Known as the flagship 4 channel controller by Pioneer, built for use with Serato DJ, the DDJ-SZ is a serious DJ controller that will put your DJ mixing and performance on the next level.
If you are after a controller with a fast response time, and the ability for precision scratching, then this is it. If you are a beginner to DJing, and using controllers, then you should pass on this, and look for something cheaper. If you have already owned controllers, and your favourite pastime is playing music, then this will be a controller that allows you to take your track mixing and playing to the next level.
The jog wheels on the DDJ-SZ are large aluminium, and optimised for a responsive touch, and quick track adjustments. There are illuminated cue point markers, which means you can make your track changes and mixes as seamlessly as possible.
On the DDJ-SZ you have the great feature of quantizing. This allows you to improve your beat timings, when you are using hot cues and loops. Quantizine works by snapping to the nearest beat, so instead of being off bar, your loops and cues can be perfectly on beat, and tighter than you could make them trying to do it manually.
You have the ability to use the slicer, which is a great feature allowing you to chop up a section of track into 8 pieces, that you can then control with the performance pads. This is the type of feature that as a DJ takes some rehearsal, but once you find some nice sections in track, you can really create some great mixing and sound effects.
The roll effect is also included with this controller, and able to create great note, and beat loops. You have the ability to control the length of the beat of your choice, and when you press the roll button, the beat is selected, and looped continuously. You can create some nice stutter effects with this, and add a new dynamic to your mixes with it.
The backlit performance pads are also pressure sensitive, so the volume of the samples, and cues that you use, can be different depending on how hard you press the them. They are also color coordinated, which means it’s easy to reflect the cue points you have set up in Serato DJ.
The reason this controller is top of the range, is because you have so many options and configurations you can set up with it. There are dual USB ports, that allow you to hook up music storage devices, or even 2 computers. You can switch between them with the A/B switch function, which gives you full control over your music input options.
There is a panel on the controller called Sound Color FX. This gives you a number of different style options for your sound. You have pitch, which everyone will be familiar with, changing the tuning of the sound. The jet effect will give you an off phase sound effect. Echo, gives you a cool echo effect, and filter, which will probably be the effect that you use the most.
The mixer section of the controller is packed with different channel features too, and once you’ve mastered them, you will be at the cutting edge of DJ musical creation. This is a large controller that packs enough in to allow your creative juice to flow in torrents. It’s a popular club among club owners, so owning one, and mastering it, will open up the door to a range of gig opportunities for you too.