I didn’t pay too much attention when Pioneer announced the XDJ-R1.  This was because I’ve started to lose confidence in Pioneer’s ability to innovate and maintain their dominance in the industry – especially as the industry starts moving away from CDJ’s.  The lackluster execution of Rekordbox has been a thorn on Pioneer’s side for a very long time.

I then stumbled upon the DJ Worx article…  And then I became excited again.  For the industry.  For Pioneer.

XDJ-R1 with iPad

I’d like to share some quick thoughts on this product, especially as a Mobile Wedding DJ.  Here’s what I liked:

  1. Remotebox is a brilliant idea.  Wedding DJ’s can use this to remotely control the mixer and player during sound checks.  We can also use it to cue music while we MC on a podium or on stage.  Net, we are no longer tethered to the DJ booth!  Granted this is not an original idea.  You can do this via wireless midi with Traktor/Serato and TouchOSC/Lemur.  It still makes it a lot simpler to setup.
  2. All in one controller + CD player!  Yes, we Wedding DJ’s still work with CD’s.  It’s not that we use CD based libraries.  We have clients and guests who still ask us to play songs on CDs.  For example, at a wedding last week, the caterer gave me a CD to play as they they bring in the first course.  This was unplanned so fortunately I was using the CDJ-2000 that evening.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

  1. Lack of waveforms – even in Remotebox.  This seems like a step back.  Having these visual cues really help when you have people coming up to you in the middle of a transition.
  2. Support for only one microphone.  Wedding DJ’s sometimes have a need for two wireless microphones in an event.  At least the XDJ-R1 comes with an Aux input port.  I guess you could do this with it.

I’ve kept this short and sweet as I have yet to get my hands on one.  What I haven’t figured out yet though is how would you design a backup for this – apart from buying a second unit.  Share your thoughts…