode allowing you to trigger cue points on the performance pads, whilst simultaneously key shifting for easy tone. Another item in this area is the track strip for as they call it “needle drop” to quick search through a track.

 

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So the question is who is for?  I would think that Denon is aiming squarely at the bedroom DJ looking for a quality controller (Pio fanboys need not apply). Club installs will continue to stick with the standards…but times are a changin’. Some may remember the club standard was once the Denon DN2500F. The street price is $1299 US making it better value than the NS7iii and a far better value than the Pioneer DDJSZ.

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