As of March 2012, Pioneer have yet again raised the bar with professional DJ mix controllers. The DJM-850 is positioned as an alternative to MIDI-controlled DJ software – for use by home and mobile DJs. Cleverly, however, Pioneer have included a USB audio/MIDI interface and Traktor Scratch2 integration so as not to exclude the software user.
The new mixer features 4 channels, 10 inputs (6 CD/Line, 2 Phono, 2 Mic), 4 stereo outputs (master, booth, headphone, REC), and 100 FX combinations. Pioneer also include the aux send/return loop as an output, but I’m not convinced that it counts. The audio interface includes 4ins and 4outs, with USB and DIN in/out for MIDI. Capable of handling 24bit at 96KHz, and with 19dB headroom, the quality is of a comfortably “professional” standard.
Where the Pioneer DJM-850 really gets interesting is at the effects stage. The “Sound Color” FX offers four types of effect (Filter, Crush, Noise and Gate) that can be linked to the input sound of each channel. By activating the “Beat Color” FX, users are able to manipulate sounds for more creative effects that complement the pulse of the music. Finally, the “Beat Effect” function presents 13 different types of effects (Delay, Echo, Up Echo, Spiral, Reverb, Trans, Filter, Flanger, Phaser, Robot, Slip Roll, Roll, and Reverse Roll). All these effect types can be easily switched between (or during) song mixes, producing up to 100 individual sounds.
The best price I could find was from Amazon, so have a gander here:
- MIDI Signal – Operation information of the mixer’s knobs and buttons can be transmitted as a MIDI signal* for a “Full Ensemble MIDI” function to control other connected devices.
- Switching 3-Band EQ/Isolator – Each channel of the mixer is equipped with a switchable 3-band EQ (+6dB to -26dB) and 3-band isolator (+6dB to -∞dB)
- High Performance Channel Faders – The slide mechanism supports the fader knobs with two metal shafts for both durability and smooth operation. Furthermore, the new mechanism’s design minimizes the negative effects of moisture and dust particles on the mixer’s performance.
- P-LOCK Fader Cap – Keeps the fader channel and crossfader knobs (caps) locked, preventing them from physically slipping off during heavy use.
- Scratch Control – Scratch control* is possible by using the time code disc* bundled with DJ software supporting DVS (Digital Vinyl System)* from CDJ players and vinyl turntables.
- Auto Standby – Automatically senses the presence of active operation and input signals and switches to standby mode when inputs are not detected for a long period of time.