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Jog Dial Fine Pitch Bend (Phase Adjustment)

On most Pioneer CDJs (and confirmed on my XDJ-RX), the pitch bend is ignored unless you move the jog dial with a speed that exceeds some firmware-defined threshold. For example, if you move the jog a full rotation over the course of about 6 seconds, the phase of the track remains unchanged, since the player ignores the dial movement as a pitch bend.

This isn't a problem for most scenarios since users nudge or "bump" the jogs with enough velocity to perform a pitch bend. However, it would be great if micro movements of the jog dial translated into an appropriate phase adjustment, so that the user can "fine-tune" the phase offset between two tracks running at the same tempo. This helps the user to easily adjust out any phasing issues (with kick drums for example) by slowly adjusting the jog left/right by a few degrees to correct. As it stands, the user must nudge the jog with a certain "minimum speed" for the pitch bend to be registered by the player, which often causes the phase to overshoot, requiring an adjustment in the opposite direction to correct.

 

Steps to reproduce (using a CDJ850+ or XDJ-RX):

  1. Load two tracks with the same tempo into two players
  2. Set both player's tempo to 0.00%
  3. Ensure Sync mode is OFF
  4. Begin playback of both players, and nudge Player 1 so that it is almost in-phase with Player 2 (such that you hear the kick drums slightly stuttered on the master)
  5. Instead of using a nudge to bring the tracks into phase, slowly rotate the jog dial of Player 1 to try "fine-tune" the relative phase offset
  6. Observe that no matter how many rotations are performed, the relative phase offset between the two players remains the same.

 
If the phase changes, then you are rotating the jog dial too quickly to reproduce the issue. Ensure that you are not rotating the jog dial faster than 360 degrees within 6 seconds.

 

Proof of concept

I have used Native Instruments' Traktor Kontrol S4 before the XDJ-RX. Using an S4, it is possible to fine-tune the relative phase offset using the jog dials, using as little speed as the user desires. For example, the user may use an index finger to slowly rotate the dial 1 degree, and this movement is detected in Traktor Pro and translated into a track movement of a couple of frames.

 

Improvement

Either reduce the jog dial pitch bend velocity threshold to 0 (zero) degrees per second, or allow some Menu setting that can enable/disable this threshold altogether (e.g. "Classic" and "Fine" modes)

Matthew Niemann

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