Published on May 15th, 2013 | by Greg
Pioneer DDJ-WeGO: Controller On The Run
If you’re already a professional DJ, of any kind, chances are that you have some favored equipment. You’ll want your AKAI or Novation pads, your foot pedal setup perhaps, and your preferred set of headphones (we’ve got a lot of suggestions if you’re in need). This article isn’t really for you, but for the amateur, beginner, or someone interested in exploring serious equipment without yet spending serious money.
Occupying an interesting middle ground between “toy” and “professional” is the DDJ-WeGO Digital DJ Controller from Pioneer. It’s certainly a more stable and serious unit than the Numark iDJ Live we checked out not long ago- but it costs three times as much. If you already have an iPad, then a unit like the one from Numark is a good bet as an inexpensive way to test out your skills. But if you’d prefer something with a lot more features, the two-deck DDJ-WoGO hits a sweet spot for a bedroom or home musician who wants a unit that is easy to setup and impressively powerful.
We’re not hitting the clubs and playing big gigs- yet at least- so this unit offered a chance for us to play around at home and also offered a fairly lightweight base (four pounds) that we could haul to a friend’s place. Compatible with most of the major software suites and programs, we stuck with Algoriddim’s djay for Mac OSX but also tested out the free Serato DJ Intro package on PCs, and took a quick peek at the included Virtual DJ Limited Edition software by Atomix Productions (Windows or Mac). The USB connection on the WeGO is plug-and-play, and it’s actually USB powered, which is handy and means fewer cables to worry about.
In no time at all, we were playing around with the various functions. The most important part of any controller is responsiveness and feel, and we’re happy to report that the jog wheels especially were great, and weighted. Though the sliders might feel a bit plasticky, almost nothing else does- the buttons are precise, and light up nicely- plus they are multi-colored and configurable to match your preference. In fact, this ties in to one of the coolest features- a visual beat-matching tech that sets the lights flashing to the beat of your sample, allowing you to easily see whether you beats are in sync before you miscue.
If you’re experienced, you may notice a few things missing. But everyone else will be impressed- everything is well-placed, and right where you need it to be. Whether it’s individual volume controls or balance, or the four hot cue buttons, the board layout is great. Best of all, it’s simply fun to use. A great starter deck for the future world-famous DJ, the Pioneer DDJ-WeGo is available online and in stores for just under $300. Available in multiple colors, it’s a solid deal on a portable unit packed with features.