Home / Hot Stuff / Audio / Pioneer’s DDJ-REV1 is a battle-style DJ controller for budding scratch masters

Pioneer’s DDJ-REV1 is a battle-style DJ controller for budding scratch masters

Scratch and spin

For the uninitiated, a battle mixer sounds like something Mary Berry would bring out for a Bake Off showdown. But to seasoned disc jockeys, it means one thing: a ticket to scratch city.

Want that wicky-wa-wa when you lay it down? Pioneer’s revealed a set of digital decks to help you scratch like DJ Lethal whipping up a mega-mix with the Limp Bizkit back catalogue.

Inspired by the classic battle-style setup that’s used by scratch DJs to avoid knocking their turntable’s tone arm when deep in the mix, the digital DDJ-REV1 doesn’t pack pickups – but it does adopt a setup never before seen on a Pioneer DJ controller: the tempo sliders have swapped to horizontal and shifted to the top.

At 60mm, those sliders should make for finer timing control, while repositioned Performance Pads mean you can easily trigger samples and tweak effects next to the Level FX paddles. A spacious layout also leaves ample room get your elbows involved, plus larger jog wheels mean scratching should be a cinch.

Just starting out? Tracking Scratch will automatically return the track to your chosen cue point when you let go of the jog wheel, no winding guesswork necessary. Hook up a mic and the DDJ-REV1 can also mix your vocals straight into the master output – ideal for MCs who like to hype their stage name every 20 seconds.

Connected to a PC or Mac, the DDJ-REV1 is designed to work seamlessly with Serato’s free DJ Lite software, including options to select effects for the levers, load in scratch samples from four assigned banks and stream audio to your preferred platform. You can also pay to upgrade to the Pro version.

Available this month, the Pioneer DDJ-REV1 will set you back £259/$259, which includes a three-month Tidal HiFi subscription for superior source material.

In a spin: the best Bluetooth turntables – reviewed