Given the potential of the hardware within the Prime 4, I’d love to hear what sort of features you would like to see most.
With this post I don’t want to complain about the missing features of the Prime 4 (which is not even in the market!), nor I want the Denon DJ staff to feel under any kind of pressure of releasing any firmware updates or anything. Just the opposite, the purpose of this post is to possibly help to give some ideas on what are the features that the users would like to see in the Prime 4, so it could be better improved or enhanced in a future. All the requests herein are “realistic” from my personal viewpoint, and could be achieved by firmware updates. The list is ordered by personal relevance (the first feature being the most important for me).
Delete and copy files between drives. The possibility to manage the music database within a standalone DJ system like the Prime 4, without the need to connect it to a Windows pc or a Mac, is an essential feature of a DJ system that is proclaimed “standalone”. This could be achieved by making the user able to copy files from a pendrive to an attached SSD, and delete files in the SSD, for example. The tracks can be previously copied to the pendrive using a computer, or a smartphone (via OTG usb), or a tablet, etc. I think any truly standalone DJ system should have this feature.
Elastic beatgrid editing. Although the Engine Prime has an awesome beat detection algorithm, I can’t understand why this haven’t been implemented yet, given the fact that Denon DJ have a dedicated team constantly working on Engine Prime software to add improvements and new features. Just the possibility to adjust a constant-bpm beatgrid as the user wants, shrinking or expanding the grid, like in Serato or Rekordbox, that’s it (although the additional possibility to allocate non-constant bpm beatgrids when necessary would be even better).
Pre-defined loop/loop-roll lengths. As soon as the user press the loop or loop-roll buttons (above the performance pads), the performance pads should have a preassigned length (and user-configurable). This length could be changed later by turning the loop length knob. For example, I usually use loops of 4 to 32 beats length, however, loop rolls from 1/4 to 1 beat length. It can be tedious (in a fast DJ mixing or performance) to make a loop-roll of 1/4 of a beat, and then having to turn the knob again to 16 beat if the DJ needs to place a 16-beat loop. The same result could be achieved by pressing a single loop-roll pad and then a loop pad, if this feature was implemented.
Phase meter. This visual aid would ease the mixing process, in the case that the waveforms of the playing tracks are not adjacent in the screen (I still don’t know how the horizontal waveform view will look like).
Pitch effect. The ability to change the key of a track quickly and “steadily” (not with 7 semitones steps, but continuously) using an effect knob.
Live-streaming and downloading tacks over the internet.
If the Prime 4 have WiFi on board (which I don’t know, but someone stated it does), it would be nice to be able to live-stream a mix, and be able to on-the-fly download tracks from a chosen DJ pool, or beatport, itunes, or any other service out there.
With all these features implemented, the Prime 4 would be the ultimate DJ system in my opinion (even more if the underlying code was released as open source software, so everyone could change it according to his needs, but this is not so “realistic”, sadly). Of course I would like bigger jog wheels, or some kind of embedded groovebox (with sequencer, synth, sampler, vocoder), but that would imply a hardware change, and we are now discussing about the Prime 4.
What are the features that you would like to see on the Prime 4?