Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus Review
The Pioneer DJM-2000 nexus has been unveiled, positioning itself as Pioneer’s new flagship DJ mixer. The third product to wear the ‘nexus’ moniker builds on the Pro DJ Link features of its predecessor, improves audio quality, channel faders, and more.
Designed as the perfect accompaniment to the CDJ-2000 nexus, this new mixer has been styled to match, and contains plenty of on-board kit to ensure perfect integration. Is it a justifiable upgrade? Find out in our Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus review.
Network up to 4 CDJs and 2 Laptops
One of the big new additions to the Pioneer DJM-2000nexus over its predecessor is the inclusion of the Pro DJ Link technology featured in other Pioneer nexus products. With this, up to 4 CDJ players equipped with Pro DJ Link can be networked, enabling a library on a USB stick to be shared across all connected players. In addition, two laptops running Rekordbox can be connected to the network via a switching hub, to enable seamless switching between DJs.
Aside from the convenience that this offers to club install setups, where DJ’s sets may merge into one another, it has another massive benefit. A master tempo feature allows the tempo to be locked across all devices from the mixer (rather than setting it on each CDJ individually). Clearly, this makes beat-matching very easy, but in addition, Pioneer has exploited this with tempo-synched effects and more. Very nice indeed.
The DJM-2000nexus has been expanded to include more performance related features, including improved sample triggering. In this regard, sounds can be sampled from the master output or mic input, and shared across all connected players, to be scratched or manipulated. Tracks from connected laptops running Rekordbox can now also be monitored on headphones before loading and cueing.
The sample functionality of the Pioneer DJM-2000nexus is further expanded with the addition of Beat Slice. This, as the name suggests, allows samples to be chopped up and rearranged at will. The quantize function takes Rekordbox information from connected decks to ensure that sliced beats will lock to tempo of the playing tracks. This is operated via the touch screen, for easy but powerful triggering.
The effects aboard the DJM-2000nexus have also been updated. The new side chain remix effects allow the output of one channel to act as a trigger to apply an effect to another channel. Beat effects are quantized using Rekordbox info, and Inst FX can be dialled in at the turn of a knob.
One of the details Pioneer has been keen to highlight is that the new Nexus has improved sound over its predecessor (which was no slouch in that department). Though it’s difficult to talk about sonic differences without the original on-hand to compare, subjectively, the DJM-2000 Nexus sounds great. Punchy, dynamic and detailed, it seemed to have, perhaps, a little more headroom. For those whole like to
push things into the red, there’s now a handy limiter built in, too. In use, this works well, trimming peaks down without any nasty distortion.
At the heart of the DJM’s fascia is a colour touch screen control. It is here that the mixer shows off many of its new functions. Here, you can record samples, and load them to CDJ decks for manipulation and scratching, for example. Plus, the ‘Frequency Mix’ features are operated from here, allowing particular frequency bands from two playing tracks to be blended between. This is very neat, and unavailable on any other mixer.
The on-board effects are of exemplary quality. Pioneer was among the first brands to really develop the concept of on-board effects units on DJ mixers, and also standalone effects units aimed at DJs. This extensive experience shows here. Reverbs are spacious and ‘expensive’ sounding, mod effects are deep and rich, and there’s plenty of more left-field effects, too.
It goes without saying that the Pioneer DJM-2000 nexus is built beautifully, with excellent faders, and a solid chassis. the front mounted headphone jack might be a bugbear for, some however (this is so the mixer can be flush mounted in a rack). If it must be on the front fascia, perhaps use an angled jack socket like Fender Strat? Just an idea…
There is too much functionality to discuss here in detail, so here’s a mini outline of the key points:
- Improved Pro DJ Link – network up to 4 CDJs and 2 laptops via LAN connections, to share libraries, sync playback and FX, share and manipulate samples and more
- Beat Slice – Chop and trigger samples, with slices quantized, snapping to beat grid. Plus, sample from mic input or master outputs
- Remix Beat Slice – Trigger and remix beat slices via touch screen display
- Side chain Remix – use one audio channel as a trigger to apply an effect to another
- Onboard Interface – USB audio interface and MIDI control features means the mixer can be used alone with a computer
- Peak limiter – avoid playback distortion
- New channel faders with improved durability
- Styled to match CDJ-2000nexus
A flagship product from a market leading brand such as Pioneer is generally under a lot more scrutiny than most to, not only perform, but deliver ‘more’ than anything else. The DJM-200 Nexus does just that. It has better sound quality than its predecessor, better connectivity, cutting edge innovations such as Pro DJ link, stunning effects, great interface via the touchscreen.
If you have professional needs, and demand a mixer that can do everything thrown at it, and also provide features to take your creativity into new territories, this is a hard act to follow.