Pioneer DJ is an industry staple. The prevalence of the brand’s products in clubs, pubs and radio studios indicates that once you buy a piece of Pioneer equipment, you tend not to replace it. And not only is it robust, but Pioneer DJ gear is also user-friendly, offers vast mix versatility and is compatible with a wide range of physical formats and software.
But given its reputation as the #1 brand for DJ professionals, Pioneer DJ products can seem out of reach for the wannabe DJs among us – those who’re still clunkily crossfading Tame Impala’s ‘Breathe Deeper’ into Ian Dury’s ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’.
If you fit this description, then Pioneer’s DDJ-200 is exactly what you need to move past the rudimentary mash-ups and get ready to saddle the decks at your next COVID-safe house party. In the meantime, it’ll help you shake off the lockdown boredom without burning a hole in your wallet.
Affordable and easy to use
The DDJ-200 is a 2-channel smart DJ controller that goes for around $200-250 AUD. It’s light, portable and you don’t need to buy any other specialty gear in order to get moving. The DDJ-200 is all but wireless – there are just two cables included in the box and only one of these, the USB power, plugs into the DDJ-200 itself. The other is an audio splitter, which you use to run sound into your headphones and front-of-house speakers (let’s dream big, eh.)
Where does the music come from?
The DDJ-200 connects to your smartphone, tablet or laptop via Bluetooth. You can then run it through your preferred DJ mixing app, including Pioneer DJ’s industry-approved DJ performance application, rekordbox.
But for total beginners – and that’s precisely who Pioneer DJ wants to recruit with the DDJ-200 – there’s no need to give yourself a headache investigating the best mixing apps on the market. The DDJ-200 comes with a free download of the WeDJ app, which is available for iPhone and Android devices and makes learning to mix a breeze.
If you’ve been a good citizen and continued to purchase music in recent years, then you can simply transport tracks into WeDJ from your phone or laptop’s music library. But importing local files isn’t essential, as the DDJ-200 is compatible with a range of streaming services, including Beatport LINK, SoundCloud Go+, Deezer, TIDAL and Beatsource LINK.
Learning to mix
So, you’re ready to go, but how does one learn to mix with any semblance of sophistication? The WeDJ app gives you access to a load of bitesize video tutorials that’ll guide you through setting up the DDJ-200, connecting to your device and configuring your headphones and speakers. You can then move on to the fun stuff, like loading tracks, getting to know the crossfader and making use of the 3-band EQs.
There are also tutorials breaking down the DDJ-200’s colour and transition FX. These are built-in FX that allow you to apply filters and echo, inject extra noise and fiddle with the pitch of tracks, bringing a touch of professional gloss to your mixes.
Share your mixes with the world
As your technique and confidence grow, the WeDJ tutorials will introduce you to beatmatching, cueing and using the jog wheels to nudge and scratch. Once you’re sufficiently pleased with your burgeoning deck-nique, you can even record one of your mixes on WeDJ and upload it to SoundCloud or Mixcloud. And hey, why not solicit your local pub for a DJ set while you’re at it?
Either way, the DDJ-200 is so lightweight and economically designed that you can easily carry it to a friends’ place or quietly pack it away when your neighbour tells you they’ve heard enough tinkering with the Eurythmics’ greatest hits to last a lifetime.
For decades, the name Pioneer DJ has been synonymous with professional DJing. And what is a professional DJ but someone who has such a deep love of music that they’re devoted to sharing their discoveries with a wider audience? With the DDJ-200, Pioneer DJ has created a device that lets anyone with a keen love of music develop their mixing skills and start sharing their passion with the world.