So I finally got a chance to get my hands on the new CDJ at a small outdoor event I played last Thursday. I was particularly interested to see how they would work as a sound card, and I have to say I was quite impressed. So I wanted to share my experience. It might help others in getting it to work, and hopefully someone can fill in some of the holes for things I couldn't figure out.

The first thing that I discovered was that the link cable between the CDJ's is actually a network cable. You know, the one that looks like a fat phone plug. I was really kicking myself for not carrying one with my laptop, but oh well. In order to use both CDJ's I just had to plug them both in with USB. I only have 3 USB ports so the remaining one went to the X1, and my laptop cooler had to sit this one out. Lucky for me it was a cool night. So all that being said I'm not exactly sure how the link functionality and traktor work together. I'm also not sure how you'd use 4 CDJ's together. Perhaps you just need an ethernet hub?????

Setting things up on the CDJ side of things is pretty simple. Once you're plugged in just select USB and turn the knob to select which deck in Traktor you will be controlling. If you want to switch back to using CDJ's you just press the USB button and select the track you want with the knob. It's just the press of a button. Now that Serato is compatible with it, the only reason you'd ever need to switch audio cables is if someone wants turntable control. Perhaps Pioneer will eventually make one with a motorized plate. Then it wouldn't matter what the DJ is using, they'd never have to touch the back of the mixer.

Setting up Traktor to use the CDJ as the soundcard was easy too. Just select the CDJ as your soundcard, and then check the outputs tab to make sure things are correct. Also remember to have your decks set in "internal control" mode.

However when it came to the midi controller part I had a bit more trouble. I used the setup wizard to setup the CDJ's. It got the CDJ up and going right away, but caused other trouble. For starters it reset all sorts of settings. It changed my deck settings, and I had to reload my playlists. I guess it saves the old settings when it does that, but I didn't know this at the time.

It also screwed with my Kontrol X1 mapping. I have a custom mapping set to the shift+browse button that normally scans the track. I have it set so that you can use it to change your FX. It works fine now, but when the CDJ was plugged in the mapping wouldn't work. I think it has something to do with the modifiers.

So in short:

  • Bring a network cable.
  • Make sure you have enough USB cables/ports.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to work out bugs.
  • Be careful with the setup wizard. Make sure you save your settings and mappings first!
  • Note that the CDJ's may mess with more complicated mappings.
  • If you have soundcard trouble check output tab of settings and make sure your decks are set to internal control.