4 decks in the mix, on an all-in-one? The convenience factor is second-to-none, but a multi-channel standalone set-up normally means premium equipment, usually with additional decks plugged in. Until now.
Introducing the Denon DJ SC Live 4. Part of a new range of all-in-one controllers, also including the SC Live 2, designed to give aspiring and intermediate DJs a true club experience whilst offering domestic conveniences such as:
- Built-in wi-fi;
- music streaming;
- speakers, and;
- lighting controls, all in a tightly integrated package!
At the heart of this four-channel standalone is a 7” high-res multi-touch screen running the proven and powerful operating system, Engine DJ OS.
Denon DJ are tactfully shaking up the market here by making features reserved for flagship rigs more accessible. And with that, throwing in the world-exclusive ability to stream lossless audio directly from Amazon Music Unlimited!
There’s no denying this unit has firmly got our attention with unrivalled features in this price range. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer with this club-inspired all-in-one.
Amazon delivers music directly to your set
In a world first, the Live units have integrated access to Amazon Music Unlimited alongside 5 other well-established streaming platforms. Their library boasts a healthy selection of music for DJs to get stuck into, meaning getting up and running with an enormous music collection takes no time at all!
With an exclusive secure chipset meeting Amazon’s strict requirements for music streaming, the Live series features the first and, currently, only units in the world to have this ability.
A valid subscription is required and grants access to over 75 million tracks in lossless quality, with millions more in an even higher, studio-grade quality. Streaming is now likely to sound even better than playing from a USB stick and is in prime position to become the favoured media choice!
- Currently, only 2 tracks from Amazon can be streamed at a time, so four-deck mixing needs to be done with locally stored material. Amazon Music only allows one device to stream at a time, meaning no simultaneous use of your streaming subscription is possible.
- Users can only access Amazon’s streaming service when the SC Live devices are used in standalone mode with Engine DJ OS.
- The devices both support Serato DJ Pro and VirtualDJ in HID mode, meaning great versatility and expandability plus savings on a Serato DJ Pro subscription as they hardware-unlock this popular DJ platform!
Wi-fi is built-in to SC Live devices, ensuring easy access to a web connection in the home or music studio environment. Thanks to Engine DJ OS being so comprehensive, a computer is not needed for analysing tracks or software updates. This makes the range truly standalone, as DJs don’t need to download music either!
Additional built-in streaming partners:
See here for more on streaming providers for DJs.
Engine DJ OS now includes Engine Lighting: built-in control for performance visuals. Creating ambience on a live stream or at a live event has now been made effortless!
The SC Live devices have a dedicated button which instantly launches access to automatic and pre-programmed, beat-synced light shows. Users have full parameter control over many lighting effects, including colour, intensity and strobe. Engine Lighting integrates seamlessly with
The SC Live 4’s build
Taking a leaf from sister company Numark’s insanely popular Mixstream Pro all-in-one, the SC Live units have built-in speakers to start your DJ sessions with minimal fuss.
This makes them great for daily practice sessions on the road and at home. The speakers can also serve as a booth monitor system in conjunction with master speakers during live performances. Or they can simply be turned off with an easy-to-reach dedicated switch.
The SC Live 4 boasts 4 channels accessible in standalone mode,, meaning DJs can mix up to 4 tracks at a time with just this device.
This ability is the star of the show, as the only other unit to offer 4 standalone decks in one package is Denon DJ’s own Prime 4, which is in a completely different price category. No other device currently exists that provides this function!
The mixer section has a traditional 3-band full-kill EQ section and SWEEP FX knobs, allowing quick access to four instantly gratifying effects, including filter and echo.
This represents the same layout found on the Denon DJ X1800 and X1850 club mixers and is in line with their leading competitor’s flagship mixer design, too. Users comfortable working with this equipment will instantly feel familiar when transitioning onto club gear.
The right-hand side of the mixer is assigned to BPM FX, with 13 studio-grade effects being selectable by scrolling a list on the bottom section of the main central screen, or just underneath the waveform overviews if the scrolling waveforms are in vertical mode. This is effective use of the main screen and allows detailed information, such as the technicalities of an effect, to be displayed at a glance. It’s just as easy to read from as the small effects readout screens found on club mixers.
Its high-definition 7” main display is multi-touch and supports gestures like pinching and zooming, making the user experience feel like a smartphone or tablet.
The screen’s primary function is to take care of waveforms or the graphic representations of playing tracks. Waveforms are displayed in full-length static form or are zoomed-in and scroll depending on user preference. In the mix, they are stacked side by side or one on top of another.
This can be a drawback when all decks are playing, as 4 sets of data may look a little cramped on a screen of this size. That said, all other functions have proven to display well on alternative Engine DJ devices using the same screen!
Engine DJ OS allows users to analyse music files on-the-fly. This is a serious plus over the competition where a computer is needed for this task.
The OS also updates over the air via wi-fi rather than via a USB which is the norm on other gear. Convenience really is a key ingredient of the SC Live range!
The deck sections include a full-sized pitch fader with pitch bend buttons, looping controls, 8 performance pads with RGB light strips, transport controls and dedicated deck layering buttons. Essentially, everything a DJ needs to quickly achieve the sound they want in the mix!
The jog wheels have an LCD central display showing crucial track data such as time elapsed, cue marker position, BPM and current deck selection.
I/O is fully comprehensive:
- Unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR jacks for Master speakers make hooking the unit into a professional sound system easy, as there’s no need to go through an external mixing board.
- Unbalanced RCA sockets for an Auxiliary input share a volume control with a microphone, meaning anything from a smartphone to an additional deck can be plugged into the device and have its volume blended to match the playing music.
- 2 x microphone inputs, one a balanced combo XLR/ TRS jack and one a balanced TRS jack, offering great flexibility for public announcements.
- Booth output, also on balanced TRS jacks, gives the option to have a more powerful booth monitor system should the built-in speaker not be enough!
Media inputs – Other than streaming the music in, DJs can use one of the following ports to play their local media,
- 2x USB-A ports for sticks of audio plus a USB-B port for connection to a laptop.
- An SD card reader for even more audio.
The Denon DJ SC Live 4 has a recommended retail price of £1129 / $1599
The SC Live 4 packs plenty of punch and can easily be used professionally by mobile DJs and live streamers alike, not to mention DJs looking to step up from a 2-channel arrangement.
The Live family appears to be the next strategic step of a well thought out battle plan by Denon DJ’s parent company.
The barrier to entry for advanced DJ features such as 4-deck standalone mixing with BPM and Sweep FX has, until now, been high. The Live 4 has taken the cost of accessing them way down!
Although not exclusively aimed at beginners, The SC Live’s simple and effective execution of advanced functions will appeal to aspiring DJs wanting to get used to club kit.
Most significantly, it fills the void of capable intermediate equipment running Engine DJ OS, giving users of their entry-level stuff a logical stepping stone to the club-standard gear.
It seems Denon DJ’s parent company are now doing all they can to get their performance software into the hands of DJs at every level of ability. Perhaps this is the true purpose of the SC Live range. Whatever its intention, these devices bring an exciting change to all-in-one DJing.
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