Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR at a glance:

Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR Controller Compact but fully featured Rekordbox DJ controller, will please both beginner and professional!
Rating:
Price: Approx USD 700

First impressions

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR makes a very solid first impression, although it is a bit lighter than its predecessor, the DDJ-SR. The black finish looks classy and aligned with the new line of Rekordbox DJ controllers Pioneer DJ has been putting out. The RR is an upgraded & improved version of the DDJ-SR, the Serato DJ version of this controller that came out around 2 years ago. The SR is a favorite amongst DJs for its pro qualities in a compact unit, and I predict the RR will go the same way.

Features & functionalities

A lot of features in a small form factor, that could be the tagline on this controller. Let’s go step by step.

Jogwheels & Needle Search

Pioneer DJ Jogs & Needle Search
Pioneer DJ Jogs & Needle Search

The jogs are the big attraction on this controller. Slightly bigger than then ones on the DDJ-SR, the it’s feature a black shiny finish and rubber sides, with a center led ring that changes color depending on the certain functions, for example, when switching decks. Unfortunately, Pioneer DJ didn’t incorporate a center led with track position indication as on the more expensive controllers in the DDJ range, but that is a minor grip. On the plus side the jogs feel amazing and the latency when using Rekordbox DJ is almost non-existent.

The needle search is a brand new addition to this price range in the DDJ range, and makes it a lot easier to navigate around a track. It works only when the track is stopped so there is no chance you will activate it accidentally when playing around with the effects.

You will also find hardware buttons for slip, slip reverse, all allow very cool manipulation of your tracks. See the video below for examples!

Effects Section

Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR effects section
Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR effects section

This controller is marketed as a performance controller and that is not a lie. The effects section on this controller is very flexible. First of all, you can configure 3 effects and change them in the software on the controller using the shift button. Secondly, you can manipulate the beat length to take into account for each effect when activated. And lastly, you can launch what Pioneer DJ calls Release FX, which are activated by pressing the rotary encoder.

Transport Section

Pioneer DDJ-RR transport section
Pioneer DDJ-RR transport section

Everything you expect from a pro-level DJ controller is there. Play, cue and sync buttons laid out in the typical Pioneer DJ way, and a pad section that works in much the same way as the ones found on more expensive DDJ controllers. You have 8 highly responsive velocity sensitive pads, and four different modes (eight if you count the functions behind the shift button) to play with. I personally love the pad fx mode. Loop rolls of different beat sizes, and pre-configured effects such as echo, flanger and vinyl brake. Again, check out the video below to see how it works.

The right part of each deck has the controls for the sequencer, where you can record, play & loop pad routines on the fly. Below that, you will find the more classical loop controls, be it manual looping or auto loop.

Mixer Section

Pioneer DDJ-RR mixer section
Pioneer DDJ-RR mixer section

The DDJ-RR features a two-channel mixer including filter knobs for each channel, a 3 band EQ, trim knobs per channel and the possibility to switch, per channel, between two decks and phono/line. This means this is a hardware mixer and its possible to connect external sources such as CDJ players or turntables. The DDJ-RR also supports rekordbox DVS that comes as an add-in to Rekordbox DJ, so you can use this controller with timecode vinyl if you wish to do so.

Furthermore, we have VU meters per channel, as one for the master channel.

Finally, in the centre of the mixer, you will find a master level knob, a booth level knob, and the knob to toggle between master and cue in your headphones.

Shortly said, the mixer on the DDJ-RR has everything a working DJ would want, and then some.

Inputs & Outputs

Pioneer DDJ-RR front
Pioneer DDJ-RR front

On the front side, the DDJ-RR has no more than the headphone inputs & level and the microphone level. Nice and clean.

Pioneer DDJ-RR rear
Pioneer DDJ-RR rear

On the back, we find a wealth of inputs. First of all, this controller can take external audio sources, each channel has RCA input. Then we have two master outputs, 1 RCA, and 1 XLR. Lastly, we have TSR booth out. Here you will also find the mic input. Overall more than enough options to connect the DDJ-RR to whatever possible sound system configuration.

Conclusions

In my opinion, the Pioneer DDJ-RR is a very solid offering, one of the best out there. Compared to the DDJ-SR the RR feels a bit lighter, suggesting that maybe the quality of some materials is a bit cheaper here, but in compensation, it adds so many features that you quickly forget about those minor gripes. Hardware mixer & DVS support, needle search, independent VU meters for master & channels, XLR, RCA & TSR out… the list goes on. I’m pretty sure this controller will seduce working DJ’s of all sorts, and it merits to do so.

Video Review

Picture Gallery

Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR at a glance:

Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR Controller Compact but fully featured Rekordbox DJ controller, will please both beginner and professional!
Rating:
Price: Approx USD 700

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Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR
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