DJ gear at NAMM 2014
NAMM 2014: Despite NAMM starting to get onboard with electronic music in 2014 - for the first time the show had a ‘dance music’ stage, although it was fairly hidden away and not exactly packed with exciting acts - DJ products still seemed pretty sidelined compared to the hundreds of guitars, stacks of synths and massive assortment of studio gear.
Still there were certainly a few DJ products of note at this year’s show. Click through the gallery to find our pick of the controllers, interfaces, mixers and more from NAMM 2014. (Although, in our view, none of them beat the amazing CDJ mod pictured above!)
The DDJ-SZ is Pioneer's new flagship Serato DJ-compatible controller/audio interface.
Taking design and build cues from Pioneer's CDJ decks, the DDJ-SZ is more than a third bigger than the DDJ-SX and comes with larger, CDJ-sized jogwheels. There are also performance pads, dual USB ports for simultaneous connection to two computers, and a mixing area that takes its lead from Pioneer's DJM series.
Find out more in the press release below or on the Pioneer DJ website. The DDJ-SZ will be available in March, with the first 5000 units sold worldwide shipping with a free license for the Serato Video plugin.
Allen & Heath Xone:23
Allen & Heath announced the latest addition to its expansive Xone DJ mixer range, rolling out the Xone:23 in time for this year's show.
Intended to replace the turntablist-friendly Xone:22, the '23 is a two-channel mixer with four inputs, allowing you to mix between any two of the four audio sources at one time. The new model carries over the three-band total kill EQ from its predecessor and also features a crossfader curve selector, FX loop, recording output and a new version of the classic Xone filter.
Pioneer Remix Station RMX-500
Alongside the SZ, Pioneer also had a new, cut-down RMX Station on display at this year’s show. As with the RMX-1000 the new unit is designed to help enhance DJ performances with Rhythm, Scene and Release FX. You can also add further variation with the Pressure Controller knobs.
As with its bigger sibling, the Remix-Station 500 comes with a plugin that enables you to use its effects in a DAW, with the hardware then functioning as a controller.
The RMX-500 is due to ship in February.
Sennheiser HD7 and HD8 DJ headphones
Announced at CES earlier in the month and on display at NAMM, Sennheiser’s latest DJ headphones are based on upgraded specs inspired by the company’s much-loved HD 25s.
The headphones have apparently been developed in conjunction with DJs including Bob Sinclair and Luciano in order to offer DJs optimum comfort, sound and durability. On the downside, it seems that they don’t offer user-replaceable parts, which is one of the features that made the HD 25s so popular.
Numark DJ iO2 interface
Numark’s updated DJ iO is a sleek-looking, four-output interface small enough to slide easily into even the most compact of DJ bags.
It features an independently controllable headphone output, making it an ideal option for digital DJs looking for a minimal, non-nonsense USB interface. Unlike its most obvious rival, NI’s Traktor Audio 2, it also features a mic input with gain control.
We’re unsure of an exact price point yet, but as it’s evidently aimed at the entry-level market we’re assuming it’ll be pretty affordable.
There’s certainly no shortage of beginner-friendly iPad DJ controllers on the market these days. Hercules’ new offering is noteworthy, however, for being entirely wireless.
Once charged, there’s no need to plug the DJControlWave into anything - simply sync up to Hercules’ own DJUCED mixing app and you’re good to go.
It remains to be seen how useful this wireless capability would prove to be, or whether it works without latency or dropout issues, but it’s a curious development nonetheless.