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Pioneer Dj’s DJM-S7: a 2 channel battle mixer with new Loop Midi

Pioneer DJ has announced their latest mixer, and it’s looking like the much-anticipated, proper follow-up to the DJM-S9. Meet the DJM-S7, a 2-channel battle mixer that sits at $1,399 USD.

A long time coming

The DJM-S11 seemed more like a direct shot at the Rane Seventy-Two rather than an update to the DJM-S9. Many DJs wanted a simpler, more affordable version of the S9 and have been waiting patiently. Alas, today is looking to be their day.

In the original DJM-S11 leaks, one of the pictures floating around was of a catalog page of three new mixers. One was the DJM-S11 that came weeks later, and one was the DJM-V10-LF that was released in late November.

That, of course, left one mixer remaining. Was it a DJM-S9 MK2? A DJM-S10? Turns out, both of these guesses were wrong.

Once again, Pioneer DJ has flipped the script and instead brought us the DJM-S7. On the surface, it looks like a DJM-S9 with the updated pad section from the S11, an added USB hub, and fewer effect buttons. Under the hood, the DJM-S7 belies a few changes, including a very ambitious and unique new feature known as “Loop MIDI.”

The look & feel

The DJM-S7 follows the sleek and clean design of the S11. The setup includes:

  • 16 performance pads – 8 per deck
  • A large load button for easy track selection
  • The inclusion of all 22 Beat FX from the DJM-S11
  • Large effect levers to engage software effects and Beat FX
  • Independent pad modes, providing a way for artists to manipulate effects in new ways
  • A Magvel Fader Pro crossfader
  • A built-in USB hub to directly connect your external devices

Key new features

Loop MIDI

Unique to the DJM-S7, the Loop MIDI feature is an innovation to the DJ world that hasn’t ever been seen before. At first glance, it appears to be a simple MIDI mapping scheme for the effect paddles. But it goes much deeper than that, allowing you to send MIDI signals and commands synced to the BPM of your tracks. This lets you set practical functions (say, for example, key shifting) to the effect paddles.

The effect and control combinations are limited to only by the imagination of the DJ. I’m excited to get my hands on the DJM-S7 to try out this new feature!

Bluetooth

The DJM-S7 includes Bluetooth input for audio, which is a welcome addition that will likely satisfy many DJs’ interest. Scratch DJs looking for an easy way to run scratch loopers can now easily Bluetooth beats to the mixer, much like a lot of portable turntables. Private event DJs now have an easy backup music solution that does require messy cables. The Bluetooth audio can be routed to the DJ channels as well, allowing EQing, leveling, and even effect applications.

Other features

Beyond Loop MIDI and Bluetooth, check out a few of the DJM-S7’s other features worth noting:

  • Includes features from the DJM-S11 Serato DJ Pro, including Combo Pad mode, Scratch Bank, and Gate Cue
  • Opens the door to software capabilities – it enables free use of Serato DJ Pro, and is a rekordbox Hardware Unlock device
  • Can be used via DVS control of both Serato DJ Pro and Rekordbox – you’ll just need the latest version of the software to use it

The biggest surprise? Price.

While the gear itself isn’t a massive surprise, there is one thing that surprised me the most.

No, it’s not the Loop MIDI. While this was an unexpected inclusion that seems incredibly powerful, I will reserve judgement until I get my hands on it. We’ll see whether it’s the next big innovation for DJing or something that sounds good in theory, but falters in execution.

As for Bluetooth? Not really. The Bluetooth is cool, but nothing all that groundbreaking. It seemed like only a matter of time before we saw this feature in modern gear.

At the end of the day, the biggest surprise for me was the price point. At $1,399 USD, this comes in at $200 cheaper than the original DJM-S9. It is now the cheapest high-end Serato 2 channel mixer on the market. It even lists at a lower price than the Reloop Elite! Some corners may have been cut to reach that price point, though. We’ll see if any of it is noticeable when I get my hands on the mixer.

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