With 2018 on its last legs, it’s time to look back at a few trends and revelations that this year brought to the DJ gear & software industry.

While the amount of new gear & software is significant, it hasn’t topped previous years. It’s even possible to argue that the DJ gear & software industry is in a bit of a slump, but that to me, is probably more the silence before the storm.

First of all, the Pioneer DJ line-up of professional players & mixers is in dire need of a refresh, so expect a new version of the Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2 Professional Multi Player and the Pioneer DJ DJ Mixer (DJM900NXS2) to be revealed any day now, possibly already during Namm 2019. Why? because the tech is getting dated, and Pioneer DJ needs, at some point, provide an answer to Denon DJ and their Prime series.

I wouldn’t be surprised if at this point Pioneer DJ grows some balls and finally ditches the CD tray in their players. This would allow lowering the price and use the extra space for other more up to date features. If you are a professional DJ in 2019, it’s time to take the plunge and move your CD collection to an SSD drive anyway.

The other big thing is the “comeback” of Traktor. With the release of Traktor Pro 3, the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 DJ Controller and the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3 DJ Controller, the path is set for a bright Traktor future.

Expect more hardware from Native Instruments in 2019, possibly even a Traktor Kontrol S8 MK2 and S5 MK2!

But that’s 2019, let’s talk 2018!

Pioneer DJ consolidates Rekordbox DJ’s hardware offer

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000

At the beginning of the year, Pioneer DJ launched the Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000, my favourite controller at the moment.

The DDJ-1000 is the very first DJ controller designed from the ground up to be used exclusively with Rekordbox DJ, and that results in a few particular design choices. For example, the decks resemble CDJ decks a lot, with looping features on top instead of effect controls. The effects are now integrated into the mixer, which is really a mini CDJ-900NX2. And all that, for around USD 1000, which puts the DDJ-RZ a bit to shame…

Pioneer DJ followed this up with the Pioneer DJ DDJ 400, a smaller version of the DDJ-1000 that follows the same design language.

This bodes well for the future of Rekordbox DJ, as the new hardware is a clear statement that Pioneer DJ is 100% dedicated to building a real ecosystem around their software solution.

Denon DJ goes spinning!

Denon DJ SC5000M Prime
Denon DJ SC5000M Prime

With the arrival of the Denon DJ SC5000M Prime Denon DJ brings back the motorized jog wheel in their media player line-up. This is great news for DJ’s that want to combine the tactile feeling of a real, spinning turntable and the benefits of a digital player.

It comes after last years RANE 12 DJ Digital Turntable that is more of a purist approach. Denon DJ has also been improving Engine Prime, adding support for the Denon DJ MCX8000 and for Traktor Pro as well.

Serato DJ Pro and Serato DJ Lite

Serato DJ Pro
Serato DJ Pro

Serato has profoundly improved their DJ software offering, retiring Serato DJ and Serato DJ Intro and launching Serato DJ Pro and Serato DJ Lite instead. The new offering is an improvement in several ways: support for high-resolution screens, the possibility to prepare tracks and even DJ without a connected controller (one of the weak points of Serato in the past) and streaming support for Tidal and SoundCloud.

These improvements are needed because Serato is up against Rekordbox DJ, and while Pioneer DJ is still bringing out new controllers for Serato, they are also seriously improving their own Rekordbox DJ offering, both hardware and software wise, as discussed above.

Traktor is back!

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3

After so many years of rumors, disappointments, and speculation, Native Instruments has put the Traktor platform firmly back on the DJ map with the release of Traktor Pro 3, the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 DJ Controller and the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3 DJ Controller.

This was fantastic news for Traktor fans and users, and we can only hope that this is only the beginning of a wave of new Traktor related products. It’s time to update the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 DJ Mixer and other fantastic, but outdated Traktor Pro hardware!

djay Pro moves to a subscription model

Algoriddim djay for IOS on iPad
Algoriddim djay for IOS on iPad

My favorite DJ app for IOS is definitely djay Pro, and this year, Algoriddim (the company behind it), decided to consolidate their various IOS apps under 1 app, djay for IOS. You can still use it for free, but now there is also a subscription-based version. With support for a large amount of DJ controllers, and with features that rival the competition (video djing, a built-in sequencer, advanced looping features, and effects…)


So yes, there you have it. 2018 was a good year, but if my gut feeling is right, 2019 is going to be even better. Enjoy the festivities, and see you next year for much more DJ related news, opinion, reviews and tutorials!