PCDJ FX – First Week’s Impressions

This one is goin’ out for all the DJs…

I thought I’d post a few thoughts about PCDJ FX, as there seems to be some interest in it, judging from the number of comments I’ve gotten – most from Latin America(!) – on previous posts. I DJ exclusively from my laptop, and have done so for the last two years using Visiosonic’s PCDJ Red linked through a Numark DMC-1 hardware controller that resembles the controls of a club-quality dual CD player.

FX is definitely an improvement on PCDJ Red, and the coolest feature it has is its Master Tempo, which lets you change the tempo of a song without changing its key. On the other hand, you can also change the key of a song without changing its tempo, which is another whole ball of wax.

FX also has some pretty nifty looping features, which let you create loops on the fly that remain synced with the rest of the song. In real life, let’s say you find a breakbeat – James Brown’s “Funky Drummer,” to use an overused example – you can play the song, and when it gets to the famous break, you can loop that for a while, then exit the loop to remain perfectly synced with the song. Pretty tricky. PCDJ Red had this, but FX is a clear improvement.

The biggest problem so far with FX is its bugs. As with any software release that ends in 0, FX is full of bugs. I can’t get it to play on my Sony VAIO laptop without stuttering, and it also doesn’t work with my DMC-1 hardware controller, which means I’d have to play off the keyboard – a nonstarter in my book, because I have a hard enough time seeing the keyboard in a club environment. The first round of bug fixes are promised in the next couple of days, so we’ll see if they can get things working in time for my tomorrow night’s Durex Latino Party at Palac Akropolis.

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