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Pioneer DDJ ERGO review imixmag

updated 01/06/2013
The review begins with the best DJ software for the Ergo and then goes into the unit itself, known issues and how it reacts with the supported DJ software. But before we begin understand that the Pioneer DDJ ERGO is not a pro level DJ Controller like the Numark NS6, Pioneer DDJ S1 and others in that category yet some of the features on the Ergo would be a great welcome on those pro level units.

Tested with: Software, Firmware, Laptops
Pioneer DDJ-ERGO-V on Firmware version 1.10
Traktor Pro 2 version 2.6
Virtual DJ Pro version 7.3
Serato DJ Intro 1.0.9
Dell XPS 1340 Intel Core 2 Duo p8700 @ 2.53GHz Windows 7
Dell Vostro 1520 Intel 2 Duo P8600 @ 2.40GHZ, 3G ram Windows XP
13" MacBook Pro Mac OS Leopard intel core duo 2.4 GHz

Pioneer DDJ ERGO V Traktor review apple macbook imixmag
The things you can do with Traktror Pro 2 on the Ergo are mind blowing. So If you want take your Ergo to an amazing creative level then you should definitely purchase Traktor Pro 2 which is only $89 US dollars. You will never grow tired of the things you can do Traktorís effects and remix decks Ė you cannot accomplish these things with any other DJ software. Simply put, using your Ergo with Traktor Pro 2 turns it into an Ergo on steroids.

You would think that with the mind blowing effects and Remix Decks things would not be as stable, that you would experience drop outs, not at all. Traktor Pro 2 is incredibly stable, we experience no drop out or issues. Setup with Traktor involves a few detailed steps but nothing you canít handle.

Traktor does not offer video capabilities, to do that you would either use Virtual DJ Pro or Serato DJ- more on those below.

Pioneer DDJ ERGO DJAY review imixmag

If you donít want to spend $89 on Traktor Pro 2 but want more than what the free Serato DJ offers you should take a serious look at Algoriddim DJay for the Mac which can be purchased for $19.99 directly through the Apple app store. Not only does it work well with all the function on the Ergo, itís extremely stable.

The few shortcomings of DJay.

Waveform display
Unlike Serator, Traktor and Virtual DJ, you wonít be able to just look at the waveform and set a loop; its visuals arenít detailed at all. For those who depend on waveforms it will be a problem but for those who play it by ear, like most DJs, itís a non-issue.

Simple Layout
The layout of DJay is very very simple which isnít much a surprise from such an inexpensive software. But donít let the simple layout fool you, DJay does everything you need it to do and is extremely stable.

Loop indicator
If thereís anything that makes this program a bit difficult to use, itís this. When you create a loop, the software doesnít show if the loop is Ĺ, 1, 2, 4 etcÖ And when you use the auto loop knob on the Ergo there is no indicator on the software to let you know at what loop itís set to.

So whatís DJay good for?
Besides the few things mentioned above, DJay is a really good program. The effects are good (Echo is quite nice)- they can be triggered, controlled and manipulated through the Ergo. The loop, sample and browser knobs also all play nice with the Ergo. So while DJay seems simple, itís simply great, which is something Serato and Atomix (Virtual DJ) should be very concerned with, because if DJay enhances the few flaws mentioned above, the only difference between DJay, Serato DJ and Virtual DJ will be the price and at $19.99 DJay would win every time.

Pioneer DDJ ERGO problems imixmag Issues with the Pioneer DDJ ERGO

No matter what software you use there will always be a latency issue with the microphone. This is because it works through the software.

Lights for some not others
The lights on the Ergo indicate certain activity on the software. While most if not all work with Virtual DJ, many do not work with Traktor or Serato DJ Intro.

Her knobs donít match
Sometimes the knobs, buttons and faders will not match with whatís going on in the software. Usually once you move them they will then match up; occurs with all software.

Introducting the ERGO
Make no mistakes about it, Pioneer CDJs are the industry standard in CDJ decks. It was their CDJ-1000 MK1 (introduced in 2001) which brought vinyl like control to CD decks.

Pioneer DJ is calling this an entry level DJ controller but donít allow its plastic enclosure, small footprint, or funky lights fool you, itís a well-constructed and intelligently designed controller which takes into consideration all the features that and DJ would want and need.

Because of its appealing looks, quality build, and affordable price the ERGO-V will probably be the biggest selling DJ controller to date. And because it comes from Pioneer DJ everyone knows one thing for sure; Pioneer DJ manufactures high quality products and their reputation for building them is matched by none. So without further ado letís dive into the Pioneer DDJ-ERGO.

Pioneer DDJ ERGO Virtual DJ imixmag

Operating Systems

Pioneer DDJ ERGO review windows 7 imixmag
Microsoft Windows
You won't have any majorproblems setting things up with Windows 7,8 and even the older XP. Of course you will need to tweak Windows in order to reduce the probability of USB dropouts.
On the Pioneer DJ forum this dedicated Ergo page was mentioned in relation to Windows Vista. The reason we donít mention Vista is because, as everyone knows, Windows Vista is garbage.

Pioneer DDJ ERGO review apple macbook imixmag
ERGO on the Mac
As usual Macs make things easier than Windows. Setup is a breeze.

Pioneer DDJ ERGO review VDJ Virtual DJ macbook imixmag
Virtual DJ takes full advantage of the ERGO. Every button, knob and fader is used to the fullest.

Version 7.3 brings much improved stability to Virtual DJ Pro and the results are felt on the Ergo. Many of the issues with VDJ and the Ergo have been resolved and the experience is more pleasing. Virtual DJ Pro also allows you to do video mixing with the Ergo.

While Virtual DJ and its effects may be fun at first, it wonít be long before you realize how toy like it really is. So while you may be tempted to upgrade to Virtual DJ Pro from Virtual DJ LE, you're better off using your money to purchase Traktor Pro 2 which is a true professional DJ software.

Pioneer DDJ-ERGO-V Serato DDJ Intro review imixmag
Serato DJ intro
The limitations of Serato DJ Intro makes it worthless. And if you wanted to upgrade to Serato DJ it will cost $129 US dollars Ė forget it, not worth it. You are better of going with the $89 Traktor Pro 2 which leaves Serato DJ in the dirt.

Ergo in conclusion
At this price point you really canít find another DJ Controller which offers all the creative fun you can have with this unit, especially when you run it with Traktor Pro 2. And while it is an awesome unit it wasnít really intended and built for the pro market. Itís a DJ Controller for your home or for DJing in front of family or friends, not for paid gigs or clubs. With that being said it is still one hell of DJ Controller and once you start playing with it you just donít want to stop. So if you want something to play around with at the house, this is definitely the controller you should seriously be considering.

01/06/2013. This page will be updated as firmware and software updates are released. To easiest way of knowing when this page and our website is updated is to "Like" our Facebook page

Here is the imixmag video review # 1 of the Pioneer DDJ ERGO V with Virtual DJ.

The Odyssey Frergo, a flight case for the Pioneer DDJ ERGO.
Expected availability, January 2012. Weight 14 lbs, street price $179.
odyssey frego flight case ergo imixmag

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