Denon MCX8000 review

Denon MCX8000 review
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Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

DJ controllers with screens have opened up a range of interesting options. Denon’s MCX8000 is Denon’s top-tier product in this ever-growing market. It has plenty of excellent features, making it a compelling choice for DJs.

The Denon MCX8000 is a four-channel Serato controller. It features an impressive set of features that allow it to handle an array of DJ setups. Now let’s see what it has to offer.

Features

A variety of excellent features are available on the Denon MCX8000. Here’s what each category has to offer DJs.

Mixer Section

dj mixer

DJs looking for a spacious and powerful mixer will appreciate the Denon MCX8000. A 3-band EQ is included for each channel as well as Level knobs to control the volume. Each channel also has a dedicated Hi/Low pass filter knob. The volume levels of each channel are monitored by level meters next to each set of EQs.

The input source switches and FX buttons can be found above each channel. There is a cue button below the filter that allows you to send audio to your headphones. The central section is completed by faders and a crossfader.

The mixer has dedicated controls for the microphone on the left side. It has two microphone inputs. There is a two-band EQ for each input, as well as a level control. For each microphone channel, there is also a built-in Echo FX that can be controlled with a parameter knob. There is also a talkover feature that lowers the output volume when a microphone is being used.

Volume and output controls are located on the right side of the mixer. An output volume control knob is located at the top. Mixes can be kept out of the red using the Master Level meters. In the Booth, there are volume and EQ controls. They are useful for fine-tuning the sound in your DJ booth.

In addition to the Sampler volume knob, there is an X-F Link button on the right. The crossfader can be used with Serato Video by selecting this button.

Here are the controls for your headphones. Headphones with a Split Cue mode and knobs for controlling Cue Level and Mix. You will hear the master output on one side of your headphones and your cued track on the other.

The mixer has a great layout. Getting into a natural workflow is simple since everything is easy to access.

Software

There is a full version of Serato Pro included with the Denon MCX8000. This is by far the most popular DJ software platform. Over the years, it has been proven to be extremely reliable and innovative. With the unit’s DVS capability, you can also use time-coded vinyl with connected turntables.

But that’s not all. There is also a standalone MCX8000. It runs Engine when not connected to a laptop. It is an excellent piece of software from Denon, but it is not as robust as fully-fledged DJ software. However, it does allow you to mix tracks loaded on a USB without the need for a laptop. In standalone mode, only two channels are available.

For mobile DJs, it is fantastic to be able to run excellent software like Serato or to go standalone.

Jogwheels

dj controller

The jogwheels are large and responsive. With the top plate or the side of the jogwheel, you can scratch comfortably. As well as being illuminated, the jogwheels indicate track position. A good feature is the ability to adjust the brightness of the LED. This is helpful if the bright blue strains your eyes.

By pressing dedicated buttons, you can switch between decks quickly. Jogwheels are also available for adjusting Beat Grids. In the middle of a set, this is a more comfortable way to tweak your tracks. Further flexibility is provided by the Censor/Reverse buttons and Slip Mode. Finally, you can adjust the amount of time it will take for a track to completely stop with the Stop Time knob.

Each jogwheel has a touch strip. With this feature, tracks can be skimmed quickly. If accidentally touched, touch strips can be problematic. To activate the strip with this unit, you must place your hand on both the jogwheel and the strip. This prevents track jumping by accident.

Pitch Faders

There are long pitch faders on the Denon MCX8000 which are ideal for fine tuning. Additionally, the range of pitch can be changed. How much you use this feature will depend on the style of music you are playing. If the fader is positioned in the central position, a green LED will also light up. Pitch bend buttons allow temporary adjustments to the pitch.

KeySync and KeyLock provide you with complete flexibility when it comes to managing pitch changes. Lastly, there is a Sync button above the Cue button if you want the software to match your beats.

Performance Pads

Each deck comes with eight rubberized performance pads. Several performance features are included with these pads.

Setting and triggering cue points is the first function. With Roll Mode, you can move loops and change beat jump lengths to create momentary Loops.

You can further customize your slices with Slicer Loop. With this feature, you can trigger “slices” of a 4 beat loop while the track is still moving forward in the background. Performance pads also include sampler features.

Performance features on the MCX8000 give DJs plenty of flexibility to create unique sets.

Connection Options

denon dj controller

When it comes to connectivity, the Denon MCX8000 offers a wide range of options.

There are two options for the Master Output: balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA. It’s nice to see the XLR Booth Output option since several other controllers opt for RCA connections.

Additionally, there is four Line In RCA options, with two of them switching between Phono and Line. With external hardware such as CDJs, media players, or turntables, you’re covered.

A TRS/XLR combo jack along with another TRS connection point allows you to connect microphones easily. DJs on the move will appreciate having both options available.

On the front panel, there is a headphone jack. It supports both headphones with a diameter of 14 inches and those with a diameter of 18 inches. The maximum amount of flexibility is provided.

When you use the unit as a standalone device, you can also connect two USB drives to the top left of the main deck.

FX Controls

There are also plenty of FX options on the Denon MCX8000.

Serato’s full suite of FX is available while scrolling. Each FX offers a dedicated knob for total control over the selected FX. You can use up to three FX at the same time. Serato FX comes in an expansive range of detailed effects. Combining them allows you to execute some excellent tricks and transitions.

In standalone mode, you will have access to three effects. These are echo, phaser, and noise. Solid choices for adding some effects to your sets.

FX length can be decreased or increased using a knob on the Beat. It can also be adjusted manually using the Tap button.

Whether you’re using Serato Mode or Engine Mode, the MCX8000 offers plenty of options for adding a variety of FX.

Looping Controls

A dedicated looping control is available on each deck of the Denon MCX8000. Depending on your software setting, you can activate a preset loop length. The loop length can be halved or doubled from there. By holding the Shift key, you can set your own in and out points. All the functions you’d expect on any DJ controller work as they should.

For those who want to get more creative with loops, a few of the performance pad modes provide additional loop controls.

Dimensions

There is a large footprint on the Denon MCX8000. This isn’t exactly a unit you can carry without it feeling awkward. Especially if you are a mobile DJ, I would suggest a flight case that will accommodate the screens.

The upside is that it isn’t too heavy and is rather slimline. The unit can easily be carried from gig to gig by mobile DJs.

Build Quality & Design

Denon’s MCX8000 controller is a good choice. In addition to adding heft and stability, the metal frame gives the unit a premium feel. Despite being high quality, the knobs and faders will be able to handle everyday use.

It has an attractive design. The sections are clearly marked and easy to understand. The screen looks great as well as the jogwheels. This is a professional piece of DJ gear that works well and looks good.

High-Resolution Screens

There is no doubt that the Denon MCX8000’s two screens are its most appealing feature. It is easy to navigate your library using large screens. Still, I suggest you organize your music collection well. Screen space won’t help you find the track you want to play when you have to trudge through scattered folders.

Additionally, the screens have good resolution and vibrant colors. Colored waveforms along with all the essential track information are readily available. The MCX8000 ticks all those boxes if you are looking for a controller with good screens.

However, there is one caveat. Some users have reported freezing screens. Fortunately, this does not affect your music output. However, as you can imagine, it is a big problem. DJs have discovered a fix for the problem by reducing brightness. It’s good to see that there is a fix available for some units, but this is not something I would expect from a new product. Please keep in mind that not all units are affected. Software and hardware can be fickle. It is not something I have personally witnessed, but it is worth mentioning.

 

Pros Cons
Two High-Resolution Screens Can Suffer From Screen Freeze Issues
Excellent Serato Integration
Standalone Capable DJ Controller
Solid Build Quality

Views of Others

The MCX8000 is loved by many DJs because of its excellent build quality and features. A few DJs have had screen freezing issues, which has put some people off the unit.