The Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 is a 4-channel DJ controller with several brand-new features to take your sets to a whole new level. With a fresh aesthetic, redesigned jog wheels, and exciting new FX, we are really excited to see Pioneer pushing the industry with this unit. Keep reading to learn more in this Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 review.
Design, Size, & Build Quality
While the overall controller layout looks and feels similar to the Pioneer CDJ + DJM setup, the DDJ-FLX6 introduces a fresh, dark-gray matte finish and redesigned jog wheels — which we’ll get to in a moment.
In terms of size, this isn’t a small controller. It’s almost as big as the DDJ-1000 controller, but the build quality is closer to Pioneer’s cheaper controllers like the DDJ-400. While a more plastic-feeling unit may not be a huge turnoff for you, don’t expect this to feel premium.
The DDJ-FLX6 does have a built-in sound card, but it doesn’t accept any inputs outside of a microphone (which goes straight to output, bypassing any effects). This means you won’t have the ability to connect additional turntables, CDJs, or your phone to play music through the unit. While bedroom DJs won’t care too much about this, serious DJs that rely on flexibility when computers inevitably crash will be disappointed.
In terms of outputs, the DDJ-FLX6 has RCA unbalanced Master and Booth outputs instead of balanced or XLR. For live streaming or practice, this will suffice, but it is rather limiting for plugging into serious sound systems.
Overall, the DDJ-FLX6’s layout is pretty standard for a software controller. You’ve got hardware knobs, sliders, buttons, and pads to control most of what you need to in rekordbox or Serato. For cons, the pitch sliders are small for this size of a DJ controller and the unit could use better FX controls. You also don’t have slip, key sync, key shift, or pad parameter buttons available.
Merge FX is a new feature for Pioneer and gives you the creative freedom to easily mix different genres — no matter the tempo or key of the next track you have selected. It’s controlled via a single knob. You can assign 4 Merge FX presets, but there are over 9K possible combinations to create these presets using 41 effects. Once your preset is selected, a knob press starts the effect. Turning the knob controls the influence of the effect to build up as quickly or slowly as you want.
If you DJ multiple genres and don’t have the skills to seamlessly transition across them, this Merge FX is a fun, innovative approach to switch things up on the dancefloor.
Serato users may be disappointed by the limitations of this new Merge FX feature. The effect options are limited in comparison to rekordbox and you run into loop-cancelling with 2 of the 4 available options.
Last update on 2021-10-17 at 14:57 // More Information
Jog Wheels and Jog Cutter
The DDJ-FLX6 features redesigned full-size jog wheels — the same size as the ones on Pioneer’s CDJ-3000. While they don’t feature the same customizable color LCD displays as the DDJ-1000, the On Jog Display indicates the playhead position so you can accurately scratch.
This is the first controller featuring Jog Cutter, which allows you to simply move the jog wheel to apply one of 10 different scratch patterns to the last Hot Cue or playback position you used on a deck. To switch scratch patterns all that’s needed is to move the playhead position to point toward the angle for the scratch you want.
While this sounds cool in theory, actual Jog Cutter execution with decent results is difficult at best. If you want to add scratches to your performances, you’d be better off actually learning how to scratch rather than relying on this shortcut method.
Performance Pads and Sample Scratch
There are 16 backlit Performance Pads on this model which can be used to trigger Hot Cues, Pad FX, Beat Jumps, or samples. There’s also a brand-new pad mode called Sample Scratch. This mode allows you to load samples from the sampler into the deck for creative scratching.
The pads themselves are quite small and “clicky”. The backlighting of the pads is a single color, unlike some of the other Pioneer units which change colors depending on selected modes. At the end of the day, the DDJ-FLX6’s focus is more on the new FX features rather than top-of-the-line Performance Pads.
We mention this below in the software compatibility section, but Serato users should know that the pad function labels don’t line up with the software. If you’re new to Serato, this can be very confusing, but experienced users should be able to figure out what does what.
Rekordbox DJ and Serato DJ Pro Compatibility
The DDJ-FLX6 has plug and play compatibility with both rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro, which gives you the flexibility to use the software of your choice. The controller comes with a voucher for Serato DJ Pro Expansion Pack (Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ / FX Pack).
While this controller does work with both rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro, the implementation of rekordbox is much better than Serato. If you’re a beginner DJ, be prepared to run into some confusion while using Serato since the pads are labeled incorrectly and the new Merge FX is limited.
If you’re an experienced Serato user, you should be able to figure things out, but be prepared to make some sacrifices with this controller. You may want to look at the DDJ-1000SRT if you want a controller with better Serato features.
In our opinion, the Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6 is a solid mid-tier option for rekordbox users. While some of the new features are a bit gimmicky for veteran DJs, they do give beginners and hobbyists the ability to do some neat things. If you’re a Serato user, we would recommend investing in another controller like the DDJ-1000SRT or the DDJ-SB3 instead. While you could get by using this unit with Serato, you’ll thank yourself in the long run by choosing a more dedicated controller. Click the link below to learn more or purchase this controller.
Last update on 2021-10-17 at 14:57 // More Information