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Any DJ's remember this mixer? The Roland DJ2000 and it's smaller brother
the DJ1000 was a mixer quite ahead of it's time when it was released in
1998. It wasn't exactly the first mixer with DSP effects; the Pioneer
DJM-500, the mother of all Pioneer 4 channel mixers, predates it by two
years, however only consisted of simple delay based digital effects such
as echo, reverb, flanger, and a pitch shifter.
The thing that
set the Roland DJ2000 apart was the fact that it not only had DSP
effects of both delay and filter types, it was also MIDI capable, which I
believe was the first ever MIDI capable DJ mixer. It was also the first
mixer to link the BPM readout to the effects, as well the first mixer
to include a Tap button for manual BPM entry for the effects. Like some
historic Roland products like the TR-808 and TR-909, the innovations in
the DJ2000 won't be realized until way after the mixer was discontinued.
The 6 main effects including the Tap button can be found in future
Pioneer DJM series as well as the cheaper Numark DXM and later X series.
One thing to realize about "house mixers" in 1998, is some house DJ's
who used rotary mixers would actually supplement their setup with a
frequency isolator. In a nutshell that means one big 3 band EQ with full
kills per band. Mixers with full kill EQ was in demand during these
years by the EDM DJ's of the time. So the frequency isolator section was
quite a well thought out feature. I used to have a Gemini KL-10
(Executioner 10) myself because of the nice EQ AND kill switches it
The thing that really set this mixer apart was the fact
you could SNYC MIDI devices like Roland MC-505's and such to the BPM
readout of the mixer. Before Apple Macbook Pro's, producers and DJ's
were more dependent on actual hardware, and having their drum machines
and synthesizers locked in with their mixer was groundbreaking.
I believe if this mixer was released today, with a few upgrades to the
faders, including a crossfader curve control (innofaders would be nice);
a few upgrades to the analog circuitry of the inputs, and MIDI
parameters a little bit more spread out, I think this would still be
viable mixer. Something to think about would be the fact that we are
still currently at the early stages of the use of MIDI and newer
developed forms of software control from DJ hardware. We have barely
taken off with amount of control and DSP possibilities with current
software and hardware and this mixer, a 1998 release, was truly
foreshadowing the current world of technology in the DJ, production, and
digital instrument communities.