Pioneer DDJ-ERGO First Impressions
Pioneer dropped off the DDJ-ERGO today and I wanted to take a few brief moments to write down my first impressions, or my first five impressions.
Even before I opened the controller I was struck by its looks, its called ERGO for ergonomic not “therefor” ergo. The ERGO places a high level of focus on the ergonomics of its operation and design. The controller is unlinke anything Pioneer has ever done before, its got a white shell on the outside and a very consumer friendly take on the CDJ in controller form. Much like the S1 and T1 controllers in the series, the ERGO is laid out like a CDJ. This is great for people that are comfortable with that style of layout but for some controllerists, the lack of a mirrored set up will have you mashing buttons that look like they share functions, but are actually effecting something completely different. Specifically the sample volume and auto loop knob.
This controller is all about design and it is obvious that Pioneer spent a lot of time designing something that would be useful and easy to understand. There are no mysteries to the design but finding out that the feet in the front can pop off with the simple twist of a screw was pretty cool, that means you can have it lay flat or elevate one end so you can put your laptop under it.
Ins and Outs
For headphones there are two ins with both 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch inputs, this is great because you can forget about constantly having a 1/4 inch adapter on deck and just plug in and listen on whatever headphones you have available, its great for two man mixing too. It has two quarter inch TRS outputs, two RCA outputs as well as a mic and auxiliary input that are selectable with an input select switch.
The crossfader feels light so it will be good for making quick cuts between the songs but its made of plastic so it has a mild plastic feel to the action. It feels better than most economically priced controllers but when put up against the pro controllers out there its not quite there. The line faders feel great with quite a bit more resistance than the cross fader and cool backlighting that really makes them pop.
The platters appear to be very similar to the DDJ-S1 and T1 except for being plasticized around the outside. This means that it looses some of the feel of the other controllers but it is substantially cheaper so the difference with that considered, is negligible. The platters have what seem to be ball bearings which make them a bit loud when you spin, but I’m okay with it because the luscious silky feel of the jog more than makes up for the noise.
There are two effects banks that can be applied to either side of the controller and each FX section contains a “Control” knob for wet/dry and three additional knobs for controlling individual parameters of the effect. I relly like the way the FX section is laid out because its position makes it easy to get at your effects with maximum control over parameters.
The DDJ-ERGO is a great controller for anyone looking to get into four decks, its build is rather plastic heavy so I wouldn’t reccomend it for the touring DJ but you wouldn’t feel too out of place setting this up in a club somewhere. It looks good, feels good and I think its going make an impact on the DJ controller market, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Peace and Love