Pioneer DJ DDJ-SZ Overview
The Pioneer DDJ-SZ – Professional DJ Controller is an all-in-one flagship controller system designed for live performance applications such as at a party or in a club. The controller features two decks styled after CDJs with 8.1″ touch-capacitive jog wheels and in-wheel track LCD displays, two banks of eight customizable LED-backlit performance pads, and a 4-channel DJM-style mixer with two built-in USB 24-bit 44.1 kHz audio interfaces.
The two audio interfaces utilize Wolfson DACs with a signal-to-noise ratio of 111 dB and enable two separate DJs to be connected to the controller at the same time. The top of the mixer section features switches for assigning channel 3 and channel 4 to either USB A/B, CD/line input, or a turntable input with phono preamp. Channels 1 and 2 can be switched to either CD/line or USB A/B inputs, providing a range of analog and digital connectivity.
Each of the two decks feature an 8.1″ (206 mm) aluminum touch-capacitive jogwheel adapted from the CDJ-2000 Nexus. The wheels feature “On Jog” LCD-displays that show playback status and track position. The control load and continuous backspin time of the wheels can be adjusted for different scratch and playing styles. Pitch control sliders, cue and play controls, loop controls, and a needle search touch strip enable precise and flexible control over each track.
The two decks each feature a bank of eight rubber LED-backlit performance pads. The pads can be used for hot cue, roll, slicer, and sampler controls within Serato. The color of each pad can also be customized from within Serato to color-code different cue points in tracks such as builds, drops, and breaks.
The four main channels in the mixer section each feature a trim control, a 3-band EQ, a P-lock fader, and a variable knob for applying echo, jet, pitch, and filter color effects. Effects can also be applied to the two microphone input channels with 2-band EQ as well as the master output channel. The echo effect can be synchronized to the BPM of the set. The mixer supports external digital vinyl system control and includes a contact-free magnetic crossfader with adjustable cross fader curve that is rated to over 10 million uses. An oscillator section allows for adding noise, siren, cymbal, and horn sound effects to the mix.
For I/O, the front of the controller features a 1/4″ TRS and 1/8″ mini headphone jack. The back of the unit features two phono RCA inputs with signal ground terminals, four Line/CD RCA inputs, an XLR/Combo 1/4″ microphone input, a 1/4″ microphone input, two USB type-B inputs, a pair of 1/4″ booth outputs, an unbalanced pair of RCA master outputs, a balanced pair of XLR outputs, and a Kensington lock.
The unit is designed to work with and comes with a copy of Serato DJ. The software and controller combination supports 4-deck and sampler functions, slip mode for maintaining track position during effects, hot cues, loops, a suite of iZotope powered FX, eight cue points per deck, and a vertical display of the track waveforms.