Pioneer DDJ 1000 Review & Demo

Pioneer DDJ 1000 Review – Rekordbox Performance Controller

The Pioneer DDJ 1000 Rekordbox controller got announced just before NAMM 2018. We managed to get our hands on one the day it got released and test out this new performance based controller. Here is our Pioneer DDJ 1000 review. Find the full review and performance videos at the bottom of this post.

pioneer ddj 1000 review

Pioneer DDJ 1000 – Feature Overview

First we must say this controller is basically a hybrid between a full NSX2 set up and a controller with all its performance modes. It bridges the gap between the two set ups so well.

Key features:

  • Full size CDJ style jog wheels with on board centre display.
  • DJM style mixer layout complete with sound colour and hardware beat FX.
  • Performance pads with 8 modes: Hot cues, Pad FX, Beat Jump, Sampler, Keyboard mode, Beat Loop and Key Shift.
  • Magvel crossfader perfect for scratch DJs.
  • Still portable as its only slightly bigger than the DDJ SX2 or DDJ RX.

pioneer ddj 1000 effects

Pioneer DDJ 1000 – Connectivity

The Pioneer DDJ 1000 has two USB ports for easy changeover between DJs or back to back sessions. It’s also worth noting you can press record within the Rekordbox software and it will record the whole set regardless of which laptop you’re using.

It has 4 line/phono inputs for connecting CDJs or turntables. If you own the DJS 1000 standalone sampler this could be plugged into one of the channels however it won’t sync with the DDJ 1000. If you want to live sample using the Pioneer DJS 1000 you would have to send the master 2 RCA output into the send/return on the DJS 1000.

There are two headphone outputs plus a mic input as well as an XLR master and 1/4 inch jack booth output.

pioneer ddj 1000 back

Pioneer DDJ 1000 vs Pioneer DDJ RX

After posting our review video the comments came flooding in. “How does the Pioneer DDJ 1000 compare to the DDJ RX?”

It certainly feels like Pioneer DJ have undercut themselves. This controller offers about the same, if not more than the DDJ RX and DDJ RZ. The DDJ 1000 is an inch wider than the DDJ RX. It has been developed for the Rekordbox 5 software unlike the older controllers which were developed for Rekordbox 4. This means it makes the most of the new performance features like key shifting, keyboard mode and new effects, unlike the DDJ RX & RZ. Personally we would recommend going for the DDJ 1000 over the DDJ RX as its way more future proof.

pioneer ddj 1000 screen close up

magvel fader

pioneer ddj 1000 close up

Pioneer DDJ 1000 vs Pioneer XDJ RX2

“Should I get the XDJ RX2 or the DDJ 1000?”

The Pioneer DDJ 1000 doesn’t work with a USB drive like the XDJ RX2, however the jog wheels and mixer feels very close to a club set up (even though it’s a controller!) If you’re deciding between the DDJ 1000 or XDJ RX2 the main thing to decide is wether you want to have a laptop involved in your set up. The XDJ RX2 can be used standalone and with the Rekordbox performance mode software so you get the best of both worlds. The DDJ 1000 doesn’t work with a USB drive. This is a big deciding factor for a lot of DJs. As far as the performance features available the DDJ 1000 has way more than the XDJ RX2. If only Pioneer DJ could develop a DDJ 2000 that works with a USB drive as well!

pioneer ddj 1000 performance pads

Will the Pioneer DDJ 1000 work with Serato?

No. It was another one of the most asked questions after posting our review and unfortunately this controller is Rekordbox only. Pioneer DJ are like the Apple of the DJ world and we can assume they plan on keeping all their future hardware releases specific for the Rekordbox software.

If you prefer Serato DJ then start looking at products like the Roland DJ 808 or the Numark NS6II for compatible controllers in a similar price range.

pioneer ddj 1000 serato

Our thoughts…

What can we say… we love this controller! It feels like Pioneer have released it to try entice those DJs still using Serato DJ or Traktor set ups over to Rekordbox. For just £1059 or $1199 it’s unbelievable value for money. We love the full size CDJ style jog wheels complete with a detailed centre display. It brings your attention back to the equipment rather than the laptop or software. It feels like you’re not playing on a controller (even though it is!).

Another stand out feature for us are the hardware effects. You basically get a DJM900NXS2 style mixer that works without the software plugged in. It’s a definite keeper for us and we can highly recommend this controller for advanced and beginner DJs alike.

Pioneer DDJ 1000 Video Review

Pioneer DDJ 1000 Performance Mix

Tracklist used:

  1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll (Josh Hunter Remix) 
  2. Redlight ft. Sweetie Irie – Zum Zum
  3. Justin Timberlake – Like I Love You (Kevin D & Jesse Benjamin Remix)
  4. My Nu Leng & Flava D – Soul Shake (1991 Remix)
  5. Chumpion – Not Waiting Around (Chris Royal Remix)
  6. Chusap – House Beat
  7. Cazztek ft. Kiyoshi – If You Really Wanna
  8. Curbi – Rude (Pat Benedetti Power Hype Edit)
  9. Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – Finnesse (James Hype Remix)

Want to learn some new skills?

If you want to learn some new skills on your DJ equipment check out our online courses here. If you already own the DDJ 1000 our Rekordbox courses will be compatible with this product.

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