Flexible Beat Grids

It’s been a while since Engine Prime was released to the public, and it is missing one feature I think is important to open-format DJ’s that bounce through various BPM ranges. Both Serato and Rekordbox have flexible beat grids - i.e. the ability to properly grid a BPM change in a track, for example a transition track that goes from 128bpm to 80bpm - and I was quite surprised to see Engine Prime not support flexible beat grids. The competition has had this for years, and I can’t see why Denon DJ couldn’t include it with the Prime series. While open-format, hip-hop DJs may not be the target demographic, I still think it would benefit both sides to implement flexible beat grids, and would give competitors a serious run for their money.


This is indeed an option that many of the members have asked for, e.g. elastic beatgrids or dynamic beatgrids.

We are still on the Original version of Engine Prime since the launch and we all are waiting for the next version which hopefully will contain a solution for this one but also more features/changes that are requested.

When this new version will be realeased I don’t know but hope very soon.


Yes, this is very much needed. It was promised prior to release (and prior to the return of the forums) by a Denon rep over on the Facebook group, but all went quiet when the feature never showed up in beta versions or the final release.

While I have been thrilled with my Prime units overall, this issue still irks me.


I really do think it was a very-poor judgement call to not include this at the launch of Engine Prime. I don’t understand how a company neglects to include such a feature when not only your competitor uses it, but the software you have previously designed hardware for (and made older hardware compatible with, eg the SC2900 with Scratch Live) has this feature, you KNOW people use it, and still don’t have it in your own software. For gear that’s north of $5,000, that’s inexcusable in my opinion.


True, but Denon never designed their hardware with specific software in mind, thats a very lousy argument. The whole point of hybrid midi mode was to bypass payin…ehm, working with software manufacturers. Not to mention, SC2900 you mentioned was supplied with Traktor LE and SSL was already a discontinued software by that point.

Then what is the point of Engine 1.5 and Engine Prime? Who in their right mind releases $5,000+ worth of hardware without designing software around it?

The SC2900 was supported in Scratch Live around three months before the final 2.5.0 update.

JeffG, first you talked about apples, now you mention oranges. Engine is not a DJ software, it’s whole purpose is to put your files on a usb stick to use hardware standalone. Even the link option in Engine 1.5 was meant as display for browsing files ON the players.

I appologize, I was 3 months off wow. Supported in what way, let us discuss this? What do you consider is support from Serato? I have read several topics on Serato.com where mods pitched in a topic with questions about SC players+SSL/SDJ with "they are not a supported SSL/SDJ hardware" Did they require just a usb cable to control SSL like the supported CDJ’s? Did the require a XML mapping file to be imported just as any other third party midi controllers?

The only difference between SSL and SDJ support from Serato is that Serato switched the LED midi output range in SDJ (probably intentionally) so now SC players cannot have LED feedback mapped.

As I said, I AGREE with your first post, you just took a very poor argument to back it up.

Denon used the “Change your rider” marketing strategy as a clear dig at Pioneer. If you’re going to attack Pioneer and aim for their top spot, it makes no sense whatsoever to lack a feature your competitor has, especially as one as big (again IMO, I can see a lot of House/Techno/etc DJs not needing this) as flexible beat grids. That’s my entire point. They have worked with companies that produce software with this feature. They have hardware that is directly integrated with software that have this feature (one of which I own), their competitor has this feature. It makes no sense for them not to have it on their own.

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I have never used Rekordbox (both versions ie Library Management and Performance version) to play live. I have tried them both. I do like the elastic beatgridding option in Serato DJ for live instruments tracks such as old Funk and Soul.

I rarely beat grid transition tracks though. I just write the BPM changes in the name ie Despacito 126 - 89

Does Rekordbox (Library Manager version) support flexible beat grids? And following transfer to usb do the decks still recognise the flexible grids?

Just wondering

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Just had a quick look at this video of flexible beatgridding with Rekordbox. https://youtu.be/O2kS_jP0HHk

Quite nice the way Rekordbox implemented the flexible beat grid and the “undo” button.

I remember that a while back with Serato DJ there was a limit to the number of “beat anchors” one can place in a track. Not sure if that still obtains though.

Hopefully this wonderful feature can be implemented into Prime Engine too.


DISCLAIMER: Total speculation here on my part, but I suspect the early beta user pools had a little too much representation from the EDM/house/dance side of the spectrum, and possibly a few too many Traktor users.

Why do I suspect this? The beat grids is a good example… Plus, just how some of the features are laid out… How some of the displays and menus look… I’ve had a few Traktor friends say it all has a very NI feel to it.

I don’t think it was entirely intentional, but if there had been more open-format type people in the earlier testing groups, some of the little annoyances that are getting ironed out now would never have seen the light of day.


You mentioned it in your second comment, but yes, Rekordbox has this feature, and it’s done better than in Serato DJ because sometimes if you only put down two beatmarkers in Serato, the entire grid gets thrown out of wack. It’s also easier to fix certain parts of a song in Rekordbox, since there are times where if I mess up a beatmarker in Serato, fixing it requires fixing the grid for the entire song.

Almost all of my transition songs have the BPMs listed in the title, but it’s nice to be able to move the pitch up or down a few percentage points and know exactly where I land should I decide to use an 80BPM transition track at 75BPM. That way at least I know that, when I change it to 75BPM, instead of transitioning to 105 like it originally does, it’ll go to 100. If I’m mixing in and out of songs at roughly 1.5 minutes a song (I mix in an out of songs a bit faster than this now), I won’t have to waste time trying to figure out what BPM I’m currently sitting at. I can just know where I’m at, find a song within that range, mix, go, find the next song.

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The Serato beat matching icicles helps a lot. I find them quite useful to beat match the next track. Even for tracks with live instruments.

My next question will be, can the SC5000 player recognise flexible grids when exported to USB. I think that should be the very first question …

If Engine Prime could be updated for flexible beat grids (Denon DJ, what’s taking so long!!!), then so can the players.

Updated topic title and moved to feature request area for proper voting and tracking.


Hey guys I would love to have this as well. I’m a little confused though. I had a track that had varying bpm and used the set marker button to fix it.

Isn’t this already what everyone is looking for ??


No. What you did is technically warping

Flexible beatgrid is different

See this example

Well if warping is where it fixed the bpm on a song that wasn’t consistent then I’m happy we can at least do that. That fixed a huge problem I had the other day with an old biggy song.

I understand the flexible beat grids. It’s where the bpm can change mid song from 85-105 than back to 85.

And applying the flexible beat grid will change the bpm readout when the bpm actually shifts.

I guess that would have to be a special feature to add.

But honestly it nowhere near as important as warping. Without warping you would never be able to fix varying bpm tracks.

When you warp as per current design/implementation you can hear drastic pitch changes in the song.

Rekordbox/Serato method is better as the original variation in tempo throughout the track is maintained, but the grids are placed appropriately making things like looping, beat jump easy to use with them disco/funk/soul tracks


We have been asking for the dynamic analysis of the beat grid since 2017. We are now in 2020. How long do we have to wait? Rekordbox has had this very useful feature for a long time.

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