Article – from the horse’s mouth
Pioneer has bridged the small network to the DJ table by releasing the XDJ-AERO which is an “all-in-one” DJ workstation that implements Wi-Fi wireless networking. This network ability exists mainly to allow the DJ to bring down music held on a regular PC or a mobile device and use it in his “set”.
It is compared to using the computer with its audio infrastructure connected to the DJ console and loaded with DJ playout software to play music held as files. Some users may augment this with a USB controller that has jog / shuttle dials to mimic the operation of a turntable or playing a special record on one of their turntables that is connected via a special computer interface module so that the turntable effectively becomes a jog dial.
The network can be set up with an existing 2.4GHz Wi-Fi g/n wireless network such as one operated by the premises or one provided by the DJ using his own wireless router. On the other hand, the XDJ-AERO could work as its own access point to the same credentials as Wi-Fi Direct. This could eliminate the need for a wireless router if the devices are kept close to each other and Internet access isn’t desired.
DJs who use this unit for bar or outdoor gigs should use the access point mode, but use the XDJ-AERO as a client for areas with a “known” network like practice work or private-home gigs.
The computer equipment including the smartphones or tablets would need to run Pioneer’s free “rekordbox” music-management software which is optimised for DJ work. This includes the ability to identify rhythm patterns in the music and keep details of factors like “beats per minute” which would be ideal for this kind of work. Because the requirement is that the network computing devices stream the music rather than transfer it as a file, the Pioneer XDJ-AERO is also optimised for high-reliability connections using a high-capacity buffer and the ability to identify and use a music loop to keep the beats going.
Luckily the Pioneer DJ ecosystem doesn’t just support the trendy Apple computing ecosystem. The software also supports Windows regular computers and Android mobile devices. It is also worth knowing that the XDJ-AERO can support four source computer devices, which can come in handy with a group of DJs who are performing their own sets on the same equipment, such as a wedding gig where one DJ with expertise on lounge or chillout music may play for the dinner while another DJ with dance-music expertise would play for the post-dinner dancing.
Those DJs who work across different media can benefit from this mixer by its ability to connect to two regular music sources. This means they could connect their Technics SL1200 “Wheels Of Steel” to work with vinyl or their Pioneer or Denon DJ CD players to work with CDs. It is also laden with plenty of digital effects that they can use on their music material through the programme.
This is a sign of things to come for the DJ industry who may benefit from the idea of using a computer and small network to play out music whether as a sole medium or as an ancillary medium.