AKAI Force + Denon DJ Prime promo video

Video for the “Force Tutorial Series – Hybrid DJing with force” + Denon sc5000 and Denon DJ X1800* (*laptop running any DJ software that runs Ableton Link not pictured):

“Redefine your expectations.”

Yeah, kind of redefined in a super disappointed in Denon DJ sort of way. I hope this isn’t the tone for the future.

OK, so instead of designing all of this using the ethernet link cable (found on both Denon products and the Akai in this video) via whatever proprietary protocol (stagelinq?) Denon created, they want us to use “any DJ software that supports Ableton Link” (to paraphrase), etc.

Fine. Could be a giant game ending decision on Denon’s part (#CHANGEYOURRIDERAGAINUGH), but that’s speculative and up for debate - though say what you will (and I say plenty) about Pioneer DJ’s Pro DJ Link but at least my (no longer up for sale) DJS-1000 talks to my DJM-900nxs2 and XDJ/CDJs without a laptop in the mix (no pun intended).

But COME ON DENON (and AKAI- this video is designed to be deceptive in regards to casually dropping in the bit about the laptop being necessary component to all of this and NOT showing it in this video. Totally no different than Pioneer DJ’s recent wave of ads promoting the DDJ-1000 - the “four channel DJ controller” - as an obvious retort (though misleading) to the Prime 4.

I was pretty much ready to go ALL IN for Denon, but I can’t help but think this is a harbinger for what’s to come. Please let me know be 100% totally and completely wrong about all of the above. I want to by a second sc5000. I want to sell off m DJS-1000 and trade up for something that ‘talks’ to the Prime ecosystem sans laptop. I want to talk smack about Pioneer DJ and not have end on the qualification “well, Pioneer DJ is horrible but the only thing worse is everything else out there…”

[originally posted in FB Denon DJ page]


I kinda agree, but you see the SC is simply working in Serato mode.

Jo Average who’s never used Denon gear isn’t going to notice that though.

I think inMusic should farm out Engine Connect/Stagelinq to a whole range of high-end Prime friendly products whether Akai or Rane cough 2ch mixer

@Reese I definitely missed the sc4k being in Serato mode the first time around, so perhaps I was a tad too harsh last night in regards to the deceptive nature of the video, but I’m still sad you can’t just link everything to a hub via cat6 cables and - sans laptop - make everything just get along. Either way, I really did pull down my listing for the DJS-1000…now it really hates me.

Yes. Serato definitely there but I agree, would love some clarification from our friendly Denon crew!

It would certainly be logical on so many levels for these products to talk to each other over Ethernet. And it would make sense (and cents) for Inmusic to make that a priority and be rather perplexing if they’re not.

When advertising interoperability, I think all essential elements of the proposed DJ rig (except speakers obv) should be in shot for a significant amount of time and/or a clear diagram shown early on.

Not getting on my high horse, it’s not an absolute outrage, but c’mon… there’s no reason why a laptop couldn’t have been off to one side and shown in a few wide shots. It seems unnecessarily misleading.

as much as folks want proprietary communication between all InMusic stuff e.g. the Force talking to the X1800 via LAN or whatnot…I feel proprietary will not open up the gear to other hardware, and that will affect sales somehow. Perhaps that’s why they went with Ableton link in the first instance.

It’s either that or they implement multiple protocols e.g. regular midi , Ableton link and their in the same hardware.

And by the way irrespective of whatever communication protocol that is adopted there still needs to be improved bpm detection algorithm.

No point in linking gear together if the BPM is not right.

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You guys see Roland is updating all of their recent drum machines to work with Serato!

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That’s what I’m saying as well.

Ableton link is Every Where.

Easy to set up…It’s better implemented in some software than others but that’s another topic

You can currently use the midi out from the x1800 with all mpc hardware (tested with the mpc live myself). I believe there is a post on disqus where akai stated that link support is in the pipeline as well as another wealth of feature requests.


I think all Prime gear should have the option to use Ableton Link next to Stagelinq. That would really open up possibilities for interoperability and syncing between so much equipment.


… YAS Having ableton Link capability on the SC5000 players as well as the x1800 mixer would be phenomenal.

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Having linking options (both proprietary and open source) would of course be THE DREAM, but every time I run into this page/video: “Denon DJ Announces SoundSwitch Integration with StagelinQ” and then remember that the basic Soundswitch software/hardware package (a third party vendor) costs $500 (as of Jan 2019). I don’t know the details of Denon DJ + Soundswtich’s arrangement, but I can’t imagine Soundswitch being very happy if Denon DJ just opened things up. Pioneer’s Pro DJ Link protocol is in a similar state and seems to have a similar deal with something called ShowKontrol (TC Supply).

I’m not against third parties being licensed to sell software/hardware (or against people supporting these solutions) based on Denon DJ (or Pioneer DJ) tech - what I am against is the inevitable low or lower quality products put out when there’s basically ZERO competition for the third parties to make anything beyond the bare minimum product they need to make to exist. Even more importantly: as far as I know not a single actual real life user had any input in regards to this process. Which again is a company’s prerogative and right - except that situations like this fail over and over and over again, and the real loser is us.

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Except SoundSwitch isn’t a third party - they’re owned by inMusic, so this is all in-house development.

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SoundSwitch isn’t a third party vendor, they’re owned by inMusic so it’s all in-house development.

Well, if you think about it that way, then we’re forced to confront the fact that the Akai Force and the Prime ecosystem intentionally don’t sync via cat5/6 cables. I kind of don’t want to think that yet, so instead this is how I envision it*: Two years ago during during lunch in the SoundSwitchCafe the Akai people were like “hey can we sit with you guys, my fellow Denon DJ co-workers, because we’re working on this amazing sampler and were thinking of…” But then there was a scheduled building fire drill and that conversation never went further, hence the need for Serato or “any DJ software running on a laptop with Link” etc. (* This is just my speculation…/i guess it could have gone a little differently than what I’m wildly imagining.)

I imagine the guys at Akai saw the midi out that send clock signal from the back of the X1800 and figured that link is something that they can work on in a later update, since currently we can just use midi sync.

So the LINK port which is present on the SC5000, X1800 AND the Akai Force - why is that port sitting there without a cable? It seems to me the protocol for Engine Link should be there for both, right?

I keep looking for solid proof that either the LINK cable will sync the devices OR that the SC players will enable Ableton Link via their onboard wifi at some point.

Neither seems to be the case right now. Am I missing something?

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The X1800 mixers I owned were unable to send a “midi start” command (some sort of goofy glitch) so if that’s their go-to for syncing right now (midi sync from the mixer) we may have issues.

I am currently running the X1800 as master clock with the following series: X1800 > MicorKorg > Roland System 1M > Korg Monologue