Digital playback devices – special features of CDJs, XDJ and co.


Connect and operate digital playback devices such as CDJs and XDJs correctly.

Digital playback devices should be connected to the line input

Digital players such as CDJs and XDJs are always connected to the line input of the DJ mixer. Use a normal cinch cable for the audio connection.

Simply loop, pitch and remix with CDJs / XDJs

Digital players give you a lot of freedom when mixing. You can loop parts of the tracks, adjust the speed and play tracks synchronized.

Analyze your tracks with DJ software like rekordbox

With the rekordbox software offered by Pioneer, you can analyze your tracks and prepare your set optimally. Use this function for a successful set.

Operating as a DJ in the digital world means familiarizing yourself with a variety of technologies. Pioneer CDJs are a central component of modern DJ sets. In this guide, you’ll find out how CDJs work, how to connect them to a DJ mixer, how to operate them and what advantages they have over conventional turntables. We also take a look at which top DJs use Pioneer devices.

What is a CDJ?

CDJs are digital players that were developed by Pioneer DJ in the 1990s. They have continued to evolve since then and are now much more than just CD players. A CDJ allows you to play and manipulate music from various sources such as CDs, USB sticks and sometimes even SD cards. It has a variety of functions that make it an indispensable tool for DJs of all styles.

Connecting a CDJ to a DJ mixer

The correct connection of your CDJ to a DJ mixer is crucial for a good performance. Here are the steps:

  1. Power supply: Make sure that both the CDJ and the mixer are connected to the power supply.
  2. Audio connection: Use RCA cables to connect the audio outputs of the CDJ to the line inputs of your mixer. Make sure that you assign the channels correctly.
  3. Digital connections: If your CDJ and mixer support digital connections, use them for optimal sound quality.

connect pioneer cdj with DJ mixer

Most DJ mixers have two types of inputs. Phono and Line. Digital playback devices are connected to the DJ mixer via the line input. Only use the phono input for record players, as these require a phono amplifier. If you connect a digital playback device such as a CDJ to the phono input, the signal is additionally amplified and overdriven. You can find a detailed overview of various DJ setups at Recordcase.

Operating a CDJ

Operating a CDJ can seem complex at first, but with practice you will quickly master the numerous functions. Here are the basics:

  1. Jog wheel: The jog wheel allows you to scroll through tracks, adjust beats and create scratch effects.
  2. Play/Pause button: These buttons start and stop playback of the track.
  3. Cue button: You can use the cue button to mark a point in the track to which you can return at any time.
  4. Tempo fader: This control allows you to adjust the playback speed of the track.
  5. Loop functions: Use the loop buttons to create seamless loops in a track to add creativity to your mixes.
  6. Hot Cues: With Hot Cues you can mark certain points in the track and access them immediately.

Advantages of CDJs over turntables

CDJs offer numerous advantages over traditional turntables:

  1. Media versatility: CDJs allow you to play music from CDs, USB sticks and SD cards.
  2. More precise tempo control: Thanks to advanced technology, you can control the tempo with greater accuracy.
  3. Advanced cueing and looping options: With CDJs you can set cues and loops more easily and precisely.
  4. Better portability and robustness: CDJs are often lighter and more robust than turntables.
  5. Integration with DJ software: Modern CDJs can be seamlessly integrated with DJ software such as Rekordbox or Serato.

Well-known DJs who use Pioneer equipment

Many famous DJs prefer Pioneer equipment because of its reliability and advanced features. These include:

  • Carl Cox, a legend in the techno scene
  • Armin van Buuren, a world-famous trance DJ
  • David Guetta, known for his influences in dance music
  • Martin Garrix, one of the youngest stars on the EDM scene

These DJs particularly appreciate the innovative technology and reliability of Pioneer CDJs, which enable them to perform at the highest level.


Pioneer CDJs are an excellent choice for DJs who want to succeed in the digital world. They offer extensive functions, flexibility and intuitive operation that allow you to put your musical ideas into practice. By following this guide, you can get the most out of your CDJs and develop your skills as a DJ. Have fun mixing and discovering the endless possibilities offered by Pioneer CDJs!

Event technology guide – more articles

Positioning PA tops correctly – 10 tips for good sound

Positioning PA tops correctly – 10 tips for good sound

The correct positioning of PA tops (Public Address System loudspeakers) is crucial to ensure the best sound at your event. Whether at a concert, a conference or a party, the quality of your sound depends heavily on how you position your speakers. Here are detailed...

Microphones for events – The ultimate guide

Microphones for events – The ultimate guide

Microphones play a central role in the world of audio recording and event technology. They are the first link in the sound recording chain and convert the sound into an electrical voltage that can be further processed or amplified. In this article, we will take an...