Pioneer’s new 6-channel DJ mixer could be a producer and live act favorite
Its expanded mixing and EQ section have already inspired memes, but live acts will sure be happy to see it in the booth.
Pioneer, of course, faces an ongoing problem. Having taken over the world, there’s not much left to conquer. At the entry level, the strategy isn’t hard – there’s an expanding market of first-time DJs, and the company’s combination of Rekordbox-for-computers with Rekordox-for-USB-stick-prep seems a winner. But at the high end, the product stury is murkier. What do people want? Samplers? Synths? Decks that work like samplers? Giant touchscreens?
The DJM-V10 makes more sense – and it helps build a platform in the booth for plugging in those other Pioneer toys.
More quality: Thanks to the onboard sound engine and ESS9016 chip, they deliver 64-bit mixing and 32-bit A/D and D/A, respectively. Oddly, they say this gives it more “warmth,” which is not what warmth means, but it should provide more transparent mixing.
New EQ, new compressor: You now get a new 4-band EQ – an extra shot across the bow of Allen & Heath – and a built-in compressor. I have no earthly idea why anyone would run today’s over-compressed tracks through another layer of compression (gah!), but that should come in very handy with live inputs, where you really do miss it.
Expanded FX: They’ve grown the send/return section so you can use your own external effects – which I also suspect means we’ll see new effects boxes from Pioneer soon.
3-band master isolator: The good thing about this – it’s got dedicated controls for high, mid, and low, rather than making you flick a switch like on most DJ mixers.
More I/O: 6-channel digital mixer design, which doubles as a USB sound card. They advertise a range of inputs, but it’s still unbalanced phono plugs – 6 line + 4 phono.
What they have done is add digital ins, so in addition to the USB interface acting as multichannel audio interface to your computer, there are also 6 digital coax ins.
2 USB B ports, 1 USB a port. Seems it’s odd to release in 2020 without USB-C, but that’s what they’ve done.
Oh, yeah, and they win me over with this alone – the inputs are aligned with the channel strips. Finally, no more hunting around the back of the mixer to find the right input.
MIDI out: Maybe this is really the lede. Pioneer continues pushing Pro DJ Link for sync, but each gadget they ship with MIDI DIN out proves the company might be open to connecting non-Pioneer gear. (It’s not the first Pioneer mixer to do this – and there’s still not a deck with MIDI out – but it’s something.)
DJ-friendly monitoring: Dual headphone outs mean you finally don’t have to fight the DJ/performer before or after you for the headphone jack as you switch over. And booth EQ helps prevent destroying your ears on the booth monitors – finally.
There are a lot of other nice touches – built-in iPhone/iPad mix recording (via DJM-REC), a lockable power cable, DVS integration with Rekordbox and TRAKTOR and Serato, and even visual ShowKontrol integration for AV and lighting.
Plus, it’s a DJM, so you can count on a lot of onboard effects – and then it’s up to you to use them tastefully. At least they’re more tasteful, as I see dedicated buttons for “short” and “long” delays, dub echo, and reverb – like the stuff you actually would want to use.
I would stand by the DJM line. I think they’re more usable and friendly than the competition, and I think having built-in effects is a good thing – it’s a show with an audience, not a studio.
The rest of this we have to actually test, in that Pioneer says a lot about how they’ve adjusted fader feel and EQ.
So sure, this is funny —
— but no mind. I’d sure like to have this mixer in the booth. And I could imagine it doing double duty in some home studios, too, depending on price – at least for people who have DJ rigs at home that double for production.
Do most DJs need it? Probably not. Will it make plugging in for the rest of easier? Absolutely so.
Now we just need to know the price (gulp). But hey, the club will buy theirs.
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