Pioneer DJ DDJ-XP2 Review – Serato DJ & Rekordbox DJ Add On Controller

Double Trouble – Serato DJ & Rekordbox DJ Add On Controller

A year or two ago you would have been forgiven for thinking that Pioneer and Serato’s partnership was dead and buried. Pioneer DJ have been pushing Rekordbox heavily and it seemed that all the new hardware was exclusive to the manufacturers software platform. Serato users watched on, green with envy as Rekordbox users enjoyed new controllers, new mixers and better accessories.

The choice seemed clear, change your software or get used to buying hardware from a different manufacturer. Of course this makes complete sense from Pioneer DJ, knowing the lure of their industry standard hardware would make DJ’s defect from Serato’s camp. However, Serato users have had a while to swap over now and the change maybe hasn’t been as successful as Pioneer DJ may have hoped. In light of this we saw Pioneer DJ release the DDJ-1000SRT, a Serato version of Pioneer DJ’s best selling controller. It’s fair to say the release was a success, units selling out within days.

So it’s clear Serato users still want Pioneer DJ hardware and Pioneer DJ however hard they try aren’t going to make everyone convert to Rekordbox. With that in mind they bring us the DDJ-XP2, the first DJ controller designed to work out of the box with both Rekordbox DJ and Serato DJ.

Whats New?

The DDJ XP2 is the first controller for Serato with a massive 32 pads, allowing two modes to be accessed at once. On top of this Serato DJ users are now treated to Slide FX as well as the new silent cue mode. Slide FX allow the DJ to control the depth of up to 3 Serato effects at once. Silent cue will be a huge hit with turntablists, allowing the users to drop hot cues perfectly in time without having to stop a turntable or silence a fader.

Rekordbox users have enjoyed this functionality with the original DDJ XP1 unit but will benefit from the all new transport controls. This will allow full control over the pitch, nudge, cue and play pause functions directly from the unit, meaning you can DJ without the use of external decks or control signal. The DDJ XP2 comes bundled with a full Rekordbox and Rekordbox DVS licence key, worth a combined €248, astonishing value for money for those who don’t already own their software. The addition of the licences also means you could DJ just from the DDJ-XP2 using the all new transport controls and computers sound card, however we wouldn’t recommend doing so in a professional environment.

Key Features:

  • 32 Performance Pads, with 16 per deck
  • 8 Pad Modes with an additional 4 user created modes
  • Silent Cue for instantly starting your DVS tracks at the right BPM
  • Touch sensitive Slide FX strips for depth control
  • Instant 4 beat loop buttons with in/out edit controls
  • Reverse/slip control
  • USB powered connection
  • Track select knob and load buttons

Pioneer DJ DDJ-XP2 Pad Modes

The 32 pads are split into two banks with 16 RGB backlit for each deck, with 8 modes for each. As this controller is used over two software platforms the pad modes are just numbered rather than describing what function they perform. This means the DJ will need to remember the various modes and the actions they perform, however it’s reasonably easy to see which mode you’re in thanks to the multi coloured pads. You can always remap the pads to perform different tasks in either software should you wish.

Pad Mode Serato DJ Rekordbox DJ
1 Hot Cue mode and Sampler Hot Cue Mode
2 Auto Loop Pad FX1
3 Slicer mode and Sampler Beat Jump
4 Saved Loop mode and Manual Loop Sampler
5 Pitch Play Keyboard Mode
6 Roll Pad FX2
7 Slicer Loop mode and Sampler Beat Loop
8 Transport mode and Beatgrid Edit Key Shift

You may have noticed the lack of Transport controls on Rekordbox in the default mapping even though it’s a brand new feature to the platform. To enable transport controls you must access the pad editor mode, choose a user mode and then assign the transport template. This does mean however that you lose a default mapping. Check out our full guide video below for more information on how to remap your DDJ XP2. Serato users can double tap any of the pad mode buttons to reveal a user mappable area should they wish to create their own mappings and layouts.

Pioneer DDJ XP2 Top Down

The Build

The DDJ XP2 carries on the long tradition of superb build quality coming from the Pioneer DJ factories. Almost identical to the older XP1 chassis, the controller feels sturdy under finger but remains light enough to be transported easily. The 32 RGB pads are bright, tactile and responsive, any DJ that has used a Pioneer product with pads will know by now how they feel. The unit it self is USB bus powered so requires no extra power supply, however most users may want to consider purchasing a stand as the XP2 is best positioned just above the mixer.

The Price

The Pioneer DDJ-XP2 costs £299 or €329 respectively. This is amazing value considering you get the full Rekordbox DJ and Rekordbox DVS license included!

In Conclusion

The Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2 is a fantastic addition to any digital DJ’s set up. Enabling a whole host of new features within Serato DJ, this is a very welcomed update to the now very dated Pioneer DJ DDJ-SP1. We imagine the silent cue feature will be a huge hit with the Serato DVS users, as will the 16 pads enabling DJ’s to key shift a full octave when using Pitch ‘N’ Time DJ.

Rekordbox users have enjoyed much of this controllers features for a while now with the original XP1 and sadly the XP2 does little to warrant an upgrade. However if you are new to the market, the XP2 is fantastic value for money especially when you consider the cost of the included licences. A great upgrade for Serato users and a solid controller for Rekordbox users wanting to take their DJ set up to the next level!

DDJ-XP2 Video Tutorial & Review

DJ performances on the DDJ-XP2

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Published: 1st October 2019

Pioneer DJ DDJ-XP2

  • £299/€329 RRP
  • Works with both Rekordbox & Serato DJ
  • Comes with full Rekordbox DJ & DVS License key!
  • Silent Cue now available in Serato DJ Pro

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