Our colleagues over at DJWORX managed to get an official statement from Paul Dakeyne, Brand Manager over at Denon DJ on the compatibility between the MCX8000 and Engine Prime, the new premium preparation software from Denon DJ designed for the SC5000 media player.

First off, this is what Paul has to say on the subject:

We want to reassure our loyal and invested Denon DJ MCX8000 users that we are absolutely continuing to support this product. ‘Engine’ desktop software is currently being updated by our Development Team to incorporate DJ performance features, plus music-management workflow capabilities of ‘Engine Prime’. This will ensure our MCX8000 users have an even more enhanced creative, and standalone workflow on their MCX8000.

Paul Dakeyne – Brand Manager (Denon DJ)

Jan.27th 2017

First the good news: MCX8000 users will be able to benefit from Engine Prime features, such as “DJ performance features” and “music-management workflow capabilities”. What does two exactly mean, is left, on purpose I imagine, a bit vague for now. But it does mean that MCX8000 users will get their much-deserved upgrade so they can squeeze the max of their MCX8000. Which is still my favourite Serato DJ controller, by the way.

Then, the less good news: Engine 1.5 will be upgraded according to Paul’s statement, but it will continue to co-exist next to Engine Prime. It’s unclear at this point if music prepared in Engine 1.5 will be compatible with Engine Prime, or with the SC5000.

If the libraries are compatible, meaning that music prepared in the upgraded Engine will work with the SC5000 and vice-versa (even if features that work on the SC5000 don’t work on the MCX8000 due to hardware limitations of the latter), then forget I ever said anything.  But that’s for me the minimum condition, the library format and exported tracks need to be compatible with different software solutions.

In all fairness to Denon DJ, the only controller to actually benefit from this upgrade of Engine 1.5 will be the MCX8000. Older media players such as the SC2900 just don’t have the power to benefit from the newer Prime features, so for older gear, it’s absolutely fine to keep Engine 1.5 alive as the solution of choice. And even the MCX8000 doesn’t have the hardware power to fully benefit from all Engine Prime features, so having an “intermediate” solution for the MCX8000 is a fair move by Denon DJ.

But it’s important that from here on, future players, controllers and in between solutions all work on the same software platform. They might not all be able to unlock all the features, but there should be 1 solution at the heart of Denon Dj’s ecosystem.

Dj’s evolve, and someone who starts with an MCX8000 might want to move to a pair of SC5000 further down the road. The mission of Denon DJ is to make this transition as smooth as possible. In the same way that a DJ that starts with a 250 dollar Pioneer DJ controller can take their music prepared in Rekordbox, push it to a USB stick and rock a crowd on a pair of CDJ’s without the need of any additional preparation.

So to resume: while I’m very happy to see that Denon DJ is not letting their MCX8000 users behind, I hope their vision of the future is a total DJ software solution that supports all their hardware. And who knows, maybe Engine Prime will evolve into performance software, just as Rekordbox was expanded with Rekordbox DJ?

What do you think of this announcement? Are you an MCX8000 owner? What are your thoughts on Engine Prime? Comment below!