Pioneer DDJ-ERGO DJ Controller Review
The Pioneer DDJ-ERGO is the newest Pioneer DJ USB controller that is targeted at the entry-level and bedroom DJ’s who want a lot of features all for a decent price. The DDJ-ERGO can work with almost any DJ software giving it lots of versatility and making it easily accessible to many different computer DJ’s. Check out my Full HD-Video review of the DDJ-ERGO to see how it stacks up to the competition and even to its bigger siblings the DDJ-T1 and DDJ-S1. Full video review after the jump.
Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
I would like to first give a big should out to SonicElectronix.com who is a great source for all of your DJ Equipment needs and they came through for us Big-Time by sending us a Brand new Pioneer DDJ-ERGO review unit.
The Pioneer DDJ-ERGO is a new and relatively affordable Pioneer Digital DJ Controller that boasts lots of versatility and a nice full-feature set to satisfy many different DJ’s needs. The Pioneer DDJ-Ergo has a really nice and stylish look and feel. The shiny white boarder around the outer edge of the unit with a nice black contoured finish on the top face of the unit looks good with almost anything. The Pioneer DDJ-ERGO has great versatility since it can work with almost any DJ Software on the market. The DDJ-ERGO comes bundled with a full Four-Deck version of Virtual DJ making it easy to get started spinning right out of the box.
The review was also completed with the DDJ-ERGO working nicely on Traktor Pro 2 (mapping found on the Pioneer DJ website) and the newly released Serato DJ Intro software. Personally, I felt the Traktor Pro 2 mapping was the best with the best one-to-one mapping where the features on the actual unit match up nicely to the functions on the Traktor Pro 2 screen.
Another great feature found on the Pioneer DDJ-ERGO is the ability to use the Pass-Through Aux RCA input and the quarter-inch Mic input just in case the DJ’s computer takes a dive during a gig. The user can simply plug in any interface (like an ipod) with an RCA connection and keep the party going without the software. The Pioneer DDJ-ERGO certainly has a really nice on-board full-feature set including Sample buttons, Hot Cue buttons, Loop section, and effects for each deck in use. To top it all off, the Pioneer DDJ-ERGO is competitively priced at $600.
On the downside, the Pioneer DDJ-ERGO crossfader and jog wheel mapping made it pretty difficult to pull off the tedious and rigorous scratching or back cueing that some users may want to do from time to time. No controller is really perfect for this situation, but the other DDJ’s (DDJ-T1 and DDJ-S1) are definitely better in this regard as the controllers are meant to matchup with the Traktor and Serato software suites perfectly. The DDJ-ERGO on the other hand, was meant for versatility, meaning some of the mapping suffers slightly. The other issue that I found with the DDJ-ERGO was that it is made of cheaper plastic than most other Pioneer Products. Not to say that this will break during normal use, but I would be careful when in transit moving it from location to location.
Conclusion / Recommended For
In conclusion, The Pioneer DDJ-ERGO is a stylish and versatile USB DJ controller that is mostly targeted at entry-level DJ’s in terms of price and overall feel. The Pioneer DDJ-ERGO is a great addition to the Pioneer DDJ lineup as it adds another dimension to the arsenal without dumbing it down so much that only beginners would want it. I was somewhat surprised at the amount of features on an entry-level unit which makes this ideal for even more advanced user types. I recommend the DDJ-ERGO for beginner DJ’s, Bedroom DJ’s, Mobile DJ’s who want a nice/cool light show during their performance, and any advanced user looking for an additional controller that can work with almost any software they are currently deploying.
Pros & Cons
- Nice & Stylish Look, Design, and Feel
- Extremely Versatile with DJ Software (Works with Traktor 2, Serato Intro, Virtual DJ and more!)
- Four Decks/Tracks of control (directly out of the box)
- Emergency Pass-Through AUX input and Mic input
- Nice On-board Full-Feature Set (Samples, Hot Cues, Loops, and Effects)
- Decent Pricing for a Pioneer Product
- Fader & Jog Wheel mapping not accurate enough for rigorous Scratching & Juggling
- All Plastic Design (be careful in transport!)
Features & Specs
Specifications & Features:
Compatible with Serato DJ Intro Software
Bundled software: Virtual DJ LE Input terminals
MIC x 1 (1/4 inch PHONE), AUX x 1 (RCA)
MASTER OUT x 2 (1/4 inch PHONE x 1, RCA x 1),
HEADPHONE MONITOR OUT x 2 (front 1/4 inch PHONE, MiniPin)
Other terminals: USB B terminal x 1
Frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.006% or less
S/N ratio: 101 dB
21.8 in (W) x 11 in (D) x 4 in (H)
(when removing the feet: 21.8 in (W) x 11 in (D) x 2.4 in (H)
Weight: 6.3 lbs
Take anywhere with USB power and plug-and-play connectivity
Sleek, stylish ergonomic design
Included Virtual DJ LE software
High quality built-in audio interface
Pulse Control provides visual prompts via various types of illuminations directly on the unit
Personalized user interface for custom audio/video control with any MIDI compatible software