It's not so long ago that turntables, or decks, became essential furniture in any hip teenager's bedroom – despite the apparent need for musical talent. But in the same way you might use a DVD to store the data of several floppies, why carry a back-breaking case of vinyl when an MP3 player slips nicely into your pocket?
Pioneer Pro DJ is a pair of virtual decks. And with the quality and accuracy of the features, we're talking Technics or Numark quality (ask your kids). With its maze of buttons, dials, sliders and faders, the user interface is no different to a standard mixer – except the decks are smaller and, thanks to the beauty of MP3, there's a convenient and easy-to-sort playlist to the side.
Bundling four sheets of keyboard sticker reminders, Pro DJ can assign frequently used features to individual keys. Should you be using a laptop, dragging-and-dropping MP3s, hitting buttons, or sliding faders and dials on cue can prove a bit hit-and-miss.
The hot-keys work a treat, although you might prefer to remove the stickers before your set, or risk losing your air of DJ cool.
ProDJ's extensive feature range includes auto mixing, a waveform display, BPM synchronisation, delay, echo, auto pan, trans, filter, flanger, reverb and pitch-shifter effects, fader start function, the ability to set four points for cues or loops and a function for ripping CD tracks to MP3.
Unfortunately for the pros, there are only two decks. More of a problem is the need for two audio outputs: one to play the music and one to hear the tune you're bringing in.