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Denon DN-X1500 4 channel matrix mixer


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Now heres why a web-review is better than a paper/magazine one. Not all equipment remains in its original specification, as it was at the time the magazine reviewed the product at launch... unfortunately, the black'n'white print on the magazine doesn't keep up... http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/rolleyes.gif

 

Existing owners and soon-to-be owners of the Denon DN-X1500 mixer will be pleased to know that they can now put the USB style connector on the rear of the mixer through its paces as the first set of software enhancements are now available for download from The new Denon DJ Website

 

Just like the software enhancements for Denon CD-decks, such as the DN-D5000 and DN-D9000, the downloadable software enhancements for the DN-X1500 mixer are FREE !!! Just download'em, plug your mixer into your PC's USB connector and 2 minutes later...Hey Presto, you've got the latest features.

 

You'll simply need to register your mixers serial number on the website, to be able to download the plug-in.

 

 

Heres a list of whats in this release:

 

 

Latest Plug In’s: (as of 15/12/2004)

 

-Rear output trim adjustment no longer affects the Master Level meters

(handy when matching levels with the rest of your sound system)

 

-Stereo/Mono switch no longer affects the global cueing system

(You can now use Split Cue, even if you're pumping out in Mono)

 

-When all faders and gains are set to zero, the output is completely muted

(Zero system noise from mixer during Ethels raffle calling)

 

-Cross Fader response time was greatly improved

(Great news for scratchers/turntablists and fast "cut" mixes)

 

-Channel Fader “Sharp” contour preset was made even sharper

(Great news for scratchers/turntablists and fast "cut" mixes)

 

-Filter 2 now corresponds to DRY/WET control

(When Dry/Wet knob is 100% dry, absolutely no effect is heard)

 

-Echo 1 now locks the BPM from changing during WET status and the TAP button

now flashes

(This effect, effectively gives you a BPM locked "seamless loop" on any sound source passing through the mixer - even vinyl, cassettes, MD, Ethels raffle calling)

 

-When TAP is selected once to lock the BPM, the TAP button now flashes

(Visual confirmation of BPM locking)

 

-When BPM effects are turned ON, they are now synced to start at the beginning

of the sine wave

(This means that when you bring say, the Flange effect into the mix, it will start at the very, very beginning of the rise - rather than part way through the rise/fall cycle)

 

-When SPLIT/CUE is selected, Master Cue is now ganged together to turn on

(Previously this needed two separate button presses - now its just one)

 

-Master CUE can now be monitored pre master volume

(always handy - you can hear/see on LEDs what levels are ABOUT to go out to the amps/audience, without turning the master volume up on the mixer.

Edited by Gary

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That mixer really is impressive, good to see firmware updates appearing. Gary did a brill dem at PLASA on this, along with PARTYCHRIS's dem, I am sold, but I need to sell my excellent Pioneer DJM600 FIRST!! (£450).

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Just when I finally get a DJM600. Your Review makes me wanna get rid of it......... Go Figure

 

http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/huh.gif

 

I wonder what Pioneers going to do about this ( http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html/emoticons/whistling.gif DJM600MK2)

 

 

Ajay

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  • 1 year later...

Well, here's Pioneer's answer to the DNX1500.

 

As a Denon user I have to say the Pioneer is more complicated to use from the word go, especially in a darkened club. On the plus side, I like the front-mounted mic socket, and the effects (eg flanger/filters) go alot deeper than the Denon, however the Denon inputs are the reason I bought my Denon because each input (either line or phono) can be routed through to any channel fader....ideal as my home mixer. Also, the rear mic XLRs on the Denon will (hopefully) force installers to provide seperate mic sockets on the DJ booth...obviating any need to scrabble round the back to plug in your mic and risk breaking the mic socket.

 

No doubt we'll have an in-depth review soon!!

 

http://www.dj.com.tw/modules/news/images/Gears/2006/djm800.jpg

 

 

.

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Having had a couple of plays with the DJM-800, I can confirm that it is a great mixer!

 

I'm saving up for one right now!

 

As for more complex than the Denon, I would argue that any DJ who has ever used a DJM-500 or 600 (that will be most club DJ's then) will immediately feel right at home with the new 800.

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Yeah they're similar arent they! My first residency was with a DJM500 and it was fun, I used to enjoy putting the flanger on all the way up during a mix and startling the customers as the sound whipped all round the room!

 

The BPM counters on the DNX1500 are more accurate than the DJM500/600 if you're into that sort of thing, though I've not played with the new DJM800 yet.

 

The DNX1500 firmware update is well worth it, the improvement on the effects is much needed....pity they hadn't got it right first time though! I had to wait until I could borrow a laptop before flashing the upgrade in as my desktop doesn't have USB.

 

If I had to recommend one over the other for installation, I'd go for the Pioneer because with the Denon its easy to get your knickers in a twist....for example, accidentally switching the sampler on, its not obvious without the manual how to cancel it because you have to hold a rotary knob down to switch it off...not a natural thing to try especially for a visiting DJ who's got into a panic.

 

For owner-users, the Denon offers more flexibility all round once you've got the hang of the configuration.

 

The Denon and Pioneer both run warm in use, both have leaflets in the manuals about the correct way to flight-case them to avoid overheating.

 

The EQ knobs on the Denons eventually disintegrate, the rubber seems to absorb grease and they swell and break up. The rubber textuire on the slide knobs comes off easily as well. The pushbuttons for the cue and eq on/off fail regularly.

 

Regarding the Pioneers, the rotary knobs can work loose so they dont stay on, and the headphone socket can become sloppy though it doesnt affect it's operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well thank goodness our old models are updatable via USB, so we can all take advantage of those improvements http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/rolleyes.gif http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/bleh.gif

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Exactly http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/wallbash.gif

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I thought, when I read it, that the press release about the DN-X1500 S might get misinterpreted.

 

The press release mentions that the new DN-X1500S uses a stunning SHARC processor: 32-bit super Harvard architecture, with its high performance fixed- and floating-point processing core. An extremely powerful DSP engine indeed.

 

BUT its exactly the same stunnig processor that is inside the DN-X1500 (black).

 

The only differences between the DN-X1500 (black) and the DN-X1500S are:

 

1) The DN-X1500S is Silver in colour. (matching the DN-S3500 CD-deck)

 

2) The DN-X1500 Penny & Giles Crossfader has been replaced with a Flex-fader - Only scratchers will really notice/benefit - in fact, trying the two faders - I love the feel of my Penny & Giles more - but then, I'm not a scratcher.

 

3) The software sub-set relating to the faders has been changed very slightly re: point2.

 

 

The only remaining difference is that the DN-X1500S resplendant in its silver exterior looks stunningly cool, when placed in the black 19inch rack mount kit.

 

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I had the same thing when I had my Citronic Pro 8 (mixer I used before the denon). I bought the blue and yellow one then they released a brushed aluminium one with easy-glide faders.

 

My Pioneer CD players are all black so neither silver nor my black Denon mixer matches them...and I don't care, the original is fine. I have the black Denon minidisc and black digital tuner and a silver video recorder on top. Variety is the spice of life!

 

 

On another subject:

QUOTE
An extremely powerful DSP engine indeed

 

The well-documented delay on the digital effects means that it's not ideal to fade from a 'wet' to a 'dry' mix, since at the mid point, you're getting the delayed and non-delayed audio at the same time. Maybe they should speed-up the DSP?? The delay on the pitch-shift means the audio 'jumps' when you turn it on or off. It causes me to crash my mixes if I forget!!

 

Only a niggle and maybe an extra 200 quid for a faster processor would cure it ! http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/fear.gif

.

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QUOTE (superstardeejay @ Jun 16 2006, 10:06 PM)
IThe delay on the pitch-shift means the audio 'jumps' when you turn it on or off. It causes me to crash my mixes if I forget!!

Only a niggle and maybe an extra 200 quid for a faster processor would cure it ! http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/fear.gif

It would probably "cure" a few sales too.

 

Pitchshifting does have a slight delay, which in fact, some use creatively to their advantage (thats DJs for you http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/biggrin.gif ). For those that want high-speed/near live pitchshifting then the DN-X1500 has an external send/return effects loop where a live pitchshifter program, like on a Yamaha REX-50 could be used.

 

However, few DJs, I suspect would pay an additional £200 for a slightly faster pitch-shifter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

superstardeejay,

 

The "delay" feature is supposed to do just that...delay the output sound by a set of user parameters. It has zero to do with the DSP speed, which always runs at "real time".

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QUOTE
The "delay" feature is supposed to do just that...delay the output sound by a set of user parameters. It has zero to do with the DSP speed, which always runs at "real time".

 

No, you misconstrue. The actual 'delay' effect is fine. I was highlighting the delay on certain processor-heavy effects, such as the key shift. If you select any key other than 000, and use the wet-dry pan pot, the audio 'jumps' backwards slightly as you approach 'wet', I assume because the audio is being routed through more code. So if you have a half & half mix, the key-shifted audio lags the dry audio.

 

It's most noticeable if you select key effect, turn it all the way to 'wet' and then move the key value from 000 to +1 or -1. The audio lags and it cant be realistically adjusted in mid-mix, you crash your beats and have to advance or retard your vinyl a bit.

 

 

.

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The Echo1 program has a bug on my unit. If you dial the Dry/Wet knob anywhere between 'quarter past' and 'Max' and hit the ON/OFF button, nothing happens! http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/wallbash.gif

 

If you dial Dry/Wet to a lower setting, say 12 o'clock, then hit ON/OFF, you get a partial echo as expected; then wind the Dry/Wet all the way up to 'Max', you get what should happen - a full echo, or continuous loop in the selected bar length.

 

According to Denon's website I've got the latest DSP version, so I imagine everyone else's unit behaves the same way too...

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QUOTE (RichardP @ Jun 27 2006, 09:23 AM)
The Echo1 program has a bug on my unit. If you dial the Dry/Wet knob anywhere between 'quarter past' and 'Max' and hit the ON/OFF button, nothing happens! http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/wallbash.gif

If you dial Dry/Wet to a lower setting, say 12 o'clock, then hit ON/OFF, you get a partial echo as expected; then wind the Dry/Wet all the way up to 'Max', you get what should happen - a full echo, or continuous loop in the selected bar length.

Thats working fine.

 

If you turn the wet/dry to 100% (or anything above about the 2oclock position) then the unit loops whatever it was echoing in the last 1,2,4,8 etc BPM sync'd bars of music up to that point. If the Effects On/Off button was off, it would have been echoing silence/nothing. So, what you're hearing is looped nothing.

 

Your 2nd example eg: Have the effects button ON, (and the wet/dry knob on dry or dry-ish) wait until the end of whatever beats you want to loop, and turn the wet/dry round to 2oclock position, or more and you'll get actual music (rather than silence) in the loop.

 

Once looped of course, you can matrix you the input that you got the loop from, onto another channel, cue it and carry on playing the same source (or a different one of course) over the top of the loop.

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I think I follow what you're saying Gary mate, though not sure...

 

Are you in effect (pardon the pun) saying that the echo buffer only begins to fills up once the effects on/off button has been switched on?

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QUOTE (RichardP @ Jun 27 2006, 10:06 AM)
I think I follow what you're saying Gary mate, though not sure...

Are you in effect (pardon the pun) saying that the echo buffer only begins to fills up once the effects on/off button has been switched on?

The simple answer is Yes.

 

In more depth, when the wet/dry knob is fully around (looping), no music signal is accepted into the loop - so, it just loops a tiny piece of silence if the knob is already fully wet, when the on/off button is switched on.

Edited by Gary

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Hmm, on my unit even when effects button is off, the echo buffer is still filling up.

 

This is what I've tried as an experiment:

 

Set Echo1 interval to Beat 4/1.

Dry Wet to zero. Effects button off, with silence.

Play a typical beat-laden track intro for the first few bars to 'train' the mixer auto BPM (in this case it's 122).

Hit cue to return to the start of the track and wait a little while.

Dry/Wet knob to 50% (12 o'clock). Effects button still off.

Play only the first 4 beats (enough to fill the loop).

Immediately and simultaneously after those first 4 beats, hit the effects button ON and whack up the Dry/Wet knob to 100%.

 

If I get it right, what I get is a seamless loop.

 

I dunno, I dislike the fact that no music is accepted into the loop when Dry/Wet is at 100%. Contrast with the Pioneer EFX500 which does - that's my preference. All the other denon mixer effect programs work at 100%, including delay.... can't quite see why it's different for Echo.

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QUOTE (RichardP @ Jun 27 2006, 10:39 AM)
I dislike the fact that no music is accepted into the loop when Dry/Wet is at 100%

You can always turn the wet/dry down to less than 100%, let new music in, and turn the wet/dry back up to 100%.

 

Or whilst the loop is running, introduce more music over the top of it, from the other channels or input sources, the DN-X1500's built-in sampler, and/or the external effects send/return. All at once if required.

 

Remember too, that the DN-X1500's built in sampler can not only also be fed into the effects unit - but that effects can be sampled, and then that sample sent into a different effect.

 

eg: Sample a flanged sound, then play that flanged sound from the sampler, into say, the filter effect.... giving you a flanged filtered sound (in this example).

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OK I'll just accept that's behaviour by design for the Echo.

 

I still haven't got around to mastering the sampler, wonder whether I ever will !! http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/rolleyes.gif

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QUOTE (RichardP @ Jun 27 2006, 11:53 AM)
OK I'll just accept that's behaviour by design for the Echo.

I still haven't got around to mastering the sampler, wonder whether I ever will !! http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/rolleyes.gif

Easy:

 

wonder whether I ever will

wonder whether I ever will

wonder whether I ever will

wonder whether I ever will

wonderwonderwonderwonder http://www.dj-forum.co.uk/html//emoticons/thumbup.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'll get my coat.....coat...........coat.........coat.......

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