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Taylor

Taylor
November 7, 2012

Pioneer DDJ-WeGO Overview

Pioneer has certainly been busy in the past few months releasing a series of controllers that fit the needs of different DJ’s from the active professional controllerist like the Pioneer DDJ-SX, to the casual, mobile, bedroom DJ with the Pioneer XDJ-Aero. The Pioneer DDJ-WeGO falls into the latter category with all of the features that you can come to expect from an affordable DJ controller, but with the build quality and attention to detail that comes from Pioneer DJ products. Some DJ’s may scoffingly wave this controller off or wonder why Pioneer, the company responsible for the most used professional DJ equipment, would release a controller like this. Others will view this as a release from a company looking to capitalize on a flourishing low priced DJ controller market. The fact of that matter is that the DDJ-WeGO is made for the beginner or mobile DJ looking to pick up a controller that has great functionality and wont leave you ashamed of your purchase when you decide to upgrade. Let’s go over some of the features.

Software

The DDJ-WeGO comes with Virtual DJ LE which has its own skin specific to this controller. We have begun to see more of this type of controller/software integration from Virtual DJ which provides skins for popular DJ controllers upon release or when the VDJ forums get swamped with requests. The Software has pre loaded samples which is nice but you also have the ability to record your own samples. All of the functionality you come to expect from a Virtual DJ controller is there and the WeGO can also be mapped to any other MIDI mappable software should you decide Virtual DJ is not the software for you. With that said we found Virtual DJ to be a solid software to compliment the WeGO because of the integration of the WeGO skin GUI and it never hurts to have free software that does what you need it to do, right out of the box.

 

The skin in Virtual DJ mirrors the layout of the DDJ-WeGO

Layout/Functionality

Pioneer has been consistent with keeping the layout of their controllers similar to the DJ that uses CDJ’s or turntables and a mixer. The layout design of their controllers are typically not mirrored like the layouts of most DJ controllers. With the DDJ-WeGO, we get something closer to a mirrored layout with the pitch faders being on opposite sides of the controller which is different than their typical design of putting one pitch fader on the inside of the left deck and one on the outside of the right deck. Whether this was an aesthetic choice or a functional one, we will let you decide. We did notice how the transport controls, FX controls, and sample controls were not mirrored in quite the same way as the pitch faders so don’t expect Pioneer to abandon their staple controller design any time soon.

The standout feature of this controller is the ability to control the effects, the filter, and the key of the track using the jog wheel. When these functions are enabled you can do things like adjust the wet/dry of an effect or whether the filter is high pass or low pass. This saves a lot of real estate on the controller and helps to make it the compact, portable unit it is striving to be. You have 4 hot cues and 4 buttons for launching samples beneath the jog wheels. The response of all the controls on the WeGO are great. Because of the way Pioneer designed this controller, you will often be using the shift button to control particular functions. We found this to be a bit frustrating as the DDJ-WeGO was not conducive to keeping the DJ’s eyes off the laptop and on the controller. Also we were having to keep checking the software and back to the controller to see how filters, FX, cues, and samples were being controlled. Certainly not a deal breaker at this price point but something to note if you are interested in the WeGO.

Tired of the same black and silver DJ controllers? Of course you are! Lucky for us the DDJ-WeGO comes in different colors including black, white, red, green, and violet. With the ability to change the colors of the LED jog wheels, you can customize the look of the WeGO to fit your style.

Also Available in Red, Black, Violet, and White

I/O

For the main out you have a balanced RCA out. There is an input for a microphone which is 1/4 inch and you also have two different options for headphone connections, both 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch. This is the first time we have seen the I/O on the side of a DJ controller. We found this to be a nice touch on the WeGO and potentially the beginning of a new trend either for Pioneer or possibly future controller designs from other companies in the years to come. We will leave it up to you guys to decide whether or not you like the I/O on the side and whether or not this is something you would like to see on future controllers. Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

Master out, headphones, and microphone jacks are on the sides

The Verdict

While the DDJ-WeGO doesn’t break any substantial boundaries when it comes to Digital DJing, there are a couple innovative features we really liked such as the FX control with the jog wheels, the ability to have 4 decks on a small controller, sample control, and having a unique incorporation of the I/O on the side. While some of these features are not brand new in the DJ controller market, having all of them on one affordable and portable DJ controller is certainly new and a potential window into the future of DJ controller designs. The Pioneer DDJ-WeGO would be a great choice for the beginner looking to test their chops on a DJ controller. It could also prove useful to the working DJ looking to take a smaller and hassle free setup to a small house party, corporate event, or wedding.

What do you think about the Pioneer DDJ-WeGO? Do you like Pioneer making affordable DJ controllers or do you think they should stick to “pro” gear? Where do you see future designs of DJ controllers going? Post your thoughts or ask us any questions you have in the comments below.

SLAM!!

Transcript

The DDJ-WeGO is a 4 deck controller from Pioneer. It’s certainly an entry level controller but its got all the features you need to get started right out of the box. It’s got 4 hot cues down here at the bottom. Its also got this nice FX section up here, and one of the great things about this are the LED Jog Wheels. And you can change the color of those jog wheels by simply holding shift and hitting the headphone cue button and you can cycle through those. And the great thing about it being 4 decks is when you switch between decks the jog wheel will change color as well and you can see that reflected in the software. 

Now the FX section is really cool. The way that they have saved some real estate on this DJ controller is that instead of having knobs to controller the parameters of each individual effect, what they’ve done essentially is allowed you to engage and effect, and control the parameter of that with the jog wheel. You also have a nice filter section here and that will be a dedicated filter button for your control. And one thing I thought was really cool is you have this key control here so you can change the entire key of the song without changing the tempo. 

Now setting loops is very easy. Once you have your track going, you can setup the auto loop feature and you can sort of adjust your loops like that, get them real cutting or open up a 32 bar loop so you can mix in new tracks. Now the way you load the auxiliary decks C and D is very simple. You just engage the deck, select your track and hit load. And now once D deck is engaged, you can control that deck. And if you want to get B deck playing on top of it, you just simply disengage deck D and now you have control of B. Obviously my arent going to be synced up but this is just to give you guys an idea.

So this hot cue section is really nice. You have the ability to set up one of four hot cues. Setting a hot cue is very easy. You just push one of the four buttons to set your hot cues and to delete them just hold the shift button down, and you can delete those there. So you also have a button for loading up samples and they’ve got some pre-loaded samples in here.  Typical things like a siren or a horn. So you can use the pre-loaded samples or, something thats very easy to do, you can go into the sampler section here and you can record your own samples which you can load into the four corresponding spots within the software.

Now the I/O on the DDJ-WeGO is not typical for most DJ controllers. They’ve actually done a lot of it on the sides. So for your main out, you have RCA over here on the side. You also have a 1/4 inch input down there for a microphone. And then on the left side of the controller, you have your USB connection. You also have your headphone connections which you have an 1/8th and 1/4 inch input jack for that.

The DDJ-WeGO comes with Virtual DJ LE software and the nice thing about this software controller combination is that they mirror one another. So you can see everything you’re doing as it is on the controller, whether it’s your mixer section or for instance your FX or your looping and cue section, it all looks like the controller which is nice. You have a quick, easy visual feedback of what you’re doing in your performance. 

So the DDJ-WeGO is a solid controller. It’s portable, it’ small, its probably best suited for the mobile or maybe beginner DJ. You’re going to have a lot of fun with this controller and if you want to find out more information be sure to check out the UniqueSquared.com blog. Also make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and our Youtube channel. And for the best prices on the DDJ-WeGO as well as all other DJ controllers, be sure to check out the UniqueSquared website. You’re watching UniqueSquared.com.