Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2 – We Review the Ultimate Performance Controller for DJs
Starting out as a DJ can be a bit rough; you’re punching cents and pennies for your first controller while trying to getting a decent set of headphones is bound to make your wallet thinner, but there’s not much you can do about it as these gear pieces are necessities.
After doing a handful of gigs at poorly lit venues and a couple of birthday parties you started feeling like you’ve learned your chops – now it’s time to start looking for an upgrade, and that’s where Pioneer’s DJ DDJ XP2 controller comes into the picture.
In essence, Pioneer’s gear is perfect for both up-and-coming DJs and professionals; the DJ DDJ XP2 has the best of both worlds and is best-suited for intermediate-level disc jockeys.
Today we’re going to talk at great length about what this wonderful piece of DJ equipment comes supplied with, what benefits it is capable of providing, how it was designed, and how it performs in action. Of course, we’ll also point out its strongest points and whatever downfalls it may have in store regardless of how you’re using it.
Without any further ado, let’s get on with our review of Pioneer’s DJ DDJ XP 2 – the ultimate performance controller for DJs.
Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2 Review
First Look and Design of the DDJ XP2 DJ controller:
The DJ DDJ XP2 controller is a medium-sized and lightweight DJ controller. Its dimensions measure 13.11 inches in width by 1.65 inches in height by 9.25 inches in depth, and it weighs approximately 3.30 pounds.
The touch pads are separated onto two decks, each packing sixteen different-colored buttons. This really comes in handy for differentiation of the pads, as you’ll be able to memorize different modes by grouping them into different colors.
Now, the controller itself is pretty thin, and it’s actually pretty small given the fact that it sports two decks. All of the buttons and controls above the pads are neatly organized, and there’s plenty of space between them, which means that you’ll be able to easily navigate through the manifold of settings.
Most buttons are pretty small, though, which might be a problem for playing in poorly lit environments. However, they’re not petite per se and are quite easy to get accustomed to.
The DJ DDJ XP2 controller is made of robust, durable plastic materials, and it will definitely be able to last you for several years, even if you use it every single day. However, there’s only one potential ‘design flaw’ you should know about – the main volume knob is pretty exposed, and in case you accidentally drop your Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2, it might pop out, leaving you with hefty repair bills.
Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2 Features:
First and foremost, DJ DDJ XP2 controller is a USB bus-powered controller pad. It’s exceptionally easy to use, mainly because you can simply plug it in and use it after a very intuitive and simplified setup.
Furthermore, it includes two separate Rekordbox programs, including Rekordbox DJ and Rekordbox DVS, but it’s also compatible with Serato’s DJ Pro software. This being said, its connectivity is absolutely phenomenal, allowing you to optimize your mixing and recording rigs in a highly versatile fashion.
One of the most striking things about the DJ DDJ XP2 is that it sports 32 pads in total separated in two decks; furthermore, you’ll be able to access 2 of the eight modes at once, which means that you’ll be able to approach every feature with twice the versatility.
If you find some of the modes as unattractive for any reason, you’ll be able to generate your own and replace them on the spot of the pads that you do not wish to use. A peculiar thing about these modes is that they ‘react’ differently depending on which software you’re using.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, DJ DDJ XP2 controller supports both Serato and Rekordbox DJ software.
The Hot-Cue mode packed with the sampler is on Serato DJ’s first pad while the same position belongs to the Hot-Cue mode (standalone) on the Rekordbox DJ software. The second is Auto Loop for Serato and Pad FX1 for Rekordbox. Moving on to the third pad, Slicer mode is on Serato while Beat Jump is on Rekordbox DJ.
Additional modes you’ll be able to use are Saved Loop, Manual Loop, Keyboard Mode, Roll, Pad FX2, Slicer Loop, Beat Loop, Transport mode, and Key Shift. Overall, even though DJ DDJ XP2 controller is a mid-priced model, you’ll definitely need a bit of time to get accustomed to the modes alone, but that’s not all there is to it in terms of the features it comes supplied with.
You’ll also get the Silent Cue pad, allowing you to instantly power up your tracks within the BPM of your preference. Moreover, you’ll get four beat-loop settings packed with in and out edit controls.
Of course, the track-select button is on the table as well, which is probably the simplest feature this DJ controller is outfitted with.
XP2 DJ Controller In Use:
This DJ Controller performs great, no matter how you put it. Be it a studio recording session or toying around with it at home, it simply sounds and performs phenomenally well.
Due to the fact that it’s outfitted with so many features, experienced and intermediate-level DJs tend to use it for shows and parties of varying size. It can warm up any type of dull get-together, but it’s also strong and versatile enough to rile up audiences of several thousand people.
Its well-roundedness makes it excel pretty much everywhere. Sitting at home and simply coming up with different tones and sounds just for the fun of it is another possible application. Alternatively, if you already have some ideas, you’ll be able to bank them on its built-in storage, or on your PC.
If you’ve prepared full songs or if you simply wish to add some finishing touches to some of your previous mixes or tracks, it sits perfectly well in a studio environment too.
It’s small, lightweight, and very transportable, so you can only imagine how great it is for touring DJs, as well as for people who don’t have too much storage space to spare in their car/van.
In fact, the Rekordbox DJ Software allows you to wire up your DJ DDJ XP2 to a laptop and you immediately become gig-ready; you don’t need to haul any sort of bulky gear and accessories to make a show with proper production.
As a DJ controller that supports two of the most famous software (Serato and Rekordbox), it’s already clear why so many people love it. Furthermore, it sports two decks of sixteen different-color pads each; it packs eight modes, and you’ll be able to use two simultaneously, plus you get the opportunity to bank your custom profiles, what’s more to like?
It’s also as sturdy as it can be, and to top it all, it comes laden with premium-quality features, armed to the teeth with the latest letters in technology, so you can rest assured that your tracks will sound fresh, unique, and exquisite at all times.
The design of Pioneer’s DJ DDJ XP2 is practically flawless. This DJ controller is durable and robust; it’s perfectly well-rounded and able to cater to the needs of both beginners and professionals. However, it is not ‘perfect’ true to form.
The only thing we that we thought could be improved relates to the main volume control knob. It appears a bit oversized in comparison to the general outline of the pads, and it’s completely exposed, which further means that it’s the first part of the console that will get damaged.
Excellent addition to every DJ setup out there!
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A performance controller is DJ’s bread and butter – its quality defines how your audience will react to your shows, how your tracks will turn out, and ultimately, how many people you will be able to attract in the future. However, that being said, even the best controller in the world can’t instantly make you skilled and famous over night.
However, what a decent-quality DJ controller can do for you is to provide you with means, or better said with an outlet for your creative spirit. The fact is that there are so many factors to consider before you’ll be able to pick a model out from the thousands and thousands of controllers made by hundreds of brands. You’re often faced with so many choices that people typically end up getting drowned in the details, which consequentially leads to picking a ‘wrong’ model.
What we can say for certain is that Pioneer’s DJ controllers are always a good choice. This brand simply offers so much variety, and each model they’ve released is a candidate for any ‘top 5’ or ‘top 10’ list. Today we’ve made a single review simply because the Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2 is the ‘top 1’ controller for countless DJs all over the globe. Its versatility is practically unparalleled, and it’s as easy to use as a beginner controller, so whatever you’re looking for, the chances are that it will be able to provide.
If you prefer a visual presentation check out the DDJ-XP2 Official Introduction by Mr Switch and Tigerstyle:
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