As the manufacturer of the acclaimed DJM-500 DJ Mixer withbuilt-in effects, Pioneer has a history with DJ-oriented effectsunits that precedes the Kaoss Pad. Similar in scope and intent tothe Roland EF-303, Pioneer’s sleek and handsome EFX500 has a20-bit sampling rate and a 24-bit DSP engine. Its output sectionincludes stereo RCA and stereo ¼-inch I/O, as well as MIDI I/Ojacks. The essentially 3-tiered device features an Isolator unit, aBeat Effect unit, and a Digital Jog Break unit, which has asaucer-size dial for real-time modulation of effect parameters.
For starters, the EFX500 is extremely well designed. It’s veryeasy and fun to use right out of the box, and its front panel islogically laid out and not confusing in the least. The Beat Effectunit gives you five essential effects: Delay, Echo, Pan, Flanger,and Trans (a clever way of saying slicer — it cutsthe signal into rhythmic pieces). For each effect, you can selectthe note value to which it will synchronize: 16th (1/4), eighth(1/2), dotted eighth (3/4), quarter (1/1), half (2/1), or wholenote (4/1). Upon inputting a signal — say, a drum loop— you first input the tempo, either manually (using theTime/BPM knob), by tap tempo (on the Tap button), or automatically(by setting bpm to Auto with the BPM Mode button).
The delays and echoes sound very, very good — a littlecreamier than your garden-variety digital sounds. The pans aresmooth and well defined, the flanges are deep without too muchhigh-end transience, and the Trans effects are highly detailed andadjustable. Exploiting the Beat Select options yields a widevariety of rhythmic delays; flanges of varying duration and depth;and cool, stuttering Trans effects, all of which can be tweakedusing the Depth knob and the Mix knob to adjust the relative levelof effect and original signal. As on the EF303, you can choose toaffect only the lows, mids, or highs; unlike the EF-303, the EFX500 lets you exploit any combination of the three. The EFX500 features two On switches for effects, similar to the EF-303’s Grabfunction: a releasable On switch and a Lock On switch allow you toeither drop effects in and out quickly or leave them on for alonger duration.
The high quality separate 3-BAND EQUALIZER (HI, MID. LOW) cuts sounds up to -oodB and almost completely silences the sound of instruments in each band.
Momentary ON & LOCK ON method is adopted. The switch at the Momentary position returns to OFF when you takes your finger off the lever, allowing smooth ON-OFF changeover of effects. The switch, at the LOCK ON position, continues to be ON.
Press the AUTO BEAT EFFECT button (1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1/1, 2/1, 4/1) to produce live effects, DELAY, ECHO, AUTO PAN, AUTO FLANGER and AUTO TRANSFORMER, in linkage with beat set in advance.
This machine, with free selection of 3 bands (HI, MID, LOW), enables a wider range of performances than conventional effectors.
Turn the DEPTH and MIX knobs to change the depth of effects and the balance of the original sounds and effect sounds, respectively. In addition, normal effects, not linked with BPM, are possible.
You can set the beat by various methods such as AUTO, TAP, msec, BPM and MIDI BEAT.
Button operation allows you to freely select specific frequency from the 3 bands (HI, MID, LOW) and produce effects. You can combine the bands as you like – for example, producing effects only in the MID (picture), or, conversely, selecting the LOW and HI for effects with the original sounds in the MID.
- DELAY: You can set DELAY sounds at any tempo.
- ECHO: You can set ECHO sounds at any tempo. Turn of the DEPTH knob to MAX produces HOLD DELAY effect, in which repeat continue when BEAT EFFECT is OFF.
- AUTO PAN: You can automatically swing sounds to the right and left.
- AUTO FLANGER: This produces a sound effect like when a jet plane ascends and descends periodically. The DEPTH knob can be used to change the strength of the waves.
- AUTO TRANSFORMER: This cuts sounds periodically.
This counter automatically measures the BPM (Beats Per Minute) of music and turns it into digital indication. You can digitally confirm the BPM of input music sources.
You can set BPM instantly by tapping the button with your finger. Press the button twice to input the tempo as desired.
“Digital Jog Break” is equipped for producing new digital sounds on the spot. A turn of the JOG DIAL controls 5 effects, JET, ZIP, WAH, RING MODULATION, and FUZZ. The DEPTH knob can be used to freely set the strength and depth of effects as well as the balance of the original sounds and effect sounds.
You can enjoy a variety of DJ performances with an instrument-feel.
Momentary ON & LOCK ON method is adopted for smooth ON / OFF changeover.
- JOG BREAK METER: This optically indicates the motion of the JOG DIAL and the change of sounds, allowing you to visually confirm the motion.
- JET: This is a function to add SHORT DELAY. Turn of the JOG DIAL creates wave sounds, with the FLANGER effect made by using 2 analogue turntables.
- ZIP: The JOG DIAL can be used to change the pitch of reproduced sounds without changing the tempo. Lowering of the pitch produces sounds resembling those made by slowing an analogue turntable.
- WAH: This, is a function to change cut-off frequency. Turn of the JOG DIAL makes the sound of a certain instrument strong or weak. It feels like the sound is moving.
- RING MODULATION: Modulation of sounds produces a tone like the ring of a bell, providing effects such as a cosmic sound or a robot voice.
- FUZZ: This is a distortion effect on sounds. The JOG DIAL changes the distorted band.
With the function on, the present state can be maintained if you stop turning the JOG DIAL. With the function off, it returns gradually to the state of the original sounds.
JOG DIAL MEMORY FUNCTION
This is a new function to memorize and reproduce the motion of the JOG DIAL. When you turn the JOG DIAL and simultaneously press the MEMORY button, the motion of the JOG DIAL is memorized for as long as 8 seconds. While pressing the PLAY button, you can replay the memorized action in all the 5 effects as many times as you want.