Getting started with Denon DJ Engine Prime

Denon Engine Prime Guide.jpg

Getting started with Denon DJ Engine Prime

Denon Engine Prime Tutorial For Beginners

Engine Prime by Denon DJ is free download and helps prepare media for playback on the Prime series of players. Wether you’re learning to DJ with a Prime GO, Prime 2, or Prime 4 all in one unit, or playing on the clubs SC5000, SC5000M, SC6000 and SC6000M media players. The Engine Prime software is used to quickly build a music library, or convert your existing library to then be performed on the players.

It’s worth knowing that all of the Prime Series of players are capable of onboard analysis. The touchscreen interface can also be used to create and modify playlists. By using the Engine Prime software however, the user can take full control of their music collection with full meta data editing.

Before we can start DJing we need to ensure our music is loaded into Engine Prime correctly and that we have analysed it for the best results. We will break down the various ways to import your music into Engine Prime below. If you haven’t downloaded any music just yet, click this link and download our FREE starter pack as used in our tutorial video.

Importing Music To Engine Prime

Engine Prime allows the user to import music from various sources and then sorts them into its main library to be organised by crates and playlists. Denon DJ refer to the main library inside Engine Prime of music as the collection. Engine Prime can read and playback various file types including AAC/M4A, AIF/AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, MP3, MP4, Ogg Vorbis and  WAV. It’s worth noting that tracks with DRM (copy protection) are not compatible with Engine Prime.

Importing downloaded music into Engine Prime

Music downloaded onto the computers hard drive can easily be added to the Engine Prime collection. The simplest method to add music into Engine Prime is by dragging and dropping highlighted tracks onto either the main collection or into a crate/playlist. The tracks will then automatically be analysed as they are added to the collection. Dragging a folder of music on the Crates or Playlist section will create a crate or playlist with the name of the folder. The tracks inside the folder will automatically be added to the crate/playlist as well as the main collection.

engine prime drag n drop

The second method to add local files to the collection is via the inbuilt file explorer. Located at the bottom of the collection pane, the file browser allows the user to navigate through the local hard drive. Users can then navigate to the tracks on the hard drive’s location and right click to import them into Engine Prime.

engine prime file browser

Importing Apple Music / iTunes into Engine Prime

Music organised inside Apple Music (Mac) / iTunes (Windows) can be imported to the collection from within Engine Prime. The third icon down in the collection pane, the Apple Music / iTunes tab loads up the local Apple Music / iTunes library and playlists. These tracks and playlists can then be imported by right clicking on them or dragging them into the Crates/Playlists.

If changes are made to the Apple Music / iTunes library whilst Engine Prime is open, the update library button will need to be pressed before these changes will show inside Engine Prime. Once imported to an Engine Prime Crate/Playlist all changes to the playlist inside Apple Music will need to be manually updated to the Engine Prime version.

Engine Prime Apple Music

Importing Serato DJ library into Denon DJ Engine Prime

Engine Prime is capable of not only importing local music files but also other DJ software libraries. The advantage of importing the Serato library is that any hot cue or saved loop information is also imported. Great for users who have prepared songs in Serato before moving to Denon DJ.

Click the Serato icon from the collection pane on the left hand side. The Serato icon is the crate found underneath the iTunes logo. Click update library to display the most recent version of the Serato library. If changes are made to the Serato library whilst Engine Prime is open, pressing this button again will display the changes made. Much like iTunes you can search individual tracks, browse the full library or navigate crates. To import either a track or crate simple right click or drag them into the playlist/crate area.

Serato Import

Importing Traktor into Engine Prime

Traktor users can use Engine Prime to convert their Traktor library for use with the Denon DJ Prime players. Once imported, the user can search through their Traktor library and import tracks and playlists. Engine Prime will import the track ratings from Traktor but not Hot Cue or Loop information.

Export Traktor To Denon

In order to import the Traktor library into Engine Prime, the user must first create an export file. Right clicking on the track collection and selecting export collection launches the export manager.

Here the user can selection a location to save the export file that Engine Prime needs. The export format needs to be set to .NML and ensure “copy tracks to destination” isn’t selected as this creates a version of every track in the library next to the .NML file.

Traktor Export Manager

Click the Traktor icon inside Engine Prime, then select update library. A file browser will now open, select the recently created .NML file. Large libraries may take a few minutes to import, once complete all the playlists and tracks will be searchable inside Engine Prime. To import either a track or crate simple right click or drag them into the playlist/crate area.


Importing Rekordbox into Engine Prime

Pioneer DJ’s Rekordbox users can also import their libraries into Engine Prime. Once imported, the hot cue and saved loop data can be read by Engine Prime, saving a lot of time. Unfortunately Pioneer DJ removed the necessary XML export feature from the latest Rekordbox 6 software but this method still works fine for the older Rekordbox 5 users.

Rekordbox XML Export For Denon Engine Prime

In Rekordbox, click “export collection in XML format” found in the File Menu. Once exported, save the XML file somewhere save.

Click the Rekordbox icon inside Engine Prime and select update library. This will then open a file browser, locate and select the recently created XML file.


Once complete all the playlists and tracks from Rekordbox will be searchable inside Engine Prime. To import either a track or crate simple right click or drag them into the playlist/crate area.

Analysing Tracks

Tracks are automatically analysed when added into the Engine Prime collection. Once analysed the BPM, Key and Beat Grid will all be set by Engine Prime. Inside the library settings the display method of the key, the BPM range and the auto analysis can be changed.

Engine Prime Analysis Setting

Exporting Tracks For Use With Denon DJ Prime / SC Players

Once tracks have been organised into crates or playlists, the DJ can then export the media. The Prime series of players have both SD card and USB A ports, allowing the DJ to use either format. The USB drive / SD card must be formatted in either ExFAT or FAT32 with FAT32 being the preferred standard.

If the user has a hard drive inserted on the Prime 4/SC6000 devices, Engine Prime will export in the same way. Simply insert the hard drive to the device and connect the player to the computer with the supplied USB B cable. Place the player in controller mode and the hard drive inside the player will now show as an external drive on the computer, much like a USB stick or SD card.

Once connected, the drives will show in the Device Panel. Any Engine Prime media (playlists, crates and tracks) already on the drive will show inside this panel. Users can search, playback and edit tracks already on the drives or add more using the sync manger or drag n drop.

Sync Manager

Added to Engine Prime in version 1.5.0, the sync manager makes exporting playlists and crates easier than ever before. Located in the lower left of Engine Prime, the sync manager is split into two sides. The left pane shows the Engine Prime library, it’s playlists and crates. The right side allows the user to select the export drive, and the contents.

Select playlists and crates on the left side, the sync manager will show the space required at the bottom. The selected drive’s free space is displayed under the drive name. If enough space is available for the selected items, press sync to drive. The sync manager will close and a progress bar will show at the bottom of Engine Prime. The export will continue in the background allowing the user to continue using Engine Prime.

Denon Engine Prime Export

Drag n Drop Export

A quicker method than using the Sync Manager is to drag and drop files onto the desired export drive. Within the Engine Prime library, navigate to any track, playlist or crate and highlight the desired items.

Once highlighted these can be dragged onto the export drive in the devices pane. A progress bar will then show at the bottom of the user interface, performing the export in the background.


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