Back in 2004, Pioneer released the groundbreaking ‘DVJ-X’, which allowed DJs and VJs to scratch, loop and mash up DVDs in almost exactly the same way they had previously done with CDs, using the company’s ‘CDJ’ decks.
Quickly taking pride of place in clubs the world over and on numerous technical riders, the DVJ-X1 and its younger bro, the ‘DVJ-1000’, have not only found favour with both DJs wanting an easy route into visuals and VJs wanting something a bit more tactile and reactive than a laptop, but have also spawned a whole ‘DVJ’ sub culture. However, lack of an integrated AV mixer has meant that VJs and DVJs have been left to their own devices…literally…having to mix and mash all sorts of video and audio hardware in order to create a variety of novel, Heath Robinson meets Frankenstein’s monster type solutions for mixing video with audio. But now, the answer that everyone has been crying out for is finally at hand, in the shape of Pioneer’s brand new Pioneer SVM-1000.
Designed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading DJs, VJs and DVJs, the SVM-1000 effectively takes the company’s award winning ‘DJM-800’ DJ mixer and adds a raft of video functionality (including Pioneer’s unique patented ‘Multiple Video Blending Technology’, which makes synchronised audio and video mixing possible) resulting in the world’s first combined 4-channel audio and video mixer.
Each channel can control sound only, visuals only or synced AV, via its faders, EQ knobs (and other controls). What’s more, ‘Fades’, ‘Wipes’ and ‘Chroma-key’.effects can be assigned to the unit’s cross fader.
But the SVM-1000 is much more than merely an AV mixer, thanks to its centrepiece de resistance, an 11-inch LCD touch panel, which builds upon the much loved audio only effects of the DJM-800, by adding to them a multitude of video effects. Better still, there are also three new classes of combined AV effects, as follows:
1: AV Beat Effects automatically detect the tempo (bpm) of the music, altering both audio and video in time with the beat. The 12 on offer are ‘Delay’, ‘Echo’, ‘Pan’, ‘Trans’, ‘Filter’, ‘Flanger’, ‘Phaser’, ‘Reverb’, ‘Robot’, ‘Chorus’, ‘Roll’ and ‘Rev Roll’, all of which include visual parameters such as ‘Inverse’, ‘Edge’ and ‘Hue’.
2: AV Touch Effects allow you to dynamically alter visuals in real time, by letting your fingertips do the walking on the LCD touch panel, which offers a choice of 12 more effects: ‘Ripple’, ‘Lens’, ‘Spot’, ‘Radiation’, ‘Cube’, ‘Block’, ‘Kaleido’, ‘Twist’, ‘Zoom’, ‘Drop’, ‘Blur’ and ‘Distortion’.
3: Text Effects automatically detect the tempo of the track and display text messages in sync with the beat using one of 6 different text pattern effects: ‘Random’, ‘Zoom’, ‘Block’, ‘Rotation’, ‘Crush’ and ‘Slide’. Messages can be input via the touch screen’s built-in keyboard, or via an external USB keyboard.
Other visual functionality includes a built-in audio visualiser and a JPEG viewer that allows you to sample still images from SD cards or USB memory, which can then be effected; looped and played as a slideshow; and mixed with your motion content.
‘Video Trim’ allows you to adjust the brightness of input video in each channel; ‘Video EQ’ allows you to assign video parameters, like ‘RGB, ‘Contrast’, ‘Hue’ and ‘Saturation to the ‘EQ’ knobs and to synchronise the audio and video functionality of these knobs; ‘Fader Start’ allows you to connect Pioneer’s DVJ decks (with a control cable) and start playback by sliding the cross fader or channel faders; ‘Video Monitor Select’ allows you to select the type of video monitor output (from ‘Master’, ‘Channel’, Master and Channel’ or Mirror of Master’); and fully assignable MIDI allows you to control external MIDI equipment, such as VJ & DJ software.
Audio is equally well catered for with a high quality 24/96 A/D converter, 32-bit internal digital signal processing and pretty much everything you would expect from a high end DJ mixer. In fact about the only things that seem to be missing are Firewire & HDMI ports.
At an estimated UK retail price of £3700, it ain’t exactly cheap…though bearing in mind the cost of the various bits of hardware it replaces, it ain’t exactly expensive either, and I confidently predict that following it’s release in February 2008, the SVM-1000 will rapidly become as ubiquitous an industry standard as the CDJ and DVJ decks themselves.
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