Flexible Beat Grid Query

So I was watching the Engine Prime review by digitaldjtips on YouTube and the reviewer mentioned that EP does flexible beat grid and even went as far as saying it’s best thing since sliced bread … ok he didn’t really say that .

So I booted up EP to try to grid some funk tracks with real drummers.

Few questions

  1. Can one shrink or expand the beat markers in a particular section further down the track? If so how? E.g. I was grinding a funk track with a drum break after the 2nd chorus, it’s obvious to me that the break section was faster. I was using the Marker placement tool but when I try placing it at the beginning of the drum break bar, it placed it half a bear of.

How can I adjust that off beat without ruining the rest of the track prior to that portion?

2 . Worthy of note for a version 1.0.0 EP seems to have loads under the hood.

  1. Can one beat grid transition tracks e.g. a track that has a portion 126bpm but drops to 90bpm
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I think that Digital DJ Tips missed the mark BAD on that review.

  1. The flexible beat gridding in Engine Prime only works if a song is slightly off. Live-recorded songs (classics like 70s music) will go completely off grid with the current beat-maching.

  2. NO! And that’s a huge problem. I still have no clue how Denon DJ missed the mark. You expect people to pay almost $6,000 for two decks and a mixer yet you lack the feature your two main competitors (Serato DJ and Rekordbox) have. Why? That makes NO sense whatsoever. Why is Pioneer DJ updating Rekordbox faster than Engine Prime?

As of now, I would gladly spend the extra $1,000 and forego some features to know that I can get a better grid system (Engine Prime is TERRIBLE at gridding anything Hip-Hop/not an EDM track) and flexible grids that are truly flexible. If Denon doesn’t update Engine Prime before Q1 2018, I’ll have no reason to believe they won’t abandon it like they did the original Engine, which is still god awful to use and wouldn’t dare download it to use with my MCX8000.

  1. Not yet. The grids flex for only small deviations. Important to note: that most live music (or music produced prior to the era of quanitization) is always going to drift from the grid. For me, I prefer to correct fluctuating beat grids is to import the track into Ableton and let the Warp Markers do their thing (be sure to use the Complex Pro setting). Hopefully the big brains at Denon will implement a similar system.

  2. I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand this.

  3. This is a huge missing feature that I’m confident will be implemented within the next major update. I (and many others like us) who have a plethora of tempo transition tracks have requested this ad nauseam. However, the system is still in its infancy so it’s important to understand this. Rekordbox took several iterations (and years) to become what it is today and such is the case with all software/apps. Engine Prime will certainly follow suit, it just takes time. Once the foundation has been built, updates will become more frequent a la Rekordbox.

Happy mixing!


I beg to disagree.

There is nothing wrong with drift or fluctuations.

Warping in ableton will ruin the song. It sounds weird.

Gridding in Serato DJ keeps the song as it’s intended (as the original) it’s not destructive, the markers placed only tells the software where the beats are. So it doesn’t change the tempo or swing. As the song progresses you can see the bpm fluctuate to reflect the progression. Eg 120 to 123 to 119 to 126 to 121 etc.

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  1. I suppose it’s personal preference. For me, drift/fluctuation affect my manual beatmatching–a drifting tempo means a DJ has to continuously juggle the pitch fader to compensate for the continuous variation.

  2. Yes, it can sound like complete trash depending on the genre of music and/or if done improperly. If done correctly (i.e using the Complex Pro algorithm and deleting excessive markers) and resaved as a lossless file type, the difference in quality is negligible.

  3. Corrected my post as needed, thanks for pointing out. I’ve only used Serato and (unintentionally) overlook its handy features. :beers:

Alas, we’re straying off topic. Hopefully there’s enough info present to aide the OP.


No P. I’m the OP.

Yeah the EP beatgrid engine needs to be looked at.

We ain’t all 4 on the floor djs.

My New Years Eve gig is #studio54 disco and funk themed party so I’m gonna be riding that pitch faded all night.

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I simply want to chime in with my voice to say that the current beat grid editing is also one of my biggest frustrations with the new setup. When manually putting in markers, I want to be unrestricted by the software to dictate exactly where they are, how many, and then show the bpm change as the song plays rather than try to lock the grid into a static bpm where the song now flutters.

I’m almost always going to mix on a loop anyway, so I don’t need the entire song to be locked to a static bpm, I just need my 8, 16, or 32 beat loop to be accurate at that particular place in the song. This would be great for the older songs that don’t keep perfect time, but it would also be great if you use a BPM transition track. Thanks.

I used Serato for my NYE gig playing funk disco and soul. I don’t know how rkbx grids work but I did take time to grid my peak hour crate using Serato. It was a quick process and even songs with wild variations in bpm got gridded and I locked the tracks up thereafter to prevent then from getting analysed again.

In Serato you can adjust freely where the beat markers are placed. Only grip I have with Serato is that there is a 128 beat markers limit. I have raised this over at the Serato forums.

It will be nice and I advice Denon to look at the way beat grid edit is done in Serato DJ to improve Engine primes.

I have also read somewhere that Rekordbox DJ has a “better” flexible beat grid function but I have never used the software and have no current intention to.

So I will update the feature request to

  1. Better flexible beat grid editing

  2. Ability to lock tracks to prevent them from getting analysed again


I tried Rekordbox DJ flexible beat grid and I have to say it is well implemented.

Even the auto analysis using dynamic beat grid option does a decent job at gridding funk and disco tracks.