A first look at a game changing product...
Denon have been dealing some hefty punches to it’s rivals recently. The Prime series has really taken the fight to the likes of Pioneer DJ with powerful media players at almost half the price. Now it seems they want a slice of the standalone market, dominated by the ever so popular Pioneer XDJ RX2. For a while now people have been asking if we would ever see a 4 channel stand alone unit. No doubt the sales of standalone mixer’s and CDJ’s would be affected, so it’s not surprising that Pioneer have kept the RX2 a two channel machine. However Denon DJ have thought differently and their latest release, to be revealed at Namm 2019, is truly remarkable.
Inputs and Outputs
The Denon DJ Prime 4 was teased on social media ahead of its release with the hashtag #prime4all and to truly be for all, it must be able to playback media from various sources. With this in mind Denon have given the Prime 4, four USB inputs, 1 SD card input and also a 2.5″ Sata Hard Drive bay! The unit, using Prime technology, can read and import track information including cue points, saved loops and playlist/crates from iTunes, Native Instruments Traktor Pro, Rekordbox, and Serato DJ Pro. Completely compatible with MP3, FLAC, ALAC, and WAV sources, the unit processes the tracks through it’s onboard multicore processor so don’t worry about exporting your tracks through a laptop’s software, this unit will take care of it for you! All playlists, crates and library management can be done directly on the unit too, you can even plug a USB keyboard into the unit to speed up searching and organising. This truly is a unit that needs no additional preparation on a computer, the multicore processor showing it’s true power managing all these aspects with speed.
A look at the front panel on the Prime 4Just incase you don’t want to use the onboard controller, Denon have fitted the Prime 4 with a fully independent 4 channel mixer including four sweep FX’s. With 4 line inputs and switchable phono inputs on channels 3 and 4 the Prime 4 can truly be at the centre of your DJ set up. The Prime 4 even has fader start built in on channels 1 and 2! A USB B input will allow the unit to be used as a controller for Serato DJ Pro. Along with the 4 channels are two combo mic inputs with their own independent channels, echo and EQ. This is a great move and avoids the problem most controllers have with the mic’s taking up channels on the mixer.
Moving onto outputs, the master is routed through XLR and RCA jacks. The booth is also on balanced XLR outputs rather than the more common jack ports and there is a ‘Zone’ output on XLR allowing the DJ to output a different location. The Zone feature allows the DJ to send a feed of music from the playlists through Channel 4 directly to another area. It’s worth mentioning the booth and zone outputs have their own dedicated three band EQ, perfect for adjusting the sound to match the speakers used. Cueing is taken care of with both large and small headphone jacks on the front panel.
The Prime 4 features 8 RGB pads to the lower of each deck, these control Hot Cues, Loops, Auto Loops, Rolls and Slicer and Slicer Loop modes. Dedicated beat jump buttons are found above the cue/play buttons just like on the SC5000 players. The Prime 4 also features manual loop in/out buttons and a move dial for shifting your loops should you apply them too early. Pitch play for harmonic mixing is shown in the product performance and is controlled on the touch screen. This actually the first time Pitch Play has been done directly on hardware before, until now it has been a software based feature! There are two FX banks fitted to the unit with their own parameter controls and independent screens. There are 14 FX to choose from and they all work Post Fader.
The unit features a 10 inch responsive touch screen that boasts multi touch gestures and an adjustable angle. This intuitive technology comes straight from the SC5000 players, a much loved feature on those units. From the screen you can scroll your library, load tracks, pinch and expand your waveforms and control the onboard computer. The onboard computer boasts a record feature, a wealth of preference settings, a source select (we imagine for linked computers via the USB B or LAN port) and utility settings. In addition to the main screen there are two smaller HD screens found in the center of the RBG 6” jog wheels. Much like the SC5000 these display custom logos, the album artwork and key information such as loop length.
Fresh off the back of Denon DJ’s announced partnership with Resolume AV, a visual software for controlling graphics controlled by your DJ hardware, we find a RJ45 Ethernet Link port on the Prime 4 which is StagelinQ-compatible. This means the Prime 4 will be able to take care of your lighting too with systems such as Resolume, SoundSwitch and Timecode! A fantastic addition for the smaller venues or mobile DJ’s looking to improve their visuals!
The Prime series from Denon DJ is already very impressive but breaking the stronghold Pioneer DJ has on the market is never going to be easy. With the Prime 4, Denon has truly listened to the market, seen what the customer wants and then gone above and beyond to ensure the Prime 4 meets and exceeds most users desires. From being able to plug in a USB keyboard for faster searching, to the included SATA hard drive bay and lighting link port. This unit wouldn’t be out of place in the club, at a mobile gig or at home in the bedroom. The catch phrase was #prime4all and we think Denon have nailed it, no matter what you need from your player, this unit is more than capable. You can’t ask for more than that!
Price = £1469
Release Date: March 2019