Installing the firmware on the MCX8000

Hi all,

I have a gig tonight in a bar, and the only equipment they have there is an MCX8000 controller.

I’ve spent this week finding out what that is and how it works, have downloaded Engine Prime and copied all my playlists over from Rekordbox and formatted my stick and put it all on. Should be good to go, right?

I saw that the MCX8000 is only compatible with an Engine Prime formatted stick from firmware 2.0 onwards. So I asked the bar if they’ve updated the firmware since 2018 but they don’t know.

So, I’m planning to take the firmware on my stick so I can update the firmware for them and then plug in my stick and play.

MY QUESTION: If I put the firmware in the root directory of the same stick with all of my music on, will that be a problem? Will I still be able to use that stick for playing off afterwards, or would it then only be good for updating the firmware?

Many thanks in advance for any help with this.

Pretty sure it will be ok. As long as the firmware is on the root of the stick it should load and not affect the music already there.

Just pray that it doesn’t brick their unit five minutes before showtime :laughing:

The MCX8000 isn’t really brickable. You can roll forward and backwards with firmware updates easily and I’ve never had any problems.

You sir are very brave.

I will not be doing anything to the house gear that i’m not familiar with minutes before a job.

Either go with your own gear or use Serato DJ Pro (the MCX8000 unlocks the full Serato).

If its a recurrent booking, then i may consider updating the firmware.

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I’d treat that as two different days worth of visits - not turn up at 6pm thinking that a seamlessly smooth firmware update will happen by 6:05 and that you’ll be rocking from an Engine Prime usb stock by 6:06.

Also take several identical usb sticks with you, all decent brands bought from decent retailers - a mixture of usb 2 and usb 3.

Some Usb 3 are shaky on usb 2 gear

Some usb sticks from cheap brands are crap

Some usb sticks that seem to be from expensive brands but sold at cheap prices are knock-offs

If the gig is on a Saturday , do the update on Friday, or better still several days Before

Or, take your own gear. DJing isn’t free or easy

I’d certainly take a laptop too, not just the USB stick. Maybe another controller as well, so you have something other than just the MCX8000.

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Thanks for the responses everyone. Unfortunately I don’t have any other gear I could take. At home I mix on records and there’s no way I’m taking my turntables and records to the bar. I have a laptop with Traktor but it’s old and crashes sometimes and in no way suitable for a professional gig.

I’ve been a DJ for just under 10 years now and have never once had a gig where they didn’t have pioneer equipment, so until now have never had the need to use anything other than Rekordbox.

The gig is this evening, and I can’t make it there any earlier than an hour before I start. Would this be suicide to try and update the firmware in that hour? There’s obviously also the chance that someone else at the bar has already updated the firmware, or they bought it in the last 2 years (I assume it would come with the new firmware then?). The person I’m speaking to is unfortunately not a techie person and wasn’t able to answer any of my questions.

I will take a couple of backup USBs with the tracks formatted for use with Rekordbox in case the one made with Engine Prime doesn’t work. These are EXFAT type though and not FAT32, will they work? Even if I don’t have my playlists/BPMs/keys etc, the main thing is that I’ll actually be able to make music come out of the speakers. The rest I can wing.

Thanks again for your help guys.

EDIT: Actually, another option would be to take some crappy old CDJs I have here with me. The MCX8000 also works as a standalone mixer, right? So I could just take the CDJs as a backup and if need be, hook them up to the mixer and then my USBs into those and mix that way?

Yes you could plug two cdjs into 8000 line inputs

This all sounds very last minute, did their regular DJ back out due to corona guilt?

Nope but when I was booked they told me they had a controller and I just needed to bring a USB stick with tunes on and headphones and that’d be it, so I just assumed it would be Pioneer as usual and I’d be fine with my normal sticks.

Lesson learned, there are apparently places which use other makes of DJ equipment too and I’ll always be sure to double check well in advance what exactly they have in future!

Well good luck and let us know tomorrow if it all went OK. :+1:

Thanks, will do!

I will advise investing in some ultra-portable set up in the future, like the Pioneer DDJ 400 (259euros). Its a fun small unit, get a 400/500 laptop Windows 10 (Intel i5 or more) or used macbook pro (a 13 inch Intel i5 not older than 2013) get familiar with rekordbox performance mode.

That is a backpack set up as well and you can always run it through the house mixer.

Make sure the tracks are compatible with the MCX8000. I believe it tops out at 44.1khz or something.

Did you have the MCX8000 compatibility mode enabled in Engine Prime?

I have a DJ2Go2 and a GPD pocket. Instant gigs and the battery lasts 6 hours so no AC required at all. Shove them in your pocket with a USB and a jack to phono cable and off you go…

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Thanks for the advice, but I don’t really see why I should invest in my own portable setup? Perhaps we’re in really different scenes but whenever I’ve played until now they’ve either asked for a tech rider and then provided exactly what was requested, or they have the super standard 2 x Technics 1210s and 2 x Pioneer Nexus CDJs there and ready to go.

In the rare case that they don’t have any of that available and can’t rent it for the night for whatever reason, and also don’t have anything else which is USB-stick compatible, I could always offer to bring my CDJs. That would definitely be a last resort though.

As to how the gig went:

Got there, put my stick in but there were no options for Crates/Playlists etc. Checked the Firmware version and they had 0.0.01 or something like that. So I put the stick in which had the firmware on, and updated it for them. That took a few minutes and then I put my music stick back in and this time the different options (Crates, Playlists, History etc) were there, but clicking on them did nothing.

I Googled and it looks like I missed the additional “export to MCX8000” option in the bottom left in Engine Prime when making my stick. I had “enable MCX8000 compatibility” turned on in the settings and thought that was all I needed to do to make the stick MCX8000 compatible, but apparently not.

So, I had to play without my playlists and without sync etc but in the end it was completely fine. Luckily I learnt on vinyl so beatmatching wasn’t a problem, and I just about managed to find most of the music I was looking for just by scrolling through the filenames.

They want me to play again next month so this time I’ll make sure to additionally click that button in Engine Prime and hopefully next time things should go even smoother.

Thanks for the help all :slight_smile:

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Great stuff.

Haven’t seen a pair of this in a bar in ages.

Yes this is the standard.

True story, a club that i dj at one of Nexus CDJs crapped out just minutes before the booked travelling headliner came on. He had to get jiggy with a XDJ-R which was we had borrow from the old man pub down the road.

I could still continue playing, using serato with the working CDJ and 900NXS mixer, but headliner couldn’t.

Anecdotal though, 99% of the time things always go as planned.

As they say in the Boy Scouts, be prepared.

Alternatively, “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have”.