Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pioneer Exclusive 'nexus' Preview with James Zabiela


Looks like Pioneer are in the teaser game again, but this time are a little less cryptic that before. Relaxed and rested, James Zabiela gives us an oh so carefully scripted and rehearsed demo of their new "Nexus" product, that gives us just enough to work with from a words and images point of view to almost nail what this is. Photoshop forensic frame by frame CSI action ahoy.

Disclaimer - I saw this when you all did, so I have no idea what this is about. I'm not playing the official leak game, so don't be reading anything into my opinion. There is nothing to read between the lines here.

Pioneer Nexus mixer DJM-900 Nexus

Let's look at what this actually is. At first, you'd be forgiven that it's some sort of effects unit. But seeing it sandwiched between a pair of CDJ-2000s, and watching James use it like a mixer, as well as the visual design clues - it's clear that this is a DJM-800 based mixer. I've heard rumours of the 800 getting an update - no surprise as it's 5 years old now, but my money is on this being called the DJM-900 Nexus. The video gives a very clear clue of that, but the 8/9 digit is blacked out. But given that the CDJs where replaced with new numbers, logic dictates that this will happen here.

This is further backed up with James saying that the 800 is in 90% of clubs, which leads to the conclusion that this is a replacement for the 800 - it even looks to have the same footprint, which is handy for easy booth replacement.

Pioneer Nexus mixer DJM-900 Nexus

But what is the likely feature set? The frame grabs indicate that this is very similar to the 800 - the faders, effects, colour knobs etc. But it appears that the effects have been beefed up considerably. James talks about "a rather clever little box that makes a lot of noises". Are we talking about having some sort of audio generating DSP inside like a Korg Kaoss pad perhaps? "The quantised effects are for me the biggest thing" says James, and then goes on to demonstrate that moving the pitch on the CDJ matched the effects as well.

Pioneer Nexus mixer DJM-900 Nexus

Looking at the screen caps, we can also see that there is an X-pad touch device, much like the Stanton SCS devices introduced, and that Pioneer have used for their Needle Search strip on the CDJ-2000 as well. Time will tell is a knob might have been better there. God knows DJMs have enough of them.