Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7 Review: The ultimate battle DJ controller?
Around a year ago Pioneer DJ re-entered the turntablist market with the superb DJM-S11 and S7 mixers. These mixers instantly became firm favourites in their respective markets with both restoring the popularity of Pioneer mixers after a recent resurgence from Rane. Now Pioneer DJ has taken aim at another of Rane’s staple products, the motorised battle controller.
Released as part of a new range alongside the entry-level REV1, the new REV7 aims to be the ultimate controller. Packed with the best features from Pioneer DJ’s battle mixers. But is the DDJ-REV7 the best controller for scratch DJs and can it warrant its high price tag? In this DDJ-REV7 review, we take a closer look to find out!
- 7″ Motorised Platters with inbuilt displays
- Paddle Effects with both internal hardware and software effects
- S-11 Smooth Echo Effect
- Inbuilt Scratch Samples
- Dual USB Connectivity for back to back DJ Sets
- Built for Serato DJ Pro (No Rekordbox support)
- RRP : €2049 | $1899 | £1829
Layout and Design
Designed to mimic the style of a traditional mixer and turntables set-up, the REV7 makes use of the available space extremely well. At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking Pioneer DJ fitted a DJM-S7 mixer to the REV7 such are the similarities and features. The deck section features 7-inch moving platters and a battle style layout. Placing the tempo fader horizontally at the top of the decks not only mimics a traditional battle setup but also frees up room for a larger jog wheel. The area around the moving platters is left relatively clutter-free to ensure accidental button presses whilst performing routines and scratches are kept to a minimum. The included white marks to indicate 12 and 2 o’clock will be greatly appreciated by scratch DJs, especially when performing beat juggles.
Sitting just 732 x 382.2 x 82.4 mm and weighing 10.7 kg the REV7 remains a portable controller, despite its huge feature set. A massive selling point indeed!
The DDJ-REV7 features dual motorised 9-inch steel platters with inbuilt jog displays. Unlike the motorised platters found on the Rane One controller, the Pioneer DJ solution doesn’t feature a central spindle. The lack of spindle means that the REV7 is able to place screens in the middle of the jog, much like the flagship XDJ-XZ and DDJ-1000 units. However, its removal also means DJs used to twisting the spindle to speed a deck up will now have to rely on other methods.
The construction of the platters is a new concept with the top surface magnetically attaching to the hollow outer steel platter. Two plastic rings sit between the two parts, acting as a slipmat. We imagine that in time that third party companies may offer replacement units to adjust the feel of these platters. One potential downside to this new design is the risk of dust, debris and fluid easily entering the plater. This is easily cleaned out though, thanks to the magnetic connection meaning no tools are required.
In use, the platters feel great. It’s certainly close enough to real turntables to please even the most seasoned vinyl lover. The torque of the platters can also be switched between high and low to suit each DJs preference.
Inside each jog wheel sits a 3.5″ colour LCD display. The dual displays are bright and clear from almost any angle and display a variety of information. With four modes to choose from, the screens are also used to access the onboard utility settings menu.
Waveform mode. – See the overall waveform of the track on that deck, plus the detailed waveforms of the tracks on both decks side-by-side. BPM, remaining/elapsed time and a digital needle position are also shown.
Virtual Deck Mode. – View the virtual deck of Serato DJ Pro and the number of beats to the next Hot Cue point.
Artwork display. – Display the artwork for the track that’s playing.
DJ Logo display. – Display custom logo or favourite image on each deck after using the Image Transfer Tool for PC/Mac to load it onto the DDJ-REV7.
The DDJ-REV7 is Pioneer DJ’s most advanced DJ controller to date and boasts many new features. A new internal mode is easily accessible and allows DJs to load and play 4 preloaded scratch sentences even without a laptop connected. Great for quick practice sessions to keep skills sharp!
The REV7 features 22 internal beat FX which can be used with both internal and external sources. Nineteen are taken straight from the flagship DJM-S11 plus three brand new effects. The new Beat FX include:
Duck Down: A roll effect that fades out while lowering the pitch.
Fill Out: A roll effect that forms a roll with a changing rhythm pattern and fades out with echo.
Helix Out: An effect that samples the input sound and repeatedly fades it out like a reverb, while increasing the playback speed and pitch.
The REV7 also features Silent Cue which helps avoid the sound of the music speeding up as the platter starts to spin. Finally, one of our personal favourite effects from the flagship DJM-S11, Smooth Echo, is also found on the REV7. A fantastic tool that applies an echo upon a fader movement to help bridge transitions.
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7 is a complete and fantastic package for those looking for the feel of real vinyl. It’s truly impressive that Pioneer DJ brought in so many of the features found on its range of flagship battle mixers whilst keeping the package portable. The internal screens are a nice addition too, helping take away the DJs reliance on the laptop.
Serato DJ Pro is the most popular DJ software used by scratch DJs and the integration here is sublime. We know some DJs will be upset by the lack of Rekordbox support but with no support for moving platters, it’s hardly a surprise. If we are nitpicking for a fault, we would have preferred an internal power supply. Sadly, due to heat and space limitations, this wasn’t to be. Apart from this minor inconvenience, it’s hard to fault the REV7, such are its qualities!
At £1829, this is one of the most expensive DJ controllers on the market, even exceeding the price of most stand-alone units. That said, the REV7 is uncompromising with its feature set and will leave users wanting for nothing. If budgets aren’t an issue and you’re wanting the best of the best, this is the ultimate controller for a battle DJ.
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