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DJ Controller for scratching: DDJ-FLX-6 by Pioneer DJ in review

Published 1:04 pm on Monday 26th July 2021 by Beat Magazine

Connections and features

The connections of the sturdily built, but not non-slip standing controller are quite manageable with the master and boot output (RCA) and the jack microphone input. But the USB-B interface and the integrated audio interface ensure the computer connection.

Thanks to plug-and-play, the otherwise paid DJ software rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro are not only unlocked for free, but complex installation routines are unnecessary. On the front, there are still two headphone jacks and parameters for controlling the monitor and headphone signal. Connections for external line signals are, however,
are not provided.

Players and pads

The main feature of these decks are the jog wheels, which invite simultaneous scratching with four decks via the dual 3 and 4 buttons. Visually, they evoke associations with the club-standard CDJ 3000s - but at a fraction of the CDJ price! Inside the jog wheels is a display of the playback position, so that you can orient yourself well when scratching.

The highlight is the activated jog cutter, a kind of scratch assistant that lets you create a scratch effect via jog wheel after the last hot cue. Up to ten different scratch patterns can be controlled according to the playback position. As usual from the manufacturer, there are also eight multifunctional performance pads for each player on this controller. They are primarily used for triggering hot cues and samples, as well as beat jumping. The pad effects such as filter modulation, echoes and vinyl stops are also equipped for creating exciting DJ mixes and live remixes. As if that alone didn‘t underpin the versatility, scratch effects on the pads as an extra jog mode elicit additional euphoria.

Scratch effects

In the mixing console, a three-band equalizer serves as a tone control with a cut of 26 dB or a boost of 6 dB. The sound can be filtered even more intensively using the Soundcolour control. For more excitement and dramatization in the DJ set, the new Merge FXs have been provided, the intensity of which is controlled by a luminous encircled encoder after it has been pressed once. The four presets Build FX, Build Sample, Release FX and Drop Sample together are available for selection.

Via rekordbox, an individual configuration with the 41 effect types from the Merge FXs is possible. Pressing again triggers the effect to elegantly fade into the next track even without beatmatching. For inexperienced DJs this is great support.

Sample Scratching is no less impressive. The new Pad Mode in rekordbox can be filled with scratch samples for the sampler for creative scratching.

Practice

The interaction between the compatible and included software rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro with the controller ran without noticeable latencies. The song transfer via the load button on the respective channel is very well solved. However, the rich scratch options with jog cutter, as well as via the software with sample scratch, provide the biggest entertainment factor. The individuality of the DJ set is ensured by the good-sounding and versatile software effects (including Beat FX), as well as by the Merge FXs. The latter are not only an enhancement for elegant transitions, they could also hold their own in practice for live remixing when combined with loops using the performance pads.

Verdict

Streaming DJs, home DJs and mobile DJs who have some initial DJ knowledge and value the jog wheel size of the premium class CDJ 3000, but also want to work with a well-equipped 4-channel controller at an acceptable price, are in good hands with the DDJ-FLX6. The varied effects and sample scratching, as well as the jog cutter, further enhance this
mixing console.

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