In the world of DJing, the tools of the trade can make or break a performance. As a seasoned DJ, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with a wide array of equipment. Yet, one controller has consistently captured my admiration, the Pioneer DDJ-SZ. Despite its discontinuation, this 4-channel controller remains a testament to Pioneer’s commitment to quality and innovation.

The DDJ-SZ’s compatibility with Rekordbox dj software is a key feature that sets it apart. This software opens up a world of performance features such as Hot Cues, Sampler, Slicer, Sound Colour FX, Beat FX, Beat Jump, and Pad FX. These features offer DJs like me the flexibility to add a unique flair to our sets.

For turntablists and scratch DJs, the DDJ-SZ’s support for Rekordbox dvs is a game-changer. This feature provides low latency scratch control with music from your rekordbox library, offering a digital solution that retains the tactile feel of traditional vinyl.

The DDJ-SZ also boasts a feature known as Slip Mode. This allows tracks to continue playing muted during live edits such as loop, scratch, or reverse. When you release the jog wheel, the track resumes at the exact right place, maintaining the flow of the mix while adding creative elements.

The robust Magvel Faders on the DDJ-SZ are designed for smooth control and durability. With two metal shafts supporting the fader knobs and a contact-free magnetic system, these faders are built to endure millions of performances.

The DDJ-SZ also offers a Needle Search feature, a touch strip for intuitive and fast searches. This tool is invaluable for quickly navigating tracks during a live set.

As a flagship 4-channel controller, the DDJ-SZ provides DJs the flexibility to control multiple decks and create complex mixes. This, combined with its robust build quality, makes it a reliable tool for both home and professional settings.

Finally, the DDJ-SZ is designed for seamless integration with Serato DJ Pro, one of the industry’s leading DJ software platforms. This integration further enhances the controller’s versatility and performance capabilities.

In comparison to other DJ controllers, the DDJ-SZ stands out with its comprehensive feature set, robust build quality, and seamless software integration. It’s these qualities that make it my preferred choice and a shining example of Pioneer’s legacy in the DJ industry.

For more insights into my DJ journey and the gear I use, visit 5thempire.com. Here’s to the power of music and the technology that helps us share it with the world!


Mike Gradian

While not only a Boise, Idaho DJ, Mike Gradian has been a staple DJ in the "City of Trees" for decades. He continues to grace venues across the state keeping the art of turntablism alive!

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