Controversy! Love it or hate it... Pitch Control!

The Denon SC5000 Prime has a wonderfully long, smooth pitch fader with no click/dent at the central/zero position.

When a certain well-known vinyl turntable manufacturer did that on their Mk3 deck some 20 years ago, the DJ world was divided by those who said that they loved the ability to easily mix at pitches close to the centre/zero point without the control knob “falling in” to the click/dent, while others said that they appreciated the tactile feedback of the click when they slid the pitch fader past zero.

What’s your take on this most traditional of controls?

Personally I like the click - but I’ve used gear both with and without, and I have no doubt I’ll adapt quickly enough once my new units arrive! :smiley:


I actually prefer pitch fader with a click, but it doesn’t make a fader without click a no go…

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Personally I’m a fan of the click. If I want to get a track back to its original tempo without concentrating on a display or having to look at the slider while setting up the next mix.

I suppose if it was a motor fader, it would be easy to create this feature where it could be turned on and off. But additionally a return to 0% which could be set to happen over a number of bars depending on the tempo of the track so it was Almost unnoticeable.

Theoretically this could be added with a software modification and then just match the slider position to change again, which I would assume is how you’re handling the layering anyway. But with a motor fader this could jump with the layers.

Just a MK2 idea. I’m assuming these players are going to have a long future.


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Back in the day, the problem for some (myself included) was that the click could hamper things when trying to beatmatch records using the pitch fader exclusively. On some earlier models (it happened on my MK2), the “click mechanism” would wear down, causing the pitch response to be terribly inaccurate when near to zero mark.

Of course, others swear by the click. Some people like strawberry ice cream over chocolate. I don’t think there’s a correct answer, only a matter of preference.

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I kinda like the click as well but Not having it is not a big deal thou. I at first thought I would not like to mirrored layout of my MCX8000 but after a few times using it i got used to it.

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I like the click, never had problems with it, and if the adjustment requires higher resolution, simply i changed to the lowest pitch range and no problems. i also think that the simetry in the mc8000 pitch faders is annoying, both must be placed in the right of each player.

I think having motorized faders and rotary decoders (with lights indicating the current position), like we see on all modern digital mixing tables (live and studio sound) is the best thing that could happen to controllers, frankly.

When you use sync, you now have to move your fader to “pick up” where the sync put it before being able to change it. Which, when in a hurry, has caused me more mistakes than yes or no having an indent in my pitch fader.

Having worked with both I’d say I am not really partial to either, as long as the faders are accurate and well constructed and have a fine enough resolution.

I am guessing it also depends on your kind of DJ-ing/workflow as well. In the old days, moving the pitch from zero would also alter the key. So having a firm center/neutral that kept the fader there until you really wanted to move it made sense. Now, with keylock, that is far less important and frankly most of my beat-matched mixes don’t revolve around one deck being exactly zeroed, usually it’s all relative to the other deck speed. When you then want to bring the incoming deck to zero for some reason a slight click will let you do that without looking at the fader or display. But if that hampers the subtlety when you DO happen to mix around the zero point, I’d rather have no indent.

While I don’t remember what brand it was, I had CDJ-like player way back that had awful faders and a very firm click in the middle. It was such (half beat jump once you got it out of the dent or so) that I ended up first moving the playing the track up/down a bit so I could beat-match away from the dent :sunglasses:.

As for the symmetry of the Denon’s, I clearly recall the outburst of near-violence when the MC6000 hit the market. How could Denon be so foolish as to have symmetrical layout?!?!? So, the mark 2 came out and indeed, asymmetrical lay-out.

I used to play in booths with both TTs on the right of the mixer, meaning you could do all that good stuff with your dominant right hand.

I think a case could be made easily for either setup. Denon picked this setup. We are not forced to buy these particular Denons after all, so if it’s a major annoyance, then you need to get a Prime setup and you don’t have to worry about this and you can even have both decks together on either side of your mixer if you like :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Now personally I have played on so many different gear in so many different configuration that I really don’t care anymore where what is. I try to show up early to familiarize with what’s there and how it is set up and off I go.

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I used to have a small studio mixer with motorised faders and although motorised fader tech might have moved on in the last few years (or might not) , I’m not sure that the differences between studio/pa / recording mixer usage and DJ usage make motorised faders all that compatible for DJ usage… at least not in every fader position.

I agree though that the -idea- of controls moving to where the deck/mixer/DJ software “thinks” the control -ought- to be, is great - for when pitch sliders need to move to a new position to match a pitch change created by Auto-Sync, for example.

For me, the issues with the studio mixers motorised faders were accuracy. Let’s say the fader could be at zero (the very bottom of its movement) or 255, the very top of its movement. Position 128 should be the middle position yes? What I found was if I told the fader to go to 128 from above, it wouldn’t land at exactly the same place that it would land if I told it to go to position 128 from below. Now for volume, that’s not too big an issue, but for other situations like precision pitch or effects maybe, then things could get messy.

The other thing was the speed. There was a fast/medium m/slow setting which governed ALL the faders. You couldn’t bring in say, the bass, at different speeds or over a particular number of seconds.

Also, the feel. Those of you familiar with the Flex-fader on several Denon products know that you can set the looseness or tightness of the movement of the fader. At its lightest, you can almost move the fader along by blowing gently on it…at its tightest, it’s like pushing the fader through rich thick oil. Moving the motorised faders was like pushing a brick through mud.

As I mentioned, all the above was a good few years ago - things may be different now.

On a 4-channel mixer I’d be more than happy with the current controls, on a 2-channel/4-deck situation it would be a whole different story altogether!

But mostly I’d love to have them for the pitch fader as this is one that can be changed by software (hitting the sync button) and requires you to go manually to the setting where the software put it, then pick it up. More times than I liked I would either not move far enough and start moving back with nothing happening (the lesser evil) or worse I’d overshoot the mark, not only picking up the fader but slowing it down or speeding it more than I intended (not nice to have a 3% drop suddenly).

Rotary encoders could be good for the FX settings. You could set your parameters for each FX and when you switch to another FX only the lights need move and you can instantly see where your settings are for that FX.

As for quality, having worked with several digital tables recently I can say that todays motorized faders are absolutely great and have great tactile feedback. I think some can even be set to amount of resistance. A joy to work with.

My vote is for the click

I personally don’t like the klick. If there is a indicator light or a option to disable the pitch it’s ok for me. I did a lot sport events, where many athletes brought their own music for their competition, for these kind of events a disabled pitch or a pitch reset is very helpful.

I would love the click or dent at the zero position. Because when you’re mixing between layer A & layer B It would be easier to find the center

i never liked the click. no matter which device because it makes small changes very nasty.

the reason for having a click is to make sure that the speed is at 0. but there’s another way of doing that like the classic 2000 had it: an on/off button. by that there’s no click in the way and if you wanna make sure that you’re at 0% just hit the button and the fader is off.

Most dual CD Players had this feature. Denon started it all off with the 2000 back then.

I believe the SC5000 has an LED that illuminates when the pitch/tempo is at zero. Compromise for not having the click, keeps it more accurate.

Denon should be able to confirm?

It is a matter of preference, each to their own.

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I prefer the click, however These days an endless knob would be enough for adjusting the pitch rate (like on the Akai AMX Controller).

Maybe a bit off topic, sorry for that, but does the pitch fader also has a smooth take over when adjusting pitch range? Say youre in 6% all the way, you adjust pitchrange, does it set itself to the max positon of the new range or like that other brand does or can one readjust after changing the range of the fader? Same question for keychange option.

Love having NO indent. My Tech M5Gs didn’t have an indent…it was lovely!!

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So then, for all you early adopters of the new Prime deck, what are YOUR thoughts of the click-free Pitch slider, now thats it (and the rest of the deck of course) is in your hands ?

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Well as a dj with a long history in vinyl djing i first thought i could never actually like a player the has no center click on the pitchfader. After 15 minutes of playing with the sc5000 i almost forgot that there ever happend to be a center click in the past on my record decks. so i adapted very fast and i like the way they feel.