Pioneer DJS 1000 Review
Introducing the Pioneer DJS 1000, the companies next step into live performance and music production equipment. After releasing the Toraiz AS-1 & SP-16 Pioneer are back with another product aimed at a similar market. Trying to bridge the gap between producer and DJ the Pioneer DJS 1000 is an all in one sampler unit. It’s designed to fit alongside their CDJ & DJM Nexus range.
Video review at the bottom of the page!
But first lets take a closer look…
Pioneer DJS 1000 – What is it?
The first comments from DJs could be where is the jog wheel? How can you DJ with it? Try not to think of the Pioneer DJS 1000 as another CDJ, it’s not. It’s a sampler! Similar to MPC units which have been around for years, this stands alone without the need of a laptop. The 16 RGB velocity sensitive performance pads can launch one shot clips, from kicks to snares, or set off a loop. This hardware has been designed to create music live in your DJ set.
Pioneer DJS 1000 – Performance Features
As well as 16 performance pads it also has a step sequencer. This allows you to program any of the samples along a 1, 2, 3 or 4 bar phrase. Alternatively hit record and record the samples in manually. The step sequencer can also save ‘scenes.’ These are pre programmed loops that have been created with the samples that can be activated to play at any point.
Easily turn any of the samples on and off in mute mode.
Hot Slice Mode
Chop up any sample or live recording across the 16 pads. When you hit any of the pads it will continue to play the sample from that point. If you’re familiar with hot cues on the CDJs then this mode responds in a very similar way.
This mode triggers different parts of a sample or live recording without it continuing to play like in hot slice mode. This is great for creating a choppy effect with vocals or picking out drum parts in a recorded loop.
This mode allows the DJ to play any sample up and down a scale to create melodies live in the mix. One of our favourite features is the ability to choose from a list of popular scales which helps the untrained ear to stay in key while performing.
The touch strip has 4 modes. Pitch and repeat modes are pre programmed plus another two user modes to choose from a very long list of effects and production tools. Pitch mode slides the pitch of any sample up or down and repeat mode allows the user to easily create drum rolls at 1 beat, 1/2 beat, 1/4 beat and 1/8th beat intervals.
There is an effects knob similar to the DJM series of mixers. Within the unit are a range of effects to choose from. Effects such as pitch echo or LoFi, HPF & LPF can be applied to either the whole loop, individual samples or even to a certain colour code of samples.
Within the touch screen is a mixer mode. This means you can balance the levels of each sample, while being able to pitch and pan them too. All very tactile and responsive!
Tempo Adjust, Nudge Controls and Sync Options
Just like on a CDJ the DJS 1000 has a tempo adjust with the different width options. From +-6 to wide. If this player is linked via PRO DJ LINK it can be synced up to CDJs allowing the user to keep in time with their DJ set. We found this feature really useful. If you’e mixing into vinyl there are also nudge buttons to manually beat match the DJS 1000.
Pioneer DJS 1000 – Live Sampling
This has to be one of our favourite things about this unit. The 1/4 inch jack input on the back of the sampler means you can plug in your mixer via send/return and record live samples from your DJ set. Alternatively you could plug in a synthesiser or live instrument to record and re sample. You can edit, apply effects or chop up any recorded sample. This mode really allows any DJ to remix and create on the fly without any prior preparation.
Pioneer DJS 1000 – Editing
This is where the possibilities are endless. Each sample can be edited, for example you may want to change the start and stop time, the attack or release settings. Maybe you want to add an effect to a particular sample but not the rest. This can all be done within the editing screen. We explain this screen in more detail in our review video below.
Price: £1169.00 or $1199.00
As far as build quality goes it feels great! It links really nicely into Pioneer’s club set up and it really is easy to get started with. If you have any prior experience in music production then you will instantly feel right at home with all the performance features, settings and effects. The whole thing is very tactile and performs well. If you’re brand new to music production or playing anything live then it could be a bit of a leap to start with this.
We love how easy it is to apply effects while performing and also record live loops to resample. It’s very very fun to play with but bare in mind we have the Pioneer CDJ/DJM range of equipment. This makes it a great addition to an already powerful set up. Would we buy this as a stand alone piece of production equipment? Probably not… even though it would work by itself it’s not really designed for that purpose. Add it to your set up, rather than start with it.
Watch the video below to find out more and see the Pioneer DJS 1000 sampler in action.
Pioneer DJS-1000 Performance Video