Pioneer DJM-850 Mixer Review

Introduction to the Pioneer DJM-850

The DJM-850 occupies the middle-ground between the DJM-800 and DJM-900NXS. The DJM-800 is officially discontinued, but you may have the ability to have some units from the retail. But is it the very best on the bunch or possibly a disappointing compromise?

Inputs and Outputs

Gone will be the digital S/PDIF inputs in the DJM-800, which are now to get observed within the much more high priced DJM-900NXS, but that’s the only key omission. Otherwise, the DJM-850’s back panel has all of the I/O you could want, whether or not you’re mobile, on the club or from the studio.

Pioneer DJM-850








You will find two phono inputs found on channels one and four, plus the other eight channel inputs are all line degree. There are two microphone inputs, too, with one particular located to the top rated panel and also the other on the back panel. The very first accepts XLR or six.3mm jack microphones, the 2nd accepts six.3mm jacks only. As for outputs, there’s a 6.3mm headphone jack around the leading panel, while the back panel homes a six.3mm jack booth output, an XLR master output, an RCA master output, and an RCA record output. There is also a digital S/PDIF output as well as a 5-pin DIN MIDI output.

You could not get the S/PDIF inputs on the DJM-800, but you do get the total complement of 4 CDJ fader-start management cable inputs, that are grouped collectively beneath the microphone and MIDI sockets. There’s also 6.3mm send and return connectors. Some could miss the S/PDIF inputs, but when viewed in the context with the DJM-850’s marketplace placement it is not such a poor omission.

Customers of the DJM-850 are likely to be using it with TS Pro and will not mind utilizing the analogue inputs. When you do need digital inputs, take into account the DJM-900NXS, which has limited help for Pioneer’s Rekordbox-enabled CDJs. The channel inputs are effectively signposted and simple to reach, so you can very easily attach your decks should you encounter the DJM-850 in a cramped booth. The microphone inputs are inside of uncomplicated reach, too, however the manage cable inputs are tricky to entry, specifically if you do not know the input sequence.

The Faders

The channel faders are typical DJM, precisely the same faders as these about the DJM-900NXS, which suggests they are smooth with just enough resistance to prevent them sliding all over unintentionally. The crossfader is additionally typical DJM, which suggests that although you may do some simple cutting and scratching on it, you could possibly struggle with additional complicated approaches.It is essential to recollect, though, that this can be a general-purpose club mixer and not a turntablist instrument.

The crossfader has 3 curves, using the sharpest curve providing a 2-3mm cut-in before the music plays at complete volume and also the other two providing smoother curves that let you fade the 2 tracks together with greater subtlety. There is also a curve switch for that channel faders, with 3 distinct modes. When set to linear, the sound kicks in straight away and will get gradually noisier, as you’d expect. When set to far left, the sound is heard in the second notch around the fader track and gets progressively louder from that stage. The middle choice emits sound from the 1st notch, which then will get progressively louder. It is excellent to discover the complete enhance of fader curve controls to the DJM-850, as well as the 4 fader start off switches. The DJM-900NXS could possibly be the flagship 12in DJM, but product differentiation hasn’t meant the DJM-850 loses out about the essential fader controls with the DJM-800. The fader segment from the DJM-850, together with its EQ section, is almost everything you’d want from a high-end DJM.


Every single of the DJM-850’s four principal audio channels has a 3-band EQ plus a get control. The default EQ conduct will be to boost sound by 6dB and cut it by 26dB, however the DJM-850 has an equaliser switch that, when engaged, cuts sound entirely on a band when its EQ pot is twisted thoroughly left. The DJM-850’s EQs are standard DJM, and also a whole lot of end users – me integrated – will be pleased to mix with the default 26dB minimize. There is a decent amount of room between pots, but people with larger digits will clash them if they are using adjacent EQ pots within the identical strip. You’ll have no difficulty if you are twisting the EQ pots of adjacent strips. To your left of each set of EQ pots is a 15-segment peak that does a fantastic task of visually expressing the degree of every channel. It’s impacted by the place from the EQs.

Master Channel

The master channel has the decent set of controls you count on to seek out on L1299 DJM. Likewise as a master volume pot, it has a stability pot, a mono/stereo switch plus a booth monitor volume pot. All are effectively positioned and obviously labelled. In addition, it has precisely the same expressive 15-segment peak meters because the input channels, albeit two of them.

Cueing process

The cueing method operates like every other four-channel DJM. You push a cue button to hear that channel within your headphones. You will need to push the master channel’s cue button in the event you also would like to hear the master channel within your headphones in order that you are able to combine among the master channel as well as the other cued channels using the PFL pot. The headphone amp is rather loud from your third notch, deafening you should you push it past the half-way level. Current Pioneer mixers have both been deafening from your start or only club-loud if you twist them previous the half-way point. The DJM-850 will get it about appropriate. The sound quality from the headphone amp might be much better, but you could possibly argue that it is meant for mixing and not enjoying the music. Plus, it is possible to quickly differentiate involving bass and mids when mixing. You may also choose split-cue, providing cueing selections for all DJs.

Microphone Ports

An essential feature of any club-grade DJM is often a respectable microphone section, plus the DJM-850 doesn’t disappoint. You will discover volume controls for the two microphone inputs, but only one set of EQs, with an EQ pot for highs and an EQ pot for lows. In addition, it features a ducking switch having a talkover mode, and you also can route the MICs with the effects processor if you want to add a little of echo or reverb to your karaoke efficiency.

Practically each of the DJM-850’s controls, even the crossfader assign switches, curve switches and headphone settings, transmit MIDI information to external products or application, but in practice this is certainly a lot more of the convenience than a killer attribute. The switches, buttons and faders nonetheless affect audio when in MIDI mode, which means MIDI’s finest applied for controlling non-audio computer software functions such as video faders and video effects in VDJ, or controlling Traktor’s global controls together with the Fader Start out buttons. You can even transmit timing data over MIDI to maintain external sequencers synced, however the proper BPM is not constantly efficiently sent on the external gadget or application. For example, the DJM-850 could pass the correct timing information of a UKG track to Ableton Live, but it’ll then interpret the breakdown with the very same track as 169bpm rather than 138bpm, totally throwing out the synchronisation of tracks taking part in in Ableton Live. If you would like to control software program with MIDI, you should complement the DJM-850 that has a modular MIDI controller. It is a handy characteristic, but no far more.

Traktor Scratch Pro

I utilised two 1210s and two CDJs (I employed a pair of Stanton STR8-150s – Ed), with 3 decks enjoying loops and the fourth deck getting scratched, in addition to a 64-sample buffer. Remarkably, there were no audio issues, despite the fact that a cozy sample buffer is determined by the efficiency of the Pc. Almost everything functions as advertised, and it’s a lot far more hassle-free and tidy to implement the DJM-850’s built-in audio interface than an external one particular.

Colour FX

The DJM-850 has 4 colour effects rather than the DJM-900’s six. The results certainly are a white noise generator, a little crusher, a filter along with a gate. New for that DJM-850 is often a beat button that pulses the result in time for you to the beat. For example, the Noise impact cuts out on every beat, providing it a rhythmic quality. The beat button operates finest with Gate impact, the place it acts being a subtle stutter impact that has a metallic sound. All colour results may be used in blend using the typical beat results and are useful and practical.

There’s a good deal of area around the Colour FX pots, which suggests you are able to twist them without having hitting any other manage, even though you are twisting adjacent controls at the same time. Filter’s very fundamental, but it has some resonance. Noise can be a high impact white noise generator that is greatest applied to an empty channel along with the Crush result can be useful if utilized to an acapella or in the course of malfunctions, but it is a little unsubtle.

Beat FX Controls

The beat effect controls operate in specifically the exact same way as those from the original DJM-800. All that is modified may be the style of effects supplied and the high quality on the effects processor, which has improved. The controls include an result choice switch, a source choice switch, a time pot and a level/depth pot. You receive 13 beat results in complete and an option to work with the DJM-850’s send and return loop instead. The DJM-850 includes a fantastic BPM detector on board, which suggests the result timing’s fairly fantastic, but if it’s slightly off it is possible to make fine changes using the time pot or make use of the tap button. As with the colour FX controls, each of the beat FX controls are well spaced, which means it is possible to manipulate them devoid of hitting anything at all else.

Just as with the authentic DJM-800, the LED display shows all the data you should learn about your impact setup at a glance. Beat fractions are controlled utilizing the left and suitable directional buttons, with some effects possessing greater beat ranges than others. There is also a cue button for your results, but not all effects could be previewed within your headphones. The results are the same as these with the DJ-900NXS, except that you’ve Up Echo as opposed to the 900’s Melodic impact, and you also also shed out around the 900’s nifty MIDI LFO result. That is a fantastic swap, however. If you’ve ever applied the Pitch Echo on the DJM-909 you’ll be familiar with Up Echo, which progressively increases the pitch with the echo because it fades out. It is an exceptionally addictive result, and I’ve ruined numerous tracks using the DJM-909’s Up Echo.

The sound top quality on the results can be a huge improvement above the DJM-800’s. The A&H DB4’s results sound superior integrated with the supply track and far more sophisticated than the DJM-850’s, but the DJM-850 gives you clean-sounding, club-quality effects which you could easily activate and management. If you are a guest DJ and you also encounter the DJM-850, you’ll have more confidence employing the DJM-850’s effects compared to the DB4’s.


Pioneer DJM-850 Mixer, the overall summary

The DJM-900NXS is now one of the best in the 12in DJM line-up, but that does not mean the DJM-850 is an inferior DJM. With the exception on the digital channel inputs, the DJM-850 is simply an updated DJM-800 that provides the high-quality audio interface and higher-quality effects expected of today’s top-end mixers. It isn’t anything new or exciting; it is simply a more affordable update to your DJM-800 compared to the DJM-900NXS. The DJM-850’s audio interface makes it an incredible option for DJs with existing CDJs or turntables that wish to enter to digital DJing with Traktor, Ableton, VDJ or some other software, but bear in mind that there’s no application within the box – you’ll have to supply your own.

Possessing the USB connector around the top rated panel may annoy some people, nonetheless it indicates you don’t have to struggle to find a USB socket round the back. Like all DJMs, the DJM-850’s greatest strength is its simplicity, which makes it an ideal choice for bars and clubs that have a good deal of guest DJs, at the same time as DJs that want a personal Traktor-certified mixer for mobile and studio use. The DJM-900NXS offers the MIDI LFO effect, digital inputs plus the x-pad results controller. It also features a single Ethernet port that provides fundamental integration with compatible CDJs. The DJM-900NXS’s Ethernet port also allows quantisation of beat results in the event you play Rekordbox-formatted tracks through CDJ-2000s or CDJ-900s. If you really don’t need to have any of that, there’s nothing wrong with saving a few dollars and obtaining the DJM-850.

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