Though there didn’t seem to be as much new DJ gear at this year’s show as before, we were still treated to some fine new produce from some of the biggest names in DJ gear manufacture today.
Pioneer DJ’s booth was as busy as ever; teaming with punters all trying to get their hands on the latest mixers, players and controllers. One thing missing though, was the really cool CDJ sculptures of old, c’mon guys bring them back - please.
One thing that all the DJ-centric booths all had in common was a relentless schedule of DJs solidly banging out the beats from 10am to 6pm daily. We somehow forget the unrelenting assault to the auditory system that the NAMM show provides, then perhaps that’s just us showing our age?
Anyway, we picked out the best new controllers, innovations, decks and mixers from this year’s show, so sit back, relax and get clicking through this gallery of gear.
For more of NAMM 2018’s finest, check out MusicRadar’s best of NAMM awards.
Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000
The DDJ-1000 joins the ranks of Pioneer’s rekordbox dj controllers. It’s main selling point is portability - it’s considerably lighter and smaller than the flagship DDJs, making it suitable for smaller gigs and non-club set-ups.
Pioneer DJ have also updated the rekordbox dj app itself, with the ability to sync lyric videos, plus improved track recommendations and an Automix tool.
Kut is a classic-style two-channel battle mixer from Reloop. It packs an Innofader Crossfader with adjustable curves, along with three-band EQ that can be switched between classic and isolator modes.
It has some modern tricks up its sleeve too, in the shape of a USB interface for running DVS setups, and ‘Dynamic FX’ in each channel, with seven effect types covering phase, flange, filtering, butcrush and noise sweeps.
Rane Seventy-Two mixer and Twelve controller
Rane’s latest is a two-channel battle mixer with a decidedly futuristic feel. The Seventy-Two is a Serato-focussed device with assignable USB inputs, allowing two DJs to hook in their laptops simultaneously.
It also has a colour touchscreen that can display track waveforms, be used to assign and jump between cue points and manipulate effects. On that front, the Seventy-Two packs dual Flex FX engines.
There are also assignable pads lifted from the Akai MPC, to handle performance/sample-trigger duties. It has a Serato DVS license built-in and ships with control vinyl.
To work alongside the Seventy-Two, Rane have also introduced the Rane Twelve, a simple but sturdy motorised 12” control platter that can hook into Serato via USB Midi.
Denon DJ Engine Prime 1.1
We first saw Denon’s Prime system around the time of last year’s NAMM. Comprised of the the SC5000 players and X1800 mixer, the Prime set-up makes use of Denon’s Engine Prime app for track analysis and organisation.
It’s this track sorting tool that gets an update for this year’s show, adding improved track search, the ability to import iTunes playlists, and the ability to add cue and loop points whilst tracks are still being analysed.
Phase is an interesting new concept from Mixfader creator MWM. It’s an alternative to DVS digital vinyl systems that uses movement-sensitive remotes attached to the centre of the turntable platter, rather than relying on a signal coming from the cartridge or vinyl.
The company claim the system is plug-and-play and has the same real time accuracy as using real audio vinyl, allowing DJs to completely sidestep audio rumble or problems related to needle wear and tear.
Roland DJ-505 and DJ-202
Distilling the power of its flagship controller, the DJ-808, into two more Serato controllers, Roland has come up with the 505 and 202. Although announced a few months ago, it was the first time we had a chance to see them in the flesh.
Very much along the same vein as the 808, the 505 features the same TR-S component, derived from the TR-8 drum machine, but pours it into a slightly smaller two-channel, four-deck chassis.
Shrinking things down a little further, the 202 loses the 16-step sequencer and RGB pads for an even smaller footprint.