One of the biggest challenges in switching DJ software is the fact that cue points and beat grids are not stored in a common, universal format. Each software has its own approach, and over the years we have seen many vendors come up with solutions to convert track information between DJ software packages.

A very popular solution is Rekord Buddy. Rekord Buddy converts your track data and playlists between Serato, Traktor Pro, and Rekordbox DJ and until recently, it was probably all you needed.

But with the launch of the Prime Series hardware and the new Engine Prime, Denon DJ has come to shake things up. With many top DJ’s making the switch to the new players, more and more DJ’s will feel tempted to at least give Engine Prime a try, and with that, the inevitable question will come:

Do I need to re-analyze my entire collection?

If you are coming from Serato DJ, the answer is no. Engine Prime recognizes Serato DJ cue points and beat grids, and imports them. But if you are a Rekordbox user, and there are many of those out there, there is currently no way of converting Rekordbox data to Engine Prime. But that might change soon.

A collective called ATGR Production Team created a tool called the Denon Conversion Utility that will adapt your Rekordbox USB thumb drive so it can be used with the SC5000 Prime as well. The solution is still rough around the edges and needs some manual fixes to work, but in the end, it does the job. First, check out the video for the full explanation:

 

So yes, the tool won’t win any UX prizes anytime soon, but let’s move past that and look at what’s under the hood: A fast and easy way to make your Rekordbox USB thumbs “SC5000 ready”.

Why I’m paying attention to this? Because I feel it’s the missing link for Denon DJ. Most of the DJ’s they will be converting will be coming from Rekordbox, and without a solution to quickly and easily convert Rekordbox data to Engine Prime these DJ’s will give up before they start.

According to the creator (Mix Master G) he’s is still fixing issues and waiting for some answers from Denon DJ in order to finalize the tool, which means that Denon DJ is at least supporting third party software creators in solving this issue. I wouldn’t be surprised that Denon DJ is working on a solution of their own on the side as well.

The tool is not available yet, and when it becomes available, there will only be a MacOS version, and there are no plans for a Windows version.

The price is still unknown, but I don’t expect it to be more than a few dollars since other utilities by the same team cost around 5 USD each.

Conclusion

Wouldn’t it be great if DJ software manufacturers found a way to standardize the storage of cue points, saved loops, BPM, beat grids, playlists and other information so we can finally switch between DJ software packages without the hassle of going through third-party utilities?

Standards make everyone’s life easier and allow software manufacturers focus on what makes their offering truly different from the competition, without having to re-invent the wheel.

In the meantime, I’m glad people are building tools like the Denon Conversion Utility, it makes everyone’s life easier.

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  • SC5000 needs to just read the analysis and cue point data directly without prepping required. Denon also need to make Engine Prime open source.

  • I’ve developed a procedure and an extra (free) app that allows Rekordbox users on Windows to take advantage of DeCU as well.

    (instruction video is ready, I’ll update the manual shortly)

    You’ll need the following:

    -A copy of the Denon Conversion Utility (DeCU)

    -External hard drive/ssd/thumb drive

    -Someone willing to let you use his/her’s Mac.

    -Engine Prime (EP) installed on that Mac during the procedure

    The host Mac stays clear of any EP data nor will there be any track files on it. You can even do this on a fellow DJ’s Mac who uses EP. There will be NO merging or conflict of EP data.

    I show the procedure at:

    https://youtu.be/FNVwIaSI6jY

    After following this procedure that drive will have all your cues, loops and playlists in Engine Prime identical to how they are in your (Windows!) version of Rekordbox.

    That drive can be used with Engine Prime on both MacOS and Windows. It can also be plugged directly into a SC5000 and will have the playlists cues etc on there.

  • first release is out, all info & video’s are on
    https://sellfy.com/p/Y06n

    • Thanks for the update, will adapt the article accordingly!

  • Thnx For covering DeCU. Things are progressing very fast. The user interaction has been brought down to a bare minimum (click a button no more drag and drop) and I’m finalizing using the Rekordbox xml and full playlist integration as we speak. So DeCU will be on par with the DJ Conversion Utility when it comes to maintaining full (nested) playlists. Something Denon themselves even cant do 🙂 Expect the first release to be around the comming weekend.