There’s a new layout! If you’re not familiar with the outgoing DDJ-SB2 model, you may miss the subtle design shifts that have been made on this controller. The one very noticeable difference between this new model and the old one is that the layout has been changed and now follows the same pattern as the other DDJ models, providing continuity across the whole range. Much needed dedicated play/pause and cue buttons have also been added as well as a dedicated loop control section.
Pad Scratch with Jazzy Jeff, a new addition, a new performance pad mode on the DDJ-SB3 that allows DJs to quickly “imitate eight different scratch techniques recorded by DJ Jazzy Jeff.” It’s been pitched by Jeff, in the promo video, as a learning tool; you press a performance pad, hear the scratch, and then attempt to emulate it yourself.
“Any track that you’re playing or have cued up will be scratched, and the scratch speed automatically matches the track’s BPM. So even if you have no experience, you can create professional scratch performances without breaking rhythm. Use the feature in isolation or combine it with your own scratching on the other deck for limitless creative possibilities”.
FX fade, another performance pad mode, reduces the volume while applying an effect at the same time; this effect could be deemed as an offshoot of the DDJ-1000’s “low pass echo” effect that works using a similar method. Pioneer describes the FX fade as an effect that “enables you to smoothly transition to your incoming track, even if you’re playing with different genres of music”.
The eight FX patterns you can choose from, with two of each of the following types are; high pass filter, low pass filter, loop playback and back spin.
Flaunting these new features, The SB has been brought up to date and will probably remain as popular as its predecessors bought by so many since the first DDJ-SB was launched in late 2013.
The new control layouts and the dedicated Play/Cue buttons all conspire to make the DDJ-SB3 a stepping stone into the Pioneer DJ controller world. Now there is continuity you can start with the SB and go up the range incrementally without having to change your DJ style, or memorise new control layouts.