Rekordbox has been the staple software of Pioneer DJ for the past decade with the freedom of using USBs inside a CDJ. However, as times changed Rekordbox was accused of not living up to the hype that the hardware it ran on. Rekordbox version 5 sought to change opinions of that and to a large extent it did, now with the advent of streaming and DJ’s being more tech savvy, Pioneer DJ has moved with the times and brought Rekordbox bang up to the bleeding edge of what a software can do.
A New Dawn
Rekordbox version 6 (or v6) was unveiled to much acclaim in the early part of 2020 as a replacement for version 5 which had brought success. However there are several major changes which have been controversial but has opened up new options for DJ’s who are now consuming music in different ways across the spectrum.
There are several key changes to the software model that Pioneer DJ have used to create Rekordbox v6, which are as follows;
- Rekordbox DJ – Now hardware unlock – No licence keys
- Subscription Model – Brings in extra options
- Light Mode – Perfect for daytime DJing
- Waveform & Auto Relocate
- Inflyte & BeatPort Link Support
- iOS Support
We are going look in depth at each one of the six new nuances of Rekordbox v6 and how it impacts your workflow.
Hardware Unlock – No More Licence Keys
Version 6 of Rekordbox brings to an end the need for licence keys that used to arrive with units such as the DDJ-400, DDJ-800, DDJ-1000 and others thanks to the software now “Hardware Unlocking” when the unit is plugged in. This is similar to how Serato do things with their software being unlocked by certain models.
This means that performance mode of Rekordbox – which was locked behind a licence key previously has now become free for the first time, allowing DJ’s to practice their set on their laptop without the need for hardware.
Subscription Model – Extra Options
This arguably is the most controversial of the changes to Rekordbox which has admittedly got Pioneer DJ some flack from the DJ community at large with questions banded around such as “why do I need to pay you monthly when I paid X amount of pounds for a piece of hardware already?” This is a common misconception as previously stated the performance aspect of Rekordbox is now free. The extra subscribe features are divided into two plans – Core & Creative.
On the “Core” plan – which at the time of writing is £9.99 per month gets you DVS Mode and Performance mode (for all devices). Whereas on the “Creative” plan – again at the time of writing is £14.99 per month gets you all the benefits from the Core plan but with the added elements;
- Cloud library sync – Meaning you can take your library anywhere via DropBox, which personally for myself is a huge step forward.
- Lyric Control – Enabling you to grab lyrics of your tracks from a centralised source for video DJ’ing
- Rekordbox Video – Enabling you to DJ using music videos, which whilst not as common in the UK it is massive on the European stages
- Sequencer – This allows you to edit and use Ableton in conjunction with the software to create production on the fly
- RMX Effects – Perfect for those who love the effects found on the RMX-1000 but haven’t got the unit to hand.
- Vocal Detection – Perfect for those who want to have their songs with perfect lyrics across the board for that deeper mix.
The plans are both available with 30 day FREE trials meaning you can experience the full package without having to shell out straight away with a no quibble change mind policy on the software.
Light Mode – Daytime DJ’s Rejoice
Light mode which was made famous originally by Serato in their Scratch Live software has been one of the most requested features for Pioneer DJ whilst developing Rekordbox v6. This allows you to invert the colours of the software for situations where you might be playing in a bright environment such as a sun terrace or daytime arena. This works seamlessly with your workflow, meaning no time is wasted when using the software.
Waveform and Auto-Relocate – Your new best friends
The new three-band waveform which has been massively upgraded since Rekordbox v5 has been a major talking point, allowing for deeper feel for DJs of their tracks, allowing them to truly experience the bass of each song all the way through to the highest of the tops on the tracks. This experience is carried over into some of Pioneer DJ’s newest equipment such as the XDJ-XZ which harnesses this feature.
Auto-Relocate is going to be the saviour of some DJ’s libraries, with this one function allowing you to find a track that has either been either accidentally deleted or moved around the computer that the library is stored on. However if stored in the cloud, it will make locating tracks even easier.
InFlyte & BeatPort Link Support
As a DJ undoubtedly you will have heard of inflyte
, this is a way of record labels servicing you promotional copies of tracks for you to play in your sets. This integration means you can login to inflyte from Rekordbox v6 and download tracks you have already reviewed on the inflyte website and also app for smartphone. BeatPort Link allows you to download/stream music from your BeatPort locker such as that house track that you found on the way to a gig but had not had time to purchase.
The major pitfall for the Rekordbox eco-system in our opinion was the app for smartphone. Simply it was not great, but with version 6 of the software and the update to version 3 for smartphone this has all changed. Now packing library support, meaning you can sync your laptop library via dropbox to your smartphone – allowing you to preview your set on the way to a gig or to purchase music whilst on your phone and add to your library without even needing to touch the laptop.
Overall, Rekordbox version 6 (or currently 6.0.4 at the time of writing) is truly a giant leap into the future of where DJing is heading especially with brands such as Spotify pulling out of the market.
The new cloud based features are sure to become industry standard as the time moves forward and the DJ as a species evolves.
It is simply a case of Serato, Virtual DJ and Traktor over to you….
You can download Rekordbox from Pioneer DJ’s dedicated Rekordbox website here