The Pioneer and Serato relationship seems to go through phases. Sometimes, the connection between the two seems all but dead, particularly when Pioneer DJ are heavily pushing Rekordbox. Then suddenly, products like the DDJ XP2 arrive and flip the script again.
The Pioneer DDJ XP2 is a powerful add-on controller for Pioneer lovers that works with both RekordBox and Serato DJ Pro. This is a massive bonus for creators who like playing with lots of different software. Whatever application you’re comfortable with, you can rest assured that the DDJ-XP2 has you covered.
An evolution of the previous DDJ-XP1, there’s a lot of similarities between this product and the device that came before it. However, there are a few enhancements to be aware of too. Let’s take a closer look at what you can accomplish with the Pioneer DDJ XP2.
Key Features of the Pioneer DDJ XP2
First and foremost, the Pioneer DDJ XP2 is an evolution of the previous DDJ-XP1. It adds to the performance features of the original product, without sacrificing things like easy accessibility, intuitive interface performance, and amazing build-quality.
Features like a slip-free rubber surround and sturdy construction mean you don’t have to worry about going all-out with your performances. The DDJ XP2 also appeals to Pioneer customers who still want to access Serato software with their add-on devices. Pioneer’s decision to support both Serato and Rekordbox here ensures that the company can still serve DJs from all backgrounds.
The Pioneer DDJ XP2 is the first controller to arrive for Serato software with a vast collection of 32 pads. With this diverse controller, you can access two modes at once, with 16 pads per deck. There are 8 pad modes to choose from and 4 user custom options too. Silent cue also helps you to instantly start your DVS tracks at the perfect BPM.
Features of the Pioneer DDJ XP2 include:
- 32 pads with support for 16 per deck
- Touch sensitive slide FX for extra depth control
- 8 pad modes with 4 user created modes
- Silent cue to instantly start your DVS tracks at your chosen BPM
- 4 beat instant loop buttons with in/out edit
- Track select knob with loading buttons
- USB powered connections
- Reverse and slip control
Pioneer DDJ-XP2 Set Up
The DDJ-XP2 is all about giving you more functionality from your DJ software. Whether you’re mixing with Serato DJ Pro or Rekordbox, you’ll be ready to create some amazing tracks. This isn’t a standalone controller – but a product intended to give an extra hardware boost to your software experience. On top of the incredible 32 RGB pads, you also get access to Slide FX.
The Slide FX function means you can control the impact of up to 3 Serato effects at the same time. Silent cue supports turntable artists, making it easy to drop hot cues with perfect timing, without having to worry about stopping a fader or turntable.
Rekordbox fans have had access to the functionality already with the DDJ XP1 unit. However, if you’re a Rekordbox fan, you’ll still benefit from access to the new transport controls on this product. These tools allow for full control over pitch, cue, nudge, pause and play functionality. You can also DJ without using external decks and control signals.
Providing excellent value for money, particularly when you account for the bundled software, the Pioneer DDJ XP2 is a great investment. You can attribute transport controls to pads like cue, pause, play, pitch up and down, and more. Plus, there’s plenty of extra functionality to make you feel more confident when you perform. Pioneer recommends combining the DDJ-XP2 with the DJM-S9 leading scratching mixer for a complete setup.
The performance pads on the Pioneer DDJ XP2 are easily the product’s most exciting feature. This is the first device for Serato DJ that comes with 32 fully responsive RGB performance pads. You can unlock the true potential of Serato DJ or Rekordbox software with the 32 multicolored pads. What’s more, the coloring makes it much easier to keep track of your effects.
Tactile and durable, the pads feel incredible to press, but they’re also durable enough to withstand the most challenging of battles. These touch-sensitive pads remain professional even if they are used regularly.
Another massive bonus? The Serato DJ Pro 16-pad mode means that you can assign up to 8 pads each to different features for each deck. That means you get even more control over your mixes. You can trigger both samples and Hot Cues at the same time, without having to switch. The 16 pad control is the first for Serato DJ Pro too.
The FX controls are particularly compelling in the Pioneer DDJ XP2. Aside from 32 RGB pads, you also get a slide FX strip. This means that you can easily control your music by sliding your finger up and down. There’s no need to switch the FX on or off, just adjust it’s impact however you like.
In-built Transport mode for both Serato DJ Pro and Rekordbox means that you can use your pads as durable transport solutions for your music. The controls allow you to play, pause, cue, and pitch your music up and down. All you need is a laptop to get started. There are even DDJ-XP2 looping controls, taken from the incredible DJM-S9 flagship controller.
If you like the DJM-S9 for scratch mixing, then you’ll feel completely comfortable with the DDJ-XP2’s looping functionality too.
One of the most attractive premium features of the Pioneer DDJ XP2 is the Rekordbox Silent Cue solution. If you’re accessing Rekordbox or Serato DJ Pro, then you can switch it on to mute your deck. This basically means that you have the freedom to cue up tracks with your faders open on the mixer. Just drop tracks into your mix instantly when you hit a hot cue, and you don’t need to worry about the faders.
If you’re a user of Rekordbox DVS or Serato DVS, which are available as paid expansions, you can use the functionality with turntables too. Pressing Silent cue will once again mute your music instantly, and you can engage your hot cues to get them started again.
The Silent cue functionality means you can avoid the unattractive sound of the music speeding up as your turntable starts spinning again.
Functions like FX control and silent cue make the Pioneer DDJ XP2 a compelling choice already. However, there are still more capabilities to explore. For instance, as mentioned above, you can use both Rekordbox and Serato DJ with this product or upgrade to a paid version of Serato DVS if you prefer. The expansion pack will give you the freedom to scratch with turntables and CDJs.
With access to so much diverse software, it’s easy to unlock a variety of amazing effects, including hot cues, slicers, beat jumps, and more. Many professionals love the Pioneer DDJ XP2 for its ability to craft unique and creative performances.
Durable and robust design
The Pioneer DDJ XP2 is brilliant for it’s strong and reliable design too. This is a product that you can trust to continue providing an excellent experience, month after month. While Pioneer clearly wanted this add-on controller to be as portable and lightweight as possible, it doesn’t compromise on ruggedness.
The Pioneer DDJ XP2 can comfortably handle everything from battles to fast-paced performances. The tactile pads can cope with energetic drumming from your fingers on a daily basis. What’s more, the non-slip rubber on the product is great for staying in place during performances. Everything feels like it was made for a professional, so you feel more confident while you perform.
Combine the sheer strength of the Pioneer DDJ XP2 with extra bonuses like the Kensington lock to secure your controller, and support for BUS power via USB, and you’ve got a system that was made to make your life easier.
Pioneer DDJ-XP2 Pros and Cons
The Pioneer DDJ XP2 is a controller that’s going to appeal to a very niche selection of customers. If you’ve already got the XP1, then you’re probably not going to upgrade to the next version, unless you’re desperate to tap into Serato technology too. There aren’t a huge number of extra benefits to differentiate the second-gen controller.
At the same time, many DJs will be able to produce amazing musical experiences without having a device like the Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2 at all. This product will really only attract those who want to have a complete and comprehensive system for performance pad control.
Saying that, if you are looking for something that gives you the freedom to work with performance pads, and unlock more functionality in your software, the Pioneer DDJ XP2 is a great buy. The fact that you have the freedom to choose between Rekordbox and Serato is a wonderful thing. Plus, as you would probably expect, you get the sensational build quality and durability of Pioneer tech.
The Pioneer DDJ XP2 works perfectly with your existing DJ software, and it comes bundled with Rekordbox tools, including an option to upgrade if you need extra DVS functionality. You even get Rekordbox DVS software too – which means that the controller is amazing value for money.
With features like silent cue to explore, a brilliant touch-strip control for FX fading, and so much more, the Pioneer DDJ XP2 is a fun piece of inspiring equipment for DJs from various backgrounds. However, it’s not going to be a necessary purchase for all musical pros.
Finishing Thoughts on the Pioneer DDJ XP2
The Pioneer DDJ XP2 is a fantastic piece of versatile equipment, carrying on the long-standing tradition of incredible build quality and excellent audio performance from Pioneer. In a lot of ways, it’s almost identical to the older XP1 model. You still get the robust and sturdy controller, and everything is lightweight enough that you don’t have to worry about portability.
The biggest selling point of the Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2, (it’s 32 RGB pads), are tactile, bright, and responsive. Any DJ that has used one of these products before will know how brilliant they can feel. The product also comes with a convenient USB bus power system, so you don’t need any extra power supply. However, you might want to consider buying a stand to help you keep your set-up as ergonomic as possible.
Providing excellent value with Rekordbox DJ and Rekordbox DVS included, the Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2 can make a brilliant addition to any musical set-up. This solution unlocks a variety of incredible features within Serato DJ, and it’s a welcome update to the somewhat dated DDJ-SP1. The feature for silent cueing is going to be particularly appealing to Serato DVS users, while the 16 pads enabling DJs to key shift more effectively is a massive bonus too.
The Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2 brings features that many Rekordbox users have already enjoyed for a while into a more versatile environment. However, if you already have an XP1, and you’re a Rekordbox user, then it’s unlikely you’ll want to spend the extra cash on upgrading to the DDJ-XP2. You’re more likely to buy this product if you’re new to the market.
Like the XP1, the Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2 is a convenient and compelling add-on for DJs that focus on performance and want to push creative routines to the next level. Of course, if you already have a capable controller that’s more comprehensive, you might find that the Pioneer DJ DDJ XP2 is a little redundant.