Pioneer DDJ-WeGO DJ Controller Review
Overview: The new Pioneer DDJ-WeGO is a new Digital DJ controller that comes bundled with a four-deck version of Virtual DJ LE, all in a compact package with most of the on-board features that all DJ’s need today. The DDJ-WeGO comes in at a good Pioneer Price-Point for beginner DJ's or those who are on a budget. Check out my full HD-Video and written reviews to see if the DDJ-WeGO is the go-to controller for your needs.
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Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
The new Pioneer DDJ-WeGO is a new Digital DJ controller that comes bundled with a four-deck version of Virtual DJ LE, all in a compact package with most of the on-board features that all DJ’s need today. The Pioneer DDJ-WeGO comes in five different color combinations and it made up of a plastic chassis. There is a bit of metal on the top of the jog wheels and for the posts underneath the knobs for durability during transport and storage. I like the overall compact size and feel of the DDJ-WeGO which puts it right up there in the same size-category of the really small controllers as its generally smaller than a 17-inch laptop in terms of length and width and can easily fit into a backpack or laptop bag. All of the buttons on the DDJ-WeGO illuminates very brightly to let the user know what features are active at a glance. The DDJ-WeGO does not come with a power supply as it is fully USB-Powered and must be connected to a computer in order to power the unit. The DDJ-WeGO is a fully MIDI-mappable DJ controller that can work with almost any DJ software out on the market today. For this review, I am only going to test the DDJ-WeGO based solely on the Virtual DJ LE software that comes bundled with the controller. The DDJ-WeGO controller is almost exactly mirrored by the graphical interface of Virtual DJ LE making this controller an excellent companion for the software that it comes bundled with.
The setup of the DDJ-WeGO was really easy with the user only having to use the supplied CD to install the Driver (on a Windows Machine) and Software for the controller while plugging in the USB connection to the computer. You must also connect your speakers through the supplied RCA Master Output (which is on the side instead of the rear) and you’re ready to play your digital audio files through the Virtual DJ and the DDJ-WeGO. All of the inputs and outputs are on the left and right side of the unit. This brings me to my first minor gripe with the issue. There is only one Master RCA output and there are no additional input options. Most beginner DJ’s won’t really need the other input/output options, but it’s always nice to have additional inputs to playback music from alternate devices and outputs to send the sound to multiple setups. There is a ¼-inch and 1/8-inch headphone output on the left side with the USB cable connection and on/off switch. On the right side of the controller with the master RCA output there is a ¼-inch Microphone input.
The DDJ-WeGO has a good feature set that most DJ’s need and want for mixing. All of the knobs (EQ’s, Headphone & Master Volume) are all smaller than what is found on the bigger Pioneer Controllers and mixers, but they still have a good feel with a rubberized coating that feels good to the touch. The crossfader is not user-replaceable, nor does it feel like the standard Pioneer crossfaders found on their mixers and other controllers as the fader caps are a bit smaller than normal. However, the crossfader was really crisp and has a really tight mapping within Virtual DJ LE with almost no latency. The crossfader also has a relatively low cut in distance which made it possible for me to pull off quick crab-like cuts when breaking up the sound. There is an audible click when the fader reaches each side and it just feels right. The crossfader curve control is built into the Virtual DJ LE software and can be set to Fade, Cut, or Thru depending on your mixing needs. The Four decks within Virtual DJ LE can be assigned to either side of the crossfader within the software as well, meaning you can reverse the crossfader by changing the channel settings.
The Line faders have much more resistance to them and they feel the same as the Tempo sliders on the decks. They are definitely good enough for mixing and are a bit longer than the crossfader to get the accurate volume levels. The 5-bar LED VU Meters in the middle of the controller are nice and bright and they show the deck volume levels for the deck on the side that is selected.
Above the linefaders are the full-kill 3 Band EQ knobs. There is no Gain knob on the unit, but there is a gain knob located in the software layout exactly where it should be on the DDJ-WeGO. Even though this is an entry-level controller, I feel that everyone should have the opportunity to manually control their Gain right on the controller instead of having to go through the software to change it. Above the EQ are the Browse knob (that allows the user to scroll through folders or tracks and it has a push button), transport Load buttons (to load the track to the left deck or right deck), and the Deck Layer buttons. The Pioneer DDJ-WeGO looks like a two-deck controller but the layering buttons allow the left deck can control Deck A or Deck C, while the right deck can control either Deck B or Deck D.
The Cue controls for headphone monitoring are found on the top of the left deck on the DDJ-WeGO. There is a Volume knob and a Cue/Master Mix knob. Each deck has a cue button that illuminates to let you know when that deck is playing through the monitors. The Master Volume and Mic Volume knobs are located above the top of the right deck.
The Jog wheels on the DDJ-WeGO are really nice and feel just as good or better than those found on the new XDJ-AERO. The jog wheels feel sturdy and they don’t shake or wobble and they have a nice metal touch-sensitive top. The sensitivity can be adjusted when the unit is powered off and a few buttons are pressed to give you the options. The jog wheels feel more along the lines of the newer XDJ-AERO we reviewed last month than the previous DDJ push-top style jog wheels. They are solid on top with a harder plastic feel to the sides for nudging and slowing down the music for beatmatching. They have a lighted ring around the edges so that you can see the position of the “needle” while the track is playing and it also shows the PULSE mode light ring so the user can see when tracks are loaded, when tracks are in sync, and when the effects are turned on. You can change the color of the jog wheels to 9 different settings to match your preference or lighting conditions. The jog wheels are completely touch-sensitive and the sensitivity can be adjusted when the unit is powered on. The jog wheel performance for scratching is decent. You won’t be able to catch every single jog wheel detailed movement when pulling off complex and fast scratches, but the DDJ-WeGO will do just fine for basic cue style scratching and backcueing.
Below the jog wheels are the controls for Cue and Play/Pause along with the four hotcue buttons which double as four sampler buttons when the Sampler button is active. It’s really easy to set the hotcues and there are four sample banks that are shared between all decks in Virtual DJ LE. These samples can be looped or one-shot when pressed depending on the software setting.
Above the jog wheels there is one of my favorite features of the DDJ-WeGO which is the Jog FX controls. There are nine different effects included in Virtual DJ LE and you can set and combine up to three of these effects per Deck. Each of the three effect parameters are set using the jog wheel which allows the user to turn the jog wheel to the left or right to set the wet/dry of the effect. The Virtual DJ LE software has indicators around those effects to show the user where they are in the effect setting. To the left of the three effects buttons is the CTRL-A button which is a Key effect and to the right is the CTRL-B button which is a High-Low Pass filter. These are all controlled by the Jog wheel FX and they are very fun to use.
The tempo sliders are found at the outer-edges of the controller and feel like they have relatively good resolution as the other Pioneer controllers out there and they have a good amount of tension to them and a center-click so you know when you are at absolute zero. The Autoloops are handled by a push button encoder knob that activates the loop and can be turned to either cut the loop or grow the auto loop. It would be nice to have manual loop controls, but the autoloop was always on-beat and never failed during my tests. You can also move the grid of the loop by holding the shift key and turning the autoloop knob.
Conclusion / Recommended For
In Conclusion, DDJ-WeGO is a nice compact controller which is an excellent option for entry-level DJ’s or for DJ’s on a budget who still want a Pioneer setup with a great deal of features all in one package. The DDJ-WeGO comes bundled with a four-deck (and nicely featured) version of Virtual DJ LE with tight integration and intuitive controls. The DDJ-WeGO has a nice crossfader & Jog wheel feel and performance while the on-board controls for Transport, Hot Cues, Sampler Banks, Jog FX, and Autoloops will keep DJ’s entertained for quite some time. On the downside, the DDJ-WeGO also does not have Gain knobs for manual user control and there are only RCA Master outputs with no additional inputs (besides the MIC) available. It would have been nice to get an AUX input to play music from other sources, but most users of this controller will mostly playback computer files. Overall though, we are going to recommend the Pioneer DDJ-WeGO Digital DJ controller to any new or entry-level DJ’s as well as any other DJ who wants to get a compact controller to spin on the go.
Pros & Cons
- Very Compact and Easy to transport
- Great Price (for Pioneer) & Features for Beginner to Intermediate Users
- Comes bundled w/Virtual DJ LE (4-deck) & Is Fully MIDI-Mappable
- Tight Crossfader Feel & Mapping (Low-Latency; Scratchworthy)
- On-board controls for Transport, Hot Cue, Sampler, JOG FX, & Auto-Loops
- No Gain Knobs for Manual Control (Software has Autogain)
- Limited Inputs & Outputs (Only RCA Master Out and Mic input)
Features & Specs
Ultra-compact and affordable DJ Controller
Plug & Play with bundled Virtual DJ LE DJ Software
Pulse Control Provides Visual Prompts via Various Types of Illuminations Directly on the Unit
Available in White, Black, Red, Green, or Purple
Dimensions (WxHxD) 14.96 x 8.21 x 2.56 inches
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