Pioneer DDJ-T1 vs Native Instruments Kontrol S4 vs Denon DN-MC6000 vs Allen & Heath Xone DX
Controller-palooza is upon us! How do you decide which one to invest in and what are some of the differences? We compared some of the intermediate and beginner controllers here, and now we have put together a comparison of some of the 4 deck controllers to help you decide which might be best for your DJ carnage.
Allen & Heath XONE DX – This was the first 4 deck Serato Itch controller to hit the market. It’s construction is metal and it is built very well. The audio interface on this bad boy is the most dynamic of the four considering you can have up to 4 RCA inputs and a digital out. It works nicely with Itch controlling 4 track simultaneously, but I the rotary pitch adjust and the small non touch sensitive jog wheels took a little getting used to. Overall, it worked very well and sounded great.
Denon DN-MC6000 – This controller comes with Virtual DJ LE and is the lone stand alone controller of the four. We did a review on it in January and that can be found here. This controller also gives you an assignable booth out which is very convenient if you want to play music in different areas in a venue. It’s very well built with almost a full metal construction and it is also rack mountable in a standard 19″ rack. Virtual DJ LE allows for video mixing, sampling, and karaoke and it was relatively easy to learn. The controller can also be mapped to Traktor which makes it very versatile.
Native Instruments Kontrol S4 – The S4 comes with Traktor Pro S4 and is the lightest controller of the four. Our review can be found here. This has been the most popular of the four and is the first controller from Native Instruments. The Traktor Pro S4 software boasts 8 sample decks, 4 per side, that can be played along side 2 decks on channels A and B. The effects, loop, and cue section also suggest that it can be played like an instrument for you controllerists. The real juice of the software is it’s effects suite. They are quite incredible and can be used in an advanced manner or chained with 3 on each FX slot. This is my weapon of choice, but I really wish it had a separate booth out. Otherwise, it sounds great and the controls are very accurate and precise.
Pioneer DDJ-T1 – This controller comes with Traktor Pro Pioneer editon and is the biggest in size of the four. It has full plastic contruction and the biggest jog wheels of the four. Those who are used to using the Pioneer CDJ400′s will see the same layout on the DDJ-T1 with the addition of the Needle Search feature. This controller has been much anticipated considering Pioneer has long been the standard of excellence in DJ equipment for many years. It has similar effects layout as the S4 considering the software is almost identical with the exception of the sample decks on the S4. It has a built in computer dock so that your laptop can slide directly under the controller for a sleek, streamlined performance layout. We have a more in depth review coming up very soon as well. It sounded great, responded very accurately. This controller is best suited to those of you making the transition from CDJ’s and mixer to a software based controller.
Yes, there are some others out there and there are some to come soon, but we went to our warehouse and pulled the ones that you guys asked about first. It’s important to remember that it really takes a lot of research before you make your choice and we understand that you want to spend your money right the first time. I definitely have my favorites but I’m willing to see other people, too. That’s what she said. Anyway, check out the video and stay tuned for more to come. Cheers!
What is going on? This is Scott Magno, DJ Madflip, here with UniqueSquared.com. Today we’re going to talk about some of the advanced controllers out there.
We’re going to do a comparison and look at some of the standard features that you come to expect from the advanced controllers and then you can decide which one’s going to be best for you.
Who are we playing with today? We are talking about Allen & Heath Xone DX, this is going to come with Serato Itch. Now we’ve got the Denon DN-MC6000, this is going to come with Virtual DJ LE.
Next we have the Native Instruments Kontrol S4, this is going to come with Traktor Pro. And then lastly we have the Pioneer DDJ-T1, this is also going to come with Traktor Pro, Pioneer edition.
Ok, so what do they all have in common? Well, upon looking at them you can see which ones are going to be a little smaller, which one’s going to be the biggest, but what they all have in common is that they can all mix four decks of audio simultaneously.
Some of the other things, they’re all going to have a master output whether it be XLR or 1/4in, they will all have a balanced output as well as an RCA output. Now of the four, a dedicated booth output, you’re only going to have in the Denon DN-MC600 and the Xone DX, that’s very, very important for a lot of you, some of you not so much.
Of the four, which can you use as a stand alone mixer in case your software goes down, or your laptop just decides to stop working? That’s going to be the Denon DN-MC6000, they are all going to have input capability to plug in additional CDJ or turntable but of the four you can use the Denon DN-MC6000 as a stand alone.
So, let’s talk about some of the things you need on your controller if you are a controllerist, you’re going to need a really good EFX section, a really good loop section, and also a very good hot cues section so you can play kicks and snares and all that.
All of them are going to have that, but what I am going to recommend the most is, the Pioneer DDJ-T1. That one’s going to have a really good section those of you who are used to doing it on the other Pioneer products are going to be right at home, but I’m going to favor the Native Instruments Kontrol S4. That’s going to be because, the Loop section is very dynamic.
You going to be able to do a lot more in the software in Traktor, they also have a loop recorder and sample banks so you can switch out your 3rd and 4th decks for sample banks and that’s really, really nice.
You can be really dynamic as a controllerist with the Kontrol S4. Ok, let’s talk about scratching if you’re a turntablist. It’s very important to you something that you want to be able to do switching from decks & a mixer to a controller, now, I can do scratching on the Denon DN-MC6000.
That’s going to be sort of a smaller jog wheel but it’s still going to be effective because of its touch sensitivity. On the Kontrol S4 a little bit bigger and that has a very, very accurate feel when it comes to doing any kind of scratching.
Now, the biggest jog wheels are going to be on the pioneer DDJ-T1, really, really nice. Sometimes you need a little bit more room to define your cuts. The jog wheels on the DDJ-T1 also have the rotating LED, you’re familiar with that with the CDJ 400, also a very nice jog wheel.
Now, the Xone DX has the smallest jog wheels of the four it does not have touch sensitivity, so you are not able to do any kind of scratching on that one.
Ok, let’s talk about the layout of each, I’m probably going to recommend, if you’re into the mobile scene, we’ll go with the DN-MC6000, it is conducive more to doing a lot of like, mobile and karaoke stuff, the software also allows you to do video as well.
Now, as far as being a standard DJ layout, what you’re used to from a pair of turntables and a mixer, I’m going to recommend the Kontrol S4 and the Pioneer DDJ-T1.
So, we’ve just scratch the surface with this, there is a lot more detail we could go into but we just wanted to go over some of the standard features and give you a comparison so you can choose what’s best for you.
Feel free to leave a comment below and I will answer it personally. As always, visit us online at the UniqueSquared.com/blog, follow us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. My name is Scott Magno, DJ Madflip, Be you, be unique, at UniqueSquared.com