Pioneer DDJ-ERGO Review
Alas, Pioneer is finally playing well with others! Long considered to be the kings of the DJ market, even when the DVS systems and DJ controllers started to trickle in, Pioneer remained apart from the rest staying on course with their series of high-end mixers, CD players, and DJ accessories.
Earlier this year they introduced their very first DJ software controllers, the DDJ-S1 and the DDJ-T1, thus entering them into the new frontier of controllers. They’re recent follow-up is the illustrious Virtual DJ controller, the DDJ-ERGO. This controller is aesthetically unique in design to their cavalcade of other products and at first glance it might be considered to be more of a consumer product than a pro piece. We were lucky enough attain a demo unit before the official release and judge for ourselves. You can check out our first impressions in Zack Rocket’s ERGO blog.
The DDJ-ERGO comes packaged with Atomix Productions’ Virtual DJ Limited Edition with a Pioneer original GUI and a broad range of performance functions straight from the controller.
The DDJ-ERGO boasts plentiful dedicated knobs and buttons for all your favourite functions, including four-deck mixing, filters, sample decks and loop recording. This makes it possible to access all the most important controls instantly without pressing the Shift button, which is only required for DJs looking for even more advanced performance features and settings.
Plus the MIDI output makes the DDJ-ERGO compatible with most other DJ software on the market, Traktor users can apply the included TSI settings file to control their favorite software.
The newly developed Pulse Control uses light to give a visual representation of pitch, beat, effects and which decks are in use. Built-in LEDs enhance your mixing precision and add a new dimension to the art of DJing. Here’s the breakdown:
Mix Pulse: A blue LED on the jog wheel shows how close the phase of the mix is during a mix. The bigger the difference in pitch, the weaker the light. The closer the match, the more intense the light shines.
Beat Pulse: LEDs in the channel faders match the beat of the track in play. Plus the strength of the light reflects output levels, so you always know if a track is still in the mix.
Launch Pulse: A red light travels from the Load button towards the Jog Wheel to indicate when a track has been loaded.
FX Pulse: Various light patterns on the Jog Wheel clearly show which FX DJs have applied.
The DDJ-ERGO boasts many features that are unusual at this price point, including the 115mm Jog Wheel from the Pioneer pro-DJ range. The controller has also inherited the same layout as the popular DDJ-T1 and DDJ-S1 controllers. Plus the controller employs the same audio circuitry as Pioneer’s professional mixers for the master out terminal, ensuring a clear, powerful reproduction with no sound degradation. Innovative laptop integration keeps screen in DJs’ line of sight at all times
Pioneer’s laptop dock design enabled DJs to place laptop keyboards underneath the controller to use as little space as possible and keep the screen in view while using the controls. The DDJ-ERGO can also be adapted to sitting or standing positions; simply set the controller flat on any surface by unscrewing the removable legs.
The DDJ-ERGO is fully operational from a USB bus through your computer, eliminating the need for an external power supply. The LEDs shine bright and the audio output levels are powerful and loud with no compromise.
Unique design concept suits every environment
The controller’s eye-catching design features a black top panel and black and silver half-tone Jog Wheel. With it’s rounded edges and white side panel. The DDJ-ERGO looks good in the studio, the booth or the bedroom.
- Line in and MIC input
- The industry’s first lock mechanism, “P-LOCK Fader Cap”, is equipped on the cross-fader and each channel fader to prevent fader caps from slipping during performance.
- Built-in audio interface.
I love that Pioneer has a dedicated Virtual DJ controller especially considering the popularity of the software for beginner DJs. They have wisely provided a Traktor mapping which makes the ERGO even more versatile. The design is slick and all the Pulse Control integration is very, very disco, which I love. However, the Pioneer tradition of emulating CDJs and a mixer in the layout didn’t quite work well for me. It was a little crowded on the ERGO because the real estate just doesn’t exist like it does on the larger DDJ-S1 and DDJ-T1. It’s compact size definitely suggest portability but when I get to work I need more room to work, especially if I want to have a more “controllerist” driven performance. It’s perfect for beginners and Virtual DJ disciples especially priced at an affordable $599. If you want to a controller you can take anywhere that has Pioneer’s quality and a slick design, then the DDJ-ERGO is definitely for you. Check out the
Pioneer DDJ-ERGO DJ Controller on our website for an awesome deal and more details. Until next time, happy gigs!
Transcript:Hey, this is Scott Magno, DJ MadFlip here with UniqueSquared.com. Pretty excited today because we’ve got the Pioneer DDJ-ERGO four deck controller in the house. Let’s check it out. Alright, so we just got it out of the box and the first thing we could tell is that it has a very clean layout, look, construction. Pretty lightweight, you also have the legs on here so you can take your laptop and fold it underneath. This is going to come with ¼ inch outs and RCA outs, ¼ inch mic input with a volume control, as well as an RCA input with another volume control. It goes into your laptop or computer or laptop USB, which going to also power it. So, that eliminates the need for an AC adapter. You also have a headphone output on the front, ¼ inch or ⅛ inch. Alright, so your layout for it, it’s going to be your typical layout for most of the controllers that you see out there. It’s going to have your jog section on the sides, mixer in the middle. You also have that smaller gain control so you can tell in low lit situations when you’re turning up the gain versus the EQ. For me personally, I like a layout that’s kind of mirrored, that means, I’ve got my mixer section, my jog wheels, my tempo on the outside, transport section, etc. Now Pioneer has been pretty consistent with their DDJ T1 and S1 with their layout, it’s almost like you’ve got a CDJ player on each side. This means, that my temp adjust is going to be on the right side of each jog wheel, same thing with my sample volume and also my auto loop, so that took some getting used to, especially since I’ve got my tempo adjust so close to my deck 1 here. You also have separate hot cue buttons, and sampler buttons, as well as effects buttons and knobs to effect each one of those. Really, really, nice. Also you’ve got separate hot cues, four for hot cue and four for the sample button. I would rather have four gigantic buttons that have a dual function, than having really tiny buttons for each of those. So, if you DJ like you’re playing an instrument, or you’re a controlerist, you might have a difficult time adjusting to the DDJ-ERGO. Now the jog wheels on the DDJ-ERGO, they feel really great. I really like using CDJs, so it falls right in line physically with the accuracy and the touch of those. They also have this clear plastic on the outside that’s see through, and that’s because you have pulse control with the jog wheels. So you’ve got these illuminating LED indicators to tell you when your mix is on, it’s going to tell you when you’ve loaded a track. It’s also going to pulse to the beat of the track that’s on that side and it’s also going to show when you are using your filter and your other effects. That’s a really nice indicator to have directly on the jog wheel itself. So the DDJ-ERGO comes with Virtual DJ limited edition specifically for the Pioneer DDJ-ERGO. This is a really great software, because it gives you control of four decks, it’s also going to let you mix video, great sample banks, and also a really elaborate effects matrix, which allows you to go in and customize your effects exactly how you need them to be. Please visit us on the website if you need to pick one up at a great price. You better do it now before they are DDJ-ER-GONE. Any other questions, hit us up on our website, blog, Facebook, and also Twitter. This is Scott Magno DJ MadFlip, be you, be unique, at UniqueSquared.com.