DJs around the world! Check out the new Pioneer DJ controller taking the spotlight in the turntablist scene, the DDJ-REV7!
Motorised platter turntables are a relatively new concept. Major DJ hardware brands have only just started to release media players and controllers with vinyl-style rotating jog wheels.
It’s an innovation that’s welcomed by the DJ community, with DVS systems using control vinyl or Phase remotes to emulate an analog DJing style, the only previous way to get the feel of playing wax whilst mixing digital tunes.
Pioneer have thrown down the gauntlet
This new Serato DJ controller is jam-packed with awesome features that will appease new DJs who are used to CDJs, laptops, and other digital DJing media.
It’s also designed with smooth and robust analog-reminiscent features that might just win over the old-school “back in my day” DJ dads who won’t shut up about vinyl.
So, what’s so cool about this controller? What makes it a cut above the rest?
Well, let me explain by breaking down the layout. We’ll talk about some of the features and why they make it the best Serato controller on the market.
Rotating “Vinylized” jog wheels
Let’s start with the obvious, the seven-inch jog wheels that rotate like an actual turntable.
Not only this, but they also accurately recreate the rotational stability and torque of high-end 12-inch DJ turntables. The jog wheel faceplates are made from vinyl-like plastic and clip into the jog wheel system via latches which makes them easily removable for replacement.
The jog faceplate can move independently of the rest of the jog wheel to mimic vinyl cueing, and the outer ring has the retro four-circle turntable platter pattern used to keep track of the speed of the record.
This pattern provides the familiar turntable feeling of touching the jog wheel to speed up or slow down the tune, exactly like the platter on the legendary Technics SL1200.
Underneath the platter is the jog wheel mechanism and display. Each jog wheel has two plastic slip mats that let the faceplate slide with ease.
The display on the jog wheels can show waveforms of both tracks from each channel to aid beatmatching. It can also exhibit album artwork of the tune loaded to the deck, the logo of your event, your DJ brand or record label, and classic Serato DJ pro information.
The jog wheel mechanism is incredibly lightweight yet still gives you the sturdiness of a turntable, offering that proper vinyl feeling without the need for big, heavy turntables.
The whole jog wheel section of the DDJ-REV7 is configured like a turntable in “battle mode”, which places the turntable vertically. Hip-hop DJs and turntablists use this famous deck layout to maximise the surface area they can scratch with and perform one-of-a-kind DJ techniques.
Additionally, the deck section includes features that are authentic to a turntable in battle mode, such as a 33/45 RPM switch, a pitch bend, and a horizontal pitch fader. The pitch bend is really useful for adjusting a track that is ever so slightly out of time and the 33/45 selector is a nice touch as it gives you the power to manipulate the speed of the track like an actual vinyl.
DJs past and present have played records at the opposite speed they were pressed to give a whole new feel to the track, and you can get the same effect by assigning any track’s speed as 33 or 45 RPM in Serato.
The mixer and effects section
The mixer of the DDJ REV7 is derived from the Pioneer DJM-S mixer series and has most of the same features and controls. Its volume faders and crossfader have adjustment controls that allow you to change the curve and even reverse its direction.
The crossfader is the famous Magvel Fader Pro featured on most Pioneer mixers, renowned for its usefulness during scratching due to its smooth feel and intricately adjustable curve.
Along with the standard three-band EQ, trim, and other features you’d expect from a Pioneer mixer, the REV7 also includes a cue system that incorporates a fader and the option to have a split cue in the utilities menu.
The mixer is solid and easy to navigate. It’s suited to Serato and integrates with the software really well. Tracklist selection dials allow you to easily browse your music library for that perfect track to blend, and the shift button lets you operate the secondary functions of other buttons and controls. You can even use the shift button to jog a track back to the start without having to rewind the entire song.
You’re spoilt for choice with effects on the DDJ-REV7. There are 22 Beat FX built in, including three brand new FX, Duck Down, Fill Out, and Helix Out. Select the FX via the display screen in the middle of the mixer section. You can utilise the eight backlit pads per channel to hot cue, roll, sample, and loop your tracks.
You can also assign all Beat FX to the effect paddles. These paddles in the centre of the mixer are smooth and ergonomic, and you can lock effects or use the FX paddle as a single shot effect trigger to manipulate your sounds and mash up your mix.
A secondary set of FX pads above each jog wheel also provide plenty of effect options, you can use them to store hot cues, scratch samples, and engage Instant Scratch mode.
The Instant Scratch mode gives you four looped scratch samples to practise scratching with or easily scratch over your mix. These four samples include vocals, percussion, samples, and even a beat that you can play. You can practise scratching over the pre-set beat to hone your skills like a pro.
The Instant Scratch bank is installed in the hardware, making it an easy option if you accidentally disconnect your laptop. Just throw down some improvised scratches and play the pre-set beat while you fix the problem.
All the effects and features bring a fantastic dynamic to your DJing experience and provide an interactive FX workflow that keeps you focused on the mix rather than looking at your screen.
Connectivity and other cool features
So, this controller has a lot of great connectivity features.
For starters, you can plug two USB devices into it.
You could use this to connect your decks to a digital audio output via USB and have Serato running on a separate device.
As is standard with most DJ controllers, the DDJ-REV7 has inputs for external DJ decks like CDJs or turntables, so if you still want to use your old vinyl or even a DVS then you can!
It also has two mic inputs and a mic echo that you can use to vocalise your DJ transitions.
The ultimate Serato experience
So after explaining the ins and outs of the DDJ REV7, it’s easy to see why it’s an award-winning product. It’s an immersive controller that expands your Serato DJing ability.
This in-depth and versatile tool presents so many useful and fun features that allow you to really engage with the music you collect.
It’s a controller you could use at home, at a party, or in a packed-out club. There isn’t another Serato controller on the market that offers the same DJing experience, with exciting high-tech features from Pioneer’s extensive and innovative modern product line and the realistic vinyl-feel of a classic turntable.
The main reason this is the ultimate Serato experience is that you can rely less on the software for FX change and track selection and focus more on your physical DJ workflow. It will give you an accurate reenactment of spinning wax and scratching with real vinyl without you having to carry a big box of LPs and singles or worry about your precious records being damaged.
The cherry on top is that it’s an eye-catching piece of equipment. It will look fantastic in your studio or living room and you might even catch your dad having a mix on it, even though he swore “analog only, none of this digital rubbish!”
Head on over to our website and check out the Pioneer DDJ-REV7!