Pioneer continues the development of its product range certified for Traktor, Native Instruments’ famous software, and presents now a new two-channel mixer with controller facilities specially developed for the new Traktor Scratch 2.0.
First of all, let’s talk about the concept of the DJM-T1. Just imagine that Pioneer combined all the following in a single unit: high-performance two-channel mixer with a crossfader well-suited for scratching, sound card, the latest version of the famous Traktor Scratch Duo 2.0 software, and a Traktor-dedicated controller that allows the user to manage every feature in Traktor, e.g. transport functions, hot cues, effects, samples, etc. In short, you can control Traktor without having to even touch your computer.
Before trying out all DJM-T1 features, I will describe the mixer briefly to then focus on the most interesting part: using Traktor from the dedicated control surface.
Quick Hardware Description
After unpacking the mixer you’ll feel you hold a serious product in your hands. Anything different would be a surprise coming from Pioneer, who has been demonstrating the quality of its products for several decades. The rather compact dimensions (10.4″ x 15.9″ x 4.2″) of the device are ideal for demanding DJs who like to scratch and do beat juggling.
Let’s have a look at the front panel and the rear side.
The rear side offers all standard ins/outs: two Master outs on RCA/XLR and one Booth out jack for monitoring. Each channel provides phono/line inputs to connect either turntables or CD players. The rear side is also equipped with a PSU connector and a USB port to connect it directly to a computer.
Pioneer had the brilliant idea of adding an Aux input on the front panel to allow the user to easily connect an additional player. Most of the time, such connectors are on the rear, making access somewhat difficult. Moreover, this input is equipped with volume and EQ controls. On the front panel you’ll also find a mic input and a headphones output. The crossfader is equipped with a reverse switch and a curve-control trim.
The crossfader on the DJM-T1 has an exclusive Pioneer magnetic construction ensuring extreme durability. It feels smooth enough to allow for an easy scratching. I regret that the two faders don’t provide the same quality and smoothness (I find them a bit too hard).
The faders and the crossfader feature Pioneer’s P-LOCK fader caps, which will never come off in the middle of a mix (DJs who have already lost their crossfader during a performance know what I mean).
All other features are quite standard: gain controls, 3-band EQ on each channel, headphones section.
But for this review we want to focus on the Traktor control capability, so let’s give it a try…
With the DJM-T1, Pioneer strikes a decisive blow in the market of DJ mixers/software controllers. This mixer is a serious competitor, especially for Rane’s TTM57 SL, which works with Serato.
With a sleek and sexy product, Pioneer meets its goal and allows us to fully benefit from the Traktor Scratch Duo 2.0 new features. Everything is useful in this mixer. All controls are exactly where DJs want and expect them to be. The DJM-T1 is almost perfect!
- Ease of use
- Effective crossfader for scratching
- Great Traktor integration
- Faders feel a bit too hard
- Less interesting without Traktor