Am I missing something? (Effects = garbage)

Have had my Prime 4 for a few days now and have 20 years experience on pioneer gear.

I’m loving the touch screen and pads, but the effects unit/s seems pretty much useless compared with industry standard pioneer gear. 8 beat limit is ridiculous on flanger, the sweep effects aren’t nearly as good as pioneer, don’t get me started on the ‘reverb’ and the effects above each channel seem almost impossible to work with in any way that sounds remotely comparable to pioneer - both utility and quality.

I’m more than happy to be proven wrong because I don’t want to return the unit!


They’re good fx but only 8 beat (at the moment ? Maybe? )

Already a thread running on the form for 8 beat “Limit”. Best to use forum search and add your comments to that original thread as the forum admins delete same/same duplicate topics

Thanks, my comment isn’t just limited to the 8 bars though and isn’t a feature suggestion. I’m hoping that someone with extensive experience of pioneer gear can tell me how I’m wrong or suggest some work flows / videos to get the unit to do cool stuff that I may be missing. Have spent hours with it and apart from 1/2 beat echos I’m generally avoiding the above deck effects as turning them on seems to do more harm than good :joy::joy:


The effects can be added to by firmware, at least on the bigger primes, maybe (maybe?) they can be added to on the mixer/deck combined primes too.

Although that said, people don’t come out to clubs (lockdown permitting) to hear fx, they come out to hear the music. fx are just a chocolate sauce accompaniment to the music, and a good way of covering-up a iffy mix lol. There’s always separate fx boxes around if someone can’t dj without a plethora of fx band-aids

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As I said, I’ve been mixing for 20 years. I don’t use effects to cover up bad mixes. Why the would I spend this much money on a standalone and then buy an external effects unit?!

What’s bothering me is that these seem really below standard. I enjoy playing with effects and getting creative and feel I’m either missing something or they really are garbage. I’m looking for advice on this unit, not to be patronised by someone making MASSIVE assumptions.


Well, each to their own.

I sadly concur with your feeling on this. The effects are not as good as on Pioneer mixers. They are also very fiddly to use on the fly. I basically keep my 2 favourite effects constantly loaded up, one on each side. I don’t have the time & patience to constantly scroll (often scrolling past) looking for another effect. Once you found it, to try get the parameters right is also a pain, so I just don’t bother. The sweep effects are very nice though (love the filter, wash & echo) and kinda make up for the sub standard of the others. The 2 effects I constantly keep loaded are Delay (2 Beat) & Flanger (8 beat - wish it was longer!). I unfortunately don’t hold much hope in getting better effects in an update. I’ve come to realise that Denon advertise that so much can be done with updates, but in reality struggle to implement (what would seem to be) the most basic feature requests. Why do guys defend Denon (and potentially negate a feature request) by saying things like “fx cover up dodgy mixes” Huh??? - Please rather add something of value here. You either agree or dis-agree. Telling us that people don’t go to a club to hear fx has nothing to do with it. The fact is Denon tell people to “change their rider” but we feel like their effects aren’t even on par with the competition, let alone better to justify the change.


Thank you Craig!

Previous comments weren’t adding anything of value to this conversation!

I’ll try playing with the delay in the setting you use. I’ve basically got a week where I can try this out and then keep or send it back for a full refund - then wait to buy an XDJ-XZ (seems to be where I’m headed right now).

I’ll admit to liking the the wash and echo sweep effects, but the filter travel is waaaay too short and it’s very hard to get a decent ‘whip effect’ (no idea what else to call this) when you quickly return to neutral position with the nob. Even with the filter resonance turned right up it still feels sub standard to pioneer gear.

The reverb just turns to mush when turned up and pops in horrifically if you don’t have it completely dry when starting the effect. The noise effect also isn’t as good as the pioneer for similar reasons described re the filter above.

If anyone, coming from pioneer gear has any workarounds then please let me know. I absolutely don’t want to send this unit back, but at this point it seems inevitable and that Denon massively dropped the ball on an essential part of the kit.

Edit: Also, if anyone from Denon is reading this and firmware is about to be released that solves some of my issues then now is your opportunity to speak up and retain a customer :grin:

Hmmm… if you’re so obsessed with everything needing to be “like Pioneer” - why did you buy Denon kit?

I concur with antchi. Your audience isn’t going to give a damn. You’re never going to get a customer approaching you to complain that the effects don’t sound as good as Pioneer. The problem is yours and yours alone.


I think some people need to accept the fact that if you switch from Pioneer to Denon and expect to have everything the same so they don’t have to change the workflow - but for less money: you are gonna be disappointed.

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It’s not about valuing the brand as such, I’ve never owned pioneer, or denon for that matter, but the effects here dont seem to be as good as those I’ve heard on YouTube from djs using pioneer equipment. I agree with the OP, they do cause more harm than good but you can get some decent stuff out of one or two of them with a bit of practice. Reverb and that is ATROCIOUS.

I’m also mindful of the fact that a lot of the cool stuff that I see djs doing seems to be coming from the mixer too…

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Good question, though if you haven’t anything of value to add to the conversation then you’re basically just trolling.

I bought the unit because the XDJ-XZ is out of stock and I thought I’d give Denon a chance given the obviously great tech in this unit. I’m not concerned with it being like Pioneer and was expecting solid, if different effects.

What I got was effects that are below the quality of everything I have ever used to DJ including Pioneer, Traktor and Ableton, with some that are actually borderline broken (e.g. The reverb) To say I’m underwhelmed by them would be an overstatement.

What I was hoping for with this thread was some useful tips on how to use them or someone with experience of both units to tell me a work flow that actually works.

Again, I’ll stress that Ive been DJing for 20 years and have used all sorts of intuitive kit, but this has me stumped after hours of trying to figure out work flows that sound half decent (I basically can’t)

Exactly right ! Think of two clubs, both adverting a nite out. One poster says “oh and our DJ has an Effects knob” - night as well add some tinsel and glitter on the other poster for all the difference that Miss Or Master Punter is going to care.

DJs buy and use effects just for themselves and other DJs imo - as long as an effect is making the music sound different to the music when the fx are off, then it’s an effect.


Oh great, captain assumption is back in the room.

You have literally said nothing of value so far, so kindly jog on if you’re not going to be helpful in any way.

I haven’t played in a club in years and have ZERO intention of doing so in the future. This unit is for my enjoyment and for putting mixes together for friends. What I find important is of utmost value to me, which is why I AM ASKING FOR ADVICE on how to make it work so I don’t have to return the unit.

You’re just making yourself look like an absolute bell end by keep making posts with utterly irrelevant points in them.

Now can you offer advice on effects workflows or not?


Good to see the same people making a new customer unwelcome. Mods really should do something about this. He’s spent money on a Denon product and wants help and this is what he gets. I’ve used the MCX8000 since it came out, and the standalone effects are pretty rubbish. Doesn’t make me hate the product as I now have two of them but it’s just a personal observation.


I honestly almost got to the point right now where I’m thinking of sending the unit back just because of these morons, though I’m guessing they don’t reflect the community as a whole.

I’m not here saying that Pioneer is better than Denon and I’m actually assuming that I’ve misunderstood how to use the unit (despite 20 years of playing on different kit).

Couldn’t help it, but I liked the meme. :innocent:

I think some of the FX could be better sounding. About the FX, I rarely use the reverb, sometimes the flanger or phaser. I cannot really compare those FX to Pioneer or Allen&Heath, because I seldom use them (both FX and devices). The normal filter and wash out are the ones I personally use the most, which are okay to me and how I use them.


What’s up @Thealz and welcome,

You probably aren’t missing anything in the effects and how they ‘currently’ work. The good thing about Denon is that they listen to the consumers and, if possible, will try to improve their equipment through firmware changes. This is not to say that what you are looking for will be implemented, AND, if they decide to make changes, don’t hold your breath for the change to happen over night, or make an announcement that it’s forthcoming.

You being from the Pioneer world should be familiar with the RMX-1000. Many of my partners use this to further enhance effects on their rigs regardless of the manufacturer. As for me, I’m quite boring (give me echo, LF, HF and I’m good).

Denon has shown to be forward thinking. The Prime 4 offers features not found in other standalones:

  • 4 Decks in standalone mode (XDJ-XZ has 2)
  • Wifi streaming from online music services (i.e. Tidal)
  • Zone output

Just some food for thought. There’s always going to be PROS & CONS to every piece of equipment. As a DJ you need to be happy and comfortable with your gear and not sacrifice what’s most important to you and the way you play.


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I disagree with sweeping statements like “effects = garbage”. From my point of view all the effects on the mixer were good except Reverb, Which seemed more like a plate reverb rather than a nice way of adding body to a sound.

In particular for me I use aCapella tracks a lot and some of the faked/filtered aCapellas offered by mix services have a really rough over-processed gritty sound and some “soft” reverb can really help bring the vocals a more natural sound back.

So I’d agree the reverb needed some tweaking. Also the x1800 effects had a control that gave us the option of what frequency’s come back out of the effects, which is rare in the effects market.

It’s just wrong to tar every single effect as garbage when only one or two f the effects could benefit from some improvement.


Sadly I have to agree with you. Just got my unit 2 days ago and I am struggling to make the effect sound good. I love everything else about the Prime, but the effects are sub-par. The RX2 effects sound so much better, and the layout is more intuitive, even my EFX500 from 15 years ago is in another class.
I don’t think it will be a deal breaker for me to send it back, but very disappointing, not to mention they don’t even work on vinyl…