XDJ-RR; Utility Room to Bedroom to Main room?

 

Did anyone’s Mum ever have a ‘leftover’ day where she we make a meal from all the half eaten contents of the fridge? This is what I feel is occurring with the new stand-alone device from Pioneer. They’ve taken a tiny bit of goodness from previous and existing models, got them intoxicated, and then the RR was born.

I should probably make it clear that I’m a long time Pioneer user, so these words aren’t written out of envy or competition hate. They’re written with completely honesty and frustration.

This is Pioneer’s sales pitch for the XDJ-RR:

Take your performances to the next level with the XDJ-RR all-in-one DJ system for rekordbox. This 2-channel DJ solution inherits design traits and essential features from our professional NXS2 multi player and mixer and packs it all into one lightweight, portable piece of kit. As a result, the XDJ-RR will help you become familiar with club-standard gear as you transition from DJing at home to commanding parties, bars, and soon, clubs.

Activate the bundled rekordbox dj licence key to experiment with different DJ styles and discover your favourite. You can perform with music stored on USB drives, access your library through Link Export or use Performance mode via your laptop – the choice is yours. The 7-inch colour screen enables you to keep an eye on your beats as you put your own spin on tracks using dedicated Beat FX and Sound Color FX. Equipped with everything you need to create unique mixes on the fly, you’ll be filling dancefloors in no time.

I’ll go to the liberty of bullet pointing was this system has:

  • Capacitive touch jogs (same as RX2)
  • 4 x Performance pads (another 4 with use of the shift button)
  • 4 x Sound Colour FX (Dub Echo, Filter, Noise, Pitch)
  • 2 Channels
  • Looping functions
  • 3 x Beat FX (Flanger, Reverb, Echo)
  • 2 x USB slots (1 for recording your sets)
  • Large colour screen (not touch screen) with related tracks feature

The above is an extensive set of features, ones that will allow you to progress from beginner onwards. I personally would have killed for this at my fingertips when first starting out. I would even happily buy this bit of kit, but, for the purpose I see it was intended for; the hobbyist. Someone who doesn’t really know if they will pursue this or not and is just testing the water.

Let me explain this harshness…

I have DJ’d for many years now on all sorts of gear. From iPad applications right up to the pro club stuff. To say this is ‘Bedroom to Main room’ is slightly ambitious to say the least! I feel someone would have a big shock if they stepped into a club after thinking they were ready on the RR. It’s like like learning to drive in a smart car then heading out at Silverstone.

But that isn’t the only thing…

Just 12 months previous to this Pioneer produced the XDJ-RX2. I had the RX v1 and the RX v2 filled the void that was missing. While I still wouldn’t totally agree that the RX/RX2 would get you ready for the club gear, the skills are transferable. A lot of pro DJs out there have the RX/RX2 as a home set up because of how compact it actually is. The set up and layout is similar so I do get it.

The XDJ-RR is a budget RX2 but it doesn’t come with the budget price tag. And I think that’s my real issue. I believe that an individual would outgrow this unit rather quick and then want to progress to the RX2. My impartial advise? Save up for the RX2 or, if you are on a budget, by a used RX1.

And I think my frustration comes from the lack of emerging technology from Pioneer – they have the world at their fingertips and I believe they are taking it for granted. Denon, Rane, and Phase have all brought out advancing technology in the last 18 months but Pioneer are recycling old bits and packaging them in a different colour. Are they taking advantage of their faithful consumers? Are they becoming the ‘Apple’ of the DJ world?

I feel like I may have slammed Pioneer here. Maybe a bit too much, but it’s because my passion for DJ Tech that I feel this way.

But lets finish on a positive note. Taking away my opinion of the actual RR itself, this is a solid unit. You won’t get any crashes, your USB will not be suddenly corrupted, and as long as you’ve done your homework its pretty much plug and play. It will be fun to use, and it’s ultra portable. You could easily become the house party King. Scratching is possible with great precision as it’s finger drumming to a limited ability.

It is compatible with Rekordbox DJ in performance mode but it’s not its intended purpose. Notice the wording ‘compatible’ rather than ‘made for’. Think of this as 10mm peg will fit in a 12mm hole, but it’s not meant to.

The unit will be solid as hell and will take some beating. With in reason. Don’t attempt to submerge it in alcohol for a laugh. Electronics don’t appreciate that.

In essence, this unit will enable you to DJ. I just feel Pioneer may be taking some peoples loyalty for granted.

Thanks for reading

I-Newton

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