Sunday, January 8, 2012

NEW: Denon DJ MC3000 controller

First bandied around in a sort of "you can't tell anyone but you can really" way, Denon's new 2 channel controller really comes as no surprise given the trend for popping out a smaller sibling for the fancy pants 4 channel version. The MC3000 (note the lack of DN - more on that later) is classic Denon in feel, and really is the 6000 with 2 channels lopped off. Oh hang on - it's actually 4 decks...

Let's get this DN thing out of the way first. It seems that as far as we're concerned, Denon will now be Denon DJ. It appears that the homogenous blob that is the Denon corporation wishes to differentiate the massive product range across diverse consumer groups. Either that or they must be running out of consonants to shove in front of product names.

So yes - 4 channels. Still unsure about 4 decks on 2 channels myself, but you don't have to use them. I'm sure most people will probably just use it as a 2 channel unit and be happy. Seems like a feature filled unit, although a lot of shift enabled features seem to be in play here. Looks like Denon have doubled up on the effects and sample buttons with this one.

Words from Denon:
denon mc3000 midi controller traktor virtual dj
denon mc3000 midi controller traktor virtual dj
denon mc3000 midi controller traktor virtual dj
denon mc3000 midi controller traktor virtual dj
The MC3000 DJ controller from Denon DJ is an affordable professional MIDI controller for Native Instruments® TRAKTOR™ 2 Technology Inside products, complete with TRAKTOR™ LE 2 included, and fully optimised for Virtual DJ.

4 Deck control and a high quality internal soundcard, in-fact the same soundcard found in the highly popular DN-MC6000, that proves there are no sacrifices in quality and reliability with the MC3000 and a clear reference to the standard that Denon DJ has already set for Professional DJ Controllers.

The quality of the high resolution, 105mm touch-sensitive jog wheels and the smooth 100mm long pitch slider (with 14bit resolution) is evidence that the Denon DJ build quality and reliability is still present even at this more affordable price point.

Line to master gives the option of 2 analogue line input mixing control so a variety of external players can be connected and used alongside a Mac® or Windows PC – great for handing over to the next DJ after a set without interrupting the flow of music.

The Layer Function for Dual Deck and 2+2 (4-channel) mixer control retains functionality whilst maintaining an un-cluttered and ergonomic layout so that both the Bedroom DJ and those wanting to move onto a more professional setup still get maximum functionality with minimal hassle.

MC3000 layout has been optimised for use of the new sample deck and loop recorder function in TRAKTOR™ 2 making it is easy to hit SAMPLE and switch the EFX panel to a dedicated sample section with independent volume, and filter, controls for each sample – creating unique mixes don’t get much easier than this!

Complete with file browse navigation keys and rotary encoder file selector knob, 8 (4+4) hot cue buttons with layer bank selector key keeps the MC3000 as a fully operational controller for the latest software’s and means you never have to touch your laptop mid-set again.

The powerful shift key for various dual button operation, large size Cue and Play buttons, and the inclusion of Denon “Legacy” Pitch bend keys gives truly professional features at your fingertips, minus the hassle.

Denon DJ’s MC3000 is taking the next step into DJ controllers with build quality that has come to be expected from a Denon DJ product and has earned its place alongside truly Professional DJ controllers such as the DN-MC6000. Whilst managing to remove the lengthy process involved with learning features and button combinations – the MC3000 brings simplicity and functionality together to create the very best DJ showcase from Bedroom to Dance floor.

*Virtual DJ LE included for America's & Canada

* TRAKTOR™ 2 LE included for Europe and Asia Pacific

Still cannot understand the regional software split. Anyone?

On the face of it, this MC3000 may well be a victim of the public's need for as many bells and whistles being crammed into a small space. Obviously, as software gets new features, controllers have to reflect them. But at the same time, the consumer wants a compact go anywhere unit too, thus I totally understand why Denon have taken a shift/layer approach here. Something has to give, but I'm much more in favour of a control doing a job, rather than several jobs.

Looking at this unit, it makes me wish that more manufacturers were brave enough to ditch the jog wheels sometimes. In an age where digital DJing is about loops, cues, samples and sync, the jog wheel seems to be taking up 50% of the deck space that could be used to put everything on one layer. I wonder how many DJs would be happy to lose the ability to manually cue if they could get way more space to make the creative options a little more workable?

That said, the MC3000 appears to very logical, and once I've wrapped my head around where everything is, performance should be straightforward. Hopefully.

The important stuff - the price is set at £525/€599 including VAT with a projected availability of mid-December.