Engine DJ gets sleek new look and performance gains with version 4.0

Engine DJ 4.0

Engine DJ gets sleek new look and performance gains with version 4.0

Engine DJ levels up to version 4.0, becoming even more powerful, user-friendly and performance-ready. 

InMusic, parent company of Denon DJ, Numark, and RANE, has just released a highly anticipated update for its standalone DJ performance software.

Setting a new standard for digital DJs, this major update is packed with innovative features and improvements that promise to enhance the DJ experience across all of their compatible devices.

Here, we take a first look at Engine’s refreshed performance software features, explore its new abilities and get a glimpse of how InMusic’s standalone equipment will now compare to those by market leaders, Pioneer DJ.

From Engine PRIME to Engine DJ

Engine DJ started life as a music library management tool for Denon DJ’s flagship PRIME standalone media players.

It then evolved to also become the built-in performance software for their flagship standalone all-in-one DJ units, the PRIME 4 and PRIME 2

It has now migrated to additional budget-friendly all-in-one’s from Numark and the lower-cost SC Live series from Denon DJ. Its features have steadily grown over the years, and it has the promise of delivering some trail-blazing industry exclusives such as on-device stems separation technology!

Numark Mixstream Pro

Updates of Engine DJ 4 

Here are the key features of the 4.0 update to Engine DJ:

  • A Sleek New Performance View: The overall view has been streamlined and made consistent across standalone devices and the desktop music management versions of Engine DJ
  • Enhanced Library and Search Functions: The redesigned search bar allows users to quickly search an entire music collection or current playlist in a flash!
  • Dynamic Effects with Improved Controls: New FX and further parameter controls for better control over their sound.
  • Stability Improvements: Software tweaks and bug fixes make operations smoother, allowing for a more reliable workflow with track load times and batch track processing becoming significantly faster

Engine 4’s New Look

The Engine 4.0 update is available for all Engine DJ hardware. Once installed, it has freshly redesigned graphics that work well for modern workflows. 

The most striking update is 4’s streamlined appearance. It now sports a redesigned Performance View, offering DJs a more intuitive and visually engaging interface.

New Layout View Options

Performance improvements, on the whole, are what this update is about.

One way this is achieved is with three custom view options for DJs to toggle between with the all-new Layout Manager. Each view can have vertical or horizontal waveforms and decks in combinations of two or four. That can be: 

  • Four decks and four waveforms
  • Two decks and four waveforms 
  • Four decks and two waveforms 
  • Two decks and two waveforms

This is perfect for adjusting the view to suit different mixing styles or to account for screen size restrictions.

The Deck View becomes uniform across vertical and horizontal orientations and across standalone units, players and the desktop app, making for a consistent visual experience, no matter what bit of Engine DJ kit you’re using! 

Album art is now prominently displayed next to track names for a more vibrant and engaging music list view. This also makes for a more intuitive and snappy searching experience, as many DJs associate their tracks with album art. 

Performance Features 

Beat Keeper grid above deck waveforms

Beat Phase / Beat Keeper

DJs can now view the mega handy Beat Phase/ Beat Keeper information on all devices. This visual aid allows DJs to mix quickly and easily.

Beat Phase information tells DJs which part of a phase cycle a track is in, helping them choose the best time to drop in the next song for a perfectly phrased mix. This feature was originally made popular in Traktor.

A handy little 4-bar grid sits above the deck waveform, which not only indicates when a mix will be in phrase but helps to keep beats locked together. A graphic goes to the left of the centre point if the incoming beat is too slow and to the right, if it is too quick, so you can nudge or tempo adjust accordingly.

If using Beat Sync, the master deck can be selected by simply tapping once on the BPM on the deck of choice.  

Deck Swap

Up until this point, only the Denon DJ standalone SC5000/M and SC6000/M had the mega useful Deck Swap option.

It allows you to seamlessly switch a track over to the opposite deck. This can be especially useful for scratch DJs who like to cut and scratch with a certain hand/ deck combination.

Trainspotting Mode

For DJs who don’t want their tracks on display, Trainspotting mode allows you to keep all of your hot exclusive originals, remixes, and edits to yourself by hiding track information from the deck and main display.

Improved Search Options in Engine 4 

Navigating music collections is the primary task of all DJ platforms. In Engine 4, this is now easier than ever with the redesigned search bar.

Powerful new Search Bar

DJs can easily toggle between searching their entire collection or the current playlist. The new Expandable Track List feature displays more songs with full waveform overviews, complete with cues and loops. 

The search bar is also now in the same position in both performance mode and library mode for better muscle memory and a more consistent workflow.

This all makes for easier access to more crucial information at a glance, so DJs can spend more time mixing rather than browsing their DJ software.

The search bar is launchable with a single tap from both the browser and performance views, so it’s quick to access and consistent throughout.

Collapsable Tree View

Another practical feature is that the tree view for a playlist can now be collapsed or expanded, depending on your needs. 

Collapsing the view enables more screen real estate for performance data, such as full track waveforms, and is great for those working on smaller screens, like the Numark Mixstream Pro.

Played Track Reset

And when several DJs work from the same equipment, you can now reset played tracks if you want to start a new set or if another DJ jumps on the decks and is still using the same session.

Improved Controls for Dynamic FX

Engine DJ 4.0 introduces new ways of working with effects, including additional parameters for the super cool Filter Echo and Filter Dub Echo Touch FX, making them even more tweakable.

The FX buttons now flash when engaged, so its crystal clear that they’re on. The Reset FX feature sets all parameters back to their defaults with a simple button push, so if things start to sound a little crazy, it’s easy to snap back! 

For those who like to fine-tune their mixes, the filter and noise sweeps are now audible in the PFL mix, so you can tweak their sound in the headphones and be confident that they’ll sound just right!

Performance and Software Enhancements

A lot Engine 4’s improvements come under-the-hood, so may not be obvious when just looking at the software, but are definitely felt in performance gains!

Increased recording volume across all Engine hardware

Some users have found that their mix recordings come out too quiet and are in need of post-production audio gain for a louder volume. 

The recording signal volume has now been boosted across all Engine hardware to compensate for this.

Eject tracks from a deck with ease

This feature is useful for when you want to mix super fast but the track in one of the decks hasn’t technically stopped yet so you can’t load in a new one! 

Now you can override this and eject tracks before they’ve stopped playing by pressing Shift-Load on consoles or Shift-Eject on players to quickly load in a new one without missing a beat!

Improved search options for Beatport and Beatsource. 

The internal search engine now uses the latest search system from the respective companies to bring you results in a manner that’s consistent with their websites.

Engine 4.0 also brings a host of bug fixes and performance improvements, addressing issues like slow search filters on PRIME 4 units and inconsistencies in streaming track appearances, such as glitching waveforms.

The Engine DJ Preparation Software for desktops also sees significant improvements. Stability has been enhanced when copying and syncing tracks to external drives.

Additionally, issues such as disappearing Smartlists and unnecessary SoundSwitch library repacks have been resolved, making the software more reliable for preparing sets.

Version 1 users cannot update directly

If you like the sound of the new Engine DJ software and want to update, you’ll need to keep in mind that Version 1 users cannot update directly to version 4.0, they’ll first need to update to version 3.4. 

According to the InMusic team, this ensures a smooth transition for music libraries by enabling compatibility with the latest features.

Is Engine DJ 4.0 a worthy upgrade?

With version 4.0, Engine DJ’s future looks brighter than ever. This update introduces groundbreaking features and a sleeker interface, ensuring a more reliable and enjoyable experience for DJs of all levels.

Whether performing live or preparing for a set, Engine DJ 4.0 is designed to make DJ life easier and elevate the craft to new heights.

This version boost comes at a critical time, as Rekordbox and Serato DJ have both received major updates recently. Engine does have what it takes to play a pivotal role in the DJ world of the near future, but it doesn’t have a large enough user base or DVS and HID modes to compete at present. 

Most of InMusic’s customers use their equipment with Serato, so this update could be a great opportunity to get crucial exposure and put Engine on the radar of thousands of DJs who are researching other software updates.

With a slick, customisable look, a snappy and intuitive search, plus cool effects features, Engine is well worth exploring, and we can see some excellent promise for the future.

Features such as Deck swap pave the way for an unrivalled stems mixing workflow. InMusic are working hard at getting live stems separation ready, so Engine 4.0 could be the groundwork for some very interesting developments coming soon!

Watch our video review, where Jamie breaks down all the new features of Engine DJ 4.0!

Level up your DJ game and get ready for Engine DJ 4.0 with our dedicated Denon DJ courses for both beginner and Intermediate DJs.


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