The reality is that Pioneer are working on it and have issued one firmware update, but expect more improvement to come. I want my hands on the gear and not the track pad. After a couple of sessions, I found the fader stems needed to be straightened. The latest version of these operating instructions can be down- loaded from the Pioneer support site. Roll: Instant temporary loops are engaged for as long as the button is pressed. The platter sensitivity for example puts me off as my technique is more hands-on tricks than long mixes. As I said, not much to talk about really.
Much of the on-screen functionality is on the hardware. If the booth techs can find a big enough space that is. If you play out, get a bag or ideally case to keep it safe. Less time beat matching, more time to get creative. While I learned to work around these shortcomings, they are still frustrating given the high-end nature of the unit. The track continues to play underneath just like slip mode. Channel sources are selected via switches on the front of the unit next to the headphone volume controls and headphone socket, while this location is much better than at the back of the unit it is a poor second to having these switches located on the control surface at the top of the channel, as is usually the case with Pioneer mixers.
Very smart, and endlessly creative. When controllers first came out, manufacturers tried to get clever with layouts, but soon realised that the standard format worked and had already been tried and tested for decades, even down to the basic principle of gluing a pair of media players to the outside of the mixer. That could only be achieved by a process that involved both companies prepared to give it their all. The sampler volume and cuing are controlled via a master cue button along with a channel fader found at the bottom of the master section of the mixer. Some of those things are minor to some and major to others.
And using other software removes the real plug-and-play-it-just-works nature of Serato based products. The detail comes down to what the screen offers. Looking past the obvious loveliness of these jog wheels, I find myself less happy with these wheels than other Serato based units. The parameter 1 buttons control the roll presets lengths. You can also show a staggering amount of detail around the decks, or just focus on the library.
After touch setting disabled: The sampler volume changes according to the strength with which the performance pad is initially pressed, but does not keep changing while the pad is held after it is initially pressed. And it does just that, albeit in small steps. These jog wheels also feature slip mode. But there are 4 channels and only 2 pitch controls. Summing up, I have concerns about fader quality, the over-complex gain staging and the token fader start. Slicer Chop sections of your tracks up and re-arrange on the fly.
By far my biggest problem is just how much has been shoehorned into the case. The smoother crossfader has a hardware curve control giving a decent sharp cut in of 2mm, and the line faders getting a software curve, but no reverse control. The very model of simplicity. Even entry level units like the have them now, and thus narrow the gap between low and high-end even more. For me however and my 2 channel needs, this is overkill. But otherwise the mixer section has an exemplary layout, and using it is an absolute breeze.
I guess the gloss of this unit is partly down to the middle of the jog wheel. It is without doubt an epic controller, and given the Pioneer logo silkscreened onto it, is actually likely to be seen in clubs. And getting as busy as I do means that the closeness of the controls hampers my technique. Layout wise, it adopts the now standard 2 players and a mixer format, with strict lines of demarcation between them. The large aluminum jog wheels can be Dual Deck enabled at the push of a button, allowing two tracks to be controlled, scratched, and hot-cued simultaneously.
Turn on this mode and trigger cue points, loops or scratch. This goes for the track loading, effects and all the down the front face to the channel selectors too. Pioneer are an unstoppable new shiny making machine right now. There has to be a point at which an all in one struggles to remain portable, but still has everything you need. This 2 x 4 pad arrangement is becoming a regular fixture on Serato based units, but each unit has its own implementation depending on what each manufacturer is willing to pay for, and what Serato are willing to let them have. At the top of the controller sections in addition to the filter control sections is a touch sensitive needle search strip that can be used to skip though tracks.
Build and Layout First to quality. Developers from both companies worked extremely hard over several months on the design, sharing ideas and working out the challenges it took to bring the software and hardware into a harmonious solution. I think that will change, but these work, and work well. Use the most recent version. The basic configuration is that there are 2 effects units, assignable to each channel on the hardware, and to master via software. Sandwiched between the channels are the track loading, output levels, crossfader routing and sampler volume controls.