I'd like to give a HUGE shout-out to my people over at Pioneer DJ division for hooking us up with all this awesome gear to review! The latest item we have is the Pioneer DJM-T1 Trtaktor Scratch Certified two-channel DJ Mixer with Traktor MIDI controls. I've been patiently waiting for this mixer to hit my doorstep and we've finally been able to get it in the Lab for a full and in-depth HD-Video review to breakdown all the features and functions that this mixer has to offer. Check out the full video review inside.
Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
The Pioneer DJM-T1 is a heavy-duty Traktor Scratch Certified two-channel professional-grade DJ mixer with built in Traktor MIDI controls for many of the advanced DJ software features such as loop, samples, hot cues, effects and much more. The Pioneer DJM-T1 exhibits all of the classic and well-known Pioneer Mixer build quality with a full-metal chassis, sturdy faders, and reinforced knobs. The Buttons are all plastic but have a long-lasting feel to them and they all either illuminate or have an LED indicator next to them so the DJ knows the “mode” they are currently in. The sound quality of the Pioneer DJM-T1 is also excellent with club-like performance throughout our entire testing period.
One of the main features of the Pioneer DJM-T1 mixer is the inclusion of an internal Traktor Audio 4-in/4-out high quality DJ soundcard. The Pioneer DJM-T1 also comes bundled with Traktor Scratch Duo 2 DJ software. With the combination of the Traktor software and built-in audio interface, DJ’s can connect two external CD or vinyl decks with timecode control CD’s/Vinyl to the DJM-T1 mixer for a complete DVS solution. Users can then use their CDJ’s or Vinyl turntables to manipulate and play the music found on their computer.
The setup process was very easy as all I had to do was run the software setup disc in my computer, connect the mixer to the computer, and connect the two vinyl turntables with the supplied timecode vinyl to the RCA inputs on the back of the DJM-T1. The DVS setup performed flawlessly throughout our testing and everything was truly plug and play. The DJM-T1 mixer can also be used as a standalone mixing controller to control the functions of Traktor while performing with only a computer. The decks then become all virtual (within the software) and the DJ can even switch between the virtual decks or live CD/vinyl input decks by switching the input selector at the top of each channel.
On a side note, the entire mixer is MIDI mappable meaning that every single button, knob, and fader sends MIDI information over USB. The DJM-T1 mixer can be used with other DJ software and mapped just as the DJ sees fit. This feature may also be handy for Traktor users who don't want to use sample decks, but would like more cue points instead. The DJ can go into the software mapping settings and change the sample deck buttons to extra cue points or whatever else the user sees fit.
At the heart of every mixer are the faders. The linefaders feel like they have very high quality and a decent amount of resistance to them. The line faders also sport new dual-metal shafts that support each fader knob. The new Pioneer DJM-T1 Magnetic Crossfader has superb quality and is fully adjustable. The lag (cut-in) distance, tension, and curve of the crossfader can all be adjusted to suit the DJ’s needs. While we had it in the Lab for testing, the factory supplied cut-in distance and tension was spot on for doing all of our crab and fast fader intense scratches. The faders are all top-quality and turntablists and scratch heads will be right at home, while the DJ’s who like mixing can re-adjust the tension on the corssfader to slowly mix between tracks or use the heavier tension linefaders for more accurate control. All of the faders are very sturdy, precise, and built to last.
The Pioneer DJM-T1 Mixer has a nice full-kill 3-Band EQ above the faders along with cue buttons (that double as Tap buttons when shift is pressed) and a separate knob for the Master volume (controls the RCA and XLR Master output) and the Booth volume (controls the quarter-inch Booth output). The Pioneer DJM-T1 also has lots of MIDI buttons and knobs that control many different functions of the Traktor Software. There are two full-sized Effects Banks on the mixer which is found all the way on the left of the EQ’s (FX-Bank 1) and all the way on the right of the EQ’s (FX-Bank 2). This is VERY familiar to those who use Traktor since there are four knobs and four buttons found in each Effect Bank just like it displays on the software screen. The mapping is very tight and the FX knobs match up perfectly to what is going on in Traktor. You can have up to 6 simultaneous effects at a time all with their own unique control knob and button to get it just right. The last knobs will be used for overall WET/DRY function of the effect. If the user presses shift along with one of the effect buttons, then you get an LFO effect where the levels of the effect will oscillate according to the BPM.
Moving downwards on the mixer there is a loop section for each channel. The loop section can be used to create automatic loops by pressing down on the loop knob and using the knob to grow or shorten the loop by bar length. Below the loop section is the shared Hot Cue and Sample Buttons. This area can be used to set up to four hot cues per deck. Each hot cue can be deleted by holding the shift button and pressing the appropriate Hot cue. When the select button is pressed, the Hot Cue buttons now turn into four Sample Bank buttons to correspond to the Deck C and Deck D Sample banks found in Traktor. These sample banks are automatically set when the sample button is pressed. The DJ can then use the autoloop knob with the shift button to change the volume level of the sample banks. Samples are also deleted by holding the shift key and pressing the appropriate sample button.
Next up there is the DJM-T1 Traktor Load and browse controls. This section is at the top center of the mixer and includes a big oversized knob that DJ’s can use to select their track and the load buttons on each side of the mixer allow the user to select the Deck they want the track to load on. There are Play/Pause buttons for each deck so the tracks can be played independently of the timecode decks if desired. There is also FX1 and FX2 backlit buttons on each channel to enable or disable the two effects banks. There’s also Sync/Master buttons so that the DJ can set a deck to be the Master timekeeping deck or use the sync button to match the Master track’s BPM.
There is also a 12-LED Master or Line level LED indicator which is nice and detailed for just the right volume control. Below this area is a Monitor section with a Cue/Master fader knob and another knob for the volume control. On the front of the mixer, there is a headphone jack for ¼-inch headphones only and a Microphone and additional RCA input for extra options. I like the addition of the front mounted RCA input for those times when you are performing and the computer goes out, there is still a way to plug in an iPod or smartphone to keep the party going while you get things sorted. The RCA input and Microphone are a shared input and you can only use one or the other. They do have a 2-band EQ up front, along with its own volume control knob as well.
There were a few minor gripes that I found with the Pioneer DJM-T1 mixer. My first issue was the lack of linefader curve or reverse functions. Being that this is a two-channel mixer with an excellent crossfader, it’s easy to look at the DJM-T1 as a battle mixer and it may often be judged as such. Therefore, I believe it would have been nice to include an additional linefader curve adjustment and reverse switch those of us who get scratch-happy from time to time.
The next issue is the price. Pioneer has a history of being high-priced, but they also have a history of high quality and club standards. So everyone who’s been around the DJ game long enough knows that something with such good performance from Pioneer is going to cost you at the end of the day. I have one final and very minor gripe that may not be important, but it’s worth pointing out. Most DJ equipment now-a-days comes with two headphone inputs (a quarter inch and a mini) so you don’t have to go searching for an adapter for the bigger inputs. The Pioneer DJM-T1 only has the bigger quarter-inch input, so you will have to do like me and dig through your cable bag to find the adapter…
Conclusion / Recommended For
In Conclusion, the Pioneer DJM-T1 two-channel Traktor Scratch Certified Professional DJ Mixer is an excellent package for those looking to get a mixer with the build and sound quality of Pioneer while also being able to control the Traktor DJ software with ease. The crossfader is fully adjustable and the mixer has a built-in Traktor audio interface and Taktor scratch software for easy out-of-the-box timecode playback. Adding those features to the advanced on-board Traktor controls for effects, loops, hot cues, sample decks, and browse/load controls and you have a pretty powerful package in a 12-inch two-channel mixer. If the steep price and the lack of linefader control options are no issue to you or your mixing style, then the Pioneer DJM-T1 is an excellent mixer for Traktor DJ’s who want a quality unit that will last them years and years to come.
- Solid Pioneer Professional All-Metal Build & Sound Quality
- Built-in Traktor Audio Interface & Traktor Scratch DUO 2 Software for DVS Timecode Playback
- Fully Adjustable (Tension, Curve, Lag) Magnetic Pioneer Crossfader (Excellent for Scratching)
- On-board Traktor Controls for Effects, Loops, Hot Cues, Sample Decks, Browse/Load Controls
- Additional Aux/Mic Input w/EQ on Front panel
- No Linefader Curve or Reverse Functions
- Steep Price
- Minor Gripe – No Mini (1/8th-inch) Headphone input