Engine software

This is my first post to this forum and I do so with much apprehension. The subject I’d like to focus on is the Engine software. I know many users have complained about it and I’m about to do the same but perhaps, at least I hope, from a different perspective. I have spent decades working in product development in the investment business. That is why I find it mind boggling that Denon could release the SC5000s and then the Prime 4 without first sorting out its Engine software. The premise behind these players has been to operate standalone from a computer and for this first mover initiative, Denon should be applauded. However, the software was and remains woefully inadequate and a barrier to entry for potential dj’s they are trying to lure away from other brands. Instead of deploying resources to address Prime’s shortcomings, they decide instead to open up the platform so the players can be used with Serato or Rekordbox instead of Engine. How do you build brand loyalty when you do this?Perhaps the thinking was, well our software isn’t ready but the hardware is so let’s see what happens. Well, they’ve basically turned the SC5000s & the Prime 4 into glorified controllers. As an owner of the SC5000s & X1800, I must say I feel totally fed up. While there was a software update a few months ago, it did not address the fundamental problems of beatgridding & bpm calculations. In addition, the conversion process from Serato (which I had originally) to Engine does not work as promised. It does not transfer cues, loops etc properly. This stuff is so important and rudimentary yet problems persist. Software updates need to be provided more frequently and items on the docket should be communicated to users. It’s ridiculous that things get promised with no clear delivery dates. I feel I have been very patient but am seriously considering trading in my setup for something that works. I love the players & mixer but the software remains a tremendous weakness and shouldn’t given the 5000s launch almost 2 years ago. One thing I can tell you for sure, if I had been running product development and launched Engine in its current form, I’d be out on my butt looking for a new job. Jason, would be happy to hear your feedback on my comments.

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Thank you sir :pray:

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you said everything

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Totally agree! Nothing else to say!

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I have gone through all the phases as well. Anger, Denial and now learned helplessness :zombie:‍♂

I was a semi early adopter. Bought the 5000 few months after release.

Engine Prime still remains the weakest point and I don’t use Engine Prime again.

I like the hardware too much so I’m not going to call it a failed experience, EP is just frustrating to use and hopefully these basic things will get sorted out soon enough.

I have never used Rekordbox USB export mode for playing so I’m not sure what the experience is like. Is it this convoluted or better process?

I’m still baffled by they not taking advantage of being a late comer - meaning they can see what’s available from the competition, build on it. It’s like having a cheat sheet for a major test and you still manage to get an average score.

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Hi @Herscr1 and thank you for your post.

I appreciate the frustration you (and others) are feeling and I can promise you that everyone within Denon DJ that needs to be aware is and are doing everything they can to evolve and progress with Engine Prime.

I know this is frustrating but updates are coming very soon, and more throughout the year and we appreciate your (and others) patience while we work on this.

regards J

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thanks for this post @Jay_DenonDJ :ok_hand:

Thanks Jay. I look forward to seeing those updates!!

I got rid of my SC5000s last weekend because of this exact reason. Traded them in for a pair of Nexus 2000 and i feel very relieved about it!

A while back, before the 1.3.1 update, there was a great write up from Paul (CTO i believe) on why updates take so long to get to us customers, largely due to the complex development cycle. Yet, as a software engineer of 20+ years i simply do not accept that small and frequent update cycles cannot be achieved with the right strategies in place.

It is truly mind boggling why the Engine Prime desktop application works in the way it does. As if no user research or UX focus was applied to its design, and it was just knocked up by a small dev team, isolated from any user feedback. Maybe it just got put on hold to focus on the device software. :man_shrugging:

It is fair to say that functionally the Denons are ahead of the pack, but i truly felt hampered being attached to the Denon eco-system, and am relieved to be back to Pioneer CDJs and rekordbox.

The whole rekordbox -> engine prime -> sc5000 process worked quite well, but it can be time consuming, especially when you only want to add a couple of tracks.

For anyone who uses rekordbox sync with their prime kit - i wrote a post on how to do that. Although its a shame that since 1.3.1 the artwork has gone back to being fuzzy.

In all fairness, the slow updates in the past were due to the small size of the development teams.

InMusic recently invested in a new New Zealand based team solely for development of DJ software I believe, and as we are starting to see (e.g. the new update for Prime 4 with horizontal layout) updates should start coming more quickly.

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Guess @JonnyXDA is quite right…

As denon wants to keep prime 4 and the sc5ks / x1800 on the same firmware feature list, I think the future will bring more updates with shorter intervals.

Mojaxx at DJCity just did his in-depth review of the Prime 4. But he starts and finishes by stating that the Engine Prime software is not where it needs to be, especially given the continued advancements made by other firms and the 2 year period of little material enhancements. I hope you’re listening Denon as frustration is shifting from moderate to severe.

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I also had problems with the engine. the step from pioneer to denon at the beginning was from happy to sad but I was able to solve everything by testing and rectifying details that in the end are almost an obligation of the user! The engine is not accurate and for me that makes it great. I don’t need a quatize to make an exact loop. or create a precise mix Uploading files has become simple and the best, requires few system resources. Recognize serato points and easily loop. It is true!! You must adjust the grid, but it is only the starting point. The rest does not matter. Obviously there are DJs that scratch and need some adjustments! We are living in times when djs are almost robots! But not everything must be accurate! The creation of harmonic keys? They are trash! Silly inventions for inaccurate ears and small neurons that don’t allow you to create! During the 90s we survived with vinyl and the closest to technology was a tone adjustment! Today they want the machine to mix alone! Denon must improve things “yes”, but being a DJ is an art that involves emotions, spontaneity and, above all, creativity. things that a button or function cannot replicate

I’m so disappointed, despite the recent firmware update I still have the same MP3 on dual layers showing different tempos with the fader at zero. Also have mp3’s that when tempo matched don’t beat match as the tempo is a good 7bpm out. Debating whether to return the item under the sales of goods act as unfit for purpose and get a full refund. If only these bugs could be fixed. Anyone know when the next update is due?

I’m curious about this “bug”. Could you make a video for us to have a look?

We talked about soft takeover a while back. Did you try and understand the dual layering now?

Perhaps make a new topic for your issue.

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Hi Reece thanks for the reply and your previous help, so I was going to buy another unit but I’ve put it on hold due to this issue. So granted for most tracks the softwares fairly accurate but for a small number of mp3’s when loaded on to each layer at zero pitch tempo… display different bpms. Earlier I was mixing some jungle and used the screen BPM to match my cued up mix and it was at least 6,7 BPM slower… despite showing the same BPM on screen. I’m disappointed as this is sparadic and the retail store told me the recent updates would fix this when I flagged it. So again I’m wondering if this unit is dudd, but based on the thread others are experiencing similar issues. If this can be fixed and the reliability is there then kool, otherwise it’s just not acceptable for a unit that costs a fair wedge.

Also frustrating is trying to do the mental maths when one jungle tune reads a 168 BPM and another read 81.3bpm etc…

For garage and slow tempo hip-hop etc the BPM display is fairly solid.

It’s not possible that the same track shows different bpm on any unit and on any layer at zero pitch. So I would like a video proof of that to see what’s happening.

Bpm detection overall could still be better. On the units and in the desktop software. DenonDJ is working hard on that to get better.

Yes you’ll need to prep your tracks. And yes it can be frustrating to get bpm anomalies right for some tracks. I wouldn’t sell my players if that’s the issue.

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Thanks for your reply Reece, it’s an intermittent issue so will def record next time it happens.

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