Welcome to the forum – and welcome to Prime.
A single SC5000 Prime is effectively a laptop and two decks – more powerful and accurate than most, if not all, other solutions – so leaving the lappy at home shouldn’t be an issue at all.
The SC5000 gives an on-screen QWERTY keyboard, and several single button search filters – allowing even the largest of track libraries to be shortlisted by Artist Name, Song Title, Crate, BPM (within the DJ’s “happy to mix within x or xx%” pitch range), matching or compatible music key…so getting from 50,000 tracks to a nice short list of a dozen or two tracks that matter. Of course, once that short list is up on screen, you can swipe the track Right to load the track instantly, or swipe it left to send the track to the Preperation folder/Wait List/Hot List for playing later. So if the lappy requirement was just for searching, the SC5000 will easily cope. That’s a laptop less to carry, a laptop less to worry about being “borrowed”, a laptop less to worry about crashing etc. You’d still need a lappy for video playback, at the moment. Whilst Pio has a controller that “offers” video, it’s got no video connections, just a midi button or two, labelled up with video type labels – akin to the MC6000 Mk1 & mk2 having options on the crossfader for Audio only, video only or both, years ago.
Game changer wise, there are several key points – although being lappy free and having the brains in the thing you’re actually using, rather than MIDI/HID just being a “remote control” of a lappy is reason enough for some people to upgrade to stand alone DJing.
The dual layers aren’t just MIDI layers (as some people think), they’re AUDIO layers so, just like you’re used to with Alpha Track on your DN-S5000 deck with CD’s, you’ll have that functionality (but with greatly improved features) with any tracks that the SC5000 accesses from any source. So, at the press of the “Layer” switch, you’ll have a whole different track, a whole different 8 pads (which can be used as loops or hot cues) – so effectively 16 pads within a layer change of each other. Nice. And of course, having two SC5000’s mean 4 decks.
Every Hot start button can become a loop, so potentially 8 loops per track. Hot Cues (definitely) and loops (I believe) can be named – this is a tremendous help, so you can see on the screen of the deck, which cue point/hot start etc is on which button – saving a red face later, mid mix.
The internal processing of ALL performance critical characteristics of each track (Beat Grid, Music key, BPM) within the player, rather than having to run tracks through a PC based program days/weeks before a gig, to enable you to use the track to its best potential, was previously unheard of until the SC5000 Prime. If you have purchased, downloaded, or been sent a new tune even minutes before playing it, even mid-performance, you can simply load it into a spare USB (or the SD card slot might be easier, if someone sent it to your phone). The track loads and is playable “instantly” and even while the track is playing the player calculates the Beat Grid etc, adds the grid display to the waveform etc, all while it’s still playing, and voila! You’re able to utilise all the beat grid features – jumping forward/backward X beats (you can choose X, it’s not fixed to a factory set guess at whats good for you), and of course all loops etc stay perfectly timed. This is an absolute epiphany, compared to what technology from yesteryear could manage.
The way that the power safety feature works (if the power gets accidently disconnected, the player carries on playing), and the way that if the USB device with the currently playing tune on it, is accidently pulled out when your halfway through a track, the 5000 doesn’t dump you into an unpredictable and therefore useless, short, emergency loop of track – the SC5000 continues playback of the entire track, and if the usb device is re-inserted, you’re able to carry on searching for the next tune by all the usual criteria (Artist, song title, BPM etc