IN SHORT
Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6

The DDJ-FLX6 is a mid-level DJ controller that works with Serato DJ Pro and Rekordbox DJ. It has full-size jog wheels, 4 channels, Merge FX for drops and transitions, and the Jog Cutter feature. 

Price: 
$$ check the price on Amazon

Under USD 200: $
Between USD 200 and USD 500: $$
Between USD 500 and USD 1000: $$$
Between USD 1000 and USD 2000: $$$$
Over USD 2000: $$$$$

Level:mid-level
Power:power supply
Inputs:1 MIC (1/4 inch TRS Jack)
Outputs:1 MASTER (RCA), 1 BOOTH (RCA), 2 HEADPHONE MONITOR (1/4 inch Stereo Phone Jack, 3.5mm Stereo mini-jack)
Supported DJ software:Rekordbox DJ, Serato DJ Pro
Djtechzone Rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
  

PROSCONS
  • Large Jog wheels
  • 4 channels
  • Innovative features (Merge FX, Jog Cutter)
  • Build quality of jog wheels
  • Effects section on the mixer can be confusing
  • Merge FX can feel a bit gimmicky

First impressions

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 Rekordbox DJ Controller is a particular DJ controller. I don’t mean that as a criticism, but it blends different elements from different categories and creates a unique result: the big jog wheels from the CDJ’s professional level controllers, such as the DDJ-1000 combined with the performance pads of the DDJ-400 as an example.

The result? A mid-level controller costing USD 600 that is between both world, at risk trying to please everyone and ending by not pleasing anyone.

How did it work out for me? I enjoyed it quite a bit 🙂

When you first use this controller, it’s good to remember the price range it sits in. The controller is all plastic, even the jog wheels are. So while they are big, they don’t feel anything like the jogs on more expensive gear.

This becomes clear by putting the DDJ-1000’s jog wheel against the one on the DDJ-FLX6.

The DDJ-1000 jog wheel on the left and the DDJ-FLX6 jog wheel on the right.
The DDJ-1000 jog wheel on the left and the DDJ-FLX6 jog wheel on the right.

Still, they do their job just fine. More on that later. The DDJ-FLX6 has a few specific functions such as the jog cutter and the merge FX with a large blue button. These are things you will typically find in a controller aimed at beginner and home DJs, and while these can feel a bit gimmicky, these features can also be a lot of fun.

Let’s dive into the details.

Features & functionalities

The Merge FX

The Merge FX feature
The Merge FX feature

Let’s kick off this review with the Merge FX feature. To put it simply, this feature allows you to combine up to 4 individual effects into one single effect, and control it with the big knob next to each jog. Clicking the knob engages the effects, turning the knob increases its intensity, or decreases it, depending on the direction you turn. Clicking the knob one more time phases out the effects, all at once. You have, when using Rekordbox DJ, the possibility to compose custom Merge effects yourself from the Rekordbox interface. In Serato DJ Pro, however, the Merge FX is limited to the 4 pre-programmed ones.

This is meant to be used in transitions (see the video below for examples) and can really spice up your Djing and create really unique moments in your set. But, as with all pre-programmed stuff, it can quickly get repetitive so as with all good things, use it with moderation.

If you are a more advanced DJ, the Merge FX function will make much sense to you as layering your own effects manually and creating transitions on the fly is always more satisfying and unique than just letting the computer do the work.

The Jog Cutter

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 jog cutter feature
Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 jog cutter feature

The jog cutter feature, once activated, snaps onto the selected hot cue, or the current jog position and applies scratch patterns to it. Depending on where you touch the jog wheel, a different scratch pattern will be applied.

It’s a nice gimmick for beginners I guess, but once you have done it a few times, the novelty wears off quickly and you are left with patterns that are somehow hard to keep in time with the track. I prefer much more to activate the slip function and do baby scratches over the track, which sound much more natural (once you learn how to do them) than to use the jog cutter.

Still, I believe Pioneer DJ can improve on this by refining the way the patterns interact with the hand movements on the jog wheel.

The jog wheel

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 jog wheels
Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 jog wheels

As said above, the jog wheels are made of plastic. If you have never played with a CDJ or high-end Pioneer DJ controller, this jog wheel will feel like the real thing: a professional, full-sized jog with a central needle indication. If you, on the other hand, already used a higher-level controller before, the jogs on the FLX6 will feel like a downgrade.

When using them, they do their job pretty well. They are responsive and with the right amount of tension. If you are coming from an entry-level DJ controller, these jogs are definitely an upgrade.

The performance pads

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 performance pads
Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 performance pads

The DDJ-FLX6 has 8 performance pads per channel, with 8 selectable functions. The pads are similar to the ones on, for example, the Pioneer DJ DDJ-400. One of the functions is the sample scratch, which allows you to load your samples as tracks and scratch over them. This feature works in both Rekordbox DJ and Serato DJ Pro, where it is called Scratch Bank.

The mixer and effects

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 mixer and effects
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 mixer and effects

The DDJ-FLX6 features a 4 channel mixer with all the usual functions: search and load knob along other buttons to navigate your software, a trim knob, 3 channel EQ and filter knob per channel, 4 crossfaders that are well weighted and usable crossfader.

Deck 4 can be switched between the software deck and the sampler, giving you the possibility to have access to all the channel features for the sampler deck.

The effects

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 mixer effects
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 mixer effects

The effects section on the Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 mimics the approach on professional mixers, but with a few compromises. The first one is obvious: the controller doesn’t have any built-in effects, all it does is control the effects of the connected software.

To select an effect, you press the button to cycle to the two effects banks. The small issue with this way of selecting effects is that you have to cycle to the entire lot to get to the one you want. Also, I really miss having a small screen with the name of the selected effect, because this setup doesn’t prevent you from having to look at your laptop screen unless you have the effects in every effect bank memorized.

The channel and beat selection happen in a similar way, by clicking through the option using buttons.

The overall experience here is a bit confusing, to be honest, but on the other hand, once you get used to it, it should be workable for anyone. If given a choice, I would prefer the more traditional DJ controller approach to have an effects section for each deck or to have a clear indication of the selected effect if the effect section is integrated into the mixer.

The inputs & outputs

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6
Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6

The DDJ-FLX6 has a double headphone input with a volume level knob, a mix control knob, and a mic volume level knob on the front. On the back of the controller, the DDJ-FLX6 has 2 RCA outputs, the main output, a booth output, and a balanced microphone input.

Overall, the inclusion of a booth output is a nice extra, even it’s a simple RCA one. Keeping in mind this is not a professional DJ controller, the input & output section should fulfill most user’s needs. An AUX input would have made it perfect though if only to be able to have a phone with music ready to go in the case your laptop fails or something similar.

Conclusions

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 is not the perfect controller, and its price-setting puts it right in the middle between a beginner and a (semi-) professional DJ controller. But, if you are looking to upgrade from your entry-level controller, and your budget is around USD 600, this is one of the best options on the market today. While it definitely has professionally-inspired features such as the large jog wheels and the 4 channels, it remains aimed at more advanced amateurs with features such as the Merge FX and the Jog Cutter.

Also, if you are getting into DJing and have this kind of money at your disposal to buy your first DJ controller, I would certainly recommend going for it, especially if the 4 channels are a must for you.

A final word on software. The DDJ-FLX6 is both compatible with Serato DJ Pro and Rekordbox, which makes it ideal for DJs that want to “sample” both platforms before choosing one.

Video Review

Picture Gallery

IN SHORT
Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6

The DDJ-FLX6 is a mid-level DJ controller that works with Serato DJ Pro and Rekordbox DJ. It has full-size jog wheels, 4 channels, Merge FX for drops and transitions, and the Jog Cutter feature. 

Price: 
$$ check the price on Amazon

Under USD 200: $
Between USD 200 and USD 500: $$
Between USD 500 and USD 1000: $$$
Between USD 1000 and USD 2000: $$$$
Over USD 2000: $$$$$

Level:mid-level
Power:power supply
Inputs:1 MIC (1/4 inch TRS Jack)
Outputs:1 MASTER (RCA), 1 BOOTH (RCA), 2 HEADPHONE MONITOR (1/4 inch Stereo Phone Jack, 3.5mm Stereo mini-jack)
Supported DJ software:Rekordbox DJ, Serato DJ Pro
Djtechzone Rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)