A weekend with the PioneerDJ DJS-1000

The Pioneer DJ DJS-1000 was announced last year, on the day before Amsterdam Dance Event started in October. Obviously I had a chance to fiddle a little at the Pioneer DJ showroom at De Backe Grond. However, you never get to properly test it in places like that. See my old post from last year here.

In Sweden where I live, equipment like this is always hard to get hold of, and if it is awailable some place, it always takes a lot of time before it arrives in Sweden at all. Recently though, JP Store at Masthuggstorget in Gothenburg, got a copy. And currently they have a drive where anyone can borrow the unit for a week and I had the opportunity to spend a weekend with it.

I guess this is not going to be an in depth walkthrough of the unit, but rather my thoughts about how it can be used by myself in the best way. so lets get to it…

First of all, I have been DJing since the end of the 90s, and was more of less a vinyl only DJ until 2012 or so (although I did own one CDJ). Since then I have been doing both Vinyl and Digital (CD/USB/computer). I still prefer Vinyl or CD, but with so much music on the computer It makes no sense to me not go digital in one way or another. So I am, but I keep one foot in the old school.

So my current setup is 2 CDJs and 1 Turntable (will be 2 again at one point), and since maybe 10 years back I have been looking for unit, a sampler (or so), that allows me to play around with beats and samples over top of the music I am playing. 10 years back I was not able to find what I needed. I almost gave up. I tried traktor with a midi fighter, but I don’t like the fact I need to drag the computer with me on  a gig. Also the system is very sensitive to updates.

Then the RMX-1000 came and it offered some of what I was looking for. I could bring a set of SD-cards with different set of loops and setting which was very cool. The RMS-1000 is great, and I still use it. But when the Toraiz SP-16 came out, offering exactly what I was looking for all of those year, I was blown away.

So, the DJS-1000 is a performance oriented version of the Toraiz SP-16 I would say. I guess the big difference between the two is that on the SP-16 one can build a song. On the DJS-1000 you can build the biulding blocks of a song. On the SP-16 there are the DS filters, whereas on the DJS-1000 they are not. Obviously the physical form of the DJS-1000 allows it to be fitted to the DJ-setup more like the CDJ. But the SP-16 would sit quite nicely on a sturdy computer stand.

So, how would I use the DJS-1000??

  • For productions, I could do drum patterns or single instruments that would eventually be recorded into the DAW.
  • For live sets I can see myself create live hat loops or simple stuff like to add that little extra to the set.
  • However, the strongest option that I see myself use the most is what is called Loop Remix. That’s when one can load loops into 16 banks (represented by the pads) and assign a colour and a group (up to 8 groups). When a loop (or sample) in e.g. group 1 is played and another sample is triggered from the same group, then it simply takes over and the first sample stops playing. So, with 16 pads/banks, one can assign either 8 groups of 2, 4 groups of 4 or any other combination. So 1 sample from each group can play at the same time, and it allows for building or playing around with a tune (if setup correctly), exactly like you can with the Native Instruments stem mixing technology.
  • I would NOT build tracks on the fly, everything would be prepared. (People like KiNK would most probably build tracks on the fly).

DJS-1000 or Toraiz SP-16?

I don’t know. I think most probably an SP-16. I can use that for full on for production if I would like to. I can do that partially (if I am not mistaken) only with the DJS-1000. Also, I think it would be easier to fit the SP-16 in MY setup.

If you are curious about the machine and live in Gothenburg, head over to JP Store and play with it for a week. The drive goes for a few more weeks at the time of writing. Otherwise head over to your local dealer, if you have one, and get your hands dirty.

Hope it helped.

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