IN SHORT

 

Denon DJ has released the equivalent of a mic drop: say hello to the Prime 4, the first 4 channel standalone DJ system ever.

The Prime 4 has many features that literally change the DJ game when it comes to standalone units: it comes with a 10-inch, high-resolution touch screen that can be adjusted in angle, 4 channels, a feature Denon DJ calls Zone output that can route a channel to a separate XLR output (and has its dedicated gain and EQ controls), 4 USB inputs, 1 SD card input and a bay for SSD drives!

Wew. That’s a lot to take in.

The screen

Denon DJ Prime 4
Denon DJ Prime 4

The screen is not only 10-inch in size, and multi-touch enabled, it also features the gesture controls that made the SC5000 Prime stand out. If anything, it’s very similar to Pioneer DJ’s large 13-inch screens on their TOUR 1 system, which costs around USD 20K for the whole thing with the mixer and 4 players:

TOUR1 System
Pioneer DJ’s TOUR 1 System

Now consider this: the mixer on the Prime 4 accepts up to 4 external audio sources. So, if you add 2 SC5000’s to the mix, you can have a standalone 4 channel system with 4 players for USD 3600, since the SC5000 are selling for USD 999! That is a LOT of kit for a VERY reasonable price!

The decks

The decks look very much like smaller SC5000’s: the jogs are a bit smaller, but they do have built-in LCD screens in the middle, and there are 8 performance pads per deck.

The effects

Denon DJ Prime 4 effects
Denon DJ Prime 4 effects

I absolutely love the way Denon DJ implemented the effects. Each effect knob has its dedicated OLED screen that shows relevant details (effect name, selected beats…). That makes it so much easier to know at the glimpse of an eye how everything is set. It’s the kind of approach that makes people go “why didn’t I think of this before”, and a genius way of making things easier for DJ’s.

There is so much more I can say about this unit, but I will keep that for future articles, and certainly my review of it at NAMM 2019. Stay tuned for my full review!

Engine Prime

The Prime 4 is designed to work primarily with Engine Prime, but the press release states that Serato DJ Pro support is coming soon. That’s quite amazing and depending on the level of integration (will all the features work when used as a controller, such as the screens) it could be another game-changing feature.

Since Engine Prime can read Serato DJ Pro libraries, it will be possible at launch for Serato DJ users to play with the Prime 4, they will just need to convert their library using Engine Prime and export their tracks to USB, SD or SSD. The same goes for Traktor Pro users since Engine Prime can read Traktor Pro libraries as well.

And the competition?

Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 top view
Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 top view

Suddenly, the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 doesn’t look so hot anymore, does it? Still, I don’t think Pioneer DJ has any reason to panic. They still are the industry standard, Rekordbox and Rekordbox DJ remain superior to Engine Prime.

But, and that’s a big but, the XDJ-RX2 is priced approximately the same as the Prime 4 (around USD 1699), and trust me, that’s not a coincidence. It will be very hard for DJ’s that are on the lookout for a standalone system to ignore the Prime 4 and go for the XDJ-RX2 both being at the same price point. Lowering the price of the XDJ-RX2 will probably be a necessity in order to remain competitive. Let’s see what happens!

Key Features

  • 4-Deck standalone Engine Prime DJ system
  • 10-inch HD multi-touch display with gestures
  • Dedicated XLR Zone output provides music to a separate room
  • Built-in 2.5-inch SATA drive bay to store music onboard
  • 6-inch rugged metal jog wheel with HD central display
  • (4) assignable input channels for external media sources
  • (2) dedicated XLR inputs for microphones with individual control
  • StagelinQ connection for Event/Pro DJ lighting and video control
  • Plays uncompressed audio formats (FLAC, ALAC, WAV)
  • Crisp 24-bit Denon DJ legacy audio
  • (4) USB and (1) SD media inputs for music playback
  • USB keyboard support
  • Coming soon | Serato DJ Pro control enabled

Pricing and Availability

Available in March 2019, for USD 1699.

Pictures

Videos