Dynamic beat-grid with Prime 4

Since here in Italy we are again at a standstill and it is not possible to have parties and concerts, I installed the 1.6 beta version in my Prime 4.

So far I had tried the dynamic beat-grid only on Engine Prime and I had found it exceptional, especially thanks to the possibility of deciding which deck is the master by clicking on the appropriate button.

I must say that until now I had never used the SYNC function of the Prime 4 and I did it now to check how the new dynamic grid works: however, I was disappointed in this aspects.

  1. On the Prime 4 there is no button (but not even an icon on the large display) to select which deck should become the master. I thought that the new OS V1.6 beta had the icon to click like on Engine Prime 1.6 beta, but this did not happen. From what I understand, the master is always the old deck (i.e. the one in the final stage of the song) and there is no way to change it during the mix, or at least I couldn’t.

  2. The SYNC status indicators (green) are always the same color and do not turn blue or green depending on who is the master at the moment (as is the case on Engine Prime 1.6 beta). This created some problems for me initially to understand what the master track is.

I wanted to have a discussion with you to understand if these problems are mine alone, or if it is the same for you too. Eventually they (Denon DJ) could add the color change of the icon (from green to blue for the master) and also the button to select the master deck, as was done for Engine Prime. Let me know if I’m wrong because I’m not very familiar with using SYNC on Prime 4.


At first, variable beatgrid will show only if you do grid them manual in engine prime with it´s anchors. If no anchor is set, it is normal beat-grid. so it displays nothing special on the screen. Only if you choose a song that is definitly varry-beat gridded, you can choos on the display if it would be master or not. Simple to test: Download a live played track. Grid it automatically and look if your beatgrid will slowly drift. if that is the case, set some manual anchor point on the beat, where it starts drifting … then look ahead the whole track, and always set a new anchor when the beat starts to slightly move away from grid.

after that, import it to your device.

and then you can choose this track in varry-beatgrid-mode.

Ok, I didn’t make myself clear.

I already have some tracks of which I have modified the grid, I have inserted the anchors (yellow lines), I have verified on Engine Prime its functioning in synchronism with other tracks that had fixed BPM. If you look here where we talked about variable BPM in Engine Prime V1.6 beta, you will see that everything you wrote I did.

Just to summarize: I used a generic fixed 128 BPM track and the famous “French Kiss” which has a huge variation of BPM. Everything tested on Engine Prime 1.6 beta, works perfectly (as I have already written).

Yesterday I transferred the tracks to Prime 4 (with Engine OS 1.6 beta) and I thought I would get the same result I got with on the PC. Actually the synchronism is maintained, but I found those problems that I wrote. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, just that there are two different points to the software on the PC which makes it difficult to use.

ah, okay. hmm. have to test it then again on my tracks. I only have one track gridded with the new vari-grid feature. but at the moment I have not enough time to check this. will try it next weekend or so, with “frensh-kiss” to. I also think it is the best track to test variable beat-grid.

Hi, first I think you can’t synchronize such a title as « french kiss » because therére too many tempo changes in the song. Two, the deck you click the sync button first becomes the master, it is simple.

That’s what makes french kiss such a good track to use for seeing how flexigrids can help - that tracks got an insane drop range from banging along nicely to zero in about a minute, to a stop, no beats for about 20 seconds then a climb back up to dance tempos again.

You need to get very creative to find other tracks which would benefit from syncing to that range of tempo changes - it’s not something that tags or energy level filters can help with. It’s just that at-home , practice session of “I wonder if…” and trying it

@DjMarcoMarco My mix with French Kiss was just used to try out the new dynamic bpm. Besides, the part of French Kiss that reduces and then increases the BPM is in the central part of the song, so it wouldn’t make sense to mix it in that part.

But imagine this scenario:

On deck 1 you have a song (Extended Mix) constant 128 BPM that is playing in the final part where there are several minutes of base only, with no vocals, so that part can be reduced by BPM or increased without creating weird effects.

On deck 2 you have a new track that starts with a small base part and then the vocal part starts too; in those parts there is also the reduction of BPM from 128 to 80 (for example).

Previously you had deck 1 with SYNC turned on, so it will be the master (although this is difficult to understand because the SYNC icon is always green for both).

Well, now you start mixing with deck 2 (SYNC on), so it’s the slave, what’s going to happen? Now it will happen that the console keeps 128 BPM constant, so deck 2 will be kept synchronized with deck 1, and you will hear the song of deck 2 (the one with BPM dropping from 128 to 80), which will not sound like the original because it doesn’t you will hear the BPM drop because they will always stay at 128. You have no chance to tell to Prime 4: “Hey, I want you to follow the BPM drop of deck 2, you have to reduce the BPM of deck 1.”.

If we had the possibility to select which should be the master deck (as happens for the SC5000 / 6000 players), in this situation we can start mixing in the 128 BPM part, then click to select deck 2 as master, when it arrives the descent part of BPM from 128 to 80 we will hear the BPM decrease also of deck 1 (which would be the slave).

In a nutshell: you compare what you can do with two tracks in Engine Prime V1.6beta on the PC, as there you have the option to click on the “new” MASTER button on the left side of the waveform. You will see that all this you cannot do on the console, as that button is missing.

I agree, but in this case just unselect both sync buttons and switch ; you then click first the other track and click sync on the new slave after.

Can you post a picture, because I’m looking at beta 1.6 and I don’t see any buttons where you say.

Ok, this is highlighted in yellow:

To make those two “MASTER” selection buttons appear, you must load in one of the two decks at least one track containing some anchors (ie have variable bpm), otherwise they will not appear.

Why? I don’t know, ask Denon DJ.

On engine prime you can also change the order of the master and slave, by pressing the sync slave icon (green) with the mouse button and the cmd key on the keyboard

OK thanks. It does seem a bit strange that they only show when one track has anchors, especially with the option that maumaumau has just mentioned, which works at any time (click + ctrl on Windows).

Maybe the code is broken (wouldn’t be unusual for Denon) :smile:

Marco, thanks for the advice: I tried and it works. It is a bit cumbersome to use, but it is doable. Obviously it would be much easier to click on the green circular icon and turn it blue to select the master.

Ok, in fact this would be what I would ask to add to Engine OS, not being able to have a hardware button as it exists on SC players: Link

EDIT: I tried with Engine Prime V1.6beta but what you wrote does not work: it is not possible to select the master by pressing on the green round icon.

But it is like this: when I loaded some tracks without anchors because they were not needed, the two selection buttons on the left side did not appear. When I then replaced one of the tracks with “French Kiss” they appeared. Initially I was afraid of having dreamed of them, but then fortunately they appeared miraculously. :joy:

However, you can try.