Pioneer DJ overhaul their preparation and performance software.
Today Pioneer DJ launched Rekordbox 6. Featuring a full graphical overhaul with a new accompanying iOS app, Rekorbox now features more library sources and the ability to sync the library over four devices.
However, amongst these welcome updates is a change to the business model. With no one time purchase available anymore and existing licences not being carried forward, let’s find out what the new subscription-only version of Rekordbox has to offer!
What’s New in Rekordbox 6?
- 3-band colour waveforms
- Light option (day mode) skin
- Ableton Link support
- Auto relocate
- Cloud Library Sync
- Mobile Library Sync for use with iOS App
- Inflyte Integration
- Centralised management for various sources of music
- New subscription model
New Views – Day Mode & Three Band Waveforms
The waveforms within Rekordbox 6 have been redesigned to more clearly show the main three frequencies ranges. Low frequencies are coloured blue. Mid’s are amber and highs are white. Rekordbox 5 featured two different waveform colours. The traditional blue which showed very little detail between the frequencies and the RGB, which was more detailed but not especially precise.
The new waveform is clear to look at and breathes fresh life into the interface, visually looking much more modern.
Day mode is a new white skin. Helping combat screen glare when DJ’ing outdoors; day mode is a feature that although won’t be used very often is very effective.
New Performance Features
Ableton Link is a system that synchronizes musical beat, tempo, and phase across multiple applications running on one or more devices. Rekordbox can sync it’s playing decks with an Ableton project as long as its being run on a computer inside the same network.
At the time of writing, there are over 190 applications that can sync with Ableton Link, including other DJ applications such as Serato, Virtual DJ and Traktor.
New Library Features
Relocating missing files from the music library can be a lengthy task to complete. Knowing precisely where the audio files are placed is often the most significant time constraint. Fortunately, in Rekordbox 6, the new Auto Relocate tool will scan all storage connected to the computer to find the missing music files should you accidentally move them.
Cloud Library Sync
One music library shared across numerous devices. The cloud library sync could possibly to be one of the best new features we’ve seen in DJ software recently. This feature allows tracks metadata (Beat grid, BPM, Hot Cues etc) to be shared between 4 devices, including computers and mobile applications.
Having your library in the cloud allows for seamless backups and the ability to download a track on one system (home desktop), prepared on a second (iPhone) and played on the third (DJ Laptop)! The system is only available to subscription holders and requires a personal dropbox to also be synced between the devices.
Mobile Library Sync with iOS
The update iOS application for iPhone and iPad’s still allow users to sync their music libraries, even without a subscription. Tracks edited on the mobile devices will be synced to the computer when both devices are connected to the same network.
Inflyte is the worlds largest music promo delivery service and is used by most major music labels around the globe to deliver music to their DJ’s. With Rekordbox 6 you can link your Inflyte account, so all your tracks show in the library, you can then chose which ones to import or enable automatic sync to include every song. A brilliant feature for professional DJ’s who rely on promo for their music collection.
Whats the difference between the subscriptions?
Free – £0 per month
The free version of Rekordbox will still enable users to manage their library and export it to USB. Performance mode is active and free to use with your mouse. You can also use Rekordbox Video and Lyric, all be it with limited controls and watermarks. If you would like to use a controller you will need either need a “hardware unlock” controller or pay for the Core Plan.
Core- £9.99 per month (£6.99 per month – Introductory Offer – Offer ends July 13, 2020)
The core subscription pack enables performance mode to be used with controllers and devices that don’t automatically unlock Rekordbox. The cloud sync is unavailable, and you can only local sync with one other mobile device. The core plan unlocks the DVS expansion pack but not the sequencer or RMX. Rekordbox video and lyric remain activated but limited as in the free version.
Creative – £14.99 per month (£9.99 per month – Introductory Offer – Offer ends July 13, 2020)
The Creative plan unlocks cloud syncing, to enable the library to be shared remotely over four devices. The Creative Plan also unlocks Sample Sequencer, RMX effects plus full control of Video and Lyric.
The new iOS application
Released alongside Rekordbox 6, the new iOS application allows users to sync their library wirelessly and prepare music on the fly. The new app features updated graphics to match those found inside Rekordbox 6 and enables users to play on two virtual decks.
The application can also be connected to CDJ and XDJ players to enable playback of prepared media. Much like a deck connected to Rekordbox performance mode via HID, the application displays the waveforms of the connected decks.
The app can be connected by the USB B (HID) port or via Ethernet. However, due to Apple’s lack of ports, an adaptor will more than likely be needed. The application is free of charge and supports devices running iOS 11,12 or 13.
Will my controller hardware unlock Rekordbox 6?
Rekordbox will unlock to the “Core plan” level of features free of charge when ever you connect:
- INTERFACE 2
Can I use my Pioneer Serato / Traktor Controller with Rekordbox 6?
You can use some older Pioneer DJ controllers designed for Serato and Traktor, but you will have to subscribe.
These controllers include the DDJ-SB, DDJ-SB2, DDJ-SR, DDJ-SX, DDJ-SX2 and DDJ-SZ.
The DDJ-S1 and DDJ-T1 plus the newer DDJ-SB3, DDJ-SR2, DDJ-SX3, DDJ-1000SRT, DDJ-SZ2, DJM S2, however, are all incompatible.
If I have Rekordbox 5 will I need to pay to upgrade?
Yes. Unfortunately, there is no automatic upgrade to Rekordbox 6 even if you fully purchased Rekordbox 5. That said, Rekordbox 5 will continue to be supported by Pioneer DJ so continuing with the older software maybe the best option for users of the older hardware.
Rekordbox 6 is a major leap forward and comes packed with great time-saving features and a clean new look. The ability to manage music stored in Dropbox, Inflyte, streaming services and locally makes it the most powerful DJ library application to date. Add to that the ability to sync and manage the library on numerous devices including phones and this really is a game-changer for users with large libraries.
However, not all is perfect, and the subscription plans may alienate DJ’s who use older Pioneer hardware. It was also surprising to see the flagship tour and nexus units not unlock the software, especially when you compare the price of these units compared to say a £129 DDJ-200.
Personally, we don’t think many casual users will be majorly affected by the changes in business practice. Owners of the controllers that unlock the software will continue as normal with the added benefits of greater library control. The ability to own a software outright is always preferable in our eyes, however, given that cloud services are always subscription only its easy to see why Pioneer DJ have moved in this direction.
Are you excited about the new features and more importantly are you willing to pay for the subscriptions? Let us know in the comments below!
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