DDJ-FLX4: My Unpopular Opinion

I believe Pioneer DJ just released the single most important DJ controller ever made with the DDJ-FLX4.

My reasoning for this opinion

The DDJ-FLX4 is accessible to everybody. At $300, almost anybody can afford it. It can use the 2 biggest DJ softwares (Rekordbox and Serato). It can control DJ apps on mobile devices and it has been created with live stream features. It does everything the wildly popular DDJ-400 could do, and more. It has enough “fun factor gimmicks” in it that will hook beginner DJs and not enough of them to turn away advanced DJs. Did I say that it is affordable?

When it comes to controllers, I think Pioneer DJ is moving away from the numerical products (200, 400, 800, 1000) and is replacing them with the FLX line. I believe the reason why is because I think Pioneer is attempting to make a distinction between two different types of DJs – the professional club DJ and the home/live stream/mobile DJ, each having distinguished needs. 

The DDJ-400 was always touted as the affordable way to get a taste of the “club standard.” But, out of the millions of people who purchased the DDJ-400 during the last 5 years, only a handful got a taste of actual club standard gear. Nobody was clubbing during the height of the pandemic. Club standard gear is also very expensive and out of reach for most beginner DJs 

It only stands to reason that the long term strategy of creating and selling the idea of “club standard feeling” beginner controllers is ultimately a losing game. It is basically the same type of strategy that the sellers of $150/month SEO packages from India have employed – you cannot get the same results and satisfaction as the big boys/girls when you are paying a fraction of the cost.

Related Article: If I Wanted To Start DJing, Where Would I Begin?

Not all DJs are “club standard” DJs. In fact, the vast majority are not.

They are live streaming on Twitch for free (with many not able to afford $15+/month on other platforms such as Mixcloud). They are mobile DJs, making a few extra dollars a month as a side hustle. They are hobbyists. They have full time and part time jobs that are not full time DJ jobs.

In other words, these are the people who the DDJ-FLX4 is aimed at. And this is why it will be incredibly popular.

I keep seeing “real DJs” bemoaning how this controller (and the FLX6 when it launched) are harming the “art of of DJing.” 

“YoU nEEd tO LeArn HOW tO Dj LiKE mE!”

“yOU nEED to LearN tO BeATmaTcH LikE I diD on VinYL!”

“DoN’T evEr usE SynC!”

“I hATe ThESe conTrolLErS wiTh aLL oF TheSe giMmICks!”

“YoU’LL NevEr Be a REaL dj!”

– actual quotes from “actual” DJs I’ve seen on social media

Not everybody who buys a FLX4 is aspiring to be a full time DJ. So who gives a shit if they are having fun?

I have NEVER heard John Digweed say this kind of condescending bullshit about the beginner DJ gear market. I have never heard Phil Morse at Digital DJ Tips say this kind of condescending bullshit about the beginner DJ gear market.

The ONLY people who talk down like that are DJs with big sloppy egos. And God knows we have plenty of those types of DJs in the community. 

Courtesy of The Cynical DJ on Facebook

Anyways, I’m planning on buying a FLX4 when I have the money to do so. I’m excited for this new controller. I’m excited to use it to introduce my friends and family to the hobby.

Yes, I do have a club setup that I quite enjoy. But 4 decks and a mixer can be very intimidating to a newbie. The FLX4 is a great entry level piece of gear that can spark creativity and, hopefully, passion. And the best part is that ANYBODY can use it and enjoy it.

So, there you go. Fight me.

Featured image backgound photo by Pixabay