Pioneer DJ DDJ-RZX Controller Review

Pioneer DJ DDJ-RZX Controller Review

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-RZX is a 4 channel controller that’s specifically designed to work with the latest Rekordbox DJ video pack, which allows you to mix videos using DJ software.

This RZX is considered one of the most technologically advanced controllers on the market since it’s able to control both video and audio signals. A tech-heavy unit that goes above and beyond what the average controller can do, the DDJ-RZX takes Pioneer DJ to the next level as the go-to source for all your DJ equipment.

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Djequipped.com Product Rating (4.5/5)

Our Verdict: If you’re looking for a versatile controller with all the bells and whistles, then I highly recommend the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RZX.

It has an insane amount of features that allow you to mix your tracks like a pro. It’s also a great choice if you want to add images or videos to your sets, thanks to the free Rekordbox software.

While the price is a little steep for the beginner, if you’re serious about your budding DJ career, then you can’t go wrong with the DDJ-RZX. Check today’s deal on Amazon

Read on to find out what makes this top-rated controller tick, the features it has to offer, and how it can totally change the way you DJ.

Overview and Features

A leading controller that you’ll commonly find the club DJ relying on, this 4 channel beast is capable of processing both video and audio signals, thanks to the three 7 inch touchscreens. Much more than the average controller, it can merge both the video and audio on the same track.

The large monitors will display track waveforms in order to help the DJ to perfect their beat matching, in addition to giving them more control over the effects section of the Pioneer DDJ-RZX.

These monitors will make it easy to keep a close eye on your set flow and preview video files since it gives you instant access to the effects section in the included software program.

This is not a standalone unit, which can be a disappointment for some users.

Operating Needs

This feature-packed Pioneer RZX is very energy-demanding, requiring a minimum of 8 GB of RAM. Additionally, some users have found that even at sixteen GBS, this beast is hungry for more and can cause the connected laptop to overheat when pushed.

Rekordbox Video Plus

The free DJ software includes Redkordbox DVS, Rekordbox Video Plus, and Rekordbox DJ. In Reckordbox DJ you’ll find the Active Censor, which allows you to set a track at a specific spot and apply Vinyl Brake, reverse roll, and trans, which will trigger every time a track is heard at the exact spot you want it to begin.

Crossfader Design

Ask any DJ about the main issues they have with their controller and they’ll tell you that the crossfader is flimsy or has too much flex. The manufacturer has taken care of that by including a highly durable, rigid crossfader that’s designed to take a beating. The crossfader will operate perfectly at ten million movements.

Effects Controls

The manufacturer has included some great new features and effects with this model, including the following:

  • Combo: This controls the beat effects and the sound color effects simultaneously using the touchscreens.
  • Sound color effects: The sound color effects complete with sub parameter controls allows you to finetune a variety of effects including space, dub echo, crush, filter, and much more.
  • Sampler repeat: This control allows you to adjust the length of a loop by simply touching the monitor and applying the sound color effects when using the DJ sampler.
  • Release: You can choose backspin or vinyl brake in order to exit effects patterns quickly, with just the twist of a dial.
  • Transition: Using the crossfader you can mix a couple of video sources with the choice of adding up to five effects or by taking advantage of the included twenty preloaded effects.
  • Touchscreen: You can easily adjust parameters or add effects by tracing the X and Y axes on the display.
  • Camera output: Connect a digital camera to your PC and display the live feed right on the monitors.
  • Slideshows: No other controller on the market allows the DJ to create their own slideshow to go along with their sets.

DDJ-RZX

DDJ-RZX Layout

The controller is designed with ease of use in mind. It comes loaded with features from past Pioneer DJ models including the multicolored tactile performance pads and larger than average jog wheels. It also includes an independent sampler section for trim and quantized on the sampler and more intuitive control of beat syncing.

The AC inlets make it easy to hear the real quality of a track and feature the high-performance DA converter by Asahi Kasei.

The three touchscreens are really what give the beginner an in-depth view of their track including BPM, track length, and title, waveforms, hot cues, and loops. The displays can be used to monitor and preview image files, audio files, video, release effects, and trigger beat effects, when you use the deck display mode.

The included three-band mic effects and EQ, V-tune, pitch, reverb, and FX-echo allows users to tune each voice in order to give the vocals extra power.

Mind-Blowing Effects

The manufacturer did an excellent job of providing the DJ with everything they need to control their sound. The included four preset sound color effects buttons allow you to use filter, jet, pitch, and space while still allowing you to create your own multiple effect chains with the use of sixteen pads when the pad effects feature is engaged.

The fact that it comes with a sequencer mode means you can also sample, loop, and record sequences during a live set.

Mic Jacks

The DDJ-RZX comes with a couple of XLR input jacks for distortion-free output even at max volume. These jacks make it possible to throw down some verses during a set. Thanks to the included 3 band EQ you’ll have total control over vocals in real-time.

Color-Coded Pads

As I mentioned, this model comes with a total of sixteen pads. The manufacturer went one step beyond and color-coded the pads, which is one of the reasons I recommend this model to beginners. The different colors for each hot cue pad allow you to easily categorize intros, loops, breakdowns, beats, and cues. To assign pads to suit your needs, simply use the touchscreen.

Sampler Repeat Function

The touchscreen display will come in handy when you’re using the sampler repeat feature. If you want to perfectly edit looped sequences, just move your finger along the Y axis as you apply the sound color effects using the X-axis. If you’re prone to editing loops on the fly, then this is a must-have feature.

Top of the Line Connectivity

This 4 channel controller can be hooked up to turntables, XDJs, and CDJs, so you can get more use out of the controller’s onboard effects. This is a big bonus if you have existing hardware that you want to incorporate into your set.

There are a total of six inputs to choose from that allow you to host extra hardware, while the dual and booth master outputs allow you to connect directly to the PA system. This will definitely come in handy for pros who are in need of a versatile rig they can use both in the club or for hosting parties and other events.

Performance

The Pioneer DDJ-RZX is designed for the mobile DJ or anyone who wants to add videos to their performance. It’s designed to make the most out of the popular Rekordbox DJing software, using only your laptop to browse the music and sound effects library to choose or enhance tracks.

Its larger than average design can make it difficult to transport, especially considering you have to also bring along your laptop since this isn’t a standalone controller. However, despite its bulky build, it still offers a highly intuitive design.

The touchscreens make for a more straightforward cueing and mixing process, especially when it comes to controlling the videos using the included DJing software. The monitors display relevant info including cues and beats per minute, as well as image playback and video previews.

Overall, the RZX is an absolute beast, offering premium features and high-quality components that allow you to control both video and audio tracks. If you have the cash and can afford to upgrade, then I highly recommend this model.

Despite the fact that the RZX comes loaded with a variety of features and allows you to mix both audio and video, its intuitive design makes the DDJ-RZX very beginner friendly and perfect for a wide range of applications such as playing major events, practicing your mixing skills, or working in the DJ booth at the club.

The price for some may seem steep, but considering its overall quality, durability, and innovative design, I feel that the RZX is worth every penny to the serious DJ in need of a controller that’s more versatile and loaded with the latest tech.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Independent Sampler section to control trim, beat sync, and quantize
  • Includes three touch screens
  • Two XLR combo input jacks
  • Mix and edit both video and audio tracks

Cons:

Related Questions

Is This Model Designed for Pro Use?

Yes. It is definitely pro-quality, however, the intuitive layout also makes the Pioneer DDJ-RZX perfect for DJs of all skill levels including beginners. While the steep price may deter a beginner from making such a hefty purchase, this model is designed for heavy use, so it’s perfect for creating new tracks in your home studio or for use at a large event.

Is There a More Affordable Alternative?

Of course, but you won’t find a lower priced controller that allows you to use both video and audio. However, if you’re a beginner and you’re on a tight budget, then you may be better off with an entry-level unit like the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8.

While it doesn’t come loaded with all the bells and whistles that this controller does, it’s perfect for practicing transitions, cueing, and mixing.

Do You Have to Use a PC with this Controller?

Yes. Keep in mind that the unit itself is very energy hungry, so the more powerful the laptop is, the better. There have been some reports that the controller and software can cause a laptop to overheat.

Because of this, I recommend doing a test run of your set before a major event, in order to determine if your laptop can handle a long set without overheating.

Additionally, when a laptop overheats and shuts down, it can damage your DJing equipment.

Final Thoughts On The Pioneer DJ DDJ-RZX

Product Rating Updated December, 2020:(4.5/5)

Pioneer dj ddj-rzx 4-channel professional controllerThe Pioneer DJ DDJ-RZX allows you to truly get creative in the club by mixing expert level sets, adding a slideshow, or incorporating videos. The software and the controller itself feature intuitive layouts and controls that make this model very beginner-friendly.

However, considering the price, this model is more recommended for the serious DJ than the beginner who plans on DJing in their spare time. I gave this model a rating of four and a half out of five stars.

Blake Gibbs

I have been a professional DJ for almost 10 years. In that time I've played a lot of gigs and gone through a whole bunch of equipment. My new goal is to spread my knowledge of DJ products with the world through this website!