Pioneer Ddj Rb Dj Controller

i tested out the SB2 in local guitar center and ended up buying this blind, since they didnt have one in stock.As a complete beginner, i Love this controller as a beginner bedroom DJ, even tho this has the capability to play small medium house parties etc as you learn.

The Lowdown

I read tons of info on the reddit beatmatch forums for beginner controllers. and youtube videos by ellaskins and the ddj rb, he has some great reviews/tutorials etc.Why i chose this over the more popular DDJ-SB2, some pro's and cons with 3 main reasons that decided my choosing this one.Cons: Sort of a con how you look at it. Compared to the ddj sb2 it only has 2 decks to mix with, on the SB2 you can hit a button and switch to a 3rd and 4th deck to control (which i believe is locked out unless you have paid version of serato), but i find this tedious as it only has the 2 channel mixer to control it which i think would get confusing as a beginnerno headphone mix control knob on the controller just volume, but as a beginner, im fine with just cueing which track i wanna listen to on the controller.

Video Review

First Impressions / Setting up

(you can set the control volume mix level on the software with your mouse)also you can only control 2 FX (unless you are quick with the mouse, or possible map the on off to a keyboard shortcut in the software), at a time instead of the 6 on the SB2.

seems like a big difference, but by the time you need to start going crazy with multiple FX layering, you'll be looking at a higher level controller anyway.thats about it for the Cons,Pros!!!1: DEDICATED hard plastic PLAY/CUE buttons similar to a standard CDJ setup, this made a huge difference compared to the mushy square pads on the SB2 for play/cue/etc.

on this you get to use the 8 dedicated pads for fx/looping/sampler/cue points in a song, and all those features are individually editable. I find this makes a better tradeoff for losing a couple FX controls at the top. (the SB2 gives you 4 pads, since the bottom row of pads are for play cue pause etc.

you CAN hit shift on the SB2 to use those bottom 4 pads on it as extra cues/looping/sampling etc BUT you HAVE TO HAVE THE PAID LICENSE of serato to use this feature and the SB2 only comes with the free intro version.2: the DDJ SB2 comes with an intro version of it's software and is pretty locked down, fx's locked down to minimum, you cannot even record your mixes with the trial software.

THIS DDJ-RB comes with a FULL license of rekordbox DJ, comes with FX pack. you can download a 30day trial before you buy the controller to test it out.

In Use

this is 130$ value just by itself.


Yes the controller is pretty much locked into Rekordbox, the SB2 can use multiple software, but i absolutely love the rekordbox software. Think of it like this. the license is linked to the computer, and not the controller. and can be used on 2 computers at a time.

So when you are ready to upgrade to say, a DDJ SX2 that is a serato controller yes it will come with a full serato license to use bound to that controller but it will also work with rekordbox DJ so now you have your choice to choose from since now you have both.

Or you can deactivate the license from the computers and now you can sell the controller with the full license if you do not need it after upgrading, or if you just don't stick with the hobby.Also the Rekordbox music management is pretty much the standard for actual clubs and pros, so all your que points and such you can export your tracks to a usb and use on other equipment and your good to go.3: a pro and a con.

Performance pads and transport

you can choose to play your music through your computers speakers/soundcard via the usb cable connected. i liked this feature since i use a desktop with decent speakers/woofer. the only problem is that you cannot cue headphones to haer a track and mix with. to use headphones you have to use the RCA connections instead and use the mixers internal soundcard. so i bought a 5$ adapter that female 3.5mm to RCA males plugged into back of controller .

(maybe if you have a better soundcard than a standard motherboard soundcard that would be a feature available, but i do not know.)they are almost identical controllers.


so it boiled down to the buttons layout setup and full license after i trialed the software.picked up the 15$ amazon basic on ear headphones and they work great. im a beginner, so not dropping a ton of cash until i know the hobby will stick. AmazonBasics Lightweight On-Ear Headphones - Blackyueton 2 Pack Gold 3.5mm 6" Stereo Female Mini Jack To 2 Male RCA Plug Adapter Audio Y Cablelove it love it love it, learning to mix DnB dubstep/trap breakbeats..any questions ask i'll try to answer.running on an 3.5ghz fx6300 8gig ram, and an old hd7850 1gb ram GPU.

250gb SSDit uses about 10-15%cpu while in use on my setup and about 800-900MB ram round it up to 1gig ramit will hit 50-60% CPU when analyzing and importing tracks to your collection which is no big deal.

just select all your tracks and hit import, and walk away for a bit and let it do its thing...

Another thing that’s missing here is the ability to switch among four decks. That’s right, the DDJ-RB only lets you control two decks, which will bum some people out since the DDJ-SB2 had four deck control. Surely it wasn’t a big deal to just add deck select buttons here, but I guess Pioneer DJ really wants this to be a strict two-channel device.

FX section

The FX section has been simplified, with one main FX On buton and two parameter selection buttons as well as a knob. I think this works well with Rekordbox DJ, unless you’re the type who likes to have total control of three FX going on a the same time. On a device this small, I’d prefer having simpler controls like these any day to avoid a crowded layout.


I’m a bit let down by the fact that there’s not much new on the DDJ-RB, except that it’s Rekordbox DJ-specific. The Rekordbox DJ Sampler buttons, which are present in the rest of the DDJ-R line, don’t make an appearance on this device, which makes it less desirable than the DDJ-SB2 in my opinion.

Serato DJ fans who like the look of this controller would naturally instead look at the almost-identical DDJ-SB2 (from Pioneer DJ too, but made for Serato). But did we mention that the DDJ-SB2 also works with Rekordbox DJ? Well it does, and it also lets you control up to four decks in both Serato DJ and Rekordbox DJ. Of course you’d be stuck with just four performance pads instead of the eight on the DDJ-RR, but you would have a controller that works with both systems.

If I were to go for a beginner controller that looked pro, I’d go with the DDJ-SB2 because of the software flexibility as well as the four-deck control. However, if you’re sure you’re only ever going to want to use Rekordbox DJ, want eight performance pads, and don’t mind controlling two decks maximum, the DDJ-RB is a decent controller to get. I just feel like Pioneer DJ could’ve baked in more goodies to make this a compelling device instead of just a “made for Rekordbox” revision.

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