Engine Prime Control Surface/ Unit

Hi Denon,

Now this is up for grabs - just an idea I have been having in my head for a while.

What if we had a USB-powered interface that actually more or less could control Engine Prime, to use when we sit and prepare tracks. (not to play from at an event or gig)

There is probably some things I havent thought of, or maybe I have but dont think that part is needed on a control unit to prepare tracks with hotcues and loops, adjust grid etc.

Well, my idea is like this - maybe it s a unnecessary thing, but like I said, just an idea.


The idea is that if you press Set HotCue it places the HotCue where the Playmarker is, in Engine Prime (Same goes for Loop - but here you press knob first to choose length of the Loop, and it saves when you press Set Loop.

Now if you press either Name Loop or Name HotCue, it activates this option in Engine Prime and you can start writing.

And the Del Loop and Del HCue - deletes the Loop or HotCue where the playmarker is.

Scroll is to just move quick thru the track, using the jogwheel

Press Move Grid once to use jogwheel to well…move beatgrid left and right. Press again to save

Press Adj. Grid to shrink or expand the grid and press again to save.

The rest is pretty much intuitive… at least in my mind :smiley:

The idea for this control is sololy for editing tracks in EP - not for sitting and trying out mixes in EP.

Sololy for editing tracks eg. placing Hotcues, placing loops and fixing the often faulty bpms. A tiny and easy unit you can have placed in a drawer, on your desk or where ever you want to use it connected to your computer.

Nothing else.

Turn on EP, import tracks and run through the tracks with this on the side, quickly making sure that you place the cues and loops where you want them.

Not for testing mixes…

I know there is a “2 player function” in EP, but you cant edit 2 tracks at the same time anyway.

This is just a extra tool for when you sit with your computer and fixing those last imported tracks.

And obvious it is still a very wanted feature to be able to edit beatgrid etc on the units themselfes… This is solely for prepping tracks on the computer

Have a great day!


Needs also zoom control. Sometimes You want to avoid the quantisation and set a cue or loop in a place between the grids. Zooming in would help also in setting up the grid correctly.

In overall I think this is a good idea.

When I was using Traktor, I used my X1 and F1 to prepare tracks and loops.

1 Like

Havent thought about that - But yes, you are right.



1 Like

It would be better like zoom was a single button, then while holding the zoom button and moving the jog wheel left or right would perform the zoom in/out - faster and more intuitive.

Delete loop and cue I would change for a shift button (you already have set cue, set loop buttons). Pressing shift + any of them would function like a delete - same workflow like on the players.

I think it can be done also in a different way. Player in hid mode could perform this function when engine prime is open and deck is connected via usb or lan. Then the players display would take over the main player window, making more room for playlist info on the laptop.

But a small add on controller for track prepare is a great idea.

1 Like

The reason why I made it this way, is that in my mind, things should happen “with the press of a button” when using a “one-hand” device next to your computer… Overall this can be used with just one hand next to your keyboard.

Thats why I made the Delete buttons this way, and not as Shift-buttons.

The same with the Zoom. :slight_smile: But hey, this is just my way of thinking…not saying that its more correct than others :slight_smile:

Good idea, then You should also think about ergonomic layout of the functions.

1 Like

:wink: I will leave that to Denon :smiley:


I can’t see this appearing as hardware but as it’s so easy now to have two independent screens on a PC or laptop, I could see this layout being shown on a second screen to click on, alongside Engine Prime on the main screen

Then you are back to using your mouse on the screen, which you can use just as good directly in Engine Prime.

This (again, in my mind :smiley: ) is handy and much quicker as things can happen just by a press of a button.

But its also just made out of my imagination :smiley:

1 Like

Add a pitch control & a couple of hot cues, & you’ve also got a controller for the second layer when only working with one deck.

Its not ment as a control unit to play music from in front of a crowd.

Its only ment as a unit when you sit and prepare your tracks, listening to them in your headphones.

I will prefer keyboard shortcut to access the functions just like Serato DJ

I just made two feature requests for improved Engine Prime functionality. I hope you will find it useful and help bring them in.

All they have to do is bring out the mk2 version of this little thing that was way ahead of it’s time.


Kim, I think it’s a great idea!

I use the “crown” on my Logitech keyboard to do simple stuff in SoundForge.

Indeed one handed and blindly operable, like some of these devices do:




Control surfaces are indeed very useful, although not many people use them as much as it should, except for the ones working in studio editing environments. I put them to very good use.


I think it depends on the layout and how well integrated it is, whether people use it or not. And at a fair pricetag (around 150-200$), I think it could be a great asset.

@Reese - thank you, I’m glad you like the idea. And yes, exactly like the units you show. Not to much, only the needed stuff to quickly prepare your tracks.

I know I would buy one :joy:

1 Like

Yep, I had a pair of these. …lovely little units. For quite awhile my rig of choice was a pair of these flight cased with a Kontrol Z2 running Traktor. If somebody could make these talk to the SC5000 & control it’s 2nd layer, I’d be delighted.

Anyway, i’m hijacking this thread. so lets get back to discussing a unit suitable for track prep. :slight_smile:

Maybe I do not understand this post entirely, but it seems to me that all that DenonDJ would need to do is make Engine Prime MIDI mappable. Then the user could map the desired functions to ANY control surface (I suppose one of the excellent DJTechtools midi surfaces would suffice). I remember the late TORQ-DJ software had a very elegant way of configuring MIDI mappable controls. All you had to do was right click the control on screen and move a button, slider, encoder, whatever your heart desired on your control surface.


This was more to keep it in the same ‘product-line’ as the rest of the Prime setup. :slightly_smiling_face: A dedicated unit.