Why I Kept the DDJ-1000 vs the XDJ-RX2 in a Comparison
I debated between the Pioneer DDJ-1000 and the XDJ-RX2 a year ago.
On the one hand, the CDJ layout was perfect for getting club-ready, but on the other side, I really wanted to break away from the laptop. On the other hand, I was drawn to the DDJ-1000 because of its four channels, larger jog wheels, and overall size and design.
I made the choice to buy them both and then give the unwanted one to my young cousin.
He eventually upgraded from DDJ-400 to my XDJ-RX2, and he says there is a slight learning curve in terms of the minor differences. He doesn't need two additional channels because he blends house music.
And me… I am overjoyed with the DDJ-1000! I occasionally find connecting a laptop to be a pain, but having my entire library available without having to perform a (often time-consuming) export is a pretty good trade-off.
Are you comfortable having your laptop set up to perform live? Do you want to use a USB to play like a CDJ setup? Do you have a specific feature request? The primary questions you should ask yourself are those.
I'll go over everything I've learned about these two controllers in this article in the hopes that it will assist you make the best decision possible.
Where do we begin now? Naturally, we must evaluate and contrast the features that are provided by each of them. Do I need two or four channels, and do I want to play with or without a computer? are the two most crucial questions.
The features of each model will next be compared. It's not a comparison to determine which controller is best. Which one best suits your needs is up to you to decide.
Recommendation: Pioneer XDJ-RX3 vs. XDJ-XZ - Why Purchasing RX3 Is (No) Sense
Why a Standalone Controller Can Be Very Beneficial
As a standalone controller, the XDJ-RX2 enables us to play and record our mixes without a computer by simply loading the tracks from a USB device.
However, in order to utilize the DDJ-1000, a computer is a requirement. The only way it would function without a computer would be to attach something like a CDJ-2000 Nexus, which would allow the DDJ-1000 to perform the role of a mixer.
The XDJ-RX2 is incredibly practical because it frees you from the need for a laptop when mixing. I enjoyed the idea of being able to carry the DDJ-1000 anywhere with some speakers and just push play before I made the decision to keep it.
I also loved the thought of putting my laptop away and settling in with the decks in front of me rather than its screen. The RX2 all but eradicated my concern of my computer breaking down, Windows malfunctioning, or Rekordbox crashing for no apparent reason.
And the weird thing is that being liberated from a laptop made me a lot better DJ. I have a propensity to become very engrossed in the screen and spin with visual cues of impending breakdowns, etc. It also encouraged me to take playlist curating more seriously because having everything available on a laptop can sometimes inhibit creativity and the USB is a barrier to that.
Regardless of what the independent functionality of the XDJ-RX2 provided for me, I believe that the "image" that being a laptop DJ is less cool than being a USB DJ is where most people get stuck.
This has an immediate impact on the audience since, in the eyes of those who aren't DJs, a laptop isn't a musical instrument and your usage of one is a "distraction" from the show they're used to seeing when seeing a musician perform. They will connect better with your sound if it seems like you are playing an instrument.
The controllers are both powerfully built.
The size of the two controllers can be found to differ significantly. The DDJ-1000 is significantly lighter, weighing only 6kg, compared to the slightly bigger XDJ-RX2, which weighs approximately 9kg.
If we compare the size and weight, it's much more comfortable to carry the DDJ-1000, but remember that you'll also have to carry the computer, not merely a solo controller.
Even though the DDJ-1000's outside shell is composed of plastic as opposed to the XDJ-brushed RX2's metal, I don't get the toy vibe from the DDJ-1000. It is a fairly durable item and is competitively worthy.
There is a noticeable distinction from, say, the XZ, but that thing is a tank.
Additionally, each button has a wonderful feel about it. The mixer's knobs are somewhat difficult to turn, but this may just be my opinion.
The layout of DDJ is quite akin to a club setting also.
The tempo slider and pads
At first sight, it may not seem like a big deal, but the DDJ-1000's pads and Play & Cue buttons are somewhat larger and better illuminated, which will make it easier on the eyes if we're performing in a dimly lit space.
The DDJ-1000 adds the Sampler mode to the list of control modes available for the pads. This will enable you to save various computer noises like a hi-hat, a clap, a kick, etc.
The DDJ-1000's tempo slider feels a little weird (particularly the cap). But it operates precisely and has a nice mechanical feel to it. When you touch the midway place, it makes a cute tiny click sound.
The DDJ-1000's jog wheels are bigger and more comfortable
Another benefit of the DDJ-1000 is the size of the jog wheels. They are modeled after the CDJ-2000 Nexus and are significantly larger than those of the XDJ-RX2.
A pressure-sensitive design gives it a better feel and response while also preventing mistakes brought on by unintentional contact.
The XDJ-RX2 has capacitative jogs, while the DDJ-1000 has mechanical jogs (like the CDJs). I've played both and, while performing, I'm generally not too picky about which is better. But since I typically perform on CDJ/DJM combos, I choose the DDJ-1000. Additionally, I enjoy the mechanical jogs' beat matching a lot.
Additionally, the DDJ-1000 provides a jog display in the middle of each jog wheel so you can see all the data you require, including BPM, waveform, playback position, and Hot Cue and Loop points.
Additionally, it has the jog adjust, which enables you to change the firmness of the turntable (light or heavy). It should be noted that the XDJ RX2 does not have access to this feature.
Display Makes XDJ-RX2 More Similar to Pioneer Nexus Club Line
Here we see one of the key advantages of the XDJ RX2, its 7-inch touch screen that matches the CDJ-2000 Nexus2. The QWERTY keyboard, rotary selector, track filter, Sounds Colour FX, Beat FX effects, etc. are all included.
The DDJ-1000, on the other hand, only has its jog display, which allows you to see only the most fundamental information. Also, don't forget that you'll need a computer to play.
I prefer not having to glance at the laptop when using RX2, but I also have to admit that the jog screens on the DDJ-1000 significantly reduce the need for gazing at the Rekordbox screen. Waveforms, BPM, cue points, and other data are all readily available.
Do you need four channels, or will two suffice?
The quantity of channels that each controller has is the second most crucial feature that sets them apart. The XDJ RX2 only has 2 channels compared to the DDJ-1000's 4 channels.
This can be one of the deciding elements in your decision to select one over the other. Are you really certain you need to play on four channels? is a crucial question to ask yourself.
Because using a 4-channel mixer greatly improves live performances. The best part for me is being able to, for instance, keep an eye on my iPad for strange requests on channel 4, play my NYE countdown music on channel 3, and continue mixing on channels 1 and 2.
When I played on my RX2, sometimes I missed the freedom of having 4 channels. I play house and techno music, and occasionally I like to keep a few loops playing in the background.
To get around that on RX2, I would leave the one track playing on repeat until the main track was about to end (occasionally I'd turn it down and then it back up later to ride with the main track) (2;30-1:30 left). By doing so, you can still add flavor to the mixture or fill up some uninteresting gaps.
I know some people could think you don't need four channels if it's home playing most of the time. I suppose it also depends on your desired playing style approach. If you want to have 4 channels, acquire the 4 channels because you can still play 2 on 4, but you can never play 4 on 2.
More Impactful Is The DDJ-1000
We can see that the XDJ-RX2 offers the Parameter option for the Sound Color FX, which enables you to customize any of the 4 parameters to your preferences.
Regarding effects, the DDJ-1000 has almost twice as many (14) as the XDJ-RX2, including: ENIGMA JET, MOBIUS (SAW), MOBIUS (TRIANGLE), LOW CUT ECHO, Multi-Tap Delay, Spiral, Reverb, Trans, Flanger, Phaser, Pitch, Slip Roll, and Roll. The XDJ-RX2 has 8 effects.
However, the XDJ-RX2 features a parameter called "Time" that gives you far greater control over some effects.
Inputs and outputs for connectivity
They essentially have the same inputs and outputs. The DDJ-1000 differs in that it contains two sound cards, allowing you to connect two PCs. There is only one port on the XDJ-RX2 where a computer could be connected and used as a controller.
The DDJ-1000's XLR and Jack input and the XDJ-dual RX2's XLR inputs both allow us to attach two microphones.
Prices in 2022
When it comes to cost, the DDJ-1000 is the least expensive choice. The following pricing are available as of June 2022 from the major DJ online retailers:
- On Sweetwater, the Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000 costs about $1250 and is in stock.
- Pioneer XDJ-RX2: about $1700
We can see that there is a difference of just under $400. But there is a very significant factor that we must consider. A computer is required by the DDJ-1000 controller, therefore we would also need to include that additional expense.
In conclusion, the DDJ-1000 is less expensive, has bigger jogs, and offers the assurance of having four channels if you ever need them. There are more effects available, but keep in mind that you will always require a computer.
The RX2 is more appealing to you if you're:
- You're going to bring your equipment to the event (or host your own party), but you don't want to hassle with or stress over bringing a laptop.
- You want to set up your own events with numerous DJs so they can each bring their own USBs and use the same controller (rather than everyone having to bring their own laptop).
Only if you are on a tight budget and want to perform at house parties or other events (with numerous DJs) but don't want to make the financial commitment of purchasing a complete CDJ + DJM system.
It's also important to remember that the RX2 isn't all that much more portable than the DDJ-1000 despite not requiring a laptop (the RX2 is significantly heavier and bulkier).
Another option is to choose the Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ, a 4-channel all-in-one controller, and combine the greatest features of the two controllers.
I will be pleased to assist you if you continue to be unsure about the model to select. Just shoot me an email at [email protected].